Riparium Mod: Filstar intake & return - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2009, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Riparium Mod: Filstar intake & return

This thread will describe an easy modification that I applied to the Filstar XP1 canister filter for use in a planted riparium. My objective here was to extend the intake and return plumbing so that they could reach down into the partially-filled 55-gallon tank.



The picture below shows the plumbing hardware that came with the filter. I used a number of these fittings, along with the following items, purchased seperately:
  • vinyl hose, 5/8" inside diameter, 7/8" outside diameter (1')
  • 1" black nylon hose clamps (4)
  • 1/2" black irrigation riser pipe (2)
I found a few additional items to be useful as well, including a snap-blade cutter, masking tape, pliers and ruler.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2009, 11:24 PM
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Another approach for a somewhat cleaner look would be to purchase a length of acrylic pipe and bend it over a gas stove.

You'd lose the easy priming cap, and the various colors
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 01:41 AM
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Don't give up the easy priming feature of the inlet hose. That has been the greatest invention since, since the last great invention. Couldn't you make an easy priming tee at the top, pretty easily?

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 03:50 PM
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I prime my filters only once... when setting them up. At least the Filstars that I use never needed to be un-primed. Cleaning hoses might be a reason, but I didn't think they would build up that much stuff to warrant the labor.

That great invention can lead to air entering the filter too.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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i am going to add more pictures soon.

that priming cap was pretty handy for starting this up--much better than the priming plunger on the Fluval, which barely works. i do need to disassemble my Fluval plumbing every couple of months because that ribbed hose becomes gunked up with plant debris, so it's double the hassle.

i can imagine the priming cap on the Filstar eventually failing and sucking air. it is all pretty cheap plastic.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
I prime my filters only once... when setting them up. At least the Filstars that I use never needed to be un-primed. Cleaning hoses might be a reason, but I didn't think they would build up that much stuff to warrant the labor.

That great invention can lead to air entering the filter too.
I don't prime my filter very often, maybe once a year, when something causes me to lose the water in that hose. Each time I do, I say thanks to the guy who did the "great invention". And, sure, nothing is ever perfect, but so far I have had no problems at all with leakage at that cap. (knock on wood)

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 03:20 AM
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I've had to re-prime my canisters a few times after big tank moves, and I must say, I also really missed that priming cap with the acrylic intake and outputs... I made a really big mess during dis-assembly when I forgot the tubes were full of water (oops). I've yet to have one of those Filstar caps fail... there's really not all that much pressure on them, compared to the O-rings.

But acrylic tubes also would look really nice in this setup.

Looking forward to seeing this progress, I've played around a few times with paludarium designs and may put one together some day... I like the Filstar idea.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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Two pieces of 1/2" "riser flex pipe", found in the irrigation section of a large home-improvement store, provided the extra reach down to the water for the filter plumbing.



This pipe has an outside diamter of 5/8", very close to the size of the rigid pipes included with the canister filter. It has the additional advantage of being black in color.

Clear flexible vinyl hose functioned as a sleeve, creating the union between the riser flex pipe and the filter pipes. Note the size used, a thick-walled hose with 5/8" inside diameter and 7/8" outside diameter.



This vinyl hose retains a strong curl from its storage on a roll. The pieces are easier to work with after straightening, which can be easily achieved with a dip in boiling hot water. Before this treatment I had cut the two sleeve pieces to slightly longer than the desired length of 4".



It is difficult to cut the hose end very straight. In order to get a cleaner cut I wrapped the hose with a piece of masking tape, then used the tape's outside edge as a guide for careful re-cutting.



In order to join the irrigation pipe to the J-shaped return fitting, I found it necessary to include this smaller piece.



This short section snapped onto the return fitting, and with removal of its small elbow piece it provided the right diameter for joining with the vinyl hose. The plastic elbow was only loosely bonded to the piece of pipe, so it came apart readily with a quick twist.



The next picture shows both the intake (light blue) and return (dark blue) fittings joined to the riser pipe with vinyl hose sleeves. Note the location of that short snap-fit pipe (arrow).



I found that the sleeves slid onto the pipe sections rather easily, although re-softening with very hot water can facilitate repositioning if the fit is very tight.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrophyte View Post
My objective here was to extend the intake and return plumbing so that they could reach down into the partially-filled 55-gallon tank.
Why to they both need to reach to the bottom?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 03:12 PM
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 03:32 PM
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I had the frustration of trying to lengthen my XP3 pipes too, but I just gave up, not thinking of using the vinyl hose for connectors. And, when I have used that hose, it also frustrated me by refusing to straighten out. I didn't have the nerve to use near boiling water to soften it. Just normal hot water didn't seem to be very effective. And, I admit, I never looked beyond the box the filter came in for extra parts. This is an example of "thinking outside the box"? (I couldn't resist that one)

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Riparium = partially filled tank = see first image.
Ahh, thanks for the decoder ring.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 06:05 PM
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I'm looking too extend my out-take too. I'm experimenting with distributing CO2 at the bottom of the tank, root level is better.

I was looking at the parts and it occurred to me that the blue modular tubes in the package was perfect for the job. You just need to find another one.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 08:41 PM
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For intake these parts could come in handy:

extra cap = 99 cents

Inlet extensions = $5.99 for two

http://rena-aquatics-outlet.planetre...let-Parts.html

I might incorporate your idea for the return so, I can get the co2 closer to the substrate. When my inline diffuser arrives that is.
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