Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
HOW TO: Build an aquarium canister filter (HOB VERSION) TUTORIAL

HOW TO: Build an aquarium canister filter (HOB VERSION) TUTORIAL

Hi, everybody Joey here again, and welcome back so in today’s video I want to give you guys some ideas on building your own canister filter for your [aquarium] this week I actually built a few I first built a Horizontal type that’ll hang on the back of your tank, and then I also went ahead and built a heater into it I also built a vertical style that you can sit beside your tank or hang it on the side or back of your tank as well and then of Course I did another version where I incorporated a heater into that as well however in today’s video I’m just going to get you started with the vertical style now If you want to see all [of] the other types let me know in the comment section below And we can revisit the video in the future And I’ll show you everything that I had done however once you see one done You can easily do all of them the vertical style, not only allows you to hang it on [the] back But [also], sit it beside [your] tank if that’s what you’d like to do But it also allows you to connect two or three in conjunction, and Daisy chain them which will give you even further Customization for your filtration needs I will admit though that I do like the relatively small Pump that it requires to power because you could use something as small as a power hit not only is this going to use lower Wattage but because it’s hanging on the back or sitting beside the tank whatever size pump you use you’re probably going to get roughly that out of the filter as opposed to a typical Canister filter which would be underneath the tank and the water has to pump all the way to the top and you lose some flow There the supplies I used to build the main components to the canister were a [4-inch] thin wall PVC Pipe a four-inch end cap a four inch female adapter a male cap and a pair of do-it-yourself Bulkheads that I showed you how to do in last week’s video one thing that I would like to note Is that the end cap as a gasket already on it if you can’t find one like this You can simply buy the cap and the [gasket] separate like I did here. Don’t worry about color we can change those later Putting this together is simple I put the bottom cap on first and drill the hole for the [three-quarter] inch Bulkheads into the side the size of the hole needed will depend on the size of the fitting I Attach the bulkhead with the gasket on the inside since the bulkhead will be permanent You can also silicone this in place instead of using a gasket if that’s what you prefer [I] did the same thing with the top cap and set it aside [now] since I’ll be adding loose media to this canister I didn’t want it to block the output so I cut a small piece of PVC pipe taller than the actual Bulkhead and cut a section out of it, so would slide [right] around it I then cut a small piece of lighting diffuser to place on top [of] it But you can use some mesh screening like I did in the [original] canister filter video that I showed you in the past this will hold the media above the bulkhead and allow for unrestricted flow I then place the cap on for the output I used a couple small pieces of 3/4 inch PVC a 3/4 Inch PVC elbow a 3/4 inch to half inch reducer and a half inch 90-degree barb fitting For the return four pieces of 3/4 [inch] PVC and four 3/4 inch PVC Elbows the Top elbow was the same height as the input elbow now This is important if you intend to hang it on the back of your tank at this point. I’ve invested around $20 in supplies most of the cost will be in that 4 inch PVC pipe however. I bought 10 feet of it So I basically have enough to build six of these canisters which brings up the point that if you want to save money by building Your own canister filters you’re probably not going to do so if you only intend to build one however [I] must add that I Personally rarely build something just to save money for the most part I build something just so I can get exactly what I want [now] the last thing you might want to do is spray-Paint it which gives it a more finished Look [for] this. I used Krylon fusion spray paint and I use the flat black color for Media I went with Lava rock. I got 7 pounds for 5 bucks a highly porous and long-lasting type of rock that serves as an excellent Biological media for mechanical I went with some spare filter sponge ahead and cut it to size of the pipe [now] the way this works is simple water is pumped into the top of [the] filter and it’s mechanically filtered first as it passes through that sponge and then biologically filtered as the water passes [through] the Lava Rock Finally exiting at the bottom and pump back up to the top of the tank [now] since we are using a cat that twists on And off made water proof by that gasket we can get into the canister filter to clean it by simply Disconnecting the pump [and] twisting the [cap] off now you can position this canister filter beside your tank or hang it right on the back That’s really up to you now you might be wondering what the one of these things are since an option is to hang it on your tank and Empty they weigh about three pounds each once I filled it up with Lava Rock They weighed five pounds each and since they are packed with a lot of Lava Rock There’s not a ton of water that can really fit in here So once it’s filled with water [it] only weighs about 10 pounds total now that might sound like a lot of weight however in Comparison to some hang on the back or a few gems that you can buy that can weigh upWards of [20] and [30] pounds this is not a big deal at all you might also be wondering how to size them for your aquarium and an easy rule of thumb that I like to go by is [for] every foot of Cannister you could use it for a [thirty] to [fifty] Gallon aquarium Flow rates in somewhere between six and eight times per hour Which means that you’ll be turning over the entire volume of your aquarium six to eight [times] through that canister every hour now This is actually a very vague statement though because not all bodies of water actually contain the same fish or have the same filtration requirements, however It will serve [as] a general rule of thumb with that said I did dedicate an entire chapter My book that goes over all the details of things just like this now one of the greatest things about building your own canister is the fact that there is no real rules for supplies that you must use or Configurations that you must follow so use this video to inspire ideas of your own Or at the very least try new things and find out. What works best for you. Anyways. Hope that you guys enjoyed today’s video I also want to thank you for watching and I’ll see you guys next week for a new boot [yourself] project

