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Thread: DIY Filter Socks Making a Big Difference

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    Master Reefer bbl_nk's Avatar
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    DIY Filter Socks Making a Big Difference

    Hey gang. My latest DIY project was throwing together some quick DIY filter socks. After reading Randy Stacye's site about them and a trip down to the local Walmart and JoAnn's Fabrics, I ended up taking the plunge and popping out a few.

    Its rather simple. Get the 100% polyester felt, sew it together, add a handle and done! I had just plumbed in my sump and overflow and was getting tired of the brown and green crap floating in my water and needed a way to get out this rotting organics.

    I started by picking up 3 small sheets of this from Wallyworld for .20 a pop. I had some of that heavy duty stichwitch, iron on hem mending stuff and just used that since I have no sewing machine. It took literally 10 minutes to make 3. I took an extra shoelace and cut it to make straps to hold it.

    I initially tied it to the overflow's ball valve, then took some scrap acrylic including one I used as a test bend and bubbled the acrylic with too much heat. Well I added some quick braces and some tabs to hold the straps...another 10 minute project. Now I have a little pracket that fits over the sump limp and holds the socks well. I swear in 1 hour, I could notice the clarity difference!!!

    I went to JoAnn fabric yesterday and was able to grab a remnant peice 72" x about 32" and 3 yards of cotton "strap" material all for about 3 bucks. I think at full price it only costs about $5 a yard (thats 36x72"), so you can make a grip of them for pennies.

    Granted my tank needs it so bad I'm changing them out 1-2 times a day, but what a huge difference

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    Grand Master Reefer CarmieJo's Avatar
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    Do you think the felt will break down over time?
    Carmie


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    Master Reefer bbl_nk's Avatar
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    Well its 100% polyester made from post-consumer plastics so its pretty durable and forgiving. Besides at $5-10 for regular ones. I can make 100 of them and just get rid of them as they wear down. I washed two today in the washing machine and they look solid.

    Hoping to get everything in balance and may not run them down the road, but for now...they work great and am literally making them for about .25 a peice.

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    Assistant Moderator rayme07's Avatar
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    they work great and am literally making them for about .25 a peice
    I guess you cant beat .25. anyways brian do you know of any southern california reef forms i cant find any. thanks
    Ray or Raymond
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    Master Reefer bbl_nk's Avatar
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    Ray, I don't off the top of my head. What part of SoCal? I used to live in San Diego and Riverside but when I lived in SD and had my tanks going, the internet was AOL and local BBS on dialup Those were the days! I just got back into fishkeeping about a year ago.

    Since I'm up in the Central Valley, I know about the Central Valley Reefers, Northern Valley Reefers and the Bay Area Reefers...all pretty good clubs (have yet to get to an event tho).

    I did a quick Google on it and found this one: SoCali Reefs - SoCali Reefs SoCali Reefs. You might also want to send in a query to WetWebMedia. I think Bob Fenner still lives down there (I beleive he used to teach at SDSU), also Scott Fellman writes on the board and lives in LA. I know Scott a little bit, he's a big biotope proponent and regularily speaks at IMAC and MACNA, and have had some good convo's with him via email.

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    Assistant Moderator rayme07's Avatar
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    brian thanks for the links for the forms i live in bakersfield im sure you herd about it you have to pass through it to get to LA but thanks for the links again
    Raymond
    Ray or Raymond
    There is no elevator to success in marine tanks. You have to take the stairs.


    Raymond's 30 gallon tank
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    Master Reefer bbl_nk's Avatar
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    Hey Ray, I do know Bakersfield. As my friend says who works at Cal State Bakersfield, "It's just like Las Vegas, except without the fun."

    Check out Central Valley Reefers at CVReefers.org, it pretty much all the valley from Bak to Chico but many of the people are in the Southern part so from Fresno to Visalia to Bak...I think its EXACTLY what you are looking for!

    Cheers!

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    Assistant Moderator rayme07's Avatar
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    Thanks Brian i dont know what i would do without you. yah I think its the same way and the weathers pretty much the same to 100 degreas in the summer gosh it gets hot well
    thanks
    Raymond
    Last edited by rayme07; 08-23-2008 at 07:31 PM.
    Ray or Raymond
    There is no elevator to success in marine tanks. You have to take the stairs.


    Raymond's 30 gallon tank
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    Grand Master Reefer CarmieJo's Avatar
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    I was really wondering more about getting chunks of felt in my tank than the cost. But if you washed them and they didn't fall apart that sounds pretty sturdy.
    Carmie


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    Master Reefer bbl_nk's Avatar
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    From what I've been able to research, its the same material used in commercial filter socks. Next tiime I drop by a store that has them, I'll take a closer looksie but I'm about 95% sure its the same materials...you just have to make sure its the polyester...I'm sure the cotton stuff would start chunking away

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    Master Reefer bbl_nk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rayme07 View Post
    the weathers pretty much the same to 100 degreas in the summer gosh it gets hot well thanks Raymond
    He was telling me that story after he flew back from Vegas and it was 112 or so there and the same temp in Bak! You're just about 3.5 hours down Hwy 99 from me but haven't been that far south for a while.

