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View Full Version : Skippy Filter Made from a 55 Gallon Drum?



John_A
07-02-2007, 04:59 PM
So Is it possible? Seems like it should be Take the stock take design and put it inside a 55 gallon drum? Would it work? Any Ideas?

luke-gr
07-02-2007, 05:03 PM
I think the difficult part is for cleaning....a barrel is much deeper for cleaning.

John_A
07-02-2007, 05:07 PM
I was thinking of adding a bottom drian and maybe making a stand to lift it off the ground a lil

BruceP
07-02-2007, 06:28 PM
A Skippy is nothing unique...... all upflow filters work basically the same ......water enters the bottom; flows up thru the media; exits at or near the top.

steveamy
07-02-2007, 06:56 PM
I would not want to deal with cleaning that filter with all of the media bunched up in there. What about a matala round upflow filter like they have posted on the matala pages? It looks like a good filter without all of the cut up media.

John_A
07-02-2007, 06:59 PM
well the barrel I am getting tomorrow already has the top cut off so acess to it isnt really hard I am wanting to make the return a waterfall and hide the barrel in a waterfall made like billys with the fake rocks etc

John_A
07-02-2007, 07:03 PM
ALso steveamy what page are you talking bout? still finding my way around here :)

IMSALSMOM
07-02-2007, 07:03 PM
A 55 Skippy Is What I Am Working On Now For A 1,ooo Gal Stock Tank. I Actually Tested The Water Flow In It Today, Now Just Have To Put The Media In And Hook It Into The Bottom Of My Small Bog With Spillway That Flows Into The Tank. I'm A Little Undecided About Media Even Though I Have 8 Inchs Of Poly Mat (looks Like Matala) And Every Green Scrubbie Pad The Dollar Store Had. Mines 12 Inches Off The Ground Because Of Gravity Return. I Think It's Gonna Work Great. I Also Have A Small Trickle Tower That Works Really Well Running On It's Own Pump.

steveamy
07-02-2007, 07:15 PM
How about a little more information on your plans such as pond size, fish load, filtration plans.

I can't find the picture of the matala filter that I was looking for. Basically a barrel filled with green, blue and white matala rounds. To clean, you just pour water over the top and let it drain out of the bottom.

If you are going for upflow, go with a sand/gravel filter or fill the barrel with pvc shavings (bacti-twist).

John_A
07-02-2007, 07:21 PM
pond size is about 210 maybe a lil over 2 medium goldfish at the momment few plants Im wanting this to be the main filter right now i just have one of those lil black in pond filters with foam and bio balls

okra
07-03-2007, 12:01 AM
For that size pond, I would skip the Skippy and fill that 55 gallons drum halfway from the top with lava rocks. The bottom half would be the SC. This TT would handle a lot more than 2 gf.

John_A
07-03-2007, 12:04 AM
but from what I read here I should stay clear of lava rocks?

IMSALSMOM
07-03-2007, 12:13 AM
I have a 220 gal pond with an in pond box filter like you desribe and the pump pulls the water through the filter and then into an urn laid on its side so the water flows back into the pond. The urn has lava rock in it and the pond is crystal clear.

John_A
07-03-2007, 12:21 AM
well i figured since i was gonna need something to build up the waterfall anyway why not just go ahead and do a barrel lol

okra
07-03-2007, 01:25 AM
but from what I read here I should stay clear of lava rocks?

Every media has pro and con. Every media has limitations, pertaining to specific application. If you're sticking to build a Skippy filter, I would suggest that you to stay away from lava rock. I only suggested lava rock for a different application.

I missed the part about the waterfall. You should stick to upflow type filter, to run your waterfall. Sorry about that.

