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nitasher

Rubbermaid...

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I have never heard of plastic canvas! What is it? Got a picture? (I'm asking toothless if HE has a picture! :D ) I was thinking a down spout strainer covered with a knee high nylon stocking and this over the hose/pipe leading back to the tank. (Gravity will do most of the work.) I am also thinking of adding a second pipe/hose an inch or two above the first as a fail safe. This hose was going to join into the first hose, but if it was plugged up with gunk...well that wouldn't work. This hose would then need to enpty into the tank as well. (maybe I can hide most of the "workings" in the back!)

I have been looking at sump filters and most have dividers. What do you think about using this same idea of dividers to force the water around in the filter and around the plant roots and bio-balls. (How do I explain this?) If you are looking down at the filter from the top you would divide the container lengthwise, using two pieces of plasic that are two thirds the length of the container. One piece of plastic would be attached to the bottom and one short side of the filter (the piece is running lengthwise and standing on the long edge) and the other piece of plastic is attached to the botttom and the oppisite short side. The water would then be forced to flow in an "S" shaped river.

Of course, this idea could be me trying to fix a problem that just does not exist! Wouldn't be the first time!! :rolleyes: I am thinking of dead spots in the water and not enough flow through the bio-balls. The bio-ball slowing the movement of the water/deflecting the water so that it doesn't accually go through the bio-balls. Am I making any sense?

I'm not building the pond right now! We might be moving so why make something else to move. ;) I am going to make the filter though and use it on the tank my goldies are in now. It is a 29 gallon with two goldies (one common and one fancy) and a 6 inch common pleco. I think I am a little over stocked so the extra water volume is wanted/needed. I am also thinking a 10 gallon plant filter. The bigger the better.

How many bio-balls would I need? What is the best kind, 1'', 1 1/2"? Does the guy who sells the power head sell the bio-balls? What is a good price for them? Oh, do I need two power heads, or will one be good enough for now?

You would think I would run out of questions, but like with everything else, the more I know, the more I know that I don't know much at all!

Anita

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Thats exactly how I feel every day! :blink:

Well, the stocking over the screen for the outlet to the pond/tank would need a cage to keep the stocking open with more surface area. Unless of course, you were to get a bottom drain That already employs a cage.

The drains should be at the top end of the filters so that during power outtages, all of the water would not completely drain back into the tank/pond. Both drains (common and failsafe) should be at the top really. This will keep the plant roots and bioballs wet and viable during an outtage.

In my opinion, the s shaped channel through the plantfilter is an awesome idea but might be a little too much.

As far as bio-balls go, yes, you can get them at BigAls. Go for the cheapos and whatever size you like. Again, your application doesn't need "peak" performance at "peak" prices. For a 10 gallon plantfilter I would say 3-4 gallons would be more than enough. Check there for prices and volume.

You wont really need to worry about dead spots with the gph were shooting for. If you can get 250 gph coming out of the plantfilter, you've got enough filtration for a 50 gallon tank while having enough current in the plantfilter. That is, considering the size and nitrification capacity of the plantfilter.

One powerhead/pump should be plenty. the 802 powerhead should be capable of doing what you need it to do. Although, if you really wanted the assurance of a real sump, go with the pump in this link: mag drive A little tweaking is all it will take to connect the aquaclear prefilter to the mag drive pump. Or you can use the spongefilter that comes with it. Since this pump will push 500gph sumberged with no hoses, by the time it pushes water up 1 1/2 to 2 feet, the gph will be reduced. I'm still looking for the tech specs on these pumps so that I can get a general idea of what the gph will be going into the plantfilter. I'll let you know what i find.

Oh and by the way, heres a pic of plastic canvas: plastic canvas

That stuff works really well with a little fishing line to tie the panels together. Add aquarium sealant to the joints for a great bond.

Good luck with the plantfilter! :lol:

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For the plastic canvas, its called Aida, if I remember right. I see it all the time in the stitchery section of the craft store, and its mostly for smaller children learning how to do needle work.

