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Old 03-25-2005, 12:26 AM
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Default DIY Canister Filter

Not quite done, but decided to build a canister filter a couple of days ago:



Parts list has been:
Waterproof, airtight container
Minijet Pump
Hose
PVC Connectors
O-Rings
Silicone
Zip Ties
Suction Cups
Clamp
Filter media

You also need a 5/8 drill bit and a 3/4 drill bit. You can get a countersink set at Lowe's for $9.00. If you don't have any of this stuff lying around, it would probably come out to about $50.00 (including the bits). You can get a zoo med for that much, but not as customizable or fun Plus, you can fix this sucker yourself. So far, it is silicone free except for the cord since it isn't quite round, it is hard to get an o-ring that works. The hoses will go through a OP4 acrylic top with 5/8 holes for the hoses.

Here is the inspiration:
http://www.petfrd.com/forum/articles.ph ... e&artid=87

Only difference is the 180 degree bends I built in using PVC to reduce the amount of space required to bend the hose. The only scary part is priming the thing as it can lead to a mouthful of nasty stuff. I will probably build in a one-way valve in the suction side that I can prime with a turkey baster and add a 1/4 ball valve drain to slowly drain the thing without unpluging the large hose. It is up against the mirror for leak testing before I try it on the tank itself. They attach to the mirror using suction cup hangers that I removed the metal hanger, drilled through, and used a zip tie to attach to the hose.

Marcos
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Old 03-25-2005, 02:50 AM
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I keep wanting to make one myself for my clawed frog tank, but I don't understand how the pump works. Is it internal or external?

How do you avoid air getting inside the device?

Additionally Marc, do you know how big the ratio of an overflow box relative to GPH is?

I would like to make one from standard plexiglas.
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Old 03-25-2005, 03:07 AM
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What do you use for the filter media?
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Old 03-25-2005, 05:13 AM
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In this setup the pump is internal. I will post some better pictures later when the leakage testing is done. From what I understand you can have the pump inline externally or internal. What matters is that you have the tubing set at the right heights so that your bottom output is below the input waterline and that your pump input is as high as possible or you will have a hard time getting it to work. I have had it running for an hour or so total with different amount of air in the tube, it seems that a lot of what matters is how good of a prime you get. The 180 turns don't help much either, I don't know if putting a reducer in there would help, and I can't tell what is going on in there because of the PVC. As far as the ratio goes, I don't think it matters effectively, I think it works like a closed system as long as you can suck in about as much as you are spitting out. What you need is enough water to saturate the container and the input hosing.

For the filter media, I just picked up some coarse fiber, ceramic media, and fine fiber since it is what was on sale. Since I think I got the setup 100% leak proof at the container, I am going to try the filter media tomorrow or this weekend.
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Old 01-25-2006, 02:17 AM
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thought I might bring this up for those wanting a stream setup for mantella breeding. I surely do not want a giant Filstar canister filter hanging on the back of my 10-20 gal mantella tank!

Marc, is it possible to use Weldon 16 to bond the PVC to the container? I have that and Weld on 4. It works on some plastics, but not all. I'm pretty sure it'd work on the container, but not so sure on PVC or tubing. Isn't some tubing silicone?

Couldn't you just bulkhead the inflow? (of course, that is not as cheap) I'm meaning to try this idea with a minijet pump.
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:58 PM
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Your pic isn't showing. I'm interested to see what it looks like.



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Old 01-25-2006, 03:55 PM
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ok. I went to a few sites, and yes, Weld-on 16 can be used to bond PVC. So, I'm sure if you put a bead around the lip of an elbow you could attach it directly to a plastic container. I'm interested now if you can attach the spout of a powerhead/ pump (as they are plastic) to the cup.

Going back to the peltier cooler, some weldons will bond metal to plastic (i forget the type, nor do I know the safety of it for aquatic life). Don't think the #16 I have will, but therefore, one could attach a piece of Ti directly into a canister filter...no bulkheading/ drilling tanks at all.
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Old 01-26-2006, 03:54 AM
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It depends on the plastic contain. The odds are it will be polypropylene (sp). In this case not really. Look at the bottom of the contain and you should see two arrows forming a triangle. In or near this you should see letters like "PP" for polypro. or "PETG" or "PETE" (the plastic soda bottle are made of), etc. Others may be "PE" polyethylene, much like PP, i.e. not solvent bondable/compatible with PVC (polyvinylchloride). If it is "S" (sytrene), ABS (can't remember the breakdown other than the "S" is for styrene....I believe the "B" may be buytal (sp), and/or PET, you can bond with Weldon #16 (paste), #4 (water thin liquid), MEK and PVC cement (the combination cement would be the best). It is a plumbing cement for PVC, CPC and ABS pressure and drain lines for you home/commercial plastic plumbing lines. Available at any or most hardware and home building supply.

If you elect to bond The PVC, ABS, S, PET to PP, PE, or similar plastic, sand or scuff up the surface on the PP or PE which will give some "tooth" for the cement to grab. Not perfect, however does work to a degree. It is much like getting silicone to bond acrylic to glass. Break the glaze on the acrylic and then the silicone has a little surface to grab onto.

Breaking the glaze (sanding/scuffing) on PVC, ABS, Styrene, etc. will also give better results. Generally this isn't necessary unless you are doing things like high pressure or high strength needs however.

I hope this helps.

Remember that most items, esp. recycleable items have the material marked on it. It is abbreviated, but there.
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Old 01-26-2006, 04:34 AM
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Sorry, I can't get back to edit my post above.

I said two arrows which I should have said three. I also said in the last sentence most and I should have said many. Also I think the "A" in ABS may be acetal. Not sure.

Another common material HDPE...High Density PolyEthelene. Also LDPE...Low Density Polyethelene.

I also was thinking that if I were going to make that canister filter I would bring the inlet line down thru the lid and let it just stop a little above the bottom. Makes servicing easier. If one doesn't have a fitting, a little silicone around the tube/line inside and out could possibly do the job just fine and in addition it keeps both penetrations up high and simple and clean rather than one line going to the lid and one to the cantainer. Mimic most canister filters.
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