Everything related to the aquarium External filter
In a modern aquarium, external filters have firmly taken their place. Previously, the external filter could only be seen by aquarists who were professionally engaged in fish breeding and very rarely by amateurs. At that time, airlift filters, usually operated by a compressor, were used, as well as mostly home-made hinged filters, or as they are called, filters, backpacks or waterfalls. I still remember my feelings when I was a ten-year-old kid, along with a plexiglass aquarium that had been seen, assembled on screws, got a mounted filter made by an aquarist; . By the way, that aquarium served me for about five years, neons felt great in it, gourams, echinodoruses and a number of plants grew barbs.
But time does not stand still, with the development of aquarism has changed the approach to the content of the aquarium. Increasingly began to use various technical devices. The composition of fish and plants contained in the aquarium has changed, many species demanding of water quality have appeared, and the density of fish landing has also increased. Accordingly, to help the aquarist, more and more sophisticated and technologically advanced devices began to appear. Of course, all these useful devices certainly make life easier for the aquarist and expand the possibilities for maintaining more demanding inhabitants of the aquarium. But all the same, it is necessary to strive to understand the essence of the natural processes occurring in the artificial pond, and not to rely only on the modern technical equipment of the aquarium. Technical means, this is help to the aquarist, but they will never replace the aquarist himself. There should not be such an attitude as I bought a cool external filter, set all the problems solved, such an attitude would rather lead to bigger problems than to success. I apologize for the slight lyrical digression.
External filter, device and principle of operation.
External, or as it is also called a canister filter, is a container, filter material is placed in it, it can be very diverse, we will talk about this a little later. The external filter is located next to the aquarium, most often in the cabinet under the aquarium. With the help of the canister, we provide the bacteria involved in the water filtration process with additional space and create conditions for their reproduction and effective work. Due to the fact that the canister is located quite large, we can outside the aquarium, unlike the internal filters, and the area of the substrate, for the settlement of beneficial bacteria will be much larger, respectively, the filter efficiency increases.
The principle of operation of the external filter is as follows. In the intake tube, the water from the aquarium through the hose enters the filter using a motor (pump), It is injected into the tank (canister), passes through several layers of different filtering material and again through the hose, already cleaned is pumped back into the aquarium. The design of the external filter, depending on the brand and model of the manufacturer may be different, water may flow from the top down or vice versa, the meaning of the process does not change. As a rule, several baskets are provided in the filter canister, filter material is placed in them, although there are models in which baskets are not used, I fill the filler in special bags, a bright representative of this design is an ADA Superjet ES-600 external filter. By the way, pay attention to this filter, the motor (pump), is located on the lid, which is not a typical engineering solution, as a rule, the motor is located in the lid of the “head” of the filter.
Here is a video with this external filter, who will be interested to see, though there is no translation into Russian, but everything is clear.
Fillers for external filters.
External filter due to its design allows you to organize a multi-step purification of aquarium water. Mechanical water purification – removal of suspended particles from water, biological filtration – decomposition of hazardous, toxic substances accumulating in the aquarium, during the life of the inhabitants, to compounds safe for organisms. This process is called the nitrogen cycle, in this article we will not delve into the details, I will tell you in detail about this most important circulation in the aquarium in a separate article. Chemical filtration – removal of hazardous or unnecessary substances from water using special adsorbents. Depending on the specific tasks, it is possible to choose the fillers of the external filter so that the canister can be loaded with the filtering material as efficiently as possible.
For mechanical water purification in filters, sponges of various density and porosity are used; the finer the sponge cells, the smaller particles of dirt it will hold. Also use a synthetic winterizer to clean water from the smallest particles of dirt. If the presence of filter sponges is provided in the use of an external filter. It is advisable to place them in such a way, put a sponge with large cells in the first or second basket, then other fillers go, and from the top they put a synthetic foot for final, fine cleaning.
There is a huge amount of fillers for biological filtration, it can be ceramic rings, ceramic balls, and similar materials, sometimes claydite is used as a filler in homemade external filters. As a rule, they have a porous structure, their main task is to provide filtering areas with an area for colonization, this condition is necessary for the effective operation of the external filter. There are also ceramic rings, in which the surface is smooth and they do not have pores, the task of such a material is to break the flow of water entering the filter in order to ensure maximum, uniform distribution over the entire area of the filtering material. Such a substrate should be placed in the first basket of the filter.
