Okay, so a bit of an update...
Spent a great deal of time earlier on Saturday (well, today) attempting to quiet the overtly annoying, rattling buzz this Top Fin pump makes -- the only way the noise subsides is if you run the pump on MINIMUM output, which makes one of my bubble bars spit out a couple of bubbles while the other one throws a bit more, but as soon as I turn the control dial up, the humming/buzzing/ground loop-like racket returns. I placed two washcloths, folded a few times so they were thick, beneath the pump and it didn't quiet it. Next, I attempted to wrap a full towel around the pump -- with the washcloths still under it for extra absorption -- and if you can believe this, it seems to have made the humming and vibration feedback WORSE and LOUDER. I ended up taking the towel off of the pump and now I'm just running it with the washcloths beneath it while I figure out what to do next...
I have read from owners that wrote "reviews" (the grammar and spelling of these overviews are hysterically asinine) on Petsmart's site about these pumps that a computer mouse pad could be put beneath it to squelch some of the vibrations and noise the model 8000 in particular puts out, but I don't know if that's going to work if wrapping it in a thick towel with two layered washcloths beneath it didn't...
If anyone has any last-ditch suggestions to try on the noise/vibration front, I'm all ears, eyes and...well...you know...
Here's another thought I had regarding the bubble/filter intake issue; if anyone has any opinion on this, please fire away...
What if I covered the area of the bubble bar that's directly in front of the filter intake, causing the bubbles to be sucked up into the impeller? Perhaps maybe with something like a stone/rock or a heap of the substrate? (I have plenty of it left over...)
Should this, at least in theory, block the bubbles that are going directly into the HOB's intake strainer, thus causing the impeller cavitation I'm hearing, and which is subsequently driving me f'in bonkers?? The only question I have then is, where would these "blocked" bubbles be directed to...would the rest of the bar then push out more bubbles because this section would be "blocked off"?
Alright. Fooled around with the two bars some more tonight, further messing up my wife's aquascaping job that was in progress, to try and see what I could do to stop the cavitation noise coming from my HOB filter that's sucking in bubbles...
The ONLY way I could get the bubbles to stop going into the AquaClear 110's intake was to move these bars so far forward in this narrow tank, it appeared as though the bubbles were coming from the MIDDLE of the aquarium; I didn't care for the effect. So, I went back into the tank and pushed both bars back against the back glass pretty much, burying them once more under the substrate, tried to do some aquascaping fixing then decided -- because of all of the debris my hands in the tank were kicking up and the turbulence of the water kinda freaking out the goldfish -- to do about a 15-20% water change. After that, I started up both HOBs again, and the intake cavitation noise is back and greater than ever. This horrible grinding/bubble chopping noise, along with the ridiculous hum/buzz of my stupid Top Fin pump when it's running at maximum output, is driving me absolutely crazy, and takes away from the serene/calm effect an aquarium is supposed to provide. I don't know what to do, save for just ripping the bubble bars out and living without them...
My wife suggested, over the phone because she was on her shift at work, just removing one of the bars, so that just one bar will be towards the center of the back of the tank, therefore no bubbles could be sucked in by the filter intakes...but I don't know if I like that look. I was after making a nearly complete "bubble curtain" along the back glass, and although I see many people's tanks with bubbles just in the center back, or off to a side, I just don't know if I care for that...
Anyone's input and/or thoughts/opinions would be greatly appreciated.
The most powerful pump that I've had was a twin piston air pump. It kind of looked like wheel drive system of a train. It pushed a large volume of air however it required lots of maintenance. You had to keep pistons oiled. The other drawback was it was loud so you have to put in a drawer or somewhere.
A 2 second idea...
We already know what you think of that idea
My wife suggested, over the phone because she was on her shift at work, just removing one of the bars, so that just one bar will be towards the center of the back of the tank,
Originally Posted by An asinine suggestion from 850R
Ok, I have an idea that keeps an air pump from vibrating against anything, It's cheap, dead simple, effective & not asinine.
