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DIY filter for any size tank.


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#1 Northern Terrapins

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 02:59 PM

This homemade filter is my design, buy not my concept. I stole it from the filtration concept used in europe. I have not seen this done in US.
My explanation is not the greatest, but you get the idea ;)

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=qB-TEYS9fwg

Edited by Northern Terrapins, 15 February 2011 - 03:04 PM.


#2 Northern Terrapins

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 05:13 PM

Concept.......

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#3 AmyW

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 05:48 PM

Neat idea, and you're right, it doesn't take up much room in the tank at all.

#4 CLAWS

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 03:00 AM

Hi,
Great filter. One of my favorite places is "You-Tube", I spend time there learning many things. Loved your vid. I'm a canister filter type guy mainly the Filstar XP3 made by Rena. I've also spent alot of time testing filter media and studing basic filter design and operational concepts.

Just to know where i'm coming from, right now i'm filtering a 55# snapper in a 400 gallon stock tank with three XP3 canister filters. It's a six foot diameter tank with 260 gallons of water in it. My large common snapper produces a large amount of waste and filtering her is a challenge. My theory of operation is to blast the heavier waste on the bottom (I use a bare bottom tank) to the inlet side of the filter(s). I use special designed filter outlet jets that can move waste at five feet away. In my filters I use five different media pore sizes to collect the waste and not clog any prematurely. With my system, including a fresh water drip system to keep the nitrate to a max of 20ppm, I can go three months without doing anything as far and cleaning or water changes.

If you were to ask me, and my intent is not to put down your concept, but to improve it, I would say the following.
I would put the inlet holes at the bottom 1/4 of the side of the filter in the first chamber. Also holes in the top part of the first chamber divider so the water flow would be from the bottom through the 1st chamber media and out the top part into the middle chamber. Ok, something about media placement. I have found that it's best to bring the waste through the coarse media first then through the bio-media and last through the filter floss. You want to keep the bio-media as clean as possible.

I would place the bio-ball in the middle chamber and some pond type sponges in the 1st chamber. The way you have it now is the water really isn't flowing through the bio-balls and the waste is comming right into it. So with the waste coming into the bottom part of the filrer and passing through the pond type media and out the top of the 1st divider into the 2nd chamber where I would place the bio-balls. Then place some holes in the bottom part of the last divider so the water will flow through the bio-balls from top to bottom and into the bottom of the last chamber full of filter floss with the pump placed at the top part of the last chamber so the water is flowing through the floss and out. Also I would place the outlet hose in such a manner in the tank to push the waste on the bottom of the tank towards the filter inlet at the bottom.

I hope you take my suggestions as helpful and not in a way as to blast the "H" out of your concept. I've spent years improving my filter operation with the help of many here on TT. It's a learning process that takes time and I know i've spent many days/months on my filter setups. Good luck to ya. ;)

Edited by CLAWS, 16 February 2011 - 03:02 AM.


#5 Northern Terrapins

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 12:28 PM

If you were to ask me, and my intent is not to put down your concept, but to improve it, I would say the following.
I would put the inlet holes at the bottom 1/4 of the side of the filter in the first chamber. Also holes in the top part of the first chamber divider so the water flow would be from the bottom through the 1st chamber media and out the top part into the middle chamber. Ok, something about media placement. I have found that it's best to bring the waste through the coarse media first then through the bio-media and last through the filter floss. You want to keep the bio-media as clean as possible.

I would place the bio-ball in the middle chamber and some pond type sponges in the 1st chamber. The way you have it now is the water really isn't flowing through the bio-balls and the waste is comming right into it. So with the waste coming into the bottom part of the filrer and passing through the pond type media and out the top of the 1st divider into the 2nd chamber where I would place the bio-balls. Then place some holes in the bottom part of the last divider so the water will flow through the bio-balls from top to bottom and into the bottom of the last chamber full of filter floss with the pump placed at the top part of the last chamber so the water is flowing through the floss and out. Also I would place the outlet hose in such a manner in the tank to push the waste on the bottom of the tank towards the filter inlet at the bottom.

I hope you take my suggestions as helpful and not in a way as to blast the "H" out of your concept. I've spent years improving my filter operation with the help of many here on TT. It's a learning process that takes time and I know i've spent many days/months on my filter setups. Good luck to ya. ;)


Thanks Claws, i appreciate the input. I've tried many options and made your same mistake. The water actually "flows" through the filter. In order for the media not to travel around, it need to be right where it is now.
It's works great just the way it is and " if it's not broke, don't fix".

Edited by Northern Terrapins, 16 February 2011 - 12:31 PM.


#6 CLAWS

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 10:24 PM

Thanks Claws, i appreciate the input. I've tried many options and made your same mistake. The water actually "flows" through the filter. In order for the media not to travel around, it need to be right where it is now.
It's works great just the way it is and " if it's not broke, don't fix".

