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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a DIY bubble filter for removing ammonia and nitrites from your fish tank. This is so simple I will not post pictures.

Materials
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8 inches of 2 inch wide PVC tubing (plumbing section)
plastic screen door mesh, 2.25 x 2.25 inches
aquarium safe silicone sealant
razor knife
cotton balls or filter media

Steps
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- Cut an 8 inch piece of 2 inch wide white PVC tubing found in your plumbing store. Sand the edges if you like.

- Take some silicone sealant and apply to bottom end. Place over screen door mesh. Let dry 12-24 hours.

- Using razor or exacto knife, trim off excess screen door mesh.

- Fill tube 1/2 full with cotton balls, or other light filter floss or material. This material should not be real cotton as that will rot. You should use some type of man-made fiber. Felt will also work.

- You're done!

- Place in aquarium with screened side down, but at an angle to let in water. Put airstone inside and turn on the air. Water will flow in from the bottom, past the filter material where bacteria will grow.

I use 2 of these in extra tanks I have and they have been working for 12+ months with no fish deaths in these tanks.
 

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The best DIY floss like product is pillow stuffing from a craft store. I get a HUGE bag from walmart for just a few dollars and its the same thing they sell as filter floss for a few times the price. I have two filters on my 55 gallon, and one hold ONLY this floss. My water has never been polished better. It's absolutely crystal clear - Of course this post isn't so much about CLEARING water as it is cleaning it. But check out the floss as the medium for the DIY filter here.
 

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I keep hearing about this heavy fish load and high nitrates stuff.

I've had very heavy fish loads in the past. And still had to add nitrates.

So it either boils down to not enough plants, conditions not suitable for plant growth or BS.
 

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It seems like a biological filter would be what would "remove" ammonia and nitrates. I would think some type of foam would have a greater surface area for bacterial growth than floss. Plus foam would be easier to rinse out and still retain the bacteria culture. I think of floss as more of a mechanical filter media that you would discard and replace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Floss or cotton balls provide a high surface area for bacteria to grow on. So this was intended for a tank with fish, not really a planted tank. Since I come from the "tank with fish" group of people. I'm just looking into growing more plants now.

But it's cheap, it works, and I use it in my "tanks with fish/animals".
 
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