Homemade Aquarium Canister Filter Plans


Today we got a DIY project for you guys. The project is called homemade aquarium canister filter plans.

The title is self-explanatory so we are going to jump straight into the guide.

Things you going to need:

  • 8″ of 4″ diameter PVC pipe
  • 1 – 4 inches diameter plug
  • 1 – 4 inches diameter rubber end cap with hose clamp
  • 2 – female garden hose repair ends
  • 2 – 1/2″ threaded valves
  • 4 – 3/4″ to 1/2″ threaded plastic hose connections
  • 1 – male garden hose threaded 
  • 3 – PVC grates about 1 1/2″ tall
  • 1 – 3/4′ 90-degree corner tube (has hose ends)
  • some small hose clamps
  • PVC cleaner
  • PVC glue
  • Teflon tape
  • aquarium silicon
  • 20′ – 3/4″ tubing
  • 5′ – 1″ tubing
  • 3 small zip-ties
  • and of course a pump. mine was a 700gph inline pump
  • Filter media:
  • poly sponge(got one for car washing)
  • knee-high stockings( cheap ones in those little plastic balls)
  • bio-balls
  • You also going to need some tools to work with.


  • Drill
  • small drill bit
  • 7/8″ spade bit
  • coping saw
  • utility knife
  • flat head screwdriver
  • channel lock pliers
  • crescent wrench
  • needle nose pliers
  • tape measure
  • sanding block
  • scissors

We may have missed to mention a couple of tools. We are humans after all. Just make sure you have some extra tools to work with.

You might also need to change a couple of fits depends.

Drilling holes:

You need to drill a lot of holes in this project. Prepare your drill and get to work.

From the bottom of the pipe just above the rubber end cap drill a hole. The hole should be done by using a small bit, here your garden hose adapter will screw in. This will keep the spade centered. Drill slowly with the bits so that you don’t throw shrapnels all over the room.

Filter baskets:

Filter baskets are the grates that cover the floor drains. You may need to cut them down in diameter to fit them inside the pipe. Use a coping saw to make some relief cuts. It’s easier to run your coping saw this way. The first try may not come out as great. Try one or two times more to get the perfect cut that satisfies you.

Valve and hose connection:

This is the part where you adapt and overcome your problems. Here you might need to switch up the products depending on what your local plumbing store had.

Use the valve to stop the water flow when you change filter media. Put Teflon tape on the threaded 3/4″ to 1/2″ tube connector and thread them to each valve. Connect your hoses to the pump and the valves. Use the female garden hose connector to attach the filter. You may need to slide on the hose then use the channel lock pliers to pinch the connector down into the hose. We had to attach a 90-degree corner to the bottom to stop the hose from sinking.

Filter media:

Filter media in this project was poly sponge found in the cleaning section of the hardware department.

It is suggested to wash cars and cleaning the house because it is resisted solvents. It doesn’t have large holes like dishwashing sponges. Place your filter on the filter basket.

The second basket carries activated carbon. You can try some semi-transparent clothes like stocking and fill them with activated carbon. Fill them up using plenty of activated carbon.

Put it all together:

First thing first wash and clean everything so that there is no dirt left inside them while you worked on them. Put the rubber plug on the bottom of the pipe and tighten the hose clamp. Attach that tube to the outlet valve. First, drop your bio balls inside the pipe then carbon sock and at the end the sponge. Tighten the plug on the top. If you have done it correctly it shouldn’t leak.