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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The KISS Filter
Keep It Simple Stupid

I've been toying with filters and whatnot for my entire fish keeping career. I have a nasty habit of tinkering with things even when they work just fine. Well, anyway I decided to adopt a few new tanks recently and I wanted to recycle some old parts. I tinkered with many ideas and have made a few DIY setups in the last month. I feel this one was a stroke of genius and I'm dumbfounded at how simple it was. So without further delay. The KISS Filter.



As I said it's simple. Here is a list of supplies.

1: One 3/4 inch Thinwall PVC pipe. Mine is Cresline PVC SDR 21 200 PSI PR Water at 73 degrees f 1120 NSF pw ASTM D 2241 PPFA 070729an1a5 (for the detail oriented) This can be found at any plumbing store even the Home Dumpster.

2: One 3/4 inch cap for said pipe.. again you can find this anywhere you find the pipe. Use beer sparingly.


3: One Powerhead. I used one I had laying around. You'll want to make sure the powerhead you are using is of the 3/4 inch standpipe variety, not the mini 1/2 inch. Mine is an Aquaclear 50.


4: One standard house filter insert. This can be found at Lowes, the Dumpster.. any plumbing place. There are dozens of varieties of these filters so choose the one that you like best. This is the beauty of this project, different levels of filtration.


Tools:
A hacksaw, sharp knife, or box cutter. Anything that will cut the thin wall pipe.

Instructions:
Cut a 1/2 inch piece from the pipe and set it aside. Cut a 1.5 inch piece from the pipe and stick it in the cap as shown in the photo above. The cap then gets inserted into the bottom side of the filter to plug the hole. The best part is that the pipe is the exact diamter to fit in the hole quite snug. Now, place the half inch peice of pipe over the powerhead intake, another thing of beauty... it's the exact correct inside diameter to fit snug. Now slide the powerhead into the top of the filter and viola.. jobs done. It looks clean and sharp and does a fantasic job as a particulate filter or even a bio filter depending on which filter you choose to use. The one in the picture is a 2 micron carbon inpregnated filter. These filters can be found in many different arrays, choose the best for your situtation.. heck make a few of these and use them for multiple [/b][/u]purposes.. what a great way to use old powerheads.
 

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I wiped out an entire tank once in 12 hours using a home water filter on a power head. Do not know the brand but I am guessing it had some anti mold ingredients.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, that would be a great reason to read what you are buying. The home filters have a direct list of exactly what they do. However I find it odd that any drinking water filter would wipe out your tank considering we ingest the water so it should be fine for your tank. If your tank was wiped out by the filter I would look for another root cause before blaming a drinking water filter. I know of atleast a half dozen other people that use these filters now and never heard of such an issue. Over-Stocked uses the house filters, I've used one for the past 2 weeks.. 0 issues. I'm even using a carbon impregnated filter, though I doubt I will continue to use one and will probably switch to a 30 micron or larger filter. Gotta love the 2 micron filter am using now though.. talk about crystal clear water.. wow

Before


After


Close-up


It may be hard to tell, but the water is much much clearer. I originally had this filter hooked up in a canister. Sadly the 50 gallon tank it was attached to developed a leak so I took the filter down. I was just sitting here the other day talking about sponge filters when the idea hit me.. and poof here it is.. simple, cheap, easy to replace... heh I suppose if you really wanted to you could run the filter with air lol
 

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I did the same basic thing a couple years ago, and it worked just fine. I used the entire assembly as a polisher connected to the end of a sump output. The small micron carts. do wonders for polishing, but do tend to clog fairly fast.
I tend to "fix" things that are not broke as well, which has the nasty side effect of keeping ME broke, and with tons of extra "shtuff" scattered about here and there. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
LOL.. I hear ya. I am very impressed with this little filter and its polishing abilities are amazing. One flat amazingly crystal clear tank.
 

