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Thread: Lets Talk Foam Fractionators

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    Lets Talk Foam Fractionators

    I have spent the evening reading all the FF Sticky's here and there seams to be two basic designs for Foam Fractionators.

    Water flowing down a column over some kind of media that breaks the surface tension and allows the DOCs to be extracted at the outlet as foam. This is the way the Clarity Units work. (drawing on left)

    And

    Air rising up the column where the DOCs attach to the fine air bubbles and the foam is extracted at the top. This design is popular in the salt water reef hobby. (drawing on right)

    Both designs have proved to work if properly designed and fine tuned.

    So I have some questions and thoughts for discussion.

    Is one design better than the other?

    Skimmer water is better than BD water as DOCs tend to rise to the pond surface, True?

    FFs work better with warmer water and high feed rates when more DOCs are being produced than in the colder winter months, True?

    Will Ozone enhance the performance of a FF? And if so, should Ozone be injected after the biological stage of filtration?
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdman View Post
    I have spent the evening reading all the FF Sticky's here and there seams to be two basic designs for Foam Fractionators.

    Water flowing down a column over some kind of media that breaks the surface tension and allows the DOCs to be extracted at the outlet as foam. This is the way the Clarity Units work. (drawing on left)

    And

    Air rising up the column where the DOCs attach to the fine air bubbles and the foam is extracted at the top. This design is popular in the salt water reef hobby. (drawing on right)

    Both designs have proved to work if properly designed and fine tuned.

    So I have some questions and thoughts for discussion.

    Is one design better than the other?

    Skimmer water is better than BD water as DOCs tend to rise to the pond surface, True?

    FFs work better with warmer water and high feed rates when more DOCs are being produced than in the colder winter months, True?

    Will Ozone enhance the performance of a FF? And if so, should Ozone be injected after the biological stage of filtration?
    Steve - Altho I don't use it anymore, I used this one for several years. Ozone will definitely increase the performance and yes it should be injected after the bio filtration.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephen View Post
    Steve - Altho I don't use it anymore, I used this one for several years. Ozone will definitely increase the performance and yes it should be injected after the bio filtration.
    How come you quite using it Steve?

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    Quote Originally Posted by birdman View Post
    I have spent the evening reading all the FF Sticky's here and there seams to be two basic designs for Foam Fractionators.

    Water flowing down a column over some kind of media that breaks the surface tension and allows the DOCs to be extracted at the outlet as foam. This is the way the Clarity Units work. (drawing on left)

    And

    Air rising up the column where the DOCs attach to the fine air bubbles and the foam is extracted at the top. This design is popular in the salt water reef hobby. (drawing on right)

    Both designs have proved to work if properly designed and fine tuned.

    So I have some questions and thoughts for discussion.

    Is one design better than the other?

    Skimmer water is better than BD water as DOCs tend to rise to the pond surface, True?

    FFs work better with warmer water and high feed rates when more DOCs are being produced than in the colder winter months, True?

    Will Ozone enhance the performance of a FF? And if so, should Ozone be injected after the biological stage of filtration?
    I cannot speak for the diy versions. Only the Clarity CL10 model. I have installed and tweaked four of them in an attempt to find their sweet spot and to understand how they work.

    Some things I have concluded:

    Yes, they actually do work quite well.
    No, they don't do much during the day and in hot weather.
    Yes, they produce volumes of foam at night.
    No, they don't do much in hot weather except at night if it cools off some.
    Yes, when first installed they produce large volumes of foam.
    No, they don't work well if a pipe is installed to divert the foam.
    Yes, they work much better if the foam is allowed to simply drop into a bucket.
    Yes, as the season passes they produce less foam.

    I have observed and monitored the CL10 at different times during the day and night hours. They work best from about 1am to about 7am. Quiet cool nights and warm days cause them to work the best. I believe temperatures, air movement, barometric pressure and of course the pond water quality (hardness) all are factors determining how well the CL10 works. In addition the flow through the unit is very important. I currently have two units set at 2500gph, one units at 2000gph and one at 1800gph. The last one produced more foam to begin wth than any of the other three. Then it got to cold here and I could no longer play with the flows. I'll work more with them again next spring.


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    Certified: AKCA Better Health Practices December 2008


