Should I Buy An External Filter For An Aquarium? Device Description

Fans of breeding domestic fish at the present time – a great many. And if earlier in the ordinary aquarium, except for a dozen fish, water and a couple of plants, there was nothing, but now the situation has changed completely.

Taught by the bitter experience of losses, the owners study according to special directories and forums, exchange experiences, try to arrange a place of residence for their pets as comfortably as possible. And the choice of the filter at the same time is a matter of sufficiently scrupulous.

What is this device and what is it for?

Few fish will survive the hard tap water, so installing a filter is a must for an aquarium any volume. It is a container (aquarists often call it a “bucket”) with a cleaning system inside.

Can I use in a marine aquarium?

The opinion that the external filter for a marine aquarium is not suitable is a thing of the past. Yes, and the scornful nickname, which gave the external filter – "factory of nitrates," refuted.

Practice shows that external aquariums are more resistant, less prone to problem fouling and in general, the difficulties from them are no more than from internal filters.

Advantages and disadvantages

Should I Buy An External Filter For An Aquarium? Device Description


  1. The external filter does not occupy space in the aquarium, which means that it is possible to install other equipment or a decorative element.
  2. It is absolutely safe for the inhabitants of the aquarium and does not take away their internal space.
  3. The filter can be turned into a combined one by adding filtering and absorbing materials to its container.
  4. Gives higher performance than internal filter.
  5. High service life – up to eight years.
  6. It is required to clean external filters much less often than internal ones, and the place for such manipulations can be chosen by anyone at will.


  1. The price for external filters is much higher than for internal ones.
  2. Not all owners like to see the equipment standing in a prominent place, so you have to think in advance where to hide it.
  3. Such filters flow many times more often than internal ones, and cause a lot of inconvenience to an aquarist.
  4. If the filter has more power, and there are small fish in the aquarium, you should wear a fishnet at the end of the tube.
Read more:  Diy Aquarium Biofilter

How does it work?

Depending on the make and model of the manufacturer, the design may be different, but the general principle of operation remains the same: the pump pumps water from the aquarium through the hoses to the filter, to the canister. It can be either baskets of filter material, or special bags. After cleaning, the liquid through the same hoses back to the aquarium.

How to install and run?

The nuances of the installation may be different for each manufacturer, but the general algorithm is as follows:

  1. Prepare a soft stand and a pair of rags in case of a leak.
  2. Carefully check the contents of the purchased box: it should have internal sponges, the device itself, fillers, plastic water outlets.
  3. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when assembling the filter. The lid taps open last. The filler is properly placed as follows: bio-balls or ceramics on the bottom, on them – sponges, then synthetic winterizer, the last top layer – peat or coal.
  4. Prepare parts for the intake and release of fluid: a long tube with a rounding takes water, a short curved – takes, it is installed at the other end of the aquarium. Do not forget to calculate the length of the hoses in advance so that they are enough.
  5. Starting to start the design, fill the filter with aquarium water by gravity (to do this, connect the hose for the fence with a hose clamp with a thread). Water will flow as soon as you open the tap. Make sure that the liquid does not flow out of the second hole. As soon as the device is completely filled – block the inlet hose.
  6. Connect the exhaust hose to the filter, turn off, then pour some water into the free end, and finally connect it to the plastic outlet.
  7. The last step: open both taps on the filter and plug it into a power outlet.
Read more:  Filters For Aquarium Which Is Better

When buying, pay attention to the following nuances:

  1. Does the brand have a service center?. If there is, you will be able to effectively and quickly acquire the necessary parts, troubleshoot, have a service under warranty.
  2. The intensity of the pumping fluid or its power. A balance must be maintained between the three components: the type of aquarium, the number of fish in it, and the volume. The power indicated in the characteristics is the operation of the equipment under ideal conditions, i.e. excluding contamination of fillers, height of lifting tubes and other things. And in working condition, the filter pumps significantly less. Therefore, you need to take the equipment with a considerable margin.
  3. How noisy is the filter. To avoid this, buy a design in which there will be a ceramic, rather than a metal rotor axis.
  4. What kind of filtering do you want to get. It can be biological, chemical, mechanical or mixed.

Most of the existing filters are focused on the first option, however, the main part of the beneficial bacteria of nitrifiators lives in the correctly chosen soil. From this and need to build on in the first place.

It will be very convenient to install the filter if the taps on its adapter are rotating and the hoses are sufficiently rigid (this will save them from kinking and deterioration of the water flow). Buy a special small pipe brush – it will facilitate the process of cleaning, and also think about an additional portion of filler (in the standard build it is always small).

Read more:  Zeolite - The Best Filter Filler For An Aquarium Or Where Nitrifying Bacteria Live

Top 3 manufacturers

Convenient and easy to use, but very powerful economy class filters with a large variety of accessories. Equipped with built-in UV lamp for the destruction of parasites and pathogens at the breeding stage. They are characterized by quiet operation of engines and long service life. The price tag starts from 2.000 rubles.

Hagen fluval

All models are easy to understand and assemble., They have an attractive design, durable and highly efficient in the purification of aquarium water. The latest models released are equipped with displays to which the main process data is displayed, warnings about the need to change or wash the fillers.

Ideal sealed and reliable in operation. Of the minuses: large size and quick clogging of filter elements. The average cost is 7.000 rubles per copy.


Powerful, effective, absolutely tight filters. Easy to install and maintain. They work quietly thanks to the ceramic axis of the rotor. Ready to connect with regular fillers. Suitable for both marine and freshwater aquariums. The price starts from 3,000 rubles.

Outdoor unit alternatives

If a person does not have the ability or desire to spend money on a purchase filter, which is really expensive, he can try to make such a cleaning system with his own hands from scrap materials.

On the aquarists’ forums, craftsmen share their work, for example, fill the bottle with a suitable size with ceramics, connect it to the pump, with a sponge attached to the inlet. The improvised filter is located right under the aquarium cover.

Useful video

Watch the video showing the version of the home-made external filter: