Filtration for Your Aquarium

Filtration is one of the most important factors to consider in starting an aquarium, as a good filter will keep your water clean, clear, and healthy for your fish. Filters come in all different sizes to accommodate different aquariums, so there is not necessarily a “right” or “wrong” filter – there is only a filter that best fits your aquarium’s specific needs. There are three categories of filtration that are necessary for the health of any aquarium:

Filter Components

Mechanical filtration is simply the removal of visible particles and wastes from the aquarium. External and internal power filters, canister filters, and even sponge filters provide this type of filtration. Most canister filters provide several chambers, giving you the flexibility of changing only a portion of the filter’s contents when necessary. Examples of mechanical filtration are foam, open cell sponge, microfiltration pads, and polyester filter pads.

Chemical filtration removes harmful chemicals that we typically cannot see. As water passes through chemical filtration, it will remove colors, odors, organics, unwanted nutrients, and harmful toxins, such as nitrite and ammonia. There are several types of chemical filtration, such as API® ACTIVATED FILTER CARBON, the API® SOFT WATER PILLOW, and ion-specific resins for nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, and silicate. When water testing indicates a specific concern, ion-selective resins are a great way to ensure that your tank’s water quality remains healthy and safe for fish.

Biological filtration is a natural process, and is perhaps the most important of the three types of filtration. Adding a biological filter media enables the necessary bacteria to establish and maintain a healthy aquatic ecosystem. Beneficial bacteria in your filter naturally converts poisonous ammonia into nitrite, and then into harmless nitrate. You can ensure this process is working as it should by using a treatment such as API® STRESS ZYME, or API® QUICK START, that adds beneficial bacteria to your water.

All types of filtration aid in the overall health of your fish and a pleasant aesthetic for your aquarium. Choose the best filter for your aquarium for a safe environment and cleaner, clearer water for your fish!

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