Results for Aquarium Filtration

How To Maintain An Overhead Fish Tank Filter

September 23, 2019

How to maintain an aquarium overhead SUMP filter:

You can rely on a filter which can clean your aquarium by removing solid waste particles & stabilizes the water conditions by removing toxic components. SUMP filter is a type of filter which has a container that can hold mechanical & biological filtration media.


How to maintain an overhead fish tank filter
How to maintain an overhead fish tank filter


In this tutorial I will show you how to do maintenance of aquarium top filter also called SUMP filter. I have built an overhead SUMP filter in my previous tutorial & if you want to know how to build it then you can read my other article.

Also in this tutorial I will talk about how to do maintenance of internal SUMP filter. If you want to know how to build an internal SUMP filter then check out my other article.


If you want to know how to clean an aquarium SUMP filter then watch all the steps in a video below:


How to clean a SUMP filter


Steps: How to maintain an overhead fish tank filter: 

In this article I will show you how I maintain the overhead sump filter of fish tank.


How to maintain an overhead aquarium filter
How to maintain an overhead aquarium filter


I have been away for more than 4 weeks & in between this period only my family members have fed my fish & no other maintenance have been done which means water has not been changed, & also the filter media of aquarium SUMP filter has not been changed & it is now very important to change the filter media. In today’s tutorial I am going to clean my aquariums & change the water, & also do some maintenance of tank filter.


Step 1: Scrub the internal glass:


Step 1: Scrub the internal glass
Step 1: Scrub the internal glass


Before changing water, I scrub the internal tank glass. However, the glass looks clean & no algae is visible but there is some that you might not see on the camera. So it is very important to scrub the glass before changing water. Cleaning is important but you should also observe the amount of good bacteria present in your filter. If your filter has enough good bacteria, then it can break down all the toxic components so there is no need to change water every 2 weeks.


Step 2: Clean the sponge:


Step 2: Clean the sponge
Step 2: Clean the sponge


I use a sponge as a filter sock & it looks dirty as it has collected fish waste & other debris. The filter pads need to be changed because they are really dirty. In my aquarium filter media setup, I usually use a medium & fine foam. After cleaning the sponge, I am not throwing it in the bin as it looks really clean now. I am going to use the same sponge in my aquarium filter. I am going to use a new fine foam because it is very cheap.


Step 3: Use new foam & put the media back in filter:


Use new foam & put media back in filter
Cut new foam & put media back in filter


Open the pack of fine foam & use a sharp scissor to cut the foam. I lay down fine foam on my filter tray. I am using 2 layers of fine foam & this time I am not going to use a medium foam. Water from the pump passes through sponge filter sock first then it flows through the fine foam. The maintenance is very simple because I only clean the sponge.


Step 4: Maintenance of top aquarium is over:


Step 4: Maintenance of top aquarium is finished
Step 4: Maintenance of top aquarium is finished


It takes around twenty minutes to scrub the glass, clean the filter media, & change the water. I turn on my filter so that it starts building up good bacteria again. My top aquarium maintenance is over. In my top aquarium I have five gold fish. In my bottom aquarium I have over 35 guppies & now I am going to start maintenance in my bottom aquarium.


Step 5: Maintenance of bottom aquarium begins:


Step 5: Clean the bottom of aquarium using hose
Step 5: Clean the bottom of aquarium using hose


There is too much waste at the bottom of my aquarium. The waste is produced mostly by the dead leaves of aquarium plants I have. The reason behind keeping my aquarium bare bottom is because it is very easy to clean them. I am using a hose to suck all the waste at the bottom of fish tank. If my aquarium had gravels or other material at the bottom, then it would be difficult to clean the mess. When I have more fish in aquarium, then I keep the aquarium bare bottom because it is easy to clean water & do maintenance which keeps my fish healthy.


Step 6: Clean the sponge of internal SUMP filter:


Step 6: Clean the sponge of internal filter
Step 6: Leave the pad but clean the sponge of internal filter


My internal SUMP filter is working fine. Filter pad does not look that dirty & it has tons of good bacteria so I am not going to change it because I might lose lots of beneficial bacteria. The internal SUMP filter is operated by a sponge filter. I am going to clean one of the sponges of my double sponge filter. 


Conclusion:

In both of my aquariums the level of water was low. My aquarium inhabitants are happy with the setup & I like my filters because they are doing a great job. I clean the filter & make a thirty percent water change & I have plants in my fish tank that can help me in removing nitrates.
How To Maintain An Overhead Fish Tank Filter How To Maintain An Overhead Fish Tank Filter Reviewed by Fishaholic on September 23, 2019 Rating: 5

How To Grow Sweet Potato In Fish Tank

September 18, 2019

How to grow sweet potato in aquarium:

In this tutorial I will show you how to grow a sweet potato plant in fish tank which can be used as a free of cost nitrates filter. The byproducts of ammonia can create a big problem which could be due to the outcome of aquarium debris, leftover food, & dead plants. I want to grow a sweet potato plant in aquarium which can be half submerged in water. It won’t be a stress to clean dead leaves in this case as it could be removed easily from sweet potato plant & the roots will absorb lots of nitrates to keep aquarium water clean & sweet potato plant can offer shelter to fish & provide hiding places for fish fry so that they can avoid adult fish.


