Like any living organism, fish in the process of vital activity releases various substances that pollute water, which as a result makes it unsuitable for living. And clean at first glance, water is not a sufficient condition for the successful keeping and breeding of fish. After all, it often happens that even in a newly purchased aquarium, its inhabitants suddenly begin to die. That is why a biofilter for the aquarium is a must.
All filters on the filtration mechanism are divided into three large groups:
Mechanical filters are those that are able to trap large debris that are not dissolved in water.
Chemical filters – used to remove substances already dissolved in water. This type includes activated carbon.
Biological filters are the most important type of filters, as a result of which toxic substances are converted to non-toxic ones. This type of filtering will be discussed below.
A biofilter is not considered a device; it is a whole process leading to the removal of toxic chemical compounds from aquarium water. There are several participants in this process. The main course are aerobic bacteria and microorganisms that feed on various harmful compounds and convert them into less harmful ones. Also take part in cleaning and plants that consume poisonous compounds. No small role is played by the man himself, who must regularly change the water in the aquarium.
Toxic chemicals that adversely affect the condition of the inhabitants of the aquarium:
Ammonia released from urea;
Nitrites – substances that appear in the process of splitting ammonia;
Nitrates are substances resulting from the breakdown of nitrites.
Types of biofilters and their principle of operation
Microorganisms that work hard for the benefit of an aquarium ecosystem can be of two kinds: nitrifying bacteria and nitrobacteria. The first kind breaks down ammonia and turns it into recycled nitrite. The second feeds on nitrites, which contributes to their conversion to nitrates. Nitrates, in turn, are not so harmful to fish as previous compounds. Nitrates are consumed by plants, and residues are removed as a result of water changes.
Biofilters can be flow and irrigation. But in any case, to ensure favorable living conditions, the bacteria need a sufficient amount of oxygen and an acceptable water temperature. Therefore, it is not advisable to disconnect the filter from the aquarium and interrupt its operation.
Active biofilter starts to work only in two months, when there is a population of bacteria. Microorganisms reproduce rather quickly, the main thing is that synchronization of the splitting cycles of all types of harmful substances takes place.
In order for the filter to quickly enter the optimum mode of aeration of water in the aquarium, you should feed the fish constantly and little by little for the systematic release of various substances by them. And at first, ready-made cultures of microorganisms and bacteria can be poured into the aquarium.