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DIY Internal Power Filter with Bio

5522 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Cambrian Creature
I am planing on making an internal power filter for my 38 gallon shrimp tank using an AC power head (301) and either a 1 liter soda bottle or a 2 liter soda bottle.

I was hoping on using the 2 liter for more media but would it be too much filtration for my tank(is there such a thing)? The flow is no problem since I can adjust the AC power head.
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There is a thread on the board somewhere about a "hamburger mattenfilter" or something similar, sounds perfect for you, a powerhead and foam is all you need, no bottle.
Not meaning to discourage you from trying your idea but I might throw in what I found. I used a 2 liter bottle and powerhead with filter floss for media.
This was on an old brackish water 75 gallon tank where i tried a number of things which didn't work.

It seemed the powerhead did not have enough muscle to keep running when the filter floss got any dirt at all on it. I no longer use it as it was too much trouble to pull out daily.
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I have seen mattenfilters before, but if I ever used one it would have to be a horizontal version and be used in a new tank like the one seen here:


Did you use the whole 2 liter bottle or did you cut it in half? Also, did you use an AquaClear powerhead?
I started with the whole bottle but found it took only a small amount of floss to stop the flow so I cut the bottle down as a way to save the amount of equipment in the tank and as it didn't seem to make a difference.
It was not an AC powerehead as I have none of them. Likely another brand. The problem seemed to be the restriction as the width slims down to the neck. At one point, I tried adding a layer of eggcrate to hold the floss away from packing down into the neck but then it seemed the floss would seperate and strings of it wound up wrapped around the impeller. I had wanted it as a way to get the heavy stuff picked off the bottom but finally settled on just circulating more water as I was never able to get it to do what I wanted without getting sand picked and passed through to the impeller or stopping up too quickly. With sand getting to the impeller, it finally got noisy and I stopped playing with the idea.
I made this about 6 years ago, it worked great but I don't have it anymore as I moved across country since then and all my fish stuff was sold. BTW, it was used on a 55g

My DIY internal filter
I decided to go with the 2L bottle and have already cut off the bottom and drilled the cap.

Glasses Eyewear Drinkware Wood Audio equipment

Magnifying glass Automotive lighting Gas Automotive tire Auto part

Bottle Drinkware Table Liquid Barware
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Almost done filling the filter with media. The flow will be bottom - up and consist of passing through: nylon stocking shrimp guard, unraveled bath scrubby, filter pads that resemble Japanese mats (blue), poly foam, AquaClear foam, wiffle golf balls (as spacers),and a crocheted nylon net scrubby.

Liquid Drinkware Bottle Barware Fluid

Helmet Personal protective equipment Ball Recreation Ball

The bath scrubby is in a smaller DIY internal power filter and will be added to seed the bio filter.

The mech filtration is to progress from course (bath scrubby) to fine (poly foam) before reaching the bio filtration area (AC foam, wiffle golf balls, and nylon net scrubby). :icon_cool

This is a modified version of a smaller DIY filter that I found on YouTube:

Using a larger bottle provides space for biological.
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I just put a sponge over the intake of the power head. Bacteria grow on the sponge just fine, and smaller fish and shrimp like nibbling the stuff that is trapped by the sponge.
Installed it one week ago and it has been keeping the water nice and clear without clogging or spiking the parameters. I just need to get some Purigen to remove the tannins next.

I had to shrink the pictures because the camera is 6 megapixels.

Water Fluid Liquid Gas Tints and shades

Water Liquid Fluid Drinkware Tints and shades
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Working out the glitches slowly since the poly foam clogs after one week of running.

Removed the unraveled bath scrunchy since it takes so long to remove and reinstall when cleaning, plus it captures very little.

Does anyone else use poly foam in their power filters or dose it clog for you also?
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