I see in the vid that the inlet holes are near the surface to allow flow thru the bio-balls. It's hard to see in the diagram which are the bio-balls and which are the holes.

I have one comment on your statement.... "I've tried many options and made your same mistake". Would you please elaborate a little on the mistake i'm making, not sure what you mean. Thanks.

#7 Parkeri1313

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 04:36 PM

I really like this idea, it's simple and doesn't take up to much room in the tank.

Plus ... you can put your aquarium heater inside this DIY Filter to keep it from burning your turtles. If a heater us needed at all.

CLAWS, I'd like to see a drawing of what you are suggesting regarding this filter. I think you're definitely onto something.

#8 CLAWS

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 08:57 PM

One of the biggest drawbacks with this type of filtering system is water draw-down. As the filter media fills with waste and begins to reduce the flow of water or water supply to the pump, what happens is the water level inside the filter begins to go down to a point where the pump could begin to suck in some air. This can happen whether the pump is placed at the bottom or any place above. This is a workable concept but one must watch it and keep the filter media fairly clean.

There is a way I feel to improve the system where it would be less likely to experience water draw-down. It should work better if the pump were in a separate chamber with pre-pump media to prevent pump clogging. Then have the discharge of the pump enter and adjoining isolated chamber at the bottom and force the waste water up through the media out the top and spill out the over-flow level just above the waterline in the tank. The over-flow water also serves to reduce the surface scum in the tank. I think this is a doable system. Personally, I prefer the canister filter where there isn't any water draw-down and the pump impeller is protected by the full array of filter media. Furthemore a canister filter utilizes the discharge force to sweep the bottom of a tank to move the heavier waste towards the inlet suction.

Here is a little sketch of a in-tank DIY filter that I though would work nicely.

Posted Image

Edited by CLAWS, 18 February 2011 - 09:02 PM.


#9 Parkeri1313

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 07:16 AM

This design is what I think I can actually build. Maybe simplistic ... maybe just right?
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#10 CLAWS

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 12:58 PM

Hi Northern Terrapins & Parkeri

I know this isn't my thread but I think we all have started what I think is a real good DIY filter design. The concept is really great. Something we can build on. When it comes to filter design and operation, i'm in heaven. My schooling was in mech design, which was many many years ago, so I find this very interesting.

Parkeri, I like your design where you utilize the power of the filter outlet as did Northern Tarrapins. One thing that still concerns me is the water draw-down when the filter begins to fill with waste and the inlet volume of water reduces. When an imbalance occurs between the pump's water supply(inlet) and the pumps outlet volume, water in the filter will start to go down. Even to a point where it could affect the performance of the pump. I thought about it and I have come up with a solution.

I got the idea from when I set up an auxilary nitrate tank that I was trying to grow water lettuce in. The setup served as 110-gallon tank set along side my 400-gallon snapper tank. The object was to have the long bushy root system of the water lettuce consume the nitrate produce by my large snappers waste. I set the inlet of one of my canister filters in the auxilary tank which discharged into the 400-gallon tank for water curculation bringing in new water filled with nitrate. To make up the water being removed from the auxilary tank to circulate back into the smller tank, I placed two siphon hoses that siphoned water from the larger tank into the smaller. With the use of two siphon hoses the water level balanced at where I wanted it so it too created a overflow to the large tank, via a 2" PVC pipe for surface scum removal. To make an already long story shorter, :P I thought of the power of a siphon hose and how it can maintain a certain water level between two tanks. The beauty of a siphon is that it's flow is governed by the differental of the waterline in each tank. So if the waterlines are equal in both tanks the water doesn't flow. When there gets to be a differental in water elevations as what could occur in the DIY filter, the siphon would begin to flow. So what I did was to incorporate the sophon into the DIY filter. I added another very small chamber where the siphon could set and as the water goes down, if and when it did, the siphon would start up and help out to maintain a decent water level for the pump's operation. Even with the siphon or two of them, there would still be some difference in the water height that you could see. At this point the filter should be cleaned. I think with the siphon the worry about water draw-down wouldn't be such a concern especially if you had to be away for a few days to weeks on vacation. Here is the addition to the sketch. I think we're getting there. ;)

Posted Image

Edited by CLAWS, 19 February 2011 - 01:20 PM.


#11 Parkeri1313

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:53 PM

CLAWS, the design you propose is sound however the construction and maintenance/cleaning may be excessive due to the small and tight spaces within these chambers, does my re-design incorporate your 'siphon design?'
Posted Image

For clarification ... I would allow the siphon hoses to intake water from the aquarium into the two outside chambers.

Edited by Parkeri1313, 19 February 2011 - 08:55 PM.


