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Old 02-27-2010, 12:43 PM   #1
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Pool filter for aquarium?

I just had a thought, i saw an ad on craigslist for a pool filter. I got wondering if it would be possible to use one on an aquarium. Something like Swimming Pool Sand Filter ... From what i would think, the sand would act as the mechanical and biological filter. What would you think? The one i saw was for sale for $100 and was identical to this one. Any possible problems using something like this? Obviously flow wouldnt be an issue if a spraybar was used...
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:25 PM   #2
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Probably would be OK if you have maybe a 5,000g tank. That has a 1 hp motor and I wouldn't even try to guess how many gph that pushes....maybe in the 5,000-6,000 gph range?
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:29 PM   #3
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well if its about 5000-6000 gph, then a 500g tank should be ok too lol. That'd be 10x gph. Or maybe 250g sw tank lol (20xs turnover)
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:04 PM   #4
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I think that is a filter for a smaller above ground pool. Basically a step up from a kiddie pool. You know the kind, the ones with the plastic sides that you see so many people breaking/sides give out in youtube clips. May not be as many gph as you might think. Still not sure how effective it would be.
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Old 02-27-2010, 05:42 PM   #5
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the ratings, according to the craigslist ad, said it was rated at around 1600gph... i just found a link to one that looks like it. thats not too excessive for my 150g is it? How do you think the sand would do as a mechanical and bio filter?
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:47 PM   #6
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Pool filter for a tank

a swimming pool filter moves a lot of water, and the way you clean the filters is with a backwash, that reverses the flow of the water and pumps the water backwards out of the sand onto the ground or into a drain, that takes about 50 -60 gallons of water wasted backwards out of your tank.
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:06 PM   #7
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the backwash cycle would be great for water changes then! This thing is sounding better and better lol. now if i could only find something wrong with the idea to keep me from buying it...
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:09 PM   #8
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That's $100 you could be spending on fish lol.
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:11 PM   #9
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no, if i look at it like that, thats almost $200 i can spend on fish... i've been planning on buying an fx5 with my tax return since i set up the tank, if i bought this, i would have alot more to spend on fish lol
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:17 PM   #10
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but you already have a filter, so if you didn't buy one, that's $300 you could spend on fish lol
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Old 02-28-2010, 02:17 AM   #11
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If you're going to go with a pool filter, why not go the extra mile and get a DE filter for it? Hayward Perflex EC40 DE Filter w/3/4 hp Pump | EC40C91S | Cheap Pool Products
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:02 AM   #12
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well my whole reasoning for even considering it is because its almost $200 cheaper than the filter (fx5) that im wanting to get. i dont want to spend more money than that on one, especially when the fx5 is plenty for my tank anyways
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:16 AM   #13
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Is this for FW or SW?
The backwash is FIFTY (50) gallons. So that would be a 30% PWC. Not bad.

BUT, I'm guessing that this would act like a fluidized sand filter which is a nitrate factory. Fine for FO or FOWLR (SW), but not for a reef.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:20 AM   #14
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this is a fw tank (sorry i didnt mention that before), but if it would create a nitrate problem, i DONT want to go that route... i do a 50% pwc every week anyways (+/- 75g) so that would still leave me plenty of water to do a gravel vac as well. I just dont wanna risk having nitrate issues again. Back when i first started, i didnt clean my canisters per my lfs advice and my nitrates were above 160ppm... now i clean them every other week rotating between the two each week and never have more than 15ppm... so you may have just thrown up the first red flag cmor!
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:55 AM   #15
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Filter

It works like any other filter, water and whatever from your tank is pulled thru a finger system inside the filter tank, the fingers are at the bottom and several pounds of sand is covering the fingers. The water is filtered thru the sand upwards and then returns to your tank, leaving any dirt debris, whatever at the bottom and thru-out that sand bed. the stuff that is collected stays in the sand til you backwash it out. Just like any other filter of any kind that has media that collects stuff from your tank. As long as that stuff stays in there it continues to decay and become a liquid and is gradually returned to your tank. This type of filtration is no different than any other where filter maintenance is not done frequently, if it lays in there for long enough it is eventually gonna be back in your tank. The only perfect filtration method is water change, a constant and frequent replacement of fouled water, with prefiltered clean water. So this pool filter thing is no better or worse than anything else you might do other than the fact that you are running the water thru from 100-300 # of filter sand depending on the size of the filter tank you buy.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:03 AM   #16
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I agree that as long as you do regular PWCs and backwash the pool filter it would be fine. You are already doing that type of maintenance. A weekly backwash with a 30% -50% PWC should keep the nitrates pretty low.
Is that too much flow for a fw tank?
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:04 AM   #17
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DE filters

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Originally Posted by jestes View Post
If you're going to go with a pool filter, why not go the extra mile and get a DE filter for it? Hayward Perflex EC40 DE Filter w/3/4 hp Pump | EC40C91S | Cheap Pool Products
DE filters (Diatomaceous Earth) are excellent water polishers, as the media used there is so fine, a dust as a matter of fact that is collected on mesh fingers, and then the water has to travel thru a much finer media, before returning to the source, Pool or in this case fishtank, that it removes very fine particles of debris.

But the same thing applies to maintenance here, with the exception of when you backwash a DE filter all the DE Media is flushed out with the debris thats in it, so every backwash cycle you have to add new DE powder. Maintenance nightmare, But used as a supplement to other filtration, DE will polish your water to crystal clarity.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:18 AM   #18
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Flow

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I agree that as long as you do regular PWCs and backwash the pool filter it would be fine. You are already doing that type of maintenance. A weekly backwash with a 30% -50% PWC should keep the nitrates pretty low.
Is that too much flow for a fw tank?
The problem with this type of filtration is pressure, not volume. There is no such thing as too much filtration, unless youre blowing all the water out of your tank. These systems use 1.5 inch dia. lines for suction and return to allow for the amount of volume of water that goes thru that pump per hour. So if you decrease the size of the plumbing the pressure increases, just like a garden hose. and the volume decreases. So that having been said you will have to plan on very good protection on the suction side of that system, or all your fish etc. that get anywhere close to the inlet side are gonna get sucked out of the tank. and you will have to leave the outlet side of the system at 1.5 inches or larger or you will start to develop enough outlet pressure to blow everything around in the tank and all your fish will either be against the glass or hiding somewhere to escape that pressure. The up side...with that much pressure and turn over, there will be no chance for debris to settle in your tank. When you feed the fish, they better get with it because that food will never have time to settle to the bottom, and pretty quickly will be sucked out the suction pipe.
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:26 PM   #19
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Good point on the pressure. I was thinking of predrilled tank with overflows, or adding overflows to the rear going down to large sump, and spltting off the return to a closed loop section or using a spray bar. Would be great in a reef system but would probably be too much in a FW system.

Thanks.
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:08 AM   #20
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When I was a teenager, my parents had a pool with a DE filter. That thing would keep the water so clear it was amazing. I've heard they will filter out blood, but I never tried to back that up.... It really wasn't that much maintenance though. I'd backwash it once every two weeks or so. It just depended on when the pressure went up too much. I agree it would be more work than a sand filter, but to me the water quality would be worth it.

I do have a question though. Why would a sand filter be a nitrate factory? It seems to me for a given bioload, the amount of nitrate produced from the cycle would be the same regardless of the filter. The only exception I can think of is if a denitrator were installed. I read up on those after a post I had made in another thread.
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