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Old 10-26-2012, 11:52 AM   #1
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Bottle Filter modification

Somewhere in this forum, though I can't find it now, was a thread about making a filter using a lift tube and the left over plastic food bottles, I wanted to add this on to the end (it was 3 pages long I believe) but since I can't find it I'll go ahead and just post as a new thread.

I bought a small 1.5 gallon 'turtle/beta' tank for 6 bucks, basically I planned to flip it upside down and make an underwater island, an idea I was really excited about that particular day, but after getting home and doing more research I couldn't find a good excuse to actually do it (I couldn't find something that was semi-aquatic and wouldn't eat/destroy something else in the tank).

This 1.5 gallon tank is probably about 6 inches tall at most, with an inch of that being a lid that is vented and has another clear piece of plastic lid that folds up (also slides a little to lock in place), so I made a little DIY bottle filter with a lift tube that sticks out of the water surface, the good news is that it easily pumps water through it and out the top, the bad news is it splatters quite a bit, and the roof is vented so water could shoot out the top... and worse as I later realized the lid overlaps the outside of the container, which means any water being sprayed at the lid from underneath will tend to run to the edge of the tank and leak out.

I tried a few things to reduce this particular problem, the first thing was pinching the air hose to reduce the air flow, this did help but it wasn't really enough and had some of it's own problems (reducing the flow too much, not enough, etc). It wasn't a good solution (and only slowed down the leaking issue).

The second idea I had was I realized I had a little glass heart that I could put in the top of the tube, hoping it'd act as something of a stopped and cause the water to have less force going upward and make it go more to the side... this turned out to be more of a sticking your finger over the nozzle of a running hose to create more pressure and was way worse.

A continuation of that previous idea with the heart was realizing I needed to make an umbrella to sit on top of it, to redirect the water downward... I didn't have anything I could think of shaped like that but I figured I could use a piece of a sandwich bag, cut out, and set that over the lift tube and place the heart on that... the plastic would droop down and the water would stay in the tank. This probably would have worked and I don't think the plastic would have caused issues with being swallowed or tangling up with anything in the tank, but I uh... dropped the glass heart to the side of the tank which lead to...

I tried to get the glass heart but it's really hard to reach through the small opening in the top of the tank and since the air hose runs through the larger lid I wanted to avoid opening that because it drags the filter around in the tank... well, it turns out that I had a perfect little solution in the tank sitting next to where the heart fell, I had some suction cups that were in my main tank but instead of sticking to the walls like good suction cups, they inverted and kind of sucked. They are just a suction cup with a circle, much bigger than the ones for air hoses but I'd say under a centimeter in diameter (closed loop). This are probably supposed to be used to hold plants in place, especially a plant like horn wort. That is not how I was using them, another goofy project, basically I wanted to make a set of mesh stairs that air bubbles would flow up to and bounce around in... the mesh would have java moss and other plants in it. I don't know if these suction cups would be able to hold much horn wort down anyway. Well, one thing these suction cups were good for is ramshorn snails seem to like to lay their egg clutches on them, and I was looking for stuff that'd have bacteria on it already for the little tank, and figured hey, why not throw in some snail eggs too since those suctions cups had egg clutches on them... Well, long story short those inverted suction cups are basically umbrella shaped, and the ring for holding plants is pretty ideal to stick into the lift tube to hold it in place. Seems to be working like a charm, I'll know when I get home later today if it's working based on if the surface that little tank is on is dry or not (and you know, if the water level is essentially the same as before).

I kind of figure a bobber would have worked well too if it was tied into the lift tube somehow with just a little slack since it'd float better but may still have caused too much pressure like my glass heart which was probably just too heavy.

Anyone else have any ideas that could have been used for this particular problem (water splattering because the lift tube is too close to the surface)?

If anyone is curious about my floating stairs thing... it is in the aquarium, but it's more like a single floating step, I got some different suction cups that will hopefully work better (and if nothing else they are clear so less ugly), but the java moss doesn't really block the air and it just kind of flows through it... but I still wanted to see if that'd maybe improve the growth of it so I'm sticking with this thing for a while...

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Old 10-26-2012, 10:50 PM   #2
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a lid of some kind for the top of the filter maybe? my air run filter spits and bubbles 2...

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Old 10-26-2012, 11:32 PM   #3
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I took a picture of it, you can see here what my solution looks like.

If it's not obvious I'm holding one of the suction cups that is in the 'inverted' shape and you can see the circle part which is what holds it in place in the lift tube. I also found that the circle part of those suction cups is almost perfect to hold a piece of nylon over my filter intake (I had a sponge tied on but it was affecting the flow too much). These suction cups are great for all kinds of things that don't require actual suction...
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bottle, filter

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