Build DIY Aquarium Filter At Home:

Aquarium filter is very important part of every aquarium. If you are setting up your aquarium, then make sure you find the best filter based on the size of the aquarium. For larger aquariums, it is recommended to use a powerful pump that pushes lots of water to the filter. Aquarium filter not only removes visible waste particles from aquarium but it also oxidizes water & helps in generating good bacteria which decomposes the waste into less toxic components that can be easily removed from water.

Hobbyists love to build DIY aquarium filters & I have plenty of videos that assist you in building the best filter at home. In this video, I talk about building a DIY SUMP filter for a mini aquarium using powerhead pump. This concept of building DIY aquarium filter is very simple & it is just like my previous tutorial on DIY overhead aquarium SUMP filter.

How to build Homemade Aquarium SUMP Filter
How to build Homemade Aquarium SUMP Filter

However, I recommend you to consider this DIY filter because it is an improved version of my previous tutorial on DIY SUMP filter. I have sorted out a couple of the problems that I had in DIY SUMP filter.

A spare parts tray is used as a container for DIY aquarium filter & I am using a number of dividers that give me the choice to adjust the height of compartments. This filter lets water flow through the biological media. Unlike other videos based on top tank filter, where water simply run over the filter media. I am using washer on the tap & hose connector which acts as a double seal & avoids the addition of silicon. I have tested the flow of water & leak before adding this filter to my new mini aquarium. I am using submersible pump to power this filter which is available for free with the aquarium.

Inlet hose for DIY aquarium filter is 16 mm & outlet tap is 20 mm, this allows water to run smoothly without any problem of overflowing. The size of tank filter makes it more suitable for a mini aquarium. Use the same procedure if you want to build a bigger filter for a larger aquarium.


Mechanical Filtration:

Mechanical filtration traps waste particles & other debris present in the water. My advice is to use 2 types of foams: coarse & fine foams. Use coarse foam first which traps all the large particles & it is then followed by fine foam which can help offer efficient mechanical filtration. This order of filtration will ensure that none of the micro pores in the bio media will get clogged by waste particles. Changing the order of mechanical filtration will affect the overall efficiency of the aquarium filter & over time the performance of filter will be reduced.


Biological Filtration:

Biological filtration is crucial of all types of filtration. If your aquarium has lack of bio media, then it might kill your fish.

Bio Baki Ball is a breathing bio ball fired by high temperature. It helps in making nitrifying bacteria. It helps in restoring the quality of water, & provide the best environment for your fish.

Zeolite offer a large surface area & can absorb very well, & offers ion exchange capacity & chemical stability which makes it a very important bio media.



I am using the following ingredients for this filter:

For mechanical filtration I am using:

Fine Foam

Coarse Foam


For biological filtration I am using:


Bio Bakki Balls


Steps for building DIY aquarium filter:

Follow all steps correctly if you want to build a seal proof DIY aquarium filter. Have a look at video below which shows how to build DIY fish tank filter at home:

How to build DIY Fish Tank Filter

Step 1:

Use spare parts tray of dimension: 30 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm (L x W x H). This tray can help build the best aquarium filter. It has multiple compartments for storing mechanical filtration media & biological filtration media. Also you can adjust the height of the divider so that water passes through the filter media & now just flow on top of it.


Step 2:

I am using a couple of attachments to connect blue hose to powerhead. Connect a pipe to the outlet of powerhead. Then connect a thick pipe to the other side of the pipe. Make sure water does not leak through the pipes. Further connect aquarium filter inlet pipe to the powerhead.


Step 3:

I am using 20 mm paddle bit for drilling a hole in the container for the outlet. Another hole I am drilling for the inlet hose so for this purpose my paddle bit size is 16 mm. After drilling the holes, it is time to sand the rough edges. Inlet valve is connected to powerhead via blue hose. The submersible pump pushes water into the SUMP. Water then passes through the mechanical filtration media & then passes through the biological media & from the outlet valve flows back into the aquarium.


Step 4:

I am using a netted pot for storing coarse & fine foam. Water hose is used for connecting powerhead to aquarium filter. Water Can tap is used for allowing water to flow back to the aquarium. Size of the water tap is: 20 mm fine threaded.


Step 5:

I have installed the water tap in the outlet hose. I am using hose connectors that come with garden hose. For tight seal use washer on both attachments. Then I tested all connections for leak. This is the point I want to know whether silicone is required for sealing the connection or not. I have filled the SUMP with water, & I am glad that there is no leakage.


Step 6:

I am using coarse & fine foam for my mechanical filtration. For coarse foam, you can also use sponge. I have installed my mechanical filtration media inside a netted pot. Coarse foam will trap all the big particles & then water with small waste particles will pass through the fine foam & hence only clean water will enter biological filtration media.


Step 7:

Adjust the positioning of dividers so that water flows through the biological filtration media. I have cut the divider so that I can adjust it to make sure water does not flow over the bio media. It must flow through it & enter aquarium through the tap.


Step 8:

For biological filtration media I am using zeolites that are crystalline compounds of volcanic origin. I am also using bio bakki balls. My recommendation is to rinse media before using it for aquarium. Make sure you remove all dirt before using this filter.


Step 9:

Connect the blue hose of filter to powerhead. Make sure SUMP is completely filled before you turn on the water tap for allowing water to flow back to aquarium. I have successful tested the pump & I am using it for my mini aquarium.

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