Aquatics - Filters and Location


Filtration and Location

  • filtration depends on the water type (e.g., marinefreshwater or brackish)
    • marine fish are more sensitive
    • salt erodes tank equipment
  • most aquariums use a mix of filters
  • internal or external filters?
  • maintenance needs to be planned
    • don't rinse filters in tap water! Clean in tank water!
      • rinsing in tap water (chlorinated) or at the wrong temperature can kill the beneficial bacteria
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Tank Location

  • need to consider
    • lighting, water access, electricity access, waste disposal, stress to fish, access for aquarist, space, potential toxins, heat, tank weight (1 litre of water = 1 kilogram), drain access, sound
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Purpose of Filtration

  • some filters do one purpose, some do multiple
  • home for beneficial bacteria
  • remove toxins from the water
  • clean water
  • reduce risk of disease
  • aerate the water
    • water movement on the surface adds oxygen and removes carbon dioxide
    • supersaturation can cause fish to die in 15 minutes
      • turn off filtration
      • put in air stones until the problem is fixed
      • happens when pump pulls in water and air
        • due to a water level drop 
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Three Basic Types: Biological

  • areas for bacteria to grow
    • nitrobacter and nitrosomonas
  • use different medias (e.g., floss, bioballs, liverock)
    • liverock houses anaerobic bacteria for the nitrogen cycle 
  • needs a large surface area
  • need a good water flow to feed and give oxygen to the bacteria, and remove waste
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Three Basic Types: Chemical

  • e.g., activated carbon
    • remove organic chemicals that contain carbon
  • use chemicals to remove certain substances from the water
  • generally, only used during a high ammonia spike
    • chemical filters need regular changing
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Three Basic Types: Mechanical

  • physically removes solid particles
  • often used to 'polish' the water
  • different media will have different sized pores
    • ordered with the largest pore size first
  • sand filter
    • mechanical and biological filtration
    • can have channels created through the sand so water isn't filtered
    • backwash
      • water goes through filter the wrong way in order to clean it 
    • typically used only in public aquariums
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