DIY - Projects & Ideas • The KISS Filter DIY Project (with pictures)

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Postby under_control » Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:45 pm

I have done experiments involving this in lab and you would need a pump of over 3000gph to sustain any effect tot his sort. Your run of the mill power head will not cause this sort of effect.
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Postby Tezr » Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:36 pm

volume per hour pumped is not the issue. The restricted flow due to the small micron opening of the input is the issue. Please elaborate on your experiments for example what type pump, what results you were measuring. Your blanket statements of scientific experimentation lend little to any relevance to what is being discussed here.

There are countless variables in what is being discussed. I know I am not trying to say it cannot be done just to watch for any signs of abnormality if you decide to try it. It seems that you are taking some sort of personal offense to anyone saying that there could be issues with the set up.
I found myself in love with the world so there was only one thing that I could do was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long

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Postby bulldogg7 » Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:38 pm

Sorry if I struck a nerve, just wondering why this caused a die off. I've used the household filters before, not problems. Going to incorporate them into my diy canister next time I take it apart, figure I can fit about 6-7 in there.
The champagne thing was an analogy; contents under pressure... tank is under (atmospheric pressure), both have dissolved gases, reducing the pressure (won't not boil the water but may release some of those gases). Not by much, but doing it over and over and over may add up. Additional filtration would counteract it. Think it would be great for a fry tank if it caused the surface agitation.
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Postby Rivermud » Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:45 am

When too much of a vacuum is created by an impeller it will cavitate. This throws the micro bubbles you see into the aquarium. This is often caused in the aquarium society by having clogged mechanical filtration. It does not cause dissolved oxygen to release of the aquarium. I will not argue that some of you may have had gasping fish but I am faily certain that it is not caused from removing dissolved oxygen due to the micron filtration. 20 microns is not really all that small. I've used as fine as 2 micron filters in this setup. I have also used filters such as the Hot Magnum that was rated at 1 micron after loading it with the powder. Not once have I had an issue where I removed the dissolved oxygen. I have also used filter floss and when packed tight I would bet it has better than 20 micron filtration easilly.

I am going to guess you probably don't have something to break the waters surface correctly which causes issues with the gas exchange in general. This WILL cause fish to gasp eventually. I've had powerheads fail to provide adequate surface agitation in an aquarium before. In fact it was very recently with a sponge type filter I had been testing. I saw a boil on the weaters surface but it did not cause enough agitation to break up the surface for gas exchange. What Happened?? Boat loads of algea in days, then bigger issues. But shrug, those aren't the issue. I put an airstone in the tank and poof, much healthier and happier..

I'll stand behind this filter design any day and who you a running version that has used multiple types of filters. Mine all cost less than 5 each and were all 50 micron or better filtration. I love hte little filter. I'ts easy to hide, easy to maintain, cheap, and works better than almost any mechanical filter i've ever seen on the mass market.

The filter might be the root cause of your problem ONLY in the fact that you are not agitating the water enough to promote proper gas exchange. I'm also going to say that you should really only consider the KISS filter setup as a mechanical filter. It can be used as bio as well but there are much better ways to do bio filtration... besides the best bio filtration requires air and water.. ie wet dry..imho

Thank you everyone for the kudos on the idea.. I admit I got the idea after discussing another design with Over Stocked. The idea kinda blew me away while I was grumbling about a leak on my canister.. :lol: I hope everyone enjoys.. Maybe I'll write up a decent DIY on it later.. :thumb:
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Postby Tezr » Sun Jan 20, 2008 4:03 am

When I added mine in my 55 gallon it was just to add additional filtration not as the only filtration. It was placed below the surface with out using the venturi to add in air to the output so it would not have added any surface agitation or oxygen to the water. I want to say it was rated at 5 micron or below and was the type with a plastic core and pleated filter material. I was also running a AC 300 and a Rena XP3. I do remember the filter putting out a lot of microbubbles but I did not realize they were a bad thing at the time.

