DIY Canister filter

Bishop169
  • #1
I've been searching the net for a good home built canister filter

I would like to have a filter out of the way and under the tank....

I did a quick ms paint for my plan just to get your advice..

I plan to get a piece of PVC pipe that my friend can thread so I can screw caps on either end.

On one end I plan to put an intake then a round loose sponge to catch larger media then a good amount of PVC rings another sponge to keep them in place

then I was thinking of adding charcoal or just plain gravel but I'm not sure which one would be better

yet another sponge to keep them in place then some filter floss. a sponge

at the other end attach a submersible pump that can move 200 gph to an out take tube back to the tank.


Has anyone ever tried this before?

Can anyone see a flaw in my plan?
 
Cody
  • #2
I'm not really sure but possibly 200gph might not be enough power to get the water back up the tube? I could be wrong
 
outlaw
  • #3
I was just at one of my LFS's with my daughter and they had a 1000GPH pump. I didn't see the price on it and I'm sure it wouldn't be that with all the filter media and tubing in place but would still be sufficient. The 700GPH was like $120. Good Luck. Might look into something like this for the tank I might get. Cool idea.

Not to take from your idea, but what about something like this?

51.jpg

The Odyssea "Built-In" tanks have a setup similar to that. I am not to familiar on the canister other then they have the trays. You could even run a hose back up to the top so you don't have to have a hole at the very bottom of the filter. Just a thought.

Guessing you either built it or decided not to do it?
 
≈ D ≈
  • #4
Not so much as seeing a flaw but just personal preferance in that I wouln't use charcoal. I'd also recommend putting your media (PVC rings and gravel) in some cheap stockings ... yep I did say that

Other than that the idea is pretty sound
 
Bishop169
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Haven't had the time to start yet.

I have an HOB filter now that does the job just thinking about stream lining
 
outlaw
  • #6
Harleyman- Sorry, Carbon

Bishop- I hear you on the time. Other then the pump, I don't think the supplies needed for this are that expensive. From what I've seen anways.
 
≈ D ≈
  • #7
Harleyman- Sorry, Carbon

No need to apologise. Carbon, charcoal - same thing to me
 
drumbum540
  • #8
I am also in the process of building a canister filter for fun, because I have all the stuff like a power head and clear tubes. It is quite redneck but I don't care. I am making mine with a 150 gph power head, a costco cashew container, and like 3/8 inch tube. the toughest thing that I have come to would be sealing the lid to the container without it being permanent. Ill post again whenever I figure anything out. Or if you have any Ideas for me please let me know. but I am trying to do this without spending more than 10 dollars and so far I have succeeded.
 
susitna-flower
  • #9
I came across a pond filter at drsfoster smith, that I have always though would be a great addition to a tank filter system. Check it out at.



It has everything your idea has except I think it would hold more media.

There are three models from 12-1/2" to 22" high with diamater of 15". The smallest is $65.99 largest $89.99 with. I think the biggest drawback would be the cost of filter material. I guess lots of sponges, floss and less bio-rings/balls.......
 
Tavel
  • #10
I was just at one of my LFS's with my daughter and they had a 1000GPH pump. I didn't see the price on it and I'm sure it wouldn't be that with all the filter media and tubing in place but would still be sufficient. The 700GPH was like $120. Good Luck. Might look into something like this for the tank I might get. Cool idea.

Not to take from your idea, but what about something like this?

51.jpg

The Odyssea "Built-In" tanks have a setup similar to that. I am not to familiar on the canister other then they have the trays. You could even run a hose back up to the top so you don't have to have a hole at the very bottom of the filter. Just a thought.

put the pump on top to reduce the head weight on the pump. ALSO: If you keep the loop closed, it'll basically be an active siphon. The pump will only work to circulate water and it won't do any "lifting" to speak of. (only downside is no aeration).

drumbum540: You can probably get away with lightly machining the ends of the PVC to a thinner diameter. and with a PVC end-cap, use a couple of o-rings to seal it. The only other thing I could think of is using an actual threaded end cap, but that might leak without some kind of sealant (thus making it semi-permanent).
 