Paul, your drawing is really good. That is exactly the same in- and output I am using, and its practically impossible to have the filter completely empty back into the tank/pond. It automatically stops at the lowest pipe that comes either in or out, in my case it doesn't drain more than about 2 inches off of the top.

With all that plant filter talk I wonna go to HD tomorrow and find some of those plants that Betty has.... :lol:

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I've been sick over the weekend and had a bit of time on my hands to meddle with ideas for you (and for me as well). I'm finally starting to feel better today. Wich is good because i'm getting tired of sitting on my duff..... :rolleyes:

Anyway, I had a little lightbulb go off in my head last night and came up with this idea:

The black tab on top is the inlet

The two on the bottom are the outlet

The red boxes encasing the outlets is the plastic canvas. (sorry I forgot to mention what its used for)

The round containers are the plant pots (plant baskets are best)

The blue balls are of course, bio-balls

And last but not least, the yellow bar is a centerbrace to keep the plastic from bowing out. This can be constructed very easily with almost anything you can think of. (I would heatwarp a strip of plastic to "clip" on it myself)

post-1193-1109695174_thumb.jpg

post-1193-1109695224_thumb.jpg

With this setup and the proper gph for the actual gallonage of the pond, you will achieve awesome water quality for your fish!

Im seriously getting excited about doing this for myself someday soon! In my current place, I don't have the room. Someday............ :)

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Oh yeah, andrea. Were you talking about the peace lilies? If so, those things are awesome nitrAte eaters and great marginals (they get big and lush). I think you gotta hit them up with some phosphorous to get them to bloom but I never worry about the blooms anyway, they look great. :D

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Toothless. you have to be joking! I was thinking last night about using a planter box but running the water from end to end. Your way is better. More water turbulance in the filter. Maintainance will be a breeze with this set-up. Pull the plants out, vaccuum (being careful of the floaters), put the plants back in.

How will you attach the canvas? Being able to remove them for cleaning is a must.

Ebay is selling bio-balls for less than Al's, but with shipping and the power head...! We are still working on details! I just want to built it! Of course I still need the plants, but I can always get them later.

I hope I've made so sense!? My DS are very much "little boys" this morning! LOL

Anita

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Anita, if you use a small plastic container with holes instead of the canvas, then you can remove it very easily, and it doesn't fall apart like the canvas. I find those in dollar stores, they have holes all over. Put it with the top of the container towards the hole for the outputs, and the whole output hole is surrounded by the container with the holes, with no way for the bio balls, or floating plants, to escape through the holes into the main tank.

Peace lilies, yes! Thanks, Paul, that was the plant I was looking for! :lol:

Glad you are feeling better today, nothing worse than knocked out by a lousy cold! :hug

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Thats too funny that you were thinking along those same lines! :lol:

I was actually thinking of the plastic canvas being glued into place with silicone. Since this is the single most important part of the filter to keep running properly, I think it needs to be "set in stone", know what I mean? If one of the baskets were to be accidentaly bumped out of the way or whatever, the holes would quickly clog with debris. After all, this is an indoor pond and leaks and/or overflows could be disastrous.

All in all, this is these will be the only peices that will be permanently attached to the unit. Heck, later on, if need be, it can actually be pried off and replaced.

In my diagram above, the plastic canvas goes all the way to the bottom. You can secure separate panels of plastic canvas together with fishing line by weaving the line in and out of the holes on the edge of the panels. After the panels are tied together, you clip the excess line and swab the joints with silicone to secure them better. Then, let it dry while it is sitting in the shape it needs to be. once its dry, you silicone it it to the sides of the plantfilter. You'll find that you can create a very strong bond if you score (with the sharp tip of a pair of shears or a screw or something) the inside of the plantfilter where the plastic canvas is to be joined to it. This gives the silicone a little extra meat to grab onto and create its bond. The fact that the plastic canvas will have a little bit of a void where the outlet is will allow you to push a brush down and into it to clear any debris that may have buit up. On the planted side of the plastic canvas, you will have plenty of room to reach in and clear debris.

