ADVICE -- PLUMBING SKIPPY-RUBBERMAID & "PARTS" LIST

Mmathis

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Almost ready to think about turning my 100 gal. stock tank into a bio-filter :) Right now, it's a holding tank for some plants I'll be starting with, a few goldfish, and hopefully a little bit of starter-bacteria.

Have read just about every post here as well as other sites regarding plumbing a "Skippy." As you would expect, there are differences in how to do this. Since this is my first time (no past experiences to draw from), thought I would get some "parts" lists from everyone.

If you have or have had a RUBBERMAID-SKIPPY, would you comment on each area: what did you use, why did you do it the way you did, what worked, what would you change? What SIZE for everything? BUT MOST IMPORTANT FOR ME TO KNOW IS THE "WHY."

The pump I have is a 3600 gph (from HOME DEPOT), and I'm using 1-1/2 inch tubing. Tubing is flex, corrugated. Pond is estimated to be 2800 - 3200 gals. Will eventually use the filter discharge as my waterfall, but for now it's just going to be pond-side.

Also, have seen much mentioned that certain "parts" or fittings should or should not be used. For example, "don't use the HOME DEPOT this or that," or "use the gray this or that," etc. Help me be sure I know what to buy.

WHAT TO DO FOR:

1 -- Stock tank bottom/clean-out drain & spigot, tubing, on/off valve

2 -- spray-bar

3 -- intake: size, placement (how far from the bottom)

4 -- output: size, placement (how far from the top)

5 -- adhesives, sealants, when to use, where, what kind

6 -- connectors, "Y's," diverter valves

7 -- can't think of anything else off the top of my head, but sure questions will come up -- do you have any additional input? I think we have hole-saw bits, but it not, can get them.
 

koiguy1969

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my build thread on my skippy style answers all your questions as far as the way i built mine. biggest thing on mine thats different is the waterfall weir...way better than a pipe as a water return. and goes right up tight against the top lip of the filter...allows for much more utilization of the stocktanks volume, or filtering media capacity.
heres my build.... http://www.gardenpon...y-style-filter/
iin case your interested, heres a link to the weirs i make...i currently have 3 to sell, ready to go...everybody whos gotten one seems to like them alot.
http://www.gardenpon...or-diy-filters/ ..P.M.. me if your interested...
 

koiguy1969

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just a little note, and "top veiw" drawing on the proper plumbing of swirl bars. many people make the mistake of plumbing like i show in the "wrong" side of the drawing in this post. when plumbed like that the water just blasts against the wall and goes of in every direction. in the side i show, "correct" you can see how the water can smoothly transition onto the wall of the stocktank. and create a smooth swirl. or whirlpool flow. this motion gathers the debris together and allows them to settle on the bottom of the tank. the other "wrong" way just keeps the water agitated, and the debris in suspension much longer. they can then reach the media and coat and or clog it up. thereby minimizing the efficiencey of the biological function. see drawing. use 45* degree elbows on the ends of the pipes instead of 90*s. the drawing is a quick and kind of sloppy one but, but i think it helps explain the differences.i do hope this helps.
 

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sissy

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I wish I could find y connectors but only ever found them in really small sizes .I just got nice tank adapters from pet mountain .
 

Mmathis

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So, in general, which are the parts/fittings that are not standard "HOME DEPOT/LOWES" plumbing PVC?

And as an afterthought, if I wanted to add air to the system, how could I go about doing that?

And, KOIGUY, your diagram was 100% helpful. I don't think it would have occured to me.
 

koiguy1969

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everything you need is at Lowes or Home Depot...regular plumbing and sprinkler parts...all in the same aisle here...dont klnow about where you live. the florecent lighting diffuser grid is in the drop ceiling ( T-trac) section.
 

brandonsdad02

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I used the 90's on my swirl bars, but I also have my pipes the way they are shown in the right way photo. they are at a angel. I have my skippy feeding my waterfall via a 4" pipe, but I wouldn't do it that way now that I know otherwise. My inlet pipe is 1 1/2" pvc and my outflow is a 4". If I was to set up another skippy, I would change my outflow to 2 or 3 2" pipes. That way you can use more of your skippy for filtering and not loose so much from the large amount of space a closet flange takes up. The closet flange is the same as a toilet flange. There are many variations of skippys on this site, so you will see many different ways to make it.
 
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yep i did the 4inch too and wish i did otherwise... also didn't do a clean out drain, but figure it's only once a year i need to tag mesh bags out and stick vacuum hose in and get large debris.. only takes a few minutes
 

sissy

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I bought a mini sump pump and it holds up to 1 inch solids and keep it in my filter and when i want to clean muck out of the bottom I run a hose over the top of the filter and plug in the sump pump hose for a minute or two ,quick and easy .
 

