Building a DIY 55 gallon barrel filter...need input.

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Love our 55 gallon sand & gravel filter :)
Sand you say? Do you use it as the top layer for fine filtration? I never thought of that. I've always used chic feed myself but this sounds interesting. I have a big bag of fine sand too. Gonna look into this. My only concern is the sand just going down through the layers and clogging my air line.
 
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I like the barrel idea. I am working on an upgraded DIY using a flat-sided trash can on wheels (using bulkhead fittings, the flat sides help with a good seal - I'll switch to Uni-Seals next time for sure) but I had pin-hole leaks around the axle area by the wheels. Full tube of silicone sealant applied inside around the leak area, 72 hours for cure, still tiny leaks. Now two full tubes of another type of clear sealant poured over entire leaking area - but incredibly slow cure rate; still soft to the touch. EVENTUALLY I'll get it up and running. In the mean time the 16 year old filter keeps chugging away...
Why not just pick up a food grade barrel? I paid $12 for each of mine off craigslist. And bulk heads do work but they do leak too so they have to be sealed with a sealer. Uniseals need nothing and solely rely on the pressure of the pipe running through them to keep them sealed and water tight. I'm telling you right now that these are a blessing and cheap too on amazon.

I do recall reading on this site that one person likes to heat up the barrel where their bulkhead will be mounted to flatten out the spot which helps the bulk head seal better. If you are using the bulk head on a flat surface I figure you are good to go.
 
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Sand you say? Do you use it as the top layer for fine filtration? I never thought of that. I've always used chic feed myself but this sounds interesting. I have a big bag of fine sand too. Gonna look into this. My only concern is the sand just going down through the layers and clogging my air line.
Sand is misleading....I too use granite chicken grit......but the plans I used for the filter call it a Sand & Gravel filter :)
 
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Why not just pick up a food grade barrel? I paid $12 for each of mine off craigslist. And bulk heads do work but they do leak too so they have to be sealed with a sealer. Uniseals need nothing and solely rely on the pressure of the pipe running through them to keep them sealed and water tight. I'm telling you right now that these are a blessing and cheap too on amazon.

I do recall reading on this site that one person likes to heat up the barrel where their bulkhead will be mounted to flatten out the spot which helps the bulk head seal better. If you are using the bulk head on a flat surface I figure you are good to go.
Well, the short answer is stubbornness, combined with a heavy Scotch-Irish cheapness that compels me to keep working on this trash can until it's water-tight. The bulkheads were siliconed on both sides and are good. I've used a Dremel to carefully sculpt a plastic milk-crate to fit the weird shape of the bottom of the trash can to support the filter media. If the last batch of sealing material will cure, I'll put it in service...if it leaks again I'll set it all on fire and roast some weenies.
 
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Tula- Do you keep your sand and gravel filter running through winter? (I'm close to Cincy too).

Fyi- the "traditional" sand and gravel filters do work amazingly. I just completed mine not too long ago before the end of summer and it cleared my green pond out in a day. They are so easy to clean as well. I should have made one years ago.
 
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Tula- Do you keep your sand and gravel filter running through winter? (I'm close to Cincy too).

Fyi- the "traditional" sand and gravel filters do work amazingly. I just completed mine not too long ago before the end of summer and it cleared my green pond out in a day. They are so easy to clean as well. I should have made one years ago.

Winters here are mild compared to there but I run my system all year round. I would imagine you would continue to run yours too. Even in winter the pond requires filtering and you don't want the hoses, and pipes to freeze up. Having the water flowing should keep them from freezing I would think.
 
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