| The Cloverleaf ?Foam Fractioner? offers a good specification and value for money relative to competitors products, and will appeal to those suffering from foam on the ponds surface (through excess protein or dissolved organic compounds). It will also appeal to those committed to obtaining the ultimate in water quality. The unit will cater for ponds up to 36,000 litres and is 600mm dia x 350mm high. Minimum pump requirement 4,500 LPH. Pipe inlet size 40mm ? outlet 50mm. With no filter mediums to keep clean maintenance of the device can be fairly described as almost non-existent.
The basics of the devices operation is that pumped water (via a dedicated pump) passes under pressure through a venturi unit, where the input of air creates a mass of air bubbles which attract and contain contaminants within the water. These bubbles burst within the central inner chamber of the tank and the extracted contaminants are passed through gravity along a pipe to the 320mm dia external waste catchment bowl. The remaining water in the tank is returned to the pond. Processes of this type cannot be classified as mechanical or biological when they are nether, however they do contribute to reducing nitrite levels.
To cater for various pump flow rates two control valves are provided to adjust both the water level within the tank, and the amount of flow generating the oxygen input.
Many pond keepers believe that their current water quality is exemplary, and become amazed when they establish just how much dirty waste matter can be extracted from their ponds upon installing a foam fractioner (protein skimmer) type device. Beyond general contaminants, colourants are also converted into waste, and as an end result water clarity and sparkle is visually improved with a more healthy environment being created.
With no two ponds being the same it is impossible to state how much waste can be extracted from any pond. Likewise there are no cast iron rules as to using a foam fractioner properly. Some pond keepers will find it necessary to have the device running 365 days a year, whilst other will obtain adequate success in only using the device for a few days each week after an initial dirty running in period.
The importance of having good oxygen saturation levels in ponds is vital for the health of the fish, and of great importance to sustaining the beneficial biological bacteria which colonise within conventional filtration system mediums. This can be achieved by numerous techniques including airstones, or conventional venturi units, however not everyone wishes to having their ponds resemble a witches cauldron, and it is in this area where a Foam Fractioner offers a great bonus by pumping oxygen into the water at around 2,500 litres per hour in a subtle fashion (within the tank).
It should be stressed that the a Foam Fractioner cannot be regarded as any form of saviour to an existing pond with a poor filtration system. This is not its purpose.
Usage Tips:The 2 control valves should be adjusted so that a slow drip pattern is seen going into the external waste bowl. Heavy rain, water changes and feeding the fish will have a temporary affect on reducing the drip flow rate (perhaps to nothing), however no further adjustment should be made, and the system should be left for normality to return.
To reduce surface agitation and noise the return pipe to the pond can if required discharge via a bend and short vertical drop with the bottom of the pipe drop set 30mm below the pond surface. All pipework should be 50mm diameter.
In the event of using medications in the pond it is advisable to adjust the foam fractioner so that its extract abilities are terminated, however under such circumstances the device should be left running due to its production of oxygen.
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