Filtration is one of the key components of an aquarium or fish tank. As important as it is, you should never cheap out on the filtration of the aquarium as it is responsible for moving and cleaning the water in the fish tank.
A filter is a component that retains the purity of the water, ensuring that the water stays clean while allowing for the water to remain safe for the fish.
While there are many filters in an aquarium, you need to know which one is which and how a specific type of filter may serve its purpose for various types of aquariums.
What are the Different Types of Aquarium Filters?
As mentioned at the beginning, filtration is one of the key aspects of an aquarium or fish tank. There are different types of aquarium filters, categorized into three main types that include:
- Mechanical Filter
A mechanical filter or mechanical filtration in an aquarium deploys the use of sponges, filter floss pads, and filter socks. What these sponges, socks, and floss pads do, is that it physically strains out debris from the water in the fish tank, similar to what a coffee machine does with coffee. In essence, a mechanical filter acts as a trash can that houses all the impurities, dirt, and debris. A mechanical filter is ideal for keeping your water clean, especially when you have a large fish tank with more fish inside.
- Chemical Filter
Coming towards the chemical filter or chemical filtration process, this type of filtration component uses special chemicals like resin or activated carbon to remove chemical-based impurities from the water, including medication and tannins. Once the entire area of the chemical filter is covered, you will need to replace the filter again to continue to block impurities. A chemical filter, therefore, is ideal in situations where you want to clean all kinds of impurities from your fish tank.
- Biological Filter
A biological filter or biological filtration process entails certain aquarium plants or beneficial bacteria to filter out the water. Such plants or beneficial bacteria absorb nitrogen compounds and toxic ammonia that are generated and released from the feces of your fish. The beneficial bacteria reside in the fish tank and grows on any kind of surface including the aquarium gravel and walls of your fish tank, which is why biological filters are equipped with bio-rings or bio media that allow for the bacteria to live in more places as its surface area is large. Hence, if you were looking to make your fish tank the safest, then a biological filter is the way to go.
Are Filters Really That Necessary For Aquariums?
After going through the types of aquarium filters, you must have a general understanding of the significance of filters in a fish tank.
Well, the golden question is not the types of filters, but rather, do you really need a filter for your fish aquarium?
The answer is ABSOLUTELY YES.
At the very least, all of your fish tanks must have an equipped biological filter as they are the cheapest. An aquarium filter not only helps in keeping the water safe from impurities but also allows a safe habitat for the fish, ensuring a sustainable ecosystem for the aquatic life inside the tank.
Without a filter, your fish will die from the growing bacteria inside the fish tank.
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Ranking at the very top, this aquarium filter should be the go-to filter for all aquarium enthusiasts. This filter has powerful features with a whisper-quiet filtering system that will not disturb you. It creates a stress-free environment within the water for the fish, as well as outside the aquarium. It will leave your water crystal clear where your fish can thrive.
- Robust and powerful filter system with whisper quiet filtering process
- Energy saving and can remove odors as well as discoloration
- Deemed as safe and durable as it contains an extra bio foam at the inlet of the filter which makes it safe for the small fishes
- Comes with flow adjustment – you can turn the adjustment knob for a seamless flow of water
- Comes with a one-year guarantee
Featuring another great tool to filter out all the toxins from your aquarium – this one’s a keeper! It comes with biological as well as chemical filtration which will create the ideal environment for your fish to thrive. It not only absorbs odors, but it has activated carbon to trap debris too. Moreover, it can be assembled easily and quickly. It makes a great pick for fresh and saltwater tanks.
- Biological and chemical filtration – excellent water quality for the fishes
- Absorbs odors and traps debris along with fish waste
- Provides oxygen supplement through the generation of air bubbles and water flow
- Comes with adjustable air regulator – great for delicate fishes
3. Tetra 78002
Coming with a plethora of features, this aquarium filter consists of robust and stay clean technology that ensures quiet filtration process. It comes with self priming technology in which the submerged motor starts up with no priming required which can save effort and time for you. It also comes with cartridge refills which makes it cost-effective in the long run.
- Quiet filtration system
- Stay clean technology which allows peaceful environment for the fishes and those around the fish tank
- Can work well in up to 30 gallons of fish tanks
- Maintains efficient pH levels in the water for the fishes to thrive
4. AquaMiracle QF188
Featuring yet another sleek and modern aquarium filter that’s sure to impress you would be this one. It comes with excellent performance and is deemed as safe too. It is fully submersible, so there won’t be chances of any leaks. Apart from that, it comes with three stage filtration that ensures that the water in your aquarium is spotless. It also aerates the water which is essential for your fishes.
