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Thread: DIY Filters

  1. #21
    Jumbo bighatbulls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chang26k View Post
    Would styrofoam work for boi-media or would there be too much chem in the styrofoam?

    I need a backflush system and I already have a 55gal just need to make it.

    We are experimenting with sliced pool noodles from the dollar store, they are a closed cell foam of some sort, but they are not styrofoam. However styrofoam will float just like my pool noodle media, so you will need something to keep it in the container. My worries about styrofoam is that it will degrade over a short period of time, and those degraded bits might pose a problem.

  2. #22
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bighatbulls View Post
    We are experimenting with sliced pool noodles from the dollar store, they are a closed cell foam of some sort, but they are not styrofoam. However styrofoam will float just like my pool noodle media, so you will need something to keep it in the container. My worries about styrofoam is that it will degrade over a short period of time, and those degraded bits might pose a problem.
    I know ponders who have used "cut up" PVC pipe for bio-media.
    A lot of work... a lot of PVC 'dust'... for a mediocre media in my opinion.

    I know another ponder that is happy with Bio-Strata.
    The problem with Bio-Strata is you almost have to design the 'filter box' to "fit" the Bio-Strata.

  3. #23
    Jumbo bighatbulls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    I know ponders who have used "cut up" PVC pipe for bio-media.
    A lot of work... a lot of PVC 'dust'... for a mediocre media in my opinion.

    I know another ponder that is happy with Bio-Strata.
    The problem with Bio-Strata is you almost have to design the 'filter box' to "fit" the Bio-Strata.
    Ric, I have used small PVC I had to do clean up work to get rid of the dust and the little tags. That stuff also floats and would work itself through the plumbing of the style filter I have. So the year we tried those we ended up replacing them with lava rock.

  4. #24
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by bighatbulls View Post
    Ric, I have used small PVC I had to do clean up work to get rid of the dust and the little tags. That stuff also floats and would work itself through the plumbing of the style filter I have. So the year we tried those we ended up replacing them with lava rock.
    Careful Bighatbulls!!! "Rock" is a four letter word around here!

  5. #25
    Jumbo bighatbulls's Avatar
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    LOL, that was before I got involved with Koi Bito, Ric

  6. #26
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bighatbulls View Post
    We are experimenting with sliced pool noodles from the dollar store, they are a closed cell foam of some sort, but they are not styrofoam. However styrofoam will float just like my pool noodle media, so you will need something to keep it in the container. My worries about styrofoam is that it will degrade over a short period of time, and those degraded bits might pose a problem.
    "Closed Cell" is a problem as is UV degradation.
    UV will attack styrofoam (and virtually any other light colored plastic) slowly causing it to shed fine particles of "plastic dust" into the water. Packing peanuts are horrible as they easily break into smaller bits and pieces to the point that you need a fine mesh strainer to keep them in the filter.
    Closed cell substrates reduce surface area available for colonization and defeat your purpose. Black fish netting, bird netting, etc... are popular with some folks as is the black plastic strapping used for heavy packing boxes. The Carbon Black makes the material virtually UV bullet-proof, yields a relatively large surface area, and is a breeze to maintain with little more than a few good "shakes" of the loose bundle and a quick rinse with pond water.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  7. #27
    Jumbo bighatbulls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaBear View Post
    "Closed Cell" is a problem as is UV degradation.
    UV will attack styrofoam (and virtually any other light colored plastic) slowly causing it to shed fine particles of "plastic dust" into the water. Packing peanuts are horrible as they easily break into smaller bits and pieces to the point that you need a fine mesh strainer to keep them in the filter.
    Closed cell substrates reduce surface area available for colonization and defeat your purpose. Black fish netting, bird netting, etc... are popular with some folks as is the black plastic strapping used for heavy packing boxes. The Carbon Black makes the material virtually UV bullet-proof, yields a relatively large surface area, and is a breeze to maintain with little more than a few good "shakes" of the loose bundle and a quick rinse with pond water.
    Ok Papa, you know I would probably be willing to follow you into hell and back when it comes to koi. So when I read your post I thought go look, take a sample, take pictures, show examples, and learn something.

