DIY K1 2 Liter Bottle Kaldness Media – Filter Fluidized Bed Filter – Aquarium Filter home made.

– Hey everyone, Cory from Aquarium Co-Op. Today I’m going to show you how to make a Kaldnes media filter,
it’s a fluidized bed. And let me show you what they look like. So here’s one of them we’ve got running. And this is a two-liter bottle, it’s weighted down, we’re
running air through it. And the media itself is
tumbling all the time, and that tumbling action,
one, cleans itself, so that’s a good thing. Two, it only let’s the
strongest bacteria survive. And that’s the way you want it, you want this nice tumble going. And you can see in the
center of the rings there they’re a little bit dirty, but on the outside, they’re real clean, and so that’s where all the really strong bacteria is harbored. And then we’ve got another one down here. And you can see there, it’s
another two liter bottle. And we’re also show you how to make ’em in a smaller variety, as well. So stay tuned and we’ll
show you the build. We’re gonna build the DIY Kaldes media. I’ve got one right here, this was kind of a
prototype at the beginning. This is just a water bottle. I used some gravel in it, and this gravel, oddly enough, if you look at it, it’s kind of gray, it started out as black gravel. Well, what I found out was, if you use an epoxy-coated gravel this stuff that’s gonna
be bubbling around there, it’s gonna strip that coating off. So I don’t recommend that. But you do want something to weigh it down and then, gravel wasn’t even enough, so I used a magnet here. That can be done as well. I’ll tell you what I prefer. The best thing I found
is these glass beads. You can get ’em at a dollar store, you can pick ’em up on Amazon, I’ll put a link down below with all the supplies you’re gonna need to build this, including the media. You buy the media on Amazon. I don’t remember exactly
how much this was. It might have been 13 bucks or 18 bucks, or something like that. Brand new media and this is K1 media. There’s different ones,
but the K1’s the one I use. It’s kind of got this star pattern in it. The other supplies you’re gonna want to build one of these: some air line tubing, you’ll need an air stone, I
use the Never Clog air stones, and you’re gonna need
a bottle of some sort. I recommend one that has
a cone shape at the top, because what we want is we want air, that’s gonna come in at the bottom, it’s gonna rise up here,
and we want it to tumble all the media. If it was a flat top, we’d
get stuff that’s stuck. The other thing you need is a way to make holes in a bottle. You could use a drill,
it’s kind of a pain, I don’t like it nearly as much. What I like to use is a soldering iron. It melts right through
plastic very quickly, and you can make lots of holes in a short time. You can pick up a soldering iron for usually 10, 12 bucks, sometimes less. Harbor Freight has ’em,
I think I saw ’em today at like $3 or something. But we’re not gonna solder any solder, we’re actually just gonna
melt plastic with it. That’s nice and hot. We’re gonna prep the bottle by taking off the label here. (plastic crumples) All right, so label’s off,
you can clean this up a little but you can wait while it’s under water for a couple weeks, and this is a lot easier to get off. You could get it off now if you want. But what we need to do, so typically there’s a line on the bottom of these two-liter bottles. I like to fill that with
what’s gonna weight it down. So I put my glass beads up to that line. And then somewhere at the
top we need to let air out, ’cause we’re gonna put
air through the bottom and air’s gonna come out the top. So we know for sure we want holes right around this line, I’m gonna do a bunch of
holes all the way around so water can come in, then we need the air to come out. And then we’re also gonna
drill one in the cap, the reason being is, if I drill holes right all around here, all this area up here
is gonna fill with air and so we have to have an
escape at the top as well. This is definitely one of those things you probably should be doing outside but it’s raining and I
need to shoot a video and I don’t want my camera to get wet. We’re gonna start by
doing a hole in the cap. Real easy here. Definitely be very careful
with a soldering iron, they’re crazy hot. We’re literally just gonna go right through the center of it. And it melts right through. You see there’s a bit of
smoke there, melting plastic. Try not to breathe much of that in. Now we have a hole through it. That was simple and quick. So then we need to do holes in the bottle, I’m gonna zoom in on that so you can see how quick and fast that process will go. You probably can’t see very well but there is a little
line in the plastic here. And we’re just gonna make holes. So I’m gonna dip right through, you can see how fast that goes through. You might want to do one every inch or inch and half, and you can just see how
fast it melts through plastic when you have a hot soldering iron. So it’s a fast job, for sure. Definitely you don’t want to be breathing these fumes in, this melting plastic
can’t be good for you. Also wanna be careful, if you touch that molten hot plastic and it gets on your skin, it stays on your skin
