home Aquarium How to choose an external aquarium filter

How to choose an external aquarium filter

Canister filter compartments

Almost always, according to their own main focus, external filters are composite. They have several departments:

  • a compartment for mechanical cleaning, where a sponge or synthetic winterizer is located, which stop dirt particles;
  • department with biological material. microorganisms participating in the processing of organic substances to a state harmless to the inhabitants of the aquatic environment;
  • chemical cleaning compartment with hygroscopic material, which can be quartz, activated carbon or zeolite.

Based on your needs, you can change the basic filling of the external cleaning system.

choose, external, aquarium, filter

How to install?

Each manufacturer has its own installation features, but there is a universal method.

  • Prepare a soft pad and a few rags in case of a leak.
  • Carefully examine the contents of the box: it should contain internal sponges, the device itself, fillers, plastic water outlets.
  • Adhere to the manufacturer’s practice guidelines when assembling the filter. The valves on the cover open at the end of the process. The filler, according to the rules, is laid in this way: ceramics or bioballs to the very bottom, sponges on them, followed by a synthetic winterizer, the final upper layer is coal or peat.
  • Prepare elements for the intake and release of water: a long rounded tube sucks in water, a short curved one throws it out, it is placed at the other end of the aquarium. Calculate in advance the size of the hoses to be sufficient.
  • Before starting the device, fill it with gravity water from the aquarium (for this purpose, connect the intake hose with a threaded clamp). Water will pour out as soon as you open the tap. Be careful not to let water flow from the other hole. After the device is completely filled, close the intake hose.
  • Connect the discharge hose to the appliance, close it, then pour water into the unoccupied end and connect to the plastic outlet.
  • Final action: unscrew both taps on the device, and connect the system to the socket.

If everything is done correctly, it will be noticeable how the water begins to mix.

Complications appear from time to time. the liquid medium does not run. The problem is an air lock formed in the tubes of the filter device.

You need to turn it on and off several times in a row. If this fails, drain the water and refill the hoses.

How to choose?

An external filter is simply a must for large aquariums. When buying a model, one should take into account not only the quality of the apparatus and the capacity of the aquarium, but also the practicality of its use.

For many aquarists, the main repulsive reason in the device is noise, so pay close attention to this.

The selection instruction includes several nuances.

  • Of course, the external device is mounted outside the aquarium, therefore it is necessary to plan the space for it ahead of time. Before purchasing, the first thing you need to know is how much power your device should have. It directly depends on the capacity of the aquarium.
  • If you have a small aquarium, then mainly pay attention to the quality and noise indicators, since the power requirements of the filter device are not too high. Study the manufacturer’s advice in detail, the capacity of your tank should be slightly less than the recommended standards, otherwise the device may not cope with its work. If you have a very populated aquarium, then take into account how densely populated it is. It happens that there are a lot of inhabitants, then you need to buy a filter with a good power reserve.
  • For aquariums with a small capacity of 30 to 70 l, the external filter should have a capacity of 300 to 400 l / h. This should be sufficient when the aquarium is fairly densely populated.
  • If we analyze another category of aquariums with a capacity of 60-100 liters, the productivity of the apparatus should be higher. Roughly for this category, it is equal to 500 l / h.
  • For larger aquariums, the performance should of course be higher. In particular, for a capacity of 100 to 200 liters, it is approximately equal to 700 liters / hour. The choice of outdoor units is extensive, so it will not be a problem to choose the modification that suits you.

Description and working principle

An external filter (also called a canister filter) for an aquarium is one of the most efficient filtering devices. It can be used to operate aquariums with a capacity of 40-1500 liters.

From the name it is already clear that the device is not placed inside the aquarium, but outside it. near the bedside table or right in it. Only the intake and discharge tubes are lowered into the aquarium with water.

How do they differ from internal?

The difference between external and internal filtering devices is as follows:

  • a colossal amount of filtering materials when compared with internal devices;
  • usually higher throughput than internal filters;
  • as mentioned above, multilevel filtration. in particular, the filter package includes fillers for biological (bio-fillers), mechanical (sponges) and chemical (zeolite or activated carbon) purification;
  • as a result of the above, much finer water purification;
  • the external device needs attention much less often than the internal device. mostly not more often than once every 2-3 months.

