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Skippy Filter


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Our filter for the 2000 gallon pond is home-made from a 100 gallon horse trough. I followed the directions from: www.skippysstuff.com.

Here's a pic of it. The bottom drain of the horse trough was fitted with a brass water heater faucet piece. I keep a hose on it and can water my hubby's roses with the nasty fish poo water. The plants LOVE it. Future plans include building some sort of decorative screen for this filter. Right now it sits in the side yard of our house where it's not seen by anyone but my husband or I..... The little cloth cover at the top is just temporary to keep leaves and debris out of it.


Here's another pic from last year, right after we set it up. I used to put plants in it, but quickly learned that they will root out in the sponges, creating a real mess when I go to clean the filter.... So a cover went up and the plants were taken out. The pipe in the center is from the pump in the pond. It pumps water to the bottom of the horse trough, which rises up through about 300 sponges then overflows and drains out the 4 inch diameter pipe to the left side of the picture. That pipe goes to the pond to refill the pond.


You can see the big pipe as it enters the pond in this pic. When we first fired up the Skippy I had a BUNCH of foam in the water. It was DOC foam (decomposed organic compounds). Eventually it went away with vacuuming and water changes.


We use plastic egg-crate type sheeting, like you'd use in ceiling tiles under flourescent lights to hold down the filter sponges in the Skippy filter. We use half bricks to weigh it down and compress the sponges just a little, so they do an adequate job of removing waste and debris from the water. When the sponges get really gross looking and dark, I clean it all out..... which equates to about every two or three weeks in the summer.


To camoflage the ugly return pipe to the pond we painted it black with spray paint for plastic. We also camoflage it with a bunch of plants and add floating plants to that end of the pond for even more camoflage in the summer. When things are grown in, you can hardly tell it's there.


This is a recent pic (when I was releasing Olivia's fish). You can barely see the outflow pipe at the back of the pond. I've had that filter in place for two years now and the water is crystal clear. I couldn't ask for better water. In years past the water looked like pea soup and never cleared. Now, with the Skippy I have great water and the fish are a lot healthier too.


I also have two airstones in the pond for water movement, with plans to add more air next year. Cleaning is a chore. It usually takes about 3 to 4 hours every other week in the summer. I clean the Skippy Filter first, then do a water change on the pond by vacuuming the bottom. If I had $1800 for a Nexus Easy filter, I could cut that down to about 10 minutes to flush the filter, then an hour to vacuum the bottom, but I'm not rich and the Skippy will have to do for now.

You can plumb the Skippy with a bottom drain. There are lots of instructions for "horse trough filters" that you can google. There's a lot you can do with these horse troughs to create a great filter for your pond. I've even used the concept inside for a 70 gallon small grow out pond in my fish room. I used a three gallon bucket, 8 sponges from the Skippy outside, and rocks to create a terrific little Mini-Skippy for the indoor babies. Here's a pic of that:


I have nine baby comets in this tank that will spend the winter inside growing out, then be released into the pond next spring. (They hide under the bucket, so you can't see them in this pic, lol) The bucket-Skippy is doing a terrific job of keeping the water clear and I didn't have to cycle because the sponges already had good bacteria on them.....

All in all, the Skippy concept is a good one.

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  • Regular Member

ur pond is awesome! U can also make barrel filters, they're like the same thing, except with 2 55 gallon barrels connected to each other, I personnaly think those are easier to make although I havent tried it :D How much does a skippy cost to build?

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The only thing I worry about with barrels is reaching way down to the bottom to clean them.... With this Skippy it's easy to clean because I can just put a lawn chair next to it and reach in. It's not that deep.

I think the trough was like $100, and the pads, crating, and plumbing pipes and supplies probably added another $100 to $150. I bought the filter sponges from Skippy's on-line and the crating too.... and a bottle of beneficial bacteria starter, which I hardly used.....

I probably could have gone cheaper by shopping around, but I wanted to get it done fast because summer was in full swing and I had really ugly water on the pond..... LOL. I'm buying my next 300 gallon rubbermaid trough from Tractor Supply. They're like $200. That will be my breeding tank outside unless hubby builds me something bigger. :)

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