Bishop169
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
plumbers tape is your friend and will seal the threads only issue is you have to clean old stuff off and apply it again every time you take the lid off
 
Narcicius
  • #12
Wow this is on a different level than I'm used to, hope it works out, Good luck.
 
susitna-flower
  • #13
plumbers tape is your friend and will seal the threads only issue is you have to clean old stuff off and apply it again every time you take the lid off

Did you ever build this filter?
 
outlaw
  • #14
I am also in the process of building a canister filter for fun, because I have all the stuff like a power head and clear tubes. It is quite redneck but I don't care. I am making mine with a 150 gph power head, a costco cashew container, and like 3/8 inch tube. the toughest thing that I have come to would be sealing the lid to the container without it being permanent. Ill post again whenever I figure anything out. Or if you have any Ideas for me please let me know. but I am trying to do this without spending more than 10 dollars and so far I have succeeded.


Are you building this for a smaller tank? that seems kinda low, but if you are doing it just to do it... post the pics when you do!
 
Bishop169
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Actually me and my buddy built one of these for his small tank I should have grabbed some pics I guess its working ok give it a few weeks we will know for sure

as for adding air to the water with this set up we added a buble wand
 
drumbum540
  • #16
Yes I dd build it. it is for a 20 gallon tank but I decided just to make it into a small refugium I m yet to get all the algae and stuff for the refugium. I willtry and post pictures when I'm finished!

Actually I did build it but my brother took the tubes off of it to siphon the diesel out of his tank to test his gauges. so I don't have it anymore.
 
speed0factory
  • #17
this is the first time i'm writing on a forum, so please bear with me if I did something wrong.
i'm now going to show you I I DIY my canister filter, because I think that buying one is not worth it.

1st step:
Things that you need: 1 container,
2 water tubes,
2 connectors,
1 Clear RTV Silicone tube
1 Magic Nails Tube
1 Ball Valve
1 Submersible water pump


212.jpg
2nd Step
Cut the wire of pump, and strip it as show.


213.jpg
3rd Step
Drill another hole for the wire of the pump, and put the wire through the hole.
The hole should be small then the diameter of the wire.


214.jpg
4th Step:
Open the cover of the container and drill a hole on it, make sure the hole is smaller then the submersible water pump pipe.
(Note: If the hole is too small, just use a round file to file it, so that you will get a tight fit hole for the submersible water pump)


215.jpg
5th Step
Seal the pipe of the water pump using a sealing tape, and try to squeeze it through the hole. Attach the pipe to it.


216.jpg
6th step
Use the magic nail to hole the tube and wire in place, and then seal it with silicone.


217.jpg
In the end, you will have something like this.
Now for the bottom of the container.


218.jpg
7th Step
Dill a small hole on the bottom of the container, and the hole should be tight fit for the connector to pass through.


219.jpg
8th Step
Seal the tip of the connector with a sealing tape, and connect the tube to the connector.
(Note: if water is passing out of the connector then use the magic nail to hole the tube and silicone to seal it.)


220.jpg
9th Step
This step is optional for those who do not want to have a control valve for the outlet.
For this step you just need to put the sealing tape on the connector, connect it to the ball control valve.


221.jpg
Final look when everything is done.

For the positioning of the filter, it should be as low away from the tank, because the filter is using the gravitational pull for the water to go to the filter. It’s impossible for it to use the suction pull of the water pump to suck the water from the tank.

Have a nice day DIY it, for the DIY dude, WE ROCK.

Done by Speed0factory
 
speed0factory
  • #18

222.jpg
223.jpg

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225.jpg

The water in both the tank and filter after one week
 
Aquarist
  • #19
Hello Speed and Welcome to Fish Lore. A great DIY project! I'm sure many members will find this very helpful! Thanks for sharing it with us step by step and the photos are great!
Your tank looks beautiful! What do you have in it?
Have fun and enjoy the site!
Ken
 
speed0factory
  • #20
thank you for your reply Aquarist48, but I really donno what kind of fish I had.
But I had a few plant and 6 fishes.
 
Tony G.
  • #21
Welcome to Fishlore!

great idea! I'm sure many will find this useful!
 
Tavel
  • #22
Very nice. I might recommend plumber's putty to seal the joints instead. It's made for the purpose and works very well. It'll reduce the process slightly by eliminating the need for additional silicon sealant.

NOTE: plumber's putty is also sold under the "As Seen on TV" brand as "Mighty Putty"...so if you have that for some reason, use it!
 
speed0factory
  • #23
thank you all for being so kind, and for the Mighty Putty I never heard before as i'm in malaysia. I do not know whether malaysia have this stuff???
 
namehater
  • #24
looks good, but could you post up bigger photos? instead of using any sort of putty, why not just use aquarium quality silicone?
 
