Aquarium Filter Systems

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Fluval Canister FiltrationAquarium filters are an essential component to any type of aquarium with out a suitable filtration system running the aquarium would deteriorate very rapidly the water would saturate with ammonia and toxins and the fish would perish.

There are many types of aquarium filtration systems available with different systems suited to different aquarium setups, there are three main categories to filtration mechanical filtration, chemical filtration and biological filtration.

Mechanical filtration involves a coarse media like a sponge or wool the water in the aquarium is forced through this media trapping the fine particles within, this media then needs to be regularly cleaned to remove the particles.

Chemical filtration involves the use of a chemical media to remove some toxins and specific chemicals from the aquarium water, chemical filtration is usually incorporated into modern filter systems to help maintain a healthy aquarium.

Biological filtration involves the use of nature and beneficial bacteria that thrive within the environment to break down toxins and ammonia in the aquarium water, this process is known as Nitrogen cycling which needs to be kick started in new aquariums before fish are added to the environment.

There are many types of filtration systems available to purchase some are designed for small aquariums and others are designed for very large aquariums, some of these filters contain mechanical, chemical and biological filtration all in the one unit while others will only use the mechanical stage.

Internal filtration systems are very simple in design they are usually mounted to the inside of the tank with suction cups and are driven by an air pump that is located outside the tank, when air is forced through the filter water is drawn in and filtered through mechanical media then deposited back into the aquarium this system is common on small aquariums and is not very efficient.

Under gravel filtration is one other very simple system involving a plastic mat that sits under the substrate an air pump circulates air bubbles through tubes which in turn draws water through the mat trapping sediment underneath, biological processes are in action here as well but are limited by the lack of oxygen this simple filtration system in also not very efficient at removing all toxins from the environment.

Power filtration involves a unit that is suspended from the back of the aquarium a pump draws aquarium water in through the power filter and passes through three filtration stages, mechanical, chemical and biological filters then deposited back into the environment, these type of filtration systems are very effective at removing toxins from the environment and are totally self contained just mount to the aquarium and plug in, the media in the system needs regular maintenance to keep running.

Canister filtration involves the use of a compact cylinder like the Fluval canister filtration unit the mechanical filter is located on one side usually open core foam is used the aquarium water passes through the mechanical filter first to remove any large particles then passed through several baskets that are arranged in layers.

These baskets contain the chemical filter and the biological filter stages, when the water passes through these filters it is pushed back up into the aquarium with a pump, the units are usually setup inside the aquarium cabinet out of sight, this system is the most effective at removing toxins and waste from the aquarium.