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Choosing The Right Fish Tank Filters

The article is devoted to Choosing The Right Fish Tank Filters. Other than a heater, fish tank filters are probably the most important element in an aquarium set up. Without using proper fish tank filters, the water in your tank will be stagnant, cloudy and make it almost impossible for your fish to live well.

In general, fish tank filters come in two main categories; external and internal. Both these fish tank filters can be used for either salt water or fresh water tanks.

Choosing The Right Fish Tank Filters


Internal Fish Tank Filters

Internal fish tank filters come in two basic types. The first type of internal filter, the undergravel filter, is usually used in fresh water fish tanks. Undergravel filters consist of a raised plastic grate which lies on the base of the aquarium with gravel placed over it as base material.

Clear vertical tubes are attached to holes in the filter and these have either a power head which sits on top or sometimes a bubbler inserted in them. The gravel acts as a filter as water is forced to flow through it, collecting sediments, excess food and fish waste and pumping clear water back up the tube into the tank.

Other Internal Fish Tank Filters

The other type of internal filter is similar to a sump tank that lies just below the main tank, used mainly for salt water aquariums. This filtration system has an internal tube which flows water into the sump, from which it is then pumped through a series of filters that traps all the waste material and even bad bacteria.

The water that is filtered is then pumped back into the tank from the top, providing not only filtration but also excellent circulation. This type of filter can be a little expensive and noisy but it is a lot better than the gravel type. However, if you are considering it, bear in mind that you would have to custom build your fish tank to support the sump base. Almost all ready made fish tanks are generally not capable of this type of filtration system.

External Fish Tank Filters

External fish tank filters are the best type of filtration system to use if you are able to afford it. Because the filtering happens outside of the aquarium, it keeps the clean filtered water separated from the unfiltered water before it is returned pristine to the tank. Generally, external filters have a few long hoses connected to them, providing separate supply and return routes. Though it is the most effective filtration system, it is however the most expensive.

Local pet stores generally carrying the cheaper types of filters, mainly the fish tank undergravel filter. If you’re planning to get the more expensive version which are generally more effective, you would have to look for the filter of your choice at a specialized fish store. If you do decide on investing for a better fish tank filter, it would be advisable to install an external filter. It would initially cost more but in the long run, having an external filter would save you on maintenance costs and provide your fish with a healthy environment to live longer and even breed.

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