How to Make a Homemade Holding Tank Filter

The sweet smell of saving money!  How to make your single-use holding-tank filter reusable time and time again!

Gary Oster

 

Ever been in an anchorage rafted up with friends or in a marina and face embarrassment due to the smell emanating from your boat after someone flushed?

Depending on your location, getting a replacement filter could be difficult and then, of course, there is the exorbitant cost, typically around $125 for one unit.  What if you could say good-bye forever to the high replacement cost and never purchase another filter again?  In other words, just refill the existing unit over and over and over again with simple-to-find and inexpensive aquarium charcoal.

That is exactly what my friend Mark and I decided to do.  We bought a couple of threaded PVC fittings, PVC primer and PVC glue, a box of charcoal, 4“x 6” foam aquarium filter and some Teflon tape.  Total cost for materials was just under $20, the only tools required were a hacksaw, tape measure, sandpaper and a sharpie marker.

Here are the easy to follow steps…

Step 1 – layout all of your materials,

Gary Oster

 

Step 2 – measure existing filter, locate the middle and mark it, then measure ¾” and mark on each side of the mid point.  This is where you will make your two cuts.

Step 3 – once both cuts are completed, dump the existing charcoal into the trash.

Gary Oster

Step 4 – strip the sticker off of filter and discard.

Gary Oster

Sand both recently sawed edges, test fit the male and female threaded PVC fittings and make sure unit will fit snugly onto the mounting bracket.

Gary Oster

Step 5 – prep the filter and PVC fittings with liquid primer (purple). Once it dries, apply PVC glue and install the fittings onto the filter.

Gary Oster

Gary Oster

Step 6 – measure, mark and cut the aquarium foam filter material in a circle the size of the external diameter of the filter.

Gary Oster

Step 7 – pour the charcoal into both halves  and on one side of the filter and wedge the foam.

Gary Oster

Step 8 – put Teflon tape on threaded PVC pipefitting and screw the two ends together. Snap into the bracket, screw each end of the in/out hoses from the holding tank and viola, you are done!

Gary Oster

Total project time:15 minutes.

Total savings: hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your boat, not to mention the ability to always be able to refresh your filter as long as you have a box of charcoal granules onboard.  It is that simple!

Special thanks to Mark Von Rinteln, hand model and head filter, retrofit conspirator!

About Gary Oster

Gary is an avid sport fisherman out of Annapolis, MD, who loves casting, trolling or jigging for rockfish on the bay, chasing marlin offshore, flats fishing for barracuda in the Florida Keys or pulling in monster Halibut in Alaska.

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