Intake for 55 gallon bio filter

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I started building my bio filter today and am confused about where the intake should be. Some of the examples I've seen have the intake coming from the top of the barrell, down pvc to the swirler at the bottom. Others have the intake coming from the bottom to the swirler. What's the difference?
 
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koiguy1969

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from the top down is the only way i would do it if your buiding a waterfall around it at ponds edge. if you run it in thru the bottom and theres ever a problem with the hose connection you could have a leak and not know it. and have to dig it up to fix it if a leak should occur. also with a simple tee pipe as i use on my filters where the down pipe starts it will break the syphon effect,so you eliminate the need for a checkvalve to stop backflow of waste material to the pond if for any. reason your pump should stop
 
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Thanks koiguy!! I am following everyone's advice and reading everything I can find, but I get overwhelmed by the conflicting information. I've seen your filter and am going to build it like yours. Please don't think I'm a doofus, what is the purpose of the shower drains?
 

koiguy1969

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i use them for my output and flush valve connections to the filter housing...they give a truly strong water tight connection. i use them in lieu of bulkheads.
 
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