If you love your pets – fish, snails, shrimps, then you probably want them to live comfortably and safely in an aquarium. An indispensable attribute of any tank with aquatic life will be one of the reliable filters. Learn more about the types of filters and filtering methods, as well as how to make a filter for the aquarium with your own hands.
You, as the owner of the aquarium, should always remember that the water with its inhabitants is a closed biological system, so its high-quality cleaning is vital for everyone in it. Recovery and full cycle of purification can not be achieved without a suitable filter with parameters selected in accordance with the size and contents of the tank.
Internal filter for aquarium
This device is a compact box that is installed directly in the water – on one of the walls or on the bottom. The principle of operation is the simultaneous discharge of an air jet (aeration) and the passage of a stream of water through a filter.
In the unit itself, several processes occur at once:
- Mechanical trapping of large particles of garbage;
- Biological filtration due to beneficial bacteria that purify water;
- Chemical – in the presence of activated carbon filter or an ozonizer oxidizing organic waste in the filter canals.
The main work is performed by spongy material, which contains beneficial bacteria, picks up dirt and can serve as a substrate for chemical cleaners. Your task after installing the filter every three weeks to get a sponge and rinse it from the debris with a stream of water from the tap, then once with boiled cool water.
Despite the desire to clean the sponge clean, keep in mind that with any cleaning good bacteria die, and therefore it is impossible:
- wash the sponge with soap or other means;
- scald with boiling water;
- sterilized in any way.
It is recommended to install Aquael VersaMAX (China) for large tanks, Aquael Turbo Filter Professional for deep tanks, Aqua Szut Super Mini (Poland) for small tanks, JBL CristalProfi and Eheim for super-quality cleaning (Germany) from manufacturers of internal units. The principle works with these devices: the more expensive, the better.
External filter for aquarium
The device is a tank that needs to be installed next to the tank, below the water level, connect the hoses and fill it with water. Lead the air, leave to work.
This device uses not only sponge material, but also a filler made of ceramic. That is, the quality of cleaning is much higher than that of internal ones. Such a unit cleans the dirt with a sponge and ceramics, and nitrogen contamination with good bacteria. They have the extra features of an ultraviolet sterilizer, a carbon dioxide reactor and a thermostat flow. It is necessary to clean much less often – about once a month.
Given that the principle of action itself involves the removal and pumping of large amounts of water outside the aquarium, it is especially important that all the details are of high quality, reliable and tightly closed. Chinese equipment is sold at an affordable price, but users are often dissatisfied with a complicated assembly – there is a fear that the pump will pump water onto your floor. It will happen trouble or not, but difficulties in assembling cause precisely such concerns.
Bottom filter for aquarium
The principle of operation is simple: a rectangular lattice structure several centimeters thick, so-called false, is placed in the tank. Special gravel with a diameter of 3-4 mm is laid on top with a layer of about 8 cm.
Through it, water is drawn into the tubes in the bottom, working from the pump. On the side wall upwards from the false one there is a cavity, which ends with a similarity of a watering can – through it, the drawn filtered water rises to the upper level and returns to the aquarium.
The advantages are quiet operation, perfect compactness and appearance, which does not spoil the view of the tank. The form itself provides a uniform flow of water. And on the gravel a decent colony of beneficial bacteria is formed, which on a wide plane qualitatively purify the water from ammonia.
Designs can be different, they are released rectangular and round shape. For a small round aquarium for 2-3 fish is what you need, because it is almost not visible.
But there are also disadvantages:
- low power of the pump, which makes it unsuitable for high density settlement of fish;
- bad for aquatic plants with a root system;
- dangerous for shrimp, fry and small snails, which fall into the gaps false and die.
Some aquarists consider tributaries an additional kind and recommend installing this type of filter along with a mechanical one.
Phyto filter for aquarium
This is a tray located on top of the tank and filled with substrate and plants. Plant roots are constantly washed by the flow of water coming to the tray through the airlift, pump or outlet tube of an external or internal filter. Then the water flows through the drainage holes back into the tank.
The trick is that active bacterial sludge is formed on the roots of plants, capturing fish from the water, such as nitrates, nitrites and phosphates. Plants eat – fish goes clean water. That is, it is also a biofilter for an aquarium, only a special design.
Make it very easy. It will look, of course, as it is – homemade, but it works fine and does not require any special expenses.
Prepare a plastic tray with drainage holes: width – as the width of the long wall of the aquarium, the depth and height are equal to at least 15 cm. At the bottom, pour the substrate: gravel, clay, crushed stone with a fraction of about 10 mm. Sand is absolutely not suitable. Plant the plants, bring the water in – the filter is ready.
Plant for phytofilter:
- creeping ficus (Ficus repens);
- Fittonia (Fittonia);
- Chlorophytum crested (Chlorophytum comosum);
- Tradescantia (Tradescantia);
- Aglaonema (Aglaonema);
- Philodendron (Philodendron);
- epipremnum golden (Epipremnum aureum, also known as sincapsus);
- rafidophora (Rhaphidophora);
- Cyperus (Cyperus).
The phyto-filter has one drawback – it is bulky and you can’t hide it. When selecting crops in a substrate, remember that the main thing is not the number of plants, but their developed root system.
So, there is a whole line of filters for the aquarium, each type with its own advantages and disadvantages. Choose sensibly: you want to save – there will be more work in the process, you want a minimum of care – take a quality machine. Follow our tips and enjoy the beauty of the home aquarium!