HOW TO: Filter 2 aquariums with 1 filter for $10 TUTORIAL

HOW TO: Filter 2 aquariums with 1 filter for $10 TUTORIAL

Hi, everybody Joey here again, and welcome back so in today’s video I’m going to show you how to filter [to] aquariums with one filter now This is actually a project that many people are interested in but are sometimes faced with the only real option being to Drill the tanks have some sort of overflow then stack them on top of each other however Most of you are looking to filter a pair of tanks [that] are actually side by side And that’s exactly what we’re going to cover in today’s video first I want to jump right into this project Then we’ll come [back] and talk about cost how to size the filter tank sizes I recommend this for Flow rates and cover some of the pros and cons as well The biggest challenge might appear to be how to keep the water level in both tanks level with each other while allowing water to easily Transfer from one to the other and while this might seem [like] the biggest challenge is actually Not in fact you already know how to do this because in the past I did a video on how to build a water bridge A popular project that will allow you to connect to tanks and watch your 5th limb from one tank to [the] other We’ll be using that exact idea yet using PVC to create it All you need is a couple of elbows and enough PVC pipe to span the difference of both tanks creating a small U-Shape with it ensuring that you cement it together as well now ideally you’ll want the PVC to enter the aquarium by a few inches Especially if you have a turbid water surface that could break the seal we’re going to create to prime the bridge and to create that seal I like to use a couple of PVC End caps to cover the ends once I fill it with water you could also use the palms of your hands though now water will stay inside of the bridge as the atmospheric pressure on the outside of the pipe is actually greater than Inside and I explain [all] the details as well as how is it works in the water bridge video that I mentioned [earlier] So make sure you check that video if you haven’t seen something like this before Now if water is added to one tank it equalizes in the other for example If I remove water from one tank and add it to the other both tanks will stay in Equilibrium the parts to create this small bridge actually only cost me [$3] however We’re [going] to get the flow rates and sizing it later on in the video [as] for the filter Well, we could do almost anything at this point but I figured that if we’re going to be filtering [two] tanks at once while of course keeping it fully customized full and Cost-effective, so I went with the overhead filter. It’s actually something that I like to call the overhead sump luckily I showed you how to build one of these in the past as well So we’ll keep this simple [I] use the plastic planner now These come in a variety of sizes But I want to focus on the 18 inch 24 inch and 36 inch versions as guideline for this example I use the 18 inch size I drilled the hole in the bottom the size I needed according to the flow Rate [I] Needed to flow through it again. I’m going to get to the sizing this as well later on I took a male and female PVC adapter and created a makeshift bulkhead however since this will be [over] the tank I just added a dab of silicone to seal it this will act as my drain I then took a small piece [of] PVC pipe and heated it up with a heat gun until I could bend it this will allow Me to direct the flow of the water into the tank then I took a couple of spare sponges and created Baffles basically That’s just an easy way for me to separate my plumbing from the media from there I used a small power head to act as my pump to deliver water to the filter and you can use whatever pump you want Though or even an airlift will work I use some sea PVC that I also heated up with a heat gun to form the [U] for the return again We’ll talk about flow rate soon for [biological] Media I use some basic Lav arak a very porous and lightweight type of rock with an excellent biological filtering capacity I bought a 7-pound bag for [5] bucks Enough for five of these filters in this example and just to give you a visual idea I added it in loose however I would suggest adding yours and [2] mesh bags for easier removal later on now as a side [note] the lab rocks were actually labeled For barbecues however with a quick rinse. It’s still lav iraq regardless of the name you put in front of it Keep that [in] mind next time you’re looking for a cheap effective and long-lasting Biological filter Media the entire filter cost me $3 for the planter $2 for the bulkhead $1 where the [see] PVC and a dollar worth a LAv arak so seven dollars total? This doesn’t include the sponge that I already had nor the pump now depending on the pump you use that cost [will] fluctuate Anyways plus I already had this so in total I invested $10 however with all do it yourself projects costs always fluctuate depending on where you are. So how does this work? Well as water is delivered to the top of the filter the water first flows through the sponge Where it is mechanically filtered followed by flowing through the biological? Media or whatever else you decide to add to it the water then flows through the last sponge before Overflowing into the second tank now at this point the water is in the second tank and can begin to flow back through To the other side through the water bridge finishing the cycle to clean it I simply remove the sponges and give them a quick [rinse] then add them back in and that’s pretty much it now my suggestion would Also be to add in some pozos plants to the filter to not only hide it, but also help remove nitrates now I’ve talked about the pozos plants in many other videos, so I’ll put some links in the description to all of these videos I’m talking about so you can watch them later on for a filter like this I would recommend a flow rate of [4] to [6] times per hour for example a pair of 25 gallon Tanks will give you 50 gallons total so you’ll want a flow rate [of] 200 300 gallons per hour for a setup like that to Size the filter I suggest using the 18 inch version for two tanks totaling up to 75 gallons the 24 inch version for two tanks totaling up to 120 [gallons] and the 36 inch version for two tanks totaling up to 200 gallons [the] Bridge flow rates that I’ve tested were one inch one and a half inch and 2 inch I found that the ideal flow rates to be 300 600 and 900 gallons per hour Were ideal before the bridge? struggled to keep the water levels even now some of your smaller fish will still be able to travel up [through] the bridge and if You don’t want that to happen I suggest adding a little bit of mesh to each end to stop that from [happening] and maybe hold it in place with some Elastics or a few dabs of silicone as for the drain these are actually [size] the same as normal bulkheads [wood]? however for all of the sizes of filters I’ve listed them the Recommended flow rates a one-inch bulkhead seems to work for all of them the good thing about this filter is you can actually filter two? tanks in a sump like Fashion for very little money [you] [also] have very little equipment in the tank if you plan [to] add a heater to it though [I] would add a small pipe to the drain to ensure [that] the planner doesn’t fully drain when the power goes out Now the downside to this filter is it’s not very Pretty however adding some of those poe those plants to cover It will make it look a lot nicer while serving a meaningful purpose the other downside is you have no control over Transmission of disease if something is in one [too] Think it’s going to get to the other so I was suggest using this on tanks with fish that were properly Quarantined [on] that note what I personally like about this setup The most is using it for breeding The pair in one tank and the fry in the second tank and this ensures that all water perimeters are actually identical In both tanks which can be vital especially for sensitive fry anyways. I hope that you guys enjoyed this video I also want to thank you for watching and I’ll see you guys next Sunday for a new project

