How to build a DIY aquarium fish poop / turbo suction filter for cleaning fish waste?

Big fish produce big waste. An ordinary filter cannot efficiently clean big waste. Usually filters are designed to clean every impurity in the aquarium but some of them are specifically designed for cleaning fish waste especially when there is too much waste. In this post, I will help you in building a fish poop filter for cleaning aquarium fish waste. For making a turbo suction filter, you will need a plastic container. An air stone connected to an air pump via an air tube will help in running this filter. The impeller added to the turbo suction filter will create a cyclone effect that will suck waste & collect them in the base of the filter. Fish waste will not be able to pass through the mechanical filtration media so only clean water will pass through the filter.

How to build a DIY aquarium fish poop / turbo suction filter

When the mechanical filtration media traps fish waste, then water containing dissolved toxic chemicals will flow through the bio media. Biological media will break down ammonia into nitrites & nitrates. Nitrates are not as harmful as nitrites & ammonia. Ceramic rings will remove nitrates too as it holds denitrifying bacteria. Hence, water free of every impurity will pass through the filter.

DIY aquarium turbo suction filter
DIY aquarium turbo suction filter

For driving the fish poop filter, I am using an Aqua One Precision 9500 air pump. Turbo suction filters need to be cleaned on a weekly basis so that all the trapped waste is washed out before setting up the filter again in the aquarium.

Use a plastic container for making DIY turbo suction filters. It can efficiently clean large fish poop & work fine in bigger aquariums. It uses a cyclone effect for collecting fish waste so it is ideal for fish that makes too much poop.

Steps: How to build a fish waste filter for an aquarium?

My plastic container has 114 mm diameter & 117 mm height. I purchased this container from Ebay but you can also find it at Amazon.

Mark inflow & outflow for the filter for drawing & releasing water. This filter will suck water from the base using its cyclone effect created by the impeller attached to the top of the filter.

A drill & hole saw will be required. Make a hole for setting up an impeller. A narrow inflow will draw water with high force. Sandpaper will be required for smoothing the rough edges.

Then it is time to test the operation of the filter fan. I have attached one side of the tube to an air pump & another side is used for spinning the fan.

The impeller is creating a cyclone effect so everything until this point is fine. Now it is time to build the rest of the filter.

I am using an air bubbler for running the impeller. You can also use an air stone. Make a hole for an air tube in the plastic container lid. An air stone is required for running the filter fan. This filter will not just collect fish poop but will make air bubbles as well.

It is important to test the turbo suction filter to ensure that you have correctly followed every step. Time to test fish poop filters and see whether air bubbles can rotate the impeller. My test was successful as my filter produced a cyclone effect inside aquarium water.

Turbo suction filters will provide both mechanical & biological filtration. I am using a filter tray for collecting fish poop. Make four holes in the tray using a drill machine for connecting four legs to it. You can use hard plastic as filter legs.

It is time to glue all components. Apply silicone glue to every component then wait until it seals, & if there is any leakage in your filter then you can fix it using silicone glue.

I am using fine foam for collecting fish waste. A strainer is used for collecting waste in the base of the filter. You can fix the foam using scissors that will prevent waste from escaping the turbo suction filter.

Then it is advised to wash your filter. My recommendation is to use water from the aquarium for rinsing the filter & its media.

Pass the air tube through suction cups for a clean connection. Then stick suction cups to the fish tank glass for aligning the tube.

Ceramic rings are used as bio media. You can also use Aquapro booster balls for quickly releasing useful bacteria. My recommendation is to add cycled biological media from an old filter that will have heaps of useful bacteria growing on the filter media.

My DIY turbo suction filter works like a charm in my Goldfish tank. My filter needs maintenance after a week. Therefore, for best efficiency, I clean the entire poop it has accumulated in the base. Make sure you give a good rinse to your filter at least once a week so that it keeps running with best results.


  1. Hi there,
    I was planning to make one but need your advise about the small filter. Is there anyway of getting in contact?

  2. Hi there,
    I would love to build one but have doubts. Anyway of getting in touch.


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