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diy canister filter

8697 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Gatekeeper
thought i'd like to share
basic idea for a canister filter i made myself, the design can obviously be improved.
cost: 10 dollars (not including powerhead)
time: 1-2 hours.
you can stuff the stuff with filter media, bio balls, etc. i also hooked up a diy co2 bottle to the air intake of the powerhead so...
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I made 3 of these a few years ago, little mini ones. I used the same lock tight container like that link you posted but mines was much taller and thinner. I used Rio pumps. Works good.
Well, it is settled, eheim isn't getting any more of my money. I would never have thought of this, thanks for the post.

How tight is that seal though? Jagged, have u ever had any problems with leaks over time with these setups?
neil can you post a link to your pics here? The link does not work on the other site.

Thanks in advance!

the thing is leak proof, in order for the thing to work, you have to get a airtight plastic container...
the link works... but heres for it anyway

i accidentally cracked the lid when i was forcing an elbow into a too small of a hole, but it can be fixed by melting the plastic into one piece and putting gorilla glue on the crack as a safety measure.

the tubes can be put farther apart, i didn't consider that i'd be putting the canister filter in the back... it was originally going to be put at the side of the tank. in short, the output and input hoses should have been farther apart. the basic design of this canister filter is very simple to modify.
another feature if your powerhead has an air tube that takes in air you can hook up co2 and another tube for liquid fertilizer injection.
Hmm weird I got some weird message before from picasa... must have been a random occurence =P Thanks for the link again... it works for me now :)
Well, it is settled, eheim isn't getting any more of my money. I would never have thought of this, thanks for the post.

How tight is that seal though? Jagged, have u ever had any problems with leaks over time with these setups?
I remembered buying my air tight seal container at Wal Mart, They have different sizes incase you want to throw in a strong powerhead. Except mines were the thin tall version. The dimensions were something along the line of 5''LX15''Hx5''W. I used a Mini Rio powerhead, which was mount on the flat lid underside with the tip of the powerhead facing outside ontop. I used a series of automotive glue that once harden turns into hard plastic. I also cut the power cord and drilled a hole on the lid for it to came through. I then solder the connection up and glued around that hole also. From there on out, it was just the matter of hooking up your inlet and outlet hose to the tank and plugging it in.

The air lock tight container I used looks like this exactly. Crappy illustration but that's how mines was hooked up.

There were no leaks at all throughout the whole time I"ve used it. Easy to clean too, I recommend using tall containers so you have more media level to use(This is also determined by your output of how strong your powerhead can push water known as GPH). I had it running on a 5gallon tank and two 2.5gallon tank.

The canister I used back then worked out great, because at that time no other company was selling their nano canisters yet like the ones you see at

So It worked great, Would I make one again? Not really, since now they have mini canister filters out, I rather just buy one.

The only leakage point I could imagine it coming from, is on 3 places when making one of these DIY Canister Filter.
If you go cheap(Different types of Glue) and become clumsy(Over use of glue or under use) on the glueing of the 3 holes you drill out, that will only be your leakage point. The Air Tight Lock and Lock Lid, will not leak at all.

These DIY Canister Filters are all over the web back then and is now. Tons of information on them.
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many canister filter designs seemed a bit complicated with all those pvc stuff, this design is literally a box with water being siphoned in and water being sucked up by the powerhead and shot back out.
this setup is very cheap actually, the nano canister filters tend to be up in about the 40-50's if you already have a powerhead lying around then diy canister filter is much more sensible.
There have been numerous designs for DIY canister filters here. This one seems to go hand in hand with the others, functional and something for the DIYer, but not really something you would slap on a tank bigger than a 20 gallon.

Although most of these are easily made, the maintenance on them can really put a hurting on alot of the seals and such if your not particular careful.

Looks to be about $40 bucks in parts including the power head. You can pick up a cheap filter off ebay for the same amount, but if you have the stuff laying around collecting dust, its always a good use.
I've made one for fun in the past.. It's easier and cheaper in the long run (2-3 years) to buy one made by a manufacturer. If a pro one breaks down, you can get a new one for free. A DIY? not so much.
You can pick up a cheap filter off ebay for the same amount ...
Sorry to be off topic and such but:
I've been looking for these canisters on ebay you speak of. I saw a few that looked good but most of them were used and said they might need a few things replaced (hoses suction cups and what have you). I saw this one for like $35 supposedly for 100g. I would totally buy this immediately but I'm a little hesitant because it seems cheap.

It would only be for a 25g, so if it was good it would be a good deal of filtration, but what other options do I have?

I'm going to start a new thread here so I don't anger the OP :p
The major problem you face with a DIY canister filter is that a leak in the "canister" will siphon the water out of your tank onto the floor. Of course that is true of all canister filters positioned under the tank, but commercial filters are specifically designed for the job, so are much less likely to suffer a major leak. If the savings in money, and the personal satisfaction from a DIY project are great enough to offset that risk, then this would be a good project.
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