Selecting the right filtration for your aquarium.

so let's get right into it when it comes to setting up your first aquarium and selecting the right equipment to buy it can be a bit overwhelming. However, I'm going to try to keep things very simple in this guide.

Fluval FX6 canister filtration
Fluval G6 filter
marineland Vs FluvalFX6 canister filtration

When setting up a tropical marine tank one of the biggest problems is choosing the type of filtration to be used.
The possibilities are different types. biological filter, under filter, percolator filter, berlin system, denitrators.
Basically, the choice must be made according to the type of aquarium. For example, in an aquarium that will only accommodate fish, a large biological filter with a powerful skimmer will be highly recommended. Such type of filter will effectively work against the nitrites and low ground protein foam the number of phosphates. Nitrates can be eliminated with constant water changes (5% water per week). In fact, over the years, niches of anaerobic bacteria (both in the aquarium and in the filter) will form that will lower the nitrates biologically.

Undergravel filter

tank filtration

The possible types of filtration are Mechanical Chemical and biological

The pros
are easy to set. up not too expensive. you can even use chemical filtration with attachments.

Cons
Very difficult to clean the underside, have to remove the contents of the tank to clean it. uses air stones, so the air pump will be a bit noisier

Spong filter

aquarium filtration

possible types of filtration are mechanical and Biological

Pros

easy to set up. cheap costs works well very efficient good for all tank sizes.

Cons
can be a bit messy when cleaning. The sponge can clog so needs regular cleaning to work effectively uses airstones so possible pump noise.

Internal filter

internal filtration

Pros

easy to set up. not to expensive does a very good job of filtering the tank. fine for most tank sizes. creates good water flow inside the tank.

Cons

Also can get messy when cleaning the filter. Not always easy to know when it gets clogged and needs cleaning. water flow can be a little high for smaller fish.

Hang on the back filters

tank water filtration

Let's look into a better option. The next is hang on the back filters.  These are pretty self-explanatory they hang off of the back of your tank and they have a tube that goes down into the tank.  This sucks the water up into it filter and then through gravity, it dumps over the side into your aquarium.

These are very efficient and probably the most common filters in the hobby.  You can pick them up just about anywhere so for the beginner I think this is a good choice.

possible types of filtration

Mechanical Biological chemical

Pros
easy to set up and use. can be cheap. works very well. very efficient good for most tank sizes. creates good water flow inside the tank. can be nice and quiet. breaks the water surface. relatively easy to clean.

Cons
Does take up extra space behind the tank. easy to clog up so will require regular cleaning.

Over head filter

fish tank water filtration

possible types of filtration

chemical mechanical biological

Pros
very efficient. lots of room for filter media. easy to maintain, nice and quiet.

Cons

takes up room on top of the tank. can be unsightly.

setting up filtration

canister filter now these in my opinion unless you're going to go with the last option they're the most efficient way to go they are absolutely silent, you have a lots of options of things that you can put into these filters to help keep the water cleaner and just filter it better so canister filters they're great but they are a little bit more expensive so if you're on a limited budget let's stick with the second option a hang over the side filter. but if you have the money a canister filter is the way to go.

possible types of filtration chemical mechanical biological

Pros
nice and efficient. a lot of space for media. can be nice some have almost no noise. can be hidden away behind the tank or under the tank in the stand. some models even have UV control and a built-in heater.

Cons
not the cheapest filter. holds a lot of water so if you get a leak there will be a lot of water to escape. can be a lot of work to clean.

Sump filter

sump aquarium filtration

This option when it comes to filters that we're going to talk about is a sump now this is a massive system that will sit underneath your aquarium and let me tell you they're extremely efficient but I would keep it more for the advanced hobbyist because of all the different things that you can do now there are endless options of things that you can do with the sump system.

possible types of filtration chemical mechanical biological

Pros
super efficient. a huge amount of space for filter media. nice and quiet in operation almost silent. can be hidden away. you can install all your equipment here. add water volume. can remove biofilm form display tanks water surface. the water level in the tank remains constant. depending on your set up can be nice and easy to clean and maintain.

Cons
bit more money than a conventional filter. does take up a lot of space so needs a stand to install it. the tank needs to be drilled or have a hang on overflow.

Wet/dry or trickle filter. ( like a sump filter)

aquarium trickle filtration

possible types of filtration chemical mechanical biological

Pros

Lots of space for efficient biological filter media and can house aerobic bacteria. nice and quiet. As it's a sump you can add mechanical and chemical filtration.

Cons
a little on the expensive side. if you don't use mechanical filtration filter media can get clogged up and create a nitrate factory. can be a bit cumbersome to clean out the filter media when clogged.

Refugium filter ( a type of sump filter)

aquarium refugium filtration

possible types of filtration chemical mechanical plant/biological

Pros
Lots of space for super-efficient plant biological filtration
plants can get rid of nitrates. nice and quiet. As it's a sump you can add chemical and mechanical filtration.

Cons
can be rather expensive. must have a separate light source for the plants. if your plants don't thrive then the system won't work so well.

Plant filtration

aquarium plant filtration tank

type of filtration plant biological

Pros
Can consists of any number of plants and plant species. super efficient plant/biological filter. plants can get rid of nasty nitrates. can be pretty quiet.

Cons
most have a separate light source for the plants. plants need to do well for the system to work well. only certain species of plants can thrive in the waterlogged environment.

Each filter system has it's own pros and cons and some might work better for you than others. regular water changes and by far the best type of filtration. as for filter bigger is almost better also tank sizes play a part too a bigger tank will have far more stable water.

As for the percolator filter (or percolation), it is very useful for the tubs of invertebrates. This type of filter favors aerobic bacteria that eliminate nitrites. The positive sides of this filter are high oxygenation of the water, high nitrification capacity.
Defeats: The aquarium will be too rich in nutrients (phosphates, nitrates), high water evaporation, and the size of the technical tank to be placed under the aquarium.

As for the percolator filter (or percolation), it is very useful for the tubs of invertebrates. This type of filter favors aerobic bacteria that eliminate nitrites. The positive sides of this filter are high oxygenation of the water, high nitrification capacity.
Defeats: The aquarium will be too rich in nutrients (phosphates, nitrates), high water evaporation, and the size of the technical tank to be placed under the aquarium.

Another very interesting filtration system is the "Berlin", so called because it was invented by a Berliner Stuber school. Filtration is entrusted to a large foaming machine and live rocks (1kg per 5 liters of water). In these types of tanks, we recommend the use of HQI lamps. Partial water changes are to be made every month (10% water) and will reintegrate trace elements and avoid accumulations of toxic substances but not lowering the nitrates to be at 0 after about 3 months of running the tank with the rocks live. Very important is a powerful water movement in the tub. Sometimes you can use activated carbon for 7 days a month, but not always.

The underlying filter is a type of biological filtration that was used very much in the past. Its operation is very simple: water passes through the plates placed under the sand and is filtered. Unfortunately, this kind of filter requires a lot of maintenance (constant bottom siphoning) to prevent it from getting in.