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redchigh 01-12-2011 11:31 AM

DIY Canister Filter-Idea Thread
So, I've decided to make a homemade canister filter.

I've dont some research to take the best and worst from other projects...
These are some of the fundamentals-

1. Make sure it is easily servicable, and yet watertight.
Solution- Make it out of a large plastic jar (like a peanut butter jar.)

2. Many builds end up costing the same as an off the shelf canister.
Solution- reuse materials I have already and buy online... Peanutbutter jar, cheap pump...Fittings will be pricey though.

3. Pump can break prematurely if dirty water passes through it.
Solution- put it behind the filter material.

4. They are often ugly.
solution- who cares? I could always paint it, but I like the idea of it being transparent (So I can monitor the media.)

5. Don't want to have to 'prime' it every time I perform maintenance.
Solution- Use those pricey fittings I mentioned.

Any other ideas?

How much flow would I need to filter a 10-20 gallon? (just a guess)

Jwest 01-12-2011 12:15 PM

wow. sounds like an exciting project. are you gonna use pvc or some kind of hose? I would thing you'd want about a 80 gph pump maybe even higher. depends on the kind of flow you want

redchigh 01-12-2011 12:23 PM

Well the places I read say that the tanks volume should pass through the filter 3-4 times per hour... so 80 would be about right for a 20.

There's a GREAT deal on Ebay for a 94gph (300l/h) pump, and it's adjustable...It's probably what I'll go with....

I plan on using a large peanutbutter jar as the 'canister'... Probably pvc pipe for the fittings hooking up to the jar, but some sort of flexible tubing will be implemented somewhere so priming is easier...

My tanks are heavily planted, I just want something for water polishing...

SinCrisis 01-13-2011 03:35 PM

how big is your peanut butter jar..? peanut butter i get come in jars that can barely fit my fist... you can sometimes find Clear PVC and with a cap u can create a much larger canister filter and still keep the ability to monitor your media. PVC can be welded shut permanently with bonding agents for your water-tight requirement. Would cost more, but not so much more that it would cost the same as a retailed canister. and it probably looks better and holds pressure from water weight better than a peanut butter jar... Also made of plastic so it wont shatter if dropped. And if the peanut butter jar is plastic, the PVC is stronger and less likely to break or tear.

shadetreeme 01-13-2011 07:13 PM

Might be a little overkill, but, I saw a filter that a guy made by putting three Drawers into a 5 gal bucket. He drilled lots of small holes in the drawers for his media and filters, attached the suction side of the pimp to the top and pulled the water through the media. it was cheap and it seemed to work well.
Here is kinda what he used for the media:$sku$

jaysee 01-13-2011 11:51 PM

The filtration system is the most important component to your entire setup. There's nothing wrong with DIY, but the filter? That's something I don't mind spending the money for the piece of mind.

ram50 01-14-2011 10:00 AM

I dont see nothing wrong with a DIY filter. The canister filter I made is running strong. It has to be serviced just like any other filter Change meda/clean media. Just do your research and you will be fine.

If you want to see my filter search for DIY canister filter here in the DIY section. I am also working on a wet/dry filter as I type this. I am going to start another therad on that

SinCrisis 01-14-2011 10:52 AM

DIY filters are sometimes better than the off the shelf ones. By making your own filter you can customize flow, type of filter media it can hold, ease of maintenance, size, and additional accessories such as getting a heater into the filter. DIY offers much more customization.

redchigh 01-14-2011 01:22 PM

True, if it was a fish-only tank, I probably would just buy it.

I keep lots of plants though, so the filter will only be for water polishing/peat filtration.

There's some pretty big jars of peanut butter- probably 30oz.

My problem with PVC is that the screw-on end caps never last long, and you have to use a wrench to make it truly air and water tight. A food jar would be SO much easier as far as maintenance is concerned.

(plus PVC lids have to make about 18 turns to tighten- a jar lid is only 4, with a better seal.)

I think I can keep this whole project under $20. (I was shopping today to look at prices)

shadetreeme 01-14-2011 03:31 PM

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