100 comments on “HOW TO: Build an aquarium canister filter (HOB VERSION) TUTORIAL

  1. There are a lot of people in the comments saying that they can not find the screw-on cap with the lip and gasket. I ended up going with the normal screw-on cap and I'm going to try to use ptfe tape to prevent leaking since it's not permanent.
    If anyone finds links for the lids online please share!

    *make sure when tightening your lid that you don't use the smaller input piping as a handle! I broke the seal on mine and had to re-cement everything.

  2. Awesome video once again 🙂 Thanks for the hard work

    I am into backyard aquaponics and just in the designing phase of my system. I am seriously considering such a filter for my setup. My fish tank will be around 200 gallons and my sump will be around 50gl. I intend to use gravity to send the overflow of my FT to my sump and in between, using a tower filter like you are talking about here. Do you believe that by gravity alone, I could benefit with such a filter or does it have to be under pressure?
    Thanks for your time and keep up the great work…makes me fill like a DIY expert 😀

  3. im building my 5 year old a fish tank from scratch im using wormy chestnut i got from a dresser that someone just threw away and ill have more than enough for the frame. my plan is to build it like a tv floor model, im thinking about building the tank out of plywood and using a canister filter. can you give me some advice on what to use to have it completely sealed (no leaks) and the correct way to filter the tank so the fish will survive and the water stays clear and more importantly stay in the tank?

  4. Hi Joey can you please suggest what pump capacity can be used? I'm planning of building my own. But need guidance with the pump capacity and force needed. Could you please help me out.

  5. hey joey im a big fan, and i was wondering if u will sell any of the things u build? i am very interested in buying this canister filter from you.

  6. i'd like to see the horizontal canister filter build
    btw, your videos are very insightful, enjoyable and inspirational

  7. EcoPlus 728320 Eco 1056 Submersible Pump, 1083GPH or Active Aqua Submersible Water Pump, 1000 GPH. which one is better for this project?

  8. hay joey im looking to do this diy with a extra pond 600gph internal pump, do i have to have it submerged for it to work? if so do you have any suggestions, thanks and love your vids. i will be using this for a mbuna tank.

  9. Can you build a tank and build filters a bubbler for it and decorate it then put cool looking fish in it. That would be awesome to see a tank that you built and put fish in.

  10. 10 years ago when I had a bunch of aquarium I actually spent $175 on a canister filter. Moving out of my apartment and buying a house, looking to get back into it, and your videos have made me so much more excited.

  11. Great video Joey. I was going to make one of these but one of the key parts you use doesn't seem to be available here in the states. All of the threaded clean out plugs I've seen (in both brick and mortar & online) screw into the adapter, it's not that they don't have a gasket (they don't) rather there are not 2 surfaces that come together for a gasket to seal.

    Anyway, in a pressure application this type of plug can only be made to seal with some difficulty. You end up with a cap that's semi-permanent, not something that can be easily removed for periodic maintenence. Perhaps you could buy a bunch of these plugs & sell them…

  12. Question:
    So I was thinking of making the vertical style, and make some layers.
    Water would pass through 1/3 volcanic rock, a bag of charcoal, then a bag of zeolite, and finally about 1/3 floss to polish.

    Would that work?

  13. awesome.. more cool than buying.. wanna build one.. hey buddy can you give me a size list of what should I buy?

  14. joey instead of a 4" thin wall pvc pipe can i use a 3" thin wall pvc please respond? before i build it

  15. hi J this is Rafeeq why don't u put the pump in that big pipe?

