DIY Air Lift Koi Pond Vacuum (Part 3/3)

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#123: DIY Airlift Aquarium Vac Wand Version 2 - DIY Wednesday
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Amazing DIY Pond Vacuum using air compressor
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DIY Aquarium Air Lift Vacuum
Pond Vac - home made
Pond Vac - home made

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The Channel I've Set Up Because Youtube Wouldn't Let Me Upload Any Videos Until I Set Up A Channel: This doesn't work does it? Or there would be more people posting videos of them. I donf want to go to all the trouble of making one to discover it doesn't work. Hopefully, lots of you will prove me wrong.

Erik The Red: In your final version can you tell me what kind of metal aerator tip you used? How much more water lift did you get versus the altered makeshift elbow that was modified with that internal cross hatch PVC material? Thanks

artmakersworlds: Oh gees, make a vac for less than 20.00 my eye. That compressor is more than 20.00 isn't it???? Back to square one.

Norman Islas: It's simple. Just go to INPLIX page and make it yourself.

RVJimD: Wayne, thanks for the very good demonstration of air lift! I just learned about this the other day while watching another pond video and found your demonstration. I have everything I need to try this, thanks!

Bill Murphy: Great set of videos Wayne... thank you or sharing .. I was curious if you have tried a shop vac attachment on the bottom side that sweeps out to cover more area with each pass ??

Leanne Hertzler: This is a great invention; thanks!  I have a large pond and would like to use a larger 3" instead of 2".  Do you think that would work?  I have a normal 25 gallon air compressor...100psi.  Thanks so much!

DaveOonUTube: Great job Wayne. I'm impressed. A couple of comments and suggestions: First of all, for all those folks who have replied and talked about all the muck in the bottom of their pond, I would highly suggest putting in a bottom drain. I know that sounds a little scary to cut into your liners to install a drain... but look up some of the how-to koi pond videos for proper instruction and installation (the "Pond Digger" has some great instruction videos.) It's not very hard... and if you can build this vacuum, you can certainly put in a drain. You'll be MUCH happier with the results. That being said, I still love your idea for those smaller garden ponds with lots of plants. They create a lot of debris so this idea would clean things up very well. Now my suggestion: It's been suggested that you might go to a 1 1/2 intake pipe. If you do that, you might also consider using a swimming pool vacuum attachment and the flexible hose that comes with them. You can also get an aluminum pole to push the vacuum attachment around the bottom. The poles are very lightweight and can extend up to 10 feet. The vacuum attachment also has wheels on the bottom to keep you from jabbing your liner and accidentally causing a tear. The wheels on the bottom of the attachment allow for ease of rolling motion and create a nice consistent 1" gap for greater suction. Lastly... if you happen to have a skimmer on your pond (another highly recommended idea for any pond lover), you could send your output pipe there. This way... all of the fine particles that make it through your capture bag would be sucked into your filter system via the skimmer intake. Of course, if you did have a skimmer... you could use the pool vacuum setup I've just described to vacuum your entire pond in exactly the same way you would your swimming pool. You would take the flexible pipe and connect it to your skimmer suction and use your pond pump to vacuum the pond without the air compressor or the capture bag. You would simply be lifting the debris from the bottom of the pond and sending it directly into your existing filter system. Ideas to ponder. Again... great job.

Doug Smith: I am woderin if I can attach a hose to the end insead of a bag to go straight to the sewr

Eunice Dillon: Could you tell me more about what type of collection vacuum bag you are using and where you bought it?  Loved you 3 video.  Me and my husband are building one.

Jorge Martinez: Hey men nice project, it works really well, I'll build my own soon.
Just an observation the compressor you are using seems to be an oil lubricated piston compressor, its quite powerful but the air u are getting is really dirty and humid, so your discharge water is contaminated with small particles of oil and rust. In the long run can damage your fish and plants.
Better option a 20w magnetic air pump or an small oil free compressor, that way you get clean air.

Ted Kantner: I really like this concept and plan to put one together for my Spring cleaning.  One question:  I'm curious as to your choice of 2" tubing.  I would think that 1 1/2" schedule 40 would be a bit less cumbersome and easier to move around within the pond.  My pond is only about 6'x6'x3'deep and the liner is exposed (no pebbles or rocks for bottom) so vacuuming would seem to be pretty quick and easy once I move some of the plant containers away.  Although maybe putting in an air jet system at the business end might be a little more of a challenge with 1 1/2' pipe.  Maybe putting a reducer on the top end of your Y to put an 1 1/2" tube for a handle, making it a little easier to hold.  Your instructions and updates are great.  I will be able to put together a parts list pretty easily.  Thanks for posting.

PalJoey1957: OK, it works, but it's a Rube Goldberg contraption.  Very clumsy.  Instead, use a shop vac and put your efforts toward making a brush tipped nozzle and pipe with valve to control water rate to work with the vac.  Clear the floor of the pool so that's it's just the vinyl liner.  Put the plants in pots and the pots up on bricks.  You'll be able to work fast and effectively.  Next, review the size of your filter's media container.  The larger the better to break down nutrients.  If possible, incorporate removable sections in the media canister like screens and floss (disposable, cheap).  This will allow you to manually remove a sizable portion of the bio load and protect the permanent bio media inside the canister.  Lastly, get yourself some Water Hyacinth - the flowering, floating plant with the long black roots.  They multiply like crazy, absorbing dissolved nutrients that would normally go to the algae, but they are easily thinned out and removed when there gets to be too many.

Carlos Bermudez: Awesome, it's exactly what i searched !
My pond is 4 feet deep at his maximum. Does it will work at this length ?


Jamie Groom: Thanks for the video Wayne! I made your vacuum today and couldn't believe how awesome it was!  I had to climb into the pond (waist deep) to retrieve some parts that came off because I hadn't glued them before the test run (oops), and I know there was a LOT of sludge on the bottom (squishing under my feet).  Pretty gross. Hoping the removal of the sludge will improve the water clarity!  I'm going to swap out the downspout extension tubing for 2" pond tubing when I have a chance to get to the pond store.  It will be easier to work with and can be cemented to my 2" T.  I can't say enough about how well this works.  It even pulled the clay silt from the bottom (from the plants that my koi unearth from the pots)!  WOW!

Dennis Chant: Can you email me a list of items needed. My pond is 3' deep so I guess my bottom tube will need to be about 4' long. My email is

planouser: I actually have a very good filtration between the skimmer and the waterfall filter, but I have to clean mud off filter media daily:) I might end up adding some kind of settling filter tank. will take few pix of my pond and send it to you soon.

planouser: Glad to hear that your plants are doing good in gravel, just watched the video and your water lilies are looking fantastic!! It's my first year on the pond wagon and wish I watched your video before planting in soil. It's a very difficult to clear the water after placing the soil in.

planouser: They told me in order for the plant (specially water lilies) to thrive they will need heavy clay soil and fertilizer. Gravel and soil will not hold the fertilizer and cause green water. So far the plants are doing great.
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DIY Air Lift Koi Pond Vacuum (Part 3/3)