How to Setup a Filter in the Aquarium

The water filter is an essential item for any aquarium. It helps biological and mechanical cleaning of your aquarium from waste materials. It also contributes to increase oxygen supply in the water of aquarium. In the market, lots of water filters are found. To pick the right filter for your aquarium, you should review about the filter and take decision which filter is appropriate for your fish tank. But its installation process is more or less hard for many beginner aquarists. Generally, external and internal filters are used in aquarium. Among these, external filter is attached outside and internal filter is placed inside the aquarium. The choice of the filter depends on the features of the aquarium, tank size, volume and number of living fish, aquatic plants and personal preferences. Let’s discuss How to Setup a Filter in the Aquarium.

Functions of filters:

  • In the aquarium, ammonia is produced as excreta from the fish which is very toxic to fish. Filtration system helps to remove this ammonia from the tank.
  • Filtration system removes wastes from the water.
  • It also helps to clean the tank, support good health and keeps the water aerated.
  • In the water, a lots of chemical substances such as chlorine, copper, dissolved proteins, dissolved medications and dyes are present which are harmful for fish. The filtration system also helps to remove these harmful chemicals. 

How to Choose Filter for an Aquarium?

Filtration plays an important role in keeping up aquarium well being and it is hard for beginners to keep up the bio-balance at the required level without it. For the right decision of the aquarium filter, it is important to see how the filtration of aquarium water functions, since filter selection is a difficult task for a beginner’s aquarists. Since an unbelievable number of filters of various types and brands are sold. The choice of the type of filtration is determined by the financial abilities, the size of the aquarium and those fish that you plan to keep in your aquarium.

Types of Aquarium Filter:

Many different types of filter are found in the market which helps to clean water and keep your fish happy and healthy. The aquarium filters does work three ways namely are mechanical, biological and chemical and now a day, the most of the filters encompass with more than one system.

Internal filter

The internal filter is a very simple filter in which water is entered the lower part and exit through the upper part. This type of filter helps to enrich the oxygen in water. It is suitable for beginner fish keepers with small size aquarium and nano aquarium. Internal filters are utilized inside the aquarium. It is essentially set in the aquarium either on the substrate, or mounted to one of the sides with suction containers. A power head on the filter draws water through the filter material and cleans the water. The power head strategy moves more water through the filter than air powered devices.

Pros of Internal Filter:

  • This type of filter is available in any pet store and you can purchase it with reasonable price;
  • Maintaining cost is low;
  • It consumes less  electricity;
  • You can operate easily;

Cons of Internal Filter:

  • It is suitable for only small sized aquarium;
  • It shortens the space in the aquarium;
  • It is difficult to clean due to its inside placement of the aquarium. To clean this type of filter, you need to lower your hands into the aquarium which can lead to infection of your fish with bacteria and other pathogens.

Power Filter

The most widely recognized style filters for pet fish keeper is the power filter. It is also called hang on back filter or HOB filter. It generally contains bio-wheel or replaceable filter to give extra biological support to the tank. Replaceable filter cartridges make upkeep simple and helpful. Power filters are likely the most generally utilized aquarium filters. They are very easy to use and give magnificent biological, chemical and mechanical filtration. They are the ideal filter for most famous aquarium sizes housing a variety of tropical fishes. Power filter is the ideal filtration for the beginner fish keepers due to the low cost and easy to maintenance.

External Aquarium Filters

The external filter is very suitable for large sized aquarium. It is very expensive but it performs good function to clean your aquarium. External filters give high water turnover and can deal with sizeable strong particles. The common operation for this kind of filter is for a pump to force water from the aquarium, through layers of filter media, and empty it once again into the tank, which additionally gives air circulation. External filters are in canister or box shape. External filters are less demanding to keep up and clean than inner filters.

Pros of External Filter

  • It is easy to install;
  • It does not shorten the space in the aquarium because it is installed outside of the aquarium;
  • This type of filter has additional compartments for various fillers;
  • Its filtration capacity is very high due to its high quality mechanism

Cons of External Filter

  • It rather bulky;
  • Its price is high;
  • This type of filter can suck small fish due to its strong power;
  • It needs special skill to maintain;

External Canister Filters

Canister filter is the most conventional style of filter which is utilized by aquarium pet fish keepers. It is particularly used for aquariums with 40 gallons or larger aquarium. It gives mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration for larger aquariums or aquariums with a huge amount of fish. These filters have a siphon tube and adaptable pipe. These multipurpose filters are perfect for African and South American Cichlid aquariums, saltwater aquariums, and freshwater planted aquariums. Canister filters are in the medium price range and require a direct level of maintenance. It is the perfect filtration for freshwater planted aquariums.

Sponge or Air Driven Filter

This type of filter is perfect for raising fry, hospital aquariums, and small aquariums with small sized fish or invertebrates. They are sufficiently strong to keep up great water conditions and to keep small aquarium occupants free from damage. These filters are put inside the aquarium. The sponge filters have a u-shaped tube which is utilized to force water through a sponge like material. This kind of filtration is extremely cheap but difficult to maintain. The sponge filter should be washed in water to expel biological matter each week. Sponge filter should be washed in such a way that the helpful microbes remain unchanged that is liable for the biological filtration.

Wet/Dry Filter

This filter is great for saltwater fish aquarium or any large aquarium setup. Wet/dry filter is very perfect for biological filtration. This filtration system makes the perfect condition for huge quantities of useful microorganisms to successfully prepare waste materials. Wet/dry filter is commonly situated underneath the aquarium. A U-tube is utilized to move the water inside the aquarium. This filer is expensive and requires a low measure of maintenance. It is not suited for a freshwater planted aquarium. To keep your filter clean, you should wash the filter materials weekly basis.