If you could post the exact brand and model of the filter cartridge you are using it might prevent anyone from making the error I made. I did not want to believe it was the filter either but after a second round of deaths when trying another cartridge in a 30 gallon tank I had to concede that it was the probable cause.

You could also modify it to go onto the output and place a sponge from an AC as your prefilter thus preventing the cavitation.

It is a good cheap filter.
I found myself in love with the world so there was only one thing that I could do was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long

Tony at RCA http://www.rivercityaquatics.com/
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Postby Rivermud » Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:07 am

Odd Tezr, Like I said I do not doubt your experience. I must then assume the filter cartridge or something else as a prt of it was the issue. However these filter cartridges are used for drinking water. In fact many many many houses use them and a lot of aquariast get their water out of the faucet from these. If it is safe enough for me to use for drinking water I am sure not worried about it for aquarium water. If you were throwing micro bubbles from the filter then i suppose it's possible.. shurg. My take however is that if the 1 micron diatom filters do not kill fish then a 20 micron filter used for drinking water won't..

The sponge would not stop the cavitation.. Have you ever watched the air pockets that trail things that move through the water very fast or that water moves very fast over? Cavitation is a fancy word I am probably using incorrectly, it is used when oxygen gets under a boat and into the impeller when moving at high speed, the oxygen actually danages the impeller blades. Anyway, I think everyone knows what I am talking about now. I also might be dead wrong about the cavitation not being released disolved oxygen. If that is the case then anybody experiencing micro bubbles should reduce the flow of their pump with the adjuster on the powerhead or move to a more open filter.

Ok, this is good for a debate and I know people like Walter, Mcdaph and the rest are around to discuss the issue. I'll retract my original statement after much discussion with my cousin. The air bubbles may very well be extracted oxygen and other gasses from the water column as the pump is pulling too fast for the water to penetrate the filter, especially after it has clogged up a bit. So, quite possibly I've never experienced an issue with micro bubbles in the filter setup because I use a low flow pump. The filter material itself is not what is killing your fish.. It can't be if its the same filter type for household drinking water we are using.

Thoughts??? Calling the engineer minds again :D
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Postby Tezr » Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:41 am

I was using a penguin 550 powerhead on mine which is rated for 145 gph.

Another view could be that the restriction was causing the impeller to heat up thus raising the immediate water temp thus reducing the amount of dissolved O2 in the water coming from the powerhead.

The explanation depends upon whether you are asking about oxygen dissolved in water, or the water itself. As far as the solubility of oxygen in water, that depends upon both temperature and pressure.
At 20 °C, normal pressure, freshwater has Oxygen of: 9.1 mg/L = 100% saturation. As pressure decreases, more oxygen will escape, because the pressure is what keeps it in solution.
Ever leave the top off a carbonated beverage over night? Is there any fizz left in the morning? No, because the dissolved gas was free to leave the liquid, because there is less pressure when the top is off than when it is on. The "pop" or hiss you hear when opening it shows the release of pressure because the soda is at a higher pressure than when the lid is off.

The amount of oxygen in solution also goes down, at same pressures, if you increase temperature, because as the temperature goes up, so does the ability of the molecules to move around. The more chaotic (higher temperature) the system becomes, the less and less oxygen it can hold.


http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 937AApnsId

This is what I meant by the sponge prefilter.

Mcdaphnia wrote:If you have the outflow feeding a spray bar, close some of the holes. If you just have the open pipe or no pipe or tube at all on the outflow side, get some tubing and run it up to where you can put a flow control clamp on it. Like this.... http://www.pondbiz.com/home/pb1/page_11 ... clamp.html

or insert a plastic valve in the line and partially close it until the bubbles stop. (But not the water. :D ) Remember the restriction should always be on the out flow side. If you look at the design, these filters violate that because the water is sucked out of the filter media, not blown into to it. If you flip the powerhead around to pump into the filter, it would be more correct but not as simple. You'd need a prefilter on the powerhead intake. Simple can be good, but as the filter media on this design starts to clog, the pump can overheat. That is no problem only if you have a pile of powerheads that you need to dispose of.


