HOW TO: Build an XL aquarium canister filter with a 5 gallon bucket – 1 of 2
100 Comments


Hi, everybody Joey here again, and welcome back so today’s video is actually inspired by the [ehime] 2262 Easily one of my favorite canister filters. It’s huge pushes a ton of water, and it’s simple design makes it easy to care for But have $500 it quickly loses its appeal to many people so in today’s video I’m going to show you how to build the main component to a [monster-sized] canister filter of equal size For under $25, so let’s jump right into it. You’re going to need a bucket and chances Are you already have one, but if not Walmart sells five-gallon buckets for about [$3] that’ll work for this project I’m personally using a [six] gallon bucket in this example You’ll also need a gamma seal lid and this is what makes this project the way this works is simple There’s an outer ring that snaps [onto] the bucket and forms a waterproof seal Due to the gasket in it then the top screws into the ring and this also forms a waterproof seal due to its Gasket now we have a truly waterproof Bucket with a removable lid [I] do find that after you snap the ring on it won’t come off [it] will basically be permanent I also found that lubricating the screw on lids gasket also helps to create a watertight seal now I tested a few of these lids prior to moving forward with this project And I did find that the only downside was is that you really have to tighten the slid down really tight So not to leak under pressure with that said if white is not your favorite color for this canister They do come in a variety of colors personally. I like the blue or the black now. These lids are actually surprisingly Easy to find as well well I got mine on Amazon for about Eleven dollars they are also sold on places [like] Lowe’s and Costco and while they’re not difficult to find they certainly are a Specialty item so you will have to do some looking around But at this point I’ve invested $15 now to turn it into a filter Remember the time we use those Uni seals to do projects like the inline heater Well, we’re going to use [them] again If you don’t remember these are just like bulkheads But have many more places that they can actually be installed and are easier to install in fact for example This side of a curved bucket now I used a pair of one-inch Uni seals for this project and I drill a hole in the bottom of the side of the Lid and Install those Uni seals now I can pass PVC pipe into the bucket and form a watertight seal around it Now having a hole in the bottom and the top means that one can be [the] entrance and one can be the exit Now [onto] the inside all we need to do here is build a platform to hold your biological media above the UnI seal So we don’t clog it So I simply cut some PVC pipe slightly taller than the entrance of the UnI seal and built a stand with lighting diffuser Now you can silicone the PVC pipes in place if you like But once you place the media on top they’ll stay put now water can be pumped into the top through some mechanical Media and like some filter floss and then down [through] your biological media like lavrov for example and then out through the bottom and back up to the tank or simply reverse it all and pump water into the bottom and Out to the top cleaning it is as simple as shutting your pump off twisting the cap off removing your mechanical media or replacing it and putting the cap back on turning the pump back on so obviously we’re missing the return and input as well as the pump but to be honest I simply didn’t have enough time to [get] it [done] this week as I’ve been working on a massive project But you guys are going [to] see next year as well as some home renovations around the house however I just wanted to introduce you to this project to get you started there are Countless ways that you can do an input and output as well as the pump placement But if you guys want to see me do something more with this let me know in the comment section [below] or feel free to Take matters into your own hands and get creative with it personally [I] would love to come back to this project and finish it off in the future But I just don’t have time this work again though the main component of it is finished for [$25] anyways. I hope that you guys enjoyed today’s video I also want to thank you for watching and I’ll [see] you guys next Sunday for a new do-it-yourself project

100 thoughts on “HOW TO: Build an XL aquarium canister filter with a 5 gallon bucket – 1 of 2

  1. BEWARE WHEN MAKING THIS! I MADE THIS AND I RAN PERFECT FOR ABOUT ONE WEEK, THEN POOF THE WATER MADE ITS WAY PAST THE GAMMA SEAL AND THAT WAS IT. NO MORE SEAL. I TIGHTEN THE SEAL AS HARD AS I CAN ( I'M 6" AND CAN BENCH PRESS 300LBS) ON ONCE I TURN THE PUMP BACK ON WATER SPRAYS OUT OF THE LID. I HAVE A SMALL MOTOR ON IT AS WELL A 350 GPH MAG DRIVE MOTOR. SAVE YOUR MONEY AND BUY A PROFESSIONAL MADE CANISTER FILTER. YOU CAN GET A BASIC ONE FOR LESS THAN IT WILL COST YOU BUILD THIS ONE ON AMAZON. JUST SAVE UP YOUR MONEY UNTIL YOU CAN AFFORD TO BUY A FLUVAL OR EHIEM. I LOVE JOEY AND HAVE MANY OF HIS DIY SYSTEMS ON MY TANKS BUT THIS ONE IS A BUST.

  2. Joey, please help me i have a 120 gal tank and want to build this for my filtration! i have the bucket lid and egg sheet and am trying to figure what size pump GPH i will need and what size pvc pipeing i should use i hope i can get a reply i watch a lot of your videos and hope to do more of your DIY projects thanks!

  3. how you could build a canister using the pump of a SunSun 845-GPH Internal Filter? i have one but is super loud!
    Now im thinking on a canister using the pumps…

  4. will a house filter work instead of a buckit for the canaster filter so no buckit i got a house filter i got one with new filter tubes and i dont want to kill my arowana please let me no V.I to me thank u

  5. hello Joe , I am from India n I wanna to build a planted aquarium so what are the basic needs to start the project . please give your valuable suggestions .thnq

  6. will this still work if the canister is level with the tank? A siphon wont be able to be started so i am concerned.

