Any SUCCESSFUL DIY canister filters - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Any SUCCESSFUL DIY canister filters

I am looking for successful DIY canister filters. I am excluding such filters made from PVC pipe/fittings and those constructed as plastic cubes that someone cut and put together with sealer. I know those work.

I am looking for someone who used a readily available container.

I have heard of lock-n-lock based containers that work but seem too risky to me.

I have heard of 5-gal pails with gamma lids. almost work but fail when the power is off and only static pressure causes leaks around the ring added to the bucket which has the threads into which the lid connects.

Of course it must not be a totally sealed closed head drum type container as you need access to put in and clean out media.

I have read and read and read forum postings and done extensive Google searches. I found one that worked but had straps to tie down the top that seemed would make it hard to undo and clean.

In this thread I posted there is a link from a guy in the Phillipines who shows his that DOES work.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...r-not-pvc.html

I am making a list/collection of potential containers that have integrated screw tops and lids with seals. I will provide if anyone is interested.

Bob
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 11:01 PM
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Does it need to be a 'sealed' canister filter? It'd be easy enough to use an overflow (siphon to a hob box, or drilled tank) with a hose running down to water container you desire, be it a 5 gallon bucket, a rubbermaid trash can, or a 55 gallon plastic drum. All you need then is a submersible pump in the bottom of it with a hose returning back to the tank. Essentially it'd work like a wet/dry, but much much simpler. The drawback would be that you might have a little water noise from the overflow tubes, but that might be manageable.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2011, 02:48 AM
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Unless you're going to drill the tank for bulk heads so your DIY canister can safely contain all the circulating water if the power goes out, the price of parts can easily end up costing more than a used commercial canister filter.

If your filter needs are large enough, a resin or stainless steel swimming pool fiter could easily be adapted to your needs and they already have threaded connectors.
 
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2011, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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I am certainly not considering drilling my tank! The three tanks I have now which have canister filters are not drilled.
And last time I had a swimming pool, the sand filter was huge. I want something to go under the tank.

Again, hoping to hear from folks who have successfully completed such.

Bob
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Well dwarf has one though I cannot tell exactly what container he used and how to get one here in the USA.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...tml#post580362

Here is one using a Rubbermaid water cooler.

http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums...t=DIY+canister

He had it 2-1/2 feet below his tank.

If I assume a 6-inch screw top, and .433 psi static pressure per foot of water in the syphon tube, it is about 30.6 pounds of force on the lid. (.433 psi/ft of water x 2.5 foot high x (6 inch diam x .5) squared x 3.1415926) It is that force that causes such to leak and fail.

Clearly from my reading it is the top seal that is problematic even in PVC based DIY canisters. It appears a strong screw closure with gasket and plumbers tape, smaller size is better, works.

Bob

Last edited by bobalston; 02-18-2011 at 08:48 PM.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 11:11 AM
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I'm fixin' to make a unit from a water filter housing (ebay), inline pump, and some fittings/valves/quick disconnects etc. I like the water filter housing because I know it won't leak, it has an air escape button to purge bubbles, is rated for way more PSI than it will have running through it, takes standard NPT fittings, etc. The pump will go on the out side off the water filter housing. Just bought a rubber bulb siphon pump from harbor freight which will go on a Y branch of the in line, to start the siphon, then that branch of the Y will be shut off via valve. Filter cartridges are easily made using the inner tube of a commercially available paper-accordian style one and making a sleeve of filter foam. I might even opt just to use coarse commercial ones. My application isn't a canister filter, but rather a targeted mulm vacuum cleaner though (think: gravel vacuuming using a python but with a return to the tank of the water). But you could fill around the filter cartridge with bio-matrix or do inline housings with different fillings - one with a filter cartridge to catch debris, one with biomatrix. I like to buy the clear housings so I can see what's going on in there, too.

It's probably not cheaper or more space efficient than buying a good canister, but I can have a much more powerful vacuum cleaner this way, and switch out the dirty gunk and filter cartridges much more easily than opening up a standard canister. With a standard canister, you have to remove the entire filter to a sink, clean it out, then re-set it. With the water filter housings, you turn off the water using valves on either side of the housing, unscrew the bottom, clean that out. Inline pump is on quick disconnects either side for quick maintenance.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 12:33 PM
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Rick Wrench.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 01:11 PM
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If you use the google search engine with this criteria "plantedtank.net+diy+filter" you would be amazed at the number of threads on this forum for this type of project.

Some succcessful, some a bit on the low end.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 11:33 PM
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After much pondering about building my own I am kind of thinking a Korney (Corney, Cornelius) Keg old style stainless steel soft drink keg might be the best way to go. Cheap! Seals! Darn near indestructible! Readily available parts and seals for rebuilding! Easy to change the media.... Uhhhhh?????
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boringname View Post


Rick Wrench.
I'm really liking this sort of canister filter. At the moment I have no powerheads though - is it worth the money to dIY a canister filter, or would it be cheaper and more reliable to just buy one? I hate the look of HOB filters but am trying to avoid spending too much money...

thanks!


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 11:36 AM
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Honestly, I don't think its cost effective at all. The only real DIY filter systems that I find to be economical are ones for larger sump type filters. These small "canisters" are just not worth the effort if you are trying to save money.


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatekeeper View Post
Honestly, I don't think its cost effective at all. The only real DIY filter systems that I find to be economical are ones for larger sump type filters. These small "canisters" are just not worth the effort if you are trying to save money.
I have to agree. I had some stuff laying around so it wasn't as bad, but in reality, I spent about 50 bucks to get a small canister filter functional. That's it...functional. Can't put it below the tank, not strong enough to add in-line reactor or heater, media storage is small, oh yeah and it was a pain. Like I said it works, but I would rather put up another 50 or so for an Eheim and just have what I want and feel safe about a well made product. Did I just slam myself? Doh!
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oughtsix View Post
After much pondering about building my own I am kind of thinking a Korney (Corney, Cornelius) Keg old style stainless steel soft drink keg might be the best way to go. Cheap! Seals! Darn near indestructible! Readily available parts and seals for rebuilding! Easy to change the media.... Uhhhhh?????
That is the most intriguing concept I've seen yet, and I'm the guy who said to use a pressure cooker. Cool.
post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 11:42 PM
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Hadn't thought of a pressure cooker... I like that idea too.

I don't know the dimensions of the openings of a Corney keg. I have been keeping an eye on Craigslist for one as they come up every now and again for really cheap. Coke ones are a little shorter and a little bigger around.

I had thought of making a lid for a big stainless steel canning pot but a pressure cooker would be ready to go... just drill a couple of holes. Hmmm.... is aluminum safe for fish? I am pretty sure stainless steel would be fish safe?

I have looked at a couple of pond filters too. I like the ones that have back flow clean out options! Found one that had a handle on the top of the canister that you pump up and down while you are back flowing it. The pumping action compresses and releases the sponges to wring them out without ever having to open the canister.
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