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Old 06-19-2006, 05:11 PM   #1
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Homemade Filter

Hey everyone ^^ I have an unusual question for all of you, although that's not out of the norm really. See, my mom's filter, a upright Penguin filtering a 55gal tank, is not quite doing its job. As a result, my mother is trying something new with making her own filters using filter charcoal and cheesecloth. She is trying to make several of these packets and then place them in the filter so that the charcoal won't be so settled. What is everyone's opinion on this?

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Old 06-19-2006, 05:16 PM   #2
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i always love DIY projects. couple things to consider:

-are any of the materials hazardous/poisionous to fish? just something as small as putting metal screws might change the chemistry of the tank and possibly kill your fish.

-will you use the filter on a QT tank and possible feeder fish testers (against this)? i would not possibly use a "new" idea on a tankful of new fish.

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Old 06-19-2006, 05:36 PM   #3
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Charcoal is overrated. The only time I use carbon is when I have new driftwood (yellow water from tannins) or I am trying to remove medication from the tank. Other than that it serves no purpose.
You could try well rinsed cheesecloth or filter floss as a prefilter and leave the other stages in place. You may have to change it often if it is fine cheesecloth.
What Penguin filter are you using? If it doesn't have high enough flow, you may not be able to improve its performance. Consider an Aquaclear filter as a replacement. They have high flow rates and lots of media flexibility (i.e. no stupid cartridges).
Long live the UGF!
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Old 06-20-2006, 12:28 AM   #4
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Good price, great filter. The foam block included with the new filter will last for years, just rinse it in tank water when doing partial water changes. It will also filter the tank much better than a Penguin.
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Old 06-20-2006, 03:12 PM   #5
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Sorry about the delay on responding, but your quick responses were very helpful ^^ My mom says she's kicking herself for buying a Penguin filter. She's thinking down the road when she has her 100gal set up she will buy a new Aquaclear for it, but for now it might be rather useless to buy one for our 55 gal that would be obsolete later on with the tank change.
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:59 PM   #6
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For a 100g tank, I'd go with a cannister filter. They are easy to maintain, very quiet, and better for filtering larger tanks. I'd go with a Rena XP3. Its rated for a 175g tank, so it should do the job on a tank that large. If she went with HOB filters, she'd probably need to get 2. Cannisters are a little more expensive, but they come with almost all the media you will need. I suggest buying some bio-stars/balls or ceramic rings to build the bacteria on. They don't need replacing.
2 planted tanks: 40g, 20g ; 38g Reef tank
My links to pics: 40g breeder planted build, 40g breeder planted update, My 38g Reef Build

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Old 06-20-2006, 07:32 PM   #7
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buy a big rubber maid container, some hoises, a pump, and an overflow box and make a sump filter lol
I love my clown loaches and red tail shark!!! lol
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Old 06-21-2006, 01:15 AM   #8
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Your Mother is making her own media for an existing filter? That is funny because I built a filter for my existing media.

Like Apoc said, carbon is not too useful anyway. Many, many people here don't use the carbon at all.

On a side note, the carbon will work just fine in a clump on the bottom of the cartrige. It may even work better. Carbo usually loses it's effectiveness after a week. The "clumping" may cause it to work slower, but last longer.

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