  7. do you have a complete list of parts needed for both video 1 and video 2. including the length of all PVC pipes. I'm not really a do it yourselfer so I'm afraid I won't get the right things I need.

  8. This will work for brackish water? How do you clean and how often should you clean it? Boil the rocks in water? Rinse everything off once in awhile to keep the top filter stuff clean but don't mess with the rocks? I heard they are supposed to grow good bacteria right? Would having this go to a rv water hose filter be a bad idea for fresh water i know it would be for brackish cause it would filter out all my salt lead chlorine ammonia bacteria Mercury bad smells tastes basically making it tooo stupidly clean

  9. lol i'm here super late. how loud is a filter like this with a pump that powerful?

    i like this build a lot but my tank is in my room right next to me almost all day so if it's super loud it's unlikely that i'll do this for it.

  10. HI EVERYONE! I built one ; works great but the gamma seal leaks if the pump it shut off or power failure. I have it set up below the aquarium; (siphon in /pump out.).. I have tried lubing the threads and the o-ring with Vaseline, and even tightening the screw-top with a rubber mallet.
    Any fixes here folks ?

    THANKS

  11. Hi Joey, Would 5/8" inside diameter heavy duty garden hose work for tubing. I can buy 50' Heavy duty Garden Hose for $20 vs. $2.74 a FT for braided vinyl tubing. What you would you suggest. Thanks

  12. I would like to see one maintenance video of this thing, do you have to remove your intake pipe from the twist gamma lid, how maintenance affect the uniseal adapter and how do you prime it?

  13. Huge fan of all your videos. My wife, my children and I, have and do still enjoy watching your videos all the time. I just had to say thank you. Your builds have allowed me to have tanks and fish I otherwise could never have been able to afford or keep. Please keep up the great work. I have built stands and filters from your videos and have had great success with all of my projects because of your videos.

  14. Wouldn't a 10- 15 gallon bucket been better? When you can get them so cheap..go "oversized" I would think. Not sure about the lid situation I admit.

  15. I followed this step by step by had to stop because I couldn’t find the size Step Drill Bit you used. What size did you use and where did you purchase it? I shopped all the hardware stores but the biggest I could find was a 1 3/8”. Can you help me?

  16. Would have been nice to see you upload a complete video, not just a teaser clip with inaccurate price forecast. The pump to run the rig will likely set you above the $20 mark alone, just saying.

  17. Wow this was a wicked video until it got lazy and didn’t even help with the rest. Just don’t have time this week . Then why didn’t you pick another topic…

  18. I finally got your book and am working on reclaiming a 145-gallon tank. Thank you for inspiring me to finish my long time project.

  19. Gamma seal is for just stopping liquid from coming out of the bucket when you move the bucket. Most gamma seals are not water proof if you carry bucket upside down. That is not what gamma seal for. Do not use bucket and gamma seal, use a large other water container.

    A water proof lid has to be made with the O ring inside of screws, like the one in regular mineral water bottles.

  20. What size diy filter would be best for a 150 gallon plywood aquarium? Want to stock with 2 Oscars and 2 striped raphael catfish

  21. It is great tutorial Thanks to Mr. Joey. But my luck is too bad that these things are not available in my place. It can be purchase through net but price too high.

  22. Please folks. Know this. The reason you don't see a completion video of this DIY filter? It does not work. I decided to give it a try and virtually all the plumbing works fine but the Gamma Lid is a joke. I tightened it by tapping it tight and then did a water test. The weak link is the screw on gamma seal lid. The gamma seal lid cannot take even the slightest hydraulic pressure and I don't believe it has much to do with the "o" ring as much as it has to to with what the lid was designed to do: seal air. After taking the time to build this it would be good if the author would do a retraction or a fix. I love the idea.. had it worked. Id design and build a better light bulb were it not for the fact that this falls into an area of DIY that would create immense liability. Really too bad. I do believe the Gamma design could be improved upon.

  23. Want to make a try
    Which EHIEM pump will be better for this project ..
    or any other pump you can suggest For Inupt .

  24. Hey everybody! I have this pretty much exact build. All seals are perfectly air & water tight HOWEVER, my gamma seal lid will just not seal. I've tightened it down as hard as i can. (me tightening the lid while someone is couter-holding the bucket) but it still leaks. What is the best solution here do you think?

  25. I was going to use an old brewing barrel, it already has an in and an out holes and is already sealed. What do you think guys?

  26. I used the gamma seal lid and the water leaks from around the rims. I added teflon tape and it still leaks. Any advice?

  27. Home depot sells the gamma seal lid in the paint section with other 5 gallon and 3 gallon buckets. Just picked two up today and going to be building two of these filters tomorrow 😊

  28. Joey, if i was to build this with a 25mm feed hose… what size pump would match that pipes maximum gravity flow ?? Thankyou

  29. Love your channel I'm just getting back into aquariums my mom always had an aquarium that I maintained but now it's all my own you have helped me tremendously and have increased my knowledge and my love of the hobby.

  30. Love your channel I'm just getting back into aquariums my mom always had an aquarium that I maintained but now it's all my own you have helped me tremendously and have increased my knowledge and my love of the hobby.

  31. I built this for my juvinile yellow belly slider tank and it works amazing. Smell locked in the bucket, tank stays clean for twice as long. The syphon suction and flow from the pump work together to keep all the big debris out of the tank way better than using the pump for suction. Thanks!

  32. If i were to build a Aquarium Filter for my 135 gallon tank what is in your opinion the best filter to build that won't empty my pockets?

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