Tavel
  • #25
speed0factory: I'm sure you have plumber's putty, it's a pretty standard supply. Look in the plumbing section of the hardware store, it comes in tubes.

looks good, but could you post up bigger photos? instead of using any sort of putty, why not just use aquarium quality silicone?

no structural integrity. The interfaces would flex every time the filter's moved or serviced and the seals would fail very quickly.

Silicon sealant is only used in places that already have structure, like between two pieces of glass (where it's used merely as an adhesive).
 
namehater
  • #26
no structural integrity. The interfaces would flex every time the filter's moved or serviced and the seals would fail very quickly.

Silicon sealant is only used in places that already have structure, like between two pieces of glass (where it's used merely as an adhesive).

thanks for the insite, I had not even thought of that!
 
speed0factory
  • #27
speed0factory: I'm sure you have plumber's putty, it's a pretty standard supply. Look in the plumbing section of the hardware store, it comes in tubes.



no structural integrity. The interfaces would flex every time the filter's moved or serviced and the seals would fail very quickly.

Silicon sealant is only used in places that already have structure, like between two pieces of glass (where it's used merely as an adhesive).

Actually, the posted picture is the second product. The first Canister filter I made failed terribly:-[, because I used the silicone without the magic nail (I do not know what's magic nail really is, the hardware shop's people intro me to use this). Then when the silicone dry up, it just peel off.

Therefore I abort my first Canister filter, and ask help from the hardware shop. They told me to apply the magic nail first and wait for it to dry up (when it's dried up, it became so hard that it felt like stone), after it dry up then apply the silicone (for preventing leakage of water). So I used this for my second and last DIY Canister filter.

So after testing it for a week, it actually still have abit of leakage. But nevermind, you just have to apply somemore silicone to it will do.

It had been one week from the day I last applied the silicone, result no more water leakage problem.
 
Meenu
  • #28
Wow, very creative. I'm impressed!
 
speed0factory
  • #29
Wow, very creative. I'm impressed!

thank you so much i'm gald that you like it.

whoever try to do this do it wisely, as the pump temperature will rise due to the inlet or outlet is being stuck. which will cos the pump to work harder, so chose you container properly and think about the size and flow rate of your pump. never chose something which is the same size to your tank or a very strong pump.
 
ruthven78
  • #30
I'm not sure what you mean by "being stuck"

I'm going to build a canister filter based on .

My first attempt is going to be using a 1 gallon Sterilite Ultra+Latch container which is water tight. 1 gallon was the biggest I found at walmart while running errands, will probably try a larger size on my 2nd attempt lol. For now it will be just a mechanical and biological filter. And being my first attempt it will just be a secondary filter with a commercial filter as primary.

My question is on filter media, what should I put in? Should I use bio balls or ceramic rings?

The pump I'll get will probably be like a Rio Hyperflow 6HF Powerhead which has a flow of 350 GPH and max head height of 6ft at least for now...I would go a higher GPH as I know I will lose some in the filtration and head.

note: I will have a separate aerator in the tank, regardless, as I know canister filters don't aerate.
 
Nutter
  • #31
I would choose a larger canister to work with personally but that is up to you. Given the very limited space you will have for media I would go for ceramic balls. I don't know if you have seen them before but they are about the size of an M&M, but round. I have only recently started seeing them popping up in LFS in my area. Failing that I would likely use plain aquarium gravel. I use that in several of my filters & find that it an excellent bio media.

Oxygen exchange, (aeration), of water takes place at the waters surface, not by the introduction of bubbles into the tank. Any filter can aerate water so long as the out flow is directed towards the surface of the tank. The more surface movement there is the more oxygen exchange takes place the more dissolved oxygen is in the water. I have the outlet of my canister filters right near the surface in most of my tanks. I have large amounts of surface movement from the filter flow & find I have very little need for air pumps & air stones.
 
ruthven78
  • #32
Actually the introduction of bubbles would indeed supply oxygen if the air supplied has oxygen...ie ambient air is 21% oxygen. Also the action of the bubbles on the surface plane increases the surface area. The bubbles will have more oxygen in them than there will be dissolved in the water so there will be an exchange (Henry's Law).

