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"The Romaurie-Effect" Answered

I have been using refrigeration compressors for many years as vacuum pumps. When I started in commercial/industrial refrigeration some 30 years ago, all the engineers in "Prestcold" Bournemouth branch made their own small portable vacuum pumps from discarded domestic refrigerators. It almost appeared to me, a newcomer to the industry, a competition of sorts to make the most practical/aesthetic unit possible.Some engineers made varnished wooden cases to house the compressor. These were ideal for all small refrigeration vacuuming requirements. My interest over the last few years has been to use these "home-made vac-pumps" to produce vacuum filled inverted aquaria. "The Romaurie-Effect" as shown on "youTube".This is an on-going project.


Here's an alternative to your refrigeration vacuum pump. A simple aspirator device fitted to a water pump will provide suction. See here for explanation:

The aspirator in the article is used in chemistry labs, and attaches to a water faucet. I have a cheap one that is used to drain a water bed mattress. Remember those from the 1970's??? Here is a supplier: http://www.capitolscientific.com/estylez_item.aspx?item=P8541N

I have seen aquarium powerheads that included an Aerator that sucked air thru clear tubing.

Once you create water powered vacuum source, you simply hide the clear tubing in the silicon bead in the corner of the inverted tank.

If the aspirator blows its bubbles outside of the inverted tank, then you have positive displacement of oxygen. If the bubbles are being blown within the inverted tank, then you are just re-cycling the air.

I leave you to the engineering. Do searches for topics like "how to make an aspirator", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernoulli%27s_principle , "venturi effect"

Here is great discussion of aspirators:

Search a plumbing supply house for faucet aspirator.

Amazon.com shows a waterbed fill/drain kit here:

When there is a power outage, what keeps the top tank from draining, as air flows backwards thru vacuum pump???

I tested the vacuum with a venturi some 2 years ago with a small commercial water pump with venturi.Posted the result as a video on youTube and "Alan Molstad" perfected the engineering for this.He can be found on YouTube with a good explanantion on how this works.Not so easily found is a system developed in North Wales by an aquarist using an aquarium air pump modified to suck air from 1 inlet tube to remove the air from the aqarium and then return the air at the bottom to provide air bubbles in the tank.How he prevents shorting from humidity I don;t know.I tried this idea as well by placing the aie pump on a ledge at the top of the aquarium.The ledge is still visible in my video clips of the inverted aquairum. I personally like the small vac-pump method most.I am able to utilise old refrigertion microprocessors that have "failed" on their thermost feature but the defrosting control works.This gives me the time options of how many minutes duration the pump operates at what hourly interval I want.. I have also been using this principal to make a garden plant sprinkler with a n old washing machine solenoid valve fed by this processor.In refrigeration/air conditioning if the processor fails on one important parameter, it is replaced.Another fault I have discovered with these processors is that cockroaches often lay their eggs inside which eventually cause a short.This can often be be cleaned with switch cleaning spray. This idea originally came from a S.African doctor who used a clear plastic tube with 90degree elbows at each end to link 2 aquariums.He was filling the tube in a bath of water, sealing the ends and lifting the assembly into place and then removing the end seals under water.I applied the vacuum idea to this to negate the lifting and filling part.I have sent him details of all my R&D; but have never heard back from him. The posibilities are endless.It also graphically demonstrates the practical uses of a vacuum.When I was at school, it was something taught without practcal demonstration.Accept the heating of a tin can, closing the lid, and then plunging said tin can into a bucket of cold water and watching the can crush by the created vacuum.I believe the best demonstration of how this works can be seen on my YouTube video clip of "pulling the vacuum" without a vac pump.I use a semi-rigid plastic tube to suck the air out out the inverted aquarium thus filling it with water. Never a dull moment!

A standard aquarium air line non-return valve is used to prevent loss of vacuum.The non-return being in the direction of the aquarium.

This is just too cool. I've looked at all the pics and vids I can find on this site and youtube and what not. Is there any site which has step by step instructions or lays it out a little more simply? Also, is there a simplified way to do this without large refrigeration type pumps? I'd love to do this but can't get too carried away as I may have to move soon.

I have tried by way of my video clips to lay-out all the moves to set-up either a linking-tunnel or inverted aquarium.The refrigeration pumps are not big expensive commercial vacuum-pumps that cost an "arm & a leg".This was the first thing I had to prepare after the company vac-pump nearly came to grief the first time I pulled the vacuum and the water shot back into the pump. Spent 3 hours flushing out the pump with special flushing oil.On my clips, I have shown how to use a small ex-refrigerator pump to do-the- do. First decide if you want to build a linking tunnel or inverted aquarium in a base aquarium. The latter is by far the more simple.Most glaziers balk at the prospect of buiding the tunnel without a CNC glass cutter to pr-fabricate the sides of the construction. Eventually I will prepare a step by step plan to make the simplest form of inverted aquarium.

