DIY Stock Tank Filter

Discussion in 'DIY - Do It Yourself' started by koikeepr, May 7, 2010.

  1. koikeepr

    koikeepr

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    Here are some directions for plumbing a stock tank. The one in the photos is a Rubbermaid 150 gallon tank, but you can do this set up with a 100g one (or smaller). It is basically the same plumbing as a 55g barrel. I used this stock tank on my newest pond build you can find here.

    Here is the stock tank in question. I got mine from the Tractor Supply Company for $120 bucks, and I had a $5 coupon that I found online that I brought to the store with me. You can see that it has a 1 1/2" drain plug on the front, but I have completely ignored it because I want a bigger waste valve from below. You do not need to put it on as many blocks as I have. I needed to do this because I am trying to make the clearance of my crawl space under my screen porch. But you will need to put it on at least 1 set of blocks to get the waste pipe under it that I will show you later.

    [​IMG]

    Let's begin. I would go no smaller than 2" PVC to plumb this stock tank You will need to get a shower drain from Lowes/Home Depot to serve as the waste on the bottom floor of the tank. You can also use a bulkhead fitting here if you happen to have one laying around. The drains are normally 3" on top, but the pipe below it is 2". Nonetheless you will need to buy a 3 1/4" holesaw from Lowes (so that it will fit the 3" drain). You simply drill a hole through the tank bottom, and clamp your drain on. You then grab some P&L Roofing and Flashing Sealant (in the caulk aisle) and work it in around your drain above and below.

    [​IMG]

    Next, we'll make the inlet and the outlet holes on the side of the stock tank. I decided to make them both on the same side of the tank, so I wouldn't have pipe wrapping around both sides, and I wanted to avoid that 1 1/2" drain, as I mentioned earlier. Go to the electrical/conduit section of Home Depot and get two 2" (or 3", if you've decided to plumb your tank with 3" pipe like I did) male and two 2" female grey conduit adapters. They screw right into eachother as seen below. You put the female on one side, and the male on the other side of the tank wall and they screw very tightly together. DO NOT USE PVC FITTINGS FOR THIS TASK! PVC does not have the same type of close fit threading to clamp tightly together. Use P&L Roofing and Flashing Sealant all around the inside and outside of the fitting to prevent leaks.

    Make sure that your upper exit pipe is at least 3-4 inches down from the top of your stock tank rim.

    [​IMG]
     
    koikeepr, May 7, 2010
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  2. koikeepr

    koikeepr

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    Next build what I call the "swirler." It is simply two elbows at the end of of a pipe with one facing in each direction. This opbject will go on the bottom inlet conduit fitting, and will help incoming water swirl around as it enters the stock tank. This effect helps the crap go down while clean water rises to exit out the top pipe. Sediment sinks, while clean water floats. Do not glue any of these fittings together, so you can remove this fitting if you need to clean around it, etc.

    [​IMG]

    Now, just push it tightly into the bottom conduit fitting in your stock tank as so:

    [​IMG]

    Next go to Lowe's in the drop ceiling section, and buy two light grids. They are a tad brittle, so be careful not to drop these. The lower area of the stock tank has a 1" shelf going all round the tank, and this is the perfect place to rest these light grids. You simply use a pair of snips (I used tin snips I had around, and keep cutting the grid until it perfectly fits into the tank on each side as such. It is tedious, but once you shape one, you can just use it as a guide to create the second one.

    [​IMG]

    Now let's build a small support rack out of 3/4" pipe and elbow fittings. This little rack will support the grids in the center so they don't bend and crack under the weight of your media. You don't glue these fitting in together either. You goal is to cut to a height at the top of the 1" lip your grid is sitting on.

    [​IMG]
     
    koikeepr, May 7, 2010
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  3. koikeepr

    koikeepr

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    When you've got all the piece put together, it looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    Now you can put whatever media you like in your stock tank on top of the grid. My recommendation is that whatever you use, put it in a mesh bag(s) so it stays in place. I make bags out of bird netting. If you are making a bio/mechanical filter, than you would next lay your layer of foam sponge or matala mats on top of the grill. Matala mats are great for this because they come in a size that you can literally cut to fit this tank. I would use an green and black one. On top of this sponge, you can then put your bio media. In my case, I used 1/2" poly strapping that you can buy on Ebay very inexpensively. Here is what it looks like. It is literally the stuff that is used around large boxes when they are shipped to keep everything together.

