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Old 10-18-2018, 08:55 AM   #21
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I put the aerator in in 2010 after a couple of years I took it out and hosed it off. the stones were not plugged, but I replaced them anyway. the ones, (same kind as in picture) I put on then are still working fine. When I installed it I worried they would plug so bought a small ring aquarium aerator with larger holes but it is still unused. No doubt just the tubes would work also, if I were to start having problems with the stones plugging I could pull them off.
This is a home made copy of the "Sweet tank" system, more details can be seen here https://www.groco.net/products/marin...dor-prevention
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:28 AM   #22
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You may have to sigh up, but here is a way to build your own vent filter instead of paying $100 for one.

http://www.boatinghowto.com/content/...nk-filter-288/
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:34 PM   #23
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Holding tank venting

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Originally Posted by Bacchus View Post
Steve

I have seen your photos before and like your set up.

Just wondering if you have had any problems w/ your "stone" aerators plugging?

I did a similar DIY system but didn't bother w/ an exotic distribution end - it seems to be working fine but wondered about yours.

My question as well. I considered doing exactly what Steve did, but was concerned about the stones plugging and then the hassle of replacing them or maintaining them.

Edit: I see Steve hasnít had an issue. Iím already to setup without them. That will be this weekends project unless we take advantage of the nice weekend and take off in the boat.
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Old 10-18-2018, 04:40 PM   #24
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FYI I have found it best to run the pump 24/7. At first I tried shutting down o'nite but think it is better on full time.
I can't see where a dip tube w a T and capped ends w a few small holes would be a problem if the stones plug.
If good vents providing sufficient air above the surface works why wouldn't a single stream of air bubbles?
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Old 10-18-2018, 04:57 PM   #25
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The Groco Sweetank has a hose that lays in the bottom of the tank and has lots of holes in it. I used one in a previous boat with excellent success. I think that even pumping air into the holding tank might work just fine without the hose for air distribution but I am not sure. It would certainly work better than just a small vent, or certainly way better than a small vent with a filter in it. I would never have a filter in the vent.
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:07 PM   #26
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Quote:
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Dave
FYI I have found it best to run the pump 24/7. At first I tried shutting down o'nite but think it is better on full time.
I can't see where a dip tube w a T and capped ends w a few small holes would be a problem if the stones plug.
If good vents providing sufficient air above the surface works why wouldn't a single stream of air bubbles?

That was my thought as well. I kept thinking about how to get more widely dispersed bubbles, small enough bubbles etc... It finally dawned on me that the reason I am doing it at all is that I can't easily install two decent sized air vents. All the air vents would do is passively exchange the air in the head space above the tank contents. The pump will exchange more air in the tank than passive vents and any bubbling effect will cause some motion in the tank contents and give far better oxygenation of the tank contents than simply two good vents.


I'm still considering a timer on the pump. There is a simple and cheap 12v programmable timer that I can set for just about any on/off pattern. I was thinking going for a 50% duty cycle such as 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off. That would cut the amp draw in half and should extend the life of the pump.
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:10 PM   #27
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The current draw on the Groco Sweetank pump was negligible so I did run mine continuously.
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:21 PM   #28
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Quote:
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The current draw on the Groco Sweetank pump was negligible so I did run mine continuously.

Yeah, The pump I'm using (the same as Steve and Bachus I think) claims a 1/2 amp.
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:33 PM   #29
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I had the same thoughts re timer but never found one that would give me 50% or less duty cycle and I found constant on not a problem. I'm on my origonal pump and it's still going. I figure easier to change a pump than mess w a timer.
Amp draw is insignificant.
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:44 PM   #30
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The other reason I didnít want to turn off the pump is that I was concerned that sewage may backup into the air tube and plug it up. Last thing I wanted to work on was a air hose that had been living in the poop...
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:07 PM   #31
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Quote:
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Dave
I had the same thoughts re timer but never found one that would give me 50% or less duty cycle and I found constant on not a problem. I'm on my origonal pump and it's still going. I figure easier to change a pump than mess w a timer.
Amp draw is insignificant.

I used this timer and a relay for a timer on my fuel transfer pump. This is what I'd use and just program the duty cycle I want. For the aerator no need for a relay since it uses so little amperage.
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Old 10-18-2018, 07:43 PM   #32
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Quote:
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I used this timer and a relay for a timer on my fuel transfer pump. This is what I'd use and just program the duty cycle I want. For the aerator no need for a relay since it uses so little amperage.
That looks a lot more flexible than the ones I looked at.
I may consider it - but have to say 100% duty cycle has not been a problem... may be trying for solve a non-existent problem by adding a timer???
I'm the curious engineer type and may give it a try... when I have time - not high on the priority list though.