100 thoughts on “HOW TO: Filter 2 aquariums with 1 filter for $10 TUTORIAL

  1. Bridge siphons and lava is something widely used in aquaponics. I use aquaponic filters like this for all of my fish tanks… I use bamboo for plants though since they like to be submerged and I like the way they look.

  2. Hey Joey, I been having a really hard time to figure out on what saltwater filter to use for a moray eel. Do you have any suggestions on what type of filter I should use

  3. Hi, Joey. Great video. Could you show us how the pvc was bent? It would be really helpful. It's fantastic idea. It saves so much on elbow joints.

  4. 1 thing I would add is that make sure the bridge comes down lower to allow for evaporation because if water drops below the bridge you going to have a flood.

  5. awesome and useful. thanks Joey (+kingofdiy)! this really couldn't have come at a better time. quick question, could this also be used for more than two aquariums? thanks again!

  6. im 14 and you have inspired me to get into this hobby I now owe three 10 gallon tanks for breeding and a 5 gallon tank for raising fry and a 2.5 gallon for hatching brine shrimp thank you for everything you do and keep up the good work joey

  7. I did something like that with 3 tanks.  The center is a 220 gal, on the right is a 65, and on the left is a 150.  I had the pipe go much further in to the tank.  I used small fountain pumps.  Put the pump in the smaller tank pumping in to the big tank.  you can drop a lot of water level in a smaller tank with out overflowing the big tank.

  8. Read the title of this video earlier, went back to find it to watch finally… Remembered it as 2 tanks 1 filter… for reasons…

  9. In addition to Pothos, you could grow quite a few emersed, low light loving aquarium plants.  Java fern and Anubias might work as well.  Umbrella plant also loves wet feet.  The creeping jenny sold in garden centers grows well in a wet environment, too but might need a little more light.  The trouble with Pothos is that, if it likes your conditions, it can easily send out vines ten to twenty feet long.  Nice if you have the room for it.

  10. I couldn't read all the comments, if already mentioned I'm sorry. I have some ideas about U shape pipe. First of all it would be better if it's made out acrylic or some kind of transparent material. Even half transparent will work in order to see if there's any bubble trapped inside. Some small bubbles won't be any problem in the beginning but they can break the siphoning later on. And if we don't want any accidental bubbles trapping inside that tube, we can add 2 more 90 degree elbow to each side. So entrance of pipe will be facing upward. It will be much safer. Also I would feel much better if they two sides of the U pipe will go a little deeper in the water. At least 4 inches under the water level. I know It's low possibility but evaporation can cause rapidly dropping in water lever especially in case of using fans for cooling. Anyways, thanks a lot for this video. I used this system over a year and works perfectly. 👍

  11. Hey, i'm really enjoying your videos as i start with my new aquarium hobby (i personally come from the pond and koi hobby). one comment i have on your video is the lava rock – the problem with the lava rock is that it can very easily get clogged. when it clogs, the water simply moves around the bacteria and not through it, what that does is create a very oxygen-lacking environment for the bacteria inside the lava rock and there is a danger for the bacteria to go anaerobic, releasing dangerous chemicals for the fish. i would like to point out how ever that lava rock perform very well when they are emerged (like in a trickle filter) and not submerged. when emerged this problem does not occur as the water always passes through the rocks and there is plenty of oxygen from the atmosphere. anyways, thanks a lot for all the videos and i hope i've somewhat helped.