How to grow sweet potato in aquarium
How to grow sweet potato in aquarium


I choose sweet potato plant because this plant can make a healthy root system very quickly which can help in water filtration & can offer hiding spots to the inhabitants. If sweet potato stem is submerged in water, then it will grow roots which can help in the filtration. This plant is suitable for beginners & it does not need too much light & it can survive for long.

I purchased sweet potato for this project from market. Instead of adding sweet potato to the aquarium directly, I allowed sweet potato to grow in a plastic cup. After 1 week, sweet potato develops roots & leaves, & one month later I choose to add it to the fish tank. A little container is made for holding sweet potato plant & I attach the container to fish tank glass using a suction cup. You don’t need to use any special equipment & you can simply make it at home.

The plants in aquarium can offer a better source of filtration but it is hard to manage them. However, sweet potato plant does not need that much maintenance & it can help you in nitrates filtration. You will not require adding carbon dioxide or fertilizer to this plant as it can absorb carbon dioxide from the air & the byproducts of ammonia can help as a fertilizer.

Nitrates will be consumed by sweet potato & if you do not know about it then it is a toxic byproduct of nitrogen cycle. Learn more about nitrogen cycle.


Steps: How to grow sweet potato plant inside aquarium:

In this video I will show you how to grow sweet potato plant inside aquarium & you can make a container to hold the sweet potato by attaching it to the aquarium glass.


How to grow sweet potato in fish tank


Step 1: Buy sweet potato from supermarket: 


Buy gold sweet potatoes from supermarket
Buy gold sweet potatoes from supermarket


On day one of DIY sweet potato project, I bought some sweet potatoes from supermarket. Then I half-fill disposable cup with tap water & I add a sweet potato in the disposable cup. I am not adding sweet potato directly to the fish tank because I have been busy so I will leave sweet potato in the disposable cup for a month so that it grows roots & leaves, & when sweet potato becomes more stable then I will add it to the aquarium.


Step 2: Add sweet potato in disposable cup & half fill it with water:


Sweet potato after 1 & a half week
Sweet potato after 1 & a half week


On day one when I half-fill the cup with water, I add a sweet potato & place it next to the window so that it can get some sun light which speeds up its growing process. After one & a half week, the sweet potato begins to grow roots & leaves. I change the water in the cup with tank water & also I add fish food to the cup which can offer nutrient for sweet potato to grow. If you want to avoid this step, then you can because there is a lot of nutrient inside the sweet potato that can help in growing of the plant.  


Step 3: Sweet potato will grow quickly & you will see progress very soon:


Sweet potato after 2 & a half week
Sweet potato after 2 & a half week


After two & a half week there is a big progress in the growing of the plant because it has grown more roots & it has more leaves & the leaves have grown bigger. The sweet potato is getting stable but I will wait for more days before I can add it to the aquarium & the reason behind is I want to see more progress.


Step 4: Add sweet potato to aquarium but first make a container for holding it:


Sweet potato after 1 month
Sweet potato after 1 month


After a month you can see in the picture that sweet potato has very beautiful leaves & it has grown very well so I think it would be the perfect time to add it to the fish tank but I do not want to add it directly to the aquarium & instead I want to make a container for the sweet potato which will let 60 percent of the potato to sit in the water & some part will be out of the water surface.


Step 5: Use bottle lid for building container to hold sweet potato inside aquarium:


Bottle lid & suction cup that will be used for holding sweet potato
Bottle lid & suction cup that will be used for holding sweet potato


I decide to make a container for the plant using a normal bottle lid & for attaching the container to the tank glass I am using a suction cup. I cut a hole in the lid & I decide to push the sweet potato through the hole. 60 to 65 percent of the sweet potato will sit in the water & remaining part will be outside. The part inside water will develop roots & the part outside can grow leaves.


Step 6: Cut a hole in the lid & push the sweet potato through the hole:


Cut a hole in the lid & Styrofoam
Cut a hole in the lid & Styrofoam


I use scissor & knife to cut a hole in the lid. A sharp blade allows me to make a clean cut. The hole in the lid has sharp edges so I think may be over time it might hurt the sweet potato so I chose to cut Styrofoam & add it inside that would hold the sweet potato. Be prepare to clean the mess when you cut the Styrofoam. Also you need to use a suction cup to attach the container to the aquarium glass.


Step 7: Finally add sweet potato to the aquarium:


Attach suction cup to the lid
Attach suction cup to the lid


Attaching the suction cup to the container is simple because I have to make a hole in the lid by heating a nail & use the hot end of the nail to pierce a hole in the lid. Then I attach the suction cup to the lid. I insert the Styrofoam inside the lid & push the sweet potato through the hole. I attach the lid to the aquarium glass & about 60 percent of the sweet potato is inside water & it starts growing roots.


