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    Thread: Birdman's Fluid Bed Filter

    1. #1
      birdman's Avatar
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      Birdman's Fluid Bed Filter

      Stephen 44 needs some ideas for his new QT tank so I threw some spare parts together for him to see.

      Fluid Bed Filters are one of the best Bio Filters we can build. It provides a tremendous amount of surface area for the bacteria to colonize and helps to saturate the water with oxygen. They are also self cleaning. Just fire it up and forget it.

      With a hole saw start by drilling a 1 3/4 inch hole in the center bottom of the barrel. Then drill two 3 1/2 inch holes in the sides of the barrel. The inlet hole goes 9 inches up from the bottom of the barrel to the center of the hole. The outlet hole I put on the opposite side but it can go anywhere. The center of this outlet hole is 6 inches down from the top of the barrel.

      Using 3M 5200 polyurethane adhesive install a 3/4 inch threaded bulkhead fitting in the bottom hole. Then after the adhesive is dry, screw in a 9 inch air diffuser. When you set this filter up put a 3/4 inch 90 in the bottom of the bulkhead fitting then another 3/4 inch 90 pointing up along side of the barrel. Reduce this to 1/2 inch and run the 1/2 inch PVC up to your air pump. I use the AV 50s.

      Take 3 inch elect. conduit male and female adapters and screw them tight in the inlet and outlet holes. Use your 3M 5200 here also. Use elect.. conduit instead of PVC or ABS because the threads are straight cut and tapered pipe threads, so they will screw together tight.
      Attached Images Attached Images      

    2. #2
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      Next to to Pet co and get two of Lee Kenny's 7 inch hamster balls. Discard the lid. Take a 3 inch elect. conduit male adapter and cut the sleeve part off of it. Slide a 3 inch elect. female adapter up your arm and grab the male adapter. Put the male adapter in the hamster ball hole and screw them together tight. Make two of these strainer balls.

      Next cut two pieces of 3 inch PVC 6 inches long and glue them into the strainer balls. Then glue them into the inlet and outlet adapters and that's it.
      Attached Images Attached Images       

    3. #3
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      You do nice work Steve.

      Other Sites Sale prices are our everyday prices.
      Vice President Oregon Koi and Watergarden Society


    4. #4
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      I like using bio flo 9 but any floating media will work. One barrel will take 4 to 5 cubic feet of media depending on how much water flow you have. The more water flow, the less it will boil.

      One thing about new media. It won't work good for a week or two. It needs to sit in the water for a while to get a film on it before it starts fluidizing good.

      You don't want a violent boil, but just a gentle roll. Have fun.

    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
      You do nice work Steve.
      Thanks Bill.

    6. #6
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      Steve, you are the man!! My printer is running out of paper but I have felling you aren't running out of idea's!!
      Watch your thoughts; they become words.
      Watch your words; they become actions.
      Watch your actions; they become habits.
      Watch your habits; they become character.
      Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

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    7. #7
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      Steve, Where do you get your media?

      Other Sites Sale prices are our everyday prices.
      Vice President Oregon Koi and Watergarden Society


    8. #8
      birdman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
      Steve, Where do you get your media?
      From Gene at Koi Village. I think he has the best prices going. I just ordered 10 more feet from him. But I know he's running short and the next batch won't be as cheap so give him a call.

    9. #9
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      Short and Sweet Steve! Wondered how you got that male elec adaptor in the ball and still have it hold on to something....must be a bayonet type closure for the ball lid?

      Is the bulkhead on the bottom for the air diffuser also an electrical fitting?

      Don't we want a waste drain with grating in this barrel??

      Anne (the 'e' is silent) the Armchair Ponder


      Judge no one by their outward appearance or where they work or live or worship........but by the content of their character displayed in the integrity of their actions.

    10. #10
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      Nice job, Steve. Pretty soon you'll have your own section in the DIY thread.
      Steve.

