DIY SKIMMER FILTER


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Hi,
My pond is about 9000 gallons I think and I am making the following submersible skimmer filter to connect to a waterfall on the opposite side of the pond. Please give me you suggestions, ideas and opinions.

I am currently using only aeration filtration. I have a 4" diameter corrugated drainage tube as an airlift tube rising from the bottom of the pond to the surface aerating and keeping the body of water moving.

The end of the 4" wide corrugated aeration tube at the bottom of the pond is stuffed with 1/2 of this foam to pre-filter the water coming in from the bottom of the pond.
s-l1600.jpg

There is a 1/2" clear air tube connected to an air pump with a homemade air stone fed thru the tiny hole at the bottom of the filter foam to filter the airlift. The end of the 4"corrugated pipe at the surface of the water is fed into the side of an open tote stuffed with more filter medium so the airlift water is filtered again as it comes out at the surface of the pond water and agitates the surface. I have a pillowcase inside the tote stuffed with pinky filters, activated carbon and those hollow black bio balls.
Here's the pond so you can see it .
I've cut off all the excess black tube and anchored it with slate stones so it's no longer visible at the water's surface. I must also tie some stones to the end of this tube that must be weighted to live at the bottom of the pond otherwise it would just float.
I'm thinking I may modify this by replacing the pre-filter foam with a coarse grate so that some larger gunk and solids could be sucked up from the bottom to the filters in the sack in the open tote at the top.

The problem I forsee with that of course is that my fry would be sacrificed in the filter along with the gunk.
Now for the skimmer I'm making. I have this 4' wide 50 gallon tote from Walmart sitting inside the shallow area of the pond.
993c4d44-3aba-4903-a42b-26fb596a4bd8_1.267421fe642e9d89f79d891bccddcd1d.jpeg

I put a 2" bulkhead near the top on one side and another near the bottom on the other side. A 4500 gph water pump is inside the bottom of the tote connected to one bulkhead to push water out. I use this type of 2" hose routed from that bulkhead outside the tote, around inside the shallow waters, then up to the waterfalls on the top of the mound.

The tote has utility netting across the top inside to catch leaves. Under that are pinky filters, blue and white filter medium. Below that are activated carbon, bio balls and a couple 22 pound bags of landscape lava rock. Below and to one side of all that is the previously mentioned water pump. I've tested it and it works except I have not cut the skimmer trap door at the top of one side of the tote yet..
I'm thinking of buying a skimmer door plate. OR, I may simply cut out the door opening and reattach it with gorilla tape just along its bottom edge. The gorilla tape across the bottom will act as a super easy piano hinge. Then I will gorilla tape a strip of foam to the inside of the door at the top. The foam strip will make the door lift by floating and close when the pump is not running.
What do you think? What dimensions of weir door should I cut out for this setup?
Thank you .
 
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I am so excited ! i cut the skimmer door about 18"w x 3" h and taped it back on at the bottom with gorrilla tape . I removed the airlift ftm because I want to modify it later.. But I connected the skimmer to the new waterfalls and it works ! i just sat outside and watched the falls while I watched the new skimmer suck every single leaf off the surface of the water. No more hard work for me with the net scooping out leaves. Now, I just need to do a lot of cosmetic work and some more plants. I also want tretro-fit a bottom drain similar to an aquarium under gravel filter. I will post a few photos later.
 

Mmathis

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I am so excited ! i cut the skimmer door about 18"w x 3" h and taped it back on at the bottom with gorrilla tape . I removed the airlift ftm because I want to modify it later.. But I connected the skimmer to the new waterfalls and it works ! i just sat outside and watched the falls while I watched the new skimmer suck every single leaf off the surface of the water. No more hard work for me with the net scooping out leaves. Now, I just need to do a lot of cosmetic work and some more plants. I also want tretro-fit a bottom drain similar to an aquarium under gravel filter. I will post a few photos later.
Great! Post a video, too!
 
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Here's the new waterfall. I put cement over the excavated clay. The steps are cinder blocks with concrete coated cement board and rebar. There's a 31" waterfall weir on top. There are no expensive tons of stones, nor heavy lifting machines involved.
DSCF2470 (2).jpg
DSCF2479 (2).jpg


Here's the 4 foot tote/skimmer at the opposite end of the pond. It discretely pulls in surface leaves , filters the water and sends it up to the waterfalls .
DSCF2605.jpg

Something's wrong with my camera's settings. I recorded this as video but it stored a zillion photos instead
 
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I removed the slate stones from the perimeter of the liner. I decided I don't like the randomly strewn stones. I like this shape instead. But I want to coat the liner with something like aquarium silicone or latex paint, then throw sand on it and let it dry. Maybe I can hide the liner with a sand coat and get some kind of beachy look. I want to do it this way because I don't want a ton of sand in the pond clogging and breaking the pumps.
 