Honeslty though, either way will work just fine. :D

Oh and a little tip for when you are doing maintenence on the plantfilter:

While you are vucuuming and moving stuff around in the plantfilter, Place gravel vac vacuum bags over the return hose at the water surface and rubber band them there. This will catch any of the brown gunk that makes it out of the plantfilter through the returns. Once the cleaning is done and the water in the plantfilter has settled or cleared up a bit, remove the vacuum bags and rinse them for next time. ;)

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It worked! :lol:

Well, To be honest, it looks like a good deal and all. I just don't trust powerheads all that much. They are designed to push water around IN the tank, not to push the water OUT of the tank. Now, this doesn't mean that they dont do just that. They will and they do a good job of it. It's just that when there's a power outtage or surged, air bubbles can get caught in the immpeller assembly. In a powerhead, this can spell trouble. The bubble has to be expelled before the water can begin pumping up the tube. Actual water pumps like the danner/supreme don't jam in this fashion. If the power goes out, the pump primes itself automatically. Its all in the differences in design and intended purposes......

I mean, you could certainly try a powerhead. But, I think Betty has had a few surprises from her use of a powerhead for a waterpump. Maybe she could elaborate a bit on them. :)

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I am still quite new to Aquarium gadgets! Which on of these...

http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/catego...id1=2181;pcid2=

...do I want? They don't tell me ghp so I just do not know. Plus, how will I adjust the flow of water? I've got a 30 gallon now but when I build my pond, (the reason for this topic) it will be 60 or more gallons. (Oh how they grow!) Should I just get one now and a different one for the bigger pond? Can these pumps be used outside? (Thinking about moving the whole thing out doors for the summer!)

Anita

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Here is probably the very best page for info on the Mag drive/supreme line of pumps:

Link

In my honest opinion, if your pond is going to be 60+ gallons but no more than 75 gallons, You should pick the mag 5. Running it at full blast should reap you about 450 gallons per hours. That is because the head pressure will be at 1 foot. Head pressure is when the pump has to push the water up a tube out of the water a distance. Its the backpressure that forms That slows the gph down a bit.

Now, if your pond is going to be 50-60 gallons, go with the mag 3. For the exact reasons listed above.

There are ball valves that you can get at pretty much any hardware store and they come with different connection sizes. Just try to find one that is meant for the tubing you will have to use for the pump you buy. (the page Privided above tells you the connector sizes. Wit hthis handy little gadjet, you will be able to set the flow in the pond at a completely custom setting.

Incidentely, the hoses or plumbing you use for the water returns from the plantfilter should be made out ofa larger pipe than you use for the intake tube. I would suggest 3/4 inch inner diameter tubing or plumbing. This way, you will avoind the pitfalls of not having enough return flow to keep the waterlevel steady in the plantfilter. ;)

Hope this helps! :D

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sorry to barge in here, but i have some questions if you all don't mind.

my plan was to purchase a 50 gal rubbermaid bin to make an outdoor pond. i have a very minimal (ok, non-exsistant) budget. so i was going to make a filter for the pond myslef. that's why i came to this bb. i was reading this thread and getting tons of info. but i'm a little confused about some things.

i LOVED the lava rock, trickle tower filter idea! and it doesn't even sound too difficult for me. but i don't understand. is that all you would need? is it a complete filter? and how does it do it? i mean i don't understand it i guess. to me it looks like it pulls water out of the pond. and then just sprays it on top of the lava rock to trickle down. is that it? that keeps your water clean? sorry to be a dunce, i'm so new to this stuff. but i love learning and i love being crafty.

also i was looking at those pumps ( the mags) just can't afford that. but might be able to afford a power head. could that work for the trikcle tower thing?

also, i WAS going to do the rubbermaid thing, but loved the photos of the box, home built, with a liner, ponds!! those are great! but how do you all figure out how many gallones you got? if you build it yourself how do you figure that out? i mean i would want at least 50 gals. more if i can afford to build it that big.

if i can't do the trickle tower, i just LOVE the planter, plant filter idea!! how cool is that?? does it matter what type of plants you have in it? how many? how big they have to be to start with?

sorry to steal the thread, you were just talking about everything i was working on anyway!