Originally Posted by ClinicaTerraLTD
Here it is: Take a length of fishing line and hang the air pump under your stand in such a way so that it is not touching anything.
If it's not touching anything it cannot vibrate against anything & the only noise issue possible is the noise of the pump itself.
Some air pumps are more suited to hanging than others but a loop of fishing line or a screw or superglue and a piece of airline [Or some combo of the above,, Use whatever sense you have commonly available to make it work] can certainly provide an attachment point if it is not sporting one already.
Last edited by Goes to 11!; 02-19-2013 at 01:32 AM.
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Originally Posted by 4Mike
Actually, I have been using a new Top Fin AIR-8000 from Petsmart (rebranded for them) with good results so far, outside of its horrendous buzzing/vibrating noises...
If this pump doesn't work out, I'll check back into the thread for some more suggestions; thanks again!
I also remember you had to align the shafts often. It did, however have a very large electric motor and the pistons were reciprocal as it thrust in one direction it withdrew the other piston. And it wasn't really oil but some other non-toxic liquid. Fabulous pump for large volume of air. I have never seen a pump that even could come close to the volume of air plus back pressure didn't phase it. Glad you are happy with your pump
Last edited by 4Mike; 02-22-2013 at 05:01 AM.
Side note: I tried what my wife mentioned -- that is, removing one bubble bar and moving the other one so that it sits kind of "between" the two filter intakes, sort of "off center" in the back of the tank -- but I didn't care for it, as it made the right side of the back look empty and "unbalanced;" I moved the two bars back together again so it appears as though a nearly complete wall is formed in the rear of the aquarium...
Okay, so the Top Fin AIR-8000 I recently (re)purchased has been really pumpin' out the bubbles to the two bubble bars in my tank, and giving the effect I was looking for. Outside of the HORRENDOUS vibration/buzz/humming this thing gives off (which I would probably have to deal with on the commercial pumps as well), I've been happy with its performance. And I think I stumbled on what may have been causing the issues in the past with the Tetra and Rena pumps, as suggested to me by someone on one of the forums I frequent (can't recall if it was this one; have to check the back pages of this thread) -- the fact that I am not using very short tubing pieces to connect the two outputs to feed one bar.
In the past, I had cut some pretty stubby pieces of airline tubing to "bridge" the two outputs of the pumps together with a T-connector for output, and I think this was causing "backpressure" on the pump; at any rate, the AIR-8000 seems to be pumping and supplying a nice amount of air pressure -- so much so I have to continuously turn the control wheel down!
Here are the remaining dilemmas with regard to this pump issue (and I will revisit this thread should the AIR-8000 give me problems or I need to upgrade again, as I'll be looking to the "pro" commercial-type pumps at that point): The noise from one of the bars spitting bubbles into my AquaClear 110 HOB's intake is still driving me INSANE; because of my setup, I couldn't find any other way to make these bars work, so unfortunately the 110's intake stem is sucking bubbles directly into the filter box, causing the "box of rocks" noise I am hearing. While it doesn't bother my wife in the least bit, I can't stand it, and feels it takes away from the "serene, peaceful" experience an aquarium is supposed to provide to its observers. What I'm thinking is that perhaps I could place a stone, rock or pile of extra substrate I have over that patch of bubble bar which is directly under the filter intake, so the bubbles don't go directly into it...in theory, this should make more bubbles come out of the remainder of the bar, right? Does this sound like a viable option?
The second issue is the aforementioned buzzing/humming/vibrating coming from the Top Fin pump (a common problem amongst owners of this model). I have placed it on two pretty thick washcloths, stacked on top of one another, in the attempt to absorb the vibration and noise, but it still hums and buzzes. I have even wrapped a towel around the pump, completely, and the noise seemed to get WORSE if you can believe that...is there ANYTHING else, short of putting the pump in another room (which isn't an option), I can try to squelch the noise of this pump?
could you have a lot of back pressure? Sometimes that can cause lots of noise or if it has a rubber diaphragm try moving it a little up or down
Last edited by 4Mike; 02-23-2013 at 12:53 AM.