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    Quote Originally Posted by birdman View Post
    How come you quite using it Steve?
    It worked good on my old pond. But when the pond was rebuilt to 65,000 gallons, it couldn't even attempt to handle the flow neccesary to handle the larger body of water. Whenever using ozone now, it is injected into and mixed in my lower pond (contains no fish). The flow thru this pond is in excess of 1700 gpm/102,000 gph. Also there is no longer any foam to generate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephen View Post
    Steve - Altho I don't use it anymore, I used this one for several years. Ozone will definitely increase the performance and yes it should be injected after the bio filtration.
    Interesting you say ozone increased its performance. When I have my ozone turned on my FF makes little to no foam. But if I have it turned off for a few days the FF will make foam again. With ozone running I would need to have the FF set to make a pretty wet foam to create any foam and the foam it makes is like soap foam , very clean shiny wet foam. Without ozone on the foam is dryer dirtier looking foam.
    As stated above foam seems to be created more at night.
    Last edited by anthonym; 11-02-2008 at 06:33 AM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonym View Post
    Interesting you say ozone increased its performance. When I have my ozone turned on my FF makes little to no foam. But if I have it turned off for a few days the FF will make foam again. With ozone running I would need to have the FF set to make a pretty wet foam to create any foam and the foam it makes is like soap foam , very clean shiny wet foam. Without ozone on the foam is dryer dirtier looking foam.
    As stated above foam seems to be created more at night.
    I should explain better. With dirtier water the FF will create dirty, nasty foam with or without ozone, not like the clean foam pictured in my unit above. However, as the water cleans up, it becomes more difficult for a FF to generate foam(referring to freshwater, not saltwater). Here is where ozone will assist in squeezing out some of those last DOCs by oxidizing them and making them easier to attach to the bubbles. In our particular cases, there is little foam to fractionate
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    Last edited by stephen; 11-02-2008 at 07:48 AM.

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    Thanks for your comments Karl.
    I have noticed the same thing from my water fall which is the exit from my shower. It has a pile of foam waiting for me when I get up in the AM and after I scoop it out it no longer produces any until the next morning.

    But now with reduced water temps and reduced feeding I am no longer getting any foam.
    Last edited by birdman; 11-02-2008 at 08:49 AM.

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    Purdin Koi Farm sells a unit thats looks good..

    http://www.koiforsale.com/clarity.html

    Following extensive R&D, Norwegian aquaculture company Clarity Water Treatment Systems have produced an advanced water treatment product based on their patented technology that has, for the first time, enabled the creation of a unique Koi system sized unit that combines the operational benefits of a protein skimmer and a foam fractionator to deliver a fantastic Koi filtration bolt-on.

    *

    Removes organic waste - Reduced DOC
    *

    Helps Reduce Blanket Weed!
    *

    Low Maintenance

    When used in addition to your existing filtration, Clarity™ units deliver that elusive extra dimension in water quality sought by serious Koi enthusiasts worldwide.

    By combining protein skimming and foam fractionation Clarity™ units are able to remove organic matter from system water to a degree not possible using conventional filtration. One of the most exciting benefits is that the high level of DOC removal has a dramatic impact on Blanket weed growth!

    Click for Lake Wales, Florida Forecast

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    Karl, the four Clarity Units you have installed, are they working off skimmer water or BD water? What does Clarity recommend?

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    Stephen, the lg FF that you are no longer using, I assume it was venturi driven. What is the width and height of the unit? Did it have any type of media inside? What was the flow rate? My wheels are turning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by birdman View Post
    Stephen, the lg FF that you are no longer using, I assume it was venturi driven. What is the width and height of the unit? Did it have any type of media inside? What was the flow rate? My wheels are turning.
    RK2 RK75hfpe http://www.aquaticeco.com/subcategor...-Systems/rk2/0

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    Quote Originally Posted by stephen View Post
    Thanks Steve.

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    Hey Steve!

    Just to add a wrinkle look into how the Febi FF works. Kind of a hybrid. It uses a pump and a venturi to add air to the water, then circulates in a tub with the foam rising to the center where there are a series of small tubes that support the bubbles. In effect making the bubbles two dimensional.


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    Thanks Rick. Interesting. I used venturi's all the time when I used to male salt water protein skimmers, but I hadn't seen this design before.

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    Hi,

    I built a mini dragon FF from the thread on Koiphen, and it worked pretty well for a while. I added a 4 gm ozone generator and a reaction chamber ahead of the FF and the foam quit, so I have the same experience as Anthonym. I have since removed my FF and now run just the ozone generator through the reactor and return to the pond via a stream. I am happy with this setup, except I need a better air dryer. I have a bead type air dryer and the beads must be recharged every couple of weeks in the oven, which is a big nuisance.

    Phil

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    old thread that has tons of diy links for FF's and protein skimmers.

    http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62793

    i still favor air stone / air diffuser counter current FF. though would like to see air lift pump, bio, FF combo unit one of these days maybe.

    i would rather place the FF over and down into my sump pit chamber. and just let foam overflow into the sump pit chamber. and at same time be able to make the tall pipe sunk down into the pit. so its not 10 feet up in the air looking like some flag pole.

    with folks adding these as optional doings after everything is built. folks don't have alot of options and just start craming.
    Pond and Construction Forum 101 good place for any first timers to the forum. for finding resources and general info.

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    I remove foam in the morning and evening. I do not have a FF or ozone.
    Bob

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    Stephen,

    What did you do with the RK2 Unit? I wouldnt mind one for my salt water tanks.

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    I love my RK2!!!! It works much better than any others I have owned and built. Highly recommended!!!!! But let RK2 know that you are using it on fresh water. RK2 will modify the FF for you to work better!!!!
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    Ultima II 2000,Turbo Vortex pre-filter, 3 5'x14'' Bio-towers, LSB3 Bioreactor, 2 40 watt UV's, RK2 Foam fractionator, 6gram Ozone, 2 AP40, 8Kw inline heater, 3 sequence 1000, Mortons Water Softener, Aquadyne Aqua controler

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