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03-07-2010, 07:22 PM #1
Quick and easy Bucket filter *warning* lots of pics!
I finally got around to making a filter for my outdoor 110 gallon oscar grow out pond.
Ive been planning to for the longest while, but just haven't had the time.
The materials I used are all easy to find, and the build itself takes little time.
So, here goes..
A five gallon bucket serves as the body of the filter. They are cheap and fairly easy to cut.
This is an old bucket I had lying around. It has been used for water changes etc.
A cover is important to keep the top of the bucket.. well.. covered.
Since I dont plan on making the filter airtight, the intake hole at the top need not be exact.
A small assortment of pvc fittings. I used half inch fittings for this filter.
You may need to use larger ones, depending on the flow rate of your pump.
Filter media. I decided to go the cheap route and used generic non treated dish scrubbing pads, and floss from a pillow.
Thanks Lady Hobbs for the great idea of using pillow batting! You can use any media that works for you.
The bunchy plastic potscrubbers also work well but I couldn't find any.
03-07-2010, 07:23 PM #2
Not pictured with the pvc parts above, This is a 2 inch male adapter with a 2 inch female
adapter. They make up the overflow of the filter. Silly me forgot to take photos of drilling the
bucket and attaching them. I used the adapters in place of a bulkhead which are more expensive
and harder to find here. I used a dremel to make the hole, There are easier methods. (IMPORTANT!! Its wise to use overflow fittings at least twice the size of your intake)
A line of silicone around the edge of the hole, later smoothed out along the crevices after
installing the adapters will create a watertight seal.
You may need to add more silicone after fitting to make sure there are no gaps on either side. Be
sure to use aquarium safe silicone.
03-07-2010, 07:24 PM #3
Now for the other fittings. The intake was assembled as in the pictures below. The vertical pipe
should be a bit taller than the bucket, to ensure clearance when attaching the intake tube from
The elbows on either side of the horizontal pipes face opposite directions. This creates circular
water movement which aides the efficiency of the filter
The bucket and top part of the intake fitted for demonstration
03-07-2010, 07:24 PM #4
Inside the filter, there needs to be a gap between the floor of the bucket and the media. To
create this, I used the lid of an old laundry basket. Eggcrate, plastic baskets, seives or
anything similar will work. I used this for its circular shape, and large spaces... plus it was
The lid needed to be cut, so obviously this was the right time to misplace my wirecutters. Not to
worry though, I did what any man would do and hacked away at it with a cleaver
Our barrier fits perfectly, and since the bucket narrows to the bottom, it needs no added support
to leave a nice gap underneath. If you need something to support your barrier, any "holey" dollar
store basket will work, provided it can fit in the bucket. Notice a space has been made in the
middle for our pipe.
Now was time to add the filter media. I used the pads on the bottom,arranged in an overlapping
circle.I got about 3 layers out of 20 pads. I wasn't too pleased with the arrangement, since it
left a lot of gaps at the side but this was the only way that worked. I fixed this problem later
though. (note.. if using these pads, you may want to soak them first.. you'll see why in a bit)
03-07-2010, 07:25 PM #5
The filter floss went above the pads, stuffed tightly to prevent any gaps.
Initially, after I ran the filter for a few hours, I noticed that water was coming up around the
edges of the floss. I suspected that this was because of the gaps around the scrubbing pads. I
took out the floss and was pleased to find that the pads had all become very pliable. This was
what prevented me from arranging them properly in the first place when they were dry. I was very
pleased with the new arrangement.Notice that there are no gaps around the pads.
The filter installed in the pond. I used a bit of garden hose to connect the pump to the
intake.To maximize the output of the pump, i placed the overflow of the filter just above the
rim. Notice how green the water is. This pond gets indirect sunlight all day long.
Its not easy being green...... Look at that water! The filter has been seeded with an old filterpad from one of my tanks.
Last edited by Aeonflame; 03-07-2010 at 07:32 PM.
03-07-2010, 07:25 PM #6
A shot of the lid fitted into place.
one week later!! Hey! who would Have thought there were fish in there?? There is already a significant difference in the water.
My little oscars, still all playing nicely among themselves. There are also 4 small tilapia and a couple acaras in here.
Aren't they cute? After they start pairing off Im going to move them into individual ponds like these.
Last edited by Aeonflame; 03-07-2010 at 07:34 PM.
03-07-2010, 07:29 PM #7
Great DYI project!When in doubt, do a water change.
"This ain't rocket science!"
03-07-2010, 07:37 PM #8
You made that look easy !!!
Great DIY postIf you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
"Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]
03-07-2010, 09:41 PM #9
I am especially interested in what you used as filter media. Is there any reason why one could not add pillow floss and basic sponge set to say my Rena for additional media?
Last edited by jcarr71; 03-07-2010 at 09:54 PM.
03-07-2010, 09:51 PM #10
I am very impressed. So you plan on breeding the oscars to sell off the fry? I also like the media ideas you had.
my two favorites in my life.