Jump to content

DIY Canister filter


Recommended Posts

I was asked to place this filter in here as a DIY project for a nice filter that can scale up or down according to your tank size and needs.This is my first post like this so bear with me. lol


This is the finished project that I use. I found a Youtube post that i made some mods to for what I wanted to use mine for, which was shrimp and small fish. The first is only about 3.5 inches tall and used in a 1 gal. The second is what I use in my 10's with my BV Shrimp.






These are some of the materials I use. You can use whatever you want for the load you need to handle. The floss is mech and the sponges are for bacteria to stay in. 






First I take a 20oz bottle and cut the top off right at the top of the label. I place it cap first into the large tube and mark where the tube ends so that the cap/neck will go inside the tube. Then I drill holes in the cap (several small), then I drill a hole in the neck just below the cap rim that is the same size as your airline tubing. 





Now I can place this inside the larger tube (cap first) about 2" deep. 




Now I take a matching cap for the pvc of choice and drill some holes all around the SIDE. I drill all mine the same and then either modify the cap for smaller fish or whatever, but you can drill smaller or larger according to your fish. In the other cap, you drill holes in the TOP. You use the one with side holes as the bottom of your filter, this allows it to sit on the bottom and still pull water in. The cap with top holes goes on top and allows the bubbles and water to escape and make your filter work.


I use the blue mesh you buy at scrap-booking places inside a cap to make sure my shrimp don't go through the holes. (Plz excuse the holes in the top on this one, I only had one odd cap left to do this with. Sorry)



Now take your large tube and try to estimate where your bottle cap is and drill a hole in the side of the tube. When you push the airline thru this hole it will need to also go inside the neck hole on the bottle and be centered so the bubbles are in the middle of the pvc tube. This is the same shot I gave earlier on the bottle part.




OK, now you can choose to have just the tubing going up the side, or support it with smaller pvc, like I did. This also gave it more weight and helped it stand straighter. Above you see the tubing is trapped between the small pvc and I use zip ties to hold them in place. Just make sure you don't crimp your airline.


Now you can place floss in the bottom up to the cap of the bottle and put on your cap with SIDE holes. Do not attach these too tight as you will struggle with them when it comes time for maintenance. Try not to move your bottle and keep it centered and straight inside the tube. Some people use sealant to hold it there, but I like to have the choice to move the bottle if need be.




Then you place your scrubbies in the top part above the bottle. You can cram 2-3 in there, your choice. I got these at the Family Dollar store, 6 for a $1. 




Now you put your cap on the top that has the TOP holes...again, be gentle. And you have a nice canister filter that is cheap but effective. I personally leave off the cap to make more bubbles and more water movement, but the choice is  yours. 


I bought the 2" PVC in a 3' section and made 3 of these for approx $12 total. Much better than $200 for 3 store bought canisters. You can pull scrubbies out and use them to help cycle another tank easily and the floss is easy to see when it needs changing. You can also do these in the black PVC if you choose also. Please make sure to clean all parts well before you place it in the tank and good luck!


I hope you enjoyed tonight's programming. Ya'll come back now.  :thumbsu: OH! And just so you are prepared.....when you go to Lowe's to buy this stuff...beware .....  They asked me if I was building pipe bombs for a living. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its just an idea that has worked for me. I haven't tried it yet with fluidized, but I know a few that do. They seem to like it. Some fish don't like the motion in the tank though. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Soothing    The cap is aimed toward the top, yes. It allows the water pull to "bottle neck" flow and once it runs for a few minutes, you get great flow through the scrubbies. It also holds lots of floss to catch all the crud. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have done that for guppy babies. I take the blue mesh out and either put the floss all the way down to the bottom of the cap or you can sponge it with a thick one. You can cut the holes much smaller than I did too. In the pill version, I know a guy that used a saw to cut slits in the bottom to save his guppy fry as well. But I don't know if you could do that in the larger one since its much thicker. 



Also, in that pill version due to the size, you will have to cut a scrubbie to fit inside over the floss. You can't put a bottle in there, so I just cut a hole in the side and ran the tubing in between the floss and the scrubbie. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Thanks or the reply I want to do one and indeed have tried it but my problem comes with getting the heater inline lol I am funny like that I do the whole nine yards when I build something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...