The water in the aquarium is the main living environment for fish. The quality of inhabitants, their appearance and activity depends on its quality. Aquarium water is polluted by food debris, fish and other animal excreta, plant particles and even dust from the air.
Properly equipped aquarium should be a balanced system. It settles bacteria that decompose harmful organics, do not allow excessive algae to multiply, but mechanical inclusions do not disappear anywhere. In addition, a densely populated aquarium does not always have time to clean itself. In this case, he needs help in the form of a biological water purification plant. In all cases, filters are required to clean the water in the aquarium.
Basic cleaning methods
To remove all unnecessary components from the aquarium water, use several cleaning methods.
- Mechanical filtering is the easiest way. With its help, mechanical inclusions of different sizes are retained, the suspension is eliminated, the remnants of food and dead parts of plants are removed. Mechanical cleaning is carried out using different filter materials. Most often used porous synthetic sponge. In her pores linger suspended. Periodically remove the sponge and washed.
- Biological filtration is a method of removing dissolved organic matter from aquarium water. This process is carried out with the help of bacteria. They settle on a special substrate, for example, on porous ceramics. When water passes through ceramics, bacteria trap organic matter and decompose it into simpler and more harmless substances.
- Adsorption is not used often. Adsorption filters are used to quickly remove various substances from an aquarium water, for example, drugs after treating fish. Activated carbon is most often used as an adsorbent.
- Disinfection – performed using ultraviolet lamps, ozonizers or special chemicals. Use disinfection in quarantine aquariums or in preparation for the launch. Properly working aquarium with a steady balance does not require disinfection. In addition, it eliminates not only harmful microorganisms, but also beneficial bacteria.
Variety of Fish Tank Filters
To use the methods of cleaning the water in the aquarium, created special devices – filters. They are divided into two main groups depending on the installation site: internal and external. The principle of operation of these filters is the same. Water is sucked inward, passed through filtering materials, and released back into the aquarium. In addition to purification from pollution, oxygen saturation occurs.
The performance of the devices is selected depending on the volume of the aquarium. Low power leads to the fact that the water is purified too slowly and the aquarium is gradually polluted. The filter does not have time to clear the entire volume before the appearance of new contaminants.
Too powerful unit is also not a good option. It will quickly pass all the water in the aquarium and eliminate all contaminants, but at the same time it can suck up small fish and create a strong current.
Internal filter options
Internal Fish Tank Filters – devices that are installed inside the aquarium. They are immersed in water and work directly in it. There are several types of internal devices.
Fig. 3 Erlift
The simplest design option is a device with airlift. It works with the participation of a microcompressor that connects to the filter tube. Cleansing is carried out through a foam sponge.
The internal filter with an integrated pump has a housing in which the filler is located. Simple models perform only mechanical cleaning, and more complex ones have several compartments with different filtering materials. They simultaneously purify from mechanical impurities and organic matter, i.e. are biofilters.
Bottom filters are a special kind. This device is installed before filling the aquarium with water. Filter plates are placed on the bottom. They are filled with soil, and the pump with the motor is near the surface. Water can be sucked through the soil and out through the pump or in reverse flow. In this case, it takes the pump, and produces a bottom plate.
Fig. 5 Bottom model of filter installation for aquarium
External Fish Tank Filters
External filters are located outside the aquarium, which allows them to be quite large. A larger volume of filler improves water purification. With the help of an external device, a multi-stage purification of aquarium water can be performed. The combination of several types of filtration gives the best result.
Most often external filters are biofilters. Inside of them is laid the substrate on which the bacteria settle. The larger the area of the substrate, the greater the number of bacteria on it settles and the higher the level of purification.
Usually external filters are represented by canister models. They have a barrel-shaped housing with inlet and outlet hose. Through one water is pumped into the device, and through the other comes back.
External filters are used for volumetric aquariums. Internal filters in them do not cope with cleaning or installation of two devices at once is required. Using an external filter in a large volume creates an optimal environment.
Select filters by several criteria. The first is the necessary type of filtering. Further attention is paid to the power and compliance with the volume of the aquarium. It would be useful to estimate the noise and reliability. You can assess the reliability of the quality of the product assembly and manufacturer. The best quality is provided by German filters, the Polish ones are not bad, and the acquisition of the Chinese version is a certain risk.