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Discussion Starter #1
What's a needle wheel pump? Google gave me just links to buy them, but no idea what they are. What's the difference between a needle wheel and a standard impeller?
 

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Wow, that looks like a rather inefficient impeller. Wouldn't it create a lot more cavitation and noise than water movement? Or are they specifically low volume for things like CO2 integration? I'm seeing them on things like reef skimmers and such.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hmmm... learned something new today then. I thought you'd need curved vanes for the most efficient impellers. Thanks Orlando!
 

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Needle wheel pumps are primarily used in reef applications for skimmers. You are correct when you say they would cause a lot of cavitation as they are used to chop up bigger bubbles into smaller bubbles to create efficient skimmate.

On a planted tank, they can be used to chop up CO2 bubbles into a fine mist.

Needle wheels as water movers are inefficient which is why the prop based powerheads are so popular in the reef world.

Charlie
 

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Needle wheels as water movers are inefficient which is why the prop based powerheads are so popular in the reef world.

Charlie[/quote]

I use needle wheel pumps on all of my tanks as source of moving water and co2 diffusion. Needle wheel pumps do tend to have higher RPM's compared to your standard "prop" pump.
In my opinion they have no trouble moving tons of water in our planted tanks, in fact we use them to power canister filters large and small :)

Regards, Orlando
 

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Orlando,

In regards to purely moving water, needle wheels are inefficient compared to props. Same reason why boats and airplanes don't use needle wheel designs. Its obvious why when looking at the designs. Needle wheels are designed to slice through the water. Traditional props are designed to displace water.

Higher RPMs = motor working harder. If a needle wheel pump is pulling higher rpms for an equivalent amount of water movement, then that's less efficient.

Using an overpowered pump to maintain water movement while preserving the needle wheel effects is one way of addressing inefficiency.

Charlie
 
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