Mmathis

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everything you need is at Lowes or Home Depot...regular plumbing and sprinkler parts...all in the same aisle here...dont klnow about where you live. the florecent lighting diffuser grid is in the drop ceiling ( T-trac) section.

Have looked over your builds. A couple of questions, just to be sure I'm understanding:

INTAKE -- instead of having your intake come in through a hole in the side of the tank, you have it plumbed coming in from the top, flowing down to the spray-bar at the bottom..... I do like the idea of NOT having an extra hole/source of leaks in the tank! I'm nervous enough about drilling that bottom drain hole.... Also, instead of a 90 degree fitting [where your pump tubing feeds into the tank], you changed to a "Y." And that was because ......?

DISHCARGE/OUTFLOW -- you're using your [very nice, I might add] DIY weir instead of tubing to exit to waterfall. Not sure that will be practical for me. So if I go ahead with tubing, how far down from the top edge do I need to have the outflow drain? And...

I'll have 1 1/2" tubing from my pump to the filter. What is the optimum size for an outflow from the SKIPPY? I have read that you do want your outflow to be larger than your intake, but what works best as far as "dwell-time" for the bio-filter?

Do I need to use anything to seal any cuts I make in the tank, such as where I install the bottom drain bulkhead and outflow? Is it necessary to use PVC cement on any of the parts? (I plan to make a PVC frame to elevate & support the "egg crate" and biomedia -- I want a little more room on the bottom than what the ledges give).

Going shopping today.....!
 

koiguy1969

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theres no need to glue any connections inside the filter. just press fitting is fine. because theres no pressurized water flow. actually my filter inlet is thru the side of my filter. but most will just connect the hose to the down pipe via a threaded cap and hose adapter. the pipe fitting on the top of the down pipe is a "T". just a solids handling or swooping "T" ...its purpose is to break the syphon if for any reason your pump fails or gets turned off. it simply breaks the syphon, so the filter doesnt "back flow" back into the pond, carrying the gunk collected with it. its also a great place to add beneficial bacteria if you use it. so it can flow thru and coat the media in the filter first. gravity return filters almost always MUST have larger outputs than imputs. unless your using a real small gph pump. one 2" output can handle about 1200 -1300 gph max flow reliably 'in my opinion'. by reliably i mean without much worry of overflow. the weir is really the way to go tho.
 

crsublette

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I'm wondering the same.

My setup uses a 3600 gph pump so I get a good rush of water down my waterfalls and streams, but I am only working with 435 gallons. I put in a Y on my supply pipe where a valve. supplying water to the skippy, is opened halfway. So, more like 1800gph is going through my 20 gallon skippy rather than the full 3600gph. It seems like water could be pushed too fast, but I am just guessing since I don't have much experience with these skippies. Intake pipe comes into the container on the side. My swirl bar is pretty big with 2 1/2" pvc to hopefully slow down the intake water and then got my wire mesh stuff sitting so only top 50% of the 20gallon can is filled with biomedia balls.

Should I reduce the input flow into the skippy even more?

Is there a "dwell-time" for skippy's effectiveness?
 

koiguy1969

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i would slow the flow thru the filter myself...atleast 1/2 of the current flow atleast... myself, i only put 1000 gph thru my 70 gal filter ..and 2150 is pumped right into the top of the filter to circulate the ponds volume. so the entire volume of 3100 gph flows out my falls. both submersable pumps are drawing thru prefilters ("in pond" mechanical filters before the pump) . the prefilters are plumbed via 1&1/4" hose at the opposite end of pond from falls. prefilters help keep the biofilter cleaner and thereby more efficient. 1800 gph thru a 20 gal filter = 30 gal per minute.or about 40 seconds in the filter container, which yours is only about 1/2 filled with media. your looking at 20 seconds in actual filtration...thats not much time there. mine allows for almost 3 minutes in filtration....just my 2 cents....
 

Mmathis

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KOIGUY -- Went shopping yesterday. I thought I understood the construction, but after reviewng yours and other SKIPPY builds, have a few MORE questions [it never ends, does it...].

Couldn't find a threaded cap reducer -- or maybe simply don't know what that is... What's it used for on the filter? Or a threaded nipple hose adapter. At least nothing bigger than, say, 3/4." Only went to HOME DEPOT and a place that installs ponds [I don't like to go there, though, 'cause they always try to tell me not to go DIY, and try to sell me things I don't think I need].

Also, does it matter if the input tubing plumbs in from the top vs coming in through the side wall? I am a little nervous about cutting holes.
 

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