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Home Made Pond Filter- Pics!


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#1 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted October 02, 2013 - 10:06 AM

So besides playing with GT's, I also have the bug for aquatic things. Since my first goldfish when I was 5, I've always had some type of fish tank going, this now includes a small outdoor garden pond.

My pond is a pre-form, only about 100-120 gals and I've never had a good filter system on it, but thankfully with my lillies and plants, I gotten away with it staying fairly balanced and minimal algae growth.

I did some reseach and decided to built a good home made drum filter so I would actually get some good filtration going besides my pump just being in a small box with a few fiter pads. So many people don't understand the need for good filtration of a pond, even a small one, I was one of them.

So after watching a ton of youtube videos, I decided on a design I thought was best. I obtained a small 30 gal pickle drum I guess it was and then bought some bulkhead fittings from evilbay, but my holes and started putting in pipe. My filter would consist of water coming into the top, flow over a couple floor buffing pad, then on down through a bunch of lava rock, then I had an exit pipe that extend to the bottom and elbow out the top. I was questioning something so i went back the the internet and found my design wasn't the best so I changed it all up.

I found a forum called "garden pond forum" and they had a design called the "skippy filter" which basically you pump water into the bottom, create a vortex in which solid material would settle out in the middle. The water then seeps up through whatever media you install and good bacteria slowly grow on it for biological filtering, then out the exit pipe. Many people on the forum used a bunch of just cut pieces of pvc pipe, some used cut up pieces of coarse filter foam from furnaces, scrubber pads, etc just anything with a lot of surface area for the bacteria to grow on. One guy used deer netting which I just happened to have a tons of I got free.

Also, a bottom dump valve and pipe should be installed to be able to open and flush filter, just the force of the water usually will suck it all out.

Soooo, after you just read all my ramblings, I will get to the point.

I used a 30 gal pickle barrel with removeable lid. A larger pond would required larger drum ,when you get up in the 500 plus gal ponds, 2 or 3 different barrels maybe needed.

I bought 1" bulk heads off a evilbay, I made a big mistake in thinking the intake and outlet could be same size. You have to have outlet 1 1/2 to 2 times larger than intake or it will overflow unless you throttle pump down, but then you lose fitlering. I also found instead of buying bulkheads, you can buying the gray PVC male/female threaded pipe connectors, drill you hole, then loaed them with non- algae control silicone, 3M makes a great marine silicone that works, some people like a gutter/roof sealant also.

 

Here is my lower piping. I have 1" PVC coming in form pump, 90* into bottom, then T'd and out to 2-90* elbows. They are suspended about 4-5" off bottom ( bigger pump/bigger drum requires more height) and create the vortex for the sedimanet filtration. I put on 1" to 3/4 elbows thinking it would create more vortex of water, but I need to bump back up to 1" elbows to slow water down as it sitrs water too much and I was getting particles back up the outlet, they weren't settling out.

The grid work is plastic grid work used in overhead tube lighting, it was $12 per 2x4' sheet at Home Dropout. It was used to hold layer of lava rock.

The other pipe going out the side is my drain, not where I wanted it, but I had already installed from my previous design, still wordk though.

 

FILTER1_zps94870bef.jpg

FILTER2_zps6646481e.jpg

 

 

I put in a layer of lava rock which I happen to have. Being so porous, the lave rock provides a lot of little spaces for the bacteria to grown and do their job.

 

FILTER3_zpsda852862.jpg

 

I then cut me strips of the deer netting and put it in. This pic was just a trial, I need to cut up more and really pack it in there.

 

FILTER4_zps805e7257.jpg

 

Here it is with water flowing. I used 2" fittings/pipe as outlet. The 1" and 2" are a little larger pipe than I needed for this smaller drum, but i was experimenting to see if i could get it to work. I cut a short piece on the top also as overflow. If my media ever gets clogged to the point it starts filling, the overflow should tkae care of it.

 

FILTER5_zpsfb923a1c.jpg

 

Here is my pond. I have never really finished it as I could never decide on my outer rock and I hate the preformed water fall. We will most likely be moving next spring/summer so I won't be doing anymore, I plan to take the pond with me and filing hole before we sell.

I took a piece of 2" pipe and heat end with heat gun and then flattened it to give water a wide outlet coming out. I really wanted to make it flow into water fall, but works for now just dumping back into pond. All the pipe will eventually get painted black to blend it, it's still in the trial phase. once it gets too cold, we wil bring it in and attach to our indoor turtle pond.

 

FILTER6_zps49aca8c4.jpg

 

 


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#2 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted October 02, 2013 - 10:27 AM

Very interesting, We had a pond at my MiL place that I just happen to get to clean out every spring. I wish now that it had a filtration system on it. It also had a upper and lower pond that had a stream connecting the two. When the pump was on, it would pump water out of the lower pond and pipe it up to the upper pond which would feed the stream back down to the lower pond. All of it was lined with black pond liner and then we hand laid native rock in both ponds and the stream. There was about 10' of drop between the 2 ponds.


