My Phoam Phraxionator


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Hey all
Today is going to be a big day for me.
For a while now I had been reading and following a thread in Koiphen started by a guy name Ethan about making a DIY phoam phraxionator, which is basicly a type of filter for removing dissolved organic componds (DOCs) and reducing the amount of phoam (foam) and bubbles you get in your pond. The thread is located hear if you are intrested in reading it.
Most (all) of the people in that thread who have built these things set them up outside in the open and run the return water directly into their pond, and often they just have the waste foam just spilling out on the ground or into some sort of container on the ground.
I have done my best to conceal my filters sytem in my pump room and wanted to do the same with this phoam phraxionator, so it took a little extra thought to figure out if I could make it fit in with my current system and not have to worry about it overflowing or making a mess inside if it ends up producing a lot of foam.
Well, I think I have it all worked out. I have the main body of the phraxtionator built and loaded with media, today I will be installing it in my pump/filter room and hooking up the water returns into my filter tanks and starting her up.
I will let you know how it works.
Here are some pictures of what I have so far.

https://www.gardenpondforum.com/gallery/image/1972-fractionator/


I'm not sure what to say to my wife if she asks me what happen to her strainer ????

https://www.gardenpondforum.com/gallery/image/1975-screen/



https://www.gardenpondforum.com/gallery/image/1974-media/



https://www.gardenpondforum.com/gallery/image/1973-lid/
 
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fishin4cars

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COOL! Ethan has done a lot over the last couple of years on working with foam fractionators, and honestly, I've followed his threads pretty closely. make sure and post where he will read them as well as he puts in some valuable input when he sees someone making a serious attempt to build one. He's a nice guy (although sometimes it would be hard to tell by some of his comments over there, lol)and has been helpful to many other hobbyist. I'll be interested in seeing how it preforms. Once I get the actual Koi pond up and running I'll have a lot more room and place for doing more projects like that. Good luck! Looks good
Oh and be sure and take as many pics of the build as possible, as you have noticed in some of his threads that small details can make big differences and having the pics during construction will help greatly if he needs to give a little guidance or input.
 
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Thanks Larkin

I got everything hooked up except for one more connection which requires me to shut down one of my pumps, I just stopped for an apple break before I do that, then it will be ready to go online.

The building of the actual fractionator is pretty easy once you have all the parts, but I have made this project a little more complicated because I’m also adding a inline UV light and splitting up my return lines to add some aeration to my bio-tank. I also made a couple minor changes to Ethan’s design and material list, and will certainly be posting the results here and Koiphen for Ethan and others to see.

Mucky
 

JohnHuff

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I'm building a mini one of pretty much the same design except that I'm not going to put any media in the vertical pipe as I've seen that just the effect of the water falling from a short distance is enough to produce bubbles.
 
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I'm building a mini one of pretty much the same design except that I'm not going to put any media in the vertical pipe as I've seen that just the effect of the water falling from a short distance is enough to produce bubbles.
I was thinking the same thing, but nobody in that thread reported running their phractionator with out the media indside. You'd think someone would have tried it???
Anyway, I figured even if it didn't produce much foam it still should work as a trickle tower filter

Here's some pictures of it installed and running.

https://www.gardenpondforum.com/gallery/image/1977-right-side/



https://www.gardenpondforum.com/gallery/image/1976-left-side/



https://www.gardenpondforum.com/gallery/image/1978-water-return/


It started producing foam inside pretty much as soon as I adjusted the water level, but so far the foam bubbles aren't making it out the expeller tube. They say more foam gets produced in the morning then in the afternoon sun (when I started running it), so we'll see what happens tomorrow morning. If it still isn't expelling any foam, maybe I'll try taking the media out and see what that does.
 

JohnHuff

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I was thinking the same thing, but nobody in that thread reported running their phractionator with out the media indside. You'd think someone would have tried it???
Anyway, I figured even if it didn't produce much foam it still should work as a trickle tower filter
Ya, I've already bought the new components and I'll let you know if it works without the media. And ya, it's also true that it doubles great as a TT filter.
 
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Well I didn't have to wait till morining, no sooner had the sun gone down and it started to cool off and the foam started to flow.
Now I've gone from worrying that it won't produce any foam, to worrying it will produce too much foam and overflow my tub. LOL

https://www.gardenpondforum.com/gallery/image/1979-first-foam-drip/



https://www.gardenpondforum.com/gallery/image/1980-foam-drip/



https://www.gardenpondforum.com/gallery/image/1981-inside-tube/


It was dripping pretty steady when I last looked at it.

A couple observations I can make about this thing are; even when it's not expelling foam there is a noticible air flow coming out the expeller tube. It seems the water draws the air down the phractionator with it and you can feel a light, cool draft exiting the tube. The other observation is, this expelled air is quite stinky! In fact the smell is very obvious as soon as I walk in my pump room now, and it's only been on for 1/2 a day. Perhaps it should be called a phlatulator???
 
