Mar 15, 2004, 1:55 AM
Re: [mrxclnc] How to build a bio-filter?
I purchase my 55 & 32 gal drums/barrels from a recycle business located nearby. They usually sell the 55 gal size for $12-15.00 each, or $$8-10.00 each if you buy four or more. The 32 gal size are usually $8-10.00 each, or $4-6.00 each respectively.
One other source where you can usually get the barrels FREE, is at car wash facilities. All of there liquid soap and polish come in 32 & 55 gal plastic barrels. If you talk to the managment, they are usually glad to have you take the empty barrels off their hands. They usually have to pay a recycler to pick the barrels up, so are happy to get rid of them for free. You can also contact various beverage companies that use concentrated syrups to manufacture their products (Coke, Pepsi, etc). If you should buy plastic barrels from ANY source, be sure to carefully and thoroughly clean them to remove and phospates and other chemical residues that may be harmful to your koi.
I know you can have plastic barrels mail ordered, but new barrels cost more than the whole filter I make, and the shipping would be very expensive.
Using the new Fish Safe, Pond/Waterfall expanding foams would probably work work great to shape the bottom V, but is not really necessary. The V-shaped bottom of vortex filters is mainly to settle the waters heavier particulates at the mouth of the bottom drain, to allow complete flushing of the settled mulm. I just used a large, old plastic Tupperware salad bowl (cost $.10 at Goodwill Industries) to accomplish what the V-shape does. I cut several two inch diameter, half circles into the upper edge of the bowl (evenly spaced), then mounted the bowl upside down on the bottom of the barrel (centered over the drain hole). The settling particulates will generally settle on the flat area around the outside of the bowl. When the drain is opened, water is first forced outward, ... cleaning mulm from the bowl, ... then is forced back through the holes in the bowl, into the drain to be flushed. For me, it does a very good job of getting rid of the settled mulm. Ideally, vortex settling chambers work more efficiently with larger diameter tanks, but For the price (about $45.00 including the filter brushes and plumbing), ya can't beat the way this one's working for me.
Hope this was of wome use to you.