Under-gravel Filters

Under-gravel filter is a primarily biological filter. It has a replaceable cartridge placed at the end of the rigid tubing to provide additional chemical or mechanical filtration. This filter is available for small or large aquariums but it is best suited for aquariums with a small amount fish load. It is placed under a layer of gravel at the bottom of the aquarium. It moves water through the gravel to make conditions helpful for biological filtration and it effectively separates waste materials. It is generally cheap and easy to maintain.

Disadvantage of under gravel filters

  • Under Gravel Filters are not good for planted aquariums.  
  • It is also poor for de-nitrification.
  • It creates problems with organic sludge. Because it buildup of organic sludge which leads to high dissolved organic compounds from the nitric acid products during decomposition. This can decrease general hardness, alkalinity hardness and increases Nitrates and Redox.

How to Install a Filter in the Aquarium

The aquarium makes a closed aquatic environment. To make your aquarium environment healthy, you need correct filtration system. Filter installation begins with the assembly part. You need to ensure that your filter is very much assembled before the installation begins. Most filter makers would send the filter to the customer with parts isolated. Initially you should follow the guidelines included with your filter. The most part of the filters may require simply assemble. It is essential to flush the majority of the filter parts that are washable in clean water before submerging it in the water. Running a filter without water will burn through the engine, so guarantee that the pump is prepared.

Internal Filter Installation Process:

  • Installation process of internal filter needs little time.
  • Before buying and selecting the internal filter from the market, you can consult the seller about the pros and cons and choose the filter.
  • After buying the filter, unpack the device and read the instructions thoroughly.
  • You should find a reasonable spot for the filter setup.
  • You should insert the filter cartridge into the inner filter.
  • You should place the filter in the aquarium and press the suction container against the glass.
  • Ensure the filter is solidly attached to the glass.
  • You should fill the aquarium with water.
  • Immerse the filter device in water in such a way that the top of the water layer is not less than 10-15 mm.
  • You should place the device on the wall of the aquarium on hooks.
  • Make sure that the tube to which the hose is attached goes to the surface. This is necessary for the discharge of waste water.
  • You should double-check that the filter is totally submerged in the water, and then connect the power line to the electrical outlet or electrical extension. You will see bubbles leaving the filter as it draw water through the cartridge.
  • After completing the installation, keep the fish to your home aquarium.
  • It will only be necessary to regularly check the operation of the device and carry out a cleaning to ensure that the fish is comfortable.

Under Gravel Filter Setup Process

  • You have to put the filter into the tank under the gravel or rock. 
  • Ensure it is very much fitted in position before filling the tank with water. Ensure that the lift tubes are additionally fitted to help in its appropriate working ability.
  • Continue to connect the pump carriers and power head to the proper lift tubes before you can turn on.

External Filter Setup Process

External filter is a more complex device. In perspective of the large size, it is not placed in the aquarium. It is put outside of the aquarium. It has a few phases of mechanical and biological cleaning and utilized by experienced aquarists. Such a device can work for an adequately long time without special upkeep.

During the operation of the device it is necessary to periodically check all the elements to prevent possible water leakage. Such device is worth buying only from well known and proven manufacturers which have service centers and also it is easy to buy spare parts for repairs.

Installation Process

  • Prepare several rags in case of leakage, a flashlight and a stand of soft material. 
  • Unpack the box of the device, remove the contents. The device itself, hoses, internal sponges, filling, plastic outlets for water should available.
  • You assemble the device according to the manufacturer’s instructions. There must be indicated the order of connection of parts to each other.
  • You turn to the preparation of external elements-for release and for abstraction of water. You also need to calculate the length of the hoses, so that it is enough for the distance to the curb stone.
  • The next step is to begin the device. It is important to load the filter with aquarium water by gravity. To do this, connect the water inlet hose with a threaded clamp. Now you can open the tap and water will stream. It must be guaranteed that water does not spill out of the second opening. Once the apparatus has been filled the inlet hose must be closed. If remaining parts to connect the outlet hose and nearly everything will be prepared to begin.
  • The water outlet hoses should also be loaded with water. To do this, you connect it to the filter and cover it. At the free end, you have to pour water and after that connect with a plastic tap in the aquarium.
  • It stays to open both faucets on the filter and turn on the apparatus in the outlet. If everything is done accurately you will perceive how the water begins moving.
  • Many after installation, confront an issue water does not flow. The explanation behind this can be an airtight chamber in the filter tubes. To tackle the issue, you have to turn the device on and off a few times. In case, this did not help the hoses must be liberated from water and filled once more.

Proper Maintenance of Filter

  • Clean the filter regularly from wastes.
  • In the off mode, filter device should be kept always under water to safe all the inhabitants of the aquarium from any infection.
  • Before putting your hand under water, you must turn off the switch of the filter device.
  • You should maintain a clean healthy tank. If the tank is overstocked then the filter system will be unable to keep the water fresh, clean, and healthy. The general guide line is one fish per gallon of water for a basic tank. Overcrowding will not only cause your tank to be dirty, but often times will cause loss of fish.
  • During cleaning the filter device, you must disconnect the electrical connection in the aquarium and after disconnecting, you can remove the device from the water.
  • The replaceable filter should be changed at least once a month. It generally depends on the type of filter, the number of fish, and the size of the tank.
  • You should test the water using a test kit to know the level of ammonia and nitrate in the water. Both should be at or close to zero. If not, the filters should be replaced.

You might also like to Read: Best Aquarium Thermometer.

The water filter plays an important role to keep up your aquarium perfect and sound. To remove overabundance food materials, fish waste products and other harmful substances from your aquarium, the filter is basic. In this case, you should purchase and introduce best aquarium filters in your aquarium, to make a sound aquatic environment.

Leave a Comment