Ok i took the day off to post some photos. don't beat me up too bad, it's still under construction. I'll put them on my profile
I'm impressed by the 'pretty' systems everybody seems to have. My own is far more crude and ulitarian. I pump water into a 275 gallon IBC that acts as a cistern and the water flows through a manifold in 4 different directions. Two of these are through 3/4 inch pipe into revised swirl/radial filtesr in 55 gallon barrels. From that filter, water drains into a 1/2 IBC containing some plastic products as filtration media and then sipnon to another bed before emptying back into the FT. I'll explain how I made slight changes to the swirl filter in a bit.
Two other outlets on that manifold empty into 1.5 inch lines each feeding a series of DWC growbeds, 5 on one side and 4 on the other. Some of these have some of the same plastic media in net bags. I get a fairly large amount of sludge (mainly algae, but with a few other materials) building up throughout. I have thought about adding a sand filter as a scrubber/polisher after the radials, but figure that would clog quickly and give me more problems.
I remove gallons of this algae sludge weekly and still my water is almost opaque. For the past several weeks I have fed very little due to the cold.
I want to try to describe the way I built my combined radial swirl filters. I have two. Each is based on a 55 gallon blue barrel in which I have suspended an inverted 5 gallon plastic bucket. Into the center of the bucket I inserted a 3/4 inch pipe. That goes down about 2/3 of the depth of the inverted barrel then Tees with short lengths of pipe. Then the ends are angled upward but at about a 45 degree angle.
The idea is that water comes down the center pipe then is directed up under the bucket like a radial filter but also swirls slowing the bigger particles so they drop to the bottom of the 55 gallon barrel. I was impressed with just how much material is pulled out of suspension.