Questions for DIY aquarium filter.

elisa001

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HI everyone after searching for the perfect filter for a 10 gallon tank and coming up with nothing at a reasonable price I decided to just make one.

I was basically just going to use a water pump that sucked water into a container filled with media right outside the tank... so I guess a DIY canister filter. I have been watching some videos and have questions regarding the water flow.

Is a pump pumping 200 gph ok? How do I know how big the container should be? I plan on making a larger filter for my 55 gallon later on.
 

Inner10

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elisa001 said:
HI everyone after searching for the perfect filter for a 10 gallon tank and coming up with nothing at a reasonable price I decided to just make one.

I was basically just going to use a water pump that sucked water into a container filled with media right outside the tank... so I guess a DIY canister filter. I have been watching some videos and have questions regarding the water flow.

Is a pump pumping 200 gph ok? How do I know how big the container should be? I plan on making a larger filter for my 55 gallon later on.
4x per hour is the typical target. Obviously it doesn't hurt to have more, but at 20x the flow may turn that tank into a whirlpool.

There's endless content about diy filters. Not really my style through as Fluval filters are pretty good value.
 

Sanderguy777

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elisa001 said:
HI everyone after searching for the perfect filter for a 10 gallon tank and coming up with nothing at a reasonable price I decided to just make one.

I was basically just going to use a water pump that sucked water into a container filled with media right outside the tank... so I guess a DIY canister filter. I have been watching some videos and have questions regarding the water flow.

Is a pump pumping 200 gph ok? How do I know how big the container should be? I plan on making a larger filter for my 55 gallon later on.
200gph is too high even for really active fish. Try to find one that is like 80 or 100 or lower. If you do end up with something to powerful, then make a spray bar and put an intake sponge on the intake (not to slow the flow, but it will distance the fish so they dont get stuck to the intake like cheese on a skillet LOL.

I doubt if the container needs to be very big, but you could go as large as you want especially if you plan to upgrade the tank or run more than one tank on that filter. I expect that a quart jar would hold enough bio balls or Matrix or ceramic rings for 30 gallon of water but certainly 10g.

Why do you want a canister style? Why not a sponge filter or undergravel? They are simple and you can get the sponge for $10-$15 and the pump for only $20

Hygger
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Hygger Quiet High Output 10W Aquarium Air Pump, Oxygen Pump Air Aerator Pump for Fish Tank 30-600 Gallon, 2 Air Outlets (4mm), 250GPH, 100-120V, 0.03MPa
 
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elisa001

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I was always told 10x the flow rate of your tank so at first I wanted 100gph but a lot of the reviews of the pumps I was looking at said the flow was not accurate and it did not look very strong at all, just a little stream. So I thought a pump labeled for 200gph would be ok with a dispenser and intake sponge I would make but I guess not.

I have a sponge filter now and it just isn’t that good, it keeps the water clear but I always felt like it wasn’t good filtration wise. I wanted to make this filter this summer because I thought it would be fun. I will look at a lower powered pump.
 

Oriongal

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Canisters work on siphon, they need to be lower than the tank; the pump just returns the water to the tank. So one of the biggest considerations to what size pump you'll need is actually pump head pressure, how far the pump will have to push the water back up to the tank.

The gph rating is made at zero head pressure, when the pump is just circulating under no 'load' (not pushing the water through hoses.) Same is also true of the gph rating of a canister filter; plus they're also rated when empty, no media restricting flow.

So, a 200gph pump may still only produce a trickle of water if it's having to push it up a rise of 2 feet or more. I have an 850gph pump in my pond/pool, but measuring the effective outflow (back to the pool) it's closer to 150 gph by the time it's gone up 3-4 feet from the bottom and through the UV.

Most of the links I know are to commercial sites, so I'll say just Google for 'pump head calculator' to get an idea of what you will need, based on pipe/hose diameter, rise and run lengths, and so on.

The other consideration is balancing siphon speed with return speed. You don't want the pump trying to return water faster than it's coming in, and if your canister doesn't have a sealed top, you also don't want the pump to not be able to keep up with the siphon (overflow out the top).
 

Oriongal

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elisa001 said:
I have a sponge filter now and it just isn’t that good, it keeps the water clear but I always felt like it wasn’t good filtration wise.
Most of what any filter does is to provide good places for beneficial bacteria to colonize; and then giving them max exposure to the tank's water.

BB colonize every surface in the tank, so a filter isn't strictly necessary at all; what makes it necessary is the level of bioload, stocking. A filter lets us stock more fish by increasing the area of colonization, or by bringing more water to that increased colony, or both (which I'm sure you know, just that it also becomes the measure of any given filter's effectiveness.)

So the measure of effectiveness of your sponge filter is your water parameters. If you're not battling ammonia/nitrites in a mature cycled tank, the filter is effective.

The only reason you'd need to change it or add to it at that point would be aesthetics (going for a cleaner look of just the siphon/return), backup redundancy, or to be able to increase stocking. (Or just for the experience/fun of it. :) )
 

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