Aquarium is a vivarium which has at least one transparent side and is used to keep aquatic animals, invertebrates and amphibians. Generally, aquariums are used to keep fish. People are of the opinion that maintaining an aquarium is a tedious job but if done with care it is not so difficult to maintain. Nowadays aquarium filters, are the latest type of aquariums which come with filter facility making it easier to clean the aquarium. Following are some of the important features and functions of aquarium filters:
* They serve as critical components of marine aquarium and freshwater
* They help to remove chemical and physical waste products and help to maintain the cleanliness of the tank
* They help to support life in aquariums by maintaining good hygiene in the tank.
* Nitrogenous wastes are also cleaned by the filter and thus it helps to maintain a balance of nitrogen in the aquarium.
* With help of mechanical filtration, various harmful particles can be removed from the water column. These particles may contain uneaten food materials, algal debris, faeces, dead plants etc.
Aquarium filters come in a variety of types which will suit all your requirements. External and internal filters are the two major types.
An external filter is a commercial type of filter which removes all the water from the aquarium. Once the water is removed, it goes through various levels which filters the water and the filtered water is filled back in the aquarium. The external filters are handy and require less maintenance. Following are some of the commonly used external aquarium filters:
* Canister filters are used to filter greater quantity of waste materials. This filter offers much better flexibility than the other filters. There is a pipe found in the bottom of the filter which allows the entry of the water. The water is filtered as it passes through some filter material and is pumped back in the aquarium with the help of tan electric pump which is fitted on the top of the canister. The only drawback of the canister filters is that they are more expensive in comparison to the other filters and the tubes of these filter are long in size so they are difficult to clean.
* Diatom filters have some limitations that they can be used only for sporadic cleaning of tanks and cannot be operated continuously on aquariums. However, this filter is used for removing extremely fine particles and it can easily remove the ultra fine particles from the water column.
Internal filters are filters which are fitted in the aquarium itself which may make use of the electric pump or the internal power lifter. For cleaning they make the use of the sponge filter, foam cartridge filter etc. Following are some of the commonly used internal filters:
* Airlift filters, they make the use of sponge filters and corner filters. Both these filters used have the same mechanism. The filters are generally placed at the corners of the tank. They are suitable for cleaning the aquariums of smaller sizes.
* Under gravel filters comprise of one or more number of tubes. The under gravel filters consist of a porous plate which is fitted at the base of the aquarium. These filters are driven by means of air displacement. Water is forced out of the uplift tube due to the air stones present at the base. This creates negative pressure on the uplift tube. Once the pressure is built the percolation of water takes place from the gravel which then acts as a filtering material. The greater the flow of water, the greater is the amount of filtration.