Conclusion:


Sweet potato plant pictures
Sweet potato plant pictures


After adding sweet potato plant to the aquarium, I have taken multiple snapshots from time to time to see how it grows. I have added few snapshots of sweet potato plant growing in my aquarium. You can check out those pictures above & ask any question or don't forget to leave your feedback in the comment section of this post below.

Below is an update of sweet potato plant. Watch episode 2 of sweet potato plant which works as a free nitrate filter.


Sweet Potato Plant Episode 2
How To Grow Sweet Potato In Fish Tank How To Grow Sweet Potato In Fish Tank Reviewed by Fishaholic on September 18, 2019 Rating: 5

How To Clean Sponge Filter In Fish Tank

September 01, 2019

How To Clean Sponge Filter In Aquarium:

It is very important to know how to clean a sponge filter & how often you need to clean it. Sponge filters are very good when it comes to cleaning & you can use them in fry tanks & in aquariums that are too dirty. Maintenance of such filter is very simple as long as you follow the tips that have been discussed in this tutorial.


How to clean sponge filter in aquarium
How to clean sponge filter in aquarium


I have introduced my cat Kitty to you & my dog too in the video. I have also discussed how I use this dirty water to water my plants because dirty water can act as fertilizer for them. All the fish waste & leftover food are the fertilizers my plants need. I have too many guppies in my aquarium but most of them are babies. Sponge filters can be used in fry tank because they can suck fish food & fry can eat the leftover food attached to sponge. I have used a double sponge filter in my aquarium.


Steps: How to clean sponge filter:

In this video I will show you how to clean sponge filter. You can read all the steps explained in this article but it is very important to watch video as well as I have covered the complete procedure of cleaning a sponge filter.


How to clean sponge filter in my fish tank


Step 1: Fill bucket with aquarium water:



Step 1: Fill bucket with aquarium water


The best time to clean the filter is during or after changing water. When you remove the sponge filter, the aquarium water might become bit cloudy but don’t worry about it. It will be clear within an hour or 2. Use a clean bucket & fill it up with aquarium water & do not use tap water in this bucket. Tap water contains chlorine which can destroy good bacteria so avoid using them & take water from aquarium & squeeze sponge in it. Keep separate accessories for aquarium & do not use them for other purposes as they may contain some chemicals which can be toxic to fish.


Step 2: Clean sponge by squeezing it in bucket water:



Step 2: Clean sponge by squeezing it in bucket water


Clean the sponge by squeezing it till it stops releasing that yucky water. It takes around 30 – 45 seconds when I clean sponge but that time can vary based on the size of the sponge & how dirty it is after sucking fish waste & food. If sponge filter is very dirty then you can use 2 buckets of water. Squeeze sponge in first bucket & when it makes water very dirty then use another bucket & begin squeezing it in this second bucket as well. After sponge is clean put it back as quickly as possible & turn on the filter. Clean sponge filter every 2-3 weeks, & I clean 1 sponge at a time only so that aquarium do not loose significant amount of good bacteria.


Tips for cleaning sponge filter:

  • Turn off the power to Air pump.
  • Only clean 1 filter at a time if it is a double sponge filter.
  • Do not squeeze the sponge for too long & spend around 30 – 45 seconds while cleaning the sponge filter. This time may vary based on how dirty the sponge is & also time may vary based on the size of the sponge.
  • Use 2 buckets if the sponge filter is very dirty.


My Naughty Cat:

In the above video you can watch Kitty. She is very curious & sometimes she is annoying too because she keeps getting in my way.  


My Cat "Kitty"

My Cat "Kitty"


My Pet Dog:

You can hear my dog’s voice in the background of the video tutorial. She is a Siberian husky with blue eyes & she is a medium size dog breed. My dog is responding to the instructions I give her that you can watch in the video.


My Pet Dog

My Pet Dog
How To Clean Sponge Filter In Fish Tank How To Clean Sponge Filter In Fish Tank Reviewed by Fishaholic on September 01, 2019 Rating: 5

Internal Filter v External Filter

August 27, 2019

Internal Filter versus External Filter:

Internal filters are very common because they are powered by a water pump & have a box which contain a sponge. Internal filter sits within the fish tank. The water is sucked in & it passes through the sponge which removes debris & also the sponge holds good bacteria which helps in biological filtration. 


Internal filter versus external filter
Internal filter versus external filter


External filter is installed outside fish tank. Water is sucked out of the aquarium, where debris is removed & then it is pumped back to aquarium. External filters hold more media than internal filters, so they do not require high maintenance.


