building a 55 gal biological filter

Discussion in 'DIY - Do It Yourself' started by DrCase, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. DrCase

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    pic 1 find a clean 55 gal drum ,drill holes in lid then cut it out.......................pic 2 there are only 3 parts you have a water tower, a cut up bucket, and your lid for a grate....................... pic 3 shows the parts together..................... pic 4 shows parts in drum ready pic 5 go ahead and put in filter mat ,fill to top

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    DrCase, Jun 8, 2008
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  2. DrCase

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    pic 6 shows a one drum set up , go in the top, send the water to the bottom and water filters on the way back up...............pic 7 this is what i am doing adding a second drum tie the 2 together........................pic 8 come out of the first tank connect with tee to send water down to bottom of drum...............pic 9 show 2 drums together and return to pond, the vents keep the system from air locking.................pic 10 starting up 2 nd filter

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    DrCase, Jun 8, 2008
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  3. DrCase

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    pic 11 shows the 2 filters as they are now .................. pic 12 shows a rubber cap on the dump valve ,i use this during the winter ,to save my ball valves from freezing . i will no hub a valve on when i get it..........

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    DrCase, Jun 8, 2008
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  4. DrCase

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    A PVC Ball Valve works great for the dump.
    DrDave, Jun 10, 2008
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  5. DrCase

    lollyfrog April

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    Are the vents the pipe in the back of the drums that I see sticking up?
    Lolly
    lollyfrog, Jun 26, 2008
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  6. DrCase

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    yes they are vents....my filters are away from my pond...i gravity feed back to my waterfall ,but i go down out of the filter,and back up at the waterfall, to hide the pipes...my filters are about 2" higher than the water fall....the vents keep it from air locking
    DrCase, Jun 26, 2008
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  7. DrCase

    lollyfrog April

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    where are they connected? at the bottom or in line?
    lollyfrog, Jun 26, 2008
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  8. DrCase

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    i have 3 vents on my filter...i am all gravity return to ponds....i have one vent at my water fall, pic not shown....

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    DrCase, Jun 26, 2008
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  9. DrCase

    lollyfrog April

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    Thanks for the pictures that helps alot. It looks like they are in the return line to the pond am I seeing it correctly?
    lollyfrog, Jun 26, 2008
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  10. DrCase

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    yes you are correct only in the return
    DrCase, Jun 26, 2008
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  11. DrCase

    SumpNFishy

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    DrCase,

    I'm in the middle of building one of these. But I wasn't sure what you used for your Filter Media. Is it just sponges?:bowdown:

    I plan to bury mine half way in the ground with the outflow pouring into a waterfall and then to a catch basin which flows over another waterfall to the pond. I had a barrel and most of the PVC already. Just need the FM and a few more PVC parts to hook it up to the pump.

    I have a natural bottom 1600 Gal pond and the suspended algea is really thick now. Can only see a couple of inches at the most.

    Do you run yours 24/7?:profile:

    Thanks for any input.
    SumpNFishy, Jul 24, 2008
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  12. DrCase

    lollyfrog April

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    I used a nylon scrubby type material that I got at a local hardware store They called it a "hoghair" filter but it is nylon(plastic). I also used kitchen dish scrubbies that I got at a dollar store but those are thinner so I used them on top. There are lots of different materials that can be used for the filter material. K1 and K2 are some of the things. Some people use bio balls, some people use floor scrubbing pads (used on industrial floor scrubbers) clean of course. Just try to find something that has a lot of surface area for the bacteria to grow on. I have read not to use sponges or furnace filter material but I'm sure that there are other things that people have used, and the DR's will be able to give you lots of good advise. My pond turned green about four days ago. I have given the pond two doses of added bacteria and today I can see about a foot down where before it was just about 4"

    Lolly
    lollyfrog, Jul 24, 2008
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  13. DrCase

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    You must run it 24/7 or the anerobic bacteria will die. They are what makes it work.
    DrDave, Jul 24, 2008
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  14. DrCase

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    I have cut up pvc pipe ,,,topped off with , skippystuff.com scrubber pads in one drum .the 2nd drum is full of scrubber pads... as DrDave said run it 24/7 .the dump drain on the bottom is very important,,,make sure it can go some were
    DrCase, Jul 25, 2008
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  15. DrCase

    SumpNFishy

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I have it mostly done and ended up puting it higher to get a better waterfall. So I did add a valve on the bottom to drain for maintenance.

    I ran a test to check pipes and found a little design problem with mine. My outflow pipe and the pipe from the pump are the same size. Well you pump in water at a high volume and it drains out a little more slowly, so the barrel quickly started overflowing. So I need to put a larger outflow pipe on there. ;)

    Looking a the pictures, how do you keep your filter media from getting stuck on the outflow pipe and clogging it up causing it a overflow situation? :) I haven't put any FM in yet, still in the testing stage.

    I'm using a swimming pool pump that has a high GPH (not sure of the value). It filled the 55 gal drum in about a minute. An overflow would not be a good thing in my case.
    SumpNFishy, Jul 28, 2008
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  16. DrCase

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    that pump would be 3300 gph,,,,i have a 2" pipe on my outlet...you may have to divert some water back to the pond,with that much volume....my pads stay down,,but if you have a problem, make another grate to put on top
    DrCase, Jul 28, 2008
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  17. DrCase

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    I made a strainer cap out of 1/4" mesh screen and fitted it to the overflow. Before I did that, the tubes were getting a free ride down the cascading waterfall.
    BTW, the dump valve in the bottom has to be large, fast and preferabley a ball valve in order to get a good back flush.
    DrDave, Jul 28, 2008
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  18. DrCase

    lollyfrog April

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    I had the same problem but I put a grate on top of the media. I have a discharge pipe that goes directly back to the pond, a seperate pipe to a waterfall and a small pipe to a spitter frog all to slow down how fast the water goes through the filter.

    Lolly
    lollyfrog, Jul 29, 2008
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  19. DrCase

    SumpNFishy

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    A co-worker suggested just adding more outlets so I did last night. Have 3 - 1 1/2" outlets in a close line with 45 bends at the end. Actually makes a great water effect and did keep it from overflowing. Going to pick up another barrel at work today and make another grate from one end and a top cover with the other. I'll post pics when I'm done.

    Good point on the dump valve DrDave. I put a regular garden hose size valve on there. I think I have a larger one in my junk bin so I'll change that out as well.

    Thanks for all the replies.
    SumpNFishy, Jul 29, 2008
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  20. DrCase

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    I changed the pump in my pond, from 1450 gph ,to 4200 gph ,about 2000 gph ,at the 9 ft of head i have....running about 500 gph thru my two 55 gal drums ..the rest goes into my small middle water fall pond ,,,and as DrDave says sweeps the pond....water was very clear with old pump .now it is crystal clear, no chemicals, un plugged uv....the drums work...
    DrCase, Aug 8, 2008
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