TIA!

cyn

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No worries! :D

The laval rock bio-filter is indeed ran by a pump. However, before the water gets drawn into the pump to be moved, it is filtered through a sponge filter. Basically, just a sponge covered tube that is connected to the pump. This sponge is what is actually keeping the water free of debris. The laval rock is just a good place to grow tons of beneficial bacteria to keep the water free of ammonia and nitrItes.

While a powerhead might do just fine. It still stands a large chance of jamming up in some way if used in the scenario in this thread. Of course, there are some other ways to go about filtration that includes a powerhead instead of an in-line pump. Basically, it would be a contained unit that sits submerged in the water. A small bucket filled with laval rock and a sponge for a pre-filter would be the main stuff to work on. More on that later.

As for sizes and gallonage, I like to use a tank calculator to do the figuring. Here is a link to one: tank calculator

for plants, I really like the fast growing plants like peace lilies, pothos ivy, philodendron and other, succulent type of plants. Some plants are listed as being toxic to animals so, ask if you don't know. As for size, You could start out with a few 1 inch plants and by a single seasons end, you will have a lush, green, plantfilter! :D

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask! ;)

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Sorry, I been way too busy at work and had to cut down on my online stuff. Totally forgot about this thread till Paul mentioned it.

That's a neat design!

Heres the pump (the 480) that I ended up getting to run the plant filter

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod...64&N=2004+22788

It's a mag drive pump, has a foam prefilter and comes with various attachments. The aquaclear quickfilter fits nicely on it.

Andrea: I had a few potted plants in the filter till I added the trickle tower. I built a plant holder out of plastic canvas for the ivy and peace lillies. When I added the new pump, I also replumbed it using large PVC for the return and hose with a one-way valve for the pump side.

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Yep, that ViaAqua pump is a good one, and similar to the ones I use all the time - made by Aquus, and called Surge pumps. They both seem to have the same design, and its virtually impossible to kill them. One of the pump's impeller finally gave in after around 4 years of use, and it hardly ever clogs. Which is important when you have plants - plant parts always get caught up in the prefilter of the pump, and some pumps just stop working completely.

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I'd like to get a 30 gallon rubbermaid tub for an isolation tank while I re-do the baby koi tank to rid it of algae. I'm using some fishless cycling for it, and I need somewhere to put the baby koi for a few days. What would you suggest for this? Since it's only a few days, I'm not sure if I'd need support around the plastic. What type of Rubbermaid should I use for this temporary pond?

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I'd like to get a 30 gallon rubbermaid tub for an isolation tank while I re-do the baby koi tank to rid it of algae. I'm using some fishless cycling for it, and I need somewhere to put the baby koi for a few days. What would you suggest for this? Since it's only a few days, I'm not sure if I'd need support around the plastic. What type of Rubbermaid should I use for this temporary pond?

The 50 gallon rubbermaid stock tank is great! Large surface area and sounds like it would be a nice match for a few days worth of holding fish :)

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I'd like to get a 30 gallon rubbermaid tub for an isolation tank while I re-do the baby koi tank to rid it of algae. I'm using some fishless cycling for it, and I need somewhere to put the baby koi for a few days. What would you suggest for this? Since it's only a few days, I'm not sure if I'd need support around the plastic. What type of Rubbermaid should I use for this temporary pond?

The 50 gallon rubbermaid stock tank is great! Large surface area and sounds like it would be a nice match for a few days worth of holding fish :)

Hello,

Since the last post was in 2006, most of the people in this thread may not be around any more.

For future reference, we typically only read threads whose last posts are old than three months, and do not reply to them. This way, they can stay in the archives for consultation, but are not part of the active discussion. :)

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