DIY Canister Filter Plans

Written by naomi bolton Google
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DIY Canister Filter Plans
Canister filters incorporate three types of filtration in aquariums. (aquarium fish 9 image by cherie from

All three typical forms of aquarium filtration can be incorporated within a canister filter. If large enough, a canister filter can hold mechanical, chemical and biological filtration materials. Aquarium water is normally pumped over a mechanical filter medium, such as filter wool, to remove large pieces of detritus. Thereafter, the water passes over a chemical filter, such as activated charcoal, which physically traps organic water. Once stripped of the worst dirt, the water is treated biologically, before returning to the aquarium. Although many canister filter models are available commercially, a hobbyist can also make his own suitable canister filter.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Aquarium, 60 gallons
  • Aquarium sump, 10 gallons
  • GenX-2400 volute submersible pump
  • 3-gallon plastic bottle
  • 1-inch barbed fitting
  • Small tube, 100 per cent non-toxic silicone sealer
  • 3-inch long, 1.5-inch diameter plastic tubing
  • Kettle
  • Bowl
  • Knife
  • Pen
  • Nylon stocking
  • Charcoal, 1 pound
  • 1 plastic cable tie
  • 1 large handful of filter wool
  • 10 plastic bio balls
  • Work surface

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  1. 1

    Cut off the neck section of a 3-gallon plastic water bottle and discard the top part of the bottle.

  2. 2

    Push the 1-inch barbed fitting into the outflow nozzle of the GenX-2400 volute submersible pump.

  3. 3

    Place the GenX-2400 volute submersible pump on a clean work surface, next to the 3-gallon plastic bottle.

  4. 4

    Face the GenX-2400 volute submersible pump to the 3-gallon bottle, so that the barbed fitting is pointing at and making contact with the bottle. Make a mark on the bottle, where the barbed fitting touches it.

  5. 5

    Cut a 1-inch diameter hole in the 3-gallon bottle, in the exact place that GenX-2400 volute pump touched the bottle.

  6. 6

    Pour boiling water into the bowl. Place one end of the 1-inch plastic tube into the boiling water for up to 30 seconds. Remove and push over the end of the 1-inch barbet fitting.

  7. 7

    Push the free end of the 1-inch plastic tubing through the hole that you have just cut in the 3-gallon bottle.

  8. 8

    Apply two teaspoons of non-toxic silicone sealer to the area. Spread the silicone around the area to ensure a watertight seal. Allow the combined bottle and pump to cure for a full day.

  9. 9

    Place a large handful of filter wool into the 3-gallon bottle and spread it out till it covers the entire bottom of the bottle.

  10. 10

    Place 1 pound of activated charcoal into the nylon stocking and secure the neck of the stocking with a plastic cable tie. Rinse the stocking with the activated charcoal under running tap water. Rinse until the water that runs out of the stocking is clear.

  11. 11

    Place the nylon bag onto the filter floss in the 3-gallon plastic bottle. Flatten the nylon stocking, so that it covers the entire circumference area of the bottle.

  12. 12

    Place the 10 bio balls onto the flattened nylon stocking that contains the activated charcoal. Beneficial bacteria will grow on the plastic bio balls and these bacteria will biologically filter the water that passes over them.

  13. 13

    Place the 3-gallon bottle and attached pump into the sump of the aquarium. Ensure that the open top of the bottle is just above the water level of the water in the sump. The sump is a remote container or reservoir that is normally placed below the aquarium and is connected to the aquarium via pipes.

  14. 14

    Plug the submersible pump into a wall power source and switch to "On."

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