Pros & Cons of Internal Filter:


Pros & cons of internal filter
Pros & cons of internal filter


Internal filters are smaller & best for smaller aquariums. The running cost of internal filter is low. Also they are inexpensive. They can remove dirt very well & sponge filters are very helpful in fry tank because fry can eat leftover food attached to sponge. Internal filters produce lots of clutter in the aquarium. Sometimes you will have to replace the whole media, causing a new cycle. Internal filters can be slightly fiddly when maintaining.


Pros and Cons of External Filter:


Pros & cons of internal filter
Pros & cons of external filter


External filters require low maintenance because they are located outside aquarium & also they contain more media which do not require that much cleaning. There is a large variety of media available in external filters. Filters take up space & do not look beautiful in aquarium so external filters are located outside aquarium. External filters are more expensive than internal filters because they are more sophisticated. External filters are usually big. Media / sponges of external filters are expensive.
Internal Filter v External Filter Internal Filter v External Filter Reviewed by Fishaholic on August 27, 2019 Rating: 5

Top 5 Filtration Systems Used in Aquarium

August 21, 2019

Top 5 filtration systems used in fish tank:

A clean fish tank will need some sort of filter that can wipe out the contaminants & only let fresh water to pass through the filter. To keep fish healthy, you will need to feed them, & remove the waste particles & excess food from aquarium. Also there will be algae & other dirt in aquarium which needs to be removed too so you will need a filter to remove all the pollutants which will otherwise be responsible for the death of fish.

In this article, I will discuss 5 most important type of aquarium filtration used by the fish hobbyist.

  1. Trickle Filter
  2. Sponge Filter
  3. Canister Filter
  4. SUMP Filter
  5. Hang On Back Filter


Top 5 Filtration Systems Used In Aquarium

Top 5 Filtration Systems Used In Aquarium


1. Trickle filter:

Trickle filter will allow more air to hit water. This can be done by allowing water to trickle over a container which contains media for example plastic balls, floss or strands. When water is exposed to fresh air, good bacteria colonies grow which break down waste particles. Trickle filters can be used in both fresh water & salt water tanks.


2. Sponge filter:

Sponge filter can allow water to flow through a sponge which remove waste particles & only clean water pass through it. It can provide mechanical & biological filtration. Sponge filters are used for multiple reasons. If there is a sponge filter in an aquarium that has already a biological filter, then sponge filter will grow its own colony of bacteria. You can use the sponge filter as an emergency biological filter in a new aquarium.


3. Canister filter:

Canister filter is very important if you have a medium to large aquarium. Canister filter is located outside aquarium which does not reduce the beauty of your fancy aquarium. Such filter can force water through the filter media, which makes it good at removing particulate matter. Canister filter can be customized by changing the type & volume of media which makes it an ideal choice for your aquarium.


4. SUMP filter:

SUMP filter has a container which can be used to provide mechanical & biological filtration. Dirty water is allowed to enter SUMP filter where it is passed through mechanical filter media which removes solid waste particles followed by chemical filtration media which removes the toxic chemicals & clean water enters biological zone which allows bacteria colonies to grow & water flows back into aquarium.


5. Hang On Back Filter:

Hang On Back filter provides a very easy installation because you need to attach it to the back of the fish tank. The flow rate is a deciding factor when you are choosing a model of the hang on back filter. Also filter media is very important because the right media will work better & there is no need to put too much filter media because it will not improve performance.
Top 5 Filtration Systems Used in Aquarium Top 5 Filtration Systems Used in Aquarium Reviewed by Fishaholic on August 21, 2019 Rating: 5

How To Setup Biological Filtration

August 19, 2019

How to Setup Biological Filtration in Aquarium:

Biological filtration is very necessary in an aquarium. The lack of effective biological filtration is responsible for the deaths of more inhabitants than any other cause. The dissolved compounds which are removed by biological filtration are dangerous for aquarium inhabitants even if they live in small amounts.


How to setup biological filtration
How to setup biological filtration


In a new aquarium, the effects of toxic compounds can kill inhabitants very quickly. Therefore it is very important to cycle your aquarium before adding any fish to it.

Also learn how to setup mechanical filtration


Order of Filtration Media:


Order of filtration media in filter
Order of filtration media in filter


Water should meet mechanical filtration media first to remove debris as it is necessary that biological filter media should not become clogged because biological filtration media can help in growing beneficial bacteria colonies. If it is clogged, the flow of oxygen will be stopped & it will put the good bacteria colonies at danger of dying off.


Types of Biological Filtration Media:


types of biological filtration media


There are various types of biological filtration media available at fish store. The most common types of biological filter media includes ceramic noodles & bio baki balls.

Ceramic noodles can offer biological filtration which removes toxic chemicals. There are numerous small holes in the outer surface of ceramic rings. There is a hole in the center & water not only runs over the ceramic noodle but through them too.

Bio baki balls are used to convert ammonia into nitrite & then nitrite into nitrate which is not that dangerous & can be removed with regular water changes. The beneficial bacteria is also called nitrifying bacteria which is very important part of nitrogen cycle.