Thx, look forward to the guide some time. I'm thinking about a smallish inverted aquarium. Do you think the youtube guy, fishfreedom is using a refridgerator pump like that? He doesn't give a lot of info... are they noisy? Bummer about the eyes, by the way.

The small compressors, 1/4h.p. or 3/8 h.p. are really quiet. most of the background noise on my videos is water flowing from the filter. And the feckin' neighbours! The Fishfreedom guy is a Mr.Ho in Singapore.He "welcomes comments on his system to improve it". I have sent him 3 emails detailing findings from compressor tests and air pump tests but have not received any reply.

Not related to the above, but maybe of interest: Laurie Duman to Melinda show details 03:51 (1 minute ago) I'm sat in the lounge in bloody agony, 3.32am. now. Woke up at 1.am with excruciating pain in eyes.As if sand was stuck in them and wont come out despite rinsing and soaking with camamille tea bags. I was helping Bensi yesterday with welding.I was holding the pieces in place while he welded.Problem is, its almost impossible not to catch a glimpse of the welding arc. Should have worn sun glasses. Its many, many years since I first had this. On that occasion I went to my G.P. and said I think I have arc-eye. She said she had never heard of it because [her words] she was a super-dooper internal medicine specialist and didnt need to know. So she gave me a note for the eye doctor. By the time I saw him, my eyes were OK.So, basically there is no cure accept to soak with the tea bags. What causes the problem is the intense arc light disolving the transparent protective film on the eyes.You dont feel it at the time , but by night, the hardened particles of film start abrading the eyes. Normally it would disolve in your sleep and in the morning that little bit of residue in the corners of the eyes that you wash away [sleep in your eyes] is gone naturally. The arc buggers it up! I learnt about it at S.R.D.E. but never got it till I came to Israel. Can hardly keep eyes open now but really painfull to close them. Not a lot of people no that.

Can you link to a vid, please?

I think the tank is being aerated by suction instead of blowing - suck the air out of the top of the tank and it gets drawn in another pipe.

I think.

How do I post one of my videos here? I have them on my pc.This one included. It really is an on-going project. I have today, re-vamped the 1/14th.h.p. comp to suck the air from the aquarium thru a "jam-jar" and then thru a 1/4inch filter drier and non-return valve before returning to the base of the inverted aquarium.The effect is amazing! A "full- blown" curtain of air bubbles in the vacuumed inverted aquarium, with NO DISPLACEMENT of water. This is a question many aquarists have posted. Prompted mainly by a system marketed in Singapore and sold as a package under the name of "Fishfreedom".Nothing is "given-away" by Mr. Ho's videos on "youTube".However he "welcomes " comments on his very impressive system, but has, as yet to reply to my question if it uses the vacuum principal. I first assembled and tested this system in February 2004 and posted my findings on "Fiskeepers Forum". The idea was to guage response from aquarists. I followed this with a clip on "youTube" of my "aquarium-linking-tunnel".It is still there as " The Romaurie-Effect" Genesis SVCD.This details the work me and my son Rom carried out in January 2004 to test the principal, originally with copper-tube, and when this worked "forking-out" money to buy the glass and test the "real-thing". Well, it worked! Everything you see now, be it Mr.Ho's "Fishfreedom" or the "Romaurie-Effect", stemmed from that experiment in Jan 2004.I was "pressed" then to patent the principal. I was quoted $20,000 as a "minimum" figure to research and document this "effect" by a patents lawyer who would have had to call on the services of various proffesinals to produce this patent. It is recorded as my "intellectual-property". Its potential uses are far more than just the aesthetics of domestic aquaria.A simulated "tide-pool" and educational tool to graphically demonstrate the the fact that a full vacuum will lift a column of water, 30 inches or 76 centimeters to mention 2 "spin-offs" from the concept. Romaurie.

You already have a YouTube account, so you've done the hard part. When you're writing an Instructable, there's a button at the top of the box where you enter the text. Click this, then go to your YouTube account. Beside your video is a box that says "url". Copy that box into the box on your 'ible, and you're done. Easy.

I went to the doctor and asked he could give me something for "wind" . He gave me a kite!

Thanks! I wonder how they feed the fish. Maybe the top is removable and a gasket keeps the vacuum when closed? Or the fish are in a closed ecosystem?

The upper aquarium sits in the open lower aquarium.Its large surface area allows for osmosis.The fishes movement from the lower to upper aquarium, displaces water and returns water all the time.There is also a 2000lt/hr. water pump directing a flow into the upper aquarium. The small pump at the rear re-circulates air from the partial vacuum at the top of the inverted aquarium.

