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Thread: My first filter Build

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    ChrisKnapp is offline
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    My first filter Build

    This is my first real pond build and first try at a biological filter. I made my filter out of two 55 gallon plastic drums that I got from a local carwash-



    We marked out where our holes for the pipes would go and tried to drill them out with a hole saw but the saw kept slipping off the plastic. We ended up just drilling a bunch of holes and then cutting it out with a razor knife.



    For the outlet pipe we used 2" PVC, this is the 2" PVC bulkhead that has silicone on it and is going to be used as the exit pipe back to the pond.



    Here is the backside of the bulkhead once it was installed.



    Here is the front of the bulkhead just before tightening down.



    Alcohol abuse, I spilled my beer...that is one of the 1" PVC bulkheads used for draining the barrels. I have ball valves, that will show up later, connected to them and a 3/4" hose adapter so we can water our vegetables with the water out of the filter.



    The first stage of the filter has a 1" PVC pipe coming into the barrel and fills from the bottom. At the top, the barrel overflows down a 2" PVC pipe to the bottom of the secong barrel. The water that flows through this pipe also sucks air as it goes thru the pipe forming a kind of venturi I guess. Lots of bubbles come up in the second barrel. This is barrel one flowing to barrel two.



    top view



    I set a milk crate in the bottom of the barrel to act as a settling/swirling chamber type of thing... This is what the gravel sits on.




    I cut out light diffuser panels to fit the inside of the barrel. This sits on top of the milk crate and keeps gravel from falling down the sides.







    On top of the crate and diffuser I plut this screen type of material, but it isn't window screen. I got it from a friend and don't know exactly what to call it. The gravel will pour into this.





    Gravel is placed in barrels
    My pea soup water is flowing...









    I gotta go...I'll try to detail it better later. Any thoughts comments or tips are appreciated. I will be putting a bunch of hyacinth on top of the barrel soon.
    Last edited by ChrisKnapp; 07-29-2008 at 12:02 AM. Reason: broken link

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    First off, welcome to Koiphen. You have come to the right place. Well, not really welcome since I see you have been a member for most of the year. Nice first post though.

    Not sure why your hole saw didn't work. Do you have the drill bit on with the hole saw ? Thank you though for the picture detailing how you drilled out the barrel to put the bulkhead in .

    I would be interested in hearing more about the pond, pump and other details. Also, how do you plan to clean these filters? 2" bulkheads for the drains would have made the job easier. A few inches of chicken grit on top of the last barrel would also help in giving you some fines filtering.
    Steve


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    welcome to koiphen.

    any chance for more details of other filters and pond size, and etc..?
    Pond and Construction Forum 101 good place for any first timers to the forum. for finding resources and general info.

    Ryan

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    Hi Chris. Nice neat work on the bulkheads and great pictures on the build. How are you going to clean the gravel in these filters? I don't see any air manifold in there for flushing. . .

    Can we see the pond, too?
    Cheers,
    Ci

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    ChrisKnapp is offline
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    My pond is really ugly right now...not landscaped, very amatureish and green water! I will post the pics that I have and a few details in another post at lunch time today. It is a rough triangle shape and is about 1800 gallons. Thank you for the replies.

    Do you think these two barrels are enough to filter a light load of Koi in an 1800 gallon pond? btw...I have no koi yet, still getting things working.

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    Good job! Rule of thumb barrel for Vortex and a barrel for bio filter. I have the same setup kinda. One barrel for Vortex the other for a Bio falls with PVC shavings. My pond is 2,400 ( I have 5 koi 7" to 12" ) Also have a nice plant shelf with lillies in mine ( Really helps fight the green water ) Keep up the good work
    "Almost anything is easier to get into than out of "
    Ty

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisKnapp View Post
    My pond is really ugly right now...not landscaped, very amatureish and green water!

    Do you think these two barrels are enough to filter a light load of Koi in an 1800 gallon pond? btw...I have no koi yet, still getting things working.
    Show me someone who didn't start out in this hobby with the same kinds of problems. It doesn't matter anyways, you will be rebuilding it again before you know it. I know I had to.

    As for the 2 barrels, depends on your fish load. Just a few fish and you are probably alright. What pump are you using? Flow from the pump will determine a lot also. If you could get 2 more barrels, one in front of each of your gravel filters for some mechanical filtration, you will be sitting really good. 1800-2000 gph through each set of 2 filters is what I would shoot for. Right now, you should be flowing at least that much through your 1 set of filters.
    Steve


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    ChrisKnapp is offline
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    The barrels are fed by a 2000 GPH submersible pump via 1" PVC.

    You like the fingernails rainblood? :P

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    if you add more barrels, use uniseal. it's cheaper and work very well.

    I would go with a vortex and bio filter combo as well.

    Steve

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    1800 gallon pond. as a main pond. i am going to say to small for koi. this is also taking into account filteration system for the pond. both are small and both would most likely give very high maintance. and place pond into basicly ticking time bomb mode. others words in a couple years you will be seeing health issues and water quailty issues. (2 years is basicly rough guess when the koi get large enough. that the waste load and bio load gets to a point and over loads the system)

    koi can get up to 3 feet plus in length.
    min suggested pond size for koi is 3000 gallons.

    if ya get into internet searchings or visit the goldfish forum. there are many varities of goldfish out there. and normally local pet shops don't do goldfish justice as far as type of varities there are. and reason ya need to get into searching for those dealers / farmers to get what you want. with gold fish getting only about 14 inches in length. and in that less waste load and bio load put on system.

    there was a recent thread. *to far past my bed time* to remember the thread title but it was in the last couple weeks. that goes into further details. i do believe it was in the main forum.

    ====================

    it looks like ya got the know how and skills of a regular DIY'er, but from sounds/looks we need to help ya fine tune things. so you can get away with less maintance and better water quailty.

    if pond is not completely finish. then going to tell ya to stop and put wallet away.
    most likely ya going to get talked into installing a bottom drain or retro drain. and a 55 gallon settling chamber. perhaps another drum as well to deal with submersable pump.
    pending on how far along you are on pond, i might see if i can talk ya into either TPRs or aerated drain or both.

    your not the first, nor will ya be the last the gets above statements.
    Pond and Construction Forum 101 good place for any first timers to the forum. for finding resources and general info.

    Ryan

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