till you can peel it off, and I’m just gonna tell you
from personal experience, that hurts. All right, so then, we
need to do a top ring, and let me adjust the camera here. So we need to do a top ring And usually I pick kinda right where, you know, somewhere in this shoulder area, where it’s coming to it’s point. And I just kinda pick a point, and then I kinda make a circle around. So you just, right through. And you just keep doing that. And you can put more holes
and things like that, I don’t necessarily
think you need that many, I just do as many as I
think I’m gonna need. You know, I could Swiss-cheese this thing, but I’m not sure that’s better. Now that we’ve done all of our holes, you can see here we’ve got
lots of holes in this thing, both top and bottom, we can unplug the soldering iron and put it off to the side so
that no one’s getting burned, including ourselves. You know, especially if
you’ve got kids in the house, that type of thing, this thing will stay hot
for quite a long time. I’m just gonna leave it there, and I’m gonna be mindful of it while I’m letting it cool down. So one of the next things we wanna do is we wanna get our air line tubing, and we wanna get our air stone, and the goal is we’re gonna put the air line tubing through one of these bottom holes, and then we have to snake it all the way through the top here. Wow, what are the odds
it’ll come out the side? That’s gotta be like one in a million. I’m trying to get it
through the biggest hole in the bottle, and it goes for one of the small ones. Almost there, it’s gotta get, there we go. So you can see here we’ve got it through the bottom on this side and through the top over here. We can now put our air stone on. You want to get a pretty
good fit on there. Now we just pull it back down through, and this is where all the bubbles are gonna come out to
make our tornado action or our circular action
in this bottle here. Next, we need something to weigh it down. I have used gravel and crushed coral, what I found was something that fine trapped a lot of fish poop down here. I found that these beads don’t do that. And at a dollar or whatever
low price these are and the weight you get, it makes a lot of sense. So now the worst part
of this project happens and that’s getting all of
this stuff into the bottle. Now if you’re gonna make a bunch of these, what I recommend is you
get yourself a bottle and you cut off this
and it makes a funnel. And that makes it pretty easy. Being that I’m just doing a couple today or one for a video, ’cause I’ve already made a bunch, I’m just gonna use my hands. And so, I’m just gonna show you kind of how painful that is, but you kind of just (glass beads clattering) go in here. And then we’ll cut to the part where that part’s done, and we’ll show you the next part. We’ve got lots of little
green stones in here, nice and heavy now, when we put this into an aquarium or a pond or something like that, it’s gonna sink right away. Now we’ve gotta get media in there. And that’s kind of the same process. The important part is
when you have new media it doesn’t tumble at all, it doesn’t tumble very well. And so what happens is everyone wants to maximize
their bottle here, and they’re gonna crank this thing full. And my recommendation is, fill it halfway, so up to this halfway mark, and just call it a day. And then you can come back in two months, three months, something like that and
get some more in there. You can get it up to 3/4
full and get it tumbling. I usually don’t even bother with that, ’cause these things are so efficient at breaking down ammonia and nitrite that I don’t even worry about that. But I basically fill it about halfway, so I can get a good tumbling going. And I’m gonna do that now, and then we’ll check in after that, and I’ll show you installing in a tank, and things like that. All right, we’ve got roughly halfway, maybe a little bit less than halfway. We’re gonna put our cap back on. And looks like we’ve got probably a little more than half left. That’s because this is a two-liter bottle and this is a gallon of Kaldnes media. So in theory, you might be able to make three or four of these out of one bag, so
that’s pretty efficient. I’m going to connect this up, and I’m gonna show it to you side by side, next to those ones that
were already cycled. All right, so I’ve got
one of the cycled ones up out of the tank, and you can see how much media’s in there, and you can see the color. The color’s kind of a brown, and that means it’s fully
cycled with bacteria. We’ve got the brand new one we just built right down here. I’m gonna put them side by side, just to do a little bit of teaching and educating here. So we’re letting this
kind of fill up with water as it sinks. All right, so you can see
the two color differences, and that’s how you know
when your media is cycled. That’s probably the biggest downfall to this type of filter. While it’s crazy, crazy efficient, they use it in commercial fish farms and all kinds of stuff, saltwater facilities, you know, if you’re watching this video, you’ve probably read about how good it is. It is very efficient. That being said, it might take you, three or six months to get your media looking like this, and working this well. Now let me start turning