    I have done some thing like that .. how can I send u the picture of that

  16. hi J this is Rafeeq why don't u put the pump in that big pipe?

    I have done some thing like that .. how can I send u the picture of that

  17. Great info, instead of running a single really tall canister filter.. Would you run them in parallel or series? I cannot see any reason re parallel apart from slowing the flow down… This way could have 3x 1ft instead of 1x 3ft which would be easier to store under/next to the tank.

  18. I built one of these 20 inch tall (4inch pipe measurements) and filled it with lava rocks, bag of carbon and the sponge on top with a 300gph submerged pond pump on my 46 gallon tank. My question is: Could this support my tank and let me eliminate the hang on back filter?

  19. Joey!!! You should paint each big piece a different colour, and then the filter would be an aesthetic piece as wells functional!

  20. is it a complete over kill if i use a 800 gallon pump on a 40 gallon tank? is there any significant harm or any harm at all to my turtles?

  21. Hey Joey – Love your Tutorials, been watching you for years – Q- For a SPS / LPS Reef with fish, what would you recommend for your Chemical / Biological Media inside your DIY Canisters ?

  22. any advice for installing the bulkhead to the side of the PVC. I have tried o-rings and silicone, still seems to leak a little. maybe I am positioning it wrong

  23. This looks so awsome but the thing I'm wondering about is with the horizontal build. I don't think the water would fill the entirety of the tube due to it being on its side. This really defeating the purpose of a "canister" efficiency. Perhaps if the output end was "clogged" per say allowing the water level to fill the entirety of the tube. Idk. Just a thought

  24. Isn't this canister filter providing for an anaerobic environment? Can bacteria thrive on those lava rock if there is no additional air introduced?

  25. Hi so I built one of these with the pump pulling from the bottom and siphoning from the tank into the top of the canister. Some how I was sucking in air but not leaking water, even when the pump was off no water leaks. So I put silicone on every joint, crack and crevice to try and seal the air leak. Some how it’s still pulling air from the canister into the pump. Any idea what I could be doing wrong?

  26. I built the horizontal version of this filter using 2’ of 4” PVC. I’m powering it with a 550GPH pump for my 55 gallon aquarium.

    After letting the PVC cement dry overnight, I’m still getting some minor leaks and the connection points for the larger end caps. Just drips, but too much for me to feel comfortable just letting it run all day.

    I can’t budge the pipe fittings, the cement is way too strong. So I can’t remove them and start over. How can I get the perfect seal?

  27. Did any one did this ? If did then share Ur thought after running it a hole day I am talking abt the vertical one I don't think it is possible

  28. Dude I made my own filter like this I connect two and it work perfect thnx a lot for your videos I will try the big pocket

  29. I think I might make one of these and use as a freshwater reactor with chem filtration. I'm already using a pre filter for all the foam (mechanical filtration) and filled my canister up with bio balls.
    I would like to see how you incorporated a heater into it.
    Cheers Joey, great vids!

  30. I recently built a ventricle canister filter based on this design with a slight mod so that i can clean the filter without disconecting anything. Its a little over sized but seems to be working well. I made the canister taller and put the input into the side of 4in so that I can access the top without disconnecting the input hose. Tried to post a pic but it won't let me.

  31. Awesome. I am going to build one for my tank…I am interested in building a daisy chain, like you said, that will hang not the back of my tank…Could you expand on that idea? I am interested in doing one with sponge and lots of floss and two with lava rock.

  32. Here's the part number for the ABS cap (Lesso) 4 inch ABS Plug (part number LN106R-040). They're pretty hard to find at retail locations in the US but available at Home Depot in Canada. Plumbing supply places can special order from manufacturer Lesso in US. Worked great for me. HOB canister works perfectly!

  33. Question so any waste must pass through the water pump before being passed through the filter. So is that safe for the pump?

  34. Is there any issue with putting smaller media like perlite inside a length of pantyhose (to prevent any little pieces escaping)?
    Or would it be too small and end up collecting all the debris intended for the filter?

  35. Just built the verticle version. Question on media. My order is course filter on intake. Activated charcoal in a fine filter pouch. Then 3 feet of lava rock then back to the tank. I have a 55 gallon tall tank currently with a handful of cichlids. My canister filter I made is 3" and 2 ft tall. Did 3" tube because it fits behind my tank…..

  36. Trying to buy your book link does not work.
    Or would like to order the stand up filter like this or the parts from you.
    Love the videos!!!!!!!!

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