DIY filter for 2.5 Gallon tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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DIY filter for 2.5 Gallon tank

I am about to start putting together a 2.5 gallon tank, and was thinking of ways to filter it. I have a powerhead that can be used inline, so I was thinking of using it for a DIY filter. I would have the input and output running into the tank with the output first passing through some filter media. The container for the media will probably be a gravel vacuum like the ones used for inline CO2 reactors.



I don't want to do a full on DIY canister as this could end up being too bulky. Has anyone tried this? Did it work? Were there any problems with it? My main concern I guess will be in making sure that it is primed and that there is no air in the system.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 06:20 PM
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The powerhead needs to be in the tank for one, I think most are designed to run in water and it may overheat out of water. Keep in mind the flow will be restricted once it goes into filter media, so if you powerhead isnt powerful it will slow even more once it hits the filter part.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 06:50 PM
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Little HOB filter would be cheaper and easier to clean.

I'm not sure I'd trust many small powerheads externally for very long. I've run Maxi Jets externally with a bunch of silicon around the base. It ran fine heat wise but the suction connection was pretty iffy.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 06:52 PM
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yea, you would need a ton of hose clamps and even then its a pretty big risk. Just buy a little penguin
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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I really want to avoid a HOB as I want the tank to have really clean lines. I have all the pieces lying around already (pump/clamps/tubing)...I may just test it in the sink first to see how it goes.

Perhaps I could have the powerhead in the tank and run the output out of the tank through a filter set-up and then just have it dump back into the tank. I realize the flow through the filter media will slow down but it is only a 2.5 gallon tank so I don't think that should be a major concern.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 08:20 PM
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Are you going to have any room under the tank? You could put the portion of your filtration system that you have drawn outside of the tank in your diagram into another 2.5g tank and use it as a sump if you have the space to do it and if the pump will push the water up to the upper tank. The 2.5g tanks are so cheap that it wouldnt cost much.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 08:58 PM
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I don't know whether or not you should do it, but if you do, you might want to consider putting the filter media before the powerhead. That way you would be running filtered water through the powerhead and it would be less likely to clog it.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isu712 View Post
I don't know whether or not you should do it, but if you do, you might want to consider putting the filter media before the powerhead. That way you would be running filtered water through the powerhead and it would be less likely to clog it.

I wouldn't really recommend this. The media, if not regularly maintained, might get clogged and start starving the pump.


Why not try out a zoomed 501? It will probably take as much space as your diy filter. I know you don't wan't a hob but there will be less "junk" in the tank since all you really have showing is the intake. It's one less pipe to hide unless you go with some nice lily's and show them off just because.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Well I just tried my pump and it leaks so that appears to be out of the question. Even though the input and output have tubing attachments, the housing is not watertight. Bummer.

The Zoo med looks pretty slick though, I think I may look into a DIY canister filter afterall... I would just need to buy a container for it. Time to lurk in some DIY canister threads.

Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate it!
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by tharsis View Post
Well I just tried my pump and it leaks so that appears to be out of the question. Even though the input and output have tubing attachments, the housing is not watertight. Bummer.

The Zoo med looks pretty slick though, I think I may look into a DIY canister filter afterall... I would just need to buy a container for it. Time to lurk in some DIY canister threads.

Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate it!
For what it's worth, you could probably use 4" abs for a small canister. Cap it on one end (the top) and use a test plug on the bottom. On the capped end is where you would put your intake and output. Put the powerhead at the bottom and use something like plastic scrubbers for media.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 11:51 PM
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make sure if you use a pump that it's capable of being used out of water. There's plenty of pumps that do not have to be submerged. But I think at that price point you may as well just buy a pre built canister filter.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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xmas_one:

What is a 4" abs?

IWANNAGOFAST: yeah I agree, I thought the pump i had would work outside of the tank. I am not going to buy a new pump so I think I will try to have it submerged in a cannister type thing.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 01:28 AM
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Abs is the black sewage piping you find at your local hardware store. It's kind of like pvc but maily used for sewage lines. Pvc is made for drinking lines.

How about a hamburg mattenfilter. I did one on a 5 gal and worked great. You can also grow moss or java ferns on it to hide the foam.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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Ahh OK, yeah I was thinking of using those pvc ones...are you suggesting the Abs for aesthetic reasons or is there another benefit to using that instead of pvc?

That mattenfilter looks like a really cool idea, simple and effective. I will play around with that idea tomorrow, I am concerned that it may take up too much space in the 2.5 gallon though. It would be great for a 5 gallon like you had or even a 10 gallon.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by tharsis View Post
Ahh OK, yeah I was thinking of using those pvc ones...are you suggesting the Abs for aesthetic reasons or is there another benefit to using that instead of pvc?

That mattenfilter looks like a really cool idea, simple and effective. I will play around with that idea tomorrow, I am concerned that it may take up too much space in the 2.5 gallon though. It would be great for a 5 gallon like you had or even a 10 gallon.

Pvc would probably be better. It holds pressure better than abs. Also, I remember reading something a while back that abs leeches chemicals. I'm not completely sure of this since I know there are some people that use abs. But, I would use pvc. Better safe than sorry.

Yeah that mattenfilter takes up some space. If you can find a small powerhead, then you can cut some of the size down. I'm sure you don't need too much flow. In my setup, I put a bag or ceramic beads and the ph acted as my co2 diffuser. Also, I didn't use uber thick foam, i used something that would hold it's shape. I also used that plastic grid used for crafts in front of the foam to tie moss on. That way I could take the foam out for some occasional cleaning.
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