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Thread: Downsized version of Birdman's Sand and Gravel Filter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Ligonier, Indiana USA
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    Downsized version of Birdman's Sand and Gravel Filter

    Used a 30 gallon blue drum (27 inches tall by 18 3/4 inches wide instead of the 55 gallon Birdman uses because my flow is only 900 gph in my small basement tank, that would be similar to what one would use to bring koi in for the winter, or a quarantine tank. However I use mine to produce up to 75 lbs. of feed trained bluegill, yellow perch, or black crappie by spring that I bring in for the winter. I was concerned the flow would not be enough to back wash a larger 55 gallon Birdman S & G version, hence the 30 gallon tank.

    Only difference was I used 1 inch pvc for the manifold pieces vs. 1 1/4 inch in Birdman's original sand filter, and two inch pvc for the waste drain and overflow to the fish tank vs. three inch on the bigger filter.

    Also instead of 3 inches of 1 1/2 inch drain field gravel, 3 inches of 3/4 gravel, 3 inches of pea gravel, and the remainder granite chicken girt to the bottom of the waste drain (about 11 inches) in the 55 gallon drum, I have kept the ratios the same but reduced the thickness of the layers to 2.5 inches, 2.5 inches, 2.5 inches, and 8 1/2 inches respectfully due to less height of the 30 gallon tank.

    The gray conduction pieces are also cut off one inch on each end like the bigger drum, but the spokes are only 5 3/4 inches.

    I was set to use uniseals for the installation of the waste drain and overflow pipes, but messed up and cut the holes with the wrong hole saw at 1/4 inch too big. Ended up using bulkhead fittings, but it worked out for the better, as the outside of the tank had ribbing and troughs which I had to soften with a heat gun. Cranking down the bulkhead fitting on the softened plastic was just what the doctor ordered.















    Special thanks to Birdman!
    Last edited by Cecil; 02-03-2017 at 01:41 PM.
    The risk I took was calculated, but man am I bad at math!

  2. #2
    Brian3737 is offline
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    Why did you use the 5 3/4 spokes?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian3737 View Post
    Why did you use the 5 3/4 spokes?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    To allow the manifold to be small enough to fit the bottom of the 30 gallon tank. I believe a 55 gallon is 22 inches wide inside and the 30 gallon was only 18 3/4 inches.
    The risk I took was calculated, but man am I bad at math!

  4. #4
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    I'm using the smaller scale S & G on a coldwater recirculating system that I just hatched 3000 brook, brown, and tiger trout eggs in. It's preceded by a DIY parabolic sieve filter. So far gin clear water, but I'm not feeding a lot yet albeit 8 X per day as the fry have just started to swim up.

    Birdman you da man!
    Last edited by Cecil; 02-03-2017 at 01:42 PM.
    The risk I took was calculated, but man am I bad at math!

  5. #5
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    Palm Springs, CA.
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    Very nice.
    Steve Joneli
    541-408-3317
    steve@highdesertkoi.com



    Diamond Lifetime

  6. #6
    mplskoi is online now
    mplskoi
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    Looks good. Think that is going to work pretty well for you.
    Rather than struggle with the bulkhead or uni seal on the bottom you can run your supply line right down inside the barrel too. I have had pretty good luck with that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Ligonier, Indiana USA
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    I'm feeding my blue barrel moving bed biofilter from the top now too -- for my smaller scale warmwater indoor systems. (200 gallons total and only 700 to 900 gph) I run the water line from the mag drive pump to a hole drilled into a bunghole cap. The top of the blue barrel was previously cut off where it narrows and flipped over and fits snuggly. A hose clamp is attached on the inside to keep the water line from pulling out. Since the bunghole is close to the edge of the lid, and barrel, the water goes immediately down vs. up or to the overflow. No problems mixing as I have no ammonia or nitrite issues in my smaller warm water systems.



    Here is what it looks like under the lid. (flipped over)

    Last edited by Cecil; 01-07-2017 at 06:57 AM.
    The risk I took was calculated, but man am I bad at math!

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