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El Cheapo Pond Filter
NO plans are available, but you should not need any. :-)
1. Get a cheap underwater pump. I got mine last Fall when Menards was selling
out of some stuff. Be sure the pump has a threaded inlet, the outlet is
2. Go to your local hardware Store and get two plastic caps for four inch
diameter plastic sewer pipe. Drill and tap a suitable sized hole in the middle
of one cap, and put a pipe nipple in the hole. This should match up with your
pump. Hook the pump to the cap.
3. Drill several holes around the rim of both caps. You will be putting screws
in them later.
4. Get a "suitable length" of black plastic "Tile" or "Drainage" pipe. It is
corrugated, and has LOTS of holes in it. You will need from four to 6 feet of
it. Try a Farm Supply Store, plumbing store, etc. It will cost about five
bucks at most.
5. Go to your local Jo-Ann Fabric Store (I would send you to So-Fro or House
of Fabrics, where my wife is a manager, but the chain was just bought out in a
Hostile Takeover by Jo-Ann. Your local So-Fro will soon have a new sign on the
store.) and get about four feet of the bonded polyester "lining." The stuff
you want appears to be (And in fact, IS!!) identical to the Filter Floss you
buy at the LFS, except it is white or off-white, comes in widths from four
feet to about six feet, and you buy it by the yard. It will be on a BIG roll!
It is generally about a half inch to an inch thick. It is VERY cheap. Worried
about strange "additives?" Don't. I have been using the stuff for years, and
I have NEVER had any problems. Your LFS will probably get upset and say bad
things, but they are selling the same stuff, in nice little plastic bags. For
a LOT more money, at that. A Conflict of interest, I would think.
6. Get a small handful of BIG rubber bands.
7. Put a heavy rock or two in the pipe. That will help keep your filter on the
bottom of the pond! Mount the plastic caps to the drainage pipe. Use the
cheap "all purpose" self-tapping screws you get at hardware stores. Don't
worry about rust. For what you pay, who cares? You may have to drill starter
holes in the drainage pipe, because it can be surprisingly tough. Neatness
does not count.
8. Wrap the pipe with the polyester stuff. Go around several times. Hold it on
with the big rubber bands. Space them about four inches apart.
9. Hook plastic pipe to the outlet of the pump. Run it wherever you like, a
fountain, just dribbling somewhere, or wherever. Be sure it goes back into the
pond - this think will do a great job of draining your Lily pond if it doesn't
go back into the pond.
10. Drop the contraption in your pond. Plug it in. Enjoy. It would be a really
GOOD idea to use a Ground Fault Interrupter on that plug. You don't want any
unpleasant surprises. (Take my word for this one. You DON'T want to find out.)
You shouldn't have to clean the fabric more than once or twice a summer. Of
course, maybe your pond has more crud than usual. When the output from the
pump gets kind of weak, pull the contraption out of the pond (Use the cord!!
It isn't heavy enough when underwater for that little tug to hurt. Pick it OUT
of the water by the drainage pipe, don't use the cord for that.) Well, if
your hose connection is secure, you can pull it out by the hose, too. :-)
Clean the fabric by laying the filter on the grass and hit it with a good
spray of water from your hose. You should be able to get it plenty clean that
way. Your grass will grow like crazy in that spot. Pond crud is good
fertilizer. You should not have to take the fabric OFF the drainage pipe, at
least not for several years.
Cost? Well, mine cost about twenty bucks total, not including the pump, which
I got for about twenty bucks. (Like I said, Menards was getting rid of them
Check them out - similar commercial ones will run from one to two hundred
dollars, and they won't work any better.
Happy May Day! (This is your May Basket from me! :-) )
JOlson8590 at AOL_com