Making a canister filter?

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Aquarium Advice Addict
Dec 1, 2011
Does anyone have any experience in making their own canister filter? My husband has "cut my fish budget" so now I have a 60gal tank with no filter :-( I understand the basic concept of making one however I really need some assistance with the details of it. So if anyone knows and is willing to walk me through it, I would greatly appreciate it :)
My hubby is a plumber so I can "borrow" anything from our garage ;-)
There are a plethora of videos on YouTube. Of course you still have to purchase a pump. But even still you should still be able to to create something superior to store bought for half the price.
I've been watching you tube videos all night. Starting to go cross eyed. Thanks for the tip. Can't believe I didn't think of it. D'uh moment what can I say? Lol
I've been watching you tube videos all night. Starting to go cross eyed. Thanks for the tip. Can't believe I didn't think of it. D'uh moment what can I say? Lol

Lol! Yeah I stumbled upon it myself. Im in the process of building a canister/sump filter as well. Youtube seems to be a valuable resource for just about any DIY project. keep us posted as you make progress.
Today I worked on the seams on the tank. I'm redoing them, the tank is over ten years old. I did manage to find some sweet canisters in the garage. I'm thinking they'll be perfect. Wanna see?
I do!

I've consdered this type of project also, but have lacked the fortitude to actual begin!
I'd love to say it was "fortitude" that started all of this for me, sadly it was "budget" that was the culprit. Lol
Here's the canisters I hope hubby doesn't miss them ;-)
I've got two of them. Inlets and outlets built right in the top. I think they should work well don't you?


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Yes, those are nice! Have you figured any particulars yet? What media to use, how to mount them? I like the idea of using those because you can always increase capacity. Keep the pics coming.
What type of canister is that? And how much was it and where did you get it lol?? Id love to build one also.
This is what I had planned on doing
Taking a canister and setting a pump in the bottom and use sponges and bags of bio balls and rings. Fill it up with just those two. And have the pump pumping water from the bottom threw a hose to the outlet tube
I really wish I could give you the details of price and what not. I'll tell you where I got them, my garage (hubbys work crap) free :) he's a plumber maybe check some plumbing wholesalers? They come with their own mounting systems and even a wrench like tool to open the canisters once they're mounted. I'll ask him more details after I've got these set up. Right now I'm working in ninja mode ;-) I haven't configured what media to use as of yet just gathering the items I think would work first.
Ok so this is what I've managed to find.
First picture is what I think may work for my bio. Second two are my choices for the carbon. Since I'm trying to set this tank up mostly for discus I'm thinking of putting in two bios? Let me know what you think?
Also I found the boxes for the canisters that's the lid of them in the last pic. In case you want to look for them ;-)
My only request..if you end up at a plumbing place let them know it was the "missus" who came up with the idea to use them on her tank. ;-) lol!


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I'm planning on setting it all up this weekend. I've rounded up all the supplies I think I'll need and even told on myself to my hubby. He wasn't upset at all! He is actually excited about running the pipe for me. YAY! I still don't know if I should run two bio filters though, any feedback on that??
manbeast said:
always good to maximize the bio if you can IMO

Thank you, do you think the filters I've found will work well? They're rated at 5 microns or should I use the ones rated for 10? I'm new to all of this and just trying to figure out the best way to set it up.
Does that filter housing have a motor? If not, how are you going to power it?
Devon6209 said:
Does that filter housing have a motor? If not, how are you going to power it?

Good question! I completely forgot about that part until two days ago when I "told on myself" my husband figures we'll use a water pump we just have to figure out how much water we should be turning over in the tank per minute. Any ideas?
Idk I was thinking, find out how many gallons per hour or minute you pipe/hose will syphin out of the tank, and use a motor rated slightly below that. But I have no idea if that's right.

And I found this picture of the cover of that filter. Does the water like flow in threw the outer part and sucked up threw the middle or what?


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As far as I know yes that's how it works. The water will come in from one side and fill the center of the filter pushing the water through the filter to be pushed out the other side. I haven't done a wet run, haven't even put the pieces together yet. So did you pick one up for yourself too? I was at my lfs and saw that they have pretty much the same set up I'm going for running one of their salt water tanks. Mine is costing WAY less though. Lol
No, not yet. Just lookin on Internet. Idk where to get one around here. There's just Lowes, Walmart, and Tractor Supply Co. And none seem to have it on their websites.
Do you have any plumbing wholesalers? Like wosely's? My husband said the canisters run between $10 - $40. The ones I have are $20each but that's also Canadian depending on where you live you could get an even better price.
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