Aquarium Filters

Anyone who starts up a new hobby quickly finds out that most hobbies have their own jargon that can take a while to learn. The same is true for those who are beginning to deal with aquarium filters. The fact is, there are many different kinds of filters and each one is slightly different.

In the next few paragraphs, some of the terms that might be mentioned in discussions with those knowledgeable about fish tanks are included below.

• Bubble up filters – This is a particular kind of an internal filter. These filters are able to use a stream of air bubbles in order to push water up and out of a tube. When this occurs, a pull of water into the filter through the filter media is created.

• External aquarium filters – It often occurs that these kinds of filters are like power filters, however the terms are not always synonymous.

• Skimmer – There are two different types of skimmers – surface and protein. The surface skimmers are basically boxes that are simply placed just below the aquarium itself. The water then “spills” out of the aquarium and into the box. Then, the water is usually siphoned out.

• Under gravel filters are widely popular, but are often used more as supplemental filters than as primary devices. This filter is placed in the very bottom of the tank before anything else. After it has been placed, other items like gravel and water can be put into place.

• Wet/Dry filters – The metabolic activity of beneficial bacteria is affected by the use of these filters. This actually helps more beneficial bacteria to be created at a quicker rate. The basic way that these operate is: The water is first spread over a media that is for the most part exposed to a lot of air; as the random patterns of water formulate and move across the media, this means the media is constantly kept wet with a very film sheet of water; the media is able to play host to many kinds of bacteria.

By understanding how each of these aquarium filters works, you can begin to understand a lot of information about a lot of things you may not have known before. For example, there are many kinds of filters and many different kinds of fish.

Naturally, not all the fish are going to be comfortable with all of the filters. But, one of the important things that can now be done is to try to understand ore about the fish that are in your aquariums. If you find that your fish are needy for more beneficial bacteria, then maybe you will need to find an aquarium filter that is able to produce large amounts of these bacteria.

Aquarium filters can be studied for a long time because there are many different types, but by at least learning a bit more information, you will be that much mote prepared the next time you are trying to decide what you can do that would be most beneficial to all of your fish.

Aquarium filters work in three ways: biological, mechanical, and chemical.

• Biological filters – these are micro bacterial and plants, although plants provide little filtration and are sometimes more of a burden on your filter.
• Mechanical filters – these work by pushing water though a media for particles to get caught on. The finer the media the smaller the particles caught. Be aware the finer the media the more likely it will get clogged. Some filters come with a sump pool for collecting larger pieces of debris. Mechanical filters need to be cleaned frequently.
• Chemical filters – these aquarium filters usually use activated carbon. The carbon absorbs toxins until it is saturated. The carbon needs to be changed often and this is critical because the carbon will actually begin to release toxins once saturated. There are also some chemical resins which can also be used for filtration. Please read the directions on those resins carefully.

Aquarium filters can be either submersible or non-submersible. For best filtration, it’s wise to use multiple units. Here is a list of some different models of filters.

• Hanging power filters – these hang off the back of the tank. Use an air pump to push water through filter and out via spillway.
• Corner box filters – these draw water through media in a plastic or acrylic box. Powered by an external air pump.
• Under gravel filters – these draw dirty water through gravel and optional other media cartridge. You will have a plastic tray that will hold the gravel up from the bottom of the tank.
• Sponge filters – these draw water through a sponge which traps particles using an air pump.
• Canister filters – these aquarium filters use all three media categories. Pumps water out of tank into canister where it is filtered biologically, mechanically, and chemically. The water is then pumped back into tank via spillway.

For Fish & Pet Lovers!