How to setup an aquarium internal powerhead filter?

Every aquarium requires an efficient filter that will remove physical waste particles as well as remove the toxic chemicals that are released from the waste substance. Many types of impure solid waste particles could pollute your aquarium water such as fish poop, leftover food, dirt & other debris that would release dangerous chemicals if not treated on time. The best way is to trap the solid particles using a filter. Mechanical filtration media is used for the removal of physical particles from the water. These particles will not decay if they are trapped quickly so it is very important to choose a powerhead that pumps at least 6 times aquarium water in one hour. Luckily powerhead filters are available in the market that consist of a powerhead for circulating & aerating water at a high pressure, & it provides mechanical & biological filtration. Powerhead pump sucks water from the bottom & releases it from the nozzle attached to the top of the filter.

My community aquarium is 1 year old now & I have setup a canister filter which works fine in the aquarium. I began with a few fish & now there are many in the aquarium. This made me think to setup an internal filter inside the tank. In this video, I have setup a powerful internal filter that offers extra filtration. It is quite easy to setup an internal filter, & it is very useful when chosen as a secondary filter. Sobo Powerhead filter is able to offer a high flow rate of 800 Liter per hour. It is simple to install Sobo Internal Powerhead filter in the fish tank, & it is quite easy to clean the filter sponges, & you can check it out for yourself in the video below:

Sobo Internal filter only needs 9-watt power, & it is quite inexpensive. I think that for my community tank 800 Liter per hour is an optimum flow rate because anything stronger will generate more current that could stress the fish.

How efficient is Sobo internal powerhead filter?

Even though my powerhead filter does not contain biological media, & it came with 2 high quality sponges that are used for mechanical filtration but still it can provide efficient biological filtration. Sponges are very good for growing heaps of good bacteria because they provide a large surface. Good bacteria breaks down toxic ammonia into less toxic forms. The end product of nitrogen cycle is nitrates & it is not very toxic but presence of high number of nitrates could be dangerous for the fish. Aquarists recommend changing 30% water after every 2 to 4 weeks to keep the number of nitrates in control. Also, it is possible to remove nitrates if you have live plants in the aquarium. Plants treat ammonia byproducts including nitrates as fertilizers that help them in growth. Many aquarists suggest keeping live plants instead of artificial ones because they clean aquarium water.

Fish tank internal powerhead filters are efficient in cleaning & they don’t need outside space. There is no need for tubing for channeling water outside of the aquarium for cleaning, & returning clean water back to the aquarium. It is easy to install a powerhead aquarium internal filter because they can be pressed against the tank glass using suction cups. Suction cups will hold the filter at a certain height. Internal filters are inexpensive as compared to external filters, & it is simple to setup an internal filter plus they do not need high maintenance.

My powerhead aquarium internal filter has a model name: FF-902. It comes with 2 high quality sponges. It can perform both mechanical & biological filtration.


Why is it crucial to add a filter to an aquarium?

An aquarium filter is used for cleaning water, & keeping fish healthy & happy. Dirty water will stress your fish & will weaken their immune system. If the immunity of your fish is weak then they are prone to many diseases. Also, aquarium filters do a triple job. They clean, circulate & aerate water. Position the outflow nozzle of the powerhead internal filter towards the water surface for adding atmospheric oxygen, removing CO2, & circulating water so there are no dead spots in the aquarium. In dead spots, oxygen is present at a deficient rate. These dead spots have a little access to oxygen because water is not moving in these regions. Circulating water will ensure water is reaching every part of the aquarium & every area has abundance of oxygen. Aquarium internal filters break the water surface due to surface agitation if nozzle is pointed towards the surface. This results in evaporation of CO2, & addition of oxygen in the water.

A filter will require mechanical filtration media for trapping solid particles that can perform a double duty because they will also perform biological filtration.


