Integrated filter - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-10-2017, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Integrated filter

This is my first new tank if quite a while, and I am still very much a novice. If you are expecting some sort of Guru Journal I'm afraid this will be nowhere near your expectations The purpose of this journal is to keep track of this tank's progress and to hopefully get some advice from experienced hobbyists. The actual tank stuff starts now hope you enjoy!

1) I started off by taking preliminary tests of my water far in advance so that I could create a plan if there was any ammonia or the ph was too high.
Nitrates:0ppm
Nitrites:0ppm
Ammonia:0ppm
Ph:6.6-6.8
Kh:89.5ppm(5 drops)
Gh:71.6ppm(4 drops)
However, all seemed decently well. I did a little bit of research and I believe the Gh and Kh are around average. If they get too high I thought I might add some mosquito fern, because they have been added to water waste plants to decrease harsh metals in the water. I think that would work, but I might just be overreacting and everything could be fine.
2) I then bought a 10-gallon tank and planned out how I would integrate the filter. Youtube helped so much, and this project would be near impossible without it. I decided to designate around 1/5th(2 gallons) at the back of the tank for the filter and to block that into three sections. The water would enter the first section through an overflow and pass through a sponge to remove any debris. It would then enter the second section through holes in the bottom of the first wall and would pass through some cement hollow ovals. It would then enter the last section through holes in the top of the second wall, and be pushed out with a pump. I can put the betta's heater and any chemical media in this section as well. After that, I purchased the materials I needed; 2 black PVC sheets I will cut down for the partitions and base of the filter, a large sponge block, the ceramic/cement ovals, and a small pump.
I also purchased some organic dirt composted from food scraps. It is comprised of wood chunks and dirt chunks that you can't separate. I've seen videos where they use similarly chunky soil, but if anyone has an opinion on it I would love to hear it
3) Now I wait for my Amazon packages to get here! Hopefully, next update will have more pictures!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-12-2017, 10:09 PM
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Can't wait to see how this works out for you Are you going to take step by step pictures of how you construct everything? Like your filter, etc? It would be super awesome to see it all!

Rajah | Minnie | Goober III | Hawk | Red | Elliot
2.5G | 20GL | 46G | 150GTub
Sophie (Crested Gecko) | Sampson (Pied Ball Python) | Atticus (Frilled Dragon) | Sebastian (Blood Python) | Bean (Jackson's Chameleon) | Sunny (Colombian Boa) | Momo (B&W Argentine Tegu)
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Can't wait to see how this works out for you Are you going to take step by step pictures of how you construct everything? Like your filter, etc? It would be super awesome to see it all!
I'm planning on it I'm currently just waiting for all the materials to come in! They will probably get here tomorrow so I'll most likely start this weekend.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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My tag may say I've been on this forum for two years, but I still know absolutely nothing. So I will have to post each step individually, sorry about that.
Some bad news and good new. Basically, I really do suck at DIY so this doesn't look great. I had a lot of problems pop up. I'm unsure if they were because of me, the most probable answer, or the materials I was using, definitely me not the supplies.

Step 1: Measure
I purchased two boards of black PVC, I've seen it used as hides in many aquariums, and measured them. I then marked where I had to cut. (I was able to slip the boards in easily because I derimmed my tank. Make sure you do this or have another plan)

What else to do: Measured multiple times. All in all, it didn't turn out that bad, but it didn't fit perfect. Also, make sure you remember that there is already silicone in the corners at the bottom, so cut it all out or cut a notch out. I didn't do this, and I believe it is one of the most major mistakes.
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Last edited by Zegor22; 09-16-2017 at 01:43 PM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Step 2: Cut (Get help if you need it, I certainly did)
At first, I tried to cut the PVC with a saw, but the PVC was extremely soft so it was making very jagged edges. So, I asked for help(Help count:1). The person helping me decided to cut with a knife because the PVC was soft enough too. After cutting both the main panel and the two partitions, I slipped them into the tank to test if they fit well.

What else to do: Cut them down if they do not fit, and test again. Repeat until they fit fine.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Step 4: Drill holes
You need to first know where to put the holes. You can google integrated aquarium filter and watch the kingofDIY's video for a more in-depth look at this whole process. After you know where to put the holes you can just drill them in if you're using PVC. Remember to test out how big of a whole to make for the pump on an extra piece of PVC.

Overall, this was the easiest step.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Step 5: Silicone
I can't tell you anything about this because I did it horrendously. You should really watch Joey's video for this. I can tell you however where this went wrong for me. Make sure you use aquarium safe silicone
When I was pushing the silicone up, the bottom broke open and spilled silicone all over the tank. I did my best to clean it up with my finger and planned to razor it off when it dried. I then was forced to use the bottom of the tube. I used my finger to silicone all the pieces in, and this made the connections extremely ugly. If you are going to use your hands I will tell you that you need to use gloves. I tried not to and now I have silicone, literally, all over me. Also, if any silicone gets on your clothes or outside furniture use hand sanitizer and scrub very hard (trust me I know from experience) I am currently letting it cure. It may be ugly, but does it work? I don't actually know yet, because I haven't tested it.....but stay tuned.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 08:41 AM
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It seems like it is coming together! When you mentioned the jagged edges after you cut the PVC with the saw, did you try using sand paper to clean it up? It seems that might have made it easier to get the smoother edges. Can't wait to see it in the tank! Your commentary is great too

Rajah | Minnie | Goober III | Hawk | Red | Elliot
2.5G | 20GL | 46G | 150GTub
Sophie (Crested Gecko) | Sampson (Pied Ball Python) | Atticus (Frilled Dragon) | Sebastian (Blood Python) | Bean (Jackson's Chameleon) | Sunny (Colombian Boa) | Momo (B&W Argentine Tegu)
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueridge View Post
It seems like it is coming together! When you mentioned the jagged edges after you cut the PVC with the saw, did you try using sand paper to clean it up? It seems that might have made it easier to get the smoother edges. Can't wait to see it in the tank! Your commentary is great too
I didn't think of that thank you I've decided that the whole job was not very well so I'm gonna take out the pvc so far, scrape out the silicone, and start again. This time I'm going to try to cut the pvc by making a mark with the knife and snapping it off. I tried this on some other pieces and it made a decently straight edge.
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