Fish Tank Filter

Water filtration in an aquarium is one of the most important processes in an aquarium. After all, an aquarium is a closed biosystem. And, like any biosystem, it must be restored. It must have a complete cleaning cycle. Here you will understand how the filter for the aquarium works, what is happening in it and what to look for.

There are drugs that advertise: throw a pill into the aquarium and you can not clean the filter, and do not replace the water for six months. They say what you want to hear, and I will say it as it really is. Any aquarist is well aware: the fish poop and it does not disappear by itself from the water. So let tales about pills let others tell. I will focus here on the filtration of water in the aquarium.

How is the filtration of water in the aquarium

It seems to you that your aquarium is water, fish and plants. Everything is a bit more complicated. There are algae in the aquarium, which some try to bring out in every possible way, there are aquarium snails (fairy tales that they eat poop after the fish, they also heard, but I have a second question: what do they get at the exit), crustaceans, bacteria. The whole compote of life. Well, so that all this compote does not fade away quickly and does not turn into a swamp, you need to figure out what a filter is and why we need it.

I’ll start with the basics. What and how is happening, or the circulation of substances in the aquarium. This will help to understand the whole variety of brands trying to sell us their filters, which in many cases clean water very poorly.

Nitrogen cycle in the main aquarium in cleaning. After all, an excess of this substance quite often leads to death. Even with proper filtering. The nitrogen cycle is to turn more toxic ammonia into less toxic nitrites and nitrates, which are used in the diet of aquarium plants and algae.

Fish Tank Filters

There are 3 types of filtering. Mechanical filtration of an aquarium, biological filtration of an aquarium, chemical filtration of an aquarium.

Mechanical filtering is simple. It is designed to remove large particles from water and is inherent in any filtration.

I do not use chemical filtration, because I see no need. Sometimes I can add zeolite or activated carbon, but I really don’t see much influence on the aquarium system.

In biological filtration is the most important bacteria. Here they are removing ammonia from the water. But for them to live, they need to create housing. And housing in an aquarium is a soil and filtering material. They need to be attached to something. They can’t catch their food on the fly. They are more cunning. They stick to a pebble and wait for the food to get into their mouths. And also, bacteria need oxygen, and therefore, if you turn off the filter for the aquarium at night, the bacteria simply suffocate. So the filter works around the clock.

What to look for when buying a filter

Since not everyone likes to clean the soil constantly and there are not so many bacteria settling there, theoretically, the filter should take the brunt. Almost tricks appear. Filter bought, but he can not cope.

Fish Tank Filter

In this volume and with so many fish, most filters will not cope.

When choosing a filter, you need to pay attention to some things: the volume of the filtering material, the porosity of the material and that it draws dirt from above, not from below.

With as many fish as in the photo, most filters can not cope.

Okay, here I scared a bit and confused. Now, what I like and what I don’t like. I’m lazy and I want to bother less with the aquarium. And because I will filter with a margin. Hard to beat.

I’ll start with what you like.

Eheim – one of the best filters. I do not know how they achieve such a result, but one of the best filterings. German quality. Warranty. Reasonableness in the details. Appearance. Everything is on the level. But the price they have one of the most expensive. So advice: have money – buy Eheim. Analogs are cheaper from other manufacturers with the same quality.

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I also like this class 3 company from Italy – Cicce, Ferplast and Fluval. They also have enough quality filtering. Care for aquariums equipped with these filters is a pleasure.

I have all 4 brands of filters have already broken. Each has a different story, and in terms of reliability, they are all plus or minus the same. To all we have parts. Therefore, buying them if you decide on an external filter is worth it.

Now there is a company Aqua Nova. In terms of filling with internal materials, it is one of the few companies that invests the inside of the filter so well there. But one minus – they constantly run taps. And even with such a minus, I recommend buying them. For the price and quality of filtration, they are profitable.

I can not tolerate aquaell and tatra. Well, such nonsense is driven that I do not want to take. JBL is also questionable. Risky she was.

