Filter for aquarium – external or internal?
Practically every beginner aquarist faces this choice – what kind of filter to put in your aquarium – internal or external?
In most imported aquariums (especially inexpensive and from the middle segment), the internal filter is included in the kit, so this question, if it does, then not immediately. But for simplicity, we will decide that in a new aquarium, which already stands in its place, there is no equipment and its selection is the task of the newly-made owner.
The internal filter, oddly enough, has advantages over the external one:
The biggest is the price. After all, the internal filter is several times cheaper than the external one, and this often plays a decisive role.
In addition, the internal filter cannot flow – in principle, this is impossible, since, unlike the external one, the internal filter is inside the aquarium and beyond its walls the water cannot get out of it anywhere in principle.
Another advantage – taking care of the internal filter takes very little time – it takes just a few minutes a week to wash the sponge.
What are the disadvantages?
The main drawback of the internal filter is a small amount of filter materials, usually it is just a sponge, in some cases a small compartment with bio-filler and / or activated carbon.
Actually, this deficiency causes all the others, namely:
– the need for frequent cleaning sponge – usually 1 time per week
– the filtering quality of the internal filter is lower than that of the external
– in most cases there is no possibility of using additional fillers – such as activated carbon, zeolite, peat, antiphosphate and antinitrate fillers
In addition, the internal filter takes place in the aquarium and stands out much more than the input and output hoses of the external filter.
About merits external filters You can talk for a long time, practically sing songs:
– huge amount of filter materials
– as a rule, higher than internal ones
– multi-stage filtration – usually the filter kit includes fillers for mechanical (sponge), biological (bio-fillers) and chemical (activated carbon or zeolite) filtration
– as a consequence of the above – a much higher quality water purification
– The external filter requires attention to itself much less often than the internal one – as a rule, no more than once every 2-3 months. Some extremals do not clean the filter for 6-12 months, but we still recommend looking there more often.
But what about the disadvantages?
Alas, it will not do without them:
– The main and main disadvantage of any external filter is the risk of leakage. There are more and less reliable models (for example, for Eheim Classic models, leaks are extremely rare due to the very simple design), but in any case there is a risk. Of course, in most cases, the leakage does not occur sharply and in a stream, but a little by little, therefore, it is necessary to check the condition of the filter especially within 1 day after routine cleaning – in most cases, leaks occur after the filter has been disturbed. It is also recommended to change all gaskets (which you can purchase) for prophylaxis once every few years.
– If you decide to clean the external filter, it will not do for five minutes – at least, lay it down for maintenance for 20-30 minutes – after all, all sponges should be thoroughly rinsed (and fine-cleaned sponges – replaced), free of bio-fillers from excess dirt, rinsing them in water aquarium, it is desirable to brush with a brush (for example, an old dental one) the filter rotor and the chamber in which it is located, and also to clean the hoses from fouling. For this there are special cleaners.
– An important aspect is the price. Even an inexpensive external filter is much more expensive than an internal one.
Nevertheless, we always recommend our customers to purchase an external filter, because by the totality of its properties it is significantly ahead of its internal counterpart.