I saw someone use the IBC drain as the solids outlet run out to a sweeping 90 to veritcal into a radial flow filter. Thought that was a great way to go until it was time to put fish in... hmmm, how do I keep the fish in the tank?
Looking for ideas of how to screen the fish to keep them in the IBC while still allowing "solids" to escape out the drain.
Thanks for any help you can provide! (can you tell I'm new to this? hahahahaha)
One idea is to attach a screen at the outlet end if the pipe in the fish tank. You didn't state how big your fish are or what species. I have installed a PVC drain guard in the end of my 2" PVC pipe outlet. This will keep fish over 1 to 1-1/2" out of the radial solids filter. There again, it depends on the size of your fish. You can find the drain guards at most DIY stores in the plumbing section. They may be sold as bathtub drain guards.
I set up the same drain on my system with the same results. The fish went into the radial filter and then some made it to the GBs. I tried to put a screen in front of the IBC drain but couldn't get one to stay. Turns out the only fish that go through are smaller ones which works out for me. It basically gives the new surviving fry and fingerlings an out from the larger fish. I have a 60 gallon radial filter and when the small fish get in there I just leave them. I don't feed them they just eat leftovers from the IBC tank. From time to time I transfer them back to the IBC when they are large enough to survive. Meanwhile they keep the filter clean of scum build up and I just drain the solids about once a week. I did put a screen over the outlet pipe to the beds to alleviate the loss of fish out of the filter. You have to keep an eye on that screen to make sure it doesn't clog. You'll have to keep debris from building up in front of the IBC drain too or your tank can overflow unless you have an overflow backup between your filter/or sump and IBC. The simple fix for that is to use something like a broom to periodically brush out the debris or somehow back flush the inlet pipe to the filter. I wouldn't use this setup again. Hope this helps.
Thanks everyone. I'm trying to start out pretty simple and I was trying to use the drain in place of the SLO. Cool idea, though... may find that this isn't working and switch to that later, but really want to try it as it is now.
I did fix the problem with some mesh inside the drain valve cover I purchased. Just balled it up to create a fairly fine screen and inserted it into the drain cover pipe (about 3-4" of room in there). Working well so far. Haven't lost any fish yet.
Like always said...Many ways to skin a cat, hope it works well for you. Just remember that this is another item to put on your maintenance list, clean the filter screen.
You will absolutely have to remove that screen to clean it regularly. Good luck with that. Even without a screen I have to brush in front of the outlet from time to time to clear it out. The one thing I've been concerned about since I first set mine up is a major leak from the IBC to the filter. If that happens you lose all your water. I will definitely go back to the SLO on my next major upgrade.