DIY internal filter using submersible pump and two liter soda bottle

Aquarium filters are critical for maintaining aquarium water quality. Without an adequate filter, ammonium can accumulate. Even small amount of ammonium can be lethal to the fish. Filter also remove the excess nutrient which encourage algae grown.  Filter also mechanically remove the food waste and plant debris from the water.  It make the water crystal clear.  There are several reason that I wanted to make the DIY internal filter:

  1. Commercial off the shelf filter can be expensive. The most expensive part is submersible pump which causes about $8 on Amazon. Total cost is about $10 each if I made multiples for the material buy in bulk. There are cheap internal filter from Amazon. Those are just sponge filters, no biological filteration.
  2. It’s custom made so I can pack more biological filtration
  3. It use submersible pump (much quieter than the air pump).
  4. Easy to clean
  5. proof that it works.

Material needed: Submersible pump, 2 liter soda bottle, Rain bird Barbed elbows, sponge (Cut of from 17 in x 24 in, I can make 24 of them) , vinyl tubing (0.5 in ID), larva rock (0.5  cubic feet) from home depot.

Here is how I do it.

  1. Crush the larvae rocks if they are too big, remove heave ones (I think they are just bricks). clean thoroughly.
  2. Cut the soda bottle around the body where the diameter just become to narrow.
  3. Cut the sponge so the diameter is slightly bigger than the soda bottle opening and cut the hole around the center of the sponge.
  4. Cut a piece of 1/2 in vinyl tubing so it is an inch above the rim of the soda bottle opening after connected to the pump.
  5. Connect the Barbed Elbow
  6. Begin filling in the larva rocks
  7. Place the sponge into the opening of the soda bottle.
  8. That’s it. Drop it into the back of the aquarium and connect the power.



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