The importance of water purification in an aquarium is known to both professional aquarists and simple owners of home aquariums. For this purpose, developed special devices that can be easily found on sale, but their cost, alas, is too high. Therefore, we suggest you take the opportunity to independently create a filter for a vessel with fish. Today we will talk about the external mechanism.
What is the filter for?
First, let’s look at what the external cleaner is and how it works. In fact, it is a container with a cleaning system installed inside.
This model is optimal for the most common in size aquariums – small or medium.
Unlike the internal counterpart, the external structure is mounted outside the limits of the fish dwelling. The device is usually hidden in the cabinet under the vessel, and two tubes are dipped into the water to pump out the dirty water and return it clean. Thus, the external device significantly saves the useful space inside the vessel and does not spoil the aesthetic appearance of the contents.
As for the principle of operation, the external filter simultaneously performs several important tasks – automatic, biological and chemical treatment of water, as well as drawing in various harmful substances.
On the intake tube, the water from the reservoir should be in the filtering apparatus. Next, the fluid goes through several stages of cleaning and is pumped back into the tank with aquatic vertebrates.
Depending on the specific model, water can flow from top to bottom or vice versa.
Prevention and care of the filter
In order for the filtering system to function without interruption, it must be systematically cleaned and preventive measures must be observed. In the absence of at least minimal maintenance, the device will soon begin to work worse.
The smaller the device area and the larger the volume of fluid, the more often the filter should be cleaned. In addition, you can determine the regularity of the cleaning required by your device by observing the operation of the filter. If the mechanism starts to function weaker, then it is time to wash it.
Smaller filters may require weekly cleaning. Large cans can be just one cleaning in 2 months.
In order not to destroy the accumulations of valuable bacteria, the apparatus is washed with water at room temperature and does not do it overly diligently.
The device should not be washed in the following three cases:
- if you change the water in the vessel;
- add new inhabitants;
- make a new feed.
Another important point – do not change the washcloth too often. Wait until the washcloth begins to lose its shape and filtering ability.
DIY external filter
Let us dwell on one of the options for manufacturing an external cleaner. Everything you need for this model can be easily found on sale, and the assembly and installation work itself is simple enough for even a beginner to cope with it.
Required materials and tools
To assemble the device you need to arm yourself with some materials and tools. So, you will need:
- two plastic pipes joined together with a rubber cuff inside;
- two plugs for pipe ends;
- electric pump;
- FUM tape;
- wrenches in the set.
Selection of filtering fillers
As for the filtering fillers, various options are permissible. Practiced a variety of padding and foam materials. These are inexpensive and readily available items. They take any form, perform the role of both biological and mechanical cleaners. There is enough space in the pores to settle beneficial bacteria.
The following is a list of the most common fillers and the advantages of each of them, which will help you decide on the right cleaning material for you:
- Filter wadding – cheap material, suitable for use several times. Easy to rinse, tightly fills the entire space, protects the device from leakage. Ideal as the last layer of mechanical filtration.
- Ceramic Rings. They are used to evenly distribute the liquid, which will ensure the supply of oxygen to valuable bacteria.
- Bioharks – plastic filler. Bio-balls roll in water streams and contribute to the uniform washing of all cleaning materials. Plus, it is an excellent substrate for the settlement of bacteria.
- Sintered glass. Convenient to use in the form of balls with a diameter of 14 mm. Due to the special technique of roasting, pores are formed in the balls, where valuable bacteria that process nitrates and nitrites vividly settle. The quality of such glass is noticeably higher than that of other materials of natural filtration.
- Ceramic tubes. Used for the dispersal of bacteria in small pores.
- Zeolite – affordable, but very effective sorbent, actively absorbing ammonium from water. Helps to quickly get rid of nitrates in the aquarium.
- Activated carbon. The need for this filler is still being debated. For use in aquariums, only coal with small granules is suitable, the number of pores is important, because the quality of absorption depends on it. How good coal can also be determined by the presence of dust and characteristic luster. Before placing the coal in the cleaner it must be carefully washed. It is permissible to use this material only in the newly launched fish dwelling.
- Peat – another biological filler. It will cost you inexpensively, while effectively coping with a whole range of work, it will reduce the growth of fungi, lower the pH level, and have a favorable effect on the state of aquatic vertebrates.
The scheme of construction works as follows:
- the cleaner has a cylindrical shape, the device will be located vertically;
- for the movement of fluid is responsible electric pump, which must be mounted in the upper part of the apparatus;
- water passes from the bottom of the device through the fillers, and then follows back to the vessel.
Step by step instructions for the manufacture of the filter
Finally, let’s proceed to the direct manufacture of the filtering mechanism:
- At the bottom of one of the pipes, make a clearance for screwing in the nozzle. Pre-thread its threads with a FUM tape. From the inside you need to twist the nut.
- To keep the waterway clear, take a standard plastic bottle. Make a cap with small holes out of the bottle and fix the grid with holes from the CD over the top.
- Spread the fillers on the grid (two layers each) alternating between them. To hold the pump in use a piece of hose that secures it to the fluid inlet fitting.
- Secure the tube for pumping liquid from the vessel with a sucker on the back wall so that one end rests on the bottom.
- Suspend the tube to return the water to the vessel on the tank itself, slightly lowering it into the water.
Video: how to make an external filter do it yourself In this variant of the homemade cleaner, the tubes practically do not catch the eye, and the place in the aquarium remains completely free for aquatic vertebrates.
The height of the apparatus is 40 cm, the diameter of the pipe is approximately 10 cm, and the volume is designed for 3 liters of liquid. The mechanism in just one minute pumps over 5 liters of water, while it is not observed too active movement of water flows.
We hope our tips and recommendations helped you to understand the essence of the technology of collecting an external cleaner for the aquarium. Do not forget that the mechanism should work smoothly, therefore, with full responsibility, approach the care of the device.