Chemical filtration is provided using fillers such as activated carbon, zeolite, and ion exchange resins. Activated carbon has a highly porous microstructure, due to which it effectively removes (adsorbs) toxins, acids and trace elements. Most often, activated carbon is used in filters after treating fish in an aquarium. in order to remove the remnants of drugs from the aquarium water. Zeolites also due to their structure are powerful adsorbents.
From my filters, for example, I never use a synthetic winterizer, which delays small particles very quickly clogs up and requires replacement. Accordingly, it is much more often to have to open-close the filter, which leads to wear of its elements, in particular the sealing ring. In my opinion, to remove the suspension in the aquarium, you can simply put a pump with a fine sponge, although this is my personal opinion. Also, I do not use activated carbon in the external filter. When it is necessary to remove from the water, for example, the remaining drugs, after treating the fish, I put the coal in the waterfall filter and clean it after a few weeks. In any case, please note that activated carbon, unlike fillers intended for colonization by bacteria, requires periodic replacement. The term of coal use does not exceed four months, zeolites also require recovery.
Below is a video about the location of the filter elements in the external filter of the AQUAEL company, model Unimax 700, please note that this model of filter uses a UV lamp for additional sterilization of water in the aquarium.
How to choose an external filter. What to look for.
To choice external filter It is necessary to approach very carefully, the filter you buy, for a long time and all the time of operation it should work normally and fulfill its functions. Agree. very few people want to constantly run in search of spare parts or have trouble in case of leakage. Aquarium sites and forums constantly discuss issues related to external filters, their reliability, ease of use, quality and quantity of fillers, price, etc. After spending a certain amount of time, you can get a complete picture of a particular model and make your choice on the basis of this .
Each model of the external filter has its own technical characteristics, manufacturers indicate for what volume of the aquarium this filter is suitable. It should be noted here that the filter capacity, the amount of pumped water in liters per hour, can be specified for an empty filter, without fillers. It is clear that by loading the canister with filtering material, this figure will be less, and as time passes when the fillers become clogged and the hoses become overgrown, the power rating will be even lower. As for the sake of interest, I measured how much the external filter actually pumps. This is what happened, the Atman DF-1000 external filter works for me with the indicated capacity of 1500 l / h, in the newly launched aquarium with clean fillings, the filter pumped about 1000 – 1200 l / h, after three months of operation, this figure was already about 700-800 l / h. In any case, you should choose, if possible, with a certain margin, for example, you have an aquarium of 200 liters, you should buy a filter designed not for a 150-200 liter aquarium, but for a 200-350 liter.
The first connection is an external filter.
I think it makes no sense to describe in detail the process of connecting a canister filter since each specific model has its own nuances and if you follow the instructions, there should be no problems. I will only pay attention to the following common things. Before laying the fillers, rinse them with running water, the filter is much easier to run if it is pre-filled with water, rather than using the start (water booster) button. Check when installing the baskets, the order of their location, incorrectly installed baskets of the external filter, can lead to imbalance and incorrect operation. Hoses should be cut off only after fitting them at the place of permanent installation of the filter. The first time after the filter is turned on, it can make quite noisy noise, it will pass over time, as soon as the rest of the air comes out, you can shake the filter a little, as a rule it helps to get rid of it faster.
Maintenance and cleaning of the external filter.
External filter in contrast to the internal clean rarely enough, normally working filter does not touch for months or even years. Periodically it is necessary to inspect the filter for leaks. If the time has come to clean the filter, you need to remember the main point, you should not rinse the filter media with running tap water, just rinse in the aquarium water, otherwise the colonies of beneficial filter bacteria will be destroyed and it will take time for their new settlement. The rotor axis of the filter also needs to be cleaned; debris is often wound up on it, which can interfere with the normal operation of the filter. The gasket between the filter housing and the “head” of the filter should be lubricated with a special gel and periodically changed to a new one, this is one of the weakest points of the external filter. You should not often open the filter, and to carry out any manipulations with it, the principle must be established and forgotten, we only control its correct operation. Most leaks occur after interfering with the filter. It is convenient to clean the hoses and tubes with a special brush. True to the hero of the video, used to clean the hoses their fixture.
Well, that’s all that I wanted to tell in this article, I think to write a separate article on the most common external filter failures and ways to eliminate them.
And finally, another video on cleaning and maintaining my external filter Atman-DF 1000, which has been working without cleaning for more than 11 months.
I hope you were interested in the article. external filter write your comments and questions in the comments, try to figure it out together. All the best !