Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
HOW TO: Build a simple aquarium filter TUTORIAL

HOW TO: Build a simple aquarium filter TUTORIAL

Hi Guys, Joey here again today. Today I’m going to show you how to make a
very simple, very easy, very cheap, and extremely effective aquarium filter. Now with the recent
peak in interest in the K1 Kaldnes media this is going to be a fluidized bed filter. Now
K1 has been around for about 10 year now, but mainly has been used in ponds. Over the
last couple of years it’s starting to increase in popularity in the aquarium world.
I’m going to show you how to make a very simple filter. Here is the supplies you’re going
to need, some airline tubing, you’re going to need a sponge — I’m just using a sponge
that I had laying around, preferably I would like to use an aquaclear sponge — something
with larger pore structure than this simple sponge here. It’s just what I had on hand,
and it works so that’s what do it yourself is actually all about — using whatever you
have on hand to create something. You also need an air pump, a bottle — preferably
2 liter or 1 liter depending on the size of your aquarium, and you’re also going to need
a couple suction cups. The suction cups I’m using I believe came from a heater, as you
can see they have a nub right here that is going to be needed. Something similar to that
is what you’re going to need. So to start out you take your pop or juice
bottle, rinse it very well, remove the cap and drill some holes in it. I will tell you
why we’re drilling holes in that later. Next is a hole in the neck of the bottle here,
now the hole only needs to be slightly smaller than your airline tubing, the reason being
is because you’re not siliconing it in place, you want it to just simply be held snugly
in there. Now if you use a drill bit that is slightly smaller than your airline tubing
you will accomplish just that. Next, is a couple holes in the side of the bottle, preferably
near the bottom and near the top. After that, some holes at the top of the bottle — well
actually this would be the bottom but we are going to be positioning this upside down,
so this is now the top. The more holes that you create, the more bubbles
you’re going to get out of the top and the quieter it will be. You’ll see that later
in the video when we show this actually functioning. For putting this together, it’s really quite
simple. Take your k1 kaldnes media, which I have here, this is about 1L of it. If you
look at my other videos you will be able to get some more information on this k1 kaldnes.
Take your k1 kaldnes and fill up your bottle, I like to use a large mouth bottle because
it’s simply easier to get your kaldnes in and it comes with a bigger cap which allows
you to have many holes in it. So once you fill up your bottle with the k1 kaldnes, you
go ahead and insert your airline hose. It’s going to be a tight fit to get it in there,
but it will go in. Now, you just want the exit of the hose to be about the midway point.
It should just stay in there by itself — as you can see it’s not going to go anywhere.
From there, put the cap back on (and again we have already got the kaldnes in there)
and then you can put your suction cups on. Now this is the reason for the nubs on the
suction cups, is because they can squeeze in but they can’t come out. They will come
out if you pull on them, but they’re in there firm enough to hold themselves in place — so
that’s it. Next, take your sponge (I’ve already cut a hole in it) and put it over the end
— and that’s it. Plug it into your airline tube, put it in your tank and turn your air
pump on and that’s it. Now the reason why we drilled the holes in
the cap is very simple. I wanted the maintenance to be extremely low on a filter like this,
and the reason for the holes is when you’re ready to clean your sponge (which should be
weekly), the more often the better because it’s only used for mechanical, there’s no
biological purpose that you should be using it for (that is what you’re k1 is for). While
you will have some nitrifying bacteria on the sponge, you should want most of your bacteria
here so clean the sponge often. So when you remove your sponge, you can leave your filter
running. If you didn’t have a cap and your filter was still running, you’re going to
have a lot of k1 coming out. The only way to avoid that is to turn the airline off,
the k1 will float to the top and then you can take the sponge off. This is just a lot
easier. So that’s basically it. I’m going to show you installation, what it
will look like in your tank and turning it on, that’s it. The cost of something like
this, I mean I had the sponge kicking around so that’s free. Airline hose, 10-25 cents
a foot depends on where you’re shopping, not a lot of money there – maybe a dollar or two
dollars, the pop bottle is free, you’re going to buy it of course but you get to drink the
pop or juice out of it so it’s pretty much free, suction cups you probably have some
kicking around. If you don’t they’re pretty cheap as well, maybe 30 or 40 cents. K1 kaldnes
media is what’s going to cost you the most, there is not a lot of places that sell it
by the liter, but I’ve noticed on eBay there is one place I believe it’s in the UK though
I think it is around 10-15 dollars a liter which is pretty expensive, but if you can
find something local or find a few friends that want to split on a 25 liter bag, it should
only cost you 2-3 dollars per liter. Then your air pump, maybe 10-15 bucks, so no more
than 20 dollars for everything. Now, you could make several of these and run
several tanks, something like a 2 liter size with 1 liter of k1 should be able to handle
a nicely stocked 25-30 gallon tank. If you ran two of them, you’re looking at maybe a
50-55 gallon tank. Then you can upgrade to a 4L jug and have that in the tank. I know
that it would be an eyesore and that you don’t really want to see it but once you see it
in action it actually looks pretty cool. If somebody comes to your house, it’s a great
conversation piece — I guarantee they’re going to ask “what’s that?” So we have a very
effective, very cheap, very easy aquarium filter so give it a shot. If you do end up
trying this and you take some pictures of it, join my Facebook page and put some pictures
on there I would love to see what everyone else is coming up with.
But anyway let’s have a look at this in action. So the filter is installed in the tank now,
as you can see it just suction cups to the side. This is a prime example as to why you’d
want to position the airline when putting it into your bottle to have it in the back
of the bottle, that way you can hide the airline behind it. Also you can notice that the k1
floats at first. It will float no matter if the media is cycled or not. For maintenance,
all you have to do is remove this sponge, rinse it off, and put it back on — that’s
it. That’s the reason why we had the cap staying on so you can do that without shutting the
filter off. You can remove the sponge and the media will not get out. So you can leave
it running. You never have to clean the k1 itself — ever. So I’m going to go ahead and
turn the filter on here. Now the reason why you don’t want to use an
air stone is because the air bubbles coming out the pump are going to agitate the k1 media
a lot better than an air stone would, the air stone puts out tiny bubbles and this is
going to put out larger bubbles which is going to cause a lot more suction and move the k1
around a little bit more. Now the way this works is as the air bubbles rise, it’s causing
suction behind it, so it’s causing water to be sucked up through the sponge and filtered
through the k1 exiting through the top. Placement of the bottle itself depends on
where you want to have it. I prefer to have it about an inch below the water surface so
you can some surface agitation. If the noise is too much, drill some extra holes in there
so there’s more bubbles coming out and it won’t be so noisy. That’s basically it, you’ll
be able to see that I can add more media to this filter here — there’s plenty of room
in there, and you can play it by ear and see if you can fit more in yours. That’s basically
it, very simple filter — probably the easiest filter you will ever have to maintain. It
covers your mechanical filtration and you’re biological. You don’t really need chemical
filtration unless you’re trying to remove medication from an aquarium like using activated
carbon for example. So this is it — very simple, very cheap, very easy, and extremely

