Which Filter is Best for an Oscar Fish Tank:

Most of the cichlids are very messy & particularly Oscars are infamous for being very destructive towards their surroundings. They can reach a size of 1 foot, & produce too much poop that results in large amounts of ammonia byproducts. It is very important to setup a high-quality filter to clean the mess along with regular partial water changes to keep the water clean. Mechanical filter media will trap the fish waste & toxic chemicals will be trapped by the biological media. Canister filters are one of the top filters for Oscar’s aquarium because they are simple to use, & they can clean large amounts of waste, & there is an option to choose the media depending on your aquarium condition including its size & number of fish.

Along with filtration, heating is crucial. Oscar fish like clean aquarium water, & it is very important to install an aquarium heater. Choose a hard heater because Oscar fish can break it.

Canister Filter is the Best Choice for an Oscar Aquarium:

Watch video below which shows how to setup a canister filter in an Oscar Fish Tank:

Canister Filter is a Top Choice for an Oscar Aquarium

Canister filters draw water from the fish tank using an inflow hose. Canister filters push dirty water to the bottom using an internal tube. Water rises upward & flows through the filter media & clean water is pumped back to the aquarium using an outflow hose. A spray bar attached to the outflow hose lets water flow smoothly & makes a waterfall like effect in your fish tank.

Canister filters are more efficient & they clean large volumes of water. They are recommended for larger aquariums. You can setup canister filter baskets with the media that you want to add. Canister filters can be customized with the mechanical & biological media of your choice. Chemical filter media is optional & you can skip it. Canister filters are used for circulating & oxygenating water.

If you want to circulate water & keep the same temperature throughout your fish tank then keep the inflow bar close to the tank heater, & spray bar at the opposite side of the fish tank. It will help in circulating, aerating & keeping the same temperature throughout the fish tank.


Setup Filter Media in a Canister Filter:

It is easy to customize filter baskets of a canister filter with the media of your choice. You can setup filter media in the right order in canister filter baskets. Water from the aquarium must flow through mechanical filtration media first that will remove fish waste, leftover food, dead leaves, dirt & other debris from the water, & then water containing toxic chemicals released from trapped solid particles will flow through the bio media that will wipe out impurity, & clean water will flow back to the aquarium.

Canister filters have their own filter media in baskets. It is very important to rinse the media before using them to wash the dirt. It is crucial to cycle your aquarium before adding Oscar fish to it.


Mechanical Filtration Media:

Canister Filter: Mechanical Filtration Media
Canister Filter: Mechanical Filtration Media

Mechanical filtration media consists of foams / sponges for removal of physical particles. They consist of 3 types of foams such as coarse, medium & fine. Coarse foam consists of large pores that are used to trap every large particle, while medium & small particles are trapped in medium & fine foams. It is very important to setup coarse foam followed by medium & fine foams to stop larger, medium & smaller particles. Larger particles if stuck in fine foam will clog it quickly & will reduce its efficiency.


Biological Filtration Media:

Canister Filter: Biological Filtration Media

Mechanical filtration media will also stop solid particles from clogging the biological filter media so it is very important to add it first. Biological filter media have many tiny little pores that are hard to see using a microscope. These pores house large colonies of good bacteria because clogged media will not be efficient in cleaning the water.

Biological filtration media are used for holding nitrifying & denitrifying bacteria.


Nitrifying Bacteria:

Nitrifying bacteria needs oxygen for surviving. They live in oxygen rich places & can be found everywhere in your aquarium. Biological media offer a large surface for housing colonies of nitrifying bacteria. They are used for breaking toxic chemicals released from fish waste into less toxic forms. Ammonia is broken down into nitrites that are less toxic than ammonia, & further into nitrates that are less dangerous than nitrites. Presence of high levels of nitrates are still toxic to aquarium fish. Nitrifying bacteria can’t remove nitrates from the water & for removal of nitrates, regular partial water changes are recommended.


Denitrifying Bacteria:

Denitrifying bacteria lives in oxygen less places such as tiny little pores of bio media. Air can’t enter these little pores & denitrifying bacteria lives in colonies inside them. They are used for wiping out nitrates from the water. Some bio media can hold both nitrifying & denitrifying bacteria such as ceramic rings. They will remove every impurity from the water & will only let clean water flow back to the aquarium.


Chemical Filtration Media:

Chemical filtration is not required but they will be included in your canister filter. Chemical filtration media are used for removing heavy metals, as well as medicines that have treated your fish & remaining medicines can be dangerous for the life of aquarium inhabitants. Chemical filtration uses activated carbon. If chemical media is saturated then it will release the toxic chemicals that it has collected back in the water so use it at your own risk.


Setup Inlet / Outlet Pipes:

Inflow & outflow pipes fitting will enhance the length. You can set them up using the image below. Inflow pipe draws water from the fish tank. It has a strainer at the intake that will stop small fish. Clean water is sent back to the fish tank & it flows back through the spray bar.


Advantages of Canister Filters:

Canister filters are large & bulky but they are placed outside aquariums. They draw lots of water from the aquarium so clean lots of water quickly & efficiently, & pump back water to the aquarium. Inflow & outflow hoses of canister filters are located inside aquarium water. They have multiple baskets that are used for holding mechanical, chemical & biological media. Customize the baskets media, & choose the right media depending on your aquarium size & fish. They offer lots of space for holding heaps of media. It is possible to add multiple varieties of media for efficient cleaning of water. Fish like water current produced by the canister filter & they enjoy swimming against the water current.

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