3 Types of Filtration – How Does A Fish Tank Filter Work

how does a fish tank filter work
(Last Updated On: April 26, 2021)


It is necessary to learn about how does a fish tank filter work. Proper water filtration is crucial to profitable tropical fish retaining.

How does a fish tank filter work

Your aquarium’s water filtration system is chargeable for eliminating poisonous compounds and particulate matter out of your fish tank.

Fish give off waste merchandise within the type of feces, uneaten meals, carbon dioxide, and many others. and the water within the tank begins to degrade instantly after the introduction of the first fish, plant, stay rock, or invert.

Pollution begins in your aquarium the moment you introduce the first fish into your tank.

Without correct filtration in a closed aquarium system, the tank water will degrade to the purpose that it’s going to change into poisonous and ultimately poison the inhabitants.

It is extraordinarily vital that you choose the right sort of filtration system for your aquarium.



Your choice will likely be depending on a number of issues:

  • The sort of fish you’re retaining
  • The quantity of fish you’re remaining within the tank
  • The water quantity of your tank
  • The floor space of your tank
  • The period of time you need to dedicate to upkeep

It is vital that you just perceive how the three varieties of water filtration programs will have an effect on your personal scenario before you make your buy.

Although there isn’t such factor as “over filtration”, a number of the programs or combos of programs might bust your budget.

1. Chemical Filtration

As the name implies, Chemical filtration removes poisonous and undesirable chemical compounds from the tank water because it passes by means of some form of chemical media in order to apply how does a fish tank filter work.

Activated charcoal or carbon has been used for years to supply chemical filtration nonetheless, there have been quite a few new products through the years which might be focused on eradicating particular chemical compounds or extra vitamins from the water.

The most popular varieties of chemical media are activated carbon, ion alternate resins, and different adsorbents. Other types of chemical filtration are protein foam skimming and ozone oxidation.

Activated carbon will take away many dangerous components out of your aquarium together with sulfa medicine, antibiotics, dissolved proteins, chlorine, copper, carbohydrates, and many others.

For this cause, it must be eliminated when creating your aquarium with antibiotics or different drugs and changed after the remedy is full to take away any leftover treatment or des colorants.

Ion alternate resins are used much less ceaselessly than carbon, however, has gotten more frequent.

Resins work by attracting particular modules to them. Some appeal to nitrates or ammonia and a few goal dissolved organics.

Some ion alternate resins strengthen the flexibility of carbon to chemically filter dissolved particles from the water and assist organic exercise by eradicating pollution before they enter the nitrogen cycle. These are bought as carbon/ion mixes below a number of brand names.

When used appropriately, Chemical filtration could be probably the most helpful tool that tropical fish-keeping fans have for improving water’s high quality, decreasing the variety of water adjustments wanted and the quantity of tank upkeep that needs to be carried out in an effort to keep a wholesome aquarium.

This doesn’t imply you’ll by no means should make one other water change for learning how does a fish tank filter work!

2. Biological Filtration

Biological filtration is solely the bacterial breakdown of poisonous byproducts within the aquarium into much less poisonous vitamins. The bacterial breakdown process is usually referred to as the Nitrogen Cycle.

The Nitrogen Cycle could be defined as follows:

Waste merchandise from fish, vegetation, and invertebrates, and useless organisms or uneaten meals, are damaged down by micro organism and fungi into ammonia.

Ammonia is extraordinarily poisonous to all aquarium fish, however within the organic filter, it’s damaged down by oxygen-loving Nitrosomonas bacteria into much less poisonous nitrites.

Although nitrates are usually not as poisonous as ammonia, they’re nonetheless dangerous to fish and particularly invertebrates in even low concentrations.

Fortunately, one other oxygen-loving micro organism referred to as Nitrobacter acts like Nitrosomonas within the organic filter and adjustments the nitrites into innocent nitrates, that are much less dangerous to fish.

Low to reasonable ranges of Nitrates is not going to hurt fish or most inverts however they’ll trigger some critical algae issues in your tank. You can scale back this by performing regular partial water adjustments or by together with chemical filtration in your system.

To some extent, organic filtration happens in all filters in addition to inside your tank. However, for the Nitrogen Cycle to work effectively two issues are required.

A big space for the useful micro organism to stay and develop on.
Sufficient oxygen within the water to maintain the bacteria colony alive.

Obviously, not all filters have the same biological filtration capability. The most efficient organic filtration programs are those that have the best quantity of organic floor media uncovered to the air.

how does a fish tank filter work

3. Mechanical Filtration

Mechanical filtration is the process of eradicating stable particulates from aquarium water.

It is generally achieved by forcing water by means of some sort of media that’s particularly designed to lure and maintain the particles.

Many varieties of filter media can be found to do that effectively and each has its execs and cons.

Filter floss
Foam in several porosities
Pleated paper micron filters
Diatomaceous earth
Gravel
Sand

Whatever media is used to take away stable particulates from the water has to be cleaned on a regular basis in an effort to work correctly and keep its efficiency.

Eventually, all mechanical filters will clog up with particulate matter over time. When this occurs, the water move will lower and ultimately stop. The soiled tank water will then move across the clogged media as a substitute for going by means of it. When this occurs it alerts {that a} cleansing is necessary.

Some tropical fish keepers imagine that oversizing the mechanical filter will let you maintain more fish within the system and that much less upkeep will likely be necessary. This is a fallacy.

Although it’s possible you’ll not really feel the need to scrub the mechanical filter as ceaselessly if you oversize it to your tank, the filter loses its effectivity and will likely be holding a larger quantity of decaying detritus that’s slowly contaminating the water.

Although your tank might look clear and free of floating particles, the slowly decaying plant and animal matter within the media is breaking down and creating ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates that are all poisonous to the fish.

The level is that oversizing a mechanical filter to your tank can really scale back the variety of fish you may safely maintain within the aquarium and learn how does a fish tank filter work.

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