By itself, filtration in an aquarium with plants is not as important as the circulation of water in it. In an aquarium with such a high level of illumination as 1 watt / l, the process of photosynthesis in aquarium plants occurs very quickly, which means that the consumption of nutrients (CO2, macro- and microelements) by them is also accelerated. Imagine that at each moment of time on the surface of the sheet under the action of the energy of light is absorbed a portion of nutrients for the life of the aquarium plant. In order for this process to be stable, it is necessary to carry out a quick supply of the next batch of nutrients to the surface of the sheet. This is the function of the flow of water in the aquarium. Not having a uniform flow in the entire volume of aquarium water, leaving areas with weak flow or without it at all, we, in fact, deprive the plants in these areas without nutrition. What is fraught with a stop of plant growth in these areas, or even death. And where it happens, algae appear.
The condition for normal flow in an aquarium is the circulation of water through a filter in a 10-fold volume of the aquarium per hour. For example, for an aquarium of 60 liters you need to have a filter with a capacity of 600 l / h. Why do you need such a powerful pumping and how can you avoid a typhoon with her in an aquarium? The fact is that in aquariums by the type of aquascap, and in any aquariums with a large number of plants, very dense planting of the plants and the plants themselves are an obstacle to the flow of water in the aquarium. In fact, the density and density of the environment in such an aquarium is much higher than in an aquarium without plants, or with a small number of plants. With a weak circulation, a bunch of plants can deprive the plant of food after it.
It is also important that the flow should be uniform. If we just leave the narrow outlet of the filter in the aquarium, the intensive flow of water will be strictly directed and it will really resemble a typhoon, which can also pull some plants out of the ground. We also need to distribute the flow evenly over the entire volume of the aquarium with moderate intensity in all areas.
A good solution is to use special pipes for external filters of the Lily pipe type (in the form of a lily). The shape of the nozzle provides a wide flow and more uniform throughout the volume of the aquarium. Branded glass tubes are quite expensive, but on the other hand, their aesthetic appearance deserves that money. The budget option, without aesthetics, but doing your job is a scrap of a plastic bottle.
Low cost plastic bottle nozzle
External or internal filter – does not matter. The only drawback of the internal filter is that it takes up a lot of space in the aquarium. But internal filters are cheaper than external ones. Of the aquarium equipment available on our market, the Eheim, Hagen, Tetra filters are worth attention. At least, the passport data of the performance of these filters are close to real values.
As for the filtering itself, in the aquarium that we create, you only need to organize mechanical filtration. Biofiltration is organized by itself and we will not worry about it. Therefore, we will fill the filter only with ordinary washcloths, preferably with large-pore, so as not to reduce the performance of the filter. It may also be useful to use activated carbon, especially at the stage of launching the aquarium. Activated carbon selectively absorbs organic matter – the waste products of fish and plants. In the first month of aquarium life, its microflora has not yet been formed and there is no one to split organic matter. Its excess is one of the causes of algae problems during the launch phase.
About activated carbon
You can often hear that you can not use activated carbon in herbalists. Allegedly, it binds nutrients, which adversely affects aquarium plants. This is only partly true. In fact, activated carbon binds mainly organic compounds (organic), and then, not all. A list of interesting compounds for aquarists that may or may not be bound by activated carbon:
- Activated carbon does not bind macro: nitrates, phosphates, potassium.
- Activated carbon does not bind metal ions included in the composition of micronutrients.
- Activated carbon binds many chelators such as EDTA, DTPA. Moreover, activated carbon can bind and complexes of these chelates with metals.
- Activated carbon does not bind iron gluconate and other metal gluconates that are included in the composition of micronutrients. Therefore, you can safely use activated carbon in aquariums with AQUAYER fertilizers, but it is not advisable to use them in the case of improvised fertilizers according to my recipe.
- Activated carbon binds glutaraldehyde
The use of other, more expensive fillers is important for maintaining an aquarium filled only with fish and practically free from plants. We will use natural filtration methods – in an aquarium with a large number of plants, many of the filtering functions are performed by the plants themselves. Plants absorb ammonia / ammonium, that is, they act as a replacement for the biofilter. In fact, it is more correct to call it microflora (filter, or aquarium), since this process can hardly be called filtration. The term biofiltration is supported by filter manufacturers to raise their value. Any substrate will ultimately serve as a medium for microorganisms.
Plants also absorb phosphates with nitrates, and at such a rate that we will have to add them with aquarium fertilizers.
Plants also perform the function of mechanical filtration. Due to the large biomass, and, consequently, a large surface area, in herbalist plants, in fact, work as a filter, retaining small particles from the water layer on the leaf surface. And ground cover plants do not allow turbidity to rise from the ground – this is one of the reasons why such aquariums do not need to siphon the ground.
It is important to monitor the degree of clogging of the filter. A clogged filter gives less water (at times) and contains a lot of organic matter. Keep track of whether the flow of water has decreased extremely difficult. This can be the invisible enemy of balance in an aquarium. Therefore, it is necessary to clean the filter once a month and a half.
And all the above processes should work around the clock, that is, the filter should work all the time.