The filter consists of two parts: a pump that pumps water and a filtering material through which this water flows. There are two types of Fish Tank Filters: submersible, that is, internal filters that fit inside the aquarium (under water) and external filters that are located outside the aquarium and are connected to it with a flexible hose. The filter material in the external filter is much larger than in the internal filter, but the principle of operation of all filters is the same: they pass water through the filter material.
Why do you need a filter in the aquarium
The filter in the aquarium is necessary for the mechanical purification of water from turbidity, for the chemical purification of water from the waste products of fish and other people of the aquarium, and also to mix layers of water. A jet of water from the filter head creates a current in the aquarium. When the filter is installed correctly, the upper and lower layers of water are constantly mixed, contributing to the gas exchange of the aquarium water with the air in the room where it is located. The layer of water in contact with the surface gives up the accumulated carbon dioxide, is enriched with oxygen and goes deep into. There are no stagnant zones in the aquarium and the fish do not stand constantly at the surface, but swim around the whole aquarium, because the concentration of dissolved gases becomes approximately the same everywhere.
Most filters on the spout, from which a jet of water comes out, put on the air intake tube. In this case, the stream of water captures many small air bubbles, the air is forced to be “driven” into the water, and its enrichment with oxygen occurs more efficiently. The air intake tube should go beyond the aquarium (then fresh air is pumped) and be above the water level.
How is the filtration of aquarium water? The filtration process consists of two phases: mechanical and biological. Particles of dirt linger on the filter material – this is the mechanical phase. Then the bacteria saprophytes cover this dirt and decompose it into simple mineral substances – ideally, water, carbon dioxide, nitrates and some others. This is a biological phase. And if it is performed in full, the water in the aquarium will be crystal clear. But this is ideally, that is, if the filter substrate is densely populated with bacteria.
In fact, the filtering filler is a giant colony of microorganisms. But a sufficient number of microorganisms have not yet managed to settle in the new filter. If the filter is washed well each time, then again the necessary microorganisms in the required quantity will not be there. In this case, biological filtration of aquarium water will not be fully implemented. The aquarium water will be saturated with semi-decomposed organic matter, and microorganisms will now spread in large quantities directly in it, making it whitish-cloudy. The filter practically does not detain bacteria and hope to filter them is useless.
What then to do? You can do nothing – it will pass with time. The “correct” bacteria will settle in the filter, when there will be a lot of them, they will not allow the semi-decomposed organic matter to be released into the water and the bacteria freely floating in the water will die of hunger — the white cloud will disappear. The water will become clear, biological balance will be established in the aquarium.
Rinse the filter only as needed, that is, when dirt accumulated on the filter material will interfere with the pumping of water. Never use detergents. It is best to rinse the filter material in water, drained from the same aquarium with its partial substitution. That is, the task of washing the filter to sterility is not worth it, the main thing is to remove the dirt that interferes with the pumping of water.
The process of establishing a biological equilibrium in a new aquarium can be accelerated many times by placing a dirty filter from a prosperous aquarium into it, or adding 10% of old soil. There are special bacterial preparations, which also significantly accelerate this process.
If for any reason you turned off the Fish Tank Filter for a long time, then you need to turn it on again only after washing the filter material. But the fact is that when there is no fresh water stream saturated with oxygen through the filter, anaerobic microorganisms will settle in it instead of useful nitrifying bacteria, which will start to release hydrogen sulfide and methane. And if you run a filter that has been left off for several days, the fish may be poisoned.