Diy 5 Gallon Bucket Filter

RRaquariums

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Alright so I've been looking for a cheap easy way to have a large filter for my larger breeding tanks and I finally decided to go with a 5 gallon bucket.
Bellow I will show you how to build this filter and what you will need I will also show cost keep in mind that the cost are in the USA and may vary based on your area so let's get started :)

Parts you will need.

5 gallon bucket. $5

1 1/2 inch PVC pipe length depends on set up of filter I got 4 feet. $5

One 1 1/2 inch male electrical PVC pipe fitting the reason for using electrical PVC fittings is they seal together better then standard PVC fittings. $1

One 1 1/2 inch female electrical PVC pipe fitting. $1

One 90 degree PVC elbow standard PVC works fine for this peace. $1

Aquarium safe silicone one tube will be more then enough. $3

PVC glue once it dries it won't hurt your fish so most types are fine again one can is more then you will need. $3

PVC primer helps the glue stick. $3

Total cost for parts $22


Tools you will need.

Drill and a bit that can cut a 1 1/2 inch hole in the bucket.

Hack saw to cut the pipe.

Measuring tape.

Two pairs of pliers to tighten pipe.


Ok so we have our tools and or supplies ready to go first thing you will have to do is cut a 1 1/2 inch hole in the bucket like this https://www.dropbox.com/s/c9on827o7fdtgse/2014-04-17%2018.44.38.jpg

Next fit the male PVC fitting through the inside of the bucket like this https://www.dropbox.com/s/vcner9osq3qxqhe/2014-04-17%2018.53.02.jpg

After the male fitting is in screw the female fitting on to it like this https://www.dropbox.com/s/m765ie79t37bo0k/2014-04-17%2018.53.12.jpg
After it's on snug tighten it down with the pliers.

Once the fittings are in place cut a peace of PVC pipe to connect the bucket to the 90 degree elbow like this https://www.dropbox.com/s/0joxiyj5ncfprih/2014-04-18%2012.05.00.jpg

Alright so that's how to build the main part of the filter I'm in the middle of finishing the rest of it and I'll post more on here when I do so stay tuned and thanks for reading :)
 

ian_m

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I tried making one like this using a bucket with so called "water tight lid", but was not a success.
 
- A suitable pump for 40mm (1 1/2") fittings is not cheap and probably way over powered for most aquariums. I used 22mm plastic plumbing pipes in the end and cheaper pump. Suitable pump was extortionately expensive.
- I could never get the lid sealed. If placed below the tank, the pressure of 1 1/2meters of water column meant it always leaked & dribbled water. If placed level with tank drew in air. Should have used one of these http://www.ampulla.co.uk/Mini-Barrels---Wide-Neck-Containers/17-Litre-Mini-Barrel-and-Blue-Lid/p-156-763/. These can cope with pressure as have good seal, but polythene is very difficult to seal against, silicone won't bond to polythene so extremely difficult to make 100% guaranteed water tight joints.
- You also need some "handy" way for disconnecting the pipes and isolating flow to service the filter.
 
I then moved to making it a trickle filter (open top) but you then need to think about failure modes in that if a pipe blocks (or more likely gets reduced flow) you don't want to be emptying the whole of your filter water into the tank or even worse emptying the whole of your tank water into the filter
 
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It's going to sit above the tank a bilge pump will be bringing water up from the tank and into the bottom of the bucket I got the pump at my local hardware store it cost me $15.
The reason I used the 1 1/2 inch pipe is so I would have lots of water flow out of the filter more then would be needed if it was under pressure since water that flows from gravity requires more room to flow at the same rate as a smaller pipe under pressure would need.
As for dealing it with silicone I haven done it yet because I need to finish moving the tank into place and building the shelf above it for the filter but I'm going to sand on the bucket where I will place the silicon hopefully that will provide a rough enough surface for it to stick to.
 
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