The sponge just keeps the big junk out of the impeller and then the smaller stuff is still removed by the cartridge before being pushed back into the aquarium.

Rivermud wrote:Odd Tezr, Like I said I do not doubt your experience. I must then assume the filter cartridge or something else as a prt of it was the issue. However these filter cartridges are used for drinking water. In fact many many many houses use them and a lot of aquariast get their water out of the faucet from these. If it is safe enough for me to use for drinking water I am sure not worried about it for aquarium water. If you were throwing micro bubbles from the filter then i suppose it's possible.. shurg. My take however is that if the 1 micron diatom filters do not kill fish then a 20 micron filter used for drinking water won't..

The filter material itself is not what is killing your fish.. It can't be if its the same filter type for household drinking water we are using.

Thoughts??? Calling the engineer minds again :D


I still disagree with the line of thinking that if something is safe for human consumption then it is safe for fish as well. My tap water has chloramine in it and to my knowledge this fine for human consumption but will kill a fish in a short period of time. Humans do not use the water for O2 like a fish does so it is not comparing apples to apples.

I am just an electronics tech not an engineer as I could never go through with the frontal labotamy (just kidding well kinda)
I found myself in love with the world so there was only one thing that I could do was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long

Tony at RCA http://www.rivercityaquatics.com/
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Postby Rivermud » Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:58 pm

Tezr, I think you've had a bad experience and you've got it in your head that the filter itself was the issue. I saw your posts on MFK and I saw the post here. I also know of many people who use these filters without issue. The theory that you can separate disolved gasses is possible. However I do not agree with the thinking that the media itself is contaminating the tank. First, if thta were the actual issue then you fish would still have been suffering even after you removed the filter due to the particulate matter or chemicals release into the tank. They would have stayed suffering until water changes were done. Not until it was removed.

Mcdaphs comments there also included two things yours did not. First, you reverse the powerhead and blow into the media, second you put a valve for restricting the output. Both separate ideas, not pertaining to this filter but a similar issue in another thread speaking of micro-bubbles. Mcdaphs idea is that since these powerheads work on the reverse principal of our other filtration units, we simply turn it around, put on a pre-filter and blow into our mechanical. All well and fine however it still has the big problem of being reversed. Mechanical filtration goes before bio filtration. You could recreate his idea of the valve on the output though and restrict your flow thus reducing the vacuum created in the filter and stopping the micron bubbles which is in a sense exactly the same thing i said.. reduce the flow, only I said to use the flow restriction setting on the powerhead itself since they come with one.

Lastly, if the powerhead was creating heat like that it would be heating the aquarium. Your link actually backs up the idea of the vacuum releasing the disolved gasses, not so much the heat from the power head. The water would have to be very hot throughout the tank to release oxygen like that from superheating at the powerhead.

I'll admit the powerhead may be removing the oxygen. I doubt very mucht eh filter is releasing chemicals. The vacuum in the filter might very well be releasing the dissolved gasses causing the micro bubbles. So, I may have to edit the DIY to include a note about micro bubbles and high flow power heads. I'll stop short of toxins released by a drinking water filter.
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Postby bulldogg7 » Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:26 pm

http://www.shopfilters.com/product_deta ... N+RS1%2DDS
These were the ones I used, 20micron.
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Postby moto_master » Sun Jan 20, 2008 4:48 pm

I just read through this whole thing, and even though I don't want to get myself into this argument, I feel the need to add my two cents. I can fully understand how the low pressure could cause the water to release some of it's oxygen, but I just don't see how this could be enough to suffocate your fish. Especially if you have any surface agitation, air pumps, etc. in the tank. I don't see the problem in turning the pump around so that it pumps the water into the filter, rather than out of it. That huge water filter would act more like a biological filter than a prefilter would. I'm still curious if there's a chance that some brands have some sort of chemicals in the filters. I would like to know what brand filter, and what type filter was used when the fish died.

Rivermud, I love your idea for this DIY project, and I'm interested in doing it myself. It would be awesome if you wrote that new DIY, and included better more detailed photos, and even a Caution in fine print stating peoples concerns (including the possibility of the filter releasing toxins into the water).

