Do It Yourself Filtering By Chuck Hawks A presentation for The Angelfish Society – October 2006
DYI FILTERING 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! CHUCK HAWKS
Basic Overview 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
Some Key Points to Remember 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.
Materials 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 Aquarium Parts Used parts, frequently purchased very inexpensively or free, provide parts and shortcuts. • Powerheads provide flow to construct spongetype or trickle type filters. • Pond and fountain pumps can be used to move water to filter units or return it from sumps. • Undergravel grids can be used for holding filter media or creating barriers and waterfalls/diffusers.
Sponge Filters Use air to pull water through the media Provide large media surface for bacteria Oxygenate water as a byproduct Best Biological Filter
Basic Tools Brass or Copper pipe sections, sharpened Serrated Bread Knife Drill + 3/16 Bit Aquarium Silicone (non-toxic)
Sponge Construction 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
HOB Filters 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.
HOB modifications Intake Sponge Coverings Round hole “drilled” with sharpened copper pipe
HOB mods con’t Backup Bacteria Holding Sponge pad inserted in front of filter cartridge --
HOB mods con’t Cartridge Modification Penguin 160 cartridge frame • w/filter pad (WalMart nylon batting material) • covered w/cut piece of needlepoint grid, • top and bottom held with lighting grid edging
It’s All in What You See • Plastic Donut Box and Small Pump from Discount Bin
The End 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!