DIY filter

  1. delta5 Well Known Member Member

    Well, I decided an aq50 and a c220 wasn't enough filtration for my 55g. So I thought about how I can use my aquatop 35w powerhead. I ended up using 3" in dia PVC, some adapters, and hose.

    ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1405718852.196293.jpg

    Then I got to thinking about filter media. I was going to buy the media but then I remembered I have extra sculpey 3 laying around. So I made my own media.

    ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1405718940.850400.jpg

    I also made random shapes and stuff.

    ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1405719049.144398.jpg

    This piece diffuses the water as it enters the filter

    ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1405719113.570166.jpg

    It's not done yet, I have 2' of 3" PVC to expand the filter. I did one some test to get an idea of ghp. With a 10" raise I. Height it took 10 seconds to put out 1 gallon. This means 360gph but should be higher as it won't need to pump up then down. I'm going to put it across the rear back of the aquarium. I hope this clay can hold a lot of BB in a small space. I really don't want a 3" pipe across the entire tank.

    Pre-filter the intake will be under gravel to ensure nothing big goes past the impeller.

    Any thoughts or suggestions on how to improve this?

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  2. Dolfan Fishlore VIP Member

    I would go with regular bio-filtration like Seachem Matrix. It's relatively cheap and does a great job. Tons more surface area for bacteria then the clay pieces you are making.

    Also for the time and money you are investing in this, I would personally just go with adding another canister filter if you wanted more filtration. Earlier I saw the Sunsun HW-302 canister for $43 including shipping on ebay. They are silent, no leaks, tons of media space, included spray bar, they work great, I have one on my 40 gallon and things are crystal clear all the time.
  3. delta5 Well Known Member Member

    This is more of finding a use for my powerhead. I'll prob switch to some form of store bought media.

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  4. 1971roadrunner Well Known Member Member

    I really dig what your doing here - nice!!!. If you like DIY projects look into putting together an Under Gravel Jet System (not too hard to do and plenty of info/youtubes) and use the power head for that. I built one for both my tanks (though using the return from sumps) and they're awesome!!! No more vacuuming the gravel (for the most part) :).
  5. delta5 Well Known Member Member

    I would but idk hiw that would effect roots and since I got cichlids I'm thinking of going sand.

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  6. 1971roadrunner Well Known Member Member

    I know with roots it's been a problem for people but I've seen it done with sand. I have semi-fine gravel but not sand, that would probably require some research to see if it's gotta be done differently somehow. It was a fun project overall but requires a lot of fine tuning (while being hooked up to a garden hose) and really annoyed me at times was fun :).
  7. delta5 Well Known Member Member

    That's the lovely part of fluid dynamics. I'm not a 100% on it but I think each output needs to be slightly elevated verse the inner top of the piping. At least that solved my issue in hydroponics when I was trying to get even output. I may do half sand and the other half gravel. I got an unopened bag of play sand. Was for sons sand/water table but he likes to out the sand in his pool so no more sand.

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  8. 1971roadrunner Well Known Member Member

    Exactly! I went with a closed loop system to get a more even flow all around vrs some closed end pipes. From there I have "T" connects with jets elevated slightly. The jets you further adjust by boiling then either opening or closing more or less. This can be done while hooking it up to a garden hose. It's a time consuming project but not that difficult with ALOT of patience.
  9. delta5 Well Known Member Member

    I found that using smaller outlets that allows you to maintain some back pressure (psi) and there is no need for tedious tweaking.

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  10. 1971roadrunner Well Known Member Member

    Yes again! You NEED back pressure but all the jets need to be equal to some degree. The ones closer to the inlet from the return line (or power head) to the closed loop need to be smaller than the ones farther away to some degree. In order to do this I would boil them then use pliers to close them some or a flat screw driver to open when still hot and place them back on the "T" to continue testing and determine what fine tuning still needs to be done. Also you need to regulate how much back pressure you want 'cause you don't want too weak a flow or too strong and directed. This sounds like a nuisance 'cause it is :).