Saturday, February 14, 2009

What is the best type of filter for my fish tank?


What is the best type of filter for my aquarium or fish tank? this is very common questions asked while working in a pet store. To answer this question correctly we need to know more about your aquarium such as its size and what fish are in it. Seeing you cant tell me right now I will list the different types of fish tank filters you can use in aquariums and explain what suits what best.


  • Internal Filter: I like internal aquarium filters the best for many reasons. They are simple to use, they are quite, they work really well and they don't break down very often. You can get internal filters to suit tanks from 20 liters to 300 litres, or you can use them on bigger tanks by using 2 large ones on each end of your aquarium. As with every product range there is good quality and bad quality products. Generally you get what you pay for, so if you buy one for under $10.00 don't be surprised when it stops working not long after you make the purchase. Internal filters are fairly cheap for how well they work and are best used with tropical fish and goldfish, but can also be used in saltwater aquariums.


  • Canister Filter: Canister filters are very powerful type of filter for your fish tank. Being powerful makes them do a really good job especially on larger sized tanks. You can get canister filters to fit tanks from 100 litres to over 1000 litres. These filters will really get the work done and keep larger tanks clean. Canister filters are a bit more complicated to set up and maintain then other types of filters. They will also cost a bit more than other filters, but if you are serious about keeping a bigger fish tank it is well worth the extra cost and work. Canister filters can be used with tropical fish, cichlids, oscars, marine fish, goldfish or aquatic plant setups.


  • Hang-on Filter: Hang on filters seem to do a job good with keeping your fish tank clean, and they are a fairly popular way to go. Although they do work well I find that they seem to break a little easier, are a little harder to maintain than other filters like internal filters which are similar in price. Another hang-on filters do which some people like and others don't, is they make the water trickle which can be loud and constant. It is personal preference if you like to here the water trick or not. Hang on filters can be used in tanks up to 300 litres and again if you want to use them for bigger aquariums you can use 2 with one on each end of the tank. They cost a bit more than internal filters but they do work well and are best used with tropical fish and goldfish.


  • Under Gravel Filter: Under gravel filters are a little bit more old school than some other filters and really don't do as good a job as the internals, hang-ons or canisters. They will keep your gravel cleaner but the much in the fish tank really doesn't have anywhere to go so it stays in the tank under the gravel. Another downside to these are you need to use a air pump to run it which can be loud and a hassle. They do work as a filter but just not as well as some of the newer type filters you can get. I wouldn't bother putting this type of filter in a tank over 100 Litres but anything up to do should be fine. Under gravel filters will work best with Tropical fish and Goldfish.


  • Sponge Filter: Sponge filters are another older style product but these ones tend to a fairly good job.They are run off an air pump which can be a bit annoying but if you have a lot of tanks you can use one big air pump and attach these to each tank and that will be a good system. You can get them with bigger sponges and smaller sponges to fit all sized tanks to say 200 litres. They are also a good filter to use if you have baby fish in the tank because it wont suck them up. Sponge filters are best used for Tropical fish, Goldfish, Cichlids and baby fish like small guppies.

Even though using a good filter helps keep your tank a lot cleaner there is no better way to maintain and keep your tank clean then doing water changes, which should be a weekly or fortnightly duty. Hope this article can help you when deciding what filter is best to use for your aquarium fish tank.

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