When choosing to filter the water in your home, don’t forget about your pets! Aquarium filters are a key component in any functioning fish tank. Whether you have a small 10-gallon tank with only a few fish in it or a massive 250-gallon miniature established ecosystem, you need to have the right filter installed and working properly to ensure the health of your fish. There are quite a few kinds of aquarium filters to choose from, and you may feel a little overwhelmed making the right call if this is your first aquarium.
Undergravel filters – Undergravel filters are just what they sound like: filters that are placed underneath the gravel in the fish tank. Water is pumped through the gravel using a small air pump tube. As it passes up through the gravel, sediment, bacteria, and other contaminants are filtered out. This is a good option for a smaller fish tank, but larger ones may create too much waste for this to be a viable option. The more fish you have, the more waste will build up in the gravel, and the more frequently you’ll need to perform a full tank cleaning.
Internal filters – These filters are fully encased for placement near the bottom of the fish tank. They are used to suck waste out of the water before it can settle on the bottom of the tank. They’re best for smaller tanks that don’t have too many fish present, and they’re also excellent options for quarantine tanks containing sick fish and those in which you’re trying to raise babies. These are some of the gentlest filters available on the market today.
Canister filters – Canister filters are very large and designed to hang on the back of your fish tank. They can contain up to three different types of filter media for excellent filtration from start to finish. With one of these filters in place, you won’t have to perform regular tank cleanings too often, and you’ll have healthy fish for a long time to come. They are best suited for larger tanks, and they’re the perfect choice for more complicated saltwater aquariums. They are too strong for sick or very young fish.
Power filters – This is the most common type of aquarium filter. Power filters come in many sizes and hang on the back of your fish tank. They can last for a long time as long as you remember to change the internal filter cartridge media on a regular basis. This media is usually made up of paper and carbon, but it may be made of other filter materials as well.