7 Easy Steps To Make Your Own Homemade Aquarium Filter Systems

Last Updated on January 20, 2022 by Fabiola L.

Never easier and simpler! These are the steps to make your own homemade aquarium filter systems.

If you already have a fish or are considering buying it, you are probably thinking about whether you need to get a filter for your aquarium. The shortest possible answer is yes!

However, did you know that you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to buy respectable and overpriced ones? Learn all about how to make your own homemade aquarium filter systems.

Why Do You Need Aquarium Filter Systems?

The health of your aquarium depends on its cleanliness. That means that you have to conduct regular water filtration to remove contaminants for the purpose of purification. An appropriate filtration system will determine how much time you need to devote to cleaning the tank.

Types Of Filter Media

Technically, there are three main forms of aquarium water filtration. Read more about each of them.

Mechanical filtration is actually the first phase of any quality filtration system. This form of filtration removes particles in two ways, namely through the surface and depth filtration. Most particles are removed by surface filtration, that is, by a sieving process that traps large particles on the top or leading surface of the filter. Those smaller particles that still manage to pass through the surface layer are removed by a deep filtration process and then by an adsorption process.

Thus, mechanical filtration eliminates all solid waste, such as fish droppings, uneaten food, dead plant matter, etc.

This is followed by chemical filtration as the second stage of aquarium filtration. As the name suggests, in this form of filtration chemical additives remove dissolved waste products from the water. The most common methods of chemical filtration: activated carbon, ion exchange, and ozone.

The third or last stage of aquarium water purification is biological filtration. It’s a process in which beneficial bacteria break down ammonia and nitrite and convert them into less toxic nitrates. In addition to good bacteria, there are also bio-balls, K1 media, ceramic rings, lava rocks, and many other purifying media.

Learn more about How To Make DIY Rocks For A Freshwater Aquarium

The third or last stage of aquarium water purification is biological filtration

Learn more about: Best Filter Media For Freshwater Aquarium

It’s important to remember that a single filtration medium will not be enough for most aquariums. Therefore, it is best to opt for a quality filter that has all three components (mechanical, chemical, and biological).

Homemade Aquarium Filter Systems

Now that we have learned something about the filtration process itself, it’s time to show you how to make a homemade fish tank filter.

Material needed to make homemade fish tank filter systems:

  • plastic container,
  • clear vinyl tubing,
  • vinyl joiner,
  • elbow connectors,
  • biological filtration medium,
  • coarse and fine foam,
  • submersible pump.

Step 1

Mark the places where you will drill two holes for the inlet & outlet flow of water. Then you can start drilling. Pay attention to the pressure force to avoid possible cracking of the plastic. If you have rough edges left after drilling, you can fix the thing by additional sanding and smoothing the surface.

Step 2

Try to find an aquarium sump with these specifications: 4 watts, 280 L / H at a maximum height of 65 cm. Carefully cut out the power plug of the powerhead pump and then drill a hole in the container lid.

Install the pump inside the tank and pass its cable through the hole you drilled. After passing the wire, reconnect the power plug you cut earlier.

Step 3

This step is quite simple. Seal any joints you have made with silicone intended for the aquarium. Remember to apply silicone on the outside as well as on the inside of the joints on the lid. This will prevent water from spilling and destroying the installation.

Step 4

The next part to do is the filter tray. You will make it from a piece of plastic (broken one, a piece of plastic thrown in the trash, etc.). First drill one large hole through which you will later thread the pipe connection. Then drill many more but smaller holes.

Cut a piece of a hose. Connect the hose at one end of the joiner and connect the submersible pump at the other.

Step 5

Take coarse and fine foam and drill a hole in it as well, and then thread the hose through that hole. The hose should be long enough to reach the bottom of the filter after passing the filter tray.

This coarse and fine foam will help perform the mechanical filtration process. As for the filter medium, it would be good to wash it well first to clean it from dirt.

The medium can be bio-balls, K1 medium, ceramic ring, lava rocks, etc. Whatever you choose will do the job and help colonize good/beneficial bacteria. Then place the filter tray as a barrier between the pump and the filter medium.

Step 6

Cut the hose into four parts that will serve as an aquarium inlet and outlet, and as a filter inlet and outlet connections.

Elbow connections will be of great help in joining vinyl pipes. Just make sure they are the right size for your tubes. Make two holes in the inlet tube for the suction cups. Then attach the inlet tube to the tank glass using these same cups. Finally, fasten the elbow connections on both sides of the tube and repeat the same procedure for outlet tubes as well.

Step 7

This is the last step on your journey of making a DIY aquarium filtration system. Simply fill the filter with water before turning on the power. If you notice bubbles, you don’t need to be afraid; they will clear up in the next few moments.

That would be it, making your DIY aquarium filter is done!

Find more information about Wet/Dry Filter For Freshwater Aquarium

In Conclusion

So, we have come to the end. Making your own DIY aquarium filters is fun but also a tricky job. However, this way you can save a few hundred dollars that you can spend in a much better way, right? But no matter what, keep an eye on the inhabitants of your aquarium on a regular basis to make sure everything is in order.

If you have more questions about homemade aquarium filter systems or want to share your own DIY aquarium filtration tips, be sure to leave a comment below. We’re expecting you!

Read more: How To Start A Saltwater Aquarium – Step By Step

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