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monkeyzero

My trickle filter! :)

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Hello :)

I am sooooooo very sorry for not posting this up sooner. I have been very busy. I've been out and about with my cousins and been busy with college stuff and ahhhh! Everything is a mess and I'm stressed out beyond belief, but my dear fishies and dogs are helping me cope with all the stress very well. :)

Anyways, here is my trickle filter :)

Well here is how I built it, just for someone wanting to do it(its pretty crappy, but it gets the job done.

Soooo first, we started by cutting out the bottom of all the window boxes. We left little strips in the middle, just so there is more support. We also drilled holes in the bottoms so there is no stagnant water

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Then cutting up the egg crate light diffuser thingy

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And of course, placing them into the window boxes

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Then we built a simple frame using 1.5 X 1.5 in wood(I believe that was the size) and setting the boxes inside

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The next part, I didn't get a picture of since you can see it in the finished product, but we added lava rock, and some filter floss to the top box and lava rock to the rest of the boxes. We also secured the pvc spraybar up top. Then I cut out a lip for the bottom box(hoping that the water would flow from both the bottom and the lip, but most of the water went out the bottom.

It's not very visually pleasing to be honest... but it does a good job. My water has yet to turn green and my water params are pristine!

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So yeah, that's it. Not much, but like I said, my water is great, the fish are happy, so I'm happy, even though its ugly. And its super sturdy. Like heavy. Took my dad and I both to move it around. I'm thinking about buying one of these and redesigning it so it provides better filtration, and securing it to a small table next to the pond so the filtered water "waterfalls" into the pond. I'm thinking it maybe more efficient. But that's still a maybe...

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=20261

But yeah, any input about the trickle would be great! :)

Thanks!

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How are you keeping it from falling over with a gust of wind?

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It doesn't. We recently had a summer storm pass by and it didn't really move. Like I said, it's super heavy. I might do tie it down with some rope right before the winter just to be safe however. We have got really strong gusts (70 + mph) before and I'd rather not chance it, so I'll tie it down for sure :)

Edited by Monkeyzero

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Nice set up! Functional, if not aesthetic :P Looks like it works well, but what media are you using?

You could easily redesign this in future (if aesthics matter) to be used in a waterfall style feature, tiered up like stairs with the flow confined to the front of each so it falls into the next ‘step’. Fill each with your filter media of choice on the bottom (ceramic noodles/rings and bioballs work fab in large trickle systems like this. Filter pads and dense media, not so much), and lava rocks on the top, and plant them out with waters edge plants. Looks fantastic, and the plant roots provide nitrate uptake/filtering! Typically people use cinderblocks (painted to look nice) or bricks to make the stand, and ornate terracotta or cement (sealed or they leech) rectangle planters.

Heres a side on of the basic design.

q73Sz.png

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Amber, I love that design.

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Me too! I might build something like this once I start building a more permanent filter for my little pond. Great diagram! :)

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I love the inventiveness on this forum! Wish I had room for such a thing!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2

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Ahhhh! I love your idea!!!! :D It's amazing! I think I might try it out soon. :)

Do you think my other type(the water fall filter) work?

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This is a very nice idea :)

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Ahhhh! I love your idea!!!! :D It's amazing! I think I might try it out soon. :)

Do you think my other type(the water fall filter) work?

If by "work", you mean "filter," yes of course it will. What it will also do is fall. That's an unstable structure with a narrow base. It's sitting on a grid that will gradually sag under the weight. Once the center of gravity is beyond the base -- splash. With luck, it's just a mess and none of the fish are injured.

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Ahhhh! I love your idea!!!! :D It's amazing! I think I might try it out soon. :)

Do you think my other type(the water fall filter) work?

Sure, I don’t see why not, it would certainly filter anyway :)

However, on trickle systems, the idea is the separate compartments (or containers in this case) hold the water for a period of time. Instead of working on the basis of, say, a canister filter (moving as much water through the media as fast as possible) the idea is to get as much water in contact with the media for as long as possible. This is why in most trickles the compartments only have a small hole or slit, so the water enters, swirls around for a bit, then drains to the next media chamber (this happens constantly though so all chambers are kept full). This is why GPH is not of the highest priority with trickle systems (heck, the one on my 26gal tank only pulls 4x the tank volume in gph max, and it’s one of the best filters I’ve used. But you still need a reasonable GPH of course!) but the sheer amount of media and the design of the filter itself (that keeps water in contact with media as long as possible) is.

I’d be more inclined to call your waterfall filter just that, a waterfall filter (or an overhead filter, or a wet/dry system, called because the media is kept damp but not drenched and is well aerated). Both are similar to a trickle filter, but do not have the water retaining compartments that either overflow or drain slowly to the next. You sometimes see a commercial version of these on tanks like mine, like a trickle with one compartment that’s drilled along the length of it so it drains rapidly, (instead of the overflow into different compartments and the final hole being the return to tank hole in a trickle). In these types, while they do filter (and quite well, wet/dry materials are awesome) GPH is of a higher concern then in a well-designed trickle, so be sure to make sure it is moving an adequate amount of water per hour. :)

Edited by dnalex
added correct info about gph as per OP

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Oh, big thanks to everyone who liked my basic trickle design. I designed and helped build it for a friends pond, so I’m not comfortable putting up finished photos because it’s not my property/place to do so, but it looked GREAT. We used cinderblock painted cream, and waterproofed terracotta ornate long planters (Their house is cream, and they have lots of terracotta pots in the garden, so it matched in fab). You can build it so it can be broken down/moved easily if need be (say if you are renting), but we cemented it all into place. If you find the pots are too big/small for the cinderblocks or whatever, you can move the blocks closer/further, it’s no drama and the gap is only visible from behind (usually people build ones like this against a wall anyway, so you can’t see it from any angle in that case). I’ve also had a friend do a variation on my basic design with multiple waterfalls on a wooden stand with some grey and black planters facing all crazy directions, which really made their modern garden pop.

