Installing an Effective Filtration System

Unlike the ocean, your fish tank can’t rely on currents to clean debris and other impurities. You will need to select a filtration system that will replicate the way the ocean works and will keep the overall environment of your fish tank healthy. The sheer number of filtration options available in the market can be daunting. There are mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration systems and various types of filters. There are also protein skimmers you can use to remove the organic compounds that otherwise become toxins. Knowing how the most common filtration systems and filters work may help make your choice easier. 

Types of Filtration Systems

Biological filtration systems use bacteria to break down organic material in the water. This is the most popular and successful type of filtration system. Mechanical filtration systems work well with biological filters. As the biological system breaks down organic matter, the mechanical system traps the debris and particles. Chemical filtration systems remove dissolved waste from the water by having it flow through carbon. Filters use some or all of these types of filtration to clean the water of the aquarium.

Types of Filters

The most basic option is the corner filter, which is driven by an air pump that sucks the water through a biological medium located inside. This type of filter is the least expensive but is quite obtrusive in the tank and some find this unattractive. Beginner tanks are often sold with under-gravel filters placed at the bottom of the tank. Although this type of filter has to be manually cleaned with a gravel siphon when the water is changed, it is relatively inexpensive and simple to maintain. The downside is that under-gravel filters do not use chemical filtration and may begin clogging over time. There are other more advanced types of filters on the market, but these are generally used for very large or commercial fish tanks.