some air on over here. So we’re starting to turn the air on, and I’m just gonna let
it go full blast here. And you see it’s not doing anything yet. It literally just isn’t doing anything. And that’s usually what it does for the first day or two. If you really are struggling, you can take some more media out, but it takes a while
for it to start moving on its own, and that’s the downfall. You build this filter,
you’re super-excited, you want it to be doing this, you see it in videos doing that, instead you get this. And you’re going, “Well,
that’s not doing anything.” Aeration is important, but
more isn’t always better. When I first built some, I thought, “well, maybe I just don’t have enough air, “and that’s why I’m not getting this.” But I should be able to turn this down, it’ll still work just fine, ’cause I’ve run it under relatively low relatively low air, and I just have to find
the hose to do that. In theory, it’s gonna be right here, okay, so I can turn it down. And I’ve just got a little valve here that I’m doing that with. But we can slow the flow down, and it doesn’t take that much flow. It does take a decent
amount to get it started when you’re first cycling it but once I may have turned it
all the way off there. So you can see where it’s running the same build
as this one over here. And I can just turn on
a little bit of air, let’s see, that much air, and it’s gonna fluidize, look at that. So barely any air. If I turn it back off, I can
just demonstrate that again. And the reason why this works so well and why this media is kind
of expensive for plastic, is it’s neutrally buoyant. And so that means when
bacteria colonizes on it it is basically perfectly buoyant to flow in the water,
and that’s what gives it that tumbling action so well. We’re just gonna turn on
a little bit of air again. There’s a tiny little bit going, if I just increase that a tiny bit, I think it’ll start going again. Of course it’s not increasing fast, there we go. Let’s see, is that quite enough? It’s starting, it might. You know it’s starting to do its thing. I would say you would need
more airflow than that. That should be almost any pump. Just a little bit more and you can see, now it’s really moving. And that’s what you want, is you want everything
constantly moving in there all the time. And so I barely have it going very fast, this one’s really cranking it out, and yet it’s still not moving
because it’s not cycled, it doesn’t have the weight
of the bacteria on it to make it move, or to keep it moving middle water. I can keep it going this slow, or I can crank it up, and
I can allow a lot more air to go in here. That’s how you make your own K1 filter. You can use any bottle that’s cone shaped. The biggest thing here is
having the cycled media. It does help if you already
have one of these going, like if I take a handful out of here, and I put it into there, this
is gonna seed a lot faster and get going for me. But if I was to chime in tomorrow, you’d probably see a little
bit of action going in here, barely, it’d be all. You know, it wouldn’t be
very fluid, like this. But as time goes on, this will get better. And that’s what you’re
waiting for, is just that. Once you have a really
seeded filter like this, it really will process a lot of waste. You know, I’ve got 300
yellow Labs in this 75 gallon and this is tearing through waste, and I can power feed ’em
and things like that. The one thing you wanna watch out for, in these holes down here, if I had really tiny
fry, let’s say guppy fry. Or shrimp. I’ve had shrimp get stuck in here, and so it’s not good for that. But any tank where you’ve
got decent sized fish great for koi ponds, that type of thing, you can run these in your sumps, in a fish room like this. They’re just very efficient
at breaking down waste. They are not very
efficient at looking good. There’s no doubt about that. You could build one that
looks decent probably but this is quick down and dirty, probably 20 bucks or less to get it done. You might be able to use parts you have, like two-liter bottle, you
probably have air line tubing, you might have an air stone, so really you’re just buying some media and some little glass beads and you’re good to go. Thanks for watching this video. I’ll be making more videos. Every Friday we put out another video on either how I’m breeding something how I’m building something,
something like that. Thursdays are my day in the fish room where I’m shooting videos like this, showing you what else I’m doing. I am not always showing you how I do it, but eventually everything gets shown. But you’re gonna see
progress in my fish room, and that’s everything behind me there. And then on Tuesdays
we’ve got the quick tip, where in about two minutes or less I show you something cool
that you can implement into your routine for your fish room or your fish tanks. And then Sunday we have real fish talk with Lamont and myself, and we tackle issues of questions you guys bring up, and we use our knowledge to answer as best we can. So until next time, we’ll
see you in the next video.

