DIY Canister filter v2.0 - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 05:15 AM Thread Starter
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DIY Canister filter v2.0

this is the second version of this filter i have tried. the first one did not turn out well at all.



the supplies. pretend the jar doesn't have a hole in it. there is a jar, a drill with a spade bit, three kinds of hose barbs. two of them are 1/2" and one is 5/8" i believe, possibly 3/4. the two 1/2" are screw-in. one of them is 1/2" to 1/2" and the other is 1/2" to 5/8" the third is female, so it will screw onto the threads of the 1/2" to 5/8" male hose barb. they didn't quite fit together right, the threads were spaced wrong, but a little sealent fixed the gap. i also have some hoses that fit on the barbs, an exacto knife, and scilicone sealent, and of course the pump or powerhead.

first step. mark your holes. one should be low on the side of the jar, the other in the lid. use a spade bit the size of the threads of your two male hose barbs. the wider one should be on the top. i did not have a spade bit quite large enough, so i had to use the exacto knife to widen the holes just a little bit. also, spade bits do not do well drilling all the way through plastic, but they do a great job of scoring the hole the right size so you can come in behind it with the exacto knife and clean up the hole.

next, fit the male and female hose barbs together so the larger one is on the inside of the cap, and the smaller is on the outside. (the size actually isn't important at all, it just so happened that the outflow of my powerhead fit better into the 5/8" tubing, which fit onto the 5/8" hose barb. choose whatever sized hose barbs and tubing will fit your pump.)



it should look like that once you've got all three hose barbs attached.



there is the pump attached with a small bit of tubing to the hose barbs. one major, MAJOR change though is to always have the outflow in the lid. the water should come in through the bottom, and be pushed out by the pump through the lid. so after some trial and error, i switched it around so the outflow of the pump was stuck in the tubing instead of the intake.



the last part would be to make a hole for the cord. i did cut the powerhead cord. i use an 1/8" drill bit to make three small holes as close together as possible, then used the exacto knife to clean it up and fit the cord through, then coated it with sealent.

for sealing everything else, the female hose barb in the top comes in two pieces. one is the barb itself, one is the female threads that it fits into. mine did not fit together quite right, so i put a layer of scilicone between them to fill the gap. i sealed on the inside and outside of all the holes i made.

once i switched the powerhead around so it was pushing the water out the top, rather than trying to push it out the bottom, the canister worked perfectly. fill it with your media and cap the end of the hoses with some mesh and you're ready to go.


Last edited by Lucky_13; 02-11-2007 at 02:27 PM.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 05:58 AM
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I am no expert, but a couple of questions:

1 - Dont you have a lot of liability for leaks?
2 - Doesnt the PH act as a filter instead of the filter media? Seems the powerhead is too low in the unit to allow flow thru the FM.
2b - If you had a line coming from the intake pointed up to the top of the unit, wouldnt that allow the water to FILTER thru the media?

Im probably looking at it wrong, its a cool idea.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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there is no media in any of the pictures. the media would be in the bottom of the canister. the water would come into the canister through the bottom, through the filter media, up to the powerhead, which then pushes the water back into the tank.

i used aquarium scilicone to seal everything. i've tested it and it doesn't leak.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 06:42 AM
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wouldnt it be a better idea to have the water comeing in through the top with a powerhead screwed into the top? with an external powerhead you can easly get alot of filtration out of it.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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no. i tried putting the intake of the powerhead attached to the top as in the pictures and it did NOT work. the powerhead just struggled. as soon as i switched it around, it worked perfectly. gravity helps pull the water from the tank, down to the bottom hole where it enters the canister, then the powerhead just gives it an extra push back up to the tank.

also i did not want the pump in the tank as it is a 5.5g nano and that pump would have been far too large. i used that powerhead because i happened to have it on hand. total cost for this project was $9 because i did have the pump already.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 01:48 PM
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It still doesnt seem to "filter" very well. It will take the path of least resistence, from the bottom into the vortex of the PH and then out the top...... right?
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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yes, but if the intervening space between the entrance of the canister and the intake of the powerhead is filled with media, it has no choice but to pass through that media
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 02:12 PM
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But the PH is at the bottom of the canister, isnt it? Seems like if it was mounted higher it would filter more efficiently.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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no, the ph is attached to the lid of the canister. it is a little low in the canister, but its not at the bottom. there's a good 4" of space at the bottom for media.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 02:56 PM
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HAve you considered placing the PH in the tank and using the entire canister as filter?
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky_13 View Post
also i did not want the pump in the tank as it is a 5.5g nano and that pump would have been far too large.
that canister is a gallon jar. its going on a 5 gallon tank with cherry shrimp and plants. it doesn't need any more room for filter media. i would have made it smaller actually if i'd been able to find a container that sealed and was smaller. the whole concept can be adjusted to a larger container and pump.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 05:41 PM
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I like your idea but I think it would be best to use a smaller jar ( can pick one up at walmart for a buck) and put the powerhead in the tank and run it to the top of the jar and the out take comes from the bottom or side. Just make sure you cover the intake of the PH so no shrimp and the babies get sucked up into the PH.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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*tries not to scream*

do you people read the previous posts?

i already said i would have gotten a smaller jar if i could have found one. i went to about 6 different stores that day and couldn't find any smaller jars that also had lids.

i also said in my original post that the powerhead was TOO BIG for the tank and i didn't want this giant black pump sitting in the corner of my beautiful nano tank.

and yet again, i said that when the intake is in the top of the jar, and the outflow is on the bottom, IT DOESN'T WORK. the powerhead just struggles. as soon as i switched it, it worked perfectly.

i'm not posting in this thread again. your all frustrating the hell out of me. i'm not going to repeat myself 5 times because you can't read what i've already posted. i put this here so that maybe someone could take my idea and use it to make a nice, cheap canister themselves. you all had to nit pick it to pieces with suggestions that aren't even plausable or related.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 06:02 PM
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It's ok to be frustrated, but the descriptions and photos lack clear communication. You dont discuss that the PH is too large until several posts later.

Sorry you are frustrated, but dont worry about my participating on any of your additional threads.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 06:03 PM
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Good luck with it 13. I think that the change makes sence. If it work then dont worry about it. When it is done please post some pics. I would like to see it in action.

MAHA

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