    [​IMG]

    You just unspool it onto your bird netting that will form a bag as such:

    [​IMG]

    Then with a few zip ties (cable ties), you make your bag. I prefer to make a 3 small bundles, rather than one big bag. It's easier to handle then.

    [​IMG]
     
    koikeepr, May 7, 2010
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  4. koikeepr

    koikeepr

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    Now, you can see the bags inside the tank. You need to push it in a bit deeper than what you see here, however. This photo illustrates the top pipe which you see exits the stock tank to your waterfall. This pipe needs to be slightly higher than your waterfall, so that it gravity flows downward. Of course, all pipes that are on the outside of your stock tank are glued with purple primer and heavy duty PVC glue. Only the pipes on the inside can have no glue.

    [​IMG]

    The pipe on the bottom in this photo is coming from the pump. It's the inlet connected to that swirly thing inside the tank. I've used hard pipe, but you can use flexible pipe just as easily. It is important to use a swing check valve (flapper style) so that if your pump power goes off, all this water in the stock tank does not go flying back into the pond and overflow things.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the check valve sitting on the top of my external pump (not yet connected). You can do the same thing with a submersible. I paid extra for a clear one so I can see if anything gets trapped inside it, but you can get the standard white ones.

    [​IMG]
     
    koikeepr, May 7, 2010
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  5. koikeepr

    koikeepr

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    Okay, now lets work on the waste pipe. If you turn the stock tank over, you will see a gridwork of supports underneath it. You want to get your drain in the very center where there is no supports to make it easier to poke a hole through. We already set the drain in earlier, so now we want to make the connections underneath.

    You put a 2" PVC pipe here with a ball valve to close or open the waste. I caution you not to use the crappy ball valves they sell at home depot or lowes for this job, as this will be the ball valve you will open and close every week to to get rid of waste and do partial water changes from. So, a good quality ball valve from a plumbing supply place is important. I used a cheapy Home Depot one on a barrel a few years back and it began leaking after a few months. Your waste design can have the ball valve going horizontally if you like and doesn't have to look like it does here. I'm taking advantage of the fact that I've got 3 cinder blocks of height. If you tank is lower, you may have to have your ball valve jut out and forward horizontally. This doesn't really matter.

    [​IMG]

    In the photo, I have not yet attached a flex pipe to the end, but you get the picture. The waste then just goes out to my yard.

    That's pretty much it in terms of plumbing a stock tank. I hope this helps someone take on this task!
     
    koikeepr, May 7, 2010
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  6. koikeepr

    jason081180

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    Thank you so much for this. I'm building mine next week and would have used a crappy ball valve from home depot or such. I think mine will only be on 1 cinder block though. Again a great explanation on how to build one.
     
    jason081180, May 7, 2010
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  7. koikeepr

    clive xavier

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    great picto-tutorial! i noticed a lot of people seem to run their inlet filter pipe over the top and then down... is this just because of possible leakage? do you have any leakage?

    i went with a sequence 1000 series, 6300 with a 23' head based on running it up over the top. (seller just told me today SEQUENCE has changed them out i'm getting the newer sequence 1000 series 6000 with more head $445 shipped after BCB)

    wow. 40 bones for all that media. that has to be the cheapest solution out there.

    nice work.
     
    clive xavier, May 7, 2010
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  8. koikeepr

    koikeepr

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    Sequence pumps are awesome, and you will love it! I have one on my old pond without incident. I like running my filter with an upflow because crud is heavy and it sinks down. So, I want to be able to flush that out, while clear water is light and will float. Hence the outflow on top.

    Strapping media is awesome. I currently have bacti-twist in my current barrel, which is totally awesom media, but lordy is it pricey!! Strapping is a great alternative at a way cheaper price.
     
    koikeepr, May 8, 2010
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  9. koikeepr

    3qtkidz

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    This is just in time - We will be starting this same task very soon. The pictures help me so much, but I know I will have more questions very soon.

    Did you happen to have a complete supply list of the piping and fittings you purchased.