Ceramic Media can provide both Aerobic & Anaerobic Bacteria:


Aerobic & anaerobic bacteria
Ceramic media can provide aerobic & anaerobic bacteria


Bacteria action which oxidizes ammonia depends on oxygen (aerobic). Ceramic media enables aerobic bacteria to populate the outer surfaces while the inside of ceramic media can help in growing anaerobic bacteria. Aerobic bacteria can help convert ammonia into nitrite & nitrite into nitrate which is not that dangerous. Aerobic bacteria is also known as beneficial bacteria.

Beneficial anaerobic bacteria can help you lower nitrate levels without water changes. Bio media is very beneficial for creating anaerobic bacteria. Ceramic media allows aerobic bacteria to populate the outer surface of ceramic media, while the inside portions of the media gives space for anaerobic bacteria to grow. Oxygen is consumed by bacteria on the ceramic ring surface which gives rise to anoxic conditions inside the ceramic media. Anaerobic bacteria is produced in a place which is oxygen free. Anaerobic bacteria can convert nitrates into nitrogen gas which can escape. Ceramic rings are responsible for reducing nitrates in an aquarium while conventional media only converts ammonia into nitrates, which needs to be removed using regular water changes.


Places where beneficial bacteria grows:


Places where beneficial bacteria lives
Places where beneficial bacteria lives


Beneficial bacteria lives on any surface in your fish tank. It lives on areas which are suitable for them. It grows in areas where there is oxygen & food. Filters are the best place where beneficial bacteria grows because it sucks food & oxygen. It sits on the surface area of the bio media which allows it to grow where it receives oxygen & food. Biomedia itself just provides surface for growing good bacteria. Beneficial bacteria grows on any surface but their concentration in aquarium is different. Some areas allow more good bacteria to grow but any surface area in the fish tank is able to grow beneficial bacteria where there is some structure e.g. gravel, sand, artificial plants, aquarium pump, hose & even the glass.
How To Setup Biological Filtration How To Setup Biological Filtration Reviewed by Fishaholic on August 19, 2019 Rating: 5

An Aquarium Sump Filter

August 14, 2019

Aquarium SUMP:

A Sump is a container that can be used to increase water volume. You will need pipes to take water out of the aquarium into the SUMP & allow water to flow back into the aquarium. A SUMP is not a filter but it can contain filters or may include other equipment related to aquarium, but it does not offer any filtration itself.


Aquarium SUMP
Aquarium SUMP


SUMP is a container used to store your aquarium products like filter, protein skimmer, heater, & other products.


Benefits of aquarium SUMP:


Benefits of Aquarium SUMP
Benefits of Aquarium SUMP


Aquarium SUMP can be used to keep equipment out of sight. Equipment such as filter, heater etc also have cables, & they do not look good in a fancy aquarium.

Keeping equipment in a SUMP area can provide an easy access to them, without disturbing the inhabitants when you are accessing them for maintenance or replacement.

It can help in allowing more water, offering more stability & capacity to keep more inhabitants without the need for a bigger aquarium. For example, if you have an aquarium which contains 50 gallons of water & SUMP can hold 15 gallons of water then your total water volume is 65 gallons.


Types of SUMP:

SUMP is divided into 2 types such as an overhead SUMP & under aquarium SUMP.


Overhead aquarium SUMP:


Overhead aquarium SUMP
Overhead aquarium SUMP


If diameter of output pipe of aquarium SUMP is equal or greater than input, there will be no overflow & no mess. But if the outflow capacity is lower than input, the SUMP will overflow & would cause a flood.

The outflow pipe will let water enter aquarium using gravity. You will need a stronger pump for the input channel because here you are working against gravity.


Under aquarium SUMP:


Under aquarium SUMP
Under aquarium SUMP



Under aquarium SUMP can be installed in a cabinet of an aquarium stand or you can put them on the ground. Water is taken out of the aquarium into the SUMP using holes drilled in the bottom of aquarium which allows water to be pumped back into the aquarium from below. Water will flow out of the aquarium using gravity but to move water back into the aquarium, you will need a pump.


Design of aquarium SUMP:

The basic design of SUMP is added below:


Design of aquarium SUMP
Design of aquarium SUMP

  • Water will flow from the aquarium into the SUMP
  • The incoming water will pass through a filter sock, which will wipe out any big debris.
  • Then water will flow through the chamber holding the protein skimmer, where water is skimmed using foam fractionation to trap organics & allow clean water to pass
  • When water arrives at the refugium region, it is purified biologically. You can add biological filter media such as bio baki balls in this region.
  • A pump then allows water to enter the aquarium again



Aquarium SUMP Working:



How aquarium SUMP works
How aquarium SUMP works


Water will flow from aquarium into the SUMP. It will pass through a filter sock to remove waste particles or debris so that clean water is allowed to pass. It will then enter biological region where biological filtration media such as bio baki balls or ceramic rings can be used which is highly porous & allow beneficial bacteria to grow on its surface. A protein skimmer chamber skims water using foam fractionation to remove organics & allow clean water to pass. Finally, water is sent back to aquarium using a pump.

