Do It Yourself Filtering By Chuck Hawks A presentation for The Angelfish Society – October 2006 DYI FILTERING
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A presentation for The Angelfish Society – October 2006
WHILE SPECIFIC PLANS ARE NOT INCLUDED I HOPE THIS PRESENTATION WILL STIMULATE THE VEIWER TO EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES OF DESIGNING AND CONSTRUCTING “CUSTOM” FILTERING OPTIONS FOR THEIR SPECIFIC NEEDS.
MANY FINE DESIGNS ARE AVAILABLE ON NUMEROUS WEBSITES, I ENCOURAGE YOUR TO EXPLORE THEM, BUT IN MY OPINION THE TRUEST JOY IN CONSTRUCTING YOUR OWN COMES FROM THE VISUALIZATION, DESIGN AND ACTUAL CONSTRUCTION. PLEASE ENJOY!
Basic understanding of the proper conditions for “good” bacteria propogation and holding are essential to construct and modify filters. Here are 2 but there are many resources, the understanding of aquarium bacteria expands constantly, it’s a subject unto itself.
The Nitrogen Cycle - Article at The Age of Aquariums - Tropical Fish
The Skeptical Aquarist
BACTERIA REQUIRE PLENTIFUL OXYGEN TO CONVERT AMMONIA TO LESS HARMFUL PRODUCTS THAT WE CAN MORE EFFECTIVELY REMOVE WITH WATER CHANGES.
BACTERIA REQUIRE A STABLE SURFACE TO PROPOGATE AND THEY ARE NOT GREAT SCAVENGERS OF OXYGEN. THEY NEED YOU TO BRING THE OXYGEN TO THEM TO BE THE MOST EFFECTIVE.
SPONGES AND FLOSS GREATLY IMPROVE THE SURFACE AREA TO WHICH BACTERIA CAN ATTACH BUT IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THEY NOT BECOME CLOGGED WITH DEBRIS THAT RESTRICT THE FLOW OF NUTRIENTS (AMMONIA AND NITRITE), OXYGEN AND WATER THAT THEY NEED TO PROSPER.
THE SKEPTICAL AQUARIST ARTICLE SHOWS SOME INTERESTING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PH AND AMMONIA TOXICITY, PH AND BACTERIA HEALTH, TEMPERATURE AND AMMONIA TOXICITY AND TEMPERATURE AND BACTERIA HEALTH. I URGE YOU TO BECOME WELL AQUAINTED WITH THESE RELATIONSHIPS AND CONSIDER THEM WHEN DESIGNING FILTERS, CYCLING TANKS, PLACING HEATERS, SETTING OUTLET DIFFUSERS, ETC.
You can make a filter any way that supplies oxygenated water flow to a surface that can hold bacteria.
The largest concern for DIY filters is using materials that are not impregnated with anti-bacteriological agents (primarily sponges and adhesives) and do not decompose rapidly (like cotton).
Used parts, frequently purchased very inexpensively or free, provide parts and shortcuts.
Use air to pull water through the media
Provide large media surface for bacteria
Oxygenate water as a byproduct
Best Biological Filter
Brass or Copper pipe sections, sharpened
Serrated Bread Knife
Drill + 3/16 Bit
Aquarium Silicone (non-toxic)
Heavy Base, ceramic tile ~20 cents each
Non Floating PVC, $2.00-$3.00/6 feet
Airline Tube (airstone optional)
Media, Sponge non-treated open-cell
Hard to duplicate but extremely easy to modify.
Add sponge covers to intakes, increasing both mechanical and biological filter area, increasing life of cartridges and providing easy cleaning also protecting smaller fish and fry from being trapped in the filter.
Cartridges can be “deconstructed” providing framework for cheaper and/or better materials saving money and time.
Leftover sponge pieces, bioballs, shredded plastic and filter material placed or attached to HOB’s provide more bacteria holding surface and useful post cartridge change bacteria backup.
Intake Sponge Coverings
Round hole “drilled” with sharpened copper pipe
Backup Bacteria Holding
Sponge pad inserted in front of filter cartridge --
Penguin 160 cartridge frame
THESE ARE JUST A FEW EXAMPLES
AN UNDERSTANDING SPOUSE AND AN ABUNDANCE OF “MATERIAL” AND TIME MAKES THE POSSIBILITIES ENDLESS
IF IN VEIWING THIS PRESENTATION YOU THOUGHT “I CAN DO THAT BETTER” YOU MIGHT BE A DO IT YOURSELFER!!
PLEASE RETURN TO THE CHAT ROOM FOR DISCUSSION, IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT A PROJECT YOU MIGHT BE CONSIDERING, PLEASE ASK, THERE ARE MANY CLOSET DYI’S. I’M SURE YOU’LL GET HELP!