- Excellent performance with great power
- Fully submersible, so it is safe for your fishes
- Comes with three stage filtration that removes odor, cleans the water and filters out all the impurities
- It aerates the water which is essential for the fishes and for their growth
- Compact and lightweight
5. Aqua-Tech AQ-78265WM
Presenting you a great option in terms of aquarium filters, this is also a keeper. It features bio foam biological filtration that minimizes the toxins from the water. It works in a quiet way and it is extremely powerful. It works well with 40 or 20 gallon aquariums and has a sleek design that doesn’t look unattractive either.
- Sleek and modern design which is designed to fit standard aquarium hoods and canopies
- Comes with biological filtration that removes all the toxins
- Comes with quiet technology which creates a stress free environment for the fishes and people around it
- Powerful technology that works well with tanks up to 40 gallons
6. AQQA GUS-AQ016-L
This aquarium filter comes with multiple functions with 9 layer ribbing shape sponge design that performs mechanical and biological filtration. This leaves your water spotless. It is power-driven and more efficient as compared to other filters. The sponges are removable so you can easily clean or replace it. It is not only easy to use, but it is suitable for both saltwater and freshwater.
- Comes with multiple functions with nine layer ribbing shape sponge design
- Mechanical and biological filtration along with oxygenation to create the ideal environment for the fishes
- Easy to set up and reliable
- Removable sponges make it easy to clean or replace them whenever you want to
- Comes with two suction cups to stick the filter firmly to any tank position under water – flexible and sturdy
7. MarineLand PF0200B
If you’re looking for something professional and that will last you a long time, then look no further. This aquarium filter is sure to be a keeper. It will impress you with its powerful features like rotating bio wheel that is patented. It comprises of multi stage filtration process which delivers all the essentials for you – mechanical, biological as well as chemical filtration to maintain excellent environment for the fishes.
- Comes with rotating bio wheel that has patent technology
- Mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration
- Reliable with many accessories readily available
- Cartridge friendly – easy to use and reuse
- Will leave your water spotless and sparkling, removing all the excess debris and fish waste
8. AquaClear A610
Another unique and upbeat aquarium filter would be this one. It comes with superior filtration system that is not only energy efficient, but also quick and easy to install. It provides mechanical filtration along with chemical and biological too, ensuring safe environment for your fishes to thrive. Besides that, it is equipped with AquaClear foam with filtration volume up to 7 times more than other filters.
- Mechanical, biological and chemical filtration – safe and hygienic water for the fishes
- Energy efficient filtration process
- Comes with AquaClear foam that will remove all the debris and toxins for superior water quality
- More powerful than other filters and it is easy to install
9. SeaChem 67106500
Featuring another modern solution for all your aquarium needs, this filter is surely going to impress you with its robust functionality. It comes with a hang on design which is appropriate for tanks up to 55 gallons. It is suitable for freshwater as well as saltwater tanks and it comes with self-priming pump, adjustable flow and dual water intake. It is a must have.
- Hang on, space saving and safe design that is appropriate for tanks up to 55 gallons
- Comes with self priming pump, dual water intake and adjustable flow
- Removes debris and toxins seamlessly owing to the powerful technology
- Easy to use and versatile, giving you three years warranty too
10. Fluval 14003A1
Last, but not the least, this filter, though is pricier than others, comes with five stage clip on power filter that is designed for fish tanks weighing up to 70 gallons. It comprises of mechanical stages to trap large and thin debris and it seamlessly slides it out to ensure quick cleaning. It also comes with biological and chemical filtration in which the toxins are removed entirely. This ensures that the water quality is superior for the fishes to remain healthy.
- Five stage clip on power filter
- Biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration system
- Fast and efficient
- Easy to install and will create a healthy environment for your fishes to thrive
It’s important for all aquarium hobbyists to know that filtration is a vital part of having a fish tank. Whether you keep the aquarium in your office or in home, a good filter will ensure a healthy environment for the fish and will make the water clean timely, so it will look more presentable to the viewer as well.
If a healthy environment is created for the fish, it is very likely that they will have a long life and will be healthy too. Moreover, if you have aquatic plants in your fish tank too, then that makes it more desirable to own an effective aquarium filter. All in all, it can be said that aquarium filters are a must have and you should be investing in a good one too, preferably, one that features mechanical, chemical, as well as biological filtration process. You should also ensure that the filter must not be so big that it takes a lot of space in your tank. Good luck with your hunt!