Choosing the best aquarium filter for your tank can become very frustrating. There are so many different models on the market, and not all of them are crafted from the high-quality materials. Some end up noisy and bothersome, while others will get clogged and need constant replacement and cleaning. You don’t want to end up investing in an aquarium filter system that doesn’t work, especially when you’re forking out your hard earned cash. You also don’t want to put your fish’s health in jeopardy.
Before you go and choose the best aquarium filter, you should come up with a budget or price range you want to stay in. You’ll find that many filters on the market vary in price range depending on the features available. You need to remember that just because a filter is priced at a higher rate, it does not mean that it will work any better than a different filter. Cheap fish filters can also easily break. Make sure you do your research before making a purchase.
Types of Filter
There are various types of filters available today. You will usually see; HOB, Internal, Canister, Sponge, Undergravel, and many more. A HOB system stands for “hang on back” filter. This filter is placed on the top of the tank and hangs over the edge. The internal system is placed submerged inside the tank and water. Beware that internal aquarium filter reviews have stated that this type of filter can accidentally suck up smaller fish. A canister is designed for heavily stocked aquariums and is placed outside the tank. The sponge system is used for biological filtration which provides your fish with good bacteria. It’s placed inside the tank and grows bacterial colonies on it. And lastly, an undergravel system is placed underneath rocks inside the tank.
In rare cases you’ll find systems in which you can choose which type of filters to install in your filtration system. There are three main types of filters designed to be placed into your system; mechanical, chemical, and biological. Mechanical filtration focuses on removing particles, waste, and other debris. Chemical filtration uses activated carbon to remove organic pollutants in the water. Lastly, biological uses bacteria to break down ammonia into nitrites. These nitrites will then be further broken down the more they go through the filter.
Many modern filtration systems require that you set them up yourself. If you’re new to installing fish tank filtration systems, this may be challenging. It depends on what type of filter you got in the first place, but you will have to mount the system onto your tank, put in the cartage filters, and then make sure the whole system is at the right setting for your tank. Some systems will include what is called a “self-priming” configuration. These will automatically adjust the flow rate of your tank based off of how much is in your tank.
A majority of filtration systems are not quiet. Many companies have monopolized the realization that fish owners would choose as the best aquarium filter the filtration system that does not make any noise. Because of this fact, companies have begun developing quiet fish filters that stay quiet while in use. Many of these systems are not as strong as others, as the motor on filters usually cause them to make more noise the stronger they are. If you’d like a quiet filter then look for the keywords; quiet, noise reduction, and internal.
Depending on which system you choose, you will have to change the filtration element every once in awhile. Most systems will require you to replace the filters every 5-8 weeks. Some systems will also require that you clean out the entire system since there can be a build up of debris outside of the filter. If you don’t want to have to check the filter every few weeks, you can opt to buy a system which tells you when you need to replace the filters.
Flow rate refers to how many gallons of water the filter can clean per hour. This term is usually displayed as “GPH” on websites or the product. The higher the GPH, the faster your filtration system will clean the water in the tank. This is great for individuals who find that they own many fish or fish who create a lot of waste. If you have only a few fish in a tank you can easily set or buy your filter at a lower GPH. You should remember that the smaller the tank, the less GPH your best aquarium filter needs. Sometimes if you buy one with a high GPH with a small tank, you’ll risk the water flow scooping up your fish and catching them in the filter system. Please be aware that you do not need a high GPH unless you’re cleaning a bigger tank.
Customization & Adjustable Settings
The number one setting you will want to look for is customization and adjustable settings on your system. The reason for this is because you can change the GPH and water flow direction to your liking. Meaning that if you buy a system that has a high GPH, you can turn it down if you’re using a smaller tank.
Some filtration systems are designed to be used for certain tanks and environments. Some are built to be saltwater aquarium filters while others are built to be freshwater fish filters. Be sure that when you’re selecting a marine aquarium filter, you find one that works for the type of fish and tank you are going to use. If you don’t, you may risk injuring or killing your fish. The smallest filter you will find is a 10-gallon aquarium filter, and the biggest being a 75-gallon aquarium filter. Large aquarium filters can be trickier to find, however, it is still possible.
Lastly, you’ll need to consider how long you want the filter to last. Many of these filtration systems will not last long. This is because many of them were created to function at a very high speed. This wears out the system, especially if they are made of plastic. Be aware of what materials the filter is made out of because you’ll want to find one that is made of high-quality materials. Please do research before you buy aquarium filters.