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D-I-Y Jar Filter


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
I made this air-powered internal filter from a plastic jar (Archer Farms Peanut jar from Target), needlepoint screen, and plastic pipe. Cut the top off the jar so that the jar lid will fit inside it, drill or cut several holes in the lid, glue the lift pipe over one of the holes, cut a circle of needlepoint screen to lay on top of the lid, and cover with media of your choice (lava rock, gravel, carbon, aragonite, polyether foam, etc). I used a "Jetlifter" pipe from Swiss Tropicals, which has a nipple to attach airline, but plain PVC would work too, with airline tube inserted down inside the uplift pipe. The Jetlifter has tiny air holes that make smaller, quieter bubbles. I used "Shoe Goo" or "Goop" to glue the uplift pipe to the jar lid. This lid is polypropylene (PP-5) as indicated by the recycling code; some glues including silicone will not stick well to it. For PVC pipe, adding a coupler on the bottom will give a wider surface for the glue to bond. Filter media in this one is a mix of old Jungle brand filter carbon (USA) - no longer sold as far as I know - plus small lava rock. For non-blackwater fish I also add aragonite (crushed coral).


Mike Wise

Staff member
5 Year Member
Like a DIY box filter. I saw similar being used in exporters' tanks in Peru, only they didn't use the jar! They just put a lift tube into a pile of sand in a corner of the tank.
For a quick job of cleaning the water ex. you just set up the tank and it is cloudy from the gravel sand etc. this works really well and its fast. I use a maxijet 400 power head the input fits perfectly on most 16oz or larger plastic bottles like for drinking water soda etc. I cut the bottom off and stuff it full of poly fill connect the bottle to the power head put it in the tank within an hour you can readily see the difference if I leave it overnight the next day the water is crystal clear.