Unboxing and setting up a fish bowl filter:

Like fish tanks, fish bowls also require a quality filter for trapping fish waste, dead leaves, leftover food and removing toxins released from fish waste. In this tutorial, I am going to unbox and setup a fish bowl filter for a 15-gallon bowl aquarium.

Fish bowl filter sucks dirty water from the tank and a nozzle sprays water with pressure. Fish bowl filters can be used for oxygenating water. It can also circulate water in the fish bowl.

Fish bowl filters are available for low cost. It is actually an internal filter which should be fully submerged in water. It has a good flow rate and works fine in a 15-gallon fish bowl. It has a low power consumption.

Fish bowl filter comes with a foam that is used for both mechanical and biological filtration.

In below video you can watch how to unbox and setup a fish bowl filter:

How to unbox and setup a fish bowl filter

Fish tank inhabitants such as fish and invertebrates like to swim in high current water. Moving water imitates wild habitat of fish in tanks such as moving rivers and streams which keeps fish healthy and happy.


Unboxing a fish bowl filter:

Unboxing a fish bowl filter
Unboxing a fish bowl filter

Open the box of fish bowl filters (internal filter) and take out the stuff. The package only includes a filter. After opening the filter, I found 2 foams: coarse & fine, as well as some bio media. New filter media does not contain good bacteria and it takes time to allow heaps of useful bacteria to grow on the mechanical and bio media. Foams and bio media provide lots of surface for the growth of useful bacteria. I would highly encourage you to add one aquapro booster ball in the filter to quickly grow beneficial bacteria on the filter media.

Taking out the filter media
Taking out the filter media

Mechanical Filter Media:

Fish bowl filter comes with coarse and fine foams. Coarse foam is used for collecting all big particles while small particles that are able to pass coarse foam are trapped by fine foam. Large particles if trapped in fine foam will clog it very quickly so make sure you setup coarse foam first before fine foam.


Biological Media:

Fish bowl filters come with some bio media that allows heaps of good bacteria to grow on its surface. Bio media offers a large surface for the growth of large colonies of useful bacteria. Mechanical filter media will serve a double role such as it will trap debris and will allow heaps of beneficial bacteria to grow on the large surface of the foams.


Installing an internal filter in fish bowl:

Installing a fish bowl filter in tank
Installing a fish bowl filter in tank

After putting the media back in the filter, it is time to install a filter in the fish bowl. Use suction cups at the back of the fish bowl filter to fix it to the tank glass. Turn on the power to operate the filter. There is an adjustable flow rate at the top of the filter which can be used to select the water flow rate. This filter does not come with a spray bar. There is no air tube for aerating water. If you want to produce bubbles for oxygenating water then angle the filter towards the water surface which will break the surface of water and add atmospheric oxygen in the water due to surface agitation. Angling up the filter will also circulate water, and will push fish waste and other debris towards the filter so that filter can easily collect it. It will help the fish bowl filter to sweep around the entire tank in a single direction.


Cleaning fish bowl filter media:

Switch off the power before taking out the fish bowl filter. Remove the cover of the filter and remove all the media. Clean the coarse and fine foams in a bucket filled with fish bowl water. Do not use tap water because it will wipe out useful bacteria growing on the foams. Gently squeeze foams in the water until it stops releasing murky water. After cleaning the foams, put all media back in the fish bowl filter. Do not air dry filter media because good bacteria need water for living and they can’t survive outside water. Install the filter immediately in the fish bowl and turn on power. Never turn off your filter so that your bowl remains clean.

Do not wash bio media because you will lose heaps of beneficial bacteria. Foams will stop dirt and debris from reaching bio media so there is no need to wash the bio media.

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