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Old 01-03-2006, 09:17 PM   #1
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Filter Media Replacement - Canister

Hey guys,

I have a 55 gallon fowlr up and running with a DIY 5' skimmer that is starting to finally work. I took all the media out because it was discusting and was leading to a nitrate problem.

Is there a material I could buy in a craft section that is aquarium safe to filter our debris?


I'm also curious if I could raise my intake pipe on my filter to near the surface of the water and create an overflow box for it to go on to help skim the top of the water. The water looks great but the top looks a bit 'spotty' with things. I could just throw a couple of power heads to the bottom and back to stir things up. I know I'm lacking in Powerheads at the moment.
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:25 AM   #2
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I have a friend that uses poly batting from the craft store for his filter media. He built his own trickle filter from a plastic drawer set, with diffrent media in each drawer.

Do you have a sump? There are surface skimming attachments you can add to the intake pipe if you don't have a sump. If you want to DIY it, be careful to have some way of keeping the pump from sucking air when the water level in the tank drops due to evaporation. In a sump enviroment, you just loose depth in the sump, and the overflow continues to work. Without a sump you need a dual input that takes some water from below the surface in case of overly low water levels.
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Old 01-04-2006, 03:18 PM   #3
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dskidmore is talking about the Fluval Surface Skimmer hooked up to your HOB or PH. Your lfs should have it or can get it for you.

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Old 01-04-2006, 09:55 PM   #4
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To do this I'm thinking an overflow box to a sump would be better. I would skim the top water off for cleaning then skim it in the sump.

I have a 10 gallon laying around that I could use but that seems aweful small. I can't spend much money but I already know I need a pump or two. So I could get a good pump and make a sump.


Is it easy to DIY an overflow with the Lee's specimen boxes? I do have an extra filter j tube laying around.

I would get better results from a sump?



Could use my canister filter to pull water out of the sump and feed into the tank? Its a cascade 700 - It does 185 GPH is that sufficient for sump water movement?

I could get some plexi for baffles
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:04 PM   #5
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I do have an 18 gallon rubbermaid tub I could also use that would fit under my aquarium but the sides would buckle out with water weight which makes using baffles a problem... what you do guys think?
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:47 PM   #6
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Any idea what the head rating on that canister filter is? It's going to push less water when pushing up from the sump to the tank.

I think it sounds like a good idea.
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Old 01-05-2006, 10:16 AM   #7
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If you can squeeze an 18 gal Rubbermaid in a 55 gal tank stand more power to you! A sump is always a better option but your canister filter isn’t going to produce enough pumping at only 185 gph (less pushing up). I’d go with a Pond-Mag 7 or higher depending on what your overflow can handle. Baffles will be an issue with the sides bulging out though. Since you’re into DIY projects you might want to make your own.
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Old 01-05-2006, 03:59 PM   #8
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your flowrate is going to be harmed as stated (canister's were ment to be used in a closed loop situation = 0 head preasure on the pump)
have you considered LR rubble in the canister?
whats up with the mechanical filtration anyway.. lol no sifting critters?
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Old 01-05-2006, 08:00 PM   #9
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Well I bought the canister when I had FW. I guess I need a surface skimming box for my skimmer. Then tho if I do that why not go the overflow method because I am getting some microbubbles in my main tank from the skimmer return.


I have a bar goby that digs a lot.. also my crab/snails/cleaner shrimp dig into things. Its the top of the water that is bothering me.

Maybe I would be better off with a couple of power heads and a surface skimmer for my mag7. The mag7 is only an inch from the water surface and still I see stuff floating on the surface.
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Old 01-05-2006, 08:33 PM   #10
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getto it man..

cheap quick dirty DIY surfase skimmer:
get a piece of rubbermaid that the Mag fits into, make equal slots all the way around and get the Mag to set in it (attach it to the tank with some suction cups or zip-tie it to the input line to the skimmer..)

" " " " bubble trap:
and for the microbubbles.. rubbermaid dish with a sponge (not a cleaning sponge, could be nasty chemicals in there) cut it to fit inside the dish and make a hole in the sponge just big enough to let your input line from the DIY skimmer fit in..
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