If you do it lets us know how it works
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:05 PM   #33
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Quote:
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may be trying for solve a non-existent problem by adding a timer???

Yeah, that is my middle name. ;-)
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:35 PM   #34
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I installed the aerator in the boat today. Iím too dang tall, old, and still to be crawling around a bilge doing wiring.

I cut into the circuit that feeds the shower sump pump. I added a small busbar high up in the bilge where it should stay dry unless the boat sinks. The pump seems to put out a lot of air. You can hear and feel the air coming out of the holding tank.

So it seems to be working well. The pump is a bit louder than I would like. With the boat quiet, you can just hear the pump when in the head and companionway down below. I still have to re-route the vent hose. It has a low point in it and water pools in that low point. It isnít much a low point and it works OK, but it can be better so that will be another painful contortionist exercise.

So another question... and this may get lost in the thread, but now that I have plenty of O2 in the tank, would I be better off going back to using K.O. In the tank rather than the No-ox that Iíve been using. My understanding is that K.O. actually provides the aerobic bacteria to the tank rather than just boosting oxygen in the tank. I could be wrong as I often am.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:22 PM   #35
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When I put a Sweetank in a previous boat, I did not ever use anymore chemicals in the holding tank. We had the boat for about 8 years after the install and never had any smells.
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Old 10-20-2018, 06:39 AM   #36
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Are you using No-Ox or Noflex?
I started using Noflex based on recommendations here and it works very well w the bubbler.
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:31 AM   #37
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I still have to re-route the vent hose. It has a low point in it and water pools in that low point.

That must be corrected because even clear water impedes the escape of gasses in the tank...which, if your bubbler is doing its job, should be only CO2 which is odorless, but heavier than air. If it can't be freely pushed out the vent it will sit like a blanket on the surface of the contents, "smothering" the tank.

To answer this question: My understanding is that K.O. actually provides the aerobic bacteria to the tank rather than just boosting oxygen in the tank."

K.O. is a live bacteria product that can work aerobically to break down and emulsify waste in an oxygenated environment or anaerobically in an anaerobic environment. If the aerator is doing the job it should be doing, you shouldn't need to use any tank product. If you still need one, it's not doing much more than passive venting above the surface alone can do.


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Old 10-20-2018, 09:54 AM   #38
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In the beginning Noflex was designed and marketed for commercial use to control sludge build up in marine and land based treatment aeration systems .
Systems that contain fixed or floating media to increase the surface area inside the tank for bacterial growth
With the use of air blowers (roots) huge volumes of air is forced down under the media.Circulating the tank bottom to top while super charging the liquid with oxygen . Pretty intense movement in tank when you are looking at it .
The system reduces the amount of solids but still here are solids that can not be processed physically ;and build up in the bottom
Should solids build to the bottom layers of the media the aeration process fails.

Don't know if KO works on this kind of sludge but i know Noflex does
Yes i make the Noflex
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:07 AM   #39
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Quote:
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Dave
Are you using No-Ox or Noflex?
I started using Noflex based on recommendations here and it works very well w the bubbler.

When I woke up this morning, I realized my error and was about to correct it. Yes, I am using Noflex and have been very happy with it for the past couple of years. It was created by our own Sea Q I believe.

No-Ox is a conductive electrical grease that I use on certain instruments at the office.
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:12 AM   #40
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I still have to re-route the vent hose. It has a low point in it and water pools in that low point.

That must be corrected because even clear water impedes the escape of gasses in the tank...which, if your bubbler is doing its job, should be only CO2 which is odorless, but heavier than air. If it can't be freely pushed out the vent it will sit like a blanket on the surface of the contents, "smothering" the tank.

To answer this question: My understanding is that K.O. actually provides the aerobic bacteria to the tank rather than just boosting oxygen in the tank."

K.O. is a live bacteria product that can work aerobically to break down and emulsify waste in an oxygenated environment or anaerobically in an anaerobic environment. If the aerator is doing the job it should be doing, you shouldn't need to use any tank product. If you still need one, it's not doing much more than passive venting above the surface alone can do.


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Thanks Peggie. Yeah, the vent has a low spot that when I back flush the vent when emptying the tank the water will pool there. I have to go down and lift the low spot just a bit to get the water to drain into the tank. Re-routing the vent hose will take care of that.

Thanks for the info. I only installed the aerator yesterday so too early to tell. If I donít end up needing a tank treatment, then all the better.
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