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#3 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted October 02, 2013 - 10:32 AM

Thanks, we have a bought pump filter box that sits in the bottom of our 100gl pond.  It does ok, but we need something better. If I can ever get to it, I need to make a system such as yours.


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#4 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted October 02, 2013 - 11:38 AM

I still have to clean out the bottom every so often, dead leaves, grass, etc, but this really helps keep the water clean and fish/plants healthy.

Since we will 95% be buying my mom's house come spring, I plan to build a quite large one in the back yard. My plan will be an old claw foot bathtub ( country theme, maybe old implements, milk jug, etc) build up on a dirt mound dumping into a stream down into a large probably 10-15' roundish pond. It will have a minimum of 2 -55gal drums, probably include bathtub as filter in some way and maybe a bottom drain I can open and suck out the muck that settles. I am already dreading thinking about digging that out, it's all clay and flatrock :wallbanging:

 

The best filter. IMO, is a moving bed filter, pond or indoor aquarium ( seach youtube, all over. I like urayjoey and pondguru on there) . They use water flow or an air pump to move some type of neutral boyant plastic media which allows bacteria to grow and as it's constantly bumping each other, the old bacteria get knocked off so only good healthy stuff is growing. Many water treatment plants use this systemon super large scale. Bad part is, the media I really want to use is only sold in England and cost mucho $$$$ to ship. I think I may have found alternative and am going to build some small ones for my fish tanks.

 

There are so many theories and types of filtering ideas out there, I like the home made styles cause, well, I'm cheap!! I've got maybe $40 wrapped up in this one.

 

 

 

 

 


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#5 LilysDad OFFLINE  

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Posted October 02, 2013 - 01:39 PM

I've wanted to make a homemade canister filter for my 75 gal. fresh water tank. I never figured out a cheap pump to power it though. I've had several Fluval canisters . They're expensive and don't last that long.



#6 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted October 02, 2013 - 03:14 PM

I bought a Harbor freight pond pump back in the spring to run my son's indoor pond. It draws a little more power than higher end ones, but for like $12 on sale for a 235 gph pump, I'm not complaining. they have a bigger one too.

I have a big Fluval outside canister on my 45 gal and not really impressed with it, going to make a small moving filter with my air pump and a water bottle. My Oscars can make a big mess in a hurry.

 

Check out uarujoey on youtube or visit his " the king of DIY" forum as he does some amazing builds using stuff most of us have around the house on the cheap.


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#7 KC9KAS OFFLINE  

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Posted October 02, 2013 - 07:38 PM

RBC's in waste water treatment.....

 

Rotating Biological Contactor
 


rbc.jpg
 

A rotating biological contactor (or RBC) is a type of fixed media filter which removes both organic matter and ammonia from water. It can be added to a packaged plant for more efficient ammonia removal, replacing the aerator in both location and function. Although RBC's are less prevalent than trickling filters or oxidation ditches, they produce a high quality effluent and wastewater operators should be familiar with them.

The RBC consists of a series of rotating discs. These discs are coated with a biological slime like the slime on rocks in a healthy stream. This slime is rotated through the air and and then through the wastewater so that it picks up oxygen in the air and breaks down B.O.D. in the wastewater. Since the discs rotate through the air, there is no need to pump air into the wastewater. And since the slime stays on the discs, there is no need to recycle sludge.
 

There are only two RBC's operating in the southwest Virginia area, one in Conaway and the other in Haysi. The water/wastewater students at Mountain Empire Community College were recently given the opportunity to tour the site at Haysi. This treatment system will be described below. It is typical of an RBC system and is very similar to a trickling filter system.
 

 

rbcflow.jpg

 

Pretreatment

The influent from the service area is collected in a 50-foot wet well. Pretreatment begins when the wastewater is passed through a basket and is pumped to the grit chamber. Then the influent flows through the grinder pump and into the primary clarifier. In the primary clarifier, solids are removed and pumped to the digester. The rest of the influent is now ready for the RBC.

 

RBC

rbc2.jpg
 

The RBC's discs are supported on a single shaft which is slowly rotated through the wastewater by an air driven motor. The RBC is covered by a removable fiberglass housing which has access portals at each end.

The discs are covered with a thick coating of slime. This slime is the microorganisms, both aerobic and anaerobic, which treat the wastewater. RBC's act much like a trickling filter in that the contactors perform well at removing B.O.D. and converting ammonia ( NH4OH) to nitrates (NO3). The efficiency of an RBC is about 85%.

 

Clarifier and Digester

After being treated in an RBC, the influent is sent to the secondary clarifier. Excess slime which has built up on the RBC and has sloughed off into the wastewater is carried to the secondary clarifier as well. This sloughed off slime and other sludge settles to the bottom of the clarifier and is pumped to the sludge digester.

The supernate collected from the top of the digester is re-circulated through the plant as in the trickling filter system.