    Also the poly strapping, Can that seriously be from the boxes. My mom works at a warehouse and I can get that stuff all day long.

    Thanks so much for the pictures they are awesome!

    How long did this project take you to build.

    Did you do that anti-syphon thing on here? I am not sure what I am looking for.
     
    3qtkidz, May 8, 2010
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  10. koikeepr

    koikeepr

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    Hey there. Yes, it is the stuff from the boxes. Tell your mom to bring it home and just stuff it into mesh bags of bird netting. The whole thing took maybe 2 hours to build, I would guesstimate.

    What do you mean by anti-siphon? That is the check valve on my pump, which is what you are referring to. It will help the water not back out of the tank if the power goes out. Is that what you mean?
     
    koikeepr, May 8, 2010
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  11. koikeepr

    3qtkidz

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    Exactly, ok - terminology difference (sorry about that) hmmm. I thought that was something you did on the filter.
    I am not sure how I can had that to my pump. My pump just sits on the bottom on the pond.
     
    3qtkidz, May 8, 2010
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  12. koikeepr

    koikeepr

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    No, it's nothing I've done to my filter. It's a check valve. You can buy one at Lowes/Home Depot (buy the flapper kind and not the spring kind). It prevents water in your pipes/filter from sliding back to the pond in case of a power outage and your pump goes out.
     
    koikeepr, May 9, 2010
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  13. koikeepr

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    this is good design for remote locating the filter, with an external pump, bottom drain, and hard piping. but with an submersable pump and hose, and pondside location, i would plumb as most of us do (did)..and because mine is buried and the bottom of my tank is even below ponds water surface. and plumbing in from the lower input, its under ground if a leak occured you may never even find it. then water under the stocktank may washout or settle soil and allow the tank to set uneven. especially with a direct return via a waterfall weir. and i wouldnt want to hard pipe mine in at pond side either. for winter its so much easier to remove a clamp and pull the pump and hose out for storage. of corse your milder winters allow you to do this.
     
    koiguy1969, May 9, 2010
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  14. koikeepr

    koikeepr

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    for those of us with hard piping, install lots of fernco rubber coupler fittings and you can equally as easily remove all the components. In the winter my entire piping system can be completely drained of water and I can put my pump away should I choose to do so.
     
    koikeepr, May 9, 2010
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  15. koikeepr

    3qtkidz

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    Do you have an idea of your total cost for completing the filter? Just curious.
    My husband thinks it will be cheaper to just go buy a filter. Help save me.
     
    3qtkidz, May 10, 2010
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  16. koikeepr

    koikeepr

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    The stock tank was $120, and the light grids were $22, the fittings/pipe were around $10-15, and then the cost of watever media you decide on.

    On your pond, you could get away with the 100g stock tank, which I think was $69. If you go with a 55g barrel, those can be gotten for free at car washes (it's what they put car soap in).
     
    koikeepr, May 10, 2010
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  17. koikeepr

    3qtkidz

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    Found a stock tank across the street at a feed store for $100 but if I want to take a little drive 50 miles I could get it for $69. at a Tractor Supply. Decisions, Decisions.

    ok - is the water coming in from the pond at the bottom (swirler) and going out at the top am I correct on this. And all pipes are 2".

    I am so ready to get this project going.
     
    3qtkidz, May 10, 2010
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  18. koikeepr

    koikeepr

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    Yes, you are correct. Pond water enters at bottom and clean water exits at top. You would use all 2" pipe, correct!

    If you have a submersible and your stock tank is smaller, you can totally get away with 1 1/2" pipe (and it can be flex pipe if you need it to be, but you'd need to get the proper fittings to be able to attach flex pipe. If you go to Lowe's, they sell these fittings in the same area where the sump pumps are.
     
    koikeepr, May 10, 2010
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  19. koikeepr

    3qtkidz

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    What type of sealant should I use that is save. Just simple caulk. Also, do you use that blue sealant for the PVC pipe.

    Thinking about starting to purchase some supplies. Still very nervous about starting this project.
     
    3qtkidz, May 11, 2010
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  20. koikeepr

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    i use aquarium sealent when i build filters. ive built four an a $4.00 squeeze tube.
     
    koiguy1969, May 11, 2010
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