Habitat - Indoor :: DIY Filter

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:43 pm   Re: DIY Filter

OOO I just had an idea , instead of using the plastic pot scrubbers could I use like the shower scrubbers ? The big fluffy ones they'd have more surface for good bacteria could I do that ?
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:34 pm   Re: DIY Filter

For bio media? What not actual bio media? They'll be more effective.
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:30 pm   Re: DIY Filter

The bio balls ? I plan on it , but for more coverage for bacteria I heard you can never have too much media lol , I'm gunna build a simple sump using a 35 gallon tank and a 5 gallon bucket and a siphon overflow and a power head return , I'll have more space in my tank too cause I can put my heater and my bubbler in my sump . So all I'll have in my tank is an overflow and return , and my regular filter hoses , just trying to keep water clean lol
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:38 pm   Re: DIY Filter

But I can get the shower scrubbers real cheap and they're fluffy , the water will have to flow through more media before going back into the tank
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Post Posted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:16 am   Re: DIY Filter

It's hard to beat ceramic and glass spun media for surface area. I've never been a fan when people use stuff like pot scrubbers for their media. I can see shower scrubbers getting clogged easily.
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Post Posted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:22 pm   Re: DIY Filter

So pretty much bio balls ceramic rings and filter floss media? Lol I'm tryna work with a budget and I can get Bio balls for Luke 70 cents for 20 of them or $4.00 for 100 of em. But do they ever need to be cleaned or switched or can they be kept ? Or do I need to buy Bio balls every couple months?
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Post Posted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:26 pm   Re: DIY Filter

Filter floss will clog and need to be replaced. Bioballs should last for years and years. They may need occasional cleaning. HOWEVER, ceramic media will also last for years and years, and will work MUCH better.

The bacteria that convert ammonia -> nitrite -> nitrate grow on surfaces. But, they are very small. They will actually grow on glass, substrate, the ramp to your dock, aquarium decorations, etc.... Bio balls are plastic and the internal surface area is larger than the surface area of a solid ball, which means more bacteria. The ceramic media are porous--they're like a sponge: full of holes and internal surfaces for the bacteria.

The "surface area" available to bacteria for the same volume of ceramic media vs bioballs is hundreds or thousands of times greater.
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Post Posted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:36 pm   Re: DIY Filter

Oh wow , so what would you suggest ? I know filter floss would have to be changed every so often
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:11 am   Re: DIY Filter

If you are still going with a sump, you will want something to protect the pump from getting debris in it. They make prefilters, basically sponges, that are designed for some. I use a filter floss-like pad that I fold up in the last glass area between my sand/plants and the pump area.

Other than that, I just use ceramic biomedia. SeaChem offers a product they call matrix. It's a porous rock. They make a version for pond filtration called Pond Matrix. Because ponds are larger, you need more. The rocks are a bit larger, but they are also cheaper for the volume you get.

You might look at the smallest size of that they sell.
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:49 am   Re: DIY Filter

I'm gunna use a five gallon bucket as the filter and a 35 gallon tank as the return , I might put some Java moss or something else that floats in the 35 gallon as more filtration for ammonia . And I might put some fish in there and yea as far as a prefilter I'll probably just use a peice of filter floss and zip tie it or use a rubber and and wrap it real tight . I've just heard from a lot of people these kinds of filters are really good for turts , my only thing is the power head I would have to use as a retirn idk how many gph I should use my tanks gunna be 75 gallons and the sump/trickle filter is gunna be a 5 gallon bucket with a 35 gallon as the holding tank , but o just dk what gph power head I should get for the rerun , cause I don't wanna run the 35 out of water before the overflow can put more water through the filter . And for power outages I'm confused as far as the overflow on that , because my filter now I had to suck the air to start a siphon , could I do that with a pvc overflow ??
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:16 am   Re: DIY Filter

For the pump size, it depends on your outflow. I got a commercial overflow filter. It had a gallon per hour rating.

I went with a pump with a rating of about 60%, and it was too much. Not too much to keep up, but too much water flow. I ended up with a 425 gph for my 55 gallon tank.

As to power outages, that can be an issue. My commercial overflow comes with a tiny pump the size of an aquarium air pump that connects to the top. In an outage, it will restart the siphon. I've had many outages over the years, most when I'm not home. I only once had less than a gallon on the floor.

I don't know what your drain system is going to be or how you might deal with power outages. They also make overflow switches you can put in the main tank to kill power to your system if the water level gets too high, but I always figured my turtle would bite or play with it, so I never used one.

You also want to use a drill to make a small hole above the water line in your return as a siphon break. If power goes out, you don't want your return to siphon all water back into the 35 gallon. Doing the return as a spray bar is even better.

EDIT: you might take some of these questions to a saltwater reef forum. Sumps are almost standard for them and there will be many more people answering than the one not very handy guy you get here. :)
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:24 pm   Re: DIY Filter

Well I'm gunna get a 320 gph power head for the rerun , plus I have a magnum 350 rated for 100 gallon tanks on it so I should have like 670 gph flowing through my filters lol . So I'm hoping it will keep everyone clean , and I planed on installing ball valves in case of power outages that way I can just shut the valves off , but yea I'll probably put a hole right in the top of my return to break the siphon , that makes sence , plus my overflow is gunna be a pvc overflow (cheap lol ) I had a video of the one I was gunna do but I lost it -.- lol
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:38 pm   Re: DIY Filter

If, like me, you are going to have a sump and a canister, make sure the sump intake is relatively high, so that a power outage means the sump siphon stops once the water has gone down a bit.

Then, loom into something that can kill the power to the return once the power goes off, so you can reset it.

The power outage dangers are:

Return pump siphons backwards. You deal with that with the drilled siphon break or the return is a spray bar above the waterline.

Overflow siphons water out, but pump isn't pumping back. You deal with that by making the overflow intake high enough that little water siphons out.

Overflow siphon gets air in it, then power returns and pump overflows your tank and burns out when it runs dry. This is where my overflow mini pump restarts the siphon, or something that prevents the sump pump from restarting after power returns.
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:56 pm   Re: DIY Filter

Well I have all my stuff on a power strip / surge protector , so even if the power kicked that would kick too so I wouldn't have to worry about my pump starting back up before I could reset the siphon . Oh actually could I use a siphon used for emptying tanks to work as a siphon overflow ? I could put it towards the bottom of my tank to suck up all the turtle poop that stays at the bottom , wait no I could put it inside another tube that could act as an overflow and then have the siphon inside it that way when the water runs below the overflow the water in the tube would just siphon out and then the siphon would break , and the siphon has a squeeze thing on it so I could just restart the siphon that way :)
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:34 pm   Re: DIY Filte

Ok so i moved back to my mom's . Any who she has a basement that I may be moving my tank to instead of having it In my tiny bedroom . But I still wanna make a sump soon . My only problem when I got to thinking is what size pvc to use as the overflow . Like to match the 500gph power head I wanna get . I was looking it up and found a chart that said 3/4 inch will probably run like 625 gph. Should that keep the water level in my tank stable ?
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