Check out how to build an aquarium SUMP filter:


How to build an aquarium SUMP filter


Is aquarium SUMP a necessary equipment?


Aquarium SUMP is necessary
Aquarium SUMP is necessary


Aquarium SUMP is a necessary equipment & it can be used in any aquarium size whether big aquarium or small. It can hold stuff such as filter, heater etc which is vital for every aquarium & it is easily reachable because it is located outside aquarium & allows you to easily access filter & other components.
An Aquarium Sump Filter An Aquarium Sump Filter Reviewed by Fishaholic on August 14, 2019 Rating: 5

What is a Nitrogen Cycle in an Aquarium

July 01, 2019

What is nitrogen cycle & how to cycle an aquarium?

You cannot avoid Nitrogen Cycle if you want to keep fish in your tank. You will learn about this cycle so that your fish can enjoy a happy & healthy environment. Nitrogen Cycle is developed over time & it normally takes up to 3 months before a fresh tank is completely cycled. The 3 main toxins in the tank are ammonia, nitrite & nitrate so it is necessary that the nitrogen cycle can work effectively to eliminate these toxins.


Nitrogen cycle can save fish

Nitrogen cycle can save fish


Biological filtration helps speed up nitrogen cycle. Biological filtration is very important of all types of filtration. The lack of effective biological filtration could be the cause behind the death of more fish than any other cause.



What is nitrogen cycle?

How nitrogen cycle works?

How to perform nitrogen cycle?

How to cycle aquarium with fish?

How to cycle aquarium without fish?

How biological filtration helps speed up nitrogen cycle?

What is nitrogen cycle?

Nitrogen cycle is a process that includes the continual circulation of nitrogenous compounds including ammonia, nitrite & nitrate to process wastes in the water. It is very important for a tank to establish this cycle.

Nitrogen cycle in an aquarium
Nitrogen cycle in an aquarium

It is advisable to develop your new tank slowly over time & with younger smaller fish let the nitrogen cycle to establish & keep pace with the gradual increase of waste particles. The beneficial bacteria take time to produce in a newly established tank & it is not recommended to put the largest beautiful fish in your tank. Also do not overfeed your fish. However, if there are not enough beneficial bacteria which build up in a tank over time, the possibility is many of the inhabitants will die.

The possibility is that if the dead fish are not removed quickly, their decay will put fish in a more dangerous condition & you may lose the remaining fish. It is recommended to cycle your tank first, add inhabitants gradually & do not overfeed them.

How nitrogen cycle works?

It is very important to learn how nitrogen cycle works. The nitrogen cycle is very important for the biological filtration. It will remove the dangerous compounds from your aquarium that are produced by the respiration of fish & it is also produced by the decay of fish waste & uneaten food. Learning nitrogen cycle will help in preparing in advance how to cater these issues.

How nitrogen cycle works
How nitrogen cycle works

During nitrogen cycle, the waste particles are broken down by bacteria & fungi into ammonia which is very dangerous to fish. Nitrosomonas is a good bacteria which consumes oxygen & ammonia, & convert it into nitrite which is less dangerous as compared to ammonia but still harmful & can kill fish even at low concentrations. Nitrobacter is additional beneficial bacteria which also consumes oxygen & it changes nitrite into nitrate which is less toxic as compared to nitrite. The bacteria which converts ammonia into nitrate is known as nitrifying bacteria. Another bacteria is used to eat nitrate which grows in oxygen free areas & needs low oxygenated still water. This beneficial bacteria (denitrifying bacteria) can be discovered in more elaborative filtration system & inside live rock that converts nitrates into free nitrogen.

How to perform nitrogen cycle?

Nitrogen cycle can be performed in a tank which already contains fish or it is preferable to perform nitrogen cycle in a fishless tank because this process takes up to 3 months to complete. During this process a lot of toxins are produced along with beneficial bacteria. Toxins are dangerous to fish & large amount of these toxins can kill your fish. However, slowly & gradually beneficial bacteria is produced & it helps to provide an ideal environment for your fish. A happy tank needs to be fully cycled & it is very important to learn how nitrogen cycle is processed & we have mentioned all the steps required to speed up the process & also you can monitor the levels of toxins that are produced during nitrogen cycle. In the end it is advisable to test for all toxins & when they are removed, then add fish to your aquarium.

Nitrogen cycle in an aquarium with / without fish

Achieve nitrogen cycle in an aquarium with / without fish

Do not buy aquarium & fish at the same time. First buy aquarium, run nitrogen cycle & after up to 3 months when nitrogen cycle completes then start adding fish to your tank. However, if you have already bought tank & fish at the same time then we have also provided a complete guide to fully cycle your tank with minimum risk.

2 methods can be used to achieve nitrogen cycle:

1. With fish

2. Without fish

How to cycle an aquarium with fish?

