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DIY canister filter + heater enclosure


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Here is my mini diy canister filter with external heater enclosure.

I forgot to buy 1 piece from the hardware store so I cant test it yet. And I have to build a little stand for it.

capacity is about 3L. pump is 500lph, heater is 25watt.

One question, should i put the tap on the water heading towards the tank, or the water coming into the cannister? right now its on where the water will enter the cannister

Pics are bad quality because my camera was on the wrong setting. Sorry:o

All the stuff used.


Dry assembly.



Now to go and make the spray bar/intake tube.

Hope you enjoyed.


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Won't you need a tap on both? If you only have it on one and then disconnect the filter for cleaning then the other tube will syphon from the main tank unless you pull it out of the water. If you tap both off, you keep water in both tubes (good to be able to refill system from outlet tube so as not to get a bubble in the intake) so you can clean the filter and then reattach without having to worry too much about priming.

If you can only do one tap, I'd put it on the intake and just lift the output out of the water during maintenance.

Looks like a great project, let us know how it goes!

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Thanks Callatya, I dont know why I only got 1 pump.

I will go and get another one soon.

I wish i saw your post about 10 mins earlier, I just went back to the hardware store to get the missing part.

anyhow, all glued and siliconed up, now just have to wait.

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Parts used are - Im not sure what they are all called so im just quoting what it says on the recipt.

coupling acc cap x 2 (assuming its the female threaded elbow or its the end caps)

poly director x 2 (assuming its the male threaded hose attachment)

barbed poly tap (the tap, Need to buy a 2nd one)

threaded access cap x2 (main filter body)

1.5m 10mm vinyl tubing

socket faucet 40mm pressure (female threaded, screws onto water tight cord grip)

Water tight cord grip (free sample, clamps onto heater)

length 100mm of pipe, about 30cm long, but i trimmed it.

sorry about the sketchy list, I just grabbed what looked useful, didnt pay much attention to names.

I wouldnt follow this design until I have tested it properly.

If you want some tips when building diy stuff make sure your work station is very clean, and have heaps of chux near by and lots of rubber gloves.

To do the siliconing instead of messing around with the nosel i pu the silicone gun in the vice. when ever i needed a bit. A quick quarter turn and i would use my index finger to spread it around. using the rubber gloves made everything easier.

here are some shots of it curing.

I used acetone to clean the gluing surfaces, then pvc cement to glue the 100m pipe in between the 2 access pipes) to create the main filter body. It is approx 230mm long.


This is the top. you can see the hole for the power cord, i didnt have to cut and re-wire the cord as it plugs into an ac/dc converter, and the plug is only a tiny bit bigger then the main cord.

This is the outake and you can see the water tight cord grip.


Underneath the top, filter attatches to that small length of hose,

You can see the 40mm faucet which screws onto the cord grip.


This is the bottom (intake), pretty self explanatory.


Inside the bottom, ceremic noodles sit around this, then sponge sits on the noodles.


Not photographed because i had too many pics is the stand, which is a pvs off cut with a gap cut out for the pipe.

comments welcome, anyone see any major problems arising?

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Here it is in place and working.

After seeing the little tank next to the main one it occured to me, I should have just made a mini sump. ahh well.



the unit in place, still need to trim one of the tubes.


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  • 3 weeks later...

the heater did not work to well. I sourced the problem but have not bothered to fix it yet.

Seeing as though the tank is going through an ugly algea bloom I just put the bulky heater in there (Rubing salt on the wound)

I will get round to fixing it soon.

Other then that works well.

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They make inline heaters for canisters, I think. I'm sure I've read something on it somewhere. Ahh, here are some: LINK. Not as cool as an all in one, but suitable for the more *cough* relaxed fishkeeper. :(

The big question Peter, would you do it again? :( Is it working out well for you?

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  • 1 month later...

I have a question for anyone is willing to answer, im looking to make a similar setup to use across 3 tanks of the same size (25l i think)?

would i be best just splitting the input/output into 3 lines?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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The big question Peter, would you do it again? :) Is it working out well for you?

sorry i missed your post Callatya.

Well i decommissioned it the other day. Turns out it was working more as a sump then cannister because where the heater should have been was left open so no real seal. I wanted to achieve more flow so i put the cannister lower making the siphon stronger (I sealed up the hole with the cord grip) and as soon as the cannister resieved a little pressure it basically shat its self, the leaks popped up everywhere. I could have fixed it but instead just switched to a hob which has less hardware in the tank then the cannister which was what i was trying to achieve in the first place and I have just learnt to live with the heater.

I wouldnt do it again - nano cannister filters are not much more then what it cost to diy.

as for your question Luka - not sure, sounds about right.

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