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 Post subject: BioFilter designs?
PostPosted: Jul 23rd, '15, 20:31 
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Morning.
I started to mark the Uniseals holes in the 200 liter barrel I'll be using for a biofilter, when I realized I really haven't seen enough setups here to make an intelligent choice on a design.
I believe the barrel is large enough for my 2600 gallon 10000 liter FT - 200 gallon 800 liter ST - GB ~1.5 Cu meters media with more GBs for next season either outside or in an extension of the greenhouse. I'll need a good biofilter with these proportions.
Can I have net-media on the bottom, an air stone in the center, and use the top of the barrel for a MBBR -style filter of net-sacks filled with bio-balls? Perhaps it is too much to have aerobic bacteria in the bottom and aerobic action happening on the top of the same barrel?

I mainly need to start cycling ASAP as the FT has water. The GBs got their second coat of fiber resin yesterday. That's two coats, probably one more coat in trouble spots. I've got one bell siphon built. As soon as the GBs resin holds water I'll build the rest of the siphons and finish the outflow plumbing, this weekend, or so I hope. That's when I realized I wasn't certain I asked enough questions about biofilter design.


Thanks for your help
Brian Rodgers

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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 Post subject: Re: BioFilter designs?
PostPosted: Jul 24th, '15, 00:54 
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Hi Brian
Bit of a piece of string question. Have a look at some of the videos on U tube.
Net cloth at the bottom etc would be a nightmare to clean out.
Very generally speaking bio -filters need four things.
A constant supply of ammonia (fish waste etc)
Clean water. solids will clog them
A supply of oxygen
Space for the bacteria to grow

So you need some sort of pre filtering. Net cloth GB media etc
Oxygen. You can use the existing oxygen in the water or add additional, either by splashing or a pump
Bacteria will grow on anything but to improve efficiency we look for, ‘things’ which have a high surface area, relative to the space they occupy. SSA or,’ Superficial surface Area’
M3/M2
Plastic bottle tops are commonly used. Think of the extra surface area in the threads and dimples. K1 etc is commercial available bio-filter media
Did I say four things? You need five! A way of cleaning/flushing from time to time
One other thing struck me.
Looking from the pool towards the house the top left GB. You may want to consider painting that area white to reflect light back onto the plants.
My friends are now asking for updates on, “ That amazing American”
Looking good!

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 Post subject: Re: BioFilter designs?
PostPosted: Jul 24th, '15, 04:52 
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Many people use the combination of a Radial Flow Filter followed by an MBBR. I am using a static up flow filter instead of the RFF - works well but needs to be cleaned more often. I built my own after looking at the Nexus Easy Pod, 210 and 310 which I think are great for pond maintenance. They differ in how the flow travels but I think they used to use netting in the center well but now use the static k1 up flow filter with an overflow/bypass in case you're away and to many solids accumulate. I have to say that these are very easy to clean just using aeration.

The filter on the left is the combo up flow/MBBR filter that I made. It's a 5 gallon bucket surrounded by a 15 gallon bucket which is inside a 55 gallon bucket. Water comes into the 15 gallon and flows up through the 5 gallon with static K1 (solids are trapped here) then overflows down the center and into the 55 gallon where the MBBR is. From there it flows out to a second MBBR on the right of the picture. You could substitute netting for the K1 but it might be tougher to clean using aeration. I'm not entirely satisfied with this design, I think it can be done with just the large barrel and the bucket by putting holes in the sides near the top of the bucket and using valves to back flush via the inlet pipe (you need to be able to close the holes for back flushing) - Have this pretty much figured out in my head. Anyway, I would consider a combo filter like this if you don't have enough space.

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 Post subject: Re: BioFilter designs?
PostPosted: Jul 24th, '15, 06:26 
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I had the same question when starting my swirl filters..

I simply bashed every hole at the middle.. for convenience.. and then used elbows etc. To get the flow to where it was needed or to pick up drain from where best practical...

Bottom line.. with my barrels, they were not straight sided and thus the only flat/vertical plane was.at the middle..
The only real detraction.. that extra elbows were needed..
Even the solids lift was from the centre, and it acted like a SLO ..

