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Thread: cheap fine catcher

  1. #1
    Jumbo bighatbulls's Avatar
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    cheap fine catcher

    Ok so I built probably a piece of crap to eliminate fines in the QT pond. It is working, so this is what I did.

    First, our Pondmaster 1800gph pump is actually a little to much pump for our DIY filter. This is not a big deal we just divert a portion of the water and give the fish some current to swim in. So the pond one hopefully is cycling 2 tiems and hour. However, we are now using the DIY filter and the pondmaster 1800 in the QT tank that supposedly is about 1030 gallons. With water I think it is 1000g. Doing this I felt could jumpstart the QT tanks biologicals, and also get the koi out of the house. So sadly the goldies are not getting fed, and are not getting filtration. They'll be fine.

    Ok this is how we have the QT tank pump and filters set up. Pump at the bottom, hose to a tee with valves to the current maker, and to the filter. This helps us moderate the flow. On the current maker side Sean added a threaded fitting for a garden hose. He did this so he could easily drain the pond for water changes etc. HEE HEEE HEE, guess what the hose is doing when its not draining the tank?

    Materials for the fines collector came from DOLLARTREE. First item was a black plastic rectangular basket. Second item was a black plastic dish tub, that the basket fit fairly nicely in. Third and fourth items 2 bag of cotton balls, un rolled to roughly 1x5 inch cotton strips. This is what I said when I saw the design this fine catcher is loosely based on, "COTTON?! ARE YOU SURE?!" Well it started off white, its sort of tan now....

    Sean took the dish tub and cut several 1/4X1 holes on one of the long bottom sides. We put the cotton in the basket, the basket in the dish tub, set the dish tub on a board over the pond holey side facing the pond hanging over the board so when the water comes out it goes in the desired direction of the pond. Then with the use of a "C" clamp we stuck the hose in the basket to pour over the cotton.

    Well... if you wait for tomorrow you can see pictures of this cheap as dirt fine catcher, and some of the on the fly modifications we made with a bit of string and some fiberglass window screen.
    Amanda Bulls-Stephens
    Creator of "The Tail End"
    Central California Koi Society

  2. #2
    Jumbo bighatbulls's Avatar
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    As I promised PICTURES of the 4 dollar fine collector. The screen is to help keep the cotton where it belongs, that is in the basket. The hose is held in place by the "C" clamp but I tied it into position so the water flows into the middle of the cotton. Before I tied the hose, the hose would ease out of position and the water would not fall on the desired area.
    I also added a picture of Sean's tee that diverts water from the pump to the filters. I'll take more pictures in 1 week to see if this thing was actually worth the 4 bucks I spent on it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails cheap fine catcher-sdc11649.jpg   cheap fine catcher-sdc11650.jpg   cheap fine catcher-sdc11652.jpg   cheap fine catcher-sdc11651.jpg  

  3. #3
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    A word to the wise.
    While you are letting this batch of cotton filter the fines you may as well run down to wally world and buy some polyfill to replace it with. To say that cotton is "biodegradable" is an understatement, and the heterotrophic microbes that will take up residence in the fines will consume the cotton as well. You will also want to make sure that you have an overflow notch of some sort at the top of the basket that spills over into the tank. If things should happen to plug up when you aren't looking you don't want the water to be able to spill over the backside and out of the tank
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  4. #4
    Jumbo bighatbulls's Avatar
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    Good suggestions Lary, I was considering upgrading the cotton to something. We'll pick up some polyfill next trip to Dinuba.

    Idealy I wanted this catcher placed over the pond so if it did plug up and overflowed the water would still be going in the right direction. However, my engineering department had other ideas.

    So I got this idea from a guy who built a much larger fines collector. He used cotton batting. Well they didn't have cotton batting at the dollar store that is how I got stuck with the cotton balls. Here is his link...

    55 Gal Fines Filter

  5. #5
    Meg
    Meg is offline
    Oyagoi Meg's Avatar
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    by the end of the season replacing all that batting all summer or improving/rebuilding it 6 times, you could go ahead and get the k1 for a small one of these.
    save yourself the time, money and aggrivation, your on the road this way anyhow

    Mechanical filtration capable of removing fines

  6. #6
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bighatbulls View Post
    Good suggestions Lary, I was considering upgrading the cotton to something. We'll pick up some polyfill next trip to Dinuba.

    Idealy I wanted this catcher placed over the pond so if it did plug up and overflowed the water would still be going in the right direction. However, my engineering department had other ideas.

    So I got this idea from a guy who built a much larger fines collector. He used cotton batting. Well they didn't have cotton batting at the dollar store that is how I got stuck with the cotton balls. Here is his link...

    55 Gal Fines Filter
    I bet his "cotton batting" is really polyester batting.

  7. #7
    Jumbo bighatbulls's Avatar
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    Meg, every time I see that get up I want to track that feller down and steal one. The batting is supposed to be used no more than 6 weeks then dumped. K1 you can keep forever. Sean would like to get his hands on K1 know any cheap sources?

    For the size fines catcher, I won't be using the whole bag of polyfil at one time. I might get 3 uses out of 1 bag, 4 if I am lucky. If I used this catcher for 6 months, changing the media every 6 weeks, I would need about a bag and a half of polyfil. The price for polyfil is listed below.

    Ric, you probably are right that he was using polyfil, however he said cotton. That is why I used cotton. LOL. No worries I found that you can still get batting and fill at our Wallymart. They did away with most of the sewing department a year or so ago.

    So far this is what I spent.

    1 dish tub 1.00 dollartree
    1 basket 1.00 dollartree
    1 bags of cotton balls 1.00 each dollartree
    1 bag pollyfil 2.97 Walmart

    Stuff I don't have a price on but I used:

    fiberglass window screen cut to about 1 inch wide by 14 inches long
    silicone glue to adhear the screen to the dish tub.

    Upgrades I am planning for project

    actual plumbing, have most parts on hand will need an end cap or 2 and small bulkhead. I also want something to lift the basket up about an inch.
    So I might be looking at spending another 5 bucks.

    Guestimated price when all is said and done, and running for 6 months is about 15 dollars. BUT, does it realy work?

  8. #8
    Tategoi Peppy's Avatar
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    Does it really work? Because I'm thinking of throwing one together too. I need a few successes to give me confidence to act on my many plans. This looks like something I really can't screw up.

  9. #9
    Jumbo bighatbulls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peppy View Post
    Does it really work? Because I'm thinking of throwing one together too. I need a few successes to give me confidence to act on my many plans. This looks like something I really can't screw up.
    Well my opinion about you making one is, lets wait a week and see. I would hate for anyone to throw away 4-15 dollars on this.

    We made some minor upgrades to the original unit, so I need to take new pictures and post them tomorrow.

  10. #10
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bighatbulls View Post
    Well my opinion about you making one is, lets wait a week and see. I would hate for anyone to throw away 4-15 dollars on this.

    We made some minor upgrades to the original unit, so I need to take new pictures and post them tomorrow.
    It will work. Been there, done that
    In our case the filter basket loaded with polyfill was the "fines filter" from our little qt discharge and the same for a fry tank. Sumbersible filter rated for 750 gallon pond being used in an 85 gallon aquarium with the pump discharge going into a simple basket full of batting.

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