60 Gallon Tank DIY gravity fed canister filter

Sanderguy777

Member
Warning: this post is LONG, but I feel that it will give you an idea of how I personally design things (trial and error lol) and how that design changes, based on events, or budget, or physics rearing its ugly head (aka, the regular canister is too tall to fit under the tabk...). Anyway, I hope this helps, and you can blame the nutty betta that wanted me to make a thread about the build for unleashing the inner writer lol

So you may have seen my recent post about wanting to find a canister or internal filter to clean up my 60g guppy tank.
At the end of that thread, I said I was going to just look for a powerhead to fit on a sponge filter. Well, I did that and I'm not real happy with the results. The tank is slightly cleaner after I added a marineland maxijet 900 (I think) to the uplift tube instead of the air stone I had been using. If it wasn't for the fact that the poor guppies are now staying out of ¼ of the tank, I think the powerhead thing is good. (Meaning it would probably work fine for other fish).

That said, I want to go a different direction. I wanted to get an internal filter, but they are all big, and they are some mix of too cheap to work for any length of time, or too expensive for my sub $100 budget.

Canisters were next, but Fluval and Eheim are obviously not gonna happen, and even marineland and penn plax are too expensive. I was looking at sunsun and Polar Aurora as next choices, but they have really mixed reviews. The 1 star ones are all "it flooded the house and killed all of my discus," or "it ruined the floor, and sucked up all 8000 neons." The good reviews were either "I've had it for 3 months, and it's great, just make sure to grease this and that," or "the first one was terrible, but the replacement worked great for the week I've had it, and the customer service was top notch, once I got ahold of them after 3 weeks..." Basically, the filter works fine, as long as you maintain it, and don't torque anything, or expect it to be a Fluval or Eheim. But I still didn't like the price (which is perfectly reasonable IF the filter works, and doesn't flood the house. I didn't want to have the worry, or hassle, so I passed.

That brings me to what I chose. The DIY canister. (I dont know if that is the official name, but that’s what I'll call it.)
If you look at the photos I've uploaded, you can see the tanks (60g main, and 10g growout/QT), and the dresser i plan on putting the canister on.
The reason I think DIY is the way to go is that my design (which is not really original to me, just modded from this and that online), is that it is cheap, watertight and can't drain the tank.
You can see the orange bucket that is the analog for the canister (as I haven't actually built it yet). I will have two bulkheads on that bucket. One will be on the lid, hooked up to the powerhead I have on the sponge filter now (in fact, I may just hook it up with a hose and not even change the setup except to move the sponge to one end). The other bulkhead, on the bottom, will supply a large spray bar or sponge baffled outflow (not sure but probably the spray bar).

This build is heavily based on Aquarium Co-op's video. My design is close to Cory's, but I will be adding a spray bar (like the one in another of his videos) and simplifying the inner parts, so I can make things easier on myself later.

I just ordered the bulkheads today, and some foam, getting ready for the build here soon.
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
Sanderguy777 said:
Warning: this post is LONG, but I feel that it will give you an idea of how I personally design things (trial and error lol) and how that design changes, based on events, or budget, or physics rearing its ugly head (aka, the regular canister is too tall to fit under the tabk...). Anyway, I hope this helps, and you can blame the nutty betta that wanted me to make a thread about the build for unleashing the inner writer lol

So you may have seen my recent post about wanting to find a canister or internal filter to clean up my 60g guppy tank.
At the end of that thread, I said I was going to just look for a powerhead to fit on a sponge filter. Well, I did that and I'm not real happy with the results. The tank is slightly cleaner after I added a marineland maxijet 900 (I think) to the uplift tube instead of the air stone I had been using. If it wasn't for the fact that the poor guppies are now staying out of ¼ of the tank, I think the powerhead thing is good. (Meaning it would probably work fine for other fish).

That said, I want to go a different direction. I wanted to get an internal filter, but they are all big, and they are some mix of too cheap to work for any length of time, or too expensive for my sub $100 budget.

Canisters were next, but Fluval and Eheim are obviously not gonna happen, and even marineland and penn plax are too expensive. I was looking at sunsun and Polar Aurora as next choices, but they have really mixed reviews. The 1 star ones are all "it flooded the house and killed all of my discus," or "it ruined the floor, and sucked up all 8000 neons." The good reviews were either "I've had it for 3 months, and it's great, just make sure to grease this and that," or "the first one was terrible, but the replacement worked great for the week I've had it, and the customer service was top notch, once I got ahold of them after 3 weeks..." Basically, the filter works fine, as long as you maintain it, and don't torque anything, or expect it to be a Fluval or Eheim. But I still didn't like the price (which is perfectly reasonable IF the filter works, and doesn't flood the house. I didn't want to have the worry, or hassle, so I passed.

That brings me to what I chose. The DIY canister. (I dont know if that is the official name, but that’s what I'll call it.)
If you look at the photos I've uploaded, you can see the tanks (60g main, and 10g growout/QT), and the dresser i plan on putting the canister on.
The reason I think DIY is the way to go is that my design (which is not really original to me, just modded from this and that online), is that it is cheap, watertight and can't drain the tank.
You can see the orange bucket that is the analog for the canister (as I haven't actually built it yet). I will have two bulkheads on that bucket. One will be on the lid, hooked up to the powerhead I have on the sponge filter now (in fact, I may just hook it up with a hose and not even change the setup except to move the sponge to one end). The other bulkhead, on the bottom, will supply a large spray bar or sponge baffled outflow (not sure but probably the spray bar).