"How long a piece of string"...... so much will be determined by where you want to mount things and how the flow is needed to work.. ie.. water finds it's own level...
..
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 Post subject: Re: BioFilter designs?
PostPosted: Jul 25th, '15, 20:57 
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fantastic ideas, thank you. Titus, you are a crack up "Did I say four things? You need five! A way of cleaning/flushing from time to time" I think maybe I should just do something, figuring it'll be wrong on a number of levels. Observation of what works and what doesn't, and keeping the plumbing area free for change. Titus, yes, about the shade-cloth filter on bottom, it does seem like I'd be making a difficulty I don't need. You are saying the net-cloth isn't a place for bacteria to grow as much as it is a filter to trap waste. If I want a shade-cloth filter it should be in a separate drum.
Scotty435, Holy smokes! Where to begin? I see air coming in the tops of both. an up-flow in the middle on the left hand or first drum. Out flow off the bottom of the first to the top of the second barrel. This is what I was imagining doing on my two barrels. I have more questions than I can ask in one sitting, but here goes: What is in the 15 gallon drum, under the five gallon bucket?
Scotty435 wrote: "Water comes into the 15 gallon and flows up through the 5 gallon with static K1 (solids are trapped here) then overflows down the center and into the 55 gallon where the MBBR is."
Oh man, I'm like Chris Farley in Almost Heroes, "Do you want my head to explode?" After being told there were also "UPPER CASE LETTERS!" So the green storm drain screen in the middle is the out-flow to the 55 gal drum under the 15 gal drum. What type of interface have you got down there? Isn't the 15 gal drum sitting on the bottom of the 55 gal drum? Yeah it must be, so the outflow does a 90 degree and goes out the side. Absolutely fascinating design Scotty435.
Last question I can think of for now: Where do the solids build up? I see you have a union on the air pipe going to the 5 gal bucket. Does that come out for cleaning?

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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 Post subject: Re: BioFilter designs?
PostPosted: Jul 25th, '15, 23:40 
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Thanks BuiDui, I have the same issues. I'll poke the holes where it is least angled as well. With the MBBF, I take it, you blast air in backwards so to speak to clean it? Does this mean I don't need a clean out on the bottom?
much obliged for all the help

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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 Post subject: Re: BioFilter designs?
PostPosted: Jul 26th, '15, 02:14 
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First another picture without all the media and water.

Attachment:
IMG_0363scaled.JPG
IMG_0363scaled.JPG [ 76.95 KiB | Viewed 6707 times ]


I think I've already improved on this design (haven't built the new one yet though) but I'll describe this one just to give you the idea, since I know it works. Just so you know, the weak spots are the support and the difficulty in plumbing since I couldn't go through the bottom and plumbing 3 containers like this makes it tough to line everything up.

Originally I used a cut off container as the support but this proved to be inadequate for the weight and the inner barrel popped loose. The 15 gallon bucket and contents are neutrally bouyant when everything is full but if you empty the outer container it becomes a problem and if you empty the 15 gallon drum and bucket it wants to float. Right now there is no support other than the plumbing, which is not permanently attached, just press fit so I can but almost never do totally empty the outer barrel (This portion won't get many solids deposited anyway so it doesn't need to be cleaned that often). I do clean the inner bucket completely, as long as the plumbing is pressed in no problems.

All that was a compromise I made to be able to remove everything and not go through the bottom. More a location problem that I don't think you'll have.

boss wrote:
What is in the 15 gallon drum, under the five gallon bucket?


There is a 5 gallon net pot (screens the big stuff and keeps the media in when backflushing) with the bucket lid attached to it's lip and this is then attached to the bottom of the bucket.

The 15 gallon bucket is really just a place to collect the solids when cleaning the static filter. It does help with redirecting the flow. The inlet goes straight at the 5 gallon bucket where the flow goes around both sides and then down to the bottom of the 15 gallon bucket. The water is very still because the flows meet on the opposite side of the bucket and cancel each other out. That might help drop the solids out but it might not matter, the flow has to go down before it can come up through the net pot attached to the bottom of the bucket and into the bucket. The net pot works like a strainer as does the plastic media. There is an air outlet ring at the bottom of the net pot. The idea is that the air sends the solids back out to the 15 gallon bucket to be dumped.

The center overflow is not glued to the base of the 15 gallon bucket so it can be pulled out. I used straight pipe connections attached with short stainless screws to trap some of the parts together along the center pipe but they can still be disassembled. I think I used a through hull fitting at the bottom of the 15 gallon bucket, I have only had to take this off once though - the whole center section stands on this. You need at least 6 stainless screws to fasten the net pot lip to the bucket lid - I used 3 and media would escape into the 15 gallon bucket when backflushing - that's the only reason I ever had to remove the center section - some day I might have to clean it though :dontknow:

Sorry this is a bit scattered but just ask if you have any questions.


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 Post subject: Re: BioFilter designs?
PostPosted: Jul 26th, '15, 02:19 
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I have a couple of points to add.
Scotty talks about an upflow filter. I have been researching one for my system. This would be placed after the RFF. One of the advantages I see in such a design is the passive introduction of additional air. At the moment I have a, ‘ multiple scourer pad’ filter. I like the idea of turning a tap to clean rather than washing or replacing numerous pads.
My K1 media has four spokes but I understand that a five spoked version is now available. Depending on the price differential something to consider.


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 Post subject: Re: BioFilter designs?
PostPosted: Jul 26th, '15, 02:41 
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I'll vouch for the fact that cleaning out an IBC filled with shade clot filters and a few hundred feet on fish netting is no fun.

