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Thread: A little $$$ pond filtration upgrade

  1. #1
    Oyagoi Ethan25's Avatar
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    A little $$$ pond filtration upgrade

    To start off with, I have no money. Well, I have a little. I work at a library, my wife works part time to help with money, and we have a little one that is 9 months old. I will never have the money anytime soon to do what I would like to do with the pond, but I need to upgrade the filtration…I have to…what I have just isn’t cutting it.

    I dug the pond in the fall of 2005 when my wife was pregnant. It was supposed to be around 10x13 and around 3.5 feet deep. I know I should have gone deeper, but I didn’t know that then. I don’t have the money or the tools to re-dig now. It is around 2500-2800 gallons….and in full sun until we build a pergola.



    Current Specs:

    2650 gph submersible pump that sits in the back of a Laguna skimmer…this runs to a Tetra UV to the Laguna Filter Falls. I got the Laguna pieces for a steal…..$225 for the both of them (retails at around $750 for both). I know they aren’t good….but they have done their job for now. I also have a 500 gph pondmaster I am using to circulate water with for the winter.

    I would like to put as little money into this as possible while maintaining at least some good water quality until I come into more money. This is what I have come up with:

    I made a retro-bottom drain. Here are pictures of my making it. Since these photos were taken, I have changed it to a 4” retro bottom drain (pictures are 3”). I bought a 7 gallon feed bowl from the local farm store.








    Trimmed the bottom to add feet and raise it by 1/3 inch, and cut a hole out of the top with a box cutter…it worked really well except for my slipping and almost cutting my jugular….and another time almost cutting my big vein in my wrist….
    Total Cost: $21.00

    I will run this bottom drain to a 4” line through the pond wall using a pipe boot. This will run into a 55 gallon drum I found for free at the local pepsi bottling company. I plan on adding a DIY microscreen with spraybar in order to run a larger pump (seq 3600). This will then go to another 55 gallon drum full of some sort of media…either PVC shavings or K1.

    I sold my old pump (Littlegiant 1900 gph) for $100.00 last fall….I had used it for a year, but it was an energy eater. We just used the cash at the time, so my wife will be understanding about another pump. The Seq 3600 can be had for around $169.00….although maybe the Seq4200 would be a better buy at $179???

    After the last 55 gallon drum, I would go through the UV and then to pond (will probably need to split flow since it can only handle 2200 gph).



    Would love your thoughts. Looking to spend very little on this….maybe $250 less the cost for the bottom drain I already made. The $250 includes media, 4” pvc, etc….
    I may have a source for some free PVC.

    Thoughts?

    Ethan

  2. #2
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
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    I like your retro drain. cool! Rather than the microscreen, I'd use a static kaldnes filter. I have built 2 of them and love them!! They take no electricity to run and are very easy to clean. On the down side, I have to clean it about every 3 days during the heaviest feeding season. But cleaning takes only a few minutes and I don't have to stand over it while it's cleaning. i go feed the fish, come back and dump the dirty water, and start the pump back up. Someone asked me for details about my static K1 filter, so I'll start a new thread this evening.

  3. #3
    Nisai
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    Looking good

    Ethan looking good keep up the hard work, it's always a work in progress reguardless of how much money you have.

    David

  4. #4
    Oyagoi Ethan25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaGirl View Post
    I like your retro drain. cool! Rather than the microscreen, I'd use a static kaldnes filter. I have built 2 of them and love them!! They take no electricity to run and are very easy to clean. On the down side, I have to clean it about every 3 days during the heaviest feeding season. But cleaning takes only a few minutes and I don't have to stand over it while it's cleaning. i go feed the fish, come back and dump the dirty water, and start the pump back up. Someone asked me for details about my static K1 filter, so I'll start a new thread this evening.
    Thanks for the advice....will it work even though I don't have a bottom drain in my settlement chamber? I planed on just putting a solids handling sump pump in it to drain it when it needed it.

    Ethan

  5. #5
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
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    OK.....never mind....that might not work too well for you. It would be too much work pumping that barrel out every few days. I really like it because when I dump that water, you would not believe the amount of crud that is washed away. It makes my system stay so much cleaner.

    Another thing you could do. Bury another barrel DEEP. Make the top of the barrel level with the bottom of the filter barrels. This is your sump barrel. Drop a sump pump down in the bottom of it and then you would be able to drain the contents of either barrel into the sump barrel for disposal. I think you are not going to be very happy not having a way to clean out the settling barrel.

  6. #6
    Oyagoi Ethan25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaGirl View Post
    OK.....never mind....that might not work too well for you. It would be too much work pumping that barrel out every few days. I really like it because when I dump that water, you would not believe the amount of crud that is washed away. It makes my system stay so much cleaner.

    Another thing you could do. Bury another barrel DEEP. Make the top of the barrel level with the bottom of the filter barrels. This is your sump barrel. Drop a sump pump down in the bottom of it and then you would be able to drain the contents of either barrel into the sump barrel for disposal. I think you are not going to be very happy not having a way to clean out the settling barrel.
    I guess that's the problem with having level land....huh? Oh well....I have plenty of plants, so I don't mind pumping the water to plants around the yard....can I just use a large submersible pump to do that?

    Ethan

  7. #7
    Honmei
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    I like the use of the shoe for scale in one of the pictures.

  8. #8
    Sansai dubtaco's Avatar
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    Hi Ethan,

    I think you have a good plan, but like Cindy suggested ditch the micro screen and use static K1 in the first barrel and a K1 moving bed in the second.

    I don't have any pictures of mine to show you but for the static chamber I used a 13 gallon trash can I got from Home Depot. My static chamber has approx. 1 cu. ft. of bioflo 9 media, and my moving bed has approx. 3 cu. ft.

    I chose bioflo 9 becuae like you I was on a budget. Bioflo 9 is about half the price of K1 but has similar properties.

    Do a google search for "static k1" there are so many threads on the forums its hard to keep track. Cindy made one maybe she will post it here..
    Chris

  9. #9
    Oyagoi Ethan25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubtaco View Post
    Hi Ethan,

    I think you have a good plan, but like Cindy suggested ditch the micro screen and use static K1 in the first barrel and a K1 moving bed in the second.

    I don't have any pictures of mine to show you but for the static chamber I used a 13 gallon trash can I got from Home Depot. My static chamber has approx. 1 cu. ft. of bioflo 9 media, and my moving bed has approx. 3 cu. ft.

    I chose bioflo 9 becuae like you I was on a budget. Bioflo 9 is about half the price of K1 but has similar properties.

    Do a google search for "static k1" there are so many threads on the forums its hard to keep track. Cindy made one maybe she will post it here..
    where do you buy bioflo? I can't find it online anywhere...

    Ethan

  10. #10
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan25 View Post
    I guess that's the problem with having level land....huh? Oh well....I have plenty of plants, so I don't mind pumping the water to plants around the yard....can I just use a large submersible pump to do that?

    Ethan
    yep. Free fertalizer. You will not believe how filthy that water is from that static filter. It makes me feel good everytime I clean it out because I know that is stuff that I have trapped and removed from my koi's environment. You could really just get a danner mag-drive pump....or really any submersible pump and put it in the bottom of that sump barrel. You could also just use a real sump pump too, since they are made for that purpose.

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