Head and sponge in the aquarium

Further option with a head and washcloth. Head China and what company to take – almost no difference. Everything works, but the question is how much time?

In the photo more than 1 kg of fish in 300 liters. Filter – the usual head with a washcloth.

Chinese filtration

The Chinese boxes minus – much less than the volume of the washcloth. But the plus is more compact in the aquarium. This is the most problematic option compared to previous versions. But I sometimes use them. By the way, about the brand, which one to take – without a difference. I came across many and they all look the same. There is nothing new from different manufacturers. They took all one template and produce wagons. The only thing you notice is a washcloth. It should be porous, like a sponge for washing dishes. To their level, I attribute the filters of firms aquael, fluvall, juvel. True, they stand as German, and clean as Chinese. Plus, they also design something and have a fence on top of many models.

This washcloth is too small area for the settlement of bacteria, so it will not be cleaned normally. He does not clean, but drives the water. Plus, as a rule, washcloth is not finely porous.

As for other little-known brands – I will not go deep. Among them there are both good options and those that do not clean. The main thing is to understand the principle of their work.

Internal filtering

At the top, I evaluated the internal filtering. This is when the filter is lowered into the aquarium. This option is not the best for lazy people. But the cheapest. Any filter requires care. So is the internal filter. As a rule, it is washed 1-4 times a month depending on many factors. In most cases (95%), wash the washcloth once every 2 weeks. But for the big lazy people they came up with external filters. Two tubes are put into the aquarium, one takes the water, the other returns. There is less need to clean because of one simple thing. The volume of the filter material is much larger than in the internal filters. Because cleaned every 2-6 months. And as usual (95%) – once in 3 months.

External filtering

First I will talk about the options for filling the filter material. The first is professional ceramics. As a rule, the more expensive – the better in terms of the ratio of area to volume. So you can less clean. Washcloths can also be used there. I tried different options and everything works. I am more accustomed to working with washcloths.

Fish Tank Filter

Water circulation

For brands of external filters, the preferences are the same as for internal ones.

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Now a bit about the specifics of the external filters. They must be below the aquarium level. Or at least on the same level. Or on the side, or under the aquarium is hiding. The filter should close perfectly. No leakage of the joints. Indeed, in the case of improper connection, all the water from the aquarium can migrate to the floor. All hoses and adapters must be closed perfectly. Next, run the filter. Fill it first with water, then close it, then try to expel the air that remains in the hoses. Each filter process is different. But the air in the filter should not be. There are leaks in the fluves, turn off the filter several times from the outlet, turn it over, drive water into the hose with a glass.


There are other types of filters. But I do not use them. Bottom – theoretically good, but almost impossible to clean it. A phyto-filter is an interesting option, but problematic in creation and maintenance. But definitely the most beautiful of all filters, and it works. Remote filter – also works. But I do not like the concept. The idea is that he does not occupy a place in the aquarium. But then he takes from the side. Good options when they are mounted in the cover. But with the cover of the problem, there is not to put ceramics. It turns out and not an external filter, and not internal. But it works. There are still sand filters, but I have not met them, as they are used in industrial aquariums.

I hope, after describing how the filter for the aquarium works, how the water in the aquarium is filtered, this topic has become clearer to you. There are still many interesting articles on the site, including in-depth ones about filtering water in an aquarium.

Hamburg filter

Here you can read about the Hamburg filter. As a system of "perpetual" filter is possible with a limited number of inhabitants. But the filter deserves attention. If you listen to the Germans, and plant one neon in 2 liters of water, then this filter is eternal.

External filter placement

When installing and running an aquarium, they are asked where to hide the external filter. There are rules, it should be lower than the water level. And secondly, the filter power should be enough to raise the water to a height.

Option 1 – under the aquarium – the classic version

The second option is less common – a filter on the side. Place under it choose vhadi or side of the aquarium, but not under it.

