Air for sponge filters - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Air for sponge filters

I don't like the hum from aquarium air pumps.
I would like to run a few sponge filters in small tanks. I think the powerhead powered types might be more turbulence that I would like.
Has anyone tried using one of the portable air tanks, like for filling car tires to power their aquariums? I am sure you would need to adapt some type of needle valve to step down the pressure but that seems do able. The biggest question would be how long it would supple air to a couple of filters before needing to refill the tank. I already have the air compressor that could do that.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 03:47 PM
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I haven't used the portable air tanks, but I've found that if you put a small towel under the air pump they run pretty silent (well the cheap ones are still loud), I don't even hear the three pumps I have running in my home office for all my grow out tanks with sponge filters.

If you don't have any cloth and you've got carpet and can hide it, that works really well too. The noise really comes when it gets up against something smooth and solid. I don't know if I would trust one of those big air compressors for car tires for something like that, and they tend to make quite a bit of noise as well as taking up a good chunk of room, maybe I'm just having the wrong picture in my head for what you're trying to do or use.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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I have tried the towels. Helps but I can still hear them.
The air tanks I am talking about are just tanks, not compressors. You fill them with compressors buy there not attached.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 04:37 PM
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I would think it would require a regulator which may make it pricey but also a bit of pain. If you needed to be gone and the tank runs dry, the fish would lose filtering?
Have you considered a better pump and locate it in the garage, closet, etc. and run airline to the fish room?
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 04:50 PM
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I had a loud air pump I keep in the closest of another room. I just bought a 25' long air hose. I ran the hose along with the home network cable (Cat 5) and TV cables. It worked out really.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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I would think it would require a regulator which may make it pricey but also a bit of pain. If you needed to be gone and the tank runs dry, the fish would lose filtering?
Have you considered a better pump and locate it in the garage, closet, etc. and run airline to the fish room?
I have thought of that. Just kicking around ideas. Half the fun of this hobby is figuring out how to do stuff differently.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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I had a loud air pump I keep in the closest of another room. I just bought a 25' long air hose. I ran the hose along with the home network cable (Cat 5) and TV cables. It worked out really.
I have given that some thought. Thanks.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 05:01 PM
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I would think it would require a regulator which may make it pricey but also a bit of pain. If you needed to be gone and the tank runs dry, the fish would lose filtering?
Have you considered a better pump and locate it in the garage, closet, etc. and run airline to the fish room?
It may not be the cheapest solution or easiest, but this would be the "sure bet".

As mentioned also, the cheap ones are just........noisy. If you move up the ladder just a bit and find a way to suspend it (screw eyes and wire, under the stand?), it may work just a little better than the towels, etc. Just keep in mind that you can't completely encase them.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 10:21 PM
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I have thought of that. Just kicking around ideas. Half the fun of this hobby is figuring out how to do stuff differently.

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I do a lot of kicking ideas around and it can be fun for sure. Depends whether the ideas work or not. i find there is a fine line sometimes between kicking the idea around and too much worry. Figuring out what to do with noise from air pumps was one I never got solved really well.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 10:36 PM
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power head is an option too
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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I do a lot of kicking ideas around and it can be fun for sure. Depends whether the ideas work or not. i find there is a fine line sometimes between kicking the idea around and too much worry. Figuring out what to do with noise from air pumps was one I never got solved really well.
Well, being retired maybe I just have too much free time. I need a hobby,,,,, wait a minute.........

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 02:07 AM
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Well, being retired maybe I just have too much free time. I need a hobby,,,,, wait a minute.........

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Since we both may have the same problem?

Have you heard the difference between a goose and a retired guy?

They both spend their days chasing this and that, anything that interests them. Whether they actually catch it or not matters little. They both do a lot of quacking and honking. At the end of the day, the goose and the retired guy will have done much the same.
Made a mess everywhere they went!

The big difference? The goose has feathers!

If you don't believe it, ask any retired guys wife!

Last edited by PlantedRich; 02-10-2014 at 02:09 AM. Reason: correction
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrill View Post
I don't like the hum from aquarium air pumps.
I would like to run a few sponge filters in small tanks. I think the powerhead powered types might be more turbulence that I would like.
Has anyone tried using one of the portable air tanks, like for filling car tires to power their aquariums? I am sure you would need to adapt some type of needle valve to step down the pressure but that seems do able. The biggest question would be how long it would supple air to a couple of filters before needing to refill the tank. I already have the air compressor that could do that.
Powerhead may make just as much hum!
Use Rena air pump and DIY small manifold, feed the airline in the sponge, but don't just let it bubble (that is also loud), use airstone inside all your sponges, and you will get the most quite setup.
I use model 400 for my 95 gallon tank and it's very quiet, but you don't need that big airpump, get a 300 or even 200 it all depends how many tanks you will need to feed with air.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 02:14 AM
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I hated my air pump also and finally bought the fluval air pump and it is almost silent. It has no vibration and I run 4 sponges and a few air stones on it. You can also set the amount of airflow. I have mine under my stand and my filter is louder than that is.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 02:24 AM
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If you want to talk about noise go find an old Dynamaster piston pump. Never could get it quite. Guess that's why it sits in a closet unused. (Bought new 32 years ago. Ran a bunch of sponge filters but did I mention how noisy it is,) My Tetras believe it or not are quite.

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