    The filter media has been in use since late Feb. It is in a "mostly closed" black storage tote you can find at Big Lots. So does this rule out UV exposure? What I mean by "mostly closed" is until Sean makes some changes to the filter shed the lid won't snap shut. Being used with this media is a light diffuser grid to hold the media in place, and a blue plastic furnace filter acting as a large particle catcher. That blue thing goes ontop of the diffuser, we have noticed that it is starting to fall apart.

    Inspecting the media. It has shrunk, but seems intact. See pictures.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DIY Filters-sdc11644.jpg   DIY Filters-sdc11645.jpg   DIY Filters-sdc11646.jpg  
    Amanda Bulls-Stephens
    Creator of "The Tail End"
    Central California Koi Society

  8. #28
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bighatbulls View Post
    Ok Papa, you know I would probably be willing to follow you into hell and back when it comes to koi. So when I read your post I thought go look, take a sample, take pictures, show examples, and learn something.

    The filter media has been in use since late Feb. It is in a "mostly closed" black storage tote you can find at Big Lots. So does this rule out UV exposure? What I mean by "mostly closed" is until Sean makes some changes to the filter shed the lid won't snap shut. Being used with this media is a light diffuser grid to hold the media in place, and a blue plastic furnace filter acting as a large particle catcher. That blue thing goes ontop of the diffuser, we have noticed that it is starting to fall apart.

    Inspecting the media. It has shrunk, but seems intact. See pictures.
    That might get a little warm so hows about we keep ourselves on the more "heavenly" side of that particular divide

    Having the media enclosed inside a black tote makes a huge diff on the UV thing, so not to worry on that count. A little bit of carbon black goes a long ways

    What is noteworthy about the media photo's you posted up is what we see inside and out. Have you ever seen plastic resins "shrink" like cotton?...
    Nope. The only way that media is getting "smaller" in the absence of UV degradation is via abrasion. It isn't "shrinking". It is "eroding", which means that those tiny little microscopic bits of foam are being slowly abraded away and going into the water column. Such is the nature of virtually any type of foam you might care to experiment with.

    There are "open cell" foams on the market, but nearly all of them are very delicate, easily plugged up, and horribly easy to erode. The only "foam" product I would consider would be an open LARGE cell plastic (as opposed to styrofoam, urethane, urea formaldehyde, etc...) that was broken into irregularly shaped 1" or 2" chunks. If you find some, let me know

    The other thing is the broken piece of blue noodle. Freshly broken. Notice how completely free of any biofilm OR biofouling the inside of that foam is??? Closed cell means precisely that. CLOSED, as in 100% sealed off, taking up valuable space, and contributing absolutely nothing to bioconversion
    What we want is to provide that maximum possible exposed surface area per cubic inch of space, and this type of material occupies a large space while providing only a small surface to act as a host for the biomatrix relative to its overall cubic footprint.

  9. #29
    Jumbo bighatbulls's Avatar
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    The broken noodle, lol, I cut that so we could look inside, for bio film and test the structure. That was the same noodle that was in the first picture. I should have stated that in the previous post. I couldn't pull it apart with out cutting it. I see what you are saying, the bacteria isn't getting into the media, it is forming on the outside of it.

    Smaller by abrasion, hmm. You know it looks to me more like a hotdog that has been on the grill too long. Like the plastic membrane about the doughnut shrank and is compressing it. What would cause that? I have notice the same pool noodles, this time used in the sun and chlorine as a pool toy, shrink over time. I wonder... did "how its made" do a pool noodle episode?

  10. #30
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    If there is any "shrinkage" going on due to anything other than abrasion it can only be two things. Volitalization of gasses within the cell walls or from the outer membrane itself. Volatilized petrochemicals in a Koi pond aren't really a "good" option either

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