A Substance That Water Can Flow Through Is Called Filtration, Part 2 – The Difference Between Mechanical, Biological and Chemical Filtration

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Filtration, Part 2 – The Difference Between Mechanical, Biological and Chemical Filtration

Most aquarium keepers rely on a combination of three different filtration methods to maintain aquarium water quality: mechanical filtration, biological filtration, and chemical filtration. Mechanical filtration will remove large debris from water, biological filtration is done by bacteria that convert hazardous waste products into less harmful compounds, and chemical filtration is typically done by activated carbon that removes toxic compounds, traces of drugs, etc.

A single piece of equipment can have multiple types of filtration. When you see the basic sponge-filled corner filter used by many novice aquarium keepers, you might think of it as a way to do mechanical filtration. However, the truth is that sponges are an ideal home for beneficial bacteria that can perform biological filtration. The corner filter is usually combined with a pump that circulates the water and continuously supplies the bacteria with biological waste products dissolved in the water. If you place a piece of activated carbon in your corner filter, it will chemically filter the pumped water. Thus, you can perform three different types of filtration in one device.

Mechanical filtration

Mechanical filtration will remove large amounts of water waste. You can get internal mechanical filters as well as external filters. A mechanical filter is typically combined with a pump that pumps some type of filter medium, e.g. Brings water through a sponge, foam or floss. Before you buy a mechanical filter you should always find out how much water it moves and how fine the filter media is. A general rule of thumb is that a mechanical filter should pass approximately twice the amount of water in the tank per hour, but this is not true for all types of aquariums.

Fineness of filter media is very important in mechanical. A very fine filter media will catch even the smallest debris from the water, but on the other hand it is prone to clogging and needs to be cleaned very often. A coarser filter is less likely to trap media, but on the other hand allows more debris to pass through. Many aquarium keepers use a combination of several filter media, where a coarse filter traps larger particles and the water is filtered through a finer media.

Biological filtration

In biological filtration, harmful nitrogenous compounds produced by aquarium animals will be converted into less harmful nitrogenous compounds by two different types of bacteria. Your fish’s metabolism will produce ammonia that is excreted from the gills and contained in the fish’s feces. High levels of ammonia are harmful to fish, and really high levels can be fatal. However, there is a specific type of bacteria that eat ammonia. These types of bacteria consume ammonia and excrete nitrate. Unfortunately for our fish, nitrate is more toxic than ammonia. For successful biological filtration, another type of bacteria is required. These types of bacteria consume nitrate and excrete nitrate. Nitrate is less toxic than ammonia and nitrate, but you should monitor nitrate levels in the aquarium with a steelhead and remove nitrates with frequent water changes.

You can support colonies of beneficial bacteria by providing them with suitable materials for colonization, such as sponge and floss filter media, gravel, sand, plant leaves, etc. When you start a new aquarium, you should let it go through a known process. A cycling. During this process, large colonies of both types of bacteria will establish themselves in the aquarium. You can start the cycling process in a new aquarium by introducing bacteria from an already cycled aquarium, e.g. Take some gravel or filter media from it. You can also buy a solution full of the right type of bacteria from an aquarium store. If you use materials to create an established aquarium, you always run the risk of introducing unwanted organisms along with beneficial bacteria.

Chemical filtration

The most commonly used material for chemical filtration is activated carbon. Activated carbon will bind to a wide range of different compounds and thereby remove them from the circulation. It is common for aquarists to use chemical filtration only for short periods of time. After you’ve finished treating the aquarium for disease or parasites, you can use a chemical filtration system to remove any remaining traces of medication from the water. The use of activated carbon is highly controversial, and many keepers of cultivated aquariums refrain from using activated carbon for long periods because they suspect that it can lead to nutrient depletion.

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