Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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lastone 02-20-2008 09:23 PM

I neeed BioFilter Help
i made my own biofilter out of a 5 gallon jug some pvc pipe and a canister filter and some practice golf balls and unused buffing pad peices, can someone please let me know if this is good andif it will work.
the water syphons down the pvc into the jug and rises up threw the balls and pads and is puled out at the top and pulled threw the canister filter and back into te tank.

fish_4_all 02-21-2008 12:38 PM

If you have it at the same level as the tnak then I think it should work well. The water levels won't be bale to get too high to flood.

If it is below the tank then I would be worried about losing suction and running it dry or even worse, the filter gets a little clogged and doesn't keep up with the outflow and drains the tank.

bettababy 02-21-2008 03:30 PM

I wouldn't have used golf balls for media... not enough surface area. Bio balls would be a better choice, sponges or things like BioMax or tufa rock would work better by providing more surface area for your bacteria.
I also agree with fish_4_all about the water levels and running things dry.

lastone 02-22-2008 09:49 AM

I have thought about loosing suction and having the tank over flow or the pump stop and the jug overfloing thats why i decided to desighn the pvc so that it goes down the the bottom of the tank and curves back upand stop about 1" below the surface, this way if the pump were to stop it would not drain my entire tank, i also left plenty of room in the jug to acomadate the extra water, and on the return i placed the tubing about 1" in the water so that my tank will not be flooded out. as for metia ui have used practice golf balls (the ones with lil holes in them) and peices of floor buffing pads(i hade to cut into pieces to fit in opening of jug) it has been running for 2 days with out any probs so far,
below is a link showing a drawing of the filter please let me know what u think.

photos of my homemade biofilter

lastone 02-22-2008 09:56 AM

just incase the above link does not work try this one

lastone 02-22-2008 09:59 AM

i almost forgot... i have also added a product called Bio-Spira to help speed up the biofilter, if u have any info on this prudoc please post ty

bettababy 02-22-2008 03:24 PM

First, let me ask... with the design in the picture, if would appear to me that if water evaporated from the tank below the opening of the intake pvc, the way things are running, the canister filter would run dry, filtration would stop. Running a canister dry is asking for trouble, they don't last long that way. The one thing I would change is to allow some kind of small water holes further down on that intake pvc so that if something happened to drop your water level the water would still be able to circulate through, keeping the canister full at all times.

As for BioSpira, I have mixed feelings about it. The product itself is awesome, if used under specific conditions. If there is an existing ammonia level in the tank before you add it, there is a high risk of the ammonia killing the bacteria, which will make your ammonia spike even higher when the bacteria die. One of our members recently had this problem, found out how bad it can really get. If I remember correctly her ammonia level was 8.0, which is basically off the chart. This will make the fish suffer terribly if there are any in the tank, and if not, it will cause the cycle to take much longer to complete, and the spikes will be a lot more drastic, including nitrate. Once a tank has cycled completely you may need to do a series of water changes over the course of a wk or 2 in order to bring nitrate down low enough to safely add fish. Track it carefully, when its finished cycling, ammonia and nitrite should be 0 and nitrate should be well under 40 before you are safe for fish.

lastone 02-24-2008 11:30 AM

i think i got all the kinks out of this, thanx for the help pple. ill keep you posted if i have any issues with this filter thanx :D

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