DIY biofilter


lollyfrog

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Hi,
I am getting ready to dig my pond and I am building my own biofilter based on the Skippy style. I am making it out of an old salt resevoir from a water softner (cleaned well of course). It is 16" in diameter and I am making it
2 1/2' deep. It should hold around 25-26 gallons ( if I did the math right) with the filter media which is 3/4" nylon srubby material that I picked up at ACE hardware. Have any of you made your own biofilter? My pond will be 6' x 7' and 4' deep and hold aproximately 1200 gallons. How big is your pond and how big did you make your biofilter? I really didn't want to use the rubbermaid stock tank like on the Skippy sight so came up with this alternative. I am enclosing it in cedar to make it look like an old time box. I will also put some water plants in the top for the final filtration. I was thinking of putting in a second type of filter media. What would anyone recommend? :eek:
Thanks for your help.
Lolly
 
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DrCase

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lollyfrog....make it out of a plastic 55 gal drum. that will give you the fiter you need ...DrDave has some pics showing the water fall built around it
 

DrDave

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You cannot go wrong with a properly made 55 drum bio filter. It is the smartest, cheapest and most effective addition to any pond. It by far beats UV, bottom drains, skimmers and sand filters all of which I do not have. My water is crystal clear.
Good circulation (no dead spots) and a lot of water plants also contribute to my water Qaulity.
 

lollyfrog

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Thanks, I thought about the 55 gallon drum but my space is limited and there is really no place to hide it so that is why I went smaller. Maybe you can answer this question for me. In the commercially made biofilters that are up-flow like the ones you have made, are much smaller and rated for bigger ponds. Why do we have to make the DIY biofilters so large? Do the commercially made ones not work very well? I found your pictures of the ones you made and they are great I may have to just find a place outside of my pond area to put it, but that will mean a much stronger pump to get the water there and back to the pond. I'll have to go out to the garden and look. Thanks again for your help.
 
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Hey Lollyfrog,
Welcome! My pond is approx. 1200 gal. Last year my filtration was only a 25 gallon container with lava rock and plants and the "pain in the butt" foam filter that comes with the pump I was using. They did the job, but, it took a long time for the water to clear and I had to pull the pump apart to rinse the foam filter way too often!
This year I made a Skippy style filter in a 55 gal drum. I am incredibly happy with it!!!!
I used 3 different density "scrubbies" bought from a nearby janitorial supply. I also have some hyacinth and water celery on top of the water. I noticed a huge difference with water clarity ( from 4 inches to about 1 1/2 feet) within 24 hrs.
After reading about the filter systems all the guys here were using, I honestly believed that they were way over-doing it. I was sooo wrong!!!! Bigger is better!!!!
Happy Ponding!
Meekaboo
 

lollyfrog

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Thanks Meekaboo and DR's,
I thought about what you said and went out and looked at my sight to see if there is a place where I can place a 55 gallon drum and be able to hide it with it not being too far from the pond. I think I can hide it on the other side of the fence and it won't be in the way of anything else yet still be close.
I should go out and take pictures so you can see where I am going to put it. It is kind of a tight space.The pond will be in the corner of my vegetable/flower garden next to my pergola. The water feature will be an old pitcher style pump with a watering can pouring into the pond. I wanted it to look like someone left the water running in the garden :icon_mrgreen: I really want to build everything myself; digging, hauling rocks, building the filter, etc. and I'll buy the pump. The liner came yesterday, Yeah! I have been planning this pond for 3 years, collecting rocks where ever I can find them and other things. This is to keep the cost down but I also like the challenge and satisfaction it gives to know I did it all myself (with my hubby's help occasionally) Thanks for all of your advice. I am going to make the biofilter out of a 55 gallon drum. We happen to have a couple of them so it will make it easy and I can get started right away. DrCase on your pictures of the system you built you mentioned having a vent so the filter doesn't get air locked. Where do you put it? Meekaboo do you have a vent on your filter? How about you Dr Dave?

Lolly:goldfish:
 
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DrDave

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Mine has no vents and with water being forced through the lines and down into the bottom of the drum I am not sure what a vent would do for me.

The reason these work so well with 55 gallon drums is the water has to travel a long way up and that gives all the sediment in the water, plenty of opportunity for gravity to force it to settle in the bottom.

The short Skippy filters cannot perform this function as well.
 

DrCase

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if you go into a filter, then go down hill to a water fall... you wont need a vent.....its when you gravity feed out .then down ,than back up, this is were a problem can develop , a vent solved my problems 2 bucks for tee,s instead of 90,s
 

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I see what you mean. With the tandom barrells an air pocket could get into the crossover pipe. With a single barrel that would not occur.
 

lollyfrog

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Thanks everyone,
I went back to the barn and got a 55 gallon drum and put together the guts of the filter this afternoon. Now I have to have hubby drill holes for the intake and outflow. I am so excited:banana: The next few days are going to be rainy so no digging so I guess I'll spend it cutting up the filter media. Dr Dave I know you had mentioned that you have a Beckett pump do you like it? What size do you have? I'm still debating over what type to get.

Thanks,
Lolly
 
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DrCase

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i really had this problem with my old filter . but my vents were already in place..i bend this water to hide the pipe,s.......when the power went out, or blinked, some times my filter would over flow untill it caught its breath, but i did not know when it would happen...i push gravity ....to its limits , some times it hesitates....with the vents ,,i dont have to be home...
 
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Hi Guys,
I have a brand new pond (2-3 weeks) and I have something floating up from the bootom that I am not really sure what it is. It doesn't look like algea but could be. My koi fish seems to like it so I am not sure what to do with it. I was thinking of getting a skimmer but was reading here about a bio filter. I have been trying to find the pictures but haven't been able to :) I'd like to try it and see if it helps to clear the water in the pond. If anyone can point me to the post where the pictures are I'd appreciate it.
 

DrDave

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Do a search here and you will find pictures of both mine and drcase's bio filters. There are a few others as well.
On the Internet, search for Skippy bio filter to find that site. Don't believe everything they say, drcase and I have both proven them wrong.
The floating algae happens only when the day is warm, as it cools it sinks back down to the bottom, right?
 
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lollyfrog said:
Thanks everyone,
I went back to the barn and got a 55 gallon drum and put together the guts of the filter this afternoon.

Where are the plans for this 55 gallon drum bio filter?
 
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could you post pictures of your progress

oh i use a 30 gallon rubbermaid trashcan
i drilled it for in the top for inlets for water
and in the bottom for water to go out

the filtration media i use are 30 gallons of Bioballs and a filter pad
 

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