How to make an external filter for an aquarium
Each aquarium should have a filtration system that will purify the water, ensuring the health of the fish and plants. As it is known, wastes that are left behind by the inhabitants of the reservoir, as well as the remnants of food, suspended particles of soil are very harmful for fish. Not eaten feed is oxidized, turning into toxic ammonia. In order for the water to pass through all the steps of cleaning in a timely manner, it is better to make an external filter for the aquarium with your own hands. It will prevent the appearance of harmful substances that can poison living beings.
How to design an external filter?
Before you make an Fish Tank Filter with your own hands, you should understand how the filtration system works. The biological filtration method in an aquarium is the process by which ammonium is converted to nitrites, then to nitrates. Biofilation is carried out thanks to beneficial microorganisms that live in the aquatic environment. This process depends on the amount of oxygen absorbed, so it is important to maintain a constant supply of aeration in the tank using a filter and a compressor.
See how the homemade external filter made of plastic bottles works.
To make an external biological filter with your own hands, you should prepare the following materials:
- Plastic bottle of mineral water 0.5 l;
- A plastic tube with a neck diameter of this bottle;
- Compressor and hose to it;
- Aquarium pebbles with a diameter of up to 5 mm.
A plastic bottle should be divided into 2 parts so that fragments of different sizes are obtained from it. It should make a cup with a neck and a big bottom. The bowl should be directed with the side of the neck up and firmly planted in the bottom. In the outer circle of the bowl you need to make several openings through which water can flow into the filter. The recommended diameter of the openings is 3-4 mm, their arrangement is in 2 rows, with 4-6 holes in each.
Next, the tube should be inserted into the neck of the bowl so that it entered into it tightly. After the procedure, you should not notice any gaps or holes between the tube and the neck. The length of the tube itself is chosen taking into account the projection above the structure by 2-3 cm. At the same time, it should not touch the bottom of the bottle. If the step is done incorrectly, water will not be able to flow into the mechanism.
Take the gravel and put it on top of the bowl with a layer of 6 cm, and cover it with a piece of padding polyester. Install a hose in the tube from the aerator, and fix it. When the mechanism is ready, it must be placed in the aquarium. Then you should turn on the compressor in order for the filter to start its work. In the existing equipment, beneficial microorganisms will appear that process ammonia into nitrates, which forms a useful microbiological environment in water.
How does a hand-made external filter work?
The self-made external filter is constructed on the basis of aerolifting: air bubbles that come from the compressor, rise to the tube, from which they come to the top, and lower with them the water flow from the filter. Clean and oxygenated water enters the upper compartment of the glass, and passes through the gravel. Then the water enters the bowl through the hole, goes down the tube, and enters the tank. Synthon here functions as a mechanical filter. This material prevents the silting of the gravel substrate.
External filters chemically and mechanically purify water. It is better to install such structures in a large aquarium with a volume of 200-400 liters. For more spacious aquariums with a capacity of 500-1000 liters will need several such devices. Branded external water treatment systems are expensive, so it’s best to do it yourself. Materials are inexpensive and accessible to everyone.
Another way to make an external filter
For the following external filter you need to prepare the following details:
- Plastic container with a tight lid (you can take a box for storing cereals);
- Sponge or thick material of porous structure;
- The tight water pump and the union for fastening to a capacity cover;
- Material for biological filtration (medical cotton, ceramic granules);
- Several suckers, resin adhesive texture.
See how to make an external filter with your own hands.
Instructions for making the filter:
- It is necessary to take a thin file, and make cuts along the entire perimeter of the lower compartment of the plastic container. The cuts will pass the water.
- Put a sponge in this plastic container, on it – cotton wool or another element for biofiltration.
- On the cover of the tank, make holes that will correspond to the diameter of the pump nozzle.
- Insert the fitting into the hole made, and secure it with resin or aquarium silicone.
- At the nozzle should screw the pump, which can create pressure inside the container.
- On the side of the container, which is wider, you should attach a few household suction cups.
- The internal filtration system can be considered finished. Suckers can hold the device on the wall of the aquarium.
Such a homemade filter can be mounted not on the wall, but put it on the bottom of the tank. The soil will also play the role of a biological filter. A plastic nozzle can be attached to the exit hole of a plastic in the form of a long tube that goes outside. Then after cleaning, the water will be saturated with oxygen.
