Cheap Homemade Aquarium Filter





Introduction: Cheap Homemade Aquarium Filter

Aquarium filters are expensive, especially the replacement filters. Using things I had laying around the house, I made some of my own for under $.25.

Step 1: Commercial Filters

Commercial filters are expensive (unless they came with your tank at a garage sale, like mine).

Step 2: A Filter's a Filter...

I realized how simplistic those commercial replacement filters are, and found a substitute: air filters.

Now, these commercial filters come with carbon or other media as a chemical filter, so I just bought my own.

Step 3: Create a Pocket...

Create a pocket for the chemical media. I simply hot-glued the edges.
Be sure to squish the glue between the filter parts.

Step 4: Fill With Chemical Filter Media

Now, prior to just making my own filters, I did use commercial filter replacements without the plastic frame that comes molded to them (I don't know why there was no plastic frame; I got them free). However, those puffed up with use.

I recommend putting a staple in the center of your new filter to keep it from puffing up like that.

Add chemical filter media.

Step 5: There You Have 'er.

Insert filter.

This has been my first instructable. Give me criticism.




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    Like the idea. How's about cheesecloth that's used in making cheese and straining fine liquids from foods. It can be bought at any grocery store for about a dollar and is safer. It can be cut to size and fitted in the plastic brackets. I plan on using it for our tank. Will let you know how it works.

    good idea,did it work?

    I had to replace my waterbed mattress. Being it was waveless . The fiber fill in it will be enough to keep me in 12" x 12" filters for my near 600 gallon Koi pond. Tho it does clog up in 2 weeks and not something you'd want to even try to rinse out. Thank goodness I have a boat load.

    Good idea and good follow up from everyone. ty

    When I used the frame + bag cartridges I always put the bag in a jar of hot water and shook it until it was clean, that kept it from getting flattened and worn out by other means of washing it. You can use bleach if you like them white. One box of cartridges lasted me several years. Now I just get a sponge and cut it to fit the filter. Rinse it under the tap when it gets full and never worry about it again.

    Oh. You can also pull the pads and the plastic brackets out and run them in your dishwasher's rinse cycle on hot. The jets will flush all the yucky stuff out.
    Have fun.

    The staple is not going to cause any problems at all, I have been using staples to secure plants to driftwood for several years and have had no ill effects, it takes a lot non-collated iron to be piosonous, but anyway great idea and a good instructable

    The part I would worry about is the vent material. Some contain fiberglass and other not-so-good things for your fish. More importantly, a lot of the vent filters today are anti-bacterial and you want bacteria in your filter medium, that's why you rinse it out in aquarium water, so you don't destroy the bacteria.

    I like your instructable a lot, but I think it might be safer if polyester batting were used instead.

    What about a couple of coffee filters?