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The Devil you say! I feel like Homer Simpson slapping himself upside the head "DOOO". I have been thinking in the back of my head how to rig up something easy and cheap using these. Even thought about buying the whole home unit an making a H.O.B. unit. Because I to am a tinkerer and since my house has a well, I have everything needed including the filters laying around.... plus I can remember the parts list!
Thanks for the post 8)
 

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This is a great idea, I have lots of miscellaneous pond pumps, filters, and hoses just sitting in a box. I can't wait to get out in the garage and start inventing stuff too. I will blame you when my wife comes looking for me, and wonders why I'm hiding in the garage :D
 

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I made one of these a while back when I was changing my house filter. Worked good, When I changed the filter I just slipped a panty-hose leg over it to catch the stuff. Don't think it was really necessary. Eventually my powerhead went out, it was a cheapo but lasted 6 years. This filter setup works great, you can get cheap refills, even carbon filled ones if you like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've used 4 different types of filters so far and I will say the 20's-50's seem to do a fine job. The 1-2 microns filters seem to reduce flow after a couple of weeks so I am guessing they just evenutally get clogged in that environment.. but still, 2 weeks for 3 bucks isn't bad for that kind of filtration. As was posted before as well, they can be re-charged. It's like a smart mans sponge filter.
 

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what filter did you use. i looked at HD and the cheapest one was $11 for a 5-12micron the normal 20s were like $25.
any body find a exceptable filter at a reasonable price?
 

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MaineGuy said:
what filter did you use. i looked at HD and the cheapest one was $11 for a 5-12micron the normal 20s were like $25.
any body find a exceptable filter at a reasonable price?
Wow... are you getting robbed? I can get a pack of 2 micron filters(3) for 6 bucks at menards.

OP--glad you found a way to make this work for you. I still love my canister filter setup with these filters that we talked about in your other thread.(this is over_stocked..._)
 

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under_control said:
MaineGuy said:
what filter did you use. i looked at HD and the cheapest one was $11 for a 5-12micron the normal 20s were like $25.
any body find a exceptable filter at a reasonable price?
Wow... are you getting robbed? I can get a pack of 2 micron filters(3) for 6 bucks at menards.
No doubt! Go to Wal-mart I think the twin pac is like $7. Now if you get the charcoal impregnated ones they are more, but not that much... Shop around.
 

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Rivermud said:
Well, that would be a great reason to read what you are buying. The home filters have a direct list of exactly what they do. However I find it odd that any drinking water filter would wipe out your tank considering we ingest the water so it should be fine for your tank. If your tank was wiped out by the filter I would look for another root cause before blaming a drinking water filter. I know of atleast a half dozen other people that use these filters now and never heard of such an issue. Over-Stocked uses the house filters, I've used one for the past 2 weeks.. 0 issues. I'm even using a carbon impregnated filter, though I doubt I will continue to use one and will probably switch to a 30 micron or larger filter. Gotta love the 2 micron filter am using now though.. talk about crystal clear water.. wow

It may be hard to tell, but the water is much much clearer. I originally had this filter hooked up in a canister. Sadly the 50 gallon tank it was attached to developed a leak so I took the filter down. I was just sitting here the other day talking about sponge filters when the idea hit me.. and poof here it is.. simple, cheap, easy to replace... heh I suppose if you really wanted to you could run the filter with air lol
I am not saying it would not work so do not take it that way. All I am adding is that I had a really bad experience. I did not think it was the filter element either and thought it was something else when it initially happened. I later used the 2nd of the 2 pack of elements on a different tank and lost 3 or 4 fish in a span of a few hours. I removed the element and the rest of the tank survived with no issues. It appeared as if the fish could not get enough O2 as they had expanded gills when they died. I just remember it being a 2 pack of 5 or 10 micron sized elements. My guess is that maybe that Brand might have some sort of additive to prevent mold growth or something that was stripping away the O2 content of the water. When I was looking for a filter I was so paranoid that I would not use the carbon ones because I was afraid of what else might have been in them for water sterilization.

We also consume water from the tap with no ill effects try putting that in your tank. Just because it does not harm a human does not make it automatically fish safe is all I am saying. Plus we only ingest it they depend on it for O2 as well.
 

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i found some at Lowes for $6.50 (twin pak) trying it tonight on some not so clear water.. lets see what happens
 

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I made a similar filter with a super cheap approach. I just cut a bunch of slits in a 3/4 inch foot long piece of PVC with my circular saw. Then I wrapped it with some batting from wal-mart (not the flame retardant stuff). My water stays crystal clear. Even if I stir it up my 900gph system cleans it up within an hour or so.

The only problem I have with it it there isn't much suface area on a 3/4 in pipe. I have to replace the batting every 4-6 days. I'd like to figure out a way to slip a larger diameter filter over my slitted PVC pipe to make it last longer between changes.

For extra filtering I just wrap the pipe twice with batting :thumb:

Also the batting is cheap. One bag of batting lasts me for over a year.
 
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