Instead of a small plastic container, you can use a plastic canister or a canister of stainless, non-toxic metal. This design is suitable for large aquariums, you can put in it large cassettes and cartridges with filtering elements. You need to maintain homemade filters with the same frequency as the branded ones.
If the filter is leaking, check all its elements:
- Whether clips of the mechanism are densely closed. You may have inattentively secured the parts with glue or resin. You can solve the problem by securing the clips again.
- A sponge or suction cup may become dirty in the running filter. Mucus and debris can be cleaned with water. Check the cleanliness of the design every month.
- Damage to the plastic container, which will have to change, tinkering with the filter itself.
Fish Tank Filter do it yourself
Some aquarists believe that it is not worth saving on the fish and the food for them, but you can find a replacement for expensive equipment for the aquarium. Some accessories and accessories, including a water purifier, are quite capable of making with your own hands. Of course, for this you need to know the basic principles of filtration of water, as well as to have some skills home craftsman.
How to make an internal filter?
What is necessary?
So, for work will be required:
- plastic container with a tight lid (suitable container for storing bulk products);
- thick porous material or sponge;
- hermetic water pump with a fitting for attachment to the lid of the container;
- ceramic granules or rings for biological filtration (for fine cleaning, simple cotton wool can be used as a filtering element);
- 2-3 suction cups, adhesive resin.
- On the lower edges of the container, thin cuts are made along the entire perimeter. They will serve to absorb the water.
- Then a sponge for tight cleaning fits tightly into the container, and from above – a material for fine cleaning (cotton wool or biofilter elements).
- In the lid of the container a hole is cut through the diameter of the pump fitting.
- The fitting is inserted into the hole and sealed around the circumference of the resin or silicone.
- It is screwed on the pump itself, which creates a compression inside the container.
- At the top of the wide side of the container, 2 or 3 household suckers are attached.
Basically, the internal filter is ready. The suction cups will securely hold the self-made device on the wall of the container.
Such a filter can also be put directly on the ground. The latter will serve as an additional level of filtering.
If you attach a plastic nozzle with a long tube that goes outside to the outlet of the pump, then it will also be aerated along with water purification.
External Fish Tank Filter do it yourself
What can you do?
Making such a device at home will take more time.
- As the case you can use a round high plastic canister.
- If there is none, then a section of a large-diameter plastic garden tube will do. True, the upper and lower covers will have to cut and mount yourself.
- In the lower part of the canister a hole is cut into which a metal or plastic fitting with a one-way inlet valve is screwed tightly.
- There are 2 holes in the cover: for fixing the water outlet valve and the electropump.
- The pump itself through the fitting is attached to the inside of the cover.
Now you need to make cassettes, or cartridges, with filter elements. They can be made from plastic flower pots, smoothly cutting off the top wide part.
The diameter of such self-made cassettes should be slightly less than the internal diameter of the canister.
At the bottom of each cassette burned holes for the passage of water.
The first cartridge, where the sponge is placed, is inserted into the canister so that its bottom is slightly above the adapter with the inlet valve.
A second cartridge is installed, where the filtering material can be fiber, synthetic winterizer or cotton wool. A filter cartridge with biomaterial is mounted on top so that it is below the pump canister attached to the lid.
If the body of the external filter is made by itself, then its bottom and lid are sealed with silicone or resin.
Tubes or hoses are connected to the inlet and outlet adapters with valves. Their length is adjustable depending on the depth of the aquarium and the distance to the filter.
External aquarium water purifier ready.
As in the first case, the working pump creates pressure, under the influence of which the water is first sucked into the canister, passes all filtration stages and then flows back into the aquarium. Before using it is necessary to check the canister for 24 hours for tightness by filling it with water.
The main element of the cleaner is the pump. When choosing it, you should consider the volume of the aquarium. For example: for a 70-liter aquarium, a pump with a capacity of 300 liters per hour is suitable, and for a 200-liter one – 1000 liters per hour.
Instead of conclusion
At home, you can make a bottom filter or, as it is called, false. However, this is a more difficult task, which can be done by real craftsmen.
Quite a large number of owners of aquariums prefer not to spend money on expensive equipment. Aquafilters, diligently made with their own hands, work no worse than expensive branded devices. And the technology and the frequency of their service is the same as in the sold models. In addition, a self-made device has a slightly different moral value. Is not it?
Video on how to properly make an external Fish Tank Filter: