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


hi everybody Joey here again and welcome
back so in today’s video we’ll be finishing up the extra large canister
filter we started in a previous video now if you’re not familiar with that
build I suggest checking out the original video first but the summit up we used a 6 gallon
bucket as the canister for the lid we used a removable and waterproof twist
top lid called a gamma seal we also used a pair of uni seals as our
way of getting plumbing into the canister on the inside we use some
lighting diffuser propped up by some PVC pipe this would make sure that no media was
sucked out or block the bottom you Neil all of this was explained in greater
detail in the original video again I suggest watching that first as is this
entire portion costs about twenty-five dollars so far now let’s move on to finishing up this
built given the fact there are so many
materials and ways to create an input and output what I really want to focus on is some
of the basics what you need to consider and some
advice to ensure your canister filter works first and foremost large canisters like
this function best when the pump is sucking water from the cannister and
returning it to the tank and not by pumping water into it in fact most canisters are set up this
way if we pump water into the canister this creates a lot of pressure which is
something we want to avoid as it puts too much stress on all of the seals to
do this we want to attach a pump to the bottom of the cannister so that water is
being sucked out and pump back up to the aquarium both the input and output use a couple
of the same component a ball valve and a union the ball valve will allow us to
cut the water flow after we shut the pump off while the union will allow us
to disconnect everything from the cannister so we can actually clean it
when the time comes the ball valve will also allow us to
control the flow if we need to now these are optional but will
certainly make it much easier to maintain the canister since we’re using uni seals you simply
slide your PVC right into them they will form their own seal and be watertight at
the base of the bucket you’ll have your ball valve and then your unit this means that when you shut the pump
off you can close the ball valve and remove the pump by twisting off the
union since the ball valve is closed the water will remain in the bucket for
the top of the bucket which will be your input you want to add them in the opposite
order this means that when you close the ball valve you are cutting water off
from flowing from the tank the union will allow you to still
disconnect the entire canister though so at this point we have the most
important parts done from here we can attach the pump however
we like and create inputs and outputs however we want for the sake of this
video though i’m going to quickly put together something to show you what in
action for a pump I went with aji cod dct pump i would recommend the 4000 for this size
canister or anything that flows a thousand gallons per hour I like them because they’re cheap and
they come with a controller to manipulate the flow plus i found them to
be a pretty good pump but I’ve only been using them for about a year so don’t
hold me to that a 4000 cost about an average of seventy dollars which is
really good this is an internal or external pump so
i was able to attach the mold rubber hose I had to the PVC pipe and then to the
pump I would have used some clamps on the
hoses has been a permanent situation however this is only a demonstration I then attach the more PVC pipe that led
to the tank followed by connecting a few 90 degree elbows to get it to hook up on
top of the tank everything was cemented besides what
actually went in the tank this kept it moving ball so I could
control the direction of the flow i must add that had I’ve been putting this on
one of my tanks I would have replaced that length of PVC pipe with some barbed
adapters and flexible hose i also would have did it for both the
input and output yet kept everything else the same a hose would allow a lot
more movement of the canister filters like a place it wherever I want again though this is just a demo for the input I used more PVC pipe a
couple elbows and an end cap which by the way are all three quarter inch I formed a you with two of the elbows
which would go over the rim of the tank and then drilled holes in the pipe to
allow water flow I focused on keeping them near the
bottom of the pipe you want as many holes you can get yet not be too big as
to suck fish it this was also meant it together besides
the end cap the end cap just slides on and off to allow cleaning of the pipe if
i ever need to now for the media i used a couple bags
of lava rock that i got from a BBQ section of a hardware store both costing under fifteen dollars total
now actually made a video in the past outlining why this is a great biological
media and i highly suggest you watch that because I talk about other
do-it-yourself media’s as well I then topped this lab Arak off with some cheap
polyester filling to act as my mechanical media now to ensure the lid
would seal correctly and not leak I lubricate the seal with Vaseline first
then twisted it on the bucket and attacks the pump to get this prime you only have to suck on the output for
a second until water starts to flow into the canister then you can turn the pump on this works
like any other canister filter water is sucked in from the input it then enters
the bucket and is mechanically filtered first to remove any debris from the
water and this is done by the filter floss that we added on top followed by
flowing over the lab Iraq where it will be biologically filtered and then return
to the tank so just to cover some basics you should clean the filter as needed
and follow your typical canister filter maintenance flow rate should max out
around a thousand gallons per hour and this will be good for tanks up to 250
gallons now similar sized filters like the eheim
2262 have the same capacity for media same flow rates yet are rated for tanks
up to 400 gallons i should also mention that the flu bell
FX six is also rated for four hundred gallon tanks yet holds less than four times as much
media I guess what I’m getting at here is that
these ratings for these filters and even this bucket filtering four hundred
gallon tanks is a bit of a stretch in my opinion I think 200 250 gallons is a far
more reasonable size let me finish with this though I don’t
want to come across like I’m picking on these filters however not everyone has five hundred
dollars to put towards a single canister filter so this project is for those that
need something a little more affordable yet still get the benefits of the sheer
size of an extra-large canister for a total of a hundred twenty-five dollars
for a complete canister filter of this size you really can’t go wrong anyways hope
that you guys enjoyed today’s video i also want to thank you for watching and
if you join me next Sunday I’ll have a new do-it-yourself project

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

  1. Joey I have a 90 gallon fish tank that I'm setting up now I love this idea for a filter. Is that pump loud and can you adjust the flow of it so it won't make alot of nose and splash bc this fish tank is in my living room. Thank you hope to hear from you.

  2. Hey man i love this and i am gonna try building a similar filter, i just wanted to check that if the power goes out will it let water from the fish tank keep coming down?

  3. u r amazing and can u make a vedio of taking care of flower horn fish……. replay please. ………….!!!

  4. Who would want to do something like this while they sale the good looking filter canister for less than $50

  5. Cheaper just to buy one with pump and other stuff but really like the video. I was thinking of mini one for Betta drip system but still looking.

  6. You think I can cycle a 125 gallon tank with this canister filter you show how to build? It's a new fresh water aquarium I'm trying to get it up and running.

  7. I made my mine in tank with double rectangular black waste baskets. Why? Because its 240 gallons,and now is no chance that something will leak or burst and send water all over the room. It also is not a monster tanks..small fish who think that the filters are just part of the decor in the corner. So super cheapo stuff from HD. I'm also using my old pond magnetic drive that is like 1,000 gph at least.
    Clean the filter with a water change and its ok.

  8. I know this is 2 year old video, but I have a question. Things like this always sound like a good alternative but I would be concerned about a catastrophic failure while I wasn't home. Say one of the PVC pipes or elbows weren't sealed well enough or otherwise popped off. Do they sell backflow valves in this size? (3/4" PVC) Is there a way to insure that if the seal breaks somehow you don't siphon 150 gallons onto your floor? Or worse yet pump 150 gallons onto your floor at 1000 gallons an hour?

  9. I am going to build this as I was just pricing the FX6. My question concerns my individual filter and animals. I currently am using a defective 306 with six large goldfish and a 3 yr old turtle in a 55 gallon tank. First questions –>Will this neutralize all the nitrates etc or will I still need to add the "stuff in the tank" to do that? I currently am using fluval liquid additives plus I have a de-chlorine bag and charcoal bags in my filter system with all those little pads they say I need..

    Am I understanding this that the lava rock replaces all of that? What about new tank syndrome when I first start it? Do I still need to add a bio booster?

    Thanks, Jenn

  10. I don't know if anyone else had this problem but I did. So I can't get the water to stay in the bucket, it just ends up going to the tank and the water pump then makes this wierd noise. Help me plz

  11. Man u a straight up genius… u r going to get yourself far doing what u do… love your channel… by far the best here… keep it up man congrats

  12. Is it safe for the pump to be running non-stop for years? It’s a serious concern and was wondering if it would over heat or become a electrical hazard.

  13. What size unions and ball valves did you use I heard on the video 3/4 but the one ball valve looks like it is reduced and the unusuals were 1 inch

  14. Gamma seal is leaking like a sieve. I'm $200 into this now, and can't make the damn thing quit leaking. fantastic. Going to try using a regular bucket lid.

