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I have put together a swirl filter.  it is in a 55 gallon drum. the water goes in 15 inches from the bottom at a 90 degree angle.  it goes out about 25 inches from the bottom strait to my sump tank.  as the water is pouring in the sump tank, i add a mesh filter 9 ( A mesh bag).  To my disappointment, after two days of operation.  the mesh bag is full of fish poop.  I opened the faucet at the bottom of barrel, and drained water out.  it was almost clear. any advice on what to do?


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Slowdown the water from FT to filter. If it goes to fast, to poop does not go to the bottom. You can also ad a screen, just below the output to the sump. Then the poop can't get to the sump.

Henriette - Denmark :)

Thank you for replying.  At any rate, I am NOT going to do anything to slow the water from FT to SF.  I spent the last couple of years learning how to speed up the turnover of the FT and not about to undo what I have accomplished :)

I watched your youtube, it looks like and extra maintenance to be added.  That cover has to be taken out and cleaned every so often.

I just have a whole in the bottom of the SF and I open it and it fills a two liter bottle with "dirty" water before the water goes clear.  I do this every week with 15 medium size fishes.  Good enough for me.


I believe the water should go in much higher than 15 inches from the bottom.  However, take a look at the modification shown in this video, which causes the solids to change direction.  Mesh filters should not be necessary.  Could you show a photo of your build?

it is in a 55 gallon drum. the water goes in 15 inches from the bottom


Yes- your inlet is agitating the stuff

Inflow: - move your inlet to top - you can also extend the inflow pipe after your 90deg bend to follow profile of tank for - to ensre more laminated inflow.

Outflow: - using inverse U-bend for overflow outlet to keep drifting stuff in filter.  ~U at same height (cm or so lower) as inflow

Screens: Add a few screens at the bottom - I've used 2L ice cream tubs - the obstruction seems to help with poo settling out in to the tubs - easy to take out.

Our SF have the inlet fitting about 6 inches below the surface and we point the elbow down. It works pretty well. I have to get in there with a shop vac every week or so and get the solids off the bottom to go out into the soil. I also like what Pieter said about having an extension on the inflow pipe. What does your outflow look like?

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