5 Best Type of Aquarium Filter You Should Know
Of all the equipment that you can get for your aquarium, fish tank filters are definitely the most important. You will have to accept that your fish have been taken out of their natural habitat and thrown into one that is a totally unfamiliar to them. In order to ensure that they have a chance to survive in this artificial environment, you will have to replicate the ecosystem that the fish came from.
Fish tank filters cleanse the aquarium water of mechanical, chemical and biological waste. Without them, the water would turn cloudy within a day and be too polluted for your fish even to survive a day. That is why it is crucial to select the best type of aquarium filter that is just right for you.
Selecting the filtration system for your tank is more a personal decision rather than a technical one. You can read this filters buying guide to find the best aquarium filter and get what you need for your tank. What you will have to consider is your budget, the amount of time you have to do maintenance tasks, the size of your fish tank, the size of fishes you keep and the location of your aquarium.
Selecting Best Aquarium Filter Types
In this post we will look at the various fish tank filters and how they will meet your own criteria.
1) Diatom Fish Tank Filters
A diatom fish tank filter uses diatomaceous earth as its filter media to filter out waste and debris from the aquarium water. While it is not as expensive as canister fish tank filters, they do cost more than other conventional filters. This is definitely the best filter that you could buy. It works for all sizes of fish tanks and any amount of fish. In terms of maintenance, diatom filters are not meant to run throughout the day like conventional filters. You would need to run it for about 2 to 3 hours at least once or twice a day.
2) Canister Fish Tank Filters
The most expensive and most efficient among conventional aquarium filters. Canister filters provide all forms of filtration outside of the fish tank and pump back clean water into the aquarium. The great thing about the canister filter is that it requires extremely little maintenance, probably once every three months or so and yet manages to keep the water pristine. That’s why the canister filter is the best type of aquarium filter today. Also, this type is ideal for larger fish tanks and for people with very little time for aquarium maintenance.
3) Hang On Fish Tank Filters
Also known as External Fish Tank Filters, these filters are hung on the outside of the fish tank and provide filtration away from the aquarium water. They are cheaper than canister filters and provide sufficient filtration for any size fish tank. But because of the power of the suction, they are more suitable for medium to big fishes. The filter media used in them is located in the body of the filter and cleaning it is just a matter of taking out the filter media and washing, without having to dip your hands in the aquarium water.
4) Sponge Fish Tank Filters
Sponge filters are usually used along with power filters but can be used alone, connected to a pump. Filtration is performed by the sponge which traps the debris as well as providing biological filtration from the colonies of beneficial bacteria that grows on the sponge itself. It is a cheap but effective form of filtration. However, it does require a lot of maintenance especially if you have a lot of fish and feed them too much. The sponge needs to be physically removed from the water and washed at least once a week. This can be a messy job and a little time consuming. It’s a great filter for smaller tanks with tiny or weakfish because the suction is not too strong.
5) Corner Fish Tank Filters
Also known as Box Filters, the filters media which usually a sponge is inside a box that sits inside the fish tank in a corner. Not an efficient filter, it gets dirty fast and needs to be maintained a lot or else it will back up the waste matter into the aquarium water. Only consider it if you really cannot afford any other filter. Not at all suitable for a medium or large fish tank.