Back in the day, I had an Oceanic BioCube 8g aquarium. Although I loved the aquarium, there wasn’t enough room for a skimmer or any sort of carbon/GFO removal product. Needless to say, the aquarium had a constant problem with algae.
I came up with this simple DIY project to help combat the algae problem. Basic sewing skills are required.
- 1/4 yard polyester felt from the fabric store
- Sewing thread in 2 colors (preferably brown and black)
- Sewing machine or sewing needle
- GFO and/or carbon
- Sheet of paper & a pen/pencil
1. Using the pen/pencil and paper, trace the outline of the BioCube filter section to make a pattern. Cut out the pattern.
2. Lay the pattern on a double thickness of the filter floss material. Cut out the pattern.
3. Thread the needle (and bobbin if using a sewing machine) with the appropriate color thread. I use black for carbon filters, brown for GFO filters, and both colors for a mixed filter.
4. Stitch around the filter, but leave a small opening to add the media later.
5. Fill the filter full of carbon, GFO, or a mixture of both. Keep in mind that a GFO filter will need more regular changing than a carbon filter.
6. Sew the opening closed.
7. The filter is finished. Gently rinse it in RO/DI water to remove small particulates of carbon/GFO. Place it into the filter slot!
1. I used a polyester felt from the fabric store. If you find the filter gets clogged too fast, then look for a more open-mesh felt. Obviously, if it isn’t clogging up fast enough, then use a thick, tight-mesh felt.
2. Use only the pure white felt as the colored felts contain dyes that may be harmful to aquatic inhabitants.
3. These are disposable – they are not meant to be reused.
4. I ran one carbon filter for three weeks per month. I ran one GFO filter for the remainder of the month. Adjust filter run times for your application.