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    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by aartwmich View Post
      Short and Sweet Steve! Wondered how you got that male elec adaptor in the ball and still have it hold on to something....must be a bayonet type closure for the ball lid?

      Is the bulkhead on the bottom for the air diffuser also an electrical fitting?

      Don't we want a waste drain with grating in this barrel??
      Yes, the hamster ball lid is a 4 tab bayonet mount. The slots in the ball are just big enough for the male adapter to fit in. It looks like 7" hamster balls were designed just for this, it's a perfect fit.

      The 3/4 inch bulkhead is just a standard PVC bulkhead I get from Flex PVC. That's also where I get the 4 way and 5 way crosses and tees for the sand/gravel filter.
      http://www.flexpvc.com/

      You don't need a waste drain in a fluid bed filter. They are self cleaning. Only two days ago I pulled the media from the fluid bed filters I built for my indoor pond last April to do some other maint. The inside of these filters were squeaky clean. Not one single speck of anything. The red pickle barrels like I used for the Koi Nations article will work better because of the rounded bottom, but they are a little harder to work with and not as common as the standard blue barrel.

    12. #12
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      Steve, you do one of the nicest jobs on outlining DIY projects with nice clean pictures, straight to the point text and outlined nicely. Being visually impaired, I don't always see what's going on in other DIY pictures but have no trouble in following what's going on your pictures.

      Good tip on using electrical conduit for DIY bulkheads. I have always fought to get the PVC fittings tight enough when putting them at the bottom of a barrel.


      Keep up the
      good work.
      MN Mike

      5400g 10'x14'x 5
      Dry Stacked Block Walls - Drop-in Liner
      4" BD - Cetus Seive - DIY Skimmer
      125g MB w/8ft2 Biollow9
      Converted Trition II Sand Filter

      My Pond Construction
      My QT Tank
      My Indoor Overwintering Tank
      Calculating K1 Bio Media


    13. #13
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      Brilliant Steve - thanks a lot !!
      .
      .








      WWKC Diamond Lifetime Member #2 I miss you so much Rudy !

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    14. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by birdman View Post
      Next to to Pet co and get two of Lee Kenny's 7 inch hamster balls.
      What is the difference between the blue ball and the clear ball?

      The blue one cost $5.29, the clear one cost $6.99

      BTW - great job on showing us all your DIY projects...

      Thanks,
      Kevin D.

    15. #15
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      Thanks all, it's fun for me making this stuff and sharing it. I have learned so much here from Koiphen it's the least I can do.

    16. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by birdman View Post
      Thanks all, it's fun for me making this stuff and sharing it. I have learned so much here from Koiphen it's the least I can do.
      .
      .








      WWKC Diamond Lifetime Member #2 I miss you so much Rudy !

      "A word of encouragement during a failure
      is worth more than an hour of praise after success"

    17. #17
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      Birdman's fluid bed filter

      Hello there, I love you filter. Great for DIY filter if you short on the money. I have a question about the bio flo 9 media, where do you put the media I mean inside the barrel or inside both of the hamster balls? Other than that everything is very simple. Thank

    18. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by nguyenphilip View Post
      Hello there, I love you filter. Great for DIY filter if you short on the money. I have a question about the bio flo 9 media, where do you put the media I mean inside the barrel or inside both of the hamster balls? Other than that everything is very simple. Thank
      It goes inside the barrel, and the air from the diffuser keeps it moving.

      Here's a picture of one of my other ones in opperation.
      Attached Images Attached Images  

    19. #19
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      Steve why the ball on the inlet pipe? I can understand why on the outet, but why on incoming?

    20. #20
      birdman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Cowiche Ponder View Post
      Steve why the ball on the inlet pipe? I can understand why on the outet, but why on incoming?
      It's for accidents. Just for containment.
      Under normal operation the water flow would keep the media in the fluid bed. But let's say you are going to back flush your settlement tank, and forget to block in the fluid bed. Water flow from the fluid bed would reverse and the bio media would flow from the fluid bed into the settlement chamber.

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