Filtration of your Aquarium
Regardless of the type of aquarium you own, and regardless of the species and number of fish and plants that are housed there, water filtration is essential. In fact, very quickly a number of organic waste will accumulate, polluting the water and compromising the proper biological balance of your aquarium and the health of its residents. This waste is visible to the naked eye (plant debris, food remains, animal waste ...), but also invisible: it is the nitrogenous waste, which is responsible for the increase in ammonia and nitrate levels in water , And which are obviously harmful to the health of your fish.
There are two types of filtration: mechanical filtration, and biological filtration. In practice, these two types of filtration are generally carried out simultaneously and in the same place. We separate them here for a better understanding.
It is a matter of filtering and clearing the water from your tank of all debris visible to the naked eye. To do this, the water is passed under pressure through a filtering mass of different types possible, the waste then remaining imprisoned therein. This filtration can be done in the aquarium itself, or outdoors.
This filtration is carried out by the use of so-called nitrifying bacteria: they use nitrogenous waste for their metabolism, and thus clear your aquarium. As a rule, these bacteria naturally colonize the mechanical filter media, whether it is the sand or the substrate itself, or any other filter material used.
Different methods of filtering.
Filtration under sand.
The sand or substrate is quickly colonized by nitrifying bacteria, which will ensure biological filtration.
However, this method has the disadvantage of being partial and there are materials which will not be completely degraded: it will therefore be necessary, very regularly, to empty your aquarium and to clean thoroughly and deeply the sand or the substrate, in order to get rid of the waste Filtered.
The gutter filter, or dry filter or trickle filter
The polyurethane filter
The ceramic tubes
For large filtration systems, it will be advantageous to use several filtering materials simultaneously. (Ceramic tubes + activated carbon for example, or ceramic tubes + polyurethane filter)
The filtration flow.
The filtration flow depends on the power of the pump, but also on the compactness of the filter material. The filtration flow will be selected and adjusted according to the population of fish present in the tank, the plants and the size of the aquarium. Some fish consume a lot of oxygen (Cichlids) or others have a great need of current: it will be necessary to choose a filtration rate of 3 or 4 times the volume of the tank per hour or even more for some very polluting species. Conversely, smaller fish, or quieter and more fragile fish, will not have to undergo a flux greater than 1 or 2 times the volume of the tank per hour. For aquariums rich in plants (which consume carbon dioxide and release oxygen by photosynthesis), a high flow rate (very oxygenating) is not recommended.
In all cases, do not forget to place a strainer at the mouth of the suction to avoid aspiring the smaller fish (fry). On the other hand, do not clean all the filter media simultaneously so as to allow the nitrifying bacteria time to colonize the cleaned material from the dirty material.