John_A
07-03-2007, 01:50 AM
lol I've been told so many filters some I know some not so now Im really confused on what would work best haha:rolleyes:

Gene
07-03-2007, 02:05 AM
Here is a link that shows a 55 gallon drum filter that works very well.

http://www.koiclay.com/diy/pg5.htm

John_A
07-03-2007, 10:59 AM
Also My pond does not have any bottom drians on it Im really starting to wonder if I wouldnt just be better off getting one of those 20 or 30 gallon rubber maid square totes and make like a 3 or 4 stage matala filter or something then just build a waterfall round all that...doh I dunno!:confused:

luke-gr
07-03-2007, 11:28 AM
Square totes is they are not designed to hold water and will probably lose their shape.

John_A
07-03-2007, 11:35 AM
Well I wouldnt mind Making a filter Like the one Gene Posted and then have a peice of pvc come out of the return onto the start of the waterfall Also It says This filter will need a 600 to 1,000 gph I was told the best gph pump to use would be no more then 500 so how could I do this? Maybe make the barrel smaller? or will that pump work

Gene
07-03-2007, 11:41 AM
You can do the same thing with a 30 gallon drum.

John_A
07-03-2007, 11:45 AM
well since finding drums like this are here and there round here Do you think I might be able to resize this one? Or would it just be easier tryin to track one down hah Also What are your thoughts on the media Maybe instead of the matala What About the springflo media or the bactitwist pvc shavings? or maybe a combo of 1 of the 2 above and maybe some of the lil dish scrubbies?

steveamy
07-03-2007, 12:19 PM
You can still use a 55 gallon barrel. Most filter ratings are for max flow. I have a 300gal stock tank QT and I run a 55gal barrel and a 600gph pump. I wish I had a bigger pump for more turnover. I don't think you can have to much filtration.

My guess would be that smaller ponds need a higher turnover rate anyways. Go with the pvc shavings that Kent has. Try to put in a retro bottom drain if you don't have one yet. Pump to the filter and then have it gravity return via your waterfall. Like okra said, leave some room in the bottom of the filter for a little settlement.

John_A
07-03-2007, 12:23 PM
Well I've been talking to kent about a bottom drian on my pond or a bulk head onto the side and Like I told him really where the pond is I am limited with what I can do as far as stuff like that Goes considering my surroundings

Gene
07-03-2007, 01:09 PM
well since finding drums like this are here and there round here Do you think I might be able to resize this one? Or would it just be easier tryin to track one down hah Also What are your thoughts on the media Maybe instead of the matala What About the springflo media or the bactitwist pvc shavings? or maybe a combo of 1 of the 2 above and maybe some of the lil dish scrubbies?

Media is optional. Any you mentioned will work and you can use the 55 gallon with a 500 gph pump. :yes:

John_A
07-03-2007, 02:38 PM
I thought about trying to do a pipe boot in the side to do intake but couldnt I just do it over the side maybe with some black pvc or some
thing maybe use some mesh to make a lil planter or something around it to hide it....Also What type of pump inline or in pond? Or does it matter with this type of filter?

okra
07-03-2007, 04:36 PM
You need to decide on the size of your waterfall. You need to find out what flow rate is good for that size of waterfall. You need to determine the height of the waterfall. After all that, you'll be able to pick a pump.

With such a small pond, I would stay with the cheaper submersible pump. I run my submersible pump outside the pond, outside of water.

John_A
07-03-2007, 04:39 PM
Well I fiigured it would be the about the size of the 55 gal drum One of the fourm memebers Billy told me a 500 gph would be more then enough to get good flow etc

okra
07-03-2007, 04:44 PM
I don't have a waterfall, so I can't advise you on flow rate. As for filtration only, 500 gph is fine.

John_A
07-03-2007, 05:07 PM
well billy has a pretty big one http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6495&highlight=spillways and he said he used a 500 gph and flow was really good from the pics

boggen
07-03-2007, 07:01 PM
am going to tell ya to hold off from buying anything / making anything. and give yourself some time. to learn and come up with a good plan of attack. and when you think ya good plan attack post it to the forum. and let members tear apart a few times over. until ya come up with a plan that you are confident with. this may seam harsh. but with amount of time you have already spent and seeming you are really trying to do your best to achive the best pond. the above is best thing i can say at this point in time.

not being mean, just saying hey, this forum is free with knowledge folks from all over the world. take advantage of it. instead of wasting cash on different trail and errors that may or may not work. learn from our mistakes. we are here for the hobby and our wet pets! its far cheaper to change something on paper than it is to tear apart and rebuild the pond.

btw welcome to the forum!