Advantages of powerhead internal aquarium filters:

  • Powerhead internal filters are created using quality material that is safe for the fish & the aquarium water.
  • Powerhead internal filters run with low power & they are long lasting.
  • It comes with an adjustable air flow plate that will let you decide the direction of water & air flow.
  • It can perform 3 different roles: aeration, circulation & cleaning of aquarium water.
  • You can simply disassemble them for maintenance.
  • Powerhead internal filters can perform both mechanical & biological filtration.
  • They do not take much space inside the aquarium.
  • No tubing is required for channeling water outside of the aquarium like in case of external filters.
  • Waves produced by powerhead aquarium filters copy the wild home of the fish such as rivers & streams.
  • Powerhead filters are used for distributing water evenly so if you have a heater close to the filter then the whole aquarium water will be evenly warm.


Setting up powerhead internal filter in fish tank:

In this tutorial I have showed you how to unbox & setup a fish tank internal filter:

Powerhead internal filter is preloaded with 2 sponges that are installed in compartments. Sponges are used for mechanical & biological filtration. An air tube is used for generating air bubbles, & internal filter has an adjustable flow direction that will aerate & circulate water in the whole fish tank similar to a wave maker.


Step 1: Unboxing a fish tank powerhead internal filter:

How to unbox a powerhead internal filter?
How to unbox a powerhead internal filter?

I have unboxed the filter & opened every compartment of the filter. I have a Sobo FF-902 filter inside the package, & inside the filter, there are 2 sponges. Also, I found an air tube & an adjustable air flow plate in the box.


Step 2: How to attach an air tube & an adjustable air flow plate:

How to setup a Sobo Internal Filter
How to setup Sobo Internal Filter

Connect an adjustable air flow plate to the nozzle of the filter that will help you in choosing the direction of flow of water & will mix air in the water with the help of the air tube that can be connected to the filter head. Make sure the opposite end of the air tube is placed outside of the aquarium water. It is possible to point the direction of the plate either upward or downward. Attach the filter close to the water surface against the aquarium side wall using suction cups. Point the adjustable air flow plate towards the water surface to circulate & aerate water.


Step 3: How to Disassemble Powerhead Internal Submersible Filter:

Disassembling Aquarium Internal Filter
Disassembling Aquarium Internal Filter

I have opened the filter to show you what’s inside. Inside the filter, there are 2 sponges that came with the filter. There is no need for an additional foam & there is no extra space too. Sponges are of high quality that can easily collect fish waste & other debris. Sponges can perform biological filtration too so they will break down toxic ammonia into less toxic forms.

Step 4: Testing a Powerhead Aquarium Submersible Filter:

Testing a powerhead aquarium internal filter
Testing a powerhead aquarium internal filter

Time to test the powerhead aquarium submersible filter effectiveness. Install the filter against the aquarium glass via suction cups. Turn on the filter & if filter is not releasing air bubbles, then the reason could be that the air tube is not connected to the filter nozzle or the other end of the air tube is not located outside of the aquarium water.

Problems with Powerhead Aquarium Internal Filter:

Internal filters take space inside the aquarium so fish will have less space to swim around.

It is messy to clean an internal filter because you have to get your hands dirty when removing the filter.

Water from the aquarium will get murky when you take out the aquarium internal filter. Don’t worry because water will clear up in a couple of hours when you run the filter.

Internal filters do not have denitrifying bacteria that live in oxygen free spaces. These bacteria usually live inside bio media that are highly porous & air can’t enter these pores. Denitrifying bacteria are used for the removal of nitrates.


How fish tank internal filters can oxygenate & circulate water in the aquarium:

How internal filters can aerate & circulate water

Circular pattern of flow of water inside the aquarium is helpful for aerating water. Dead spots will not be created inside the aquarium. Pointing the adjustable air flow plate in the upward direction will cause water circulation. Filter will force solid particles to leave the substrate & will trap them in the sponges.

If your filter is located on the right side, then water from the filter will flow towards the top left side. And the filter will suck water from the bottom left side so water will start circulating in the entire aquarium.

Pointing filters towards the water surface will cause surface agitation that will break the water surface. Due to surface agitation, CO2 will be released, & oxygen will be added. Hence water will be aerated.

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