Open-Source Water Filter Housing Thoughts

For aquaponics, I decided that I want to filter the water between the plants and the fishez.  After two failed designs, I ended with a simple design that I like (so far).

This was a fun project to transition from how-to into design into redesign and a finished project.  My first filter failed miserably, in both function and aesthetics.  Then, I designed (and redesigned) a filter emulating a common inline water filter.

I think that placing the inlet and outlet ports above the access threads causes unneeded strain on those threads.  That probably makes no sense to you.  So, I present this diagram of my filter design.

In my design the water inlets and outlets are below the cap cover.  So, the water does not place any pressure on the cap.  This eliminates the need for a strong seal. In the current off-the-shelf models, the manufacturers place an o-ring in the threads to keep the seal strong.  The end-user will eventually need to maintain and replace these o-rings.  (My design doesn’t need an o-ring.)

. . . and my filter is $15 using PVC parts, compared to about $30 for the same size off-the-shelf models (plus dependence on “them” for replacement filter cartridges).  For actually filtering the water, I’m planning on using lava rocks.  The media costs $1 to replace.  I don’t know how this filter changing frequency compares relative to off-the-shelf models.  I assume they are roughly equal.

I’ve passed a measly 15 gallons through this filter.  So far, so good. . .

UPDATE: I understand where the man is coming from now: unknown inlet water pressures.  For me, I know I am going to be at a trickle, ~2 gpm; however, if you have to design for possibly high flowrates, you might as well design for a more streaming inlet and outlet configuration with a bomb-resistant seal.  To quote the poet Ali G, “Booyakasha.”


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Rooster said,

    Many Questions:

    1- Why do you need a filter if this is a self-sustaining ecosystem? Should the animals eat all the crap that you are filtering?

    2- Is there a pump involved? How does the water flow into/out of the filter? If it flows in just slightly faster than it flows out, then won’t you be met with needing a tight seal and o-ring (that’s what she said), since the water level in the filter will continually increase?

    3- Phishez eat their own shit, you know?

    4- I’ll give youa strong seal. I don’t get it.

    5- I’ve passed more gpm before… if you know what I mean.

  2. 2

    aquadump said,

    1. there are no rules for aquaponics. it’s a new field. i opted to make a filter b/c it seemed like a fun challenge. plus fresh water, at some point in its pathway, is going to have a natural slow sand filter (earth’s filter). and, i want way more fish (way more fertilizer) per volume of water than naturally found.

    2. yes, there is a pump involved. for the filter, think in least resistances and gravity. the water will exit the outlet, over trying to exit from the top cover.

    “if the shit fits, wear it.” –donald ‘duck’ dunn

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