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Your Freshwater Aquarium Filter Is Dirty!

2016/5/4 10:29:59

Like any ecosystem, a balanced system for breathing in and breathing out is very important. To inhale is to take in oxygen which is vital to the function of other organs, while to exhale is to remove carbon dioxide and other waste elements from our body. The study and application of this type of relationship is necessary and crucial in maintaining an aquarium at home or in the office and a good filtering system is the key. Generally, manufactured filters are especially created to simulate the cleaning effects of water in the wild but in a closed ecosystem, and are made to handle many different types of filtration. A freshwater aquarium filter can remove most of the problems that can develop in our fish tank.

There are three basic types of filtration I will discuss here with a little information for each, which are mechanical filtration, biological filtration and chemical filtration. I especially like mechanical and chemical filtration which are very popular.

Filters and filtration systems work in accordance to the principle of nitrification and denitrification.

Nitrification is the scientific process of ammonia conversion to nitrate. Ammonia, later reduced to nitrate by a bacteria called nitrobacter, is produced by fish as they breath and also from excess food particles that later decayed in the tank.

Both ammonia and nitrates are toxic to fish as the nitrates are consumed by plants and algae.

Denitrification is the scientific process of nitrate conversion to nitrogen gas which is helpful in the possible absence of proper oxygen flow in the aquarium.

Aquariums can have many different types of filters like a sponge filter, under gravel filter, canister filter or standard power filter.

A sponge filter either with air pumps or small water pumps, acts as a magnet for bacteria. This filter allows positive bacteria to grow within its pores. This kind of absorbed bacteria is significant especially for the purpose of breeding fish, but can be destroyed from a power loss.

An under gravel filter is another kind that promotes the cycle of oxygen and water in a push-and-pull manner. Through a bed of gravel at the bottom of the tank, water is pulled down while uplift tubes suck in the water and force the water into the tube and back up to the surface of the tank. Another version of this and a better type of filter is the reverse flow under gravel filter, where water is pulled from the top of the aquarium through a tube where there is more oxygen, and then pushed down into an embedded uplift tube, and allowed to flow freely back to the surface out of any tube, through the gravel.

A canister filter is another popular filter that acts as by absorbing positive bacteria within the aquarium until it can build a colony of positive bacteria. An advantage of the canister filter is that it does not need to be cleaned or removed and can be performed inside of the tank without any impact on the fish.

There is also the standard power filter, which is utilized by both biological and mechanical filtering systems, like the canister filter. It is a good example of recycling materials by the use of floss-padded disposable cartridges. The pad works by attracting nitrifying bacteria, and when it gets full you simply discard it from the aquarium and replace it.

Biological Aquarium Filtration provides stability and proper detoxification that is badly needed by aquariums. This is done through regular water change and use of sponge filters, under gravel filters and canister filters. The method is good in preventing the proliferation of poisonous waste ammonia.

Mechanical Filtration Systems on the other hand, provides clear water freed of small debris, by pumping the water through fine materials. This is done through the use of canister filter, standard power filter, wet or dry filters and so-called floss or pleated cartridge filter. By trapping debris in the gravel, mechanical filters can do most of the hard work of cleaning the aquariun water, but the gravel in the tank will then need regular siphoning to remove the trapped particles in the gravel.

Another popular filtration type is chemical filtration.

Chemical Filtration provides the reduction of microscopic elements and compounds in water thru chemical breakdown, that may normally cause the filter to become yellowish and clogged up over time. Some particles dissolved in water cannot be removed by mechanical filters. Thus, this kind of filtration can thoroughly clean your aquarium of unwanted toxins over the standard mechanical filtering systems.

Canister and power filters can be planted with activated carbon to isolate elements and compounds like copper, ozone, chlorine, antibiotics, waste proteins and carbohydrates; iodine, mercury, cobalt, iron, water medications like methylene blue and malachite green; sulfa drugs and organic dyes among others. In the same manner, ammo-chips, nitra-zorb and phos-zorb chemical media, and can specifically remove ammonia, nitrates and phosphates respectively.

With all chemicals, you should first consult an aquarium specialist for the proper use of any chemical type of filter and to avoid after-effect complications to your fish tank.

Considered one of the most important parts of an aquarium, one should choose a filter which has at least a four times per hour flow rate rating. Nowadays, there are many interesting designs available in local and international pet shops and online shops, and there are also many aquariums equipped with built-in filtration system utilizing all three popular types of filtration. The more advanced filters do come with a higher price.

Regular maintenance and monitoring of your aquariums filter will actually do wonders for your tank water. Life inside the aquarium is highly dependent on the owners and their knowledge of filtering the water in their aquarium properly and on the regular, daily basis.

Your pets will remain healthy and resilient unless of course there is evidence of a biological imbalance in the aquarium due to neglect, lack of information or lack of regular maintenance.

The oxygen and nitrogen cycle is a natural process and a hobbyist should see to it that this is working properly in their aquarium.

Malfunctions can happen anytime so aquarium owners should frequently inspect their filters and filtration systems on a schedualled basis weekly to be sure that they are working correctly.

Get professional help with filters for aquariums along with more aquarium history. Read
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