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AQUARIUM FILTER BUYER'S GUIDE



The choice of an aquarium water filter should be taken very carefully, as it is an important part of the successful maintenance of the aquarium and all its inhabitants.

AQUARIUM FILTER, WHAT IS IT FOR?

An aquarium is a closed environment. All waste products from the aquarium inhabitants will accumulate in the aquarium if no measures are taken to purify it.

If the concentration of ammonium, nitrate or other toxic chemicals in the aquarium reaches dangerous levels, the fish may become ill or even die.

An aquarium filter is indispensable for solving this problem.

Selecting an aquarium filter


HOW DOES AN AQUARIUM FILTER WORK?

An aquarium filter performs a number of functions that help keep the water clean and the aquarium fish healthy.

The filter removes solids and decomposing organic matter from the water. These include uneaten food, dust particles deposited in the water, decaying plant leaves, etc.

The filter will also remove toxic chemicals that accumulate during the life cycle of the fish - ammonium, nitrate and other toxins. If these toxins are not removed, they can quickly reach high concentrations in the water and quickly poison your fish.

AQUARIUM FILTER FUNCTIONS

There are three different methods of aquarium filtration: biological, chemical and mechanical.

Every aquarium at least uses biological filtration. Aquariums are small ecosystems, and in order to maintain biological equilibrium, they should contain a healthy colony of beneficial microbes that help filter the water and keep it clean.

Subsequently, other filtration methods can be added to increase the filtration capacity or to cope with a heavier load than the simple biological method.

These additional methods are chemical and mechanical filtration.
Some professional filters use all three methods simultaneously to ensure the best result - a safe and clean environment for your fish.

Selecting an aquarium filter

BIOLOGICAL FILTRATION

Biological filtration uses beneficial bacteria that process waste produced by fish, plants, etc.

The substrate actually works as the most important element of a biological filtration system as it provides a large surface area for the microorganisms to grow and flourish.

It is important that the aquarium establishes a biological equilibrium before introducing fish, as it takes 1-2 weeks for a colony of beneficial bacteria to begin to develop on gravel or sand.

Since the substrate is so important for biological filtration, it is also important to clean it regularly when you change the water in the aquarium. Use a gravel vacuum to suck out uneaten food particles and waste products from the fish.

Never rinse the gravel in hot water as this will kill the entire population of beneficial bacteria, which are directly involved in the biological equilibrium process.

Plants are also a very important part of the biofiltration system.

The efficiency of biological filtration can be increased by introducing crustaceans and snails which also help in the filtering of the water.

CHEMICAL FILTRATION

Chemical filtration functions by using carbon or chemical resins or other adsorbent materials to clean dissolved particles in the aquarium.

Activated carbon is full of millions of tiny pores or holes that act as little "pockets" for all the suspended matter in the water. These pockets collect all the dirt from the water until they are clogged, after which the carbon is simply turned into a biological filter.

Chemical filtration can remove other chemicals such as copper and chlorine, as well as dissolved proteins and carbohydrates found in feed and fish waste. Carbon can also absorb any drugs you have diluted in the water.

Pay particular attention to antibiotics. If you treat fish in the aquarium, remove the carbon filter element first and do not install it until the treatment period is over.

MECHANICAL FILTRATION

Mechanical filtration works by filtering the water in the aquarium through a sponge medium that physically traps debris and solid particles that float freely in the water column. This can be a porous sponge, synthetic foam or some other kind of material that is placed inside the filter to trap dirt as it passes through it.

There are two key elements to make sure that the mechanical filter is operating at maximum efficiency: flow rate and filter media.

Mechanical filters are usually supplied with pre-set water flow rates, but you can also change them manually. For example, you can reduce the flow rate if you keep fish such as bettas.

Filter elements for such water filters are now widely available in the trade and come in various shapes, sizes and densities.

Filter elements with too small pores will clog quickly and need frequent cleaning, while filter elements with large pores, on the other hand, need to be cleaned much less frequently, but the filtration quality will also be worse. You have to find the compromise when selecting the quality of the filter strainer.

Selecting an aquarium filter


HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST FILTER FOR YOUR AQUARIUM


There are many different variables to consider when selecting the right aquarium filter for your aquarium. These include the size of the aquarium, filtration technology, whether you are using a cold or tropical water aquarium, fresh or salt water, aquarium lighting and more. Here are the basic requirements on the basis of which an aquarium filter should be selected:

SIZE OF THE AQUARIUM
All aquarium filters come with the aquarium size for which they are suitable, which is stated on the box. Do not disregard this information.


FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY
Which filter technology is suitable for your aquarium? Is a small internal filter sufficient or do you need a canister filter? Some filter types require more frequent maintenance, which may not always be a good choice if you are often away from home and do not have the time to carry out systematic maintenance.


POPULATION OF FISH FILTERS
You need to choose a filter that will remove all ammonia and other toxins released by fish into the water. If you choose a filter that is too small for the fish population in the aquarium, you may encounter higher levels of toxins than are safe for the aquarium inhabitants.


WATER FACILITIES
Do your fish enjoy rough water or prefer more currenty water? Many fish do not like strong water currents and have a hard time adapting to filters that create a strong current. Consider the requirements of your fish and choose a filter that does not make them uncomfortable.


HAVING AN AQUARIUM COVER
The aquarium lid also imposes particular requirements on the aquarium filter design.

WHAT ARE THE BEST AQUARIUM FILTER BRANDS?

In the world of aquarium filters, there are a number of reliable and reputable brands, including Eheim, Aqueon, Aquaclear, Fluval, Hydor, Penn Pax and others. These companies have been producing filters and accessories for many years.

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