I figured 1 gallon was good enough for the first attempt considering the Eheim Classic 2213 canisters are only 0.8 gallon (2217 is 1.6 gallon).

I think I saw something simular to what you were talking about for the media at Big Al's called ? Or maybe ?
 
Nutter
  • #33
Yes quite similar to the Bioshperes. Any attemt at extra biological filtration can only be of benefit so go for your life. Keep us updated on how the project goes for you.

Without going too far off topic, the aeration of water takes place through oxygen exchange at the surface. The more agitated the surface, the more oxygen exchange takes place. The bubbles from an air pump simply are not in contact with the water for long enough to add oxygen to the water themselves in any measurable quantity. The increase in surface area from the bubbles is also false I'm afraid. The bubbles work by dragging new water to the surface to be exposed to the oxygen in the atmosphere. The increase in surface area from the bubbles is also so tiny that it can't be measured. It is the movement of new water being exposed to the atmosphere through surface agitation that oxygenates water. Sorry to disagree but this is proven scientific fact & is very common knowledge amongst experienced aquarists.
 
ruthven78
  • #34
hmm think for the 2nd attempt I'll try to make it with a 5 gallon FDA bucket (US PLastics) and a gamma seal lid.....

found a 200 gph and a 70 gph pump in the garage!

Also bought a bulk head and a tapered barbed elbow for connecting the pipe....getting closer, now just have to buy tubing, drill the holes, assemble, seal, and put in the media
 
Nutter
  • #35
Sounds like a plan. I do have a friend that did a diy canister using PVC pipe & fittings that works really well. I'll see if he has any plans for it when I see him next & post the details up here for you.

Keep us updated on how things work out with your build.
 
ruthven78
  • #36
update on my canister

I put this project off for a long time. Here is the lid with the bulkheads in place. The one with out one barb is the inlet which is a 5/8" inner diameter and the dual barb is the outlet which is a 1/2" inner diameter. (see attached photo) There will be a 200gph submersible in there.

My biggest problem to date, other than finding nylon scrubbies, was that I didnt want to cut the power cord. So instead I made a hole big enough for the 3 prong plug to go through. I then sealed the hole with aquarium grade (All-Glass) silicone which didnt work out well, leaked and never really adhered well to the plastic container. This is the same reason I went with bulkheads on top. So right now I have supperglued plastic pieces on each side of the hole with the powercord through it. I'll wait for that to cure and them seal it in with silicone. If that doesn't work I will just get a new container and start over with cutting the cord.

When I get it finished and working I'll go indept on how I made it and the material used.
 

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Nutter
  • #37
Looks good so far. Superglue & silicone are probably not going to stand up to the pressure inside the canister & will likely leak. I think you are going to need to cut the cord. Cut it near the end that plugs into the socket so that you have the join as far away from the water as possible.
 
ryanr
  • #38
Cut it near the end that plugs into the socket so that you have the join as far away from the water as possible.
It's not often I'll disagree with Nutter, but on this occassion, I politely and respectfully disagree.

My approach would be to cut the cord at the socket, then go to your local electrical supplies and buy a socket and some heatshrink with glue (Raychem is a brand that comes to mind).

Run the heatshrink down the cord first, then fix the wires inside the socket, do up the socket. Bring the heatshrink up and heat it up so that it shrinks around the opening in the socket.

If you can't use heatshrink, find an electrical grade silicone.

In the interests of safety, I never recommend splicing 110 or 240V electrical wiring, the chance of a short is too great

My 2c.

Other than that though, looking good.
 
Nutter
  • #39
Good advice Ryan. I don't have a problem with splicing 240v but I'm super carefull about insulating each individual join so there is no chance of shorting. Your way is probably safer for those who are not already paranoid of electricity & water. I've been zapped twice when I was really young (and stupid), so I'm plenty paranoid enough to make sure I do a good job of it nowdays.
 
ruthven78
  • #40
teaser

Here is how it looks after applying the silicon. The blue circles are the "patches" I used. Disregard the writing on the container, that was for a different plan I had. So now just waiting for the silicone to dry. I used DAP Household Adhesive Sealant as it stated right on the package in a nice sized graphic that it was safe for aquariums. I have extra cord in the filter so I can take the pump clear out of the container for cleaning if needed. Will wait for the silicone to dry and them assemble, taking pics along the way, and test, if doesn't leak and works, will post a write up.
 

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