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Easy Flow Clogged


Wags
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I've had 4 Easy Flow adapters in place.  I like the concept.

One has already clogged and I cannot find a good way to clear.  The flow is next to nothing.  Yet, when I remove the airline tube, there's most definitely plenty of pressure.  In fact, when I re-assemble the sponge filter with the Zist air stone, all looks right again.

What gives?

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Have pictures of the collar? In all my testing, the only thing that's slowed flow down has been a full sponge filter.  What's the flow of air in the water? any chance the pump is failing?  Can you blow through the air collar?

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I am curious about 'clogged'.  What is it doing? Or not doing. :classic_laugh: I was also wondering do you use the Ziss air stone with the adapter? Or did you switch back and forth to test it?  I do not use an air stone with the new Nermys. :classic_laugh:. What has others experiences been? 🤔 

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I ended up grabbing some video to help everyone see the issue.  I am appreciative of everyone's interest!  (Also, just watched Cory's latest video where someone literally dropped an air stone in the water... and complained it didn't work.  That's not me, I promise!)

These are little grow out tanks in my garage, so nothing high profile.  I start the video showing the airline tube connected to a Aquarium Coop sponge filter.  I took out the Easy Flow this weekend, so you'll see how this looks in legacy configuration (no easy flow).  No real clogs to speak of in the sponge.

After I shot the first 2 minutes, I decided it might be better narrated, so ran through all my testing again.  At the end, you'll also see what the same airline tube looks like with the Zist air stone.  

Easter Egg:  Find the pizza table top that my niece thought the fish would like to eat their food.  What an uncle doesn't do...

 

Let me know if anyone has any thoughts.

Edited by Wags
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On 1/29/2024 at 9:08 PM, Guppysnail said:

Where the airline connects to the collar the air is escaping. I don’t think you are clogged. Cut the end of the airline about half inch and try again. 

I agree with this, I had a similar problem and it fixed it.  

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On 1/29/2024 at 6:52 PM, Wags said:

Let me know if anyone has any thoughts.

Is the air pump split to multiple drops and the air collar is just not having enough pressure due to the other items on the line taking all the pressure from the line?  Basically, my setup has a stone on one side, air collar on the other and one of them might cancel out the other.  I have to restrict the flow to the air collar so the air stone works, but I also have to loosen the air stone tightness so that it's not making the airpump whine in anger. 

This is what @Guppysnail was talking about and you can visibly see the air leak in the video from the tubing attachment point.

image.png.1a56cf0b3c8e635f10c5d7b29636f096.png

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Agree on the leak, but I will say that I think the collars take a little bit more air.  It's not a problem for me on a central air pump with plenty of capacity (so far).  But I think if someone was at the ragged edge of their pump capacity and then switched everything over to the new collar, it might be an issue.

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I'm going to disagree with the assessments/diagnoses above. The tiny dribble of air escaping from the collar, plus the less tiny but still small amount of coming up the tube, is WAY less than what the tube is producing. My thought is this...

Due to the very coarse/low ppi of the ACO sponges, detritus is passing through the sponge and is getting trapped in or blocking the collar assembly. Not the main uplift tube part of the collar, but the small air connector part. Ie between the end of the airline and the uplift tube above the sponge. Try using a teeny tiny brush to clear this out, if you have one small enough. Or a jet of air eg from one of those keyboard cleaner cans. Or a paper clip or soft wire. I don't have any of the easy flows, but I do have a few of the side mounted sponge filters that work similarly, and when the air flow is low, first thing to check is the sponge, and if it's not that I disassemble the collar assembly and clean it out. They all have slightly different designs, but most have some sort of diffuser or distributor to take the air from the air tube and inject it around the collar. That involves some kind of narrow opening or openings in the plastic, and those (can) pick up mulm/detritus over time. 

