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Different Types of Filter

Date Published - 20th March 2014 - Published by - iQuatics Ltd

Choosing a filter system for your aquarium is complicated by the many variables which you will need to take into account. Your tank size as well as which fish you have in your set-up will both play a part as you endeavour to select the right filter for your needs. Some of the most common styles of filter include the undergravel filter, which is in fact not a complete filtration system on its own, the canister filter and the hang-on filter. Each has its own pros and its own cons and of course, this isn’t even taking into consideration the other types of filter available on the market today. A comprehensive look at the various common styles of filter is a good way to begin to understand which filter is the right one for you.

Hang-on filters
Hang-on tank filters are very convenient; they’re particularly powerful and run for very little cost. Because they’re situated outside of the tank, maintenance is very easy to manage unlike under gravel filters which sit beneath the gravel making access difficult. To maintain a hang-on filter, it’s as simple as popping open the casing, removing the pad from inside and replacing it with a new pad. The actual interior of the casing should be cleaned from time to time as a build up of reside will occur if it’s not well maintained
Because hang-on filters are quite simple and not very large, they may not be the best choice for large aquariums due to the fact that they can’t contain much…which when your tank is full of large fish is not ideal, owing to the amount of waste which large fish create.
Canister filters
Canister filters need more maintenance than hang-on filters but they’re larger and have more capacity for media…which is a good thing if your tank is large. One downside to canister filters is that if they are not well maintained they can swiftly reduce water quality within your aquarium as the build up of waste causes a smaller amount of water to push through the filter meaning less water pushing into the tank. Canister filters also take rather more time to maintain as they must be taken completely apart for proper cleaning due to the parts inside which are rather more complex than a simple hang-on filter’s.
Undergravel filters
One of the best features of undergravel filters is their complete invisibility; once they’re in situe there’s no ugly mechanism on display at all and you are able to enjoy an unfettered view of your aquarium. However, undergravel filters are also awkward to maintain and there can also be issues with fish becoming trapped under their plates…some fish like to burrow and hide under handy objects and they don’t care if it is the filter…they’ll get in somehow. Most fish will find their own way out but some won’t and this is obviously a situation best avoided.
The best and most reliable way to choose the right system for your needs is to discuss it with your supplier; your tank and what you’ve got living in it will be best cared for when you get the filtration system right…this might mean that you try one type and realise that another would be better! Keep an open mind and weigh up the pros and cons and as long as you choose carefully you will find that your own experience coupled with your aquariums performance will give you the best clues as to which is the best filter for your needs.
You have just read another great aquarium blog post by iQuatics. If you would like us to blog about a specific subject or if you have your own aquarium blog content which you would like published on our website, please get in touch. Together we can help grow the iQuatics aquarium blog into a vast resource full of combined industry knowledge.

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