Advice on a water pump lake

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by its id, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. its id

    its id New Member

    Well i created a lake witch is build from plaster and coated with rubber cement. i made the bottom half layer of the river with ez water to hold an under water scene in place. now i need a pump to circulate water from the bottom to the water like this: (picture below)
    can anyone help me find a pump or any tip about what to do.

    Attached Files:

  2. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Well that's an interesting idea! You can find pumps like you're looking for at craft stores like Michaels, probably anyplace that sells dried flowers and decorative basins to make fountains. I imagine an aquarium or pet store might have options as well. I'm interested to hear how the real water EZ water combo looks together!
  3. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    swamp cooler pump from local hardware store.:)
  4. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    Windshield washer pump?
  5. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    I would go with Glens windshield washer pump. It'll run on 12 volts d.c., so hooking it up to an old tranformer would work. If I remember right, thats what my neighbor did to his sons layout.
  6. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Looking at your diagram, If its not too late, I would run the return line at the bottom of your lake, and not the side.
    Something like this.

    Attached Files:

  7. its id

    its id New Member

    ok thanks guys. ill guess ill go get a windsheild wiper pump

    ill post pics to show you how it truned out
  8. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    I would be more inclined to go with an aquarium pump. The windshield washer pump is not normally operated for more than a few seconds at a time, and might not take kindly to being operated continously for a few hours. Also, windshield washer pump is oriented for higher pressure and less volume than an aquarium pump. However, if the price is right, it would be worth trying.

    You will also have to deal with replacing water that evaporates, and treating the water to prevent algae, fungus, mold, etc from growing in it.

    yours in real water
  9. ReefBlueCoupe

    ReefBlueCoupe Member

    Aquarium or garden waterfall pump.. they come in all kinds of flow rates.
  10. jwcii

    jwcii New Member

    I would try a 20-25 $ pump for a pet watering system...made to last for years and not too high of pressure. go to www. of course I did this and it worked for a watermill that I built for a German village... Good luck I agree the washer fluid pump is not the best
  11. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    Well howdy. Here are my thoughts and ideas on your project. Rubber cement is out. I tried it to seal a project before, and it's not designed for that so it doesn't cut it. Seems any micro air holes become leaking points. What is better is clear silicone. Buy it in a tube and squirt it out in a small jar, thin it down a bit with lacquer thinner and paint it on. This will seal the plaster and you can paint it. Paint wont stick to rubber cement and it has only so long until light breaks it down and it goes all gummy and falls off.

    Personally I wouldn't use either. I would use Plastidip liquid vynil tool dip, and paint it on with a soft brush. This, I know, will seal it permanently. I suppose there are other brands of tool dip. This stuff never fails once you have 2 or 3 coats on.

    Have you thought about using air to move the water up the slope? I have had fish tanks for years. I have made small streams before by using the same principal as filters that run on air.

    The principal is this. If you submerge a tube vertically in water run a bubble stream up the tube, the bubbles will move water up the tube as the air bubbles up. The deeper the tube is submerged in the water, the higher the elevation the tube can be above the water level of the main tank, in your case, the lake.

    You could design The ascension tank with a piece of PCV pipe about 3" or 4" in diameter as your ascention tank and locate it directly under the location where you want the river to start. The lake would need a connecting pipe to the ascension tank, of course. The connecting pipe would need to be at least as big as the lift tube in the ascension tank, otherwise the flow wont balance. Bigger is all right, but smaller would be disastrous.

    The lift tube should be made from a piece of 3/4" clear plastic tube cut to the same length as the ascension tank. You can get this at a good pet shop in the aquarium accessories. Also get a piece of plastic air pipe, it is sold in the same place and is used to run air around tanks to ornements. It will be just the right size to fit in an air hose from the air pump. You only need a small air pump and a single valve. The plastic air tube is about 3/8" in diameter and you can heat it up with a flame and bend it easy. So bend a hook on the end of the plastic air hose, be careful not to crush the airway. Strap the air tube to the outside of the 3/4" plastic tube with zap straps, with the hook going around the end of the tube and delivering the air to the inside.

    The ascension tank would be made from a piece of PCV pipe as I said, with an end cap glued to the bottom to seal it. A pipe drilled in to the side for the lake water return. The ascension tank could be built into the mountain so the river starts from under the edge of a cliff, like it's flowing from a spring.

    The lift tube would need to be bent at the top so you could direct the flow where you wanted it. See if your dealer has an elbow or bend it yourself. The tube should be an inch or so off the bottom of the tank. It shouldn't need to be fastened securely to the ascension tank, but rather snap there, or be held in place with a piece of Velcro or string. This way you could remove it for cleaning once in a while. Minerals can build up and impede performance. Slime and algae also. You should consider putting a small amount of bleach in the water to keep organisms from growing out of control. Otherwise, oxygen rich water and light, you will have a kelp bed to clean up. Check out a pet store and see what they recommend to combat algae for a gold fish pond. If you use a fish friendly solution, then you can have real fish in your lake. I wouldn't have gold fish, but a cloud of neon's would be a nice touch. You could build a tank filter into the system between the lake and the ascension tank.

    You will have to build the rig and run tests with it to see how high it will lift water before you create your mountain and stream. This will lift water quite a ways depending on how long the lift tube is. An air stone at the bottom will give the air more lifting power.

    I read of a guy who did this once. He had such a problem with algae growth, this is how he dealt with the problem. He designed the system to run from a reservoir under the table, and the lake was designed to drain completely when the system was shut off. This way there was never water left standing in the lake. The reservoir was covered and dark, this helped as well.

    He made the lake like a sink. A drain at the bottom of the unit and an overflow drain on the side. The drain on the bottom was to small for the flow, so the lake would fill easy and pour out the overflow that determined the water level. This solved another problem of water loss due to evaporation. With his system the water was maintained at a constant level.

    You know, come to think of it, you could alter an electric fish tank filter to do teh job. They have an electric pump built in and the filter would clean the water, but algae would still be a problem.

    Just some thoughts.

    TrainClown [​IMG]
  12. its id

    its id New Member

    well i went down to petsmart to look for a small pump. they told me what i am trying to do im probably going to need to buy it from the internet. the water fall wont be any higher then 5 or 6 inches. :-/
  13. ExtremePCs

    ExtremePCs Member

    Probably because most aquarium "pumps" are ment to pump air, not water. You would want to look for some kind of aquarium filter unit instead. They suck water, filter it, then dump it back into the tank. You'd might be better off with a garden pond pump (Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc...). Probably much more power than you need, but it might be all that's readily available. Maybe they make some with adjustable flow rates?
  14. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    Hello? did you read my post above? or did I waste my time?

  15. ExtremePCs

    ExtremePCs Member

    I did... Right after I posted my reply :)
  16. its id

    its id New Member

    no i read it you didnt waste your time

    but i looked at what my dad showed meand he had a simple idea to my problem. i will post pics when done thank you all
  17. ding chavez

    ding chavez Member

    i thought using real water is bad? wont it cause oxidation and stuff?
  18. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    it may be bad, MR had an On3 project layout in the early 90s that used real water. This layout was designed so no water would stand on the layout when the pump was off. In fact, the water was just for surface effects, and ran over epoxy resin "water" to give it motion. The deepest part of the water was probably no more than half an inch. I think a drop or two of detergent was added to the water to keep it from growing stuff. Your best bet would be to completley drain the reservoir when not in use, and refill your water effects when showing your layout.


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