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Cichlids Australia

DIY (Do It Yourself)

The following DIY articles are provided for the information of the hobbyist. The information provided here may not be reproduced without the written permission of the webmaster or the original author.

Building An Ice-cream Container Filter

by Mark Coleman

This filter works really well (I have a similar flower pot design) and is very cheap to construct. The diagram's are self explatory. When cleaning is due the filter can be dismantled and reassembled.

Schematic diagram's by Mark Coleman.

Building A Bucket Filter

by Mark Coleman


The following plans show how to build a high capacity trickle filter. You will build this a filter to do the same job as this commercially available and expensive Mini Reef filter



Go to the Hardware store and buy a bucket.
Drill a hole in the side of the bucket, about 5cm from the bottom. (to allow for a sludge sump).
Cut some wide diameter plastic PVC pipe so that you can stand them in the bottom of the bucket and mount a grill on it
Put some cuts in the end that will be the bottom, I use that white plastic checker mesh for the grill. The grill needs to be just above the hole you made.
Now fill the bucket with a media of some description, I have used scoria rocks here but have since up graded to Bio-Balls because I got them cheap.
Cover the scoria/Bio-Balls with a circle of filter wool.
The schematic diagram (Right) shows the basic construction of the filter.


Above view of the filter, showing scoria & filter wool.


Next is the lid and spray bar set up.
The most expensive part of your filter will be this bit, (The spinner)
Mount the spinner into the centre of the lid.


Other than some end caps, the rest is just pipe.
The photo shows an exploded view of the spray bar assembly.
A drip tray will do the same job


This is what it should look like when assembled (under view of the lid & spray bar assembly)
I have cut holes in the lid to assist gas exchange (no idea if it helps or not *shrugs*)


That’s it! Water goes into the top and comes out the bottom!

Stand the bucket in a deep plastic tray, put your pump and heater in the tray (careful not to have the heater touching plastic!) and your up and running.


All photos by Mark Coleman, article by Mark Coleman.
Schematic diagram redrawn by David Midgley (based on a diagram by Mark Coleman).