Is chemical filtration necessary for aquarium:

Aquarium filters can help move & clean water, & fish can survive in a tank if it has an effective filter. Filters can help perform all types of tasks such as trapping solid waste particles or debris, removing pollutants released from waste, & filtering out medications or heavy metals present in the water. For different roles, you need a different filtration media.

3 types of filtrations are available: mechanical, biological & chemical. Every filter has its own pros & cons, & you might choose the size or filter type based on the fish types, quantity or size of the aquarium. Also, many people use live plants for filtration because they absorb toxic chemicals released from fish waste, & these dangerous chemicals are actually fertilizers for the live plants which help them in their growth.

Biological filtration is the most important of all filtration types. It can break down dangerous ammonia released from fish waste into nitrites & breaks down nitrites into nitrates, which is less toxic as compared to ammonia. Nitrates can be removed with regular water changes. Also, aquarists add live plants to aquarium mainly for removing nitrates from water. If you have enough live plants in aquarium then you don’t need that much water changes. Plants also provide a place for the fish to hide & rest. Most of the fish eats plants so it can help offer food to hungry fish.

Another main type of filtration is mechanical filtration which traps solid particles present in water. You can add sponge or foam for trapping waste & allowing water free from waste to flow through mechanical filtration chamber.

Chemical filtration media can wipe out ammonia, heavy metals, & dissolved organics from water. It can help treat short terms problems for example you can wipe out leftover medicines after they cure your fish, or it can clean tap water before it is added to aquarium. There is no need to use chemical filtration in a healthy aquarium.

Do we really need chemical filters & can we avoid them:

Mechanical filtration must be installed first so that impure water when enters mechanical filtration media, is cleaned from solid impurities, but still this water is toxic because it consists of dissolved pollutants that are released from fish waste. Chemical filtration on the other hand is useful for some people while others think that they are not required in a healthy aquarium. If you have diseased fish in aquarium then it is a good idea to have chemical filtration because it can absorb medications that help cure the fish & leftover medicines are no longer required & can be dangerous for the fish if not removed on time. Also, you can partially change water instead of using chemical filtration. They can wipe out trace elements required for growth of live plants in aquarium. If chemical filtration is not required, then avoid adding chemical filtration to your aquarium.


Maintenance of Aquarium Filters:

Aquarium filters need maintenance. If mechanical filtration has too much waste, then it decomposes into toxic chemicals, & hence your mechanical filter can’t work effectively. Also, if your biological filtration media is clogged then it affects its efficiency. Water must move over the large surface area of biological filtration media on which there are heaps of good bacteria. If surface area is small then it affects the efficiency of biological filtration media. Chemical filtration loses its efficiency if it absorbs too much pollutants & hence needs replacement. It is very important to regularly do maintenance of filters because overtime their efficiency deteriorates. Mechanical filters need cleaning or replacing pads. Biological filtration media needs cleaning too if debris has clogged the media.

Activated carbon is used as chemical filtration media for wiping out medicines, tannins, & it can clean the toxic water. When too much toxic chemicals are absorbed by chemical filtration media, then you need to change your media because it can’t remove more pollutants from water. Chemical filtration needs addition of activated carbon bag to aquarium filter. You can remove carbon bag if you do not need it. Also, it needs monthly replacement. There is no need to have carbon bag because chemical filtration can clean water & wipe out the remaining medications. They are not the essential part of filtration like mechanical & biological filtration, & healthy aquariums do not really need chemical filtration. However, if you remove carbon bag then you can fill up the gap with more mechanical & biological filtration media.

However, aquarists also need chemical filtration to get rid of tannins, polish water, & to avoid some discoloration & the smell.

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