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Well one day later and I have about 2" of condensed foam liquid in the catch bucket which has been extracted from my pond water.

This is what it looks like inside the bucket.

https://www.gardenpondforum.com/gallery/image/1982-bucket/


And here is a picture of that liquid in a glass.

https://www.gardenpondforum.com/gallery/image/1983-glass-of-scum/


Here is the picture that explains why I wanted to build this thing.
The left glass contains fresh pond water scooped out of the pond, the glass on the right is what this phoam phractionator has passively removed from that water.
Pretty amazing really.

https://www.gardenpondforum.com/gallery/image/1984-pond-scum/
 
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COOL! Ethan has done a lot over the last couple of years on working with foam fractionators, and honestly, I've followed his threads pretty closely. make sure and post where he will read them as well as he puts in some valuable input when he sees someone making a serious attempt to build one. He's a nice guy (although sometimes it would be hard to tell by some of his comments over there, lol)and has been helpful to many other hobbyist. I'll be interested in seeing how it preforms. Once I get the actual Koi pond up and running I'll have a lot more room and place for doing more projects like that. Good luck! Looks good
Oh and be sure and take as many pics of the build as possible, as you have noticed in some of his threads that small details can make big differences and having the pics during construction will help greatly if he needs to give a little guidance or input.
COOL! Ethan has done a lot over the last couple of years on working with foam fractionators, and honestly, I've followed his threads pretty closely. make sure and post where he will read them as well as he puts in some valuable input when he sees someone making a serious attempt to build one. He's a nice guy (although sometimes it would be hard to tell by some of his comments over there, lol)and has been helpful to many other hobbyist. I'll be interested in seeing how it preforms. Once I get the actual Koi pond up and running I'll have a lot more room and place for doing more projects like that. Good luck! Looks good
Oh and be sure and take as many pics of the build as possible, as you have noticed in some of his threads that small details can make big differences and having the pics during construction will help greatly if he needs to give a little guidance or input.

im a little sarcastic and that drives my wife nuts as well....I am a nice guy though!

:)
 
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Phoam production will be more in softer water, in humid climates, and if you use bioballs or biobarrels as media. you want a free crashing down through the media...not restricted like it would be with lava rock or other non-open media.
 
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Thanks for dropping in Ethan, and welcome to (this) forum.
My Phractionator is still steadily producing foam, slowly, but surely. My water is somewhat hard and I live in a dry climate, so that may be a limiting factor, but even if it didn't produce any foam at all it still functions as a trickle tower, so this is a much better use for this skimmer pump than simply going directly back into the main waterfall line like it was.
 

j.w

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Ethan25
 
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thanks JW. Glad to be here. I don't post half as often as I used to as I am a dad of at least two, husband of one, and work full time. But I'll swing by here often enough to contribute.
 

j.w

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Interesting, how are you a dad of at least two? You mean your wife is prego and you don't know how many there are...........hmmmmmmmmm! Come by here as often as you can :razz:
 

addy1

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thanks JW. Glad to be here. I don't post half as often as I used to as I am a dad of at least two, husband of one, and work full time. But I'll swing by here often enough to contribute.

yeah that at least two is interesting is it not jw! Welcome ethan, we do have a life besides chatting on forums, glad you joined.
 
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crsublette

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Nasty mucky water. ((pun intended ;) ))

Really is amazing. Ugh ... that glass looks like something seriously septic and then realize it came out of your pond. heh, crazy, I wonder if it would make for good fertilizer in a compost pile.

I have been looking into making a phraxionator for my dinky water feature, 435 gallons. Trying to be proactive.

I was thinking of making a mini-version of something like this.

Would ya think the size of the pipe determines phraxionator effectiveness??

Does water flow have to be a certain rate to determine effectiveness ??

What's the reasoning for the red valve ya have there at the end of the phraxionator ?? i guess to make the flow just right ??
 
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I can only answer the last question, but you already basicly answered it. The valve controls the water level in the phractionator, you want the water level to be topped up at the bottom part of the T where the foam exits.
As for the other questions, I just don't know, it would take some experimenting to determine the answers to those things, but if you check out Ethan's thread in that link I posted at the begining of this thread he goes into some detail explaining flow rates and sizing. He does have another thread in that same forum with plans for a mini version you might want to check out.
I like to experiment with things, but because of the size of the plumbing and fittings the components are kind of pricey, so it's nice to be able to just copy the design and know it will work.
There are other versions out there, some that use an air pump instead of a water pump to make bubbles, and some as John Huff mentioned earlier in this thread, use no media in the tube, just splashing water to make the foam. I liked this one because even if for some reason it didn't make foam, it would still function as a trickle tower.
 

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