Device and principle of operation
To begin with, we will understand what an external filter is for an aquarium, how it is arranged, and also consider the principle of its operation.
Device. An external (or external) cleaner is a container in which the cleaning system is placed. This is a more advanced mechanism than domestic cleaners; it makes water as clean as possible for the life of aquatic vertebrates.
The device itself is located outside the vessel with fish (usually below the water level, in the dresser under the tank), and two hoses are placed in the aquatic environment for collecting dirty water and returning it clean. Thus, the equipment does not occupy valuable space inside the domestic pond.
Modification of almost all external filters is combined. They have a compartment for the automatic filtration of water with a synthetic web or hose that absorbs the mud deposits. In addition, there is an additional department in which the so-called biomaterials are located – a source of bacteria that are significant for the vital activity (coal, ceramic granules).
Without these bacteria, it becomes impossible to maintain the desired biological balance. Bacteria allow you to create the necessary balance of indicators of hardness and acidity of water. Thus, the upper section of the equipment is responsible for automatic functioning, and in the lower section there are auxiliary biomaterials.
Also in the bucket of the cleaner is usually provided for the presence of several baskets, in which the filter mechanism is lowered.
Operating principle. The external cleaner performs several important tasks in parallel – automatic, biological and chemical treatment of water, as well as the absorption of various elements. Through the suction hose, water from the container enters the purifier.
A motor (pump) pumps water into a bucket. Then the water passes through several layers of various filtering mechanisms, and again through the pipe, already clean water, is pumped back into the vessel with the fish. Water can go from top to bottom or vice versa (it all depends on the brand and model of the device).
Did you know? The most expensive home water reservoir in the world, called the Golden Dragon, is estimated at about 5 million US dollars. The vessel is made of gold. And its creator is the shocking British architect and designer Stuart Hughes.
What is the difference from the internal
Almost every amateur aquarist has a difficult task: what kind of filter for the aquarium to choose, internal or external. To help in this matter, we give the differences between these two types of cleaners, as well as consider their pros and cons.
The main differences
The main difference is the volume of these structures. The internal cleaner takes up the volume of the aquarium tank itself, so the size and performance of such a device is always limited. The outer filter is mounted outside the vessel, which means that it does not have such limitations.
Further, we can distinguish such a difference as heat dissipation. Electric motors that drive the flow of water emit quite a lot of heat. The external filter is able to heat the water less, transferring some heat to the room.
The internal filter can dissipate heat only in the surrounding water. This means that the heating of the water at the internal purifier will be higher than that of the external. In the summer, in a room without an air conditioner, an additional source of heat can quite noticeably raise the temperature in the aquatic environment.
The next difference is the auxiliary built-in mechanisms (heater, aeration system and UV sterilization) of the external cleaner, which the internal filter does not have.
And finally, the last difference is the cost of the structures. An internal cleaner usually costs less for an aquarist’s wallet than an external cleaner.
An important plus of outdoor equipment is that it does not occupy space in the aquarium tank, and this means that there is a place for other auxiliary equipment or decor. It is enough to hide the device in a dresser or place it on the floor next to the aquarium tank.
The minus of the external cleaner is that it is not so easy to connect it, and in case of leakage or damage there is a threat of draining the vessel with the fish.
The plus of the internal cleaner is safety in terms of fluid leaks (water leaks are impossible, because the equipment is located inside the tank and the entire filtration process is carried out inside the aquarium).
In addition, this filter is more silent at work. Plus, it is quite affordable. For families with small children, the indisputable advantage of the internal cleaner is that children will not have direct access to the device, and this allows you to protect yourself from a multitude of problems.
The lack of an internal filter is that, as already noted, it takes up a lot of space in the aquarium. In addition, these devices are not the most beautiful appearance (they are often tried to mask).
So, in choosing the type of cleaner, it all depends on the specific operating conditions of the Fish Tank Filter, as well as on the requirements for this mechanism.
Did you know? The female eel, Pati, remains record holder among long-lived aquarium fish. It is known that she was born in 1860, and at merla at the age of 88 in the Swedish museum in 1948.
How to choose
Now let’s figure out how to choose external filters that are suitable for your aquarium. In order not to be mistaken and not get a bitter disappointment, you need to focus on the following parameters.
Choosing the filtering mechanism for the aquarium, consider its technical parameters. Pay attention to such indicators as: the volume of pumped water, the load (the number of sediments being filtered), the preferred water flow for fish.
The main thing you need to pay attention to is performance. Power technology is determined by its ability to pass a certain amount of water for a certain period of time. Performance, most often, is fixed (on the device packaging indicated 300 l / h or 1000 l / h).
If you do not want to calculate the required throughput of the equipment, you can simply consider the recommended volumes of the aquarium for a specific cleaner model, noted by the manufacturer on the package.
Another important technical characteristic of filtering equipment is noise. Quality mechanisms are noisy, but quiet.
There is one more small but important side of the technical device of the filtering mechanism – this is its equipment and build quality. Some specimens, even mechanical ones, are equipped with two tanks, some with one, others with auxiliary nozzles for aeration and other details.
Some devices are easy to disassemble and clean, others difficult. Therefore, selecting the most suitable equipment for you on the market, inspect the equipment and its accessories, think how much you need them.
Consider the world’s best manufacturers of external filters for the aquarium.
The most popular is Aquael – a brand that is positioned first in the issue of value for money. Good technology will please not only excellent filtration of water, but also a long period of operation.
Important! If there is such an opportunity, try not to acquire dubious filters of unknown brands. Trademarks that have managed to establish themselves in the market are trying to make their products high-quality and noiseless.
Modern manufacturers of aquarium products offer their customers a wide variety of external filters. Available there are models of various price categories, from rather accessible to indecently expensive.
On the external filtration system, the price is much higher than on the internal one. Often, good cleaning equipment is even more expensive than many aquariums. The average price of an external filter for an aquarium with a volume of 200-400 liters is about 1500-3500 hryvnia.
Installation and usage rules
So, the device you just bought is ready for installation. Each model has a different process (it is listed in the instructions for use), so we will not paint all the installation steps for all the components. Let us dwell only on general aspects:
- First of all, remove the cleaning filler backfillers and sponges with the equipment from the bags;
- then rinse the case, containers, all backfillers and sponges with warm water to wash off factory dust;
- pack all backfillers as noted in the technical instructions.
It is also necessary to monitor fluid leaks. If you find water leaking somewhere, stop filling the device until the leakage is eliminated.
The equipment itself does not require too much effort to maintain. Cleaning can occur in any place convenient for you, you only need to disconnect the equipment from the hoses and disconnect from the network. Under certain conditions of quality and purity of water in the aquarium, it is necessary to clean it every 2-3 months.
Important! Most amateur hobbyists feed the fish while the cleaner is running. However, when using dry food or small crustaceans, most of them will be absorbed by technology. It is for this reason that before you pour in the food, turn off the cleaner. As soon as the fish finish their meal, you can turn on the technique again.
The fish will be much more comfortable if their house is like a natural habitat, albeit with the help of technology. We hope that this small instruction has answered some of your questions regarding how to choose an external filter for the aquarium.