I do not recommend this method but if you are in a hurry then I have provided all the instructions required to achieve it. However, if concentrations of ammonia & nitrites are too high then a lot of fish may die.

Cycle an aquarium with fish
Cycle an aquarium with fish

Your objective is to add fish to the aquarium. Also your aquarium must endure high levels of ammonia & nitrite levels for a longer period to grow good bacteria. Feed your fish once every 2 days. Offer them moderate food. If you overfeed fish, they will produce more waste. Also the food left by the fish will rot & will generate even more toxins. Regular water changes will lower the amount of toxins & will make sure the levels of toxins do not exceed. The objective is to do 10-15 percent water change everyday. More changes will result in loss of ammonia & nitrite that good bacteria need. Add de-chlorinator to the aquarium water. Chlorine can eliminate good bacteria & destroy the nitrogen cycling process. After toxins level hit zero in tank, then it is the time to include more fish into your aquarium. Do this gradually & add 1 or 2 fish at a time. After you add them, test the water. If you find the levels of ammonia & nitrite low, add more fish.

Note:
It is very necessary to perform this step slowly. Inclusion of many fish will rise the levels of toxins. This process will stress the fish & they can become ill.

How to cycle an aquarium without fish?

I strongly suggest to use this method & it won’t kill your fish. We have added a simple method to perform a fishless cycle.

Cycle an aquarium without fish
Cycle an aquarium without fish

Make an environment for the fish where ammonia is generated. If there are no fish in the aquarium, then use this method. An easy way to do this is to start by dropping food into your aquarium. The food you put in the aquarium should be of the same amount that you would add if you are feeding fish. Add food every 12 hours. Wait & the flakes will decay slowly & will be converted into ammonia. Test for ammonia using the test kits. If you do not find sufficient ammonia in aquarium, include more food & allow them to decay. Do the same step every other day, & attempt to maintain the ammonia level at 3ppm. Nitrosomonas will start to expand after feeding on ammonia. You can refill them by including more food whenever it drops below 3ppm. After a week, it is time to test the aquarium water for nitrites. Use a commercial test kit to perform this. When you notice nitrites in your aquarium, you will know the cycle has begun. Include further ammonia as you performed before. After testing for ammonia & nitrite for a few weeks, you may monitor that the levels of nitrite will begin to drop & now it is the time to begin testing for nitrates. After the returning of ammonia & nitrite levels to zero, the cycle is finished. But if you detect that nitrate level is over 40, there is a need for water change to drop nitrate amount. If there is no ammonia or nitrite in your aquarium, then it is the time to include fish in your aquarium.

Note:
Do not include too many fish at a time. Gradually add them. Do not include more than a few fish at a time. Introduce more fish after waiting for a week or two.

How biological filtration helps speed up nitrogen cycle?

Biological filtration generates biological stability in aquarium by providing the ideal environment for beneficial bacteria. Beneficial bacteria can be produced by adding biological media to the aquarium. We are going to discuss 3 types of biological media that speeds up the process & allows good bacteria to grow. Biological media includes aqua one bionood ceramic noodles rings, bio baki balls & premium sub ceramic substrate.

Biological filtration media
Biological filtration media

Ceramic noodles are extremely porous & builds the ideal environment for growing beneficial bacteria. There are many little holes in ceramic media & all the beneficial bacteria grow here. Ceramic rings increases the surface layer through little holes inside it & offers more space for the beneficial bacteria to cling on & grow. They can hold both nitrifying & denitrifying bacteria. Pollutants like ammonia & nitrite are broken down into nitrate which is not very dangerous & it can be removed from the aquarium with regular water changes.

Bio baki ball is a breathing bio ball fired by extreme temperature. Bio baki ball is the best material for producing nitrifying bacteria. It helps restore the natural quality of aquarium water, & provides the ideal environment for your fish.

Premium sub is another bio-media which is subjected to extreme temperatures that creates thousands of tunnels through it. It will allow beneficial bacteria that breakdown pollutants. The porous material allows more beneficial bacteria to enter your tank.
What is a Nitrogen Cycle in an Aquarium What is a Nitrogen Cycle in an Aquarium Reviewed by Fishaholic on July 01, 2019 Rating: 5

How to Setup Mechanical Filtration in an Aquarium

June 24, 2019

How to setup mechanical filtration in a tank?

The concept behind mechanical filters is very basic. They are used to remove debris present in the water. It is strongly recommended to remove mechanical filters & clean the filter media regularly otherwise debris will gather & decompose which will reduce the livability of the tank environment. This will put stress on the inhabitants of the tank. Proper maintenance of mechanical filtration will give you success in keeping fish happy. Also it is suggested to replace mechanical filtration media after it runs for longer periods.

Also learn how to setup biological filtration


How to Setup Mechanical Filtration in an Aquarium
How to Setup Mechanical Filtration in an Aquarium
  1. What is mechanical filtration?
  2. How does mechanical filtration works?
  3. What are the types of mechanical filtration media?
  4. How to setup mechanical filter?
  5. Why ordering mechanical filter media is very important?
  6. Why 3 types of filtration media are used in mechanical filters?
  7. How to clean mechanical filter?
  8. What are the pros & cons of mechanical filtration?

