DIY Stock Tank Filter

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Hello,
I am in the planning stages of my first koi pond. My pond is going to be 12x10x4 with a bottom drain and a skimmer. This pond will be feed by a header pond that will be 6x5x18". The header pond will be filled with water lettuce/celery. My plan was to use the header pond to act as a filter. From my understanding, the plants use the nitrates from the water to grow thus keeping the water clean and clear. I have read a lot about bio-filters. This also sounds like a good way to add additional filtering at a low cost. The reason for the header pond, was to make everything look as natural as possible.
OK, to the question, Do you feel that the additional bio-filter is really needed when using a header pond?
Thanks
Don
 
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koiguy1969

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the neccessity of filtration is based on the number, size, and mostly the feeding of the fish, amount, frequency, and even what your feeding....10, 15" koi in a 1000 gal pond is likely gonna need more filtration than those same fish in a 10,000 gal pond. the pond itself will have surface area for bacterial growth, the header pond will as well. and the stream if you have one. so, as long as you dont stock your pond heavy,your likely safe without an additional biofilter, but its being there will add to the efficiency or effectiveness of the system. ...having it can allow you a higher fish load.
 
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I love this thread. I built a Skippy last year but, didn't do the grid support. I sure wish I would have! I'm already up and running (had to make a new grid) for this year but, next year I will make a grid support....
 

koiguy1969

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i posted this one a few years back....hes a breeder and uses these. its alittle different than a skippy but is an upflow filter. most of us here who built an upflow filter (skippy style) have incorperated flush valves.... eliminating the build up of debris and fishwaste from the system is a big plus. with this build, i would prefilter because this setup keeps the water aggetated and doesnt allow for as much settling of debris. whereas the skippy style gently swirls the water and lets the debris settle to the bottom of filter. the inventor of the skippy didnt incorperate a flush valve. but its an improvement most here have added. a 2" shower drain mounted on the sidewall as close the bottom as possible works quite well as a flush valve as well, and is simpler to do.
 
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Thanks! That is why I keep coming back. Think I will build a standard skipp style with the clean out drain.
icewaterdon
 
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Well I have decided to quit being a wimp and try to build my Skippy Filter. We have all the materials finally I believe. I am nervous about cutting into my 150gal Rubbermaid Stock Tank. All the information posted here is fantastic and with all the pictures if I mess up it certainly won't be because I don't have the information. Wish me luck.
 
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In your opinion, what is the best way to make your outflow for your waterfall? A closet flange or a couple of pipes? If my input is a 2" pipe, then my outflow must be 4", right? Would it be better to use a 4inch closet flange or 2 or 3/ 2" pipes?
 
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Looking for Cheap filter media. I have a question. If I drill a PVC pipe full of holes and cut it into 2 inch pieces, do you think that would make a good filter media?
 

addy1

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You can use almost anything with texture for filter material. Cut pvc would work, if you roughen up the pipe with some sand paper, that will make the surface even rougher, more texture for the bacteria to grab to.

We used shower drains for our piping, we just had 2 inch in and out, but ours was just a temporary filter set up. Coated the drain with black pl roofing goop, still does not leak, gets rain in it, I need to get the top covered lol.
 

koiguy1969

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i used a weir on my filter.. much better than any arrangement of pipes for an output. a 2" input doesnt demand a 4" output. the amount of water pumped thru the filter determines the output size demands. 1000gph is still 1000gph no matter the pipe size. my 9" weir easily handles 3000gph.and could go much more. a 4" flange has to be mounted too low on the tank and wastes volume in the tank. a weir mounts up close to the lip of the tank. this allows for a significant increase of media room. i do have a weir available if your interested..they also allow the water to flow out in a sheet like a waterfall, not like the water out of a hose.
heres a link to my weirs...there are about 1/2 dozen people on this site who have bought them and everyone seems very happy with them.
http://www.gardenpon...or-diy-filters/
heres a link to my filter build:
http://www.gardenpon...y-style-filter/
it shows the weir installed
side note: the way the swirl pipes are assembled in this thread are incorrect. notice they would just blast the water straight out against the wall. this will not create the desired swirl or whirlpool effect. this is neccessary to gather and settle debris and suspended particulates in the bottom of the filter. the way shown here will likely break them down more and allow them to collect in the biomedia.
 
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I built my Skippy Bio-Filter today. As I was looking for the scotch brite pads, I run across these pool noodles. My understanding media material can be almost anything that the bacteria can attach. So, I bought 15 of these and started cutting them into pieces around 2".
I took extra care to make sure that the pieces were cut with a smooth cut to reduce the fine material.
Any thoughts before I finish cutting the rest of them?
 

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addy1

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Looks good to me, we use those all of the time in florida. They have a bunch at the pool that are used constantly, they don't break down fast at all.
 
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Anyone ever use those plastic practice golf balls with all the holes in them for media material?
I could not get the water noodles to stay under water. To much buoyancy.
I added weight, but it still could not hold the light grate down.
 
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How much beneficial bacteria would I need for a 100 gallon filter, filtering a 4000 gallon pond. Or do I need to add it at all?
The pond is brand new this past weekend.
Thanks
icewaterdon
 
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Building my first filter in a 100 gallon stock tank, wondering if there is any benefit to adding air into the filter? If so, where would be the best place? Thanks
 

mew5280

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could you do this with a 150 and put another layer of the light grid on the next level so the strapping is sandwiched and have plants on top of the grid to add addt'l filtering?
I built my Skippy filter using the Rubbermaid stock tank 4 years ago with a submersible pump. In those 4 years I have never turned it off and for the first time in the 7 years prior, my water became clear after about a week. So I'm a BIG fan of these. I DID add plants to the top. I first filled the filter with cut pieces of filter media, then threw in some water lettuce I think it's called. It goes crazy with water and sun. It comes back to life every Spring after dying through the winter. HOWEVER..... my clean water drains out into the pond from a pipe near the top of the filter and at least once a year the plant roots restrict the water from flowing at a full force and it starts leaking out the BACK of the filter into the yard and drains the pond. Of course I watch my pond carefully and it's never fully drained but this is one drawback to using plants. I am going to take the whole thing apart soon though and re-do it because the plants are just too overgrown. Possibly thinking of putting them in pond buckets this time.

This photo is four years old. I'll have to find a photo of the overgrown version. The plants COMPLETELY cover the tank. I have to cut them back. Water lettuce is especially bad, it just grows and grows and grows. I think that's the name, feel free to correct me.
IMG_4524.JPG
 
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What I have found with a Rubbermaid stock tank is that once I cut a hole for something, it was hard to stop leaks as not much sticks to that
material. I shifted my skippy filter around and I had to plug a slot I had cut out. I was able to patch it finally with some Firestone lap cement and
a patch with sheet metal. I have read where if you have small screw holes you can fill them with a butane torch and a flat blade.
 
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