DIY Homemade Sponge Bio Ceramic Filter

DIY Homemade Sponge Bio Ceramic Filter with Minute Maid Juice Bottle

I have a new hobby, or passion for fish which officially started on my very last Birthday. A few weeks before that Trinity received five gold fish from the church fair. We always had one goldfish in a small bowl, but never took it seriously. We fed it, cleaned it sometimes, and the fish survived fine. But now with six goldfish, we had to upgrade to a bigger tank with a filter and light. Even so, we couldn't keep them alive. The five new ones died within a week and we were left with our original one. As you might know, I am a "do something about it" kind of person, and it was time that I took fish business a little more seriously. One thing led to another, today, I have two aquariums, and have breed four batches of frys from different freshwater livebearers.

My nephew has been a fish guy for a long time and had mentioned that he had an extra tank if I wanted it. I hesitate for a long time...until this incident. So on my Birthday he brought over his spare aquarium with all the necessary equipment for me to get started, and gave me three of his baby cichlids too.

Six weeks ago, I had no idea what kinds of fish there were, and how to take care of them, or if they are fresh or salt water. Today, I can tell you which fish is male or female, which is pregnant, ready to give birth, their names and how to maintain an aquarium. And on top of all that, I made a tutorial on how to build a Homemade Sponge Bio Ceramic Ring Filter. I watched a lot of the YouTube videos on how to build a homemade filter. There are probably only a handful that is good or might work for what I needed. The biggest reason I wanted to build a filter is because the process fascinates me. See the video here as well:


1) A bottle, container: I inspected a few different bottles for size and width, not only it has to be appropriate for the items I needed inside, but has to work with my aquarium size. So when you're looking around the house. Think about what you're putting inside it and whether it will be appropriate for your aquarium size. I settled on the Minute Maid little juice bottle.
2) Sponges: I used two types of density. You can also buy the filter mesh and sponges at the pet store. But since I wanted to make sure that I like the results before upgrading, I bought a Dollar Tree face wash sponge / mesh for the coarse and a soft dish washing sponge for the fine.
3) Bio Ceramic rings. I bought a box from Amazon.
4) Aquarium pebbles. I had some from previous projects so I took them out and boiled them for 20 minutes for sanitizing. If you want to put anything in your tank, it's a good idea to boil them first to make sure the colors and the material will be resilient enough to withstand the test of time / water.
5) A drill, or a man to drill some holes into your selected bottle.
6) A suction ring. I found a leaf suction ring from the fish tank I just bought off Craigslist.
7) Airline tubing: Long enough to run from the tank out to the air pump.
8) An air pump. I am using the Whisper 10, but you can go to a higher volume if you're making a larger filter.
9) T-connector for airline tubes.

1)  First, mark the holes on your bottle. Space them out evenly. Two rows on the top (which is the bottom of the bottle, since it will be turned up side down). One row around the cap of the bottle where you will be inserting the airline tubing. This will be where the water will be entering from the tank.
2) Drill a hole in the middle of the bottle cap where you will insert the airline tubing through.
2) Cut the sponges to fit or match with the diameter of the bottle. You will need a total of 3 round sponges. 1 fine, 1 coarse, and 1 coarse to close up the bottle. Insert the most fine grain of sponge in first, then the coarser sponge goes in next, the last coarse sponge will be one of the last steps.
3) The bio ceramic rings goes in the middle stack five or six rows of them.
4) Put the pebbles in. The pebbles should be 1/3 of the height of the ceramic rings.
5) Cut another coarse sponges to fit the diameter of the bottom (top) of the bottle, and slit a hole in the middle of the sponge.
6) Insert the airline tubing into the cap hole and the through the sponge.
7) Use the airline tubing T-connector (3-way stopper) to secure the tube into place.
8) Close the cap.
9) Connect the other end of the airline tubing into the air pump.
10) Plug the power cord of the air pump to an electrical outlet, and watch the filter do its thing.



  1. Very clever. We waste so much on store bought filters when we can just make it at home.

  2. You go girl!
    You are a good mommy!

    Our goldfish died just a few days ago. I miss it. It didn't do anything , but I'd feed and clean it.
    I'm not really sure why it died.

    Good luck with all your fish babies!

  3. You're so talented and creative! I hope your fishes appreciates all your hard work :-)

  4. Well that's a good way to make the aquarium a much healthier place for the fish. I wouldn't even know where to begin when it comes to fish. I had a small fish tank when I was a kid, but haven't had one since. I kind of want to get one soon as it really adds a nice sight to see in home.


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