1. What is mechanical filtration?

Mechanical Filtration

Mechanical filtration is very essential like other types of filtration used in aquarium. The other 2 types are chemical & biological filtration. Mechanical filtration can remove solid waste particles that pass through the filter media. Thus water free of fish waste flows back into the tank.

They are able to trap waste including fish poop, sludge, uneaten fish food, dead pieces of aquarium plants, dust & other solid waste particles floating in fish tank. They can trap very tiny particles that are hard to see with the naked eye.

2. How does mechanical filtration works?

Fish net is an example of how mechanical filter works
Fish net is an example of how mechanical filter works

The simplest way to know how mechanical filter works is considering the example of fish net. Water can flow through the fish net but fish are trapped inside.

The filter media used inside mechanical filter unit traps waste particles that pass through the media. After removal of solid waste, it allows clean water to flow back into the tank.

Cloudy water
Cloudy water

If there is too much fish waste inside the tank then water would turn cloudy, & it would be difficult to see the fish.

3. What are the types of mechanical filtration media?

3 types of filtration media are used in normal mechanical filters including:

  1. Coarse Filter Media
  2. Medium Filter Media
  3. Fine Filter Media

Coarse Filter Media:

Coarse Filter Media
Coarse Filter Media

Coarse filter media can trap smaller particles of waste & it can be used as a pre-filter.

Medium Filter Media:

Medium Filter Media
Medium Filter Media

While using a medium filter media, the water in your tank will look noticeably clean, but fewer small waste particles will not be trapped inside medium filter media.

Fine Filter Media:



Fine Filter Media
Fine Filter Media

It is suggested to use fine filter media if you want clean water. Fine filter media can remove very small particles of waste.

4. How to setup mechanical filter?

Dry the filter and add mechanical filter media setup. Mechanical filtration comes before biological filtration so that only water clean of fish waste flows through the biological media.

order of filter media
From top: Coarse filter media followed by medium & fine filter media

It is suggested to put coarse foam in the top layer followed by medium foam & fine foam at the end. Coarse foam can remove all the large waste particles, medium foam can catch debris that are not trapped by coarse foam, & fine foam can trap all the small waste particles. If the order of filter media is changed then it will affect the performance of the mechanical filter & overtime the efficiency will be reduced.

5. Why ordering mechanical filter media is very important?

Mechanical filter media are ordered based on the size of the pores (holes) that allow clean water to pass through it.

Coarse filter media vs fine filter media
Coarse filter media (large pores) vs fine filter media (small pores)

  • Coarse filter media has large holes
  • Fine media has small holes

If fish waste or other solid objects that are not trapped in a coarse filter media, can be easily trapped in a fine media. Hence it is very important to put coarse filter media along with fine filter media or fish waste would not be safely removed from the aquarium.

Question. If fine filter media traps everything, then why coarse filter media is required?

6. Why 3 types of filtration media are used in mechanical filter?


Coarse media is required because it not only takes longer to clog but can be washed easily as well. As compared to coarse filter media, fine filter media clog quickly when large waste particles pass through it. Also it will not cost you that much because many fine media must be discarded after use as compared to coarse filter media which can work for longer periods. Also it is recommended to avoid filter clogs because it can prevent oxygen from reaching the good bacteria in your tank, killing them & causing your aquarium to crash.

7. How to clean mechanical filter?


Cleaning mechanical filter media
Cleaning mechanical filter media


Like other types of filters, mechanical filters require cleaning. Without regular cleaning, all the waste trapped inside the mechanical filter media will start to rot, which produces nitrate spike. However, it can be easily avoided with regular cleaning or replacing the filter media, which will reduce the problems that generates nitrate spike.

Proper care should be taken when washing the media used in mechanical filters. Beneficial bacteria that grows inside biological filtration also grows inside mechanical filters. Using tap water or cleaning detergents can also remove the beneficial bacteria which leads to a spike in ammonia or nitrates.


8. What are the pros & cons of mechanical filtration?

Pros of mechanical filtration:

Mechanical filter keeps aquarium clean
Mechanical filter keeps aquarium clean
  1. Mechanical filtration is inexpensive
  2. It increases the colonization of beneficial bacteria
  3. Water should pass through mechanical filtration before entering chemical & biological filtration zone

Cons of mechanical filtration:

Cleaning mechanical filter
Cleaning mechanical filter
  1. Mechanical filtration media requires regular cleaning
  2. Overtime filter media needs replacement
  3. Mechanical filtration is not only sufficient for complete cleaning of water, & it should be followed by chemical & biological filtration
How to Setup Mechanical Filtration in an Aquarium How to Setup Mechanical Filtration in an Aquarium Reviewed by Fishaholic on June 24, 2019 Rating: 5
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