  15. I think most hobbyist who can afford an aquarium suitable for that kind of filter can afford the $500. Great build though. DIY always appeals the hobbyist more than ready made. I'll try to build this one.

  16. try n try again…lid leakage problem still there …not a good design…then i did some changes in design and its working …i make a hole in aquarium upper side ..with gravity water comes down and then with return pump it returns to aquarium ..that is the better design…video will be uploaded soon……..

  17. I had always thought of doing that kind of filter. Great vid! Do you think that kind of filter is good enough for a 125 Gallon tank? Enjoyed watching! Thank you for sharing!

  18. I’ve been using this for my 1 gallon bowl with my goldfish for about 2 months but I was wondering can I use sponge as the mechanical filtration and never have to replace it ever couple days?

  19. Im having trouble with getting the filter to start, I use to have a fluval and you were able to "pump" water into it before starting but with this I cant, any advice?

  20. just buy two aquaclears lol. one soonges and floss and one with purigen and crushed coral and a plant and u good. fish hobby expensive. its the way it is lol

  21. hydroton good media. i tried to sink a whole bunch. wont sink lol. pain in the ass cause coulda been good substrate.

  22. I am very interested in this build however there are 2 fatal flaws I have found for this in my research, 1. A standard bucket bows under the pressure of the water in aquarium when under the aquarium and 2. The gamma seal cant handle the pressure and causes a leak. I'm trying to find a good way to remedy these for a long term application I'm considering using a 90mil screw top bucket maybe that will eliminate the chance of bucket rupturing under pressure and screw top maybe I can get to seal better than a gamma seal. DIY king Joey please advise or anyone else please recommend.

  23. Since your maintenance is to clean the filter tank, does this mean you no longer have to do water drains and changes?

  24. When using lava rock for bio filtration, how do you feel about containing it in a media bag vs. no media bag? I am currently using about 5 lbs of red lava in an XL media bag and sometimes wonder if it would just be best to use it without one. Thank you for all the wisdom you share to us DIY folks out here, Your talent is truly a gift that inspires us all.

  25. anyone know a way of waterproofing the pump? got the same pump and it just leaks from the top where the water goes back up. iv used a pound of friggin silicone at this point and it still finds a place to leak lol

  26. Would a HUGE TV with so so content source make sense ? (like 8K in a world with no available content ) Why is the ratio of sump to tank always a partial fraction ? Who really appreciates the system the most ? You , the designer or The occasional viewer ? A better sump source reduces the number of compensation 'circuits ' to adjust for the distortion in design . What is the actual ratio in nature ? Time for a paradigm shift !!

  27. I made this for my tank. A word of advice. Just buy the actual think. This is way to much of a headache. After you get it done it’s great but…. if I could go back. I would just buy a canister filter.

  28. Before I build it, can anyone give feedback on how efficient this build is on keeping your freshwater aquarium clean? Is it as good as (or better than) a mainstream more expensive namebrand canister filter?

  29. I built this and it turned out pretty great no leaks at all. Mine breaks the siphon if my pump turns off but it's not leaking water anywhere so that baffles me. I'll take it though. My question though is how can I increase the amount of suction going to the filter? The amount of suction I have is pretty weak for my application and I'm not sure if there is anyway to increase it besides getting a bigger pump

  30. I can’t get the lid to stop leaking when the pump is off. I’ve tried everything any help would be great thanks.

  31. hi joey, can i use two buckets in the same setup and connect in series, one bucket for mechanical/ some bio and the other some bio / carbon ?

  32. Using a couple of these on my pond however I am pumping water in for the bottom of it and since my pawns over 3000 gallons I just daisy chain them but has been working great

  33. I dont know much about filtration but do you still use activated carbon or dont need it with the setup? Please lmk. Thank you.

  34. Large canister filters result in (need) a very strong current near the filter inlet. A flow rate of 720ltr/h (0.2ltr/sec) may be too much for the small fish. Does it make sense to have several inlets throughout the tank, and connect them with T-connectors to the filter. My current design is an in-line system, a single mechanical filter followed by a series of one-foot tall bio filters (scalability!), then the thermo-unit (my current design)?
    Alternatively I could make a complete parallel system of canister filters (do-able at your price point), but I want to put as much as possible in-line

  35. 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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