  12. Hey Joey, I got a question if you get new fish from the store how long do you quarantine them in a different tank and how do you know it is okay to join the others?

  13. Joey I need help…. picked up a 150 gal glass tank, but the concrete floor is uneven! Tried shims but the tank still sprung a leak. It's resealed now but I don't know what to do about the floor.

  14. yo, if I build a 5 foot by 5 foot fish tank but it's only 8 inches from front to back how thick would the glass or acrylic need to be??? can u help me???????????????????????????????????????????????

  15. do the tanks have to be the same size or can I do this with a 10 gallon and a 5 gallon? and can you make a video on how to filter 2 tanks on top of each other with one filter for cheap?

  16. Can this work with a unlimited amount of 10 gallon tanks? or at some number the tanks will stop passing water between each other? would love to know! Thanks Joey!

  17. hey joey,thanks alot man, im still trying to do this with my 25 gallon and 50 gallon, i already set-up my overhead/wetdry filter and using 2 inch garden hose and 2 inch elbow, using two of this for a total of 4 inches flow for the bridge, but i had no idea how much flow rate i get, and man you solve my problem you had the perfect video for me,THANKS A LOT. . .

  18. now i would imagine this would also work for connecting 3 tanks as well(I picked up 3 10 gallon tanks at a yard sale for 5 dollars total)

  19. I am working on big project where going to build three stand where can hold 75 gallon on top and 40 gallon breeder on the bottom. I am going to call it a cubical tank system. Question I have is there way to make fish bridge that can go from the 75 down to the 40 gallon? Keep up the good work. I jealous of you Asian Arowana. I have wanted one for long time . But I am very low income. So I cannot afford tank for one. You helped me in allot of ways. I cant tell how much I appreciate your videos and podcasts.

  20. nice, I did almost the same thing but in single large tanks with my 110 gallon and 1000 gallon stock tanks. The different is, I can buy the foam filter pad in bulk at fabric stores at least 3 -5 time cheaper than any pet store whether local or online, and there are time when they have 75% off too. The lava rock is very cheap at construction/gardening materials whole sale store; I'm a bit lucky with 1 of the aquascapeonline's dealership is not so far away so I can go there and buy lava rock for very cheap, let say I loaded a 100lb bag and they charged me just over 5 US dollars(they go for $110 per yard which I guess that 1 yard is about a ton). if I ever have tank with large canopy to cover the over head filter I will rather do these cheap filer as they are cheap, easy to maintain, and can be even more effective than the expensive and can be leak canister filter or the wet/dry sump.

  21. Excellent! 30 years ago I built a 240 gallon 2'x2'x8' tank.
    At the time Pratt Lambert had a water proof paint.
    I used a medium blue; black is much better.
    Ours was a salt water tank.
    During the week young sons would study the life histories of our local California fish.
    Determine the best bait, local and what size hook to use..
    We had a variety of specimens, including two one foot leopard sharks
    as well as starfish, sea urchins and a little octopus, until the small bass ate him.

  22. Maybe a sponge filter on the intake end instead of mesh and extend it down to the bottom for shrimp to feed from it? (hamburg matten style?) I'm great with plants n have some huge 1s. I'll be putting my starts in this. Also making a sculpted foam background with sandfall, where the heater will be. Can't wait to transfer my fish to a bigger tank with some awesome scenery. (Got a couple small tanks, with too big of fish I had to save, off craigslist after not having a tank for awhile.) So frickin excited to start again!! Possibly do some non-accidental breeding this time. lol

  23. I set up my 29 gallon tall and my 20 gallon tall so there's like 4" difference in water level between the two aquariums, that is because the pump in the 20 gallon is sending the water to the 29 gallon just a little bit faster than the 4 pvc utubes return it back from the 29 gallon to the 20. I think it turns over around 8 times per hour, with a couple Florida Flag fish and many plants. Your filter is awesome. I might have to make one like that for bog plants, then again, that might really need a float switch. I had just put one of them sponge filters on the pump input. Anyhow, I've left enough of a water margin so if one tube losses its priming, the water level will only rise to within an 1" of overflowing. I need to set up a float switch to turn off the pump if a second tube starts to lose flow. I did see your video on auto top off, showing the relays and sockets, but my pump is like 18 watts, and I think the switch you showed was only for 10 watts, leaving me wondering what relays/sockets to get for a 50 watt switch that I found.