Latest {today} development on "Romaurie-Effect".


10 years ago

I've often considered using an AC compressor as an air compressor for air brushing. This post makes me think it might be possible. Any thought?

Oops, I take back part of what I just posted below....somehow I read into your post that you were going to use a Fish Tank air pump.....sorry. I think I need more sleep :-)

I did try a diaphragm air pump fitted into the upper part of the inverted aquarium on a glass shelf.It worked fine for 24hours by which time the condense had blocked the air inlet on the pump.Cleaning it is a fairly labourious job of pumping the water out into another container and so lowering the level of the vacuumed section until you can lift it off.I remember years ago seeing a twin pistoned air pump with a large silver-coloured wheel passing thru an induction motor.A friend had this on his aquarium set-up for many years requiring minimal maintenance.I believe a combination of production cost and oil contamination might have been the reason for this type of air pump to be replaced by the glut of low-cost diaphragm air pumps on the market today. I thought the twin-pistoned pump with a non-return valve could have been a viable soloution to the combination vacuum-pump/air-pump required for the Romaurie-Effect. I notice that video is "linked" to the "youTube" clip on this site by the title "Romaurie Effect": Revelation. [the "revelation" was the fact that enough air remained in the upper part of the vacuumed aquarium to "scavenge" and re-cycle into the bottom of the vacuumed aquarium thus not displacing water by introducig air from outside the closed circuit] This idea was suggested to me by Alan Molstad on youtube.He even enclosed a video response to "hammer-home" his idea that the space at the top must have air.I had been labouring under the theory that the water was held in by a vacuum, thus no air was present. I find the process of trying new ideas to further this effect most absorbing.Along the way I realise now I have hit upon "spin-offs" from my R&D; like the home-made vac-pumps and air compressors that are useful to many other folks.Processes that I had been taking for granted in my "single-minded" obsession with my project.Thus it was a pleasure to stumble upon "instructables" where these "spin-offs" can be detailed for those that want them. "Col Ha Cavod", as the "locals" would say.

Indeed, there are many things here I could say "well done" to. :-)

You may need to install a safety valve to limit pressure buildup inside the paint canister; that is IF the compressor can build that much pressure. I don't know for sure.

If the compressor is run "unchecked", it can produce up to 450psi. At this point, assuming you have not fitted an "auto-reset" low pressure control set for 120psi, it will eventually cut-out on its "Klixon", a bi-metal sensing switch activated either by excess current or temperature.

Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote " IF " the compressor can build that much pressure... Somehow I got it into my head he was thinking of using a fish tank compressor; you know, those little things that buzz (the vibrating membrane type)...all the words are blending together....I need to step away from the computer for a bit LOL

I have built several air compressors using 3/8h.p. Tecumseh CAE4440. These little refrigeration compressors are real "work-horses". During the summer, if one of these starts "seizing", the policy is to replace them and overhaul the condensor rather than "feck" about with the old one.If I manage to aquire the removed compressor, as opposed to the toewrags who can't get to the scrap-dealer quick enough, I change the oil after flushing with WD40, and test run them. If the windings are intact, "bobs yer ferkin!" You can then assemble a base, resrvoir tank and pressure control. It is ideal for small paint spraying jobs. The choice of reservoir is a bit of a "sticking" point.The ideal choice is a discarded freon bottle.These are steel construction, with pressures up to 450PSI when filled with their original charge of freon gas.However, they come with a warning not to use as "air tanks". And in the US, it comes with a $25000 fine and incarceration if you're caught doing it. Fortunately in Eilat on the Red Sea where I live and work, most of the "locals" can't read English. So I have built and tested to destruction several of these.As the operational pressure is only 120 PSI, it is just a quetion of how long it takes for the condense, if not drained regularly, to "eat" thru the tank. 2.5 years of daily use. And then it didn't go with a "bang"! but rather a small hissing sound as it sprang a leak. I have to "dig" thru my video files for a clip of the unit. When I figure-out how to post this with my "destructable", I will post it. A question: I posted an "instructable" on the basics for building a "Romaurie Effect" aquarium. How do I link this to that? Romaurie


Testing 1/14th. h.p. refrigeration compressor as combination vac-pump and air pump.
Trying to cancel any oil fumes by routing air through refrigeration filter/drier.
The efficiency of these compressors over normal diaphragm air pumps has to be seen.The "trade=off" is the fact the comp. has oil in its sump and any fumes must be prevented from entering the aquarium.

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That is so awesome, now I see how they make those resturaunts with the fish tank tunnels that go all around the resuraint. Cool.