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i hoot and howler every time i get into a sitation were there is a body of water and there is no drain! *ya here me grumbling at aquiraum*

your pond intself seems fairly small and a pond vac may be the easists to just vacumn out the bottom of the pond every couple weeks. but that vacumming does get old fast. and knowing myself. i would end up skipping a vacumn here or there. and end up kicking myself later on for being lazy.

but bottom drains. or rather bottom intakes really do a nice job in helping keeping ponds clean. normally it is much easier to clean a filter than it is to clean a pond. and with that. most folks here shoot for a self cleaning pond. granted there will always be some maintance that needs to be done in the pond. but we, or atleast I and many others do strive for a self cleaning pond. then focus attention in building the filter system for the pond. so the individual compnents of the filter system are easy to maintain and clean.

i am guessing currently you move fish to a temporary tub while you drain and clean your pond. and ya prolly do this atleast once if not a couple times or more a year. this is fairly stressfull for fish. and sometimes can cause a fish to die.

normally when bottom drain is installed correctly. it drasticly reduces the need to drain and clean the pond. in alot of cases. some folks may never have to drain and clean there pond. which means alot less phsyical stress putting our wet pets through.

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am going to see if i can talk you out of installing a pipe run that goes over the wall of the pond for a bottom drain. and talk ya into doing some extra work up front. for less hassles down the road. by digging down. and runing the pipe through side of pond for a retro drain. or litterly pulling up one side of pond and installing a true bottom drain.

John_A
07-03-2007, 07:12 PM
I totally understand what your saying and I agree its gonna be a lil bit before i do anything Im just kinda trying to get some ideas Im really leaning toward installing a botttom drain Im talking to kent and so far the plan is bottom drain>pre filter>55 gal drum filter just tweaking some stuff more or less to get a decent plan of attack

John_A
07-03-2007, 07:19 PM
Also thank you for the welcome! And thank you for the good advice! :D

John_A
07-03-2007, 07:22 PM
while we are talkin bout a bottom drain I was looking at the tetra one and it kinda to me looks like those skimmer adapters for swimming pools that let the hose go into the pool from the skimmer looks just like one of these anyone know what I am talking about???

John_A
07-04-2007, 12:14 AM
Acutally the more I seem to think about all this the more the idea of pulling out the 2 fish I have water and all and putting a drian in the bottom like I should have from the start then running my filters But Im not sure if this is a good Idea or not thats why I am kinda waiting to see if I can come up with any other better Ideas before that one is my last option....

boggen
07-04-2007, 01:41 AM
while we are talkin bout a bottom drain I was looking at the tetra one and it kinda to me looks like those skimmer adapters for swimming pools that let the hose go into the pool from the skimmer looks just like one of these anyone know what I am talking about???

a vacumn hose? or a skimmer to hose adaptor? so you can turn a skimmer into a vacumn? or running retro drain into skimmer?

boggen
07-04-2007, 01:52 AM
Acutally the more I seem to think about all this the more the idea of pulling out the 2 fish I have water and all and putting a drian in the bottom like I should have from the start then running my filters But Im not sure if this is a good Idea or not thats why I am kinda waiting to see if I can come up with any other better Ideas before that one is my last option....

would encourge ya to install atleast a clean out drain bare minimal. using shovels, buckets, vacumns, siphone hoses. are a pain in the rear to use.

a clean out drain being, a kitchen sink drain, bathtub drain, bathroom sink drain, shower drain, a tolit has a drain on it. when ya flush it.

but if ya go with the extra work to just install a clean out drain. ya might as well do a little more work and go with 55 gallon settling chamber. then to other filters or pump then to other filters.

heck a 30 gallon heavy duty trash can could work. instead of 55 gallon drum at your flow rates. ((i say heavy duty for outside, the thin cheap $10 bucks or less trash cans will become to brittle and crack when used outside. have had to replace enough regular trash cans to put my own trash in to know better than use the cheap ones))