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The tote didn't just happen to sit at the right depth in the water. I did have to coax it a bit by putting slate stones under it to get it to the desired height in the water. Here's what I did:
1)Mark where I wanted the skimmer door on the tote with a magic marker.
2) Cut the opening out with a knife. Reattach the cut out piece with a bottom hinge (gorilla tape)
3) Attach a bulkhead, attach the pump's output connection to the lower bulkhead inside the tote. Attach the blue hose to that bulkhead outside the tote. Route the hose inside the pond and around up to the waterfall weir on the mound. (I spray painted the blue hose that is above water to match the rock's color so it blends in.) (The 2nd bulkhead on the tote is for a hose going down to the bottom of the pond for a retrofitted bottom drain, to be done at a later date.)
4) Fill the tote with filter medium (pinky filter, air filter, landscape lava rock,etc.) Lay a few yards of utility netting on top of the filter medium.Put on the tote's lid and plug in the pump.
Enjoy the waterfalls and labor-free leaf removal 24/7.
I hope this very simple and cheap DIY skimmer project helps someone to make their own skimmer and bio filter in one easy submerged Walmart tote without spending a zillion dollars .
 
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addy1

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Nice write up! do you have any pictures of the tote skimmer build?
 
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I added a length of pool hose to the 2nd bullhead today and routed it to the bottom of the pond.
8-Swimming-Pool-Vacuum-Hose-1.5-50-foot-length-with-Swivel-End__-e1505567910256.jpg

And guess what ?.... It sucks in water too! It was a little tricky at first. I had to make sure it was all full of water to prime it. Also, I put the bottom end of the hose in a milk crate and put a big heavy rock in the milk crate to weight it down in the bottom of the pond 6 ft down .So, leaves are being sucked into a rectangular opening cut in the top of the Walmart tote. And dirty water from the bottom of the pond is being sucked thru the white hose into a bulkhead on one side of the tote. They're all passing through filter medium and then up to the waterfalls .
Today when I went out, the tote was floating and the water had stopped ! The filters were dirty already . I disconnected the blue hose from the waterfall weir and laid it on the ground so the water ran on the ground. I hand washed the filter mediums in the tote with a water hose and without lifting the tote out the pond. With the pump on, the muddy water from my washing ran off onto the ground. After hosing everything well and wringing the filters well, I put everything back together but this time I also put stones in the tote so it won't float next time when the filters clog. I think I'll put a few cinder blocks in there to keep it anchored . Thanks for the complement Addy1. I will take some photos of the build. It's amazing how filthy the filters have gotten in a few days. But the good thing is I'm sure the water is getting a lot cleaner!
 
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The skimmer door fell off due to gorrilla tape failure. It works fine without a door for the moment. I may look for another door later.
 
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Here are some photos of the skimmer
On the left , note the black water pump screwed to a bulkhead at the bottom of the tote .
DSCF2479 (4).JPG

The white hose on the right goes down to the bottom of the pond to suck up dirty water
DSCF2476 (4).JPG

This is a closeup of the pump connected thru the side of the tote to the flexible hose that runs up to the waterfalls
DSCF2478 (4).JPG

Here are 3 sacks of bio balls and in the white sack is activated carbon right above the pump. Below them is a layer of lava rock.
DSCF2482 (4).JPG

Then a layer of blue and a layer of pink filter medium.
DSCF2484 (2).JPG

Finally I spread out the utility mesh on top which catches the leaves. I put on the lid and plug in the water pump.
DSCF2486 (2).JPG

See the water sucking in from the bottom of the pond to be filtered
DSCF2488 (2).JPG

From the same front view see where leaves are sucked through the rectangular opening to be caught in the net.
DSCF2481.JPG

Here's the overall project with the skimmer in the front by the beach balls.
DSCF2479 (2).jpg
 

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I just spotted this drain catch basin that fits 3" & 4" corrugated drain pipe.
drain.JPG

This would be perfect to put at the bottom floor as a retro-fitted bottom drain connected to my airlift pipe. I could even add another airlift because there are 2 openings
 
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I have decided I will build a sand and gravel 55 gallon bucket next and hide it behind the left side of the mountain. I will do it like this guy s
 

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