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My agitation solution

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  • My agitation solution

    As I had mentioned in a previous thread, I was considering using an aquarium pump to agitate the electolyte in my tank to dislodge any bubbles that may adhere to the surface.

    First, a quick rundown of my system:
    - Tank is a 30 gallon rubbermaid tote
    - 15 gallons of electrolyte prepared according to LCD instructions
    - 5A/30V Power supply

    The pump I chose is an inline/submersible mag drive aquarium pump. I chose this mainly because I had a couple laying around for PC watercooling. The one I'm using is a Lifetech 4550, aka the LT700 from Logic Cooling. It has a ceramic impeller shaft, all plastic body, and can be ran inline or submersed. If ran submersed, there is a sponge filter which might help keep a tank clean. Specs are 700 GPH max flow, ~9ft max head.

    I chose to use 1/2" schedule 40 PVC for the tubing in the tank, and 1/2" ID flexible tubing from Logic Cooling to connect the pump to the PVC.

    Here's how it all came together:

    All that was needed was about 6' of 1/2" schedule 40 (<$2.00), 2 90 degree elbows (~$0.25 ea.), 1 end cap (~$0.25), and 1 1/2x3/8 MNPT coupling (~$0.80). Total for parts at the hardware store was less than $10. The tubing and pump was stuff I already had on hand, but would cost less than $40 if bought new.

    The last step was to drill holes in the PVC pipe to make jets to agitate the tank. I chose 1/8" holes.

    Here's the system in action, causing lots of agitation:

  • #2
    Fantastic. What a great system. Thanks for posting.
    Mike Caswell
    Caswell Inc
    Need Support? Visit our online support section at


    • #3
      at what angle did you drill those holes?


      • #4
        Originally posted by potsked
        at what angle did you drill those holes?
        Good Question! Actually, the PVC is not glued together (it still seals quite well) so the angle is infinitely adjustable. I'd guess I'm running somewhere between a 30-60 degree angle... but that's a very rough number.


        • #5
          im not familiar with tubing and such, how did you connect the pump to the pvc pipe, is that what a MNPT coupling does?


          • #6
            Here's a few pics to clear things up.

            First, a pic of general PVC pipe fittings. From top left to bottom right: T fitting, end cap, female NPT adapter (aka FNPT), and on the bottom is a male NPT (MNPT) hose barb.

            Next is a picture of the male NPT barb screwed into the adapter:

            and finally a picture of the adapter slipped onto a piece of 1/2" PVC tubing. These pieces just slide together, and can be glued if you would like a permanent seal. Do these pictures help?


            • #7
              NeoMoses, I do like your digital photography.


              • #8
                yes that clears things up for me tremendously


                • #9
                  would that pump be too much for a smaller tank around 10 gal


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dropride
                    would that pump be too much for a smaller tank around 10 gal
                    I think this pump would work well for a variety of systems. If you choose to use the PVC pipe like I did, you might be able to get away with a single run of tubing down the center of the tank, coming straight out of the pump outlet. By rotating the PVCso the jets were at a very shallow angle, say 15-30 degrees from horizontal, you would have very little risk of splashing electrolyte and still have good tank agitation.

                    And, you can always restrict the flow. One of the easiest ways to do this would be to put a small ball valve inline with the pump, between the pump outlet and the PVC tubing. Plastic ball valves can be purchased inexpensively through Home Depot/Lowes. Why a ball valve? In the fully open position, a ball valve offers nearly no restriction. By closing the ball valve slightly, you will be restricting the flow, thus lowering the flowrate.

                    Hope it helps!


                    • #11
                      how is that company to order from, are they pretty quick with shipping


                      • #12
                        Logic Cooling ships quickly; I've had no problems. Lowes, and Home Depot are good companies, too, but you can probably find one locally.


                        • #13
                          figures i go to order one and they are out of stock


                          • #14
                            Pump aval.

                            I just found a place on ebay selling them for $19.99 plus $10.95 shipping ($30.94) , abit cheaper than the other place (about $40 with shipping) if they don't have them in stock. Do a search for Lifetech 4550 and you should find at least a couple. He had 4 ebay, now 3 after the one I purchased.


                            • #15
                              I've had a bit of a problem trying to get this setup to work, perhaps my pump is abit old or something, but it won't run without being primed. Does your have a similiar issue?