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PostPosted: Jan 14th, '14, 21:35 
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Good morning everyone. I have an idea, but wanted to get a green light from you guys. I thought of cutting the bottom out of a 55 gallon drum, and put it in the center of an IBC (about a foot off the bottom), to make it into a RFF or RFS. Now, here are a couple twists:

1. What if, instead of having the water flow upward into the drum, I put a bend in the inlet so the water swirls inside the drum as it flows downward?

2. I'm planning on putting bird netting outside of the drum for bio filtration.

Opinions? Ideas?

Thanks always!

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PostPosted: Jan 15th, '14, 02:45 
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I put a swirl filter inside my IBC sump tank. Photos here https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=565812410106434&set=a.559306440757031.1073741825.559304794090529&type=3&theater

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PostPosted: Jan 15th, '14, 14:36 
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With the bottom cut out of the drum all the solids you collect with this swirl will end up in the bottom of the barrel under the netting,so why bother with this configuration why not just pass the water through the netting ? or leave the bottom in the barrel and collect them there ? Jeff8 from his pic has done this,although if this arrangement if it is in the ground you have to be able to discharge the swirl into another sump to collect the solids for mineralisation not sure how jeff8 goes about this.

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PostPosted: Jan 15th, '14, 20:10 
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Thanks guys. Dasboot, here's how I see it. If I cut out the bottom of the drum, I'm forcing the water & gunk to the bottom of the filter and (in my head) the gunk would have a harder time going back up through the netting to get out, therefore improving filtration. The IBC will have a bottom drain, so collecting the solids should be easier. But again, its in my head!! Thanks for your opinions!

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PostPosted: Jan 15th, '14, 21:36 
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dasboot wrote:
With the bottom cut out of the drum all the solids you collect with this swirl will end up in the bottom of the barrel under the netting,so why bother with this configuration why not just pass the water through the netting ? or leave the bottom in the barrel and collect them there ? Jeff8 from his pic has done this,although if this arrangement if it is in the ground you have to be able to discharge the swirl into another sump to collect the solids for mineralisation not sure how jeff8 goes about this.


I cut the lid of the garbage can and made a cone that sits at the bottom of the swirl filter. I used a PVC shower drain fitting to hold the cone in the bottom and plumbed out the side of the tank. The garbage can sits on a couple concrete pavers to provide room for the plumbing. As long as the level of water in the can is above my outlet valve I have no problems extracting solids. I didn't even have to worry about sealing things as the whole thing is inside the sump tank.

I've also changed the design slightly since the photos. I moved the inlet through the side of the swirl filter and placed some Matala filter media in the top of the can. The solids settle at the bottom and some get caught in the media as the water rises and spills over the edges into the sump tank. Makes for an excellent mineralization setup.

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '14, 10:02 
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JeffB i can see that now,really good ideal i have been trying to find sheets of HDPE here in Thailand to construct a cone for my 55g barrel, i reckon i could find rocking horse shit quicker.

mwdesigns,yes as the solids drop they will cover a wider area than just pumping water in through an inlet,it would be more efficient in that respect,the bottom drain will be the weak link, without a slope/cone it is very difficult to concentrate the solids so when you open the bottom drain you immediately clear the immediate area then nothing else.You can backwash your media that might work,but the bottom line with a filter of this type you end up dumping a lot of water to clean it out.
Using a large bottom drain will help,as you open it you get a rush through the bottom drain taking as much as the solids with it.In my barrel i was thinking along the lines of a hot air gun to distort the bottom downwards to maybe help with the solids collection,i think this is important as it makes collecting the solids quicker and more efficient for mineralisation.

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PostPosted: Jan 27th, '14, 21:28 
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Hey guys, if you need material to build a cone, you could probably get thin PVC or styrene sheet at a local sign supply.

About the bottom, I put some 2" x 4"'s on the edges of the IBC, so the center drops down a bit. I will be posting photos soon, on my other thread. Thanks!

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PostPosted: Jan 27th, '14, 22:16 
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If I had to do it again I'd probably just buy one of these and make a radial flow filter:

Image

Here is a good white paper comparing RFFs and Swirl Filters: http://integrated-aqua.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Radial_Flow_Settler_Whitepaper.pdf

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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '14, 08:52 
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I reckon you could make that cone bit on the bottom out of galv sheet metal, rivet it onto the bottom of a blue barrel and seal it with silcone and paint the inside of it with a bitumen paint... bit of work though. But wouldn't be too bad if you already have most of the materials available.

Or make the cone bit out of thin sheet plastic as suggested above, then slap a bit of rough fibreglass down around the outside of the cone for strength

What's the rough price on those conical blue tanks JeffB - in particular the one bottom row first on the left which looks similar to a 200 litre blue barrel?


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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '14, 10:37 
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If you're looking to build an RFF for a 275 gallon IBC tote (~250 gal capacity) running at 8 GPM max flow, then you could use an 18" diameter tank which runs about $125 for tank and lid from these guys: http://www.polytankco.com/cone-bottom_tanks.html

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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '14, 11:12 
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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '14, 17:46 
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nice one.. almost ready for lift off :thumbleft:


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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '14, 22:12 
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Since blue 55 gallon drums are polyethylene, and polyethylene is a thermoplastic, I always wondered if you could just remold the bottom. Maybe cut a small hole in the bottom center, place a pipe through it, add some weight to the pipe, then reheat with a heat gun.

Or maybe use a dumbbell instead of a pipe:

Image

Anyway, just a thought . . .

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PostPosted: Apr 6th, '16, 03:09 
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I have one 325 gal. IBC fish tank that empties into a 55 gallon swirl filter that empties into a 55 gal bio filter that empties into an 275 gal. IBC sump tank sunken 3.5 ft. into the ground. The water is then pumped to the fish tank and to the 4 IBC grow beds that are 1 ft. deep. The pump also provides the aeration to the sump tank and the fish tank. My main source of air is provided by a 12 vdc system which provides air to the fish tank and to the sump tank. This has been accomplished through trial and error, mostly error. But, finally I am able to grow big vegetables. Thank you for this opportunity to talk, Gil Jones


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PostPosted: Apr 12th, '16, 03:22 
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I just experienced a large fish kill. My water stank. I replaced 1/2 of the water with collected rain water and added two more IBC grow beds each being 12" deep. I also plan to add a raft system to my setup only to increase filtration. I thought the system would almost take care of its self. But, my thinking was off about 56 goldfish. The experts a 50 Fathoms Pet Shop helped me out of that jam. Now, I understand you can't have too much filtration or aeration.

Thanks for reading, Gil


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