John_A
07-04-2007, 02:11 AM
well I wasnt really wanting to start over like you said would be alot of work but a bottom drain would make life easier as soon as kent gets back with me I'll know more I'll even quote him

*What you have at 210 gal is basically what we would build for a Quarantine tank system. What I like to do is use a small 3 inch bottom drain to a 55 gal drum settlement chamber with a small static prefilter to pump. Then I use a 55 gal drum full of static PVC (about 6 cu ft) and make it the waterfall. It's a very simple system and easy to maintain. I usually cut the 55 gal drum down a little for settlement because it sits on a patio but in your case you could bury it. another option since the pond is so small would be to place a submersible pump in the upper half of the settlement chamber and let it pump the water out from there. It's a good space saver on a small pond and there are lots of small submersible pumps that will easily flow 800 to 1500 gph for a small system.*

But since my space to work is limited 1 55 gallon drum and maybe a 30 gallon might be easy to hide I want the return to the waterfall eitherway of course

John_A
07-05-2007, 03:12 AM
it seems the more i think about this situation the more starting over would be a better idea but here is the thing now what can i use for a bottom drain? kent told me a 3 inch drain would give me 900 gph easy can i make one buy one? whats easier*cheaper* :D Also is this bottom drain gravity fed or pump fed? And since Im prolly gonna redo this and want it done right what all do i need plumbing wise just bottom drain?

steveamy
07-05-2007, 09:51 AM
Ahh, yes. Another convert.

gravity drain to the SC. from there go to mech/bio filters. pump feed back to the pond.

John_A
07-05-2007, 10:21 AM
when i run the pipe though will i need to keep it straight or can it go up as well like a L shape I tried to draw it but didnt work LOL

John_A
07-05-2007, 05:13 PM
Does my SC have to be burried or can it be above ground? Also What can I use for a SC 30 gallon trash can maybe?and what size pipe would be best to use?

steveamy
07-05-2007, 06:55 PM
Does my SC have to be burried or can it be above ground? Also What can I use for a SC 30 gallon trash can maybe?and what size pipe would be best to use?

It depends. Is your pond above ground? My pond is 2ft above ground so I was able to make the SC partially above ground. Ideally, you want it just a couple of inches above the water level of the pond. That way overflow will not happen if your pump stops.

If your pond is at ground level, your SC will have to be buried unless you are pump feeding it which will puree the stuff that you want to settle.

I would think if your bottom drain is 3", then 3" would be fine. You could up it to 4" but with lower flow you might get stuff stuck in the pipe:confused:.

boggen
07-06-2007, 04:33 AM
check out the "stickys" at the top of pond and construction forum. more so the "DIY and MOD" sticky there is a section dedicated to bottom drains. and many other sections covering many other things.

if ya haven't already might suggest clicking over to the "pond and construction ARCHIVE forum" link found at top of "pond and construction" forum page. were so more reading material can be found.

John_A
07-06-2007, 04:35 AM
well hadnt installed anything yet BD or anything just getting a rough plan together so a 3 inch drain bury the SC BD gravity feed to SC pump to filter
What size pipe do I need to use connecting this together? Also What do you guys recommend for a BD? buy or DIY Puree fish poop doesnt so good either way so guess I gots me a hole to dig :D

John_A
07-06-2007, 04:40 AM
cool thanks alot boggen!

boggen
07-06-2007, 05:03 AM
3" drain gravity flowing water to a settling chamber means 3" pipe connecting the 2 together.

John_A
07-06-2007, 03:22 PM
since all I need is a 3 inch drain Do you think the tetra drain will be ok to use? I keep reading about air difuser do I need one? or is optional?

boggen
07-06-2007, 09:57 PM
3 foot depth or deeper is when aerated bottom drains shine. anything shallower. there just not enough depth of water to really get any major water currents from aerated bottom drains.

so with that would say don't worry about aerated bottom drain.