This build is heavily based on Aquarium Co-op's video. My design is close to Cory's, but I will be adding a spray bar (like the one in another of his videos) and simplifying the inner parts, so I can make things easier on myself later.

I just ordered the bulkheads today, and some foam, getting ready for the build here soon.
What nutty betta could you be talking about....

Can you draw up your design for me to see? I'm super interested!
 
  • Thread Starter

Sanderguy777

Member
AcornTheBetta said:
What nutty betta could you be talking about....

Can you draw up your design for me to see? I'm super interested!
I'll try to draw something up tomorrow.
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
Sanderguy777 said:
I'll try to draw something up tomorrow.
I unleash inner writer and artist lol
 
  • Thread Starter

Sanderguy777

Member
I also want to mention that the main idea behind this filter is mechanical filtration, but I think the final design will work for anything you might need (mechanical, chemical, or biological), just change what you add to the "media basket."
 
  • Thread Starter

Sanderguy777

Member
By popular request, I have added some screenshots of my design.


Index:
2x grey pucks are bulkheads
1x tall white thing is a 5g bucket
1x flat disc is the lid
1x spray bar is the two levitating pipes under the lid (imagine a 90 degree elbow attaching them to each other)
3x colored parts on the side of the bucket represent lava rocks on the bottom, floss in the middle, foam on top


The spray bar inside the lid is probably like what I will build, but I would rather have two "legs" at a 15 or 20 degree angle from each other to spread out the water over more of the filter media.
Notice that I have NOT included any pipes inside the canister. I think that any channeling will be minimized by the spray bar, also as the foam and floss fill with mulm, the channels will change.

I'm open to any thoughts on the design. I am mostly after mechanical filtration, at this point, so I don't think channeling will be an issue...
 
  • Thread Starter

Sanderguy777

Member
Update. I'm supposed to get the bulkheads from amazon this Sunday, so Ill probably do the build then.

Meantime, I was looking around to see some other designs and saw this video
. The actual build video is interesting, but the clean out is what sold me on his design.

So I WILL be putting tubes inside. I like the swirling idea, but also, having the water flood upwards, means that ALL the media is used, not just the little bit the spray bar hits. (not sure what my brain was doing when I was thinking about this earlier LOL)

The new design will not have a spray bar inside, the input (the lid bulkhead) will go down to a couple inches off the bucket floor, and then outflow (the bucket floor bulkhead) will go up to the bottom most rim (3" short of the lid).
 
  • Thread Starter

Sanderguy777

Member
I'm gonna post a video rather than write another 8 pages of posts LOL.
coming soon
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
Sanderguy777 said:
I'm gonna post a video rather than write another 8 pages of posts LOL.
coming soon
I'm like a kid on Christmas Eve right now lol.
 
  • Thread Starter

Sanderguy777

Member
AcornTheBetta said:
I'm like a kid on Christmas Eve right now lol.
I think you put too much stock in my editing abilities...

Actually, it will be up tomorrow. My computer is taking its sweet time rendering it, and then youtube will undoubtedly take about 8 years to upload it...
The sheer inconvenience of the modern age lol
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
Sanderguy777 said:
I think you put too much stock in my editing abilities...

Actually, it will be up tomorrow. My computer is taking its sweet time rendering it, and then youtube will undoubtedly take about 8 years to upload it...
The sheer inconvenience of the modern age lol
Lol. Sounds about right.
 
  • Thread Starter

Sanderguy777

Member
Ok, it's up. Here's the link.

 
  • Thread Starter

Sanderguy777

Member
Ran into a snag, otherwise the filter would be set up now.

The issue is that the supply line is sealed fine, but if I turn off the power or it goes out or the pump dies, that sealed line acts like a siphon and drains the whole thing.

There are two solutions. I can leave the tank 4g low (about 2 or 3 inches), or I can add a check valve to it (what I did do).

I'll try to get a video up, but in the mean time I'll give a general overview of the additions.
I got the check valve and a shut off valve glued on between two unions (to make check valve swap outs easy for whenever that happens lol).
Now I have it in a box to catch any leaks (though I dont think anything will leak).
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
Sanderguy777 said:
Ran into a snag, otherwise the filter would be set up now.

The issue is that the supply line is sealed fine, but if I turn off the power or it goes out or the pump dies, that sealed line acts like a siphon and drains the whole thing.

There are two solutions. I can leave the tank 4g low (about 2 or 3 inches), or I can add a check valve to it (what I did do).

I'll try to get a video up, but in the mean time I'll give a general overview of the additions.
I got the check valve and a shut off valve glued on between two unions (to make check valve swap outs easy for whenever that happens lol).
Now I have it in a box to catch any leaks (though I dont think anything will leak).
I would do a check valve.
 
  • Thread Starter

Sanderguy777

Member
I'm working on the last video now. I should get it out later tonight, or tomorrow. I think it will be much shorter than the last one, and I am trying to be more concise on time, and not ramble on like I am now...

I found out two new issues with my design, and plan on fixing one, and leaving the other. The siphon has been fixed, and actually helped the whole filter be better than I had originally planned!
 
  • Thread Starter

Sanderguy777

Member
It's UP! Let me know if you have any questions about anything, or creative criticism.

I tried to shorten it this time... took a good 20 or 30 minutes of rambling out LOL
 

Most photos, videos and links are disabled if you are not logged in.

Log in or register to view

Top Bottom