  24. A little late in the game for this one, but I found it very interesting. I breed Bettas and I find myself doing constant water changes on 1/2 gallon beanie boxes. Is there a way to modify this to work for multiple smaller containers? It would be very nice to be able to heat and filter them in one localized area. I currently heat with heat tape and do 90% water changes every other day.

    Hoping you have an answer to make Betta breeding and keeping easier. 🙂

  25. Hello Joey! I have a question. Can this be done with 2 different size tanks? Or do they have to be the same size?

    Thank you very much!

  26. If you did this with 3 moderately sized tanks instead of a pair would you pump to the middle tank and let it flow back out to each other tank or setup a loop type system? I would assume the actual part moving water would need to stay even with the pipe because if your tube bridge suction fails you'd empty one tank all over your floor to the depth of the intake on the pump. Not as horrible with 2 small tanks but talking about 120gallons where 40 of it could go on the wood floor that is not the bottom level of the house…. Disaster.

  27. I would like to suggest adding a normally closed float switch (not too expensive on amazon) and setting it up to open the circuit therefore turning OFF the pump if the water goes down by a certain level. for instance if the siphon (bridge) gets blocked up or any other pipe gets blocked it would cause one tank to empty completely and flood your house by the amount that was drained. i would also recommend putting the suction pipe not too close to the bottom of the tank so as in case of the float switch not working it would be a full proof way to guarantee that it would only drain a certain % of the tank so your fish would survive till you got home to top up the tank 🙂

  28. so if the water bridge was to lose it's siphon (and it will) the water would just get pumped into the other tank and on to the floor? I would drill the tanks and use tubing or at least raise the pump so it will run dry before the other tank overflows.

  29. Not sure if you'll ever see this, but i made this, but the tank that the water is coming out of is like 3 inches lower, but doesn't get lower than that.

  30. You need to add 2 overflow boxes at the return pipes entry and exit. If you do not, anything and everything that breaks that siphon will flood your house. I would also highly recommend you do not do the return out of an opaque material. You need to be able to see how much air is trapped in there.

    I love this channel but this is a terrible project that is probably thought up by someone (with a name that starts with a J… and rhymes with flowey 🙂 ) who has a fish-room in a basement with a floor drain. Put this in your living room and it is only a matter of time when your floors will be destroyed. Not kidding, it isn't IF, it is WHEN?

  31. Brother, I know its an old video, i got some questions on drum filtration with media can you advise? If you have any video on that pls give me link,my doubt is ' if I turn off the pump would the water flow back to the pond?! And if , how to avoid them?

  32. cool. I had no idea that you did this. I did this a couple of years back for my two side by side tanks, probably the only difference was that i used a Tupperware container instead of a planter box. It was probably the most effective setup i have ever made. Keep making cool Videos!

  33. Can you do 3 or 4 tanks the same way? Ie four 10 gallons side by side, with a plant across them all. Would you have an outflow for each tank. Or just one with bridges attaching them all?

  34. This is something i would never do. Its unsafe if something interruped the siphon n created a flood. Do the right way if you are in this hobby. A peace of mind n a nice looking tank too. So get the drill n start drilling holes!!!

  35. Can I use the water bridge idea for using two sumps on on tank? settin up my first saltwater tank, 150 gal. I have a small sump but wanted to add another 29 gal diy sump to it., how should I go about doing that?

  36. Cool video!, I'm just doing some research on ram pumps- but they've seem to make a big mess have you ever heard of any type if a water pump that runs without electricity?

  37. Hey Joey, Thank you for suggesting this water bridge apparatus! It really hits the spot hehe 😜

  38. Could you add a weir to one side of this? Anyone can answer! i'm trying to set up a internal filter in a smaller tank and pump it back to my main tank at the same level!

  39. I made sump for my aquarium i did water outlet from tank to sump help of gravity force.everytime i facing the air lock issuce so pls guide me how to solve this

  40. Hi Joey. Can you filter more than two tanks with one filter? I have four 20 gallon aquariums I want to connect with the same pipe method you use. Using one large external filter for all 4. One end I would have the flow and the far end return. Would this work? I'm not a fan of sponge filters and have no space for a sump. These tanks will all be very low stocking mainly plants.

  41. This certainly looks like an interesting idea, especially if you wanted them to be the same parameters for raising fry in one of them. Currently digging around old videos looking for a way to do a few large divided betta tanks on the same filter.

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