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Help on a DIY side drop filter???

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First of all, im not entirely sure that this is called a side drop filter, guess ill know soon enough.

Any way i have decided that i would like to have a go at creating some sort of filter that is completely built into the tank and require as litte energy as possible.

Im going to go with air driven side drop filters. Again correct me if im wrong, but i cant seem to find much in the way of help for what i want to do on the net, but im sure this has been done before so maybe im looking in the wrong places.

Ive seen them at pet shops, usually filled with filter wool and gravel.

Anyway, the idea is simple, use several glass pieces fixed into one end of the tank creating partitions that flow into eachother, fill the partitions with different filter material, then use an air stone to create a lift out of the last partition, spilling into the tank and then overflowing back into the first partition.

I have a few questions for any one with experience in the matter. Youll have to check the link to get an idea of what im thinking.

Basically my main question is how many partitions??

this is my ideas, all end view of the tank.


sorry for the dodgy photoshop

The 4 would be ideal, but will an airstone create enough flow for the water to keep running through the filter after going up and down so much??

The 2, one large one small, seems easy and practical, and will probably be what i do if i cant get the water to flow through the 4 partitions.

The 3, was an idea i was toying with, having the inlet on the bottom, good flow, clean bottom of tank, although i would have to have little to no substrate.

I plan to use a coarse sponge, then bioballs, then a bag of either purigen or carbon. i really really like purigen, especially on a small tank, but 30 would be me a @#$%load of carbon. i know its not for every body... input???

i forgot to say, this is on a spare 15x8x8 tank and sort of a just-because-i-can project.

although if it all goes well im considering something similar for my 2ft...

Sorry, ramble ramble ramble. Any input is appreciated, and ill post pics when i do it.

Cheers .

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I like the last two. Maybe you could try one of each? I like the last one (3) best, but i only have theory. It draws from underneath, so is creating a circular water movement with the bubbles. Number two might tend to filter already filtered water a bit. A decent length uplift should fix that, and create more suction. Is good to draw from lower, as thats where the crap is. Also, if the sponge does its job, only it need be removed for cleaning frequently, the bio media can be left alone for longer. So I like 3 for these reasons. I like 2 for the greatest surface area of sponge, so high flow will be maintained for longer. Number 1 is ok, but I dont see it as efficient as the other two.



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