MUST HAVE FOR ANY 275 TOTE SETUP!!!!!!!
I have used this filter for 4, 275 totes (about 1050 gallons total because the top is cut off). 3 of the totes containing 50+- 8″-14″ tilapia each (150+ total tilapia) and the last containing 200-300 3″-4″ tilapia. I drain the drum every 7-10 days, and clean the pads every month, and they are not that dirty, and think I could even go a couple weeks more without cleaning the pads. I also do a 33% water change every 10-14 days (I think that is overkill but I check for moms holding eggs). At one time I grew out 180 tilapia to 12″ in one tote using this filter, and did 80% water changes weekly (I highly advise against this!!!!) This is with no plants. (see aquaponics section on care for fish page to estimate plants for your system.) I use a 1000 gallon per hour pump. The pressure is not strong enough to embed the waste into the Matala pads so it does not get too dirty. I have used it on the same system without the pads and my water was always cloudy. Smaller particles easily escaped and just went back into my tanks. With the pads, my water is clear. I can see the bottom of the tanks. It is always a tint of brown because of the food (I feed 4-6 times daily) but it is clear, not cloudy.
I am selling just the plumbing, pads, bio balls, pumps, etc. NOT THE 55 GALLON DRUM!!!!!!!!! YOU WILL HAVE TO BUY THE DRUM LOCALLY. All kits will come with detailed directions where to make holes, how to assemble every piece. Every PVC piece will be marked in order of assembly and with corresponding part. I have tried several configurations of this (about 5 that I can remember) , a couple inches higher, lower etc., and I have come up with, what I believe to be, the perfect height for inlet and outlet tubes, and a couple more secrets that come with the instructions. I work with several suppliers, and am able to get wholesale pricing. You may be able to locate all supplies, for a couple dollars less, I’ll even say $50 less. I doubt it, but if you search long enough, I’m sure you will. My suppliers aren’t the cheapest, there are cheaper products, but the service and quality is top notch. There is a reason why my 1000 gallon pump may be double than another manufacturer. I took no short cuts in this filter as I do with all my products. I first use and test everything I sell, if its not top quality, I throw it out. Order here and I will save you hours of searching, hours of planning, and hours of running to the hardware store. Even if you find the same quality products for a couple dollars less, trust me, for the time and work, you are saving a lot more here.
Tools/parts you will need
1) 55 gallon poly drum
1) 1″ circular hole saw
1) 3″ circular hole saw
2) cinder blocks (will make draining easy and all the waste is some of the best fertilizer on earth!!!)
1) electric drill
1) potable (drinkable for humans) pvc glue or aquarium glue (cement). This is optional, I don’t use glue, but if you bang into a fitting, or kick a tube the whole drum will drain out….
1) poly tube (to connect pump to filter) and three clamps
1) soapy water
I am offering this kit in 4 stages.
KIT #1 (see above pic)
PVC PLUMBING 2 UNI SEALS, & ONE BULKHEAD ONLY-$100
Kit #2 (see above pic and Kit #1)
EVERYTHING IN KIT #1 AND TWO MATALA PADS, I HAVE TRIED OTHER FILTER MEDIA. SOME JUST FELL APART WITHIN HOURS AND I STARTED NETTING IT OUT OF MY TANKS. SOME LET TOO MUCH SMALLER PARTICLES THROUGH. THERE ARE IMATATIONS, BUT MATALA IS THE INDUSTRY STANDARD AND AFTER TRYING OTHERS, I AGREE. I BELIEVE THESE FILTER OUT 99% OF HARD WASTE. IT’S NOT A CLAIM, BUT MY WATER IS SOOOOO CLEAR! ALSO, THESE ARE ADVERTISED AS BIO FILTERS AS WELL!!! MY SUPPLIER SENDS TWO OF THREE DIFFERENT COLORS, WHATEVER HE HAS IN STOCK, ALL DENSE QUALITY MATALA, SO COLORS MAY VARY. -$200
Kit # 3 (see above pic and kit #1 & kit # 2)
Everything included in kit #1 and 2 and 900 bio balls in three net bags. The Matala alone supposedly has the bio filtering as well but I love these bio balls! -$260
Kit #4 (see all pics on this page)
This includes, the plumbing and all fiitings, the Matala pads, the bio balls, and a 1000 gallon per hour ActiveAqua water pump. I like these pumps, because they have a filter pad, so fingerlings do not get sucked through them, but will clog if used with bigger fish, so I may use the filter pad on the pump with fingerlings, or can take off. It also has a gauge so pressure can be turned down when using with fingerlings, and I have owned several, a couple running 24 hours a day for the past two years, and have had 0 problems. I have had other manufacturers that blew within 30 days! Again, you will be able to find a 1000 gallon per hour pump for maybe $10-$20 less, I did, but I had two blow in less than 30 days. You do not understand what it’s like to wake up in the morning and see half your fish dead and the rest gasping for air from a blown pump. I always keep extras on hand now. This includes everything you need except poly tube, cinderblocks, 55 gallon drum and tools. -$315