DIY BUCKET TRICKLE FILTER
By Mark Coleman
The following plans posted on the Sydney Cichlid Forum by
Mark show how to build a massive capacity trickle filter. You will build
To do the same job as this: ( A commercially available and expensive
wet & dry trickle filter
Go to the Hardware store and by a bucket $10. Drill a hole in the side of
the bucket, about 2 inches ( 5 cm ) from the bottom, (to allow for a sludge
sump). Cut some wide diameter plastic PVC pipe so that you can stand them in
the bottom of the bucket and mount a grill on it (put some cuts in the end
that will be the bottom), I use that white plastic checker mesh for the
grill. The grill needs to be just above the hole you made. Now fill the
bucket with a media of some description, I have used scoria rocks here but
thave since up graded to Bio_balls because I got them cheap. Cover the
scoria / Bio_Balls with a circle of filter wool. The schematic diagramme
(Below) show the basic construction of the filter.
Above view of the filter showing Scoria & filter wool
Nest is the lid
and spray bar set up. The most expensive part of your filter will be this
bit. (The spinner). You must mount the spinner into the centre of the lid.
Other than some end caps, the rest is just pipe. The photo shows an
exploded view of the spray bar assembly.
This is what it should look like (the lid & spray bar assembly) when
assembled. I have cut holes in the lid to assist gas exchange ( no idea if
it helps or not *shrugs*)
That's it, water goes into the top and comes out the bottom!
Stand the bucket in a deep plastic tray, put your pump and heater in the
tray (careful not to have the heater touching plastic!) and you're up and
All photos by Mark Coleman, article by Mark Coleman.
Schematic diagramme redrawn by David Midgley (based on a diagramme by