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Thread: Building a Birdman Sand / Gravel filter

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    Building a Birdman Sand / Gravel filter

    Hi Folks,

    After leaving my pond / stream to go to ruin for a few years I wanted to get it cleared out and up and running again. I have since scooped all the leaves out etc and want to get the pump up and running again with a filter.
    It was running maybe 10 years ago with one of the old style boxes with a stack of foam filter layers in it which had to be removed and rinsed every day... Nightmare!

    I'm planning on building the Birdman filter from these instructions, even tho this was from a few years ago is it still the accepted base design?

    The only other question I had about this build was Birdman said he throws in 1 1/2 inch stones then 3/4 inch gravel then pea gravel then sand. Am I just throwing in a heaped 5 gallon bucket of each?

    Finally when it comes to me cleaning it and I crank up the air compressor, do the layers of different sized stones not mix up leaving the sand on the bottom and messing up the layers of filtration as it bubbles and churns?

    Thanks,
    Johnny

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    sschult's Avatar
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    Jonhny welcome to the pond forum, birdman sand and gravel system is a very good one if not one best diy outhere here is the issue when something works and it's been tested time over time I wouldn't recommend making changes if you are a tinkerer like my self well go for it but don't forget about the changes or adjustments you might be thinking I have personally seen the system working a being flushed and it works, once again Welcome to the forum.
    At some point common sense must prevail.

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    Thanks sschult!

    Yep, it looks good, simple design and I've seen plenty of positive reviews on it. Just was curious on the layer of sand at the top and if it sits there when you start blowing air through it or if the sand ends up moving to the bottom of the tank?
    I'd be a keen tinkerer! But I'd like to get the tried and tested method up and running first before making any changes

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    ON GOLDEY POND's Avatar
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    My Birdman S&G filters have been running flawlessly without any changes , for at least 8 years.
    If You follow the instructions and don't SUBSTITUTE ANYTHING they are fantastic.
    The levels of rock and gravel don't mix .
    Make sure You use heavy duty grating on the bottom , like the dog kennel grating , these things are heavy .
    Use a Spa blower to clean it , you want air volume as opposed to air pressure .
    I'm so paranoid, My QT has a QT

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    The sand used is not what is normally sold as sand or course sand. It is bigger and many use chicken grit or what my local quarry screens and sells as #9 filter grit. Some of the big commercial units actually use sand and are a true sand and gravel filter. Maybe the small 55 gallon drum ones should be called gravel N grit filters? 😃

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    ON GOLDEY POND's Avatar
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    If You can't find granite chicken grit , search for granite roofing grit #10, it's the same as chicken grit .
    image.jpg

    image.jpg
    I'm so paranoid, My QT has a QT

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    Thanks for all the feedback guys! I was planning on having the top 2 layers made up of 10mm pea gravel and sand but I'll have a look for granite chicken or roofing grit to replace the sand

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    Kntry's Avatar
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    Tractor Supply sells a granite chicken grit that is much coarser so it doesn't get backwashed out the waste pipe.
    The will of God will not take you where the GRACE of God cannot keep you.

    Sandy, K.O.I., KHA

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    ricshaw's Avatar
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    Johnny lives in Northern Ireland. I do not know what he will find for the coarse sand/small granite needed for a sand/gravel filter. Maybe something sold in bulk as aquarium gravel.

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    sschult's Avatar
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    Lets see the surprise when gets back with us.
    At some point common sense must prevail.

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