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Thread: How to make a phoam phraxionator, 1300-1500 gph

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    How to make a phoam phraxionator, 1300-1500 gph

    I wanted to start a brand new thread with everything in the first few pages for some folks who wanted to know how I created my phoam phraxionator.

    I have made one that will flow around 3,000 gph out of 8" PVC, and also, one out of 6" PVC. Others have also made the one out of 6" PVC and have experienced wonderful results.
    These are instructions for the smaller, 6" unit.


    First, you need to find the following pieces:


    (1) 5-6' section of 6" schedule 40 PVC, preferably with the "hub" on one end
    (2) 1' sections of 2" PVC
    (1) 90 degree six inch elbow with hubs on each end
    (1) 6x6x4 inch "tee" fitting
    (1) 6 to 4 inch reducer fitting
    (1) 4 to 2 inch reducer fitting (you can get 6 to 2 inch bushings to replace having to buy both of these)
    (1) 2" economy ball valve
    (1) 6" fernco coupling
    (1) 1.5 inch hole saw
    (1) 6" green drain screen from Lowes
    (1) cubic foot of bio balls or bio barrels

    also needed
    1500 gph of flow, able to be regulated and relatively clean water
    PVC cement and primer
    pipe to get to top of phoam phraxionator from pump

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    First, I got a 60" piece of 6" Schedule 40 PVC pipe.

    Buy (or obtain) a piece that has a "hub" or coupling at one end like this one at the top.

    This will allow you to add additional height to the unit in the future if you want to. A 6" 10 foot run of PVC could be $40, but you can get them free if you ask around, because all you need is 5 feet.
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    Last edited by Ethan25; 02-03-2010 at 10:21 AM.

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    Purchase a 6" green strainer for a gutter from the plumbing section of your Lowes. Home Depot does not have these, at least ours doesn't.

    using a dremel, trim off a quarter inch off of the side of the unit like so. These are $6.00 each.


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    This will fit inside one end of the 90 degree elbow like so.




    Prime the inside of the elbow and then place it in there as snug as you can. This piece assures that the bioballs will stay in place in the tower.


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    Purchase a 6x6x4 TEE. THese will run between $25-30 at Lowes.

    Buy two reducer couplings to fit inside each other. One is a 6 to 4 inch, and the other is a 4 to 2 inch. THese are also at lowes, and I think total $20. You can get 6 to 2 inch couplings, but our lowes didn;t carry them.
    Prime and glue them into the one end of the "tee".

    This is where your water exits the unit.




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    Glue the long 5 foot piece of 6" PVC into the 90 Degree elbow, fitting it tightly and smashing in the drain grate as far as you can. THe "hub" (wider part) of the pipe will be at the top of the unit. You want this to fit tightly into the 90, so as to prevent leaks.




    In looking down the top of the unit, you will see the drain grate down at the bottom like so.


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    Next, cut a hole with a hole saw at the top of the hub like so. THis is the where the water source comes for the phoam phraxionator. I used a 1.5 inch holesaw I believe, but it is up to you. You may prefer to run two inch line up to the unit. Either way, do it in the back of the unit like shown.


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    The nice thing is that where I drilled that hole in the last picture, the end of that pipe is a hub. So, if I feel I just don;t have enough height or bio balls, I could add a 2 foot section of pipe to that end and increase the height of the unit by 1.5 feet, or, in technical terms, a bunch of bio balls more.

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    Now, cut a 1 foot section of 2" PVC and glue it into the exit port like this.


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    Get a scrap 12" to 16" section of 6 inch schedule 40 PVC. Glue this into the other end of the exit port, and then into the elbow, connecting the tower elbow and the exit port together. You may wish to cut this small section of 6" PVC in half, and glue each seperately into the exit port and the tower elbow. Then you could connect with a 6" fernco rubber coupler, and be able to take the unit apart to clean periodically.


