Having a water fixture like an aquarium at home can be very beneficial to a home. For many homeowners, having an aquatic body can bring peace and take the stress away from long days’ of hard work. For children, it can be learning experience as keeping an aquarium can teach them the diversity of life in more ways than one. And it can also be a very good accent on homes. Aquariums are proven to be a lovely decor of a room, bringing a sense of calm and serenity at every corner.
But aside from the aesthetic value, aquariums can also make people appreciate the beauty of aquatic life no matter what size. Today, more and more people are becoming a fan of such hobby. Many homeowners are buying and purchasing aquariums and indulge themselves with fish keeping.
However, some aquarium owners find having a water accent like an aquarium a daunting task. It is a must that the aquarium is kept clean and well-maintained to ensure that the fishes and other aquatic animals living in the water space are healthy and well. The aquarium should be sustained properly to guarantee that the water organisms taking refuge on the aquarium will live longer. That is why it is important for the owner to install a couple of filters and filter media to make keeping it clean and make for fishes live longer.
What is an Aquarium Filter and How It Can Help Your Aquarium?
Over time, the water in your aquarium accumulates dust and debris which makes the waters look muddy. Also, the biological waste from aquatic animals, corals, and the sand also contribute to the filth. Not only muddy water look unsightly, it can also affect the lifespan of the aquatic animals.
The filtration system can be categorized into three: mechanical, chemical, and biological.
Three Categories of Filtration System
1. Mechanical Filtration
Mechanical filtration is one of the common filtration systems for aquariums. This system removes the visible floating particles on the tank by siphoning the water through the power filter.
2. Biological Filtration
Biological filtration, on the other hand, is considered as a vital part of the cleaning process of the tanks. It uses good bacteria to purify and cleanse the water. The good bacteria convert elements like ammonia into nitrite, then into nitrate. High levels of ammonia can poison and kill the fish in the tank that is why it is a must to regulate its level.
3. Chemical Filtration
Lastly, chemical filtration can help on removing the dissolved and unseen waste in the aquarium water. Activated carbon plays a major part in this process. These elements can reduce the color and odor of the water, eliminates chlorine, keep the fishes healthy at all times.
What is Filter Media?
Filter media, on the other hand, is the key to making the filtration process successful. Filter media are the substance that is put on the filtration system to dissolve the visible and unseen debris by keeping the water supply habitable for the aquatic animals in the tank. Filter media makes it possible for the filter to work continuously as it breaks up the elements and prevents clogging of the filter itself.
Kinds of Filter Media
There are different kinds of filter media available in the market today and it depends on the needs of your aquarium.
1. Foam or Sponge
The first one is the foam or sponge. These filter media are often used by mechanical filters (coarse foam) and biological filters (fine foam). Aside from sifting the water and debris, the material of the sponge or foam makes it possible to maximize water contact by deviating the course of water as it passes through the sponge filter. It is also easy to clean and can be used for a couple of times.
2. Carbon Filter
The carbon filter is also another type of filter media. It uses activated carbon to cleanse and filter the water. Some people may have reservations about using this material, but it is proven on filtering the water and removes impurities like urine and fish debris. This medium uses the process of adsorption wherein elements and heavy metals are dissolved completely to a surface. For owners who are not keen on maintaining their tanks, this filter is perfect as it can last for months.
3. Lab Series Opti-carb
The Lab Series Opti-carb is a fairly new filter medium that is available on the market today. This media is a combination of quality carbons and resins that dissolve the impurities before they break down into toxic compounds that might endanger the aquatic species in the tank and improve the quality of water inside, whether it is fresh or saltwater. Moreover, it does not affect the pH levels in the water, which is essential to marine life.
4. Ammonia Remover
It is mentioned that high levels of ammonia can be fatal to aquatic life. Ammonia is present in tap water, which we usually use in fish tanks to decrease high levels of ammonia in the water, aqua hobbyists use this ammonia remover filter. Salt is the most common form of ammonia remover filters. It binds the ammonium compounds and removes it completely from the water. But this kind of filter is not advisable to use in saltwater as the high levels of ammonia in the surface will overpower the solution. Also, it must be used with other filters to ensure that the ammonia is completely removed from the supply.
5. Lab Series Phosphate Remover
The presence of phosphate is very much apparent on fresh and tap water. High levels of phosphate can lead to unhealthy conditions of the marine ecosystem inside the aquarium. To remedy this situation, aquarium owners use Lab Series Phosphate Remover to treat the water supply. This medium removes and dissolves silicate compounds and harmful organics to give the aquarium a healthier and cleaner water supply. This filter medium is also perfect for treating saltwater.
6. Bio-Max Filter Media
Ceramic tubes and chips like the Bio-Max filter media is a good purifying and filtering agent. This type of aquarium filter medium is composed of a complex porous system which reduces both ammonia and nitrate in the water. Moreover, it can also help with housing benefit and good bacteria that can help sustain the marine ecosystem inside the aquarium.
7. Pre-Filter and Polywool
Pre-Filter and Polywool, on the other hand, give additional supports for your filter media.
It can be used as a mechanical and biological filter.
Aside from trapping visible impurities, these two can also help in making sure that good bacteria are present in the aquarium water.
8. Zeo-Carb Filter
For removing both ammonia and nitrate on the supply, many aquarium hobbyists use Zeo-Carb filter.
But more than removing ammonia and nitrate, this filter also traps harmful organic compounds that are present in the water. It also maintains pure and clean water supply in freshwater aquariums.
9. Lab Series Nitrate Remover
The Lab Series Nitrate Remover is also good for removing nitrate and ammonia in the water tank. Both chemical compounds can be a threat to the aquatic animals so it must be removed.
This filter media can remove both in a matter of hours without endangering the organisms inside the tank.
Choosing the Right Aquarium Filter Media
There are a lot of filter media that you can use for your aquarium. But before getting one or two of them, it is a must that you determine your aquarium needs. One factor that needs to be taken into consideration is the type of water you have. Fresh and salt water have different water structures and therefore need different kinds of treatments. Be sure to determine which of the two are in your aquarium.
Also, it would be best to know the elements present in the water supply. Have your water checked and tested to know whether your aquarium water has high levels of ammonia, phosphate, or nitrate. From there, you can draw a conclusion and narrow down the list of what filter media should you be using for your aquarium.