Your aquarium’s health will depend upon maintaining clean water. In order to maintain clean water, you will need some means to filter out the water so that the contaminants can be removed and water can be purified.
There are basically 3 different means of aquarium water filtering:
- Biological filtration
This filtration refers to a process with that all beneficial bacteria will break down nitrate and ammonia and transforms them into nitrate that is less toxic.
All aquariums must have provision for such biological filtration, and for very small aquarium, this alone will be sufficient. However, in bigger aquariums, biological filtration is just one of the methods which is combined with few others too.
- Chemical filtration
It is a process where chemical additives will remove all dissolved waste from water. Most common method used for chemical filtration is by using activated charcoal pieces.
- Mechanical filtration
Here the machinery removes solid particles out of water by circulating all water and also by straining it through aquarium filter. However, mechanical filtration alone will not be sufficient.
There are 8 common filtration system forms available at Fluval that you may choose from.
- Box filters
For home aquariums, these were the first kind of filters that were available. They can be quite inexpensive and are loaded with different types of filter media.
- Canister filters
Canisters filters are powerful mechanical type of aquarium filters and are best suited for certain medium and large-sized tanks, larger than forty gallons.
- Diatomic filters
These are specialized type of aquarium filters which cleans the water by eliminating very small particles. They are similar to swimming pool filters, that operate by pumping all water passing through layer of fine particles and scrub all the water clean.
- Fluidized bed filters
These filters are relatively new, and are very efficient type of biological filters which utilize silica chips or sand as filter medium.
- Power filters
These filters are very commonly used aquarium filter, because they can offer excellent chemical, mechanical and biological filtration at the same time.
- Sponge filters
These filters are fitted over tube from power head or an air pump. Since water will be forced through this filter the bacteria will grow to establish biological filtration.
- Trickle filters
These filters are also called wet/dry filters. The trickle filter is designed for exposing the water as much to the air as possible. It is accomplished by permitting the water of aquarium to trickle over container of media, e.g. plastic strands, balls or floss.
- Under gravel filter (UGF)
The UGF is another popular aquarium filter which has been in the market for quite long time. UGF utilizes plate filter which is placed under substrate, and aquarium water will be pulled by an air pump down through substrate.
It will also take the particulate matter along with it. But biological filtration only is limited with such type of system, where chemical filtration is totally non-existent.
This type of UGF is quite inexpensive and easy in setting up, and once it is in operation, it is almost maintenance free.
Disadvantage is UGFs may tend to clog, hence are not considered good choices for those aquariums that are with live plants.