Some extreme lovers do not clean the filter even for 6-12 months, but it is better to look there more often.

Apparatus for 120-300 liters

Eheim 2215 Classic-350 for 120-350 l tanks. The Eheim Classic series is the most affordable of the entire Eheim product line. Despite the seeming simplicity of installation, it carries out high-quality cleaning inherent in all models. The complete set contains fillers: substrates, sponges and the like. Warranty period. 2 years.

The Tetra EX800 Plus is suitable for 100-300 L tanks. A rugged and affordable external device, powerful and incredibly quiet. Complete with everything necessary for assembly, installation and start-up of the system.

Filters for 50-100 liters

The Tetra EX600 Plus is designed for small aquariums of 60-120 liters. One of the most popular filtering devices on the domestic market. It functions stably (manufacturer’s warranty. 3 years) and is almost inaudible. Each of the five fillers is in an individual tray. Instantly disconnects for cleaning with a dedicated adapter.

The drain hoses and tube can be adjusted to suit different aquarium heights. The composition contains everything you need for a comfortable and quick installation, including all cleaning materials.

JBL CristalProfi e401 (up to 120 l) is a convenient and moderately inexpensive greenline device. The water is cleaned by slowly passing from bottom to top through the fillers. The modernized pump impeller provides absolute quietness and long service life (the manufacturer guarantees. 4 years). The device is completely ready for use, equipped with all fillers.

READ  What Fish Dies After Spawning

Varieties and features of filters

Owners of small ponds should pay attention to the bottom filter. The device is a compact device. Gravel is used as filter material. The device looks like a flat pancake. The device is equipped with a pedestal pump. The speed of pumping water depends on the pump. The power of the pump is selected based on the volume of the aquarium. According to all standards, the filter should clean 5 times the volume of the container in 1 hour. For a round tank with a volume of 5 to 20 liters, use a filter with a minimum filtration rate.

The pump operation is based on water circulation, due to which all fish waste and food residues are efficiently recycled.

Aquarium Canister Filters Pros and Cons: Are They a Good Fit For You?

When using a bottom filter, do not fill up with sand or fine-grained soil. This can clog the cells that circulate the air. Each side of the issue has advantages and disadvantages. Of the advantages of bottom filters, the following aspects should be noted:

  • silent process of work;
  • uninterrupted circulation;
  • you can disguise the device in algae or decorations;
  • optimal price;
  • high level mechanical and biological filtration;
  • creation of the necessary microclimate in the reservoir;
  • the liquid is purified in two stages;
  • sand and soil do not sour.

The disadvantages of the devices include quick clogging and regular cleaning of the filter.

There are also hinged filters for small reservoirs. This filter is perfect for round aquariums from 5 to 10 liters. There are two types of filters: with an internal and external mounting type. The inner device is completely immersed in the reservoir, and the outer one is attached to the outer edges of the tank. For round aquariums, an external type of attachment is preferable. Some models of hinged filters are equipped with LED illumination.

The process of work of filters-waterfalls creates a flow of water at a minimum speed. The flow is formed by the falling jet of water. A small current is enough to filter a small reservoir. Of the minuses, it is worth noting the inconvenient filling of the device with filtration materials.

The filter glasses are convenient due to the presence of a special compartment in the form of a glass, which can be filled with various filter media. When buying, it is worth checking the complete set for the presence of a flute nozzle, thanks to which it is possible to reduce the flow rate. It is also desirable that the nozzle of the device be regulated, this will help reduce the power of the water pressure. There are no downsides to glass filters. However, some manufacturers’ devices make an unpleasant noise. When buying, it is recommended to immediately check the operation of the device.

For mini-ponds, you can use an air-lift filter that is installed inside the aquarium. The principle of operation is based on the movement of air under water. Air bubbles float to the surface and create pressure in the air duct (tube). Under the influence of pressure, the water is purified by passing through the filter material. The disadvantage of the device is the noise from the murmur of water.