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    Attach a 2" ball valve from Lowes to the end of the 2" pipe as shown. Get either a 4" 60 degree or 90 degree street "L" and put it into the 4" top of the T, where the phoam comes out of the top of the unit. I suggest gluing this piece in.



    you can then attach additional 2" pipe for the run back to the pond from the ball valve.
    Last edited by Ethan25; 02-03-2010 at 10:40 AM.

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    THe next step is up to you. If you drilled a 1.5 inch hole in the top of the unit, I just used a 1.5" 90 street elbow and attached it to another 90 degree elbow through the wall like so.
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    The ball valve before the exit is to assure a proper water level. you want the water level in the unit to be where the light blue line is in the picture below. MOst will want to put a ball valve on whatever pipe they are using to run water to the unit, as you really do not want to push more water into the unit than it can handle. If you do, water will back up into the tower and also out of the 90 degree phoam exit, making you lose water. I have found that 1400 gph works very nicely.
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    With this phoam phraxionator, it MUST BE LOCATED ABOVE the pond level. You use gravity to flow the water out of it back to the pond. I have not tested this unit to gravity flow back through TPRs. THe reason I am not sure about that is because of the added back pressure from the TPRs being underwater. I do not know that it will work with that, as the backpressure may toy with the water level in the unit too much.

    It is preferable that these just gravity flow back to the pond over the edge.

    They can be an eye sore. Sure. However, this is why we need one.

    This was after a day or two of running the unit.





    I am sure some of you are thinking, "what do I care about getting bubbles out of the pond"....right?

    well, those bubbles are dissolved organic compounds (sometimes referred to as DOCs here on the board). These are particles that are usually too small to be trapped by normal filtration. FOr some reason I can't explain but I am sure someone else could, they are attracted to the air-water interface, and thus, become bubbles on the pond surface. They can be trapped using a phoam phraxionator.


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    When you have issues with Docs, these phoam phraxionators get a lot (and I mean a lot) of phoam in the first few weeks of production, then things level off. This was after I think a week of running it last summer.


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    and, you are not just removing "bubbles". Remember the docs that I mentioned earlier?

    Those bubbles break back down as they become unstable after leaving the water, and as teh water evaporates from them, they pop, leaving back the dissolved organic compounds in a dirty sludge.



    That was after four days. approximately 1 gallon of smelly gunk that my fish would have had in the water column had I not had the unit.

    here's what it looked like in my hands. NOt stuff I want expensive koi swimming in.


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    You can fill the unit with bio balls or barrels. Here's one someone made last year and it's results...




    A good friend of mine has had wonderful success with bio barrels. Commercial units use the barrels, but I believe that the balls work fine and dandy.

    The key is keeping the relatively clean water crashing through the bio balls, allowing the water a good 4-5 seconds dwell time in the elbow and Tee before exiting through the 2" ball valve. I found that the bottom area in the unit is around 6-7 gallons I think. If the water is at 1400 gph that's a gallon of water every 2.5 seconds I believe. That means that the water has essentially 15 seconds to have the bubbles that are created rise to the top of the "settling chamber" to the top of the Tee, where they are forced out by gravity.



    I like to think of it like a settlement chamber. We are taught in the hobby that solids that are heavier than water will settle out if given enough "dwell time" in a settlement chamber. It is the same with the bubbles. If given enough seconds, most of the bubbles created will rise and go to the path of least resistance, the top of the TEE where they build upon each other again and again and again and are forced out.

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    If you don't like how it looks, well, I do not either. This summer I'm going to wrap mine in burlap and have vines grow around and around it.

    You can put it in a more remote location if you don't want the thing at the side of your pond, just make sure you have enough drop with the 2" pipe return to handle the 1300-1500 gph flow back to the pond edge.

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    It takes a few hours to gather the materials and you probably have to order the bio balls, but it's worth it. It takes maybe an hour and a half to put together....really quite simple.

    Just divert some water from the end of your filtration to it, or, do what I did....drop another pump in your skimmer with some sort of prefiltration screen on it to prevent it from shooting a ton of crud into the unit, and start it up. it will also helo with aeration of your pond.



    THe thing is, for well under $200 (not including extra pump), it can only help you.

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