3 DIY Filters with a pinch of a rant - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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3 DIY Filters with a pinch of a rant

Filter #1 complete with a pinch of rant
I'm at a loss as I don't know what I need, how big, etc for a DIY project... I am working on a budget, a poor (wo)mans budget & just cannot afford another $200 canister filter that is going to break in just over 1yr.

I'm quite flustered as I've lost 3 canisters in 5yrs & had several 10yr old fish die as I couldn't afford another new filter in time (used a lot of little filters & too many water changes just trying to save them). I care a great deal about my fish and every lose hurts. This all started when I got into larger tanks, which needed larger filters. Never had issues with my small tanks & their filters.

I'm somewhat handy, but limited on tools (no saws), so I feel plastics would be easiest for me to work with as I can drill cut them.

My planted tank, old pic. Plants are larger and there is now a large piece of drift wood.

Its a shrimp & small catfish tank.
20 Cherry Shrimp
1 Corry cat 7yrs old)
1 whiptail cat 4yrs old
6 albino BN plecos (5 are still fairly small as I bought them as fry)
1 Upside down catfish 4yrs old 2-3"

Down the road I would like to add a few snails, & a couple african dwarf frogs (my shrimp population needs to be much higher & more stable as I know they'll become a meal).

The type of filter I would feel safest with is one that can work above the tank. I rent a Condo so I don't want to deal with an oops from a DIY filter. My tank is in the spare room so it doesn't need to look pretty, it just needs to work & well. The room is my personal get away & where I keep all my critters that would give my boyfriend a heart attack

Filter #2
Its for a 90gal tank, but needs to be rated for a 200gal as I'm not keeping fish. I have Softshell Turtles, but they are VERY sensitive to water conditions & their 2 filters are starting to struggle (they are going to die soon) so I want to make a DIY above tank filter for them as well.

Mustard. Onion looks just like Mustard but its smaller & uglier(had a violent life before I adopted him)


Yes I named them Mustard, Onion, & Pickles. My fav toppings on a burger lol

Filter #3
Its for a 100gal indoor pond, but needs to be rated for a 300gal as its housing a snapping turtle. It also needs to be above the pond.

No pic as hes camera shy & gets really upset.

Any assistance would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 04:39 PM
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I would recommend something along these lines. Over tank filter

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 07:35 PM
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A question should be, how is it that you're losing canister filters?
Many of us use a canister for years, some for decades. Maybe we can help you repair or rebuild them if you kept them.

Next, about the "2 filters are starting to struggle (they are going to die soon)"
The impeller and the shaft it spins on are the only moving parts. There are rubber or plastic bearings, but they are usually replaceable.

For your pond, a 5g bucket or cat litter bucket filter is about as cheap as one can get. Riser to keep the pump in the bottom, gravel on top of the riser, floss - lots of it - on top of the gravel.
Something similar to this.


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