#12 CLAWS

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 01:48 AM

Yeah, that's doable. The only reason I put the siphon hose in a side chamber was because I didn't want a hose sticking inside the tank for two reasons. 1.) Turtles, especially my snapper, love to bite on anything and everything inside their tank. 2.) If and when the siphon did activate because of low waterline inside the filter, water would be drawn out of the tank into the filter. This can cause quit a suction effect that it's possible a smaller turtle could get it's head sucked into the siphon and drown. Siphons can be as powerful as the inlet of a canister filter. A guard of sorts or something would need to be installed over the end of the siphon to protect the turtles. I've heard stories of filter inlet strainers falling off and turtles getting sucked into the piping.

Another thought is that there could be the same water draw-down in the pump chamber with the filter floss clogging. Need another siphon? :P

One other thing, at the inlet holes, it would be wise to place the 1st sponges above the holes to utilize the full cross sectional area of the sponge. A divider with holes in it could support the sponges. Just a minor detail.

Another thought...something to cover up the unsightly look of a dirty filter in the tank.

I just have thought of a completely new design that I will draw out Sunday evening if I have time or monday. It's pretty simple and incorporates the original concept, the siphon and another aspect of turtle setup design that is important, also the problem of an open top smelly filter. After we're finished with this design someone better hurry and get a patent on this baby. :rolleyes: :lol: :P

Northern Terrapins.... what do you think? Would like some more thoughts on your original design layout. After my new design layout. I would like to incorporate our thoughts we have been throwing around here and fit them into your original concept and design. We're just in the brain-storming phase and hope to finalize something that you have started. Would love more of your input. :)

Edited by CLAWS, 20 February 2011 - 02:13 AM.


#13 Parkeri1313

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 09:12 AM

CLAWS, what's that you say ... snappers bite your filter hoses ... never herd of such a thing ... naaa, I'm just kidding. My Ally snapper "LOAD" has been biting my filter hoses and anything else inside his aquarium for almost 13 years now. Here is my solution, so far.
Posted Image

#14 CLAWS

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 10:12 PM

CLAWS, what's that you say ... snappers bite your filter hoses ... never herd of such a thing ... naaa, I'm just kidding. My Ally snapper "LOAD" has been biting my filter hoses and anything else inside his aquarium for almost 13 years now. Here is my solution, so far.
Posted Image

That's a good idea for the piping of your Rena/Filstar filter. In my metal snapper tank I use 3/4" plastic screwed pipe for the inlet and outlet piping. Also white PVC pipe with holes in it for the heater guard. Load is a great looking AST.
http://s11.photobuck...t=Pete999-1.jpg

Edited by CLAWS, 20 February 2011 - 10:15 PM.


#15 Northern Terrapins

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 10:28 PM

I see in the vid that the inlet holes are near the surface to allow flow thru the bio-balls. It's hard to see in the diagram which are the bio-balls and which are the holes.

I have one comment on your statement.... "I've tried many options and made your same mistake". Would you please elaborate a little on the mistake i'm making, not sure what you mean. Thanks.

If you put the floss first it gets pulled from the pump through all 3 chambers right back to where it is now and gets all tangled with the bio balls. The media is fine where it is now. It's easy to clean, has great mechanical and biological filtration, and i built in an hour.
Of course you can turn it into a major project, but reality is that it works fine just the way it is.
I will never buy another canister filter ever again. This filter gets cleaned in 5 minutes, i don't need to bend under tanks, worry about priming, or make a mess out of my bathtub.

#16 CLAWS

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 11:19 PM

If you put the floss first it gets pulled from the pump through all 3 chambers right back to where it is now and gets all tangled with the bio balls. The media is fine where it is now. It's easy to clean, has great mechanical and biological filtration, and i built in an hour.
Of course you can turn it into a major project, but reality is that it works fine just the way it is.
I will never buy another canister filter ever again. This filter gets cleaned in 5 minutes, i don't need to bend under tanks, worry about priming, or make a mess out of my bathtub.

If you reread my 1st post here, I stated to place the bio-balls in the middle chamber and some pond sponges in the 1st chamber. The last chamber full of filter floss with the pump placed at the top of the last chamber so the water is flowing through the floss and out. What you have now is at best a bio-filter, not a filter to collect waste. This design reminds me of the "Skippy" BIO-Filter, they claim it never needs cleaning. I have a very good design I was going to post for you, but after reading you comments I don't want to waste both of our time. I wish you luck with your filter project.

#17 Parkeri1313

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 07:48 AM

CLAWS,

What's your re-design? I'm building this thing as we speak. I'd like to know what you have in mind.

Thanks!

#18 CLAWS

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 06:33 PM

CLAWS,

What's your re-design? I'm building this thing as we speak. I'd like to know what you have in mind.

Thanks!


I'll post the re-design on your recent thread, "Cost per Gallon". I've done enough here.




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