 

The Rest of the Process

The supernate from the top of the secondary clarifier is treated with chlorine to destroy most of the remaining coliforms and bacteria. Then the water is dechlorinated using sulphur dioxide which removes the excess chlorine from the water. This step protects the environment from the harmful effects of chlorine.

The final treatment step is to raise the oxygen level in the water. This is achieved by running the effluent over step aerators before releasing the water into the south fork of the Big Sandy River.


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#8 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted October 04, 2013 - 09:31 AM

That's interesting, not sure how wallet friendly the home owner could build something like that for.

The moving bed filters use same principle with media, if you use a parge air sotne to move media, it gets oxygeniated like the discs moving out of water above and bumping into each other knocks off old algae.

I am also looking into maybe doing a bog of pee gravel which also can be used for biologival filtration, but new pond build will be well down the road.



#9 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted October 14, 2013 - 03:01 PM

I've had this filter running for about 3 weeks now, water in pond has never been clearer. I can actually see the bottom and where my big frogs are hiding! I need to pull out my fencing and lava rocks and re-position the two bottom "jets" as they are creating too much turbulence and I am actually getting some particles going through outlet, but I think it's working great.

Now that's it's getting cold, I will soon be bringing it in and putting on the turtle pond in basement.  



#10 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted October 26, 2015 - 08:40 AM

Update to my pond filter, has ran great for the last 2 years, minimal algae blooms so this is a success.

 

Due to moving to the new home, I am now starting on a new pond project, this pond will be drained and moved to the new house along with another smaller pond installed. I have dug and installed ( it now has water and plants in it, no new pics) the upper smaller pond. I now have to move fish and more platns over so I can pull the bigger pond up and get it moved over. I would love to dig and set it in before winter, but may not happen. I am considering moving my 100 gal water trough to basement, move fish/some plants inside for the winter and actually use that as a filtration system for me 5 gal turtle tank that is getting set up, kill 2 birds with one stone.

Once set up, there will be a small stream from the top to the bottom. The pump will push water up to a new, either 55 gal drum filter or I am considering using an old claw foot bathtub as a plant bog, then into top pond, then down little stone creek into bottom pond. It's hard to tell from pictures, but the little rise is about 2' from top to bottom.

Last pic is couple of surprises I found while digging. Old muffler clamp and looks like a drawer pull and a small clump of burnt firewood. My dad never buried anything there since they bought the place in1971.

 

pond.jpg

pond 1.jpg

pond 2.jpg

pond 3.jpg

pond 4.jpg


Edited by TAHOE, October 26, 2015 - 08:40 AM.

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#11 LilysDad OFFLINE  

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Posted October 26, 2015 - 08:58 AM

I'm curious about the lava rock. If I use it in an indoor aquarium, will it cause a drop in ph? I believe coal slag is quite acidic. Is this the same?



#12 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted October 26, 2015 - 09:25 AM

I'm curious about the lava rock. If I use it in an indoor aquarium, will it cause a drop in ph? I believe coal slag is quite acidic. Is this the same?

 

I do not know, I've never heard of it doing that. I have used it for a few years on the pond and it does great. My well water starts out at 7.5-8 so if it drops a little, it doesn't seem to effect it. I have never actually checked the pond parameters, the plants and clear water tell me it's doing fine.

I made the large canister filter for the turtle tank using lava rock, it's very clear too.


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#13 tiretrx OFFLINE  

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Posted October 26, 2015 - 02:01 PM

Glad you revisited this thread. I am in the process of building one for my outdoor pond, much along the lines of yours. I was initially going with a large tote as a vessel, but have decided against it. Hadn't seen the deer fence used prior. Pretty neat. Also good tips with inlet/outlet sizes.  Appreciate you sharing, thanks!


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#14 oldedeeres ONLINE  

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Posted October 27, 2015 - 11:18 PM

Thanks Tahoe, sorry I didn't get back to you on my thread on filters. This helps me a lot. It has been cold here but no ice on the ponds yet so the fish are still outside. I'll be using the leads you've noted here and whomp up a filter system for the 100 gal. stock tank in the basement. The old bag of sponges etc. worked, but was a pain to maintain.


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#15 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted October 28, 2015 - 08:35 AM

I'm curious about the lava rock. If I use it in an indoor aquarium, will it cause a drop in ph? I believe coal slag is quite acidic. Is this the same?

 

I actually saw this question on a FB group I am on, the answer was no, Lava rock is basically inert so it will NOT affect your pH.

 

Some of the best DIY biological media people use are the plastic pot scrubbies. They usually buy them 3 for a buck at dollar store or something like that. I saw one guy cut up tons of PVC pipe into little pieces, anything plastic with a lot of surface area can be used. not sure if my deer netting works, but my pond stays clear :D  I am really leaning to making a bog filter this spring instead of a drum filter, got the winter to ponder it.

 

My ground was so hard when I dug this, actually used a spud bar and Maddox to dig most of the hole. We are having 2 days of solids rain, need to get fish moved so I can dig the hole for the bigger pond soon while ground is soft :thumbs:


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