A fish tank filter basically cleans the water of debris, removes the toxic buildup of ammonia and nitrates, and aerates the water so your fish can breathe.
For very basic tanks you can remove the fish, clean the tank, replace the water, then return the fish. But obliviously that’s a strenuous task. Removing the fish is traumatizing, especially for the fish. And there comes the filter, a filter means you don’t have to do all that work every week.
All you have to do for the proper healthy life of your fish is to maintain the filter and make sure it doesn’t get clogged.
There are lots of different filters available. From external to internal filters, there are chemical, mechanical, and even biological ones (where you grow cool colonies of good bacteria that help clean the water). The one you choose should ultimately be based on the needs of your fish and your personal preference.
Before choosing your filter you need to learn about some facts as the size of the aquarium versus the filter size and type along with the three types of filtration systems that occur in an aquarium.
The three types are mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.
- Mechanical Filtration
It is where the water is forced through filter media which is designed to catch particles suspended in the water in your aquarium.
- Chemical Filtration
It occurs when toxic chemicals pass through a resin or media. Some chemical filtration products target specific excessive nutrients or chemicals from the aquarium.
- Biological Filtration
It is the breakdown of different types of bacteria. This is called the nitrogen cycle where waste products, food, and fungi are broken down and create ammonia. Ammonia is toxic to the aquariums inhabitants. If there is sufficient space for the beneficial bacteria to grow, your nitrogen cycle will work properly. A biological filter is designated by the amount of space made for the bacteria to grow on.
Now that you are familiar the three basic types of filtration in an aquatic ecosystem the selection for your filter may not be that onerous.