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Friday, October 24, 2008

Aquarium Filters - What Types Of Filters Can I Buy?

By Jamie Boyle

With any new aquarium set up, you going to need to have a good aquarium filter on your tank to help keep it clean. Aquarium filters not only keep your water clean but it keeps the water safe for fish to live. A good way to look at it is that your aquarium filter is the engine of your tank set up much like a car. Without an engine the car won't run. Well if the filter doesn't run everything else in your aquarium can fail and you could possibly lose your fish. Your filter is basically the heart of your aquarium and you need to make sure you have excellent filtration to make sure your fish have a healthy and safe home.

What Type Of Aquarium Filters Are There?

For aquariums there are basically 3 types of aquarium filters you can choose from:

1. Outside Power Filters
2. Undergravel Filters
3. Canister Filters

Each of these above mentioned aquarium filtration systems all work great and each has there own unique advantages.

Outside power filters are ones I like to use on my aquariums. They are easy access and works great at keeping my water crystal clear. Outside power filters are the ones that hang on the outside of your aquarium. How they work is that they have a motor in which it draws water from your aquarium through a tube to inside your filter which contain filter media. Here is where all the dirt, debris, fish feces are the trapped inside in which your beneficial bacteria will begin to grow and break down harmful ammonia and other dissolved gases. I have been using these types of aquarium filters for years and have had great results with fish keeping. A good one I recommend is AquaClear Filters by Hagen, they come in a variety of sizes suitable for all tank sizes and shapes.

Undergravel filters is another way that aquarium owners can lean towards. The term "undergravel filters" explains it all. Your aquarium gravel acts as your filtration system. These filtration systems are operated by an air pump that ends up drawing water through the gravel at the bottom of your tank. Unlike outside power filters which contain ammonia bags, carbon and sponges to trap solids and grow beneficial bacteria on the gravel is your filter media. In amongst the rocks is where fish waste will be trapped and begin to be broken down by beneficial bacteria colonies that are growing. The only thing that people need to remember just like cleaning aquarium filters like the filter media is you need to clean your aquarium gravel regularly. This is your filter media so make sure it is clean and working efficiently.

Canister filters is another choice that aquarium owners can buy for filtration. These aquarium filters work excellent but they cost more then other types of aquarium filters. The good thing with canister filters is that if you have a cabinet or tank stand with doors you can easily hide it tucked away from being seen. The cost of these filters may be more but if you want less maintenance it will be worth the investment. My brother has used these for years with his tropical fish including Oscars, Pacus and Jack Dempseys. This is one filter he highly recommended for people getting into the aquarium hobby.

All these above types of aquarium filters all work but with anything in life you need to decide what types of budget your allowing yourself for this hobby. Decide what you want to spend and buy the aquarium filter that best suits you and your tank. If your a beginner and not sure if your going to enjoy taking care of an aquarium then why go out and spend a lot of money on the top of the line filtration system. It could be a waste of money just to find out that it's not something you enjoy. If your serious about the aquarium hobby then I would suggest buying the canister aquarium filters. This aquarium filter would be your best option and will keep your aquarium looking great. Hope this information helps you and good luck at shopping for your new aquarium filter.