1 gal Rili shrimp tank DIY sponge filter
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:27 PM   #1
nanobettaman
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1 gal Rili shrimp tank DIY sponge filter


Background:

I ordered some rili shrimp, and wasn't quite prepared for how young/small they were. Since I know that my the tetras, CPDs, and DEDs (Dwarf Emerald Danios (formerly Rasboras) will make short work of most of them in my 15gal I had an excuse to buy a small desktop pico tank.

I quickly read up on some threads and ran out to buy a Marina Cubus 3.4l since they're only $15 on closeout at the local chain. See: http://www.amazon.com/Marina-CUBUS-G.../dp/B003TM3B3O

I'll be using substrate (flourite) and water from my other tank, so I'm not really worried about cycling it. I'll also be putting in 6-10 anubias nana/petites (my 15gal is overrun, at last count I had 60+ of them - 5 years worth of growth/splitting) along with some java moss and maybe a clump of dwarf hairgrass. I don't harbor any illusions that the little 3-led clip light will be able to support much else (the tag says 1.14w).

I initially posted this thread as a question on whether or not to use a filter for the setup. However after an evening with the tank I felt one was needed.

So rather than go filterless, I decided to go with a sponge filter. However finding a sponge filter for such a small tank was problematic: first, the only filters I could find locally would have taken up the entire tank (6x6x6 isn't much to work with) and cost $15. The ones ones online were cheaper (about $5-6 shipped) but would have taken days to receive and I'm just not that patient. So I decided to make my own today, and I decided to take photos while I did it.

You don't need much:
A piece of tubing/hose to act as a lift tube. (I cut a chunk off the my siphon hose) $?
Some airline (walmart, about $3.50)
A knife
Superglue (I used gel, it's easier to work with) $2.50
A sponge (Fluval has a little sponge that runs $2-3. It has a hole in it already. I use them to cover the intake tube of the HOB on my 15gal)
A ziptie (I used a 4inch. They come in bagfuls at walmart for less than $2





The hose I was using for my lift-tube was smaller in diameter than the hole in the sponge, so I had to make it bigger somehow. To do that I wrapped and glued some airline hose to it.

Here's a pic of the sponge, the chunk of hose I used as a lifter tube, and the airline hose I cut to glue to it.



After wrapping and gluing the airline to the lifter tube, I then cut a small hole into the tube and pushed an ~8" piece of airline into the tube, and then glued it.



After letting it dry/cure for a few minutes, I then used a ziptie to hold the airline to the top of the lift-tube and inserted it into the sponge. As you can see, it's not much bigger than a mint-case.



Here's how it looks in the tank:




I spent less than $10 building it, add another $7 for the little air-pump (check valve included). The air pump is louder than I really wanted, but I wanted cheap...

Last edited by nanobettaman; 08-16-2012 at 08:44 PM.. Reason: DIY writeup, title change, imagecode change
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:48 PM   #2
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Please forgive the condition of the anubias. I just moved and they were stuck in a tupperware dish for about 2 weeks. They're in recovery...
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:03 PM   #3
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The one in this photo below is very small and they're about $2.50 on ebay shipped free from China.

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Old 08-16-2012, 11:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeToChKn View Post
The one in this photo below is very small and they're about $2.50 on ebay shipped free from China.

Yup, you can get them cheap, but it also takes at least a week to get here. I saw some on ebay as low as $0.10 + postage (I think it was $1.50) but like a typical American I wanted instant gratification - even if I had to build it myself
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:06 AM   #5
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Nice job with the DIY. Part of the reason it's really loud is due to the fact you aren't diffusing the air. So you're getting huge bubbles that are coming up. If noise is a problem maybe place a order for a small sponge filter now, and then swap it out when it comes in a week.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:41 AM   #6
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yeah, i recommend a fine airstone to also maintain a steadier flow though the difference is likely negligble in such a small setup.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:36 AM   #7
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Nice idea!
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diwu13 View Post
Nice job with the DIY. Part of the reason it's really loud is due to the fact you aren't diffusing the air. So you're getting huge bubbles that are coming up. If noise is a problem maybe place a order for a small sponge filter now, and then swap it out when it comes in a week.
The pump is what was loud. Cheap walmart pump, it's expected. I wrapped it in tshirt and that's helped alot.

The bubbles themselves were fairly loud until I put in a t-valve, attached 2" of airline to it, and cinched it about 90% closed with a couple zip-ties. That reduced some of the pressure to the sponge line so the bubbles arn't so big. There's a steady stream of bubbles, and there's waterflow, but now all I hear is the pump instead of the bubbles shooting to the surface.

I did a rescape tonight, I had the superglue so I cleaned up/pruned the anubias and glued them to the rocks to hold them. Pulled out the largest stone because I'd rather have the water it was displacing - probably increased the total water by at least 1-1.5 cups which can't hurt. I also glued the java moss to a rock so it would stay put.



I probably won't buy another sponge filter to replace it with. I can see that there's waterflow as plant parts float around, and it's not like I'm going to have a huge problem with nitrates with just shrimp and a nerite.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:34 PM   #9
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Careful with the wrapped airpump. Not sure if the heat needs to be released or if it's fine blanketed like that. Next time, try a whisper air pump. Very quiet . Also cheap!
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeToChKn View Post
The one in this photo below is very small and they're about $2.50 on ebay shipped free from China.

Can you add a link or a name of this product I would like to buy one
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:21 AM   #11
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Search sponge filter on fleabay.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandaquarium View Post
Can you add a link or a name of this product I would like to buy one
I think eBay links are not allowed here. Try item #251196374021 on eBay.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:47 PM   #13
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Ok thank you
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeToChKn View Post
The one in this photo below is very small and they're about $2.50 on ebay shipped free from China.

Tera cotta pot bottom as a feeding dish, what a great idea!
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diwu13 View Post
Careful with the wrapped airpump. Not sure if the heat needs to be released or if it's fine blanketed like that. Next time, try a whisper air pump. Very quiet . Also cheap!
Whisper air pumps are great. I've had mine running for almost a year, 24 hours a day, 7 day a week. It produces just a very dull humming noise. I have slept on my futon in the same room and it doesn't bother me.
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