Water is known to be the source of life, and in the aquarium there is also a living environment. The life of many inhabitants of the aquarium will depend directly on the quality of this water. Have you ever seen how fish are sold in non-filter round aquariums? These are usually cockerel fish that cannot be kept together. The spectacle of muddy water and half-dead fish is not particularly pleasing to the eye.
So, we can conclude that without the filter the fish are bad, so we will consider this question in more detail.
Variety of filters by task
There may be many in the water undesirable substances in different states. In turn, we can distinguish three types of filters that are designed to remove these substances from the water:
- a mechanical filter that retains debris that has not dissolved in water;
- chemical filter that binds dissolved compounds. The simplest example of such a filter is activated carbon;
- biological filter that turns toxic compounds into non-toxic.
The last of the filters, namely biological, will be the focus of this article.
Biofilter – an important component of the aquarium ecosystem
The prefix "bio" always means that live microorganisms are involved in the process, ready for a mutually beneficial exchange. These are helpful ammonia absorbing bacteria, from which the inhabitants of the aquarium suffer, turning it into nitrites and then into nitrates.
This is a vital component of a healthy aquarium, because literally all organic compounds decompose, forming harmful ammonia. A sufficient amount of beneficial bacteria controls the content of ammonia in the water. Otherwise, sick or dead individuals will appear in the aquarium. I can also boom algae from the abundance of organic matter.
The case remains small, create habitat for bacteria and comfortable environment.
We colonize bacteria
Bacteria need to settle on any surface, only so they can begin full-fledged livelihoods. This is the whole essence of the biofilter, which is home to good bacteria. It is only necessary to start the flow of water through it and the filtration process will begin.
Such bacteria are found on all surfaces of the aquarium, soil and decorative elements. Another thing is that for the process of converting ammonia to nitrates need a lot of oxygen. That is why large colonies cannot be located in places with insufficient oxygen enrichment or weak water circulation, and there is little benefit from small colonies.
Bacteria are colonized on the sponges of a mechanical filter, especially with large volumes of filler. There are also additional details that contribute to biofiltration, such as a bio-wheel.
If for some reason you cannot afford a good filter or you are interested in making it yourself, then this is quite a feasible task. Bacteria willing to settle as in the expensive filter, and in the self-made. Craftsmen have developed a lot of effective models, consider a few of them.
Model "bowl in a glass"
Materials for the manufacture of the filter will require the most simple. What you need to prepare to get started:
- 0.5 l plastic bottle;
- a plastic tube with a diameter that fits perfectly into the neck of the bottle (equal to the internal diameter of this neck);
small pebbles 2–5 mm in size;
- synthetic winterizer;
- compressor and hose.
A plastic bottle is cut into two unequal parts: a deep bottom and a small bowl from the throat part. This bowl should be a stretch to enter the deep bottom part. On the outer circumference of the bowl we make 2 rows of 4–5 holes with a diameter of 3–4 mm, put a plastic tube in the neck. It is important to trace if there are any gaps between the neck and the tube, if there is one – fix it by showing ingenuity. The tube should protrude slightly from the bottom of the bowl, after which we place this pair in the second half of the bottle. When the bowl is installed in the bottom, the tube should slightly rise above the whole structure, while its lower part should not reach the bottom. If everything is installed correctly, water can flow into it easily.
When the base is ready, proceed to the next step – pour 5–6 cm of pebbles directly onto the bowl and cover with a padding polyester. Put the compressor hose into the tube and fasten it securely. It remains only to place a homemade biofilter in the water and turn on the compressor.
This filter is ingeniously simple in design, as is its principle of operation. Sintepon needed as a mechanical filter, preventing too rapid contamination of pebbles. Air from the aerator (compressor) will enter the biofilter tube and immediately rush out of it. This process will entrain the oxygen-enriched water to pass through the filler (gravel), delivering oxygen to the bacteria, then flow through the holes in the lower part of the tube and again be thrown into the water in the aquarium.
This modification of the homemade biofilter will also require a compressor. To make it you need:
- plastic bottle 1-1,5 l .;
- pebbles, gravel, or any other filler that is used for biofiltration;
- a thin layer of foam rubber;
- plastic clamp for fixing foam;
- compressor and spray hose.
With the help of awls, we generously punch the bottom of the bottle so that the water can easily flow into the inside of the bottle. This place should be wrapped in foam rubber and fixed with plastic clips so that the gravel does not get dirty too quickly. We pour the filler into the bottle to about half, and from above, through the neck, we feed the compressor hose with the sprayer.
The bottle size can be chosen the larger, the more powerful the compressor and the larger the aquarium itself. The principle of operation of this biofilter is as follows – water is drawn out of the bottle due to the airlift, while pulling the water through the perforated bottom of the bottle. Thus, the entire mass of the filler is enriched with oxygen. Perforation should be done as low as possible so that the entire volume of gravel is involved.
Filter for large aquariums
For those who already have a good mechanical filter, you can simply retrofit it. The output from this filter must be attached to an airtight container with gravel or other filler suitable for this purpose, so too small a filler is not suitable. On the one hand, clean water will enter the tank, enriching it with oxygen, and, on the other hand, will go out. Due to the fact that the pump creates a powerful flow of water, you can take a large tank with gravel.
For huge aquariums need a much more powerful biofilter, which can also be made by yourself. You will need 2 filter flasks for cleaning tap water and a pump for heating in a private house. One flask should be left with a mechanical filter, and the second should be filled, for example, with fine gravel. We connect them tightly together with the help of water hoses and fittings. As a result – an effective external canister type biofilter.
In conclusion, it must be said that all these options of the biofilter for the aquarium are practically free, however, the help for a good microclimate in the aquarium from them is essential. In addition, you can populate the aquarium with algae, giving good coverage and CO 2. Plants also do a good job of removing ammonia from the water.