Here is another basic design (a wet/dry gravity fed filter) of a filter and water feature that sits IN the pond, but elevated on a stand. I made it to be hooked up to a pump located in a pump shed next to the pond, buy you could modify it to suit whatever set up you have/wherever your pumps are. The people who I made and helped build this one for also had an additional trickle filter in their pump/gear shed, but either would have filtered their pond alone fine. We rigged it up so that after being pumped through the first filter, instead of returning via the intake it was fed along the bottom of the pond, up the middle of the cinderblock (water sealed! Very important) pile, and to the top of the pot. On the top of the pipe we placed a diffuser/water feature. The pot contained 75% assorted media, and 25% lava rock on top for the plants to root in (once again, waters edge plants)

The beauty of this was all pipes were hidden. If you made the pond from scratch you could have even had all the pipes UNDER the cement or liner. (All pumps and the first filter were in a small 1m H x 2m L outdoor mini shed/cabinet with pipes being run under the dirt to the pond, so once again invisible). Additionally, you can make the feature look like anything you want, as long as you can drill a bunch of holes in the bottom! We used a huge (around 1.5m high) vase shaped pot with the water being sprayed directly upwards around 15 cm (it would then fall back into the pot to be filtered), but for a more modern look large square pots work well, and in a more traditional garden big, round terracotta or cream ones are great! Just go have a look at your local nursery. The bigger the pond, the bigger the pot you should use if this is to be a primary filter.

We also grew javamoss and other plants that ‘stick’ to rough surfaces along the cinderblock column to put it to good use. If you were making a pond from scratch though you could include a column for this filter instead of jury rigging one like us. Though, it looked GREAT covered in anubis, crypts and all that.

zK1tg.png

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Nice set up! Functional, if not aesthetic :P Looks like it works well, but what media are you using?

You could easily redesign this in future (if aesthics matter) to be used in a waterfall style feature, tiered up like stairs with the flow confined to the front of each so it falls into the next ‘step’. Fill each with your filter media of choice on the bottom (ceramic noodles/rings and bioballs work fab in large trickle systems like this. Filter pads and dense media, not so much), and lava rocks on the top, and plant them out with waters edge plants. Looks fantastic, and the plant roots provide nitrate uptake/filtering! Typically people use cinderblocks (painted to look nice) or bricks to make the stand, and ornate terracotta or cement (sealed or they leech) rectangle planters.

Heres a side on of the basic design.

q73Sz.png

Inspirational. Might be just do that for my pond filter :D

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Nice set up! Functional, if not aesthetic :P Looks like it works well, but what media are you using?

You could easily redesign this in future (if aesthics matter) to be used in a waterfall style feature, tiered up like stairs with the flow confined to the front of each so it falls into the next ‘step’. Fill each with your filter media of choice on the bottom (ceramic noodles/rings and bioballs work fab in large trickle systems like this. Filter pads and dense media, not so much), and lava rocks on the top, and plant them out with waters edge plants. Looks fantastic, and the plant roots provide nitrate uptake/filtering! Typically people use cinderblocks (painted to look nice) or bricks to make the stand, and ornate terracotta or cement (sealed or they leech) rectangle planters.

Heres a side on of the basic design.

q73Sz.png

Inspirational. Might be just do that for my pond filter :D

It works really well. I would recommending in high density ponds to consider rigging the pump up to a media dense filter to separate solid waste (fish poop, leave, etc) and then to this so only water flowed through this one ( so it is not dealing with large waste breakdown and getting choked up, ie, mainly a nitrogen cycle filter), but it works fine either way. The more tiers/planters, the more media and filtration you will have going on. Using nice big ones gives this amazing feature. If you used non leeching planters you could even modify it so the water flows from the top of the planter to the next, making it a true waterfall looking thing and giving the water as it overflows natural UV exposure (sterilisation), but that would require a lot more effort (and testing!) to get the flow right, rather then just drilling the bottom front of these, stacking them, and rigging up the pumps. :)

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Amber, I am seriously going to do this design when I get a job. :)

Quick question, would you suggest cutting a small strip from the bottom or drilling holes on the bottom? Or do you drill holes on the front?

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We drilled -lots- of large holes (Like, half inch gauge holes) in the bottom where it would overhang the next planter. If your holes are big, you can put a bit of egg crate or similar over them to stop your media falling out. (I recommend ceramic noodles and bio balls in this filter. Then top each planter with a layer of gravel or volcanic rock to hide the media a few inches deep, and plant your waters edge plants in it.) We decided on drilling the bottom instead of front because of the slight possibility that water below the drain holes on the front may sit and go stagnant (breeding ground for all kind of nasties), especially if using a lower GPH with this, whereas if the holes are right on the bottom all the water drains to the next regularly regardless of the amount of water being flushed through (so it will continue to drain properly even on even a very low GPH). Though in all honesty it would probably not matter either way as long as your turnover/GPH is adaquate. :)

Drilling the holes is easier, and less likely to crack a planter of you use nice cement or real terracotta ones then sawing/cutting a hole. To drill, flush the area with water as you do so to keep it cool and stop any cracking. :)

If you like, at a later date I can probably put up a complete DIY with photos an instructions instead of crummy paint drawings, as I may be building another over the next month (when the weather improves here anyway) for another friend, that follows this basic design. Either way, it’s pretty flexible to make it however you want, even just following the basic diagram, and it is a very effective (and pretty much 100% maintenance free!) pond filter! :) It also provides a complete nitrogen cycle via the plants if you have enough, so can help to turn you pond into a selfsustaining ecosystem cycle wise.

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