The third option is fittings. The most expensive, because professional materials are expensive. When using fittings, there is no need to pull the hoses upwards (gutter), and there is no need to think about whether the filter has enough lifting power. Exactly enough. But the most expensive option.

Here to the lower fittings and connects an external filter.

If you give TK on aquarium for builders – read about the nuances.

Aquarium where you do not need to make water changes

Is there such a wonderful aquarium? After all, there are legends about him, but no one has ever seen it live. But there are rumors, as about aquarists’ specialists, who know the answers to all the questions. Well, if I have not met the second one, then I will even describe the first options here. I will describe 3 real stories, with all the ensuing ones. Conclusions will do yourself. But such aquariums are REAL.

History 1 is a hotspot. There, water is only added to the aquarium. 200 liters. 2 astronotus, 2 acaras turquoise, plexostomus catfish and another cichlid. Fish is big, shit a lot. It seems that water cannot be replaced there for 2 years and the fish live. But the result was such that the fish did not even "look" sick. Absolutely adequate. With this cleaning, I just poked the siphon somewhere. There was no difference, at least 3 times get at the same time. 5 cm in a bucket of water – the bottom is no longer visible. All the bottom is one dirt.

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Approximately an aquarium where the water has not been replaced for 2 years.

Why and how is this possible? Especially with a large fish. To begin with, in the aquarium there are 2 filters. This is the filter itself, and the ground. There are settled bacteria that process the waste products of fish. The filter was ehaim. He cleaned constantly, water was added. Cleaning the filter removes the “most” dirt in the aquarium. So, it can be said that there were mini-water changes. Removed dirt from the filter and topped up with fresh water. The second filter was completely blocked. How did the fish stand? Well, cichlids and catfish are one of the hardy fish themselves. They very well adapt to any parameters of water. Especially if the parameters change gradually. Here and here – the parameters of water "deteriorated" over the course of 2 years. Fish just got used to it. If you plant a small fish from a “normal” aquarium, I don’t know what chance it will survive. But, most likely, in a few days there will be a corpse.

Story 2. My story. I had to go to another city, and leave the aquarium for 600 liters of a herbalist to my grandmother. In my head there was something completely different, but my grandmother did not even know that it was necessary to change the water. Topped up and everything. There was a herbalist, an aquarium with live plants. There was an external filter for 18 liters. There was a good aquarium lighting. There were live beetles. The result in half a year. The aquarium is completely overgrown. Everything is green and fast-growing. BUT! All leaves are full of holes. So they clearly lacked potassium. Well, now I remember the holes. It is quite possible that they lacked many other things, but at that moment I did not notice. The filter was clogged. Zhivorodka not too prolific, but something so survived from the fry. Ampulariae and neocardines were divorced.

So in this case, the aquarium was correctly launched, but the lack of elements for the plants got out. Possible option in extreme cases. But if you do not constantly replace the water, the result will be in the form of holey leaves. Theoretically, there are options that elements are introduced for plants, but this is theoretically and I did not continue the experiment later.
Option 3 is when they say: “I don’t change the water, everything grows with me, and the apistogram lives, and the light bulb is not special, so all of you ум smart’ experts do not disturb me, I know better. ” And indeed, such a person succeeded. Everything grows, no lamps, no fertilizer, plants grow, water is not replaced. How so?
That’s how.

aquarium with valisneria

What other plants do not grow is another conversation. But you can and without herbalist lamps, and without changing the water. Here, in fact, water changes are made with the ejection of old leaves. When you throw them out and clean the filter, you can say that the substitution is done.

What conclusion can be made? Aquariums without water changes are possible even from a practical point of view. But they are too limited in options. And forever they can not be so. And all aquariums need to clean the filter. Without cleaning the filters and throwing out the leaves – nothing will come of it. So the tale that there is an aquarium, which you can not follow – a fairy tale. Here care for an aquarium is needed. Even without water changes, but it happens.
There are other stories about such aquariums – publish.
We, in turn, are engaged in the care of aquariums in Kiev. And they all require a water change.