A fish tank filter is an important part of any aquarium. The right filter will keep your water clean and healthy for your fish. There are a lot of different filters on the market, so how do you know which one is right for you? This blog post will discuss the several types of filters available and help you decide which one is right for your aquarium. Stay tuned!
Categories of Fish Tank Filter Types:
The different types of filters are broken into three categories: biological, chemical, and mechanical.
Biological filters are natural processes that the tank’s inhabitants carry out. They reduce waste through natural chemical reactions to produce less harmful compounds. This process is known as the nitrogen cycle. Biological filtration occurs in both freshwater and marine aquariums when bacteria break down ammonia or nitrite into less toxic substances like nitrate.
The primary sign of a healthy fish tank is low levels of nitrates (no more than 10 ppm). The most common type of biological filter used in fish tanks is live plants, but there are also some good DIY options, such as using mud from under a creek bed to seed an above-ground garden area for your fish to play in.
Chemical filters use substances such as activated carbon to remove dissolved pollutants from the water, making it safer for the fish by reducing the number of toxins they are exposed to.
The best chemical filter media can be easily regenerated. However, this becomes difficult when considering saltwater setups where regeneration usually means throwing away excellent media. If you have a freshwater aquarium or want to take less care with your aquarium setup, then chemical filtration is probably ideal for you.
The primary purpose of mechanical filtration is to physically remove undesirable materials from the tank’s water, much like a sponge traps particles as water passes through it. The most common forms of mechanical filtration are simple biological filters, such as aquarium wool or ceramic rings.
These 10 gallon fish filters are simple to use and maintain, but they trap even the smallest particles (which is both good and bad). Mechanical filtration will remove dirt from your water and small bits of food or fish waste that may be suspended in the water.
Types of Filters:
There are several types of filters you can use on your aquarium. They range from big free-standing filters on the back that resemble a refrigerator too small sponge pads clipped on the side of the tank. Each type has its pros and cons, so here’s what you should look for when considering each type for your new or existing aquarium setup.
Hang On Filter:
A simple canister-style filter placed on top or inside your aquarium is usually used as a chemical filter. Often, these filters have spray bars to adjust the water movement and water filtration.
This is an old-school biological filter system that runs under your gravel substrate. It works well for small tanks but will require weekly cleaning/maintenance if you have larger tanks (over 40 gallons). Hang On Filters: These types of filters typically sit on the back of the tank and connect to a tube hanging over the back of the tank that leads to a spray bar.
The advantage of these filters is that they’re fairly easy to use and do not take up much space – which is great if you don’t have a lot of room or extra cash for your fish tank filters. You can also buy disposable cartridge filters or permanent filter media such as sponges, pads, and wool.
If you choose to go with the basic hang on the model, be prepared for some maintenance work, as these filters will need weekly cleanings because particles build up easily in them. The more expensive models come with several stages of filtration and much easier-to-use lids for refilling and cleaning.
If you want a filter that’s easy to move from one tank to another, this is the way to go. Most models are either attached directly to the side of your tank or can be filled with an air pump for added water movement and oxygenation. It’ll do a better job of clarifying your water, but you will need more frequent cleanings because particles easily build up in these filters.
A very basic aquarium filter system. The sponge sits inside a small container, usually over a battery-powered air pump that bubbles the water through it and then out into your aquarium. Sponge filters get dirty quickly, so you have to maintain them regularly by changing the sponges every 2 months.
By far the most popular type of filter. They are easy to work with and offer flexibility in terms of media, size, and flow rate. This type typically sits outside your aquarium on the floor, or it can be placed inside your tank since they come with adjustable legs that vary depending on what size tank you have.
Canisters come with a filtration system that works well for both saltwater and freshwater tanks. If you have an especially dirty tank, consider getting the model with more stages of filtration.
Internal Fish Tank Filter:
These types of filters come with an impeller that moves water through your aquarium to pick up dirt and waste particles. You can adjust them accordingly depending on how much current you want.
They work best if you only have a few small fish in your tank – otherwise, they won’t be as effective for increasing oxygenation because there’s not enough water movement inside the tank. Most models are placed inside your aquarium, but some can hang from the back or sit on top – which is helpful if you don’t have any space in your stand.
Here are a few tips to help you choose the right aquarium filter for your fish tank:
- Before buying a new filter, clean your old one thoroughly with a gravel washer and replace the water inside. This will remove most of the dirt from your old filter, which will make it more efficient.
- If you have an exceptionally dirty tank, consider purchasing a multi-stage filter because they can better handle larger particles, poop, and food that may be stuck to the filter media.
- Do not buy a filter with basic filtration if you want increased oxygenation in your tank – otherwise, things like beneficial bacteria and nitrifying bacteria won’t grow as quickly inside your filter system. Instead of wasting money on multiple filters, opt for a filter with extra stages, and remember to buy a de-chlorinator and water conditioner before you add any new fish.
If you already have an aquarium, you need some sort of filtration system to keep it clean and healthy. Remember that the size of your filter will depend on how large your fish tank is.
An external canister filter is the best choice for larger tanks, while smaller ones should use internal or sponge filters. There are many different types of filters available, including air-driven boxes or hang-on options so do your research before choosing one.
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