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    Assistant Moderator rayme07's Avatar
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    Yah 3.5 hours if you dont hit bay area trafic lol i know madesto good because my uncle lives there and my family goes to madesto to vistit them. but not the roads just about the town have you ever noticed that you have to ripone and then salida into madesto if you get the joke my dad thought that up when we made a trip there we tease my uncle all the time about it anywasy ttyl.
    Ray or Raymond
    There is no elevator to success in marine tanks. You have to take the stairs.


    Raymond's 30 gallon tank
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    Master Reefer bbl_nk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rayme07 View Post
    have you ever noticed that you have to ripone and then salida into madesto
    That is too funny...and don't even bring Turlock into the equation Yeah Modesto isn't terrible. I can be in San Francisco, San Jose or Oakland in 1.5 hours, same thing up to Sacramento about 1.25 hours and a nice hour drive up to the gold country for skiing, camping and just getting into the mountains for some R&R....so you can't complain about that

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    Assistant Moderator rayme07's Avatar
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    That is too funny...and don't even bring Turlock into the equation Yeah Modesto isn't terrible. I can be in San Francisco, San Jose or Oakland in 1.5 hours, same thing up to Sacramento about 1.25 hours and a nice hour drive up to the gold country for skiing, camping and just getting into the mountains for some R&R....so you can't complain about that
    yah it actualy the trafic isnt that bad like LA or anything but at ruch hour it gets pretty bad but like i said its not as bad as other cities. I know the feeling of getting R&R we have a place up in the mountains not up in gold country to much but its called lake isabella and we go camping and catfishing there its pretty nice in the summer i dont know if youve herd of it almost everyone knows about it though. but my dad every time he goes through ripon he wants to put an E on the end of there now sighn just for fun but we never do it imagine how many people would see that man it would be funny.
    Ray or Raymond
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    Apprentice bearusa's Avatar
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    ANY CHANCE OF POSTING A PICK OF THESE SOCKS, they sound like the thing i also need

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    Master Reefer bbl_nk's Avatar
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    baerusa,

    Ask and ye shall receive! I do have to give proper credit to Randy Stacye and his site where I got this idea from. He has some other neat things on there for you DIYers. DIY Filter Sock Randy had the use of a sewing machine for his, I didn't so I used an iron-on seam adhesive.

    A side note, I went to the LFS last night and looked at the filter socks they had for $10 and they were made from the SAME material and were rated at 200 microns. This felt is not as thick, so I would guesstimate it at 100-150 microns.

    Here is the materials needed:
    1. White Eco-spun 100% Polyester felt
    2. Cotton strap material (whatever width you want, i chose 1/2")
    3. Sewing machine OR Iron and HeatnBond Ultra Hold Iron-on Adhesive tape (HeatnBond Ultra Hold Iron-on Adhesive Tape



    Construction steps:
    1. Go to JoAnn's Fabrics, Wally World or another local fabric store and look for white "Eco-spun 1000% Polyester Felt" what's nice is its recycled plastics to boot. I think JoAnn's has it for around $6.99 a yard (36" x 72" is one linear yard), WW is around $5...but they have the strap stuff at JoAnn's

    2. Measure your needs. I decided on having my socks 12" long and around 7.5" wide. Since the fabric is doubled over, it measures out to 12"x15".



    3. Cut the material out. I suggest doing a few at a time so you have spares.

    4. With the iron, lightly press the HeatnBond tape just enough to adhere the adhesive side lightly to the fabric along the long part of your material (15" side of mine) as close as the edge as possible to make a sturdy hem.

    5. Let cool for a few seconds and peel off the paper backer on the tape, fold hem over and iron. Press hard and kick it with some steam to melt the tape good and stick the two pieces together.



    6.Flip the fabric over and on the other long edge, cut and iron on a piece of tape as close to the edge as possible. Peel off the backing.

    7. Now do the same thing for both sides making sure to overlap the pieces at the corners to get a good seal. I measure the tape, cut and then just lightly touch it with the iron just enough to make it stick. Then peel off the tape backing. You should have three edges with the iron on tape with no backing with no gaps around the edges.



    8. Fold the piece of fabric so the seams are lined up and glue is touching. Should be cool so not very sticky at all so it is easy to move to the exact spot you want.

    9. Now Iron the crap out of it! Get good heat and pressure along both sides of all seams to make sure that glue gets in the fabric well and makes sure you have good adhesion.

    10. Straps -- All I do is figure out how much strap material I need for two little loops. In my case its around 6". I cut out tow, one for each side. I grab a sewing needle and thread and just make a series of simple stitches in about 4 spots, strong enough to hold the weight of the water pushing down via the overflow line.

    11. DONE!

    If you have a sewing machine, I recommend the double stitch or zig-zag around the edges to make sure you're not getting any holes because water will take the path of least resistance.

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    Grand Master Reefer CarmieJo's Avatar
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    Hey Brian,

    This would be a great tutorial How-To Articles - The Talkingreef Community to go in the TR resources if you'd like to post it.
    Carmie


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    Master Reefer bbl_nk's Avatar
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    Carmie,

    That is a great idea! I took some picks of the felt at the store yesterday and will make one from scratch today and post a more in-depth tutorial with step-by-step.

    BB

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