100 comments on “HOW TO: Build a simple aquarium filter TUTORIAL

  1. nice! I have 2 hang on filters, that use carbon, after seeing this video im seriosly thinking bout switching. they constantly breaking…. i have a 40 gallon breeder tank.

  2. ME: Learning, taking notes on what to buy.

    VIDEO: Add showing fried fish with the PERFECT SEASONING ONLY $5.99 TODAY!

    ME: Damn fish (My fish IRL) cover your eyes!!

  3. Hello !
    I tried to build a simple aquarium filter like you but when I used it , the kaldnes didn't move . They just stay there although I tried to use two hoses of air pump . Can you give me the reason for that ?

  4. My filter burned out, I saw this video I had all the air pump, tubing etc. And I'm going to try this looks pretty awesome👌

  5. only question i have for this is that wouldnt the sponge release the dirty water once the air is turnd off??

  6. Yeah Uaru Joey!!! I doubt many people watch these older ones, but they are just as helpful as all other you tubers tutorials and joey just uses what ever he has, which I LOVE.

  7. hello 🙂 i just wanna ask if that filter can also help my aquarium about my fishes waste . enjoyed your video i'm new to fish keeping . hope you can answer back coz i'm really want to know thanks 🙂

  8. Love thi idea. Perfect upcycling project & actually looks very cool i operation. Will definatly try this. Cheers from Melbourne, Australia : )

  9. Filtration, cleanup crews (worms, plants, etc.), and substrate are more fun for me than the fish! So much fun making a healthy aquarium and pond!

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