Howdy there! I recently went to the dollar store and bought a whole bunch of random stuff to make filters and thought I should share it with everyone, maybe get some advice on how to improve it. In total I think I spent around 12 dollars and now have easy to clean filter sponges and up to 10 uses of carbon.
I will start with what I bought, the price and where I got it-
I did visit my nearest walmart, carbon is not something you usually find at a dollar store ;A;
3 little red clay pots, meant for biomedia.
These are coarse scrubby sponges, the ends are sewn into the sponge on the inside so in order to get the sponge out you have to cut one of the ends off.
After cutting, pull open the cut end so sponge can be seen. (messed up on blue sponge, red is taking its place)
Pull coarse layer inside-out so the sponge is no longer inside of it, this will also help release some of the loose fibers created by cutting.
Now rip them apart, carefully though. It is okay to rip the sponge but do not tear the coarse layer, as it will make a hole that will prove inconvenient in the next few steps.
Take the coarse layer and turn it right-side out. This is the step when you should wash it or let it soak, if you are worried about possible dyes and loose fibers.
After you're done with whatever, fill that baby up with some activated carbon. Choose whatever amount is suitable for your tank and wallet.
A little video on how to close the open end, the fibers stick to each other, like a weaker version of Velcro, and prevents carbon from spewing every where. (sorry for noisy background) Thats it for the carbon steps.
Make thinner layers of sponge by cutting them in half and removing the scrubby side. This can be done with a serrated knife or a pair of scissors.
Now you have a little filter sandwich with carbon in the middle.
This is not finished, I will be adding a part on homemade ceramic bio-media soon.
Take a little clay pot and put it on a wash clothe and wrap it up nice and snug. Go grab a hammer now.
Smash it into smaller pieces.
Then put the pieces into another coarse sponge bag.
and make an even bigger sandwich. <3
I haven't gotten to wrapping the pieces together, perhaps I can get some suggestions on that. I was thinking of some kind of mesh baggy or maybe twine/string of some sort.
How much 12 dollars will give you-
Sponges clean easily, coarse bags can be reused, and 9oz of carbon will last for me about 10 baggy refills. So after you get all of that, all you will need to re-buy in the future is carbon. Share your ideas with me! I love improvement.