82 thoughts on “DIY K1 2 Liter Bottle Kaldness Media – Filter Fluidized Bed Filter – Aquarium Filter home made.

  1. Hey Cory, excellent video. Thanks for going through the explanation of every step (like the sand being a waste trap, etc).

  2. Also, side question-would glass beads be an ideal breeding substrate similar to marbles? I find marbles expensive in comparison and tougher to find.

  3. thanks so much Corey , I've seen those in your tanks and wanted to ask about them,know I have a idea.l might try one or more in the near future .

  4. I collect those glass beads/stones in the bottom of tanks that people give to me. lol I have a 5 lb coffee jar that is full of them. I don't like them, but there are always uses for them and you just gave me one more that I hadn't thought of. Thanks!!

  5. Hey Cory I love the video as usual man! I use DIY K1 media fluidized filters in some of my tanks as well, and I find making the hole that you insert your airline into smaller than the rest and wedging the tubing through that hole with no air stone allows the media to fluidize better initially.

  6. Corey, your channel is a virtual YouTube encyclopedia of pertinent DYI! You sir are now in the ranks of my personal top 3 aquarium YouTuber. Btw, I love your positive and tenacious work ethic.

  7. Hey Cory been enjoying your channel. Where did you purchase that no clog airstone? Also wondering how much media you received for the price you paid? Thanks, Jay.

  8. Corey, I see a sponge filter in that tank that has no air flow to it. When you run these K1 filters are they the only filtration on a tank or do you use them in combination with a sponge (or other) filter? If the aesthetics are a concern, do you ever think of maybe trying to hide the bottle in something like a black acrylic tube thats full of holes? Or do you think a combination of this and a quasi HMF filter might work? Maybe hide this bottle behind a corner filter of poret foam?

  9. I have a filter made like this only the bottle is upside down on a sponge filter. The bottle slides over the tube perfect and I have the air hose come out through the side. awesome filter though bud they work great!

  10. Great vid. I may try to replace some of my sponge filters with these. Really don't like the maintenance required on sponge filters. What kind of magnet is that attached to the water bottle & where is it sold? It occurs to me that if it's strong enough you could attach the filter to the side of the aquarium to leave the bottom clear.

  11. Hello Corey, Enjoyed this video, but i am having a hard time finding those never clog air stones. Where might i buy them. Thanks again for the Video.

  12. Does the shape of the bottle you use matter? I've had mine set up for almost two months now and still don't have much fluid movement yet. A few of them will tumble but then just stops.

  13. Hi I want to know what's that white thing in the bottle called and what is the purpose of it because I dont see it filtering anything out 🙂

  14. Corey just followed your video and made my first kaldness flow filter. Can wait to see it going. Your videos reinvigorated my love of tropical. Keep on going. 👍🏻👍🏻

  15. If you want to get off the glues they use on pop bottles/ peanut butter jars, etc just rub peanut butter on it and wait a while. Wipe off.. you may have to repeat a few times but the peanut oil in peanut butter will take it right off. no harsh chemicals.

  16. I have been watching numerous videos on this subject and yours makes this process look so easy. I will be trying it out as soon as my media arrives. Thanks

  17. I made 2 for 2 of my tanks and there not moving at all its been 3 or 4 weeks ive even put bacteria on them a couple times : (

  18. I think they are an excellent idea and very basic aswell….
    But what about the nitrate element !
    These bottle filters are excellent at ammonia and nitrite removal but not nitrate……
    Any ideas how to combat nitrate….!

  19. Question: Could you soak the new filter media outside of the tank for two or three days and have then put it in the bottle. In some of the tank water? Or soak the new media in one of those in tank fry holders?

  20. We now sell a professionally made version of this filter here:

  21. I just install in my side sump filter, it didnt get moving btw. (3 section sump)
    I try and it didnt moving again, So i move to last section (pump back to aquarium, i open the hose so its move.
    Am i right?
    Why first cycle that kaldnes not moving around? I see your setup, only a tiny air and it moves

  22. Hey, Im currently planning on making my current aqurium "filter themed" in the sence that, just like a showcase, it will have various filtration and I was wondering if there is a problem with having loads of filtrartion. Is there really to much of a good thing?

  23. Cool follow up to the new filter you are offering for sale!
    If you use this or the professional one in a sump what will this provide that the sump is not already doing? I am thinking of making a smaller version of what you made for your big tank at your house. Filter pads then under gravel filters with bio media on top. The a heater and then the pump back to the tank.

  24. How much water is actually going through the bottle?
    Looks are deceiving. Place a bottle with, no holes, on the table. Fill with water, cycled media and an air stone. Probably would look the same.
    Just how much water is actually passing through this filter? Maybe very little. Maybe a lot. Ever figure out how to measure through put?

  25. Would this work in a half liter bottle? I'm running on an Eheim starterkit spongefilter now, and I dont like it – It creates too much flow. But I'm thinking to build one of these and put them on a timer so during the day it will be just bubbles and eventually filter and night it is silent – while also running the spongefilter untill the new one is well-cycled.
    Its a planted 54L tank with shrimp, snails and guppys (because of you 😍).

  26. I just love how you Corey and others pronounce Soldering Iron.. you seem to forget there is an L in the word SoLdering…. as in Sold-er-ing… a great DIY video none the less.

  27. Cory, how about seeding the K1? Like in a HOB or a canister filter?
    I'm going to try putting some in a reusable bag and see how long it takes.

  28. If you want the media to start moving as soon as you put the bottle in, just have the air going before you drop in. Not after.

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