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These tanks in the garage aren't going to win any awards, but hopefully give these fish a decent quality of life after being culled.  The tanks don't look especially good on camera, so thank you for not focusing on that.  :)

Having these tanks side-by-side and having purchased the Easy Flow upgrade kits all at the same time does afford me the ability to swap collars.  Should have considering in the first video.  The small loss from the airline tube is simply not the issue here.  In fact, I think the only reason the loss is occurring in the defective/clogged collar is because the air is not passing through as it should.  You don't see this behavior in the unclogged collar as the air is being expelled as we expect.

Let's see where the internet takes us with the below:

 

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On 1/31/2024 at 1:43 AM, Wags said:

think the only reason the loss is occurring in the defective/clogged collar is because the air is not passing through as it should. 

Contact customer service for a replacement.  ACO is great with customer service. 

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Definitely an issue with the collar as you clearly demonstrated.  I think the inlet on the collar itself is partially clogged.  Maybe try a paperclip or something similar to clean it out.  But if all else fails the Co-op will take care of it for you.

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I’ve had the Easy Flow since the day they released, and I actually got one early to play with. 
 

In my 55 I was running the ACO dual pump, and eventually switched it out with a different pump when I made an upgrade to my rack. I had noticed the flow dramatically decrease, and I thought it was the pump. 
 

It’s been 3 or 4 weeks since I made that switch, and doing maintenance today I noticed the flow had dramatically decreased again. 
 

I’ve taken the air collars off and apart, soaked them in vinegar, and used a toothpick in the inlet. Seems to be working well so far. I’ve gotten one back open and the tank is FLOWING. Still working on the other 3 collars, but I’ll get there. 
 

Looks like I’ll need to do this once every couple of months on all of them, and I have super soft water. Would probably be worse for someone with hard water. Still better than messing with air stones on a weekly basis, that’s for sure. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's very well built, but I had the same issue.

I run mainly Swiss jetlifter so I already know the problem coming. 

The coop have 1 single fine row of hoes where the air come out and it will clog. The Swiss clogs also but they have more rows, bigger holes and a remove sleeves to clean the hose.

I like the idea for directional flow, but that single row with fine hole is too air hungry. So I went around it and place an air stone coming from the bottom. Problem solved it also take less air to more the same amount of water.20240218_213649.jpg.1426ca950462d48a47906876a6798192.jpg

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On 2/18/2024 at 7:43 PM, WhitecloudDynasty said:

So I went around it and place an air stone coming from the bottom. Problem solved it also take less air to more the same amount of water.

Nice! I just got sooooooo tired of having to mess with Ziss air stones every week with maintenance, and I have super soft water. I still really love the air collar. I’d rather clean the air collars once every 3 or 4 months than pull apart sponge filters and swish felt pads in the tank water in the bucket and reset them every single week. 

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If the air collar clogs, I would be inclined to try soaking it in a strong bleach solution and then using an appropriately sized bottle brush.

I have not had to do this on mine yet, but have used it on an air collar on an air collar on a suction cup mounted double sponge filter I have.

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I popped one of these open the other day just to see if there was any build up.  There was a little bit of gunk down there, but nothing too crazy.  Just wiped it off with my finger.  I do tend to clean my sponge filters relatively frequently (but don't do anything with the air stones/collars usually), so maybe just that disruption is enough to keep things from getting too bad?  At this point I haven't noticed any degraded flow in any of the air collars.  But I've also not had a lot of issues with the ones that have/had air stones.  The biggest thing I hated about air stones is that they always want to fall off.  

Edited by jwcarlson
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One of my Easy Flow air collars also clogged.  I soaked it in vinegar and it seemed to clear it.  The question I have is air supposed to come out from all around the inside of the collar or just from one end??  The air collar went from only one row of air bubbles to four rows.

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On 2/20/2024 at 7:24 PM, TMartins said:

Does anyone know if the air collar itself can be opened?!

At least once….   Whether it could be reassembled is another question.

 

I took a look at one and gently tried prying it.  It doesn’t look too promising.

 

I would hesitate to take a knife to trying to open it as the risk of self injury seems pretty high.

 

my plan is soaking in a fairly strong bleach solution myself., then using dechlorinator.  I would use a syringe with some airline hose attached on the end to flush the collar with bleach water and afterwards with dechlorinator water…

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