Will this DIY canister filter plan work?
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Old 09-28-2013, 01:07 PM   #1
951socal
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Will this DIY canister filter plan work?


After watching several hours of youtube videos of people describing their DIY PVC process on external canister style filters.

I decided that they didn't look good enough to display in my bedroom where my main tank is located.

I took a look at the zoo med 501 and the fluval equivalent in real life a few months ago.

and those weren't all that great looking in my opinion either.

so I took a youtube user's design, moved the bulk heads to the top of a jar, and I am hoping this idea would work?
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Old 09-28-2013, 02:56 PM   #2
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I'm a DIY guy and love the idea---but I have never seen one that I felt worth the effort.

When I get around to the true situation, there are problems with using things that make the difference in price too little for me to put up with the looks. In this case I feel the question may be in sealing the jar well enough that it doesn't leak but is still easy to open for maintenance. There will be lots of people who say their's works great but I have not seen one that works for me.
Pump, jar, tubing, fittings, intake, outlet, can soon approach the price of a really good Ehiem 2211 bought with a bit of shopping.

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Old 09-29-2013, 12:43 AM   #3
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There are a couple things to add to this. Usually the container is the problem. Most containers will not seal long term. Pressurizing them either positive or negative pressure causes this to happen even more often.

Having restriction on the inlet of the pump or powerhead usually causes to pump to fail prematurely.

If you built a small overflow you could turn it into a small wet dry successfully.

You could also try pumping into the canister which will cause the pump to last but would need a stout container.

It also works well if you set it up as an overhead filter. Powerhead pumps up into filter outlet is on the bottom of container and trickles into aquarium again.

Really by the time you end up making a successful diy canister you could have bought one that will look better and last longer.

There is also the toms rapids mini canister, and the aquatop mini canister.
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:05 AM   #4
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Keep in mind you need the water that enters to run through a tube to the bottom of the jar. So it can then pass through the purigen and then exit at the surface. Otherwise water that enters may just be sucked right out. All canister filters use that basic engineering, to have water start bottom to top so it flows through the media. Good luck
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark546 View Post
There are a couple things to add to this. Usually the container is the problem. Most containers will not seal long term. Pressurizing them either positive or negative pressure causes this to happen even more often.

Having restriction on the inlet of the pump or powerhead usually causes to pump to fail prematurely.

If you built a small overflow you could turn it into a small wet dry successfully.

You could also try pumping into the canister which will cause the pump to last but would need a stout container.

It also works well if you set it up as an overhead filter. Powerhead pumps up into filter outlet is on the bottom of container and trickles into aquarium again.

Really by the time you end up making a successful diy canister you could have bought one that will look better and last longer.

There is also the toms rapids mini canister, and the aquatop mini canister.
if you place the pump inline of the intake tube, you have the danger of sucking fish in, you're throwing waste through the inline pump.

and you're putting uneeded pressure on the jar.

small overflow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiftymeatballs View Post
Keep in mind you need the water that enters to run through a tube to the bottom of the jar. So it can then pass through the purigen and then exit at the surface. Otherwise water that enters may just be sucked right out. All canister filters use that basic engineering, to have water start bottom to top so it flows through the media. Good luck
it should work as the basic filtration philosophy is just taken from a eheim 2211. admitted by the original designer of the PVC canister filter.

i simply took his design and made it suit my needs better (diykingjoe or something like that on youtube where he strongly suggests you modify it for yourself and not just copy paste his setup as it wont work as well as it needs to)

if you guys need me to i can draw something up in solidworks for you real fast and throw it through a program called cosmos flow works (air) but it will mimic the effects of water

this will take hours and just willl show that water will flow in and out of a mechanical filtration ystem which we all know through physiscs, 101 in high school, and the engineering classes we all took as an undergraduate here.
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:20 AM   #6
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A small overflow would allow you to use the canister as a small wet dry with the container only half full of water and no pressure on the canister.

Another forum I belong to has a very active DIY section there have been hundreds of threads on diy canisters a common container is a 5 gallon bucket. most of these projects get abandoned a month or two in favor of a commercial filter.
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:20 AM   #7
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i think that is indicative of all DIY projects unfortunately
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:26 AM   #8
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You're on a good start. Like others have already said, you'll need to put the intake line all the way to the bottom. Even better if you have some sort of spray bar at the bottom to get an even dispersion of water through the media. I'll also 2nd the statement about the pump. A pump can have restriction on the output without issue, but if the input is restricted, it will burn the pump out.

Do you really want to display your filtration or is it out of necessity?


And anybody who resorts to commercial filters after building a 5 gal bucket unit just didn't do it right
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:27 AM   #9
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As other members pointed out, the container would be the hardest part in making things sealed properly. The ada filters are pretty much the same designs as diy canister filters but with much better quality materials.

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Old 09-29-2013, 02:39 PM   #10
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It's cheaper and safer to buy one honestly. You can get a small one for $25.

****
Oh, I just saw that you're more into the look of it. You'll need a gasket/screw system at every opening. It's the only way to make it not leak.

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Old 09-29-2013, 02:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 951socal View Post
After watching several hours of youtube videos of people describing their DIY PVC process on external canister style filters.

I decided that they didn't look good enough to display in my bedroom where my main tank is located.

I took a look at the zoo med 501 and the fluval equivalent in real life a few months ago.

and those weren't all that great looking in my opinion either.

so I took a youtube user's design, moved the bulk heads to the top of a jar, and I am hoping this idea would work?

You will only get minor filtration if you have the inlet and outlet on the top of the cannister. And assuming the cannister will be full of media, any media on the bottom will be useless as the flow of water won't reach it. And then the media on top will get clogged causing the water to basically bounce off and exit without getting filtered.

If the inlet is on the bottom your water will flow or be forced through all your media. This makes it more useful especially if you have different types of media.

Curious as to how it turns out though! Good luck
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aznartist34 View Post
As other members pointed out, the container would be the hardest part in making things sealed properly. The ada filters are pretty much the same designs as diy canister filters but with much better quality materials.
I always thought this was kind of ironic but if I were to ever do a DIY filter, I would imitate ADA and would have chose that design before they came out.

I also agree that I have only seen about 2-3 DIY canisters used on this board long term. If it's just a cosmetic issue and you don't really care if you make your own filter, take a different idea from ADA, throw your filter in an SS trash can. I have seen some cool things like this, people putting filters in flower pots that actually are planted and the like. It's much easier.

One last idea, make a sump using something you find cosmetically appealing. Then you don't have to worry about the pressure exerted on the lid of the container. I have thought about something along those lines as well.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:45 PM   #13
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Hey I'm using this DIY pickle jar canister filter for over 7 months. No problem...

Two things are important,
Jar must be really water tight (there will be pressure in it)
and your powerhead must be suitable for working outside of water. Otherwise can get too hot and burn.

one more thing, inlet must be at the bottom and outlet must be top of the filter. Water should filter from bottom to top. NOT top to bottom.

these are my filters link.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...041&highlight=

and modified with extra jar
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...505&highlight=
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:17 AM   #14
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OP here, I am just going to buy the zoomed 501 locally.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 951socal View Post
After watching several hours of youtube videos of people describing their DIY PVC process on external canister style filters.

I decided that they didn't look good enough to display in my bedroom where my main tank is located.

I took a look at the zoo med 501 and the fluval equivalent in real life a few months ago.

and those weren't all that great looking in my opinion either.

so I took a youtube user's design, moved the bulk heads to the top of a jar, and I am hoping this idea would work?

Not worth the effort since you can get a Sun Sun filter for $50 to $60. The pump (assuming it has to be powerful enough) would cost you more than $40.
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