How To Setup Powerhead Aquarium Internal Filter:

Filter is required in aquarium to help remove solid particles as well as produce good bacteria in tank which cling to surfaces. This good bacteria is used to convert harmful components into less toxic which can be removed from aquarium with regular water changes. Every aquarium must have mechanical & biological filtration. Biological filtration is the most important of all filtration because most of the fish dies due to lack of biological filtration. Other type of filtration is chemical filtration which removes chemicals from water. However, not every hobbyist uses chemical filtration in their tank. There are three types of filtration used in tank for cleaning water.


How to setup tank internal filter
How to setup tank internal filter


Biological Filtration:


Biological Filtration Media
Biological Filtration Media


Biological filtration helps build up good bacteria by breaking down ammonia into nitrite & nitrite into nitrate which is less toxic & can be removed with replacing 30 / 40 percent water with fresh water in a week. We recommend using a substrate including rocks or sands that allow beneficial bacteria to cling to its surface. Also you can use biological filters that use ceramic rings / bio baki balls that are porous & allow tons of beneficial bacteria to grow on its surface. The pores of biological media are not visible to naked eye. Also we recommend using mechanical filtration along with biological filtration so that only clean water passes through biological media.


Chemical Filtration:


Chemical Filtration
Chemical Filtration


Chemical filtration helps remove wastes that are dissolved in water using chemical media. You can use activated carbon for this purpose.


Mechanical Filtration:


Mechanical Filtration
Mechanical Filtration


Mechanical filtration along with biological filtration is the best filtration used in aquarium. Mechanical filtration helps remove solid particles from aquarium. When combined with biological filtration it removes almost every impurity from water & hence must not be used alone in aquarium. Also mechanical filtration needs maintenance such as washing / removing foams. It also helps aerate the water.


Internal Filter:


Aquarium Internal Filter
Aquarium Internal Filter


Internal filter is a very cost effective option for aquarium hobbyist. It sits inside the fish tank and provide excellent filtration. One common example of internal filter for aquarium is a sponge filter which is driven by an air pump. But in today's article we will discuss another type of internal filter which uses sponge for mechanical filtration only and is powered by a motor. Powerhead is built into the filter which draws aquarium water through filter media (mechanical, chemical and biological) and pumps clean water back out in the fish tank. Let's dig bit deeper into aquarium internal filtration.

Every aquarium filter contains multiple components including mechanical, chemical & biological filtration. Today I am going to tell you how to make a tank filter with 2 types of filtration media. We call this filter as internal filter or powerhead filter because it has both filtration & pumping built in one unit. Water hits mechanical filtration media first, then it enters chemical filtration & after purification only clean water flows through biological filtration.

We are also using aquarium plants for natural way of cleaning water. However, plants can’t remove waste such as dead leaves, inhabitants waste, & uneaten food from water that can be toxic if not removed from water. Filter is a very crucial part of aquarium & today I will teach you how to setup aquarium internal filter in a planted aquarium.


Components of aquarium filter include:

  • Mechanical Filtration such as coarse foam & fine foam
  • Chemical Filtration: Activated carbon (I have removed it from this filter)
  • Biological Filtration: Bio bakki balls & ceramic rings from cycled tank have been used in internal filter

Activated carbon which serves the job of chemical filtration have been replaced with fine foam in this tutorial. I may add activated carbon in future tutorial. It is an optional step & isn’t required. I have replaced ceramic rings with bio bakki balls & ceramic rings from my cycled aquarium. Compartment containing filter foam and biomedia is called a canister.

Internal filter can help aerating the aquarium when used with attachment but this step is optional too because you can use it without attachment. You can use water flow adjustment feature which can help in controlling water speed. I would recommend using chlorine neutralizer in your setup after adding water to aquarium in order to remove chlorine which can destroy all good bacteria after you have setup tank filter with cycled media.


How to setup Powerhead Aquarium Internal Filter:

In video below, you can watch how to setup powerhead aquarium internal filter.

How to setup Tank Internal Filter


Step 1: Aerating & water speed control is optional:


Step 1: Speed Control & Aerating Water
Step 1: Speed Control & Aerating Water


You can use an optional attachment with this filter which helps in aerating the tank. Also there is an adjustable water flow which helps control speed of water. These steps are optional but help in improving filter cleaning efficiency & aerating tank.


Step 2: Chemical filtration media is replaced with fine foam:


Step 2: Chemical filtration is replaced with fine foam
Step 2: Chemical filtration is replaced with fine foam


Aquarium internal filter comes with mechanical, chemical & biological filtration media. However, we can only use mechanical & biological filtration, & replace chemical filtration with fine foam. We may use chemical filtration in future. Chemical filtration is optional & it is up to you whether you use it or not.


Step 3: Bio media is used from cycled aquarium:


Step 3: Bio media is used from cycled aquarium
Step 3: Bio media is used from cycled aquarium


Activated carbon is used as chemical filtration & it is located inside the foam. We are not using activated carbon in this tutorial. We are using a fine foam instead of carbon. Also we are using bio media from cycled tank. Internal filter is rinsed before use.


Step 4: Filter is tested inside aquarium:


Step 4: Filter is tested inside aquarium
Step 4: Filter is tested inside aquarium


Filter is ready to install in aquarium. Filter with attachment disturbs water. However, if we use internal filter without attachment then it operates silently in water. Disturbance in water helps in aerating the tank.


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