Ryan's RFF and KI mbbr, doesn't require any regular removal and cleaning. Just backwash and open a dump valve. He has around 4000 gallons with 2 tanks per RFF and mbbr. 1 on a 2000 gallon FT should work fine. The secret is getting or making the induction, cone bottom tanks. They drain completely and easily when you open the dump valve. In his case, he recirculates everything, and uses water only for topping off.

You can make a cone bottom with plastic weld and or concrete, but not as good as a 60 degree built one. I'm almost positive his are 45 and he said he would prefer the 60 degree as they would flush completely. My 55 gallon RFF's don't flush completely and I drain and clean them every few weeks. Not a huge waste of water, but still it takes about 150 plus gallons.


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 Post subject: Re: BioFilter designs?
PostPosted: Jul 26th, '15, 06:23 
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I actually use mine in place of an RFF and net filter but I pay a penalty in having to clean it out more often. If you can put an RFF in and follow it with an MBBR you'll have more suspended solids getting through but you do need something to feed the plants in an AP system. What I'm using is hooked to a RAS setup so it's a bit different needs. Adding the aeration is good as long as you don't create a channel for solids to pass through. I'm planning on adding air in the lift tube of the SLO which is right before the filter - If the flow is too slow or too many solids accumulate and the oxygen levels drop, you'll get de-nitrification and loose many of your nutrients to the air. I don't have the air going right now but this isn't hooked to an AP system yet and if I loose a few nutrients it's OK. I'm hoping I'll have enough oxygen in the water before it reaches the filter, that the static filter runs aerobically for some time after cleaning. I believe the thickness of the K1 can be used to adjust how much passes through the filter and whether it will go anaerobic (and/or how fast this happens). From what I've seen it really wouldn't take much K1 to act as a good static filter.


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 Post subject: Re: BioFilter designs?
PostPosted: Jul 26th, '15, 06:52 
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Just back from seeing my wife at the hospital in town. Helped out and visited for a while. Hit the hardware store afterwards. Bought more oversize ball valves for whatever I decide I can do on the filters. Now I should be able to isolate each barrel, haven't got a way to bypass each yet though. I don't know how important that is.
Fittings were fairly inexpensive at less than a dollar for the elbows of various sizes. Bought ~30 pieces. Feeling a bit overwhelmed now :geek: Also bought sixy feet of 1" PVC pipe for the air and water lines.

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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 Post subject: Re: BioFilter designs?
PostPosted: Jul 26th, '15, 06:58 
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More of this type of diagram might help me grasp what you all are trying to do.
I had to blow it up Titus. Old eyes and all
Attachment:
Upflow filter-640.jpg
Upflow filter-640.jpg [ 130.76 KiB | Viewed 6576 times ]

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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 Post subject: Re: BioFilter designs?
PostPosted: Jul 26th, '15, 07:19 
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I take it from the complexities of the MBBR or MMBF that these are employed more for RAS than AP. I think I need a "starter" filter. Something simple(r) that I can throw together to get my system cycling. I take it from the complexities

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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 Post subject: Re: BioFilter designs?
PostPosted: Jul 26th, '15, 09:24 
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For most AP systems it's your grow beds that do your filtering and you stock according to how much filtration you have in these. If you want more fish then you either add grow beds or some other type of filter which is where all these things come in. MBBR's/MBBF's aren't really very complicated, they're just a container full of slightly buoyant floating media like k1 in a tank with lots of aeration, an inlet, an outlet, and a clean out drain.

This is as simple as I can make my dual static and MBBR filter and it's basically what I'll be doing next -

Attachment:
Static and MBBR filter.jpg
Static and MBBR filter.jpg [ 50.04 KiB | Viewed 6557 times ]


I didn't draw in the air lines but each container has it's own air and a valve. The air runs in the MBBR most of the time and in the Static filter, only when you are cleaning the K1.

The filter flushes each barrel through the same lines as the inlet and outlet so only two holes are needed but this requires additional water valves. In this example the air in the MBBR is going up against the flow since the outlet is at the bottom (not like what I'm running now and I've eliminated the 15 gallon bucket). The center inlet is also the support for the 5 gallon bucket. Atrium grates keep the K1 from flowing out and strain the solids out. These should work but you'll probably need to drill the pipe under the atrium grate to get the crud off the bottom in both containers - the atrium grates will be too high. This is more of a weakness in the MBBR portion than in the Static filter portion. I think that's pretty simple and should be do-able. Putting an RFF in front of this would be even better but it'll work without one until you can get that done (might want to leave space though).


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 Post subject: Re: BioFilter designs?
PostPosted: Jul 26th, '15, 09:34 
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A last detail. The holes in the sides of the bucket where the water flows into the MBBR need to be covered during a backflush. I'm thinking that the top of another bucket slid inside this one will work but I am still giving this some thought because I'm not sure I'll be satisfied with this arrangement. The extra top might trap K1 as you try to insert it since it's narrower at it's base. There are other ways to get the water from one to the other (like a pipe) so not a big deal.


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