Categorized | Fish, Tips

What Aquarium Owners Need to Know about Pond Filters

Pond filters are vital components of both marine and freshwater aquaria. They automatically clean your aquarium for you by removing soluble chemicals and physical waste products. Pond filters are necessary for supporting aquaria because of the small size and closed environment within your tank.

Marine life kept in an aquarium produce a high volume of waste through respiration and excrement. Other sources of waste are dead fish and uneaten food which may accumulate in the aquarium and contaminate the water. As the level of contamination increases, the threat to the health of your marine life drastically increases and it becomes necessary to eliminate the constant production of waste, bacteria, and chemicals. Filtration is the most common method for maintaining aquarium sanitation and keeping marine life healthy.

The types of Filtration can be categorized into three groups, namely:

  • Biological Filtration
  • Mechanical Filtration
  • Chemical Filtration

Managing the nitrogen cycle of your aquarium is one of the most important ways to keep it clean. Excreted waste and other decomposing organic matter in the aquarium produce ammonia, a highly toxic substance to fish and marine life. However, ammonia can easily be converted to a less dangerous substance called nitrite which can then be converted to a safe substance called nitrate.

The process to transform toxic ammonia into harmless nitrate is a bacterial oxidation process. Not only are nitrates harmless, but most aquarium plants use them as nutrients to facilitate growth. If your aquarium does not have plants, you should consider incorporating other special bacteria that convert nitrates into nitrogen gas. Compared to a natural habitat for aquatic animals, an aquarium is an imperfect environment because it is usually more densely stocked with more marine life. Therefore, the amount of ammonia produced in a small environment is extremely compact relative to its natural counterpart. This requires creation of a special environment such as a chemically inactive porous sponge inside the aquarium that will encourage the development of bacteria.

Development of bacterial clusters can take several weeks. During this time, your aquarium is vulnerable and marine life should be added very slowly to ensure their survival. It has been noted that the main causes of marine life mortality, especially fish in aquariums, is the accumulation of ammonia due to overloading or poor maintenance and care of the tank.

Mechanical Filtration 

Mechanical filtration is the process of removing insoluble solid materials from water. These solid materials can be algae debris, plant remains, feces or uneaten food. Mechanical filtration is usually accomplished by passing water through a special material, usually in form of a mesh that acts as a sieve, which traps the solid waste. The waste is then collected and physically eliminated from the aquarium.

Chemical Filtration
Chemical filtration removes waste that has already dissolved in the water. Dissolved waste is extremely difficult to eliminate and requires several techniques. The most popular and commonly used methods include:

  • Activated Carbons
  • Foam Fractionation

However, healthy plants can play a role in the elimination of soluble chemical waste because they extract dissolved chemicals from the water during growth.

Good maintenance of aquariums should also involve filtering waterborne pathogens through sterilisation. This is achieved by passing the water through special filtration devices that expose it to concentrated ultraviolet light; or through exposing the aquarium water to dissolved ozone gas.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.