HOW TO: Build a canister filter for AQUARIUMS

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How to build a canister filter! Building your own canister filter for your aquarium can be done in many ways, including horizontally!

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DIY aquarium filter media

Canister filter with inline heater

Hang on the back canister filter


The king of DIY


What do you think?


Written by The king of DIY

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  1. I think we need update videos on some of these to see how well they actually worked in a real life situation rather than just a video on how it's put together. If you haven't already.

  2. I guess you have to buy the book to know what the flaw in this build is, but I'll tell you right now. Without some type of diffuser on the inlet, only one inch (right in the middle) of the available four inches of mechanical media will be used. So, as big and bad as this thing looks, you are only using ONE INCH of mechanical media unless you put something inside to diffuse the water inlet to take advantage of all of the available mechanical media.

    And forget painting PVC. I don't care how well you prep, it will chip and flake if you just stare at it too hard.

    I was totally enamored by this DIY, but after building and putting it to use, I see now that it is a bit half-assed tutorial.

  3. This is an awesome diy that can be awesomely frustrating to find the parts. Build-wise, this about a "2" on a 1-10 scale, but frustration-wise, it can hit the red line. I found all the parts, but I had to go to multiple stores to do so (Covid-19 shortages may have some effect on this). However, locating a gasket or o-ring for the cleanout plug proved to be a maddening endeavor because they just don't seem to exist in my part of the world (America, goddammit). I ended up buying a sink strainer gasket and trimming it down, and thus far, it is working. Still, this a freaking awesome diy.

  4. I am have a 75vgallon tank that I am working on a smaller HOB using a HOB breeder box with a 1000gph pump. Would that pump be too much for a 4 foot pvc tube?

  5. This may be a totally ridiculous question, but I am totally new to the DIY aspect of the hobby and still a total novice in my own mind for the hobby in general but here goes anyway. How do I know if I have enough flow with my filtration? I just installed a DIY hang on the back PVC filter. I have a power head attached that is supposed to be rated at 190GPH, it's a 40 Gal tank. I had a pump rated at 325GPH, but seemed like was too much and didn't want to stress out the fish or tear up the plants i was attempting to put in. the 325 was definitely moving water, and i'm sure the 190 is, but just doesn't seem like it much.

  6. Ok I’ve built the horizontal filter. I made it with a 2’ long body. How big of a tank do you think I could use this for? I’m using it on a 40gal now but when I get a bigger tank I’m just curious.

  7. Hey JoeNew to this. Can I just just use small piece of pipe with washers and silicone instead f bulkheads? I have a lot of 3 inch PVC and several 10&20 gal tanks. I cut a 1 inch hole in top and the 34 pipe fits snug. Cannot get the bulkheads into the inside of the 3 inch top. (12) does not fit either. What do u think?

  8. Ok i found away around the end cap and gasket problem. Go to lowes or home depot and buy the end cap with no lip. While your there get a toilet gasket that goes to the flapper valve it measures 4 1/4 OD its rubber and flat. Put the gasket in and TEFLON TAPE the threads. Good to go. Update buy a 4 1/4 x 3/16 o ring from fastenal and no TEFLON tape.

  9. Thank you so much Joey!! I'm in the process of setting up a 75 gallon tank for my platys and didn't want to spend a fortune on a filter. I'll be building this filter tomorrow and getting it cycling in the tank as well! Thank you for all the help you provide us all with!

  10. Hello my name is johnathan and I have a question about the canister filter. How much power does the pump has to have to push the water back to the tank



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