By : Devin Gilliland
Aquarium filters come in many shapes and sizes. Their
principles of filtering the media inside the aquarium are entirely
different too, and so is their effectiveness. Based on their principle
of functioning, aquarium filters can be classified into three main
These filters actually allow the aquarium
medium to pass through a pad or a sponge that holds back the impurities
within the medium and allows clear liquid to pass through.
Chemical filters use the principle of
adsorption to allow the pollutants in the aquarium medium to get
adhered to them and then eliminated. Generally, activated carbon black
is used in such aquarium filters. The benefit of chemical aquarium
filters is that they can remove not only the impurities within the
aquarium, but also foul odors and colors from within. Hence, the water
that passes through a chemical filter is much purer than that passing
through a mechanical filter.
As their name suggests, biological filters
use real live organisms and microorganisms to clean out the inside
environment of the aquarium tank. Biological filters might just refer
to a bed of bacteria on the aquarium gravel. Bacteria are very useful
in the aquarium to maintain the ammonium cycle, which helps in removing
the nitrite and nitrate impurities.
Since mechanical filters
contain mechanical components such as pads and sponges, physical
cleaning is often required. Sponges have pores, and these pores can get
clogged with impurities. Hence, it is necessary to take out these
sponges and pads and to rinse them under flowing water at least once in
seven days. But that really will depend on the population of the tank
and how many impurities are produced in it.
Chemical filters use activated
carbon black, which cannot remain for a long time in its activated
state. Hence, these filters will lose out on their effectiveness in
some time. Generally, chemical filters need replacement of the
activated carbon black every alternate month.
It is difficult to clean
biological filters because they are microscopic living organisms. A
careful rinsing method can be employed taking care that the bacterial
growths remain intact. It is wiser to actually clean out the mechanical
and chemical filters before handling the biological filters, because
many a time, cleaning out the mechanical and chemical filters cleans
out the biological filters too.
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