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5 Gallon Filter for Pond


shakaho
  • So let's start with the filter. I started with a 5 gallon paint bucket that has been one of my "clean water" buckets for some time. Eventually, I will want to paint it, and old plastic is a lot easier to paint than new.

Last summer, I described how to make an "instant pond" with a Rubbermaid stock tank. http://www.kokosgold...6-instant-pond/

Initially, I used the 50 gallon pond as a holding tank for a shubunkin and 3 comets, all about a year old, while I was finishing the pond they would move to. The tank worked great for them. When the new pond was ready, they moved out and were replaced by 4 fancies of the same age. These fish were not really getting an upgrade in water volume, since two of them had been in a 20 gallon and two in a 30 gallon. But since the stock tank is shallow with a huge surface area and a nice fountain for swimming space and aeration, it was an improvement. It was also a lot warmer since the the house ranged from 75 F at night to 80 at midday, while the outside air temperatures ranged from 75 to 95. But whatever the reason, they grew like crazy in the stock tank. By winter, it was clear that this little pond, as set up, wasn't big enough for them. They either needed a bigger tank or improved water handling. Another problem was that Hoover, who is copper-colored in an aquarium, was a "phantom" in the black stock tank -- virtually invisible. I wanted to see him.

So I decided on the following upgrades:

an external filter to replace the submerged bucket filter of the instant pond. A bucket of filter media in the pond with a pump in it will work just fine for handling nitrogen compounds, but it's not very good at mechanical filtration. These guys were turning into real poop machines, so I needed something better.

a trickle-in trickle-out water change system. This is like the automatic water change system I set up for my front pond. http://www.kokosgold...c-water-change/ Koi people have compared the growth and health of fish receiving weekly water changes to those getting the same amount of new water by trickle, and the results were convincing enough that if you go to a koi forum people don't talk about whether they use trickle in-out or conventional water changes, they just compare their trickle systems.

a sand substrate so I could see Hoover and also see debris.

So let's start with the filter. I started with a 5 gallon paint bucket that has been one of my "clean water" buckets for some time. Eventually, I will want to paint it, and old plastic is a lot easier to paint than new.

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The first thing I did was put in an exit pipe to dump the filtered water back into the pond. Here's the materials and tools:

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I needed from left to right: a drill, a hole saw (which is not a separate tool, but a drill attachment for making a hole), and a uniseal. http://www.aquaticec...es/829/Uniseals There are two uniseals in the picture so you can see both sides. I was using a 1 inch pipe, so I had a one inch uniseal.

I marked where I wanted the hole for the out spout.

IMG_0162.jpg

Now I screwed this up because I didn't put the hole saw up to the bucket before I marked the location. when I did, I realized both the lip of the bucket and the ridge below the hole were in the way of the saw. If i had noticed this earlier I would have cut off the ridge and moved the hole down a bit. But I didn't so I just cut.

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So it looks a little messy. I trimmed off the ridge with a pruner, and filed and sanded the rough rim and the little tags in the hole. Then I pushed the uniseal into the hole.

IMG_0164.jpg

It seemed loose, and I hadn't used a uniseal before so I was a little worried, but it was fine since the pipe expands the uniseal when it goes in. I didn't put the pipe in until I finished the interior plumbing.

to be continued. I have an appointment.

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I'm good at growing fish, marginal plants, terrestrial plants -- in ground, in bog filters, or in pots in the top of filters. I am terrible at water lilies. I have killed at least four of them.

The little plant in the tank above is not a water lily, but some species of Nymphoides. This I can grow.

I know there are people here who can grow water lilies. Start a thread on the topic. I could benefit from some hints.

ok will do

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One of the things that give people trouble with this filter is finding Matala for building the filter. Many other materials are suitable. The function of the Matala is to support the media on top of it while allowing free flow of water. One of the most popular alternatives is the "eggcrate" light diffuser,which you can get at a home improvement store. If you can find a colander of the right size, that will work. I have used assorted plastic containers and drilled lots of holes in them. The function of this part of the filter is to keep the media above the stool so it doesn't interfere with the "swirl" and doesn't get filthy from the settled debris in the bottom.

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Hubby is going to make me one for Christmas. Where did you get the tubing and how did you figure out what size to buy?

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Here is how you get tubing. First, get your pump. There will be "barb fittings" with the pump for attachment of a hose. Something like these:

C441.jpg

I will assume you will go to Home Depot or Lowes to get your plumbing material. Take the barb fittings to the pond supplies in the garden area. You will find pond tubing there. Check to see if any of the barbs fit into any of the tubings available there. A good fit is when you can push the tip of the barb into the tube, but can't get it in very far. When you actually put the barb in the tube, you will soften the end of the tube in hot water so you can push the barb in deeply.

Your choices of tubing here will be 1/2" and maybe 5/8." You also can check the plumbing and irrigation areas of the store for tubing that will fit a barb.

Now decide on the size pvc pipe you want to use in your filter. You can go for 1/2" or 3/4". The larger the pipe and the tubing, the stronger flow you will get, and the more expensive the pipe and fittings will be.

Then take the hose you have chosen to the plumbing department, show it to the person who works there and say, "I want to attach this to 1/2" (or 3/4") pvc pipe. What do I need?" Anyone remotely familiar with the plumbing department will immediately find the barb fitting and adapter that you need.

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Thank you. Working on a list for what I need when I get it down Ill post it here for corrects and others to use when they make one.

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You are extremely skilled at making things and I'm in awe. One day when I have my own house and garden I will make a pond and come back to these tutorials. Thank you for taking the time to post these.

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