Everything You Need To Know About Filtration

Let’s state the obvious. Fish release waste in the same place where they eat, breathe, and live which is precisely the reason why having an efficient filtration system is crucial to their longevity and well-being. Choosing the appropriate filtration type is important and not something to take lightly.

Choosing the best filter type will depend on several factors. One of the most important things to consider is aquarium size, the types of fish, and the feeding habits. Keeping the water clean is an important action when taking care of a fish tank.

Investing in a quality filter can have several benefits and it makes your water stay fresh and clean without too much hassle. Most aquarium filters perform all three but mostly they are better at one or two at the cost of the others.

Biological is the one that breaks down harmful organics like ammonia, like nitrate, like nitrite, so you want to be confident you have a filter that has a reputation of breaking down harmful organics. Mechanical filtration is the removal of particulates in the water. Lastly, chemical filtration is the one that will essentially make your water clear and it’s using media such as carbon or phosphate remover.

In this brief guide, we will go through 3 types of filtrations.

Mechanical: The replacement of solid waste, organic debris, and other particulate matter by confining it on coarse or sponge material and then cleaning or replacing the media. This is mostly placed in the first stage of filtration, although sometimes fine media can be used for water “polishing” and it is most commonly placed at the back end flow of the canister filters. The density of such material will ascertain what size particles are filtered out and the result will be water purity. Finer media renders clear water but it comes at a price of cleaning or replacing it frequently

Chemical: The absorption of dissolved pollutants using granular materials such as carbon, ion exchange resins, zeolite, and other media. Carbon removes the yellow or greenish tint that can be commonly found in aquariums that have a longer life cycle. Specially managed pads that can be cut to an extent are also ready to provide both mechanical and chemical filtration. Chemical filtration is in most cases the second or third stage in the filtration process but its model diversifies on personal preferences and philosophies. There is nothing to do with this media once its course runs out but to replace it with a fresh one.

Biological: The conversion of toxic ammonia to nitrite, and then nitrite to nitrate through oxidation by nitrifying bacteria, known as the Nitrogen Cycle or Biological Filtration

These bacteria can grow on permanent media which you do not replace or modify. Biological media can be made of ceramic, sintered glass, plastics, or even sponges. The best bio-media will contain a large amount of surface for maximum bacterial growth. Most commonly biological filter media is in the last stage of the filtration funnel allowing the beneficial bacteria thrive in the cleanest water.


The progress that has been made in filtration technology across the past years has delivered the hobby of keeping aquatic life more effortless and has allowed us to control organisms that we could not do in the previous years. Again, before addressing a decision as to what sort of filter that you are going to install, you need to decide on the quantity and type of species that you intend to keep, and what their requirements are. Taking those needs into consideration, you can then weigh the strengths and weaknesses together with the cost of the filtration that will suit your needs.

There are several possibilities as you may well know by now. When it comes down to making a choice, which aquarium filtration system is right for you. Each variety of filtration has its pros and cons. Not every filtration will be the right option for any given fish tank. You must know the parameters of your fish tank.

Due to the consequence of your filtration system on the fish tank and its health. It is always recommended to consult a reputable store for more information. It is better to ask your local fish dealer than to make a costly mistake and endanger the small piece of nature in your home.  A knowledgeable salesperson should be capable of giving the right advice and clear any doubts about which particular filtrations suit your needs the most.

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