Types Of Home Aquarium Filtration

It’s important to have good filtration In your home aquarium because the quality of your water is critical to the health of your fish. The better your filtration, the clear your water will be and the more fish will be able to keep while still maintaining good water quality and a healthy environment.

There are three basic kinds of filtration commonly used in the home aquarium – biological, chemical and mechanical. Often times the filtering system will include two of these types of filtration combined. a good example is the typical aquarium filter that hangs on the outside of the aquarium with it to go into the water that sucks up the water, pushes it through a filter and some sport of sponge and returns it to the tank through the other side. This type of filter uses mechanical filtration as well as biological filtration.

Mechanical filtration is pretty much what it sounds like, it uses mechanical means to filter particles and such from the water. This is your typical filter that has some sort of a pump which sucks the water in and some sort of a filter that the water passes through and then a tray or tube that puts the filtered water back into the aquarium. These can be the power filters that hang off the back of your tank in suck water up through a tube running through a cartridge before pouring it back into the aquarium, or under gravel filters that suck the water down through the gravel actually using the substrate as a filter and then return the water at the top of the tank.

Biological filtration is one that not a lot of people think about but it is very important for your home aquarium. the waste from your fish indicating pieces of money and food are constantly being broken down into ammonia which can be toxic in your fish tank. Biological filtration allows bacteria to keep this ammonia making the water safer for your fish. The thing is that this bacteria needs something to grow in. While the bacteria can grow right in the gravel bed, a lot of mechanical filters include a bio wheel or some type of media or a sponge that the bacteria can grow on.

Chemical filtration relies on the use of chemicals such as carbon or more new chips to absorb the ammonia In the water. Many power filters also come with a little carbon pack that you act to be with water and putting your filter in this carbon pack will be doing the job of chemical filtration. But the bacteria colony in your biological filtration should also be taking this so many people question whether you actually need chemical filtration in your home aquarium.

Aquarium filtration is vital for any aquarium but the size of your tank makes a difference as to which types of filters you use. If you are in doubt, your best bet is to ask the person at you’re aquarium store where you bought the fish tank and they are usually pretty well versed in what type of filters are best for the style and size tank you have. Maintaining your filter and changing the cartridges as recommended its key to having happy healthy fish and a beautiful crystal clear tank.

Lee Dobbins

2 Responses to “Types Of Home Aquarium Filtration”

  1. freeheartfox Says:

    new marine aquarium.?
    hello how are you? i have just set up a new marine aquarium, live rock, live sand, and rigged up a great non-active filter. Its great i made a place for oops factor where i can use carbon only when i need to. for like an hour or two when ammonia and stuff spikes. I have fresh water aquariums of all types. and experienced with them. But salt water is all new and exciting.

    now lol to my questions.

    1- live sand. 3 days into it. I see allot of red and black worms. Cool: at-least i don’t have to stare at a dead tank for 4 weeks lol. Is there anything else that will pop up? like shrimp or something? And how long will it take?

    1-2- all the little things are now making a home and they need to stay. but like i said it’s only 3 days old. Do they need food? Lots of stuff i am told will eat waste and stuff witch will not b in there for 4 more weeks until the first cycle is over. I will have some brine shrimp ready for my Knife in the morning. should i throw some in the new salt water tank to help boost things? (it would be cool to see the finial stage of a brine shrimp.)

    2- what is the use of all this? what cant i have no live sand, or rock and just use active filtration? I know carbon is bad for rocks, reefs and such. For the same reasons as my freshwater plants. but couldn’t you just not have that stuff. Throw in some carbon and some mechanical media and be good?

    and last

    3- when do i know when the first cycle is done?

  2. fuzzy_pink_seahorse Says:

    Other things may or may not pop up in your sand, it depeds on who you got the sand from.

    You should not add anything to the tank during this period.

    Live sand has bacteria in it. It is beneficial to your tank. A filter does not come with bacteria, you must add bacteria so that they can grow in the filter.

    The live sand/rock is for a cycle. A cycle is complete when you see an ammonia spike, a nitrite spike and a nitrate spike. This means that the bacteria in your tank have developed and you can now start adding your fish. This should be done slowly, one at a time with at least a 2-4 week interval between additions. (You will need a test kit to check the parameters)
    References :

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