:thumb: :thumb:
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Postby Rivermud » Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:36 pm

I'm not going to write one with fine print detailing the possibility of the filters releasing chemicals into the water. I know of way to many people who use filters of this type in multiple systems without issue. Also, if you reversed the filter it would no longer simply attatch witha single piece of pvc thus making it more difficult. If i were to make it more difficult I would use the canisters for home filtration that these are used in, which I have done and several peole use as well. If these filters released toxins that could kill your fish then they would not be used a filtration for chemicals and particulate matter for drinking water. Think about it. While you are not running the water from your faucet, the water sits in these canisters. The water could sit in there say two to three weeks if you happen to be on vacation or something. If they leeched chemicals that could be hazardous they would certainly do it there... The only thing I would say period would be to read the label and packaging first. I'd also mention that people should clean or recharge their filters often to prevent issues with clogging causing a low pressure environment inside the filter. I would also state that if you experience micro bubbles turn down the flow of the pump as the micro bubbles COULD be an indicator of released disolved gasses.
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Postby Tezr » Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:54 pm

RiverMud,
The issue I was experiencing on MFK is in no way linked to this discussion as it was a separate tank and issue all together.

In the 2 situations I had I believe that the fatalities were caused by asphyxiation not necessarily from a toxin. The first tank was almost a complete loss and the only survivors were my Plecos and some fry that were gathered at the surface. Most of the dead had distended gill plates and a redness in the gill areas. The 2nd tank the dead looked the same and the ones surviving were gasping at the surface and panting. I performed a 50% water change and removed the cartridge and have not had any more losses from these tanks. Another variable is that both tanks were rift lake tanks (1st Malawi and the 2nd Tang) so maybe the high ph and gh also lend to causing the reduction of O2 or the fact that I depend on surface agitation for oxygenation and do not run airstones.

I guess I am not making my thoughts understandable but as McDaphina stated
If you flip the powerhead around to pump into the filter, it would be more correct but not as simple. You'd need a prefilter on the powerhead intake.
is exactly what I am trying to say in that you use a sponge or strainer to keep the big stuff out of your impeller and then on the output side place the cartridge to act as both a bio filter and also a polishing filter.

Both separate ideas, not pertaining to this filter but a similar issue in another thread speaking of micro-bubbles.
Umm actually that thread was started by someone using a filter he made after reading your thread so it does pertain to this filter.

and lastly I have never stated that I thought it released toxins but since I did not have the label I cannot state that for fact.

I think your DIY thread will be a good one with the added small print about microbubbles and maybe a line to watch for gasping or simply using the venturi (the little hose input just prior to the output) to add in some fresh air to the output stream.
I found myself in love with the world so there was only one thing that I could do was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long

Tony at RCA http://www.rivercityaquatics.com/
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Postby Mcdaphnia » Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:53 pm

bulldogg7 wrote:http://www.shopfilters.com/product_detail.asp?T1=OMN+RS1%2DDS
These were the ones I used, 20micron.
It does not require mysterious chemicals or scifi physics to explain how a filter sleeve could strip oxygen out of the water. With the water being sucked in, detritus could be pulled into the filter and then use up the oxygen as the water passes through.
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Postby bulldogg7 » Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:05 pm

I didn't have any problems with mine. I was just trying to figure out what happened in Tezr's tank. I loved my setup, Am planning on putting them into my DIY canister next time I clean it out.
Have an air powered version ready for my hospital tank in case I get any fry. Just a perforated pipe inside with an air stone.
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Postby Rivermud » Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:22 pm

Both are plausible. Clogged filtration, nitrosomes, they require oxygen. It's all there. I just don't like when hocus pocus and mysticism get added into the hobby. It absolutely blows my mind, some of the things people believe. Things like copper kills fish, pvc tubing should never be used in water, etc... I don't want to add to it either. These filters are perfectly aquarium safe, its their use and maintenance that causes issues, just like any mechanical filter. IMHO.
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