How To Pick The BEST AQUARIUM FILTER For Your Fish Tank!

How to choose a filter for a round aquarium?

Spherical aquariums are distinguished by their sophistication and sophistication, do not take up much space and are easy to maintain. For them, special equipment is also selected for filtering the reservoir and enriching it with oxygen. Compact devices are suitable for spherical containers. How to choose a device for filtering water in a round aquarium and how to install and fix the device correctly? This will be discussed in this article.

How to choose?

When choosing a filter for a round aquarium, you should pay attention to the filtration methods. There are the following cleaning methods.

  • Mechanical. The easiest filtering method. The device removes debris, small dirt, fish excrement and food residues from the pond. The design includes a motor, pump and sponge. The pump is pumping liquid. Then the water enters the sponge and is purified. This cleaning method is suitable for mini aquariums with a volume of 5-10 liters.
  • Biological water purification. Purification of the reservoir is facilitated by special bacteria that inhabit the soil. The biological type of cleaning relieves the reservoir of toxic substances.
  • Chemical cleaning removes odors and helps purify water from ammonia. This filtration has the highest degree of purification.

When buying filters for an aquarium, you should also consider the type of attachment. For example, internal filters are suitable for illuminated ponds with a volume of 5-20 liters. Most often, the lighting on round aquariums is built-in and is located on the outside of the reservoir.

In order for the container to look aesthetically pleasing and not to spoil the appearance, choose internal devices that are installed inside the tank. However, there are compact external devices that are attached to the edges of the container and do not look so bulky. The best option is a hinged backlit filter, which performs several functions: illuminates the underwater space and provides high-quality filtration.

How to install?

The internal filter does not require much effort to install. Even a novice aquarist can handle this. It is enough to follow the step-by-step instructions.

  • Before installation, the fish are moved to another tank. The filter is installed in a filled reservoir.
  • The filter is secured with hooks, suction cups or Velcro, which are included in the package. The device is immersed in water, but at the same time a layer of water from 2 to 5 cm should remain above the filter.The device should not reach the bottom of the aquarium.
  • After that, you should check the operation of the tube, which should come out to the surface for the free flow of purified water. To check, turn on the device and bring your hand to the tube outlet. Water should come out of it. This means that the device is working properly. Then you can populate the fish.
  • Next, you need to adjust the fluid flow. It is better to set the filter in the middle position. Not all fish like strong currents. To begin with, it is worth observing the inhabitants of the reservoir. If necessary, you can reduce or add the fluid flow rate.

To install an external filter, assembly is first required according to the instructions that come with the product. A special place is allocated for the filter. The location of the device should be 20 cm below the tank level. The device is placed under a pond. Inlet tubes and liquid outlet tubes are placed on opposite sides of the aquarium.

READ  DIY aquarium co2 generator

When installing the equipment, fill it with water by gravity. Connect and open the fluid intake hose. Care should be taken not to let fluid flow out of the other hole. After water intake, the hose is closed. Next, turn off the tap of the hose that releases water, turn on the filter. When installing the bottom filter, liquid is removed from the reservoir and soil. Then you need to put the device so that it is located 2 cm above the bottom. After that, the soil is moved back to the container.

Next, watch a video with tips on how to reduce noise from a working filter in an aquarium.

What type of filter is best for an aquarium

Even a small aquarium needs such equipment as a water filter, since it performs the most important function. it cleans the water space for the most comfortable life of its inhabitants. In order to facilitate the care of a small part of the underwater world, it is necessary to choose the right device, then it will cope with the waste that periodically accumulates in each aquarium.

Instrument tightness

An external filter is located behind the wall of the aquarium with a hose system, taking and returning water and it is very important that the system is as tight as possible, otherwise water may leak, which will eventually lead to flooding of the apartment and neighbors below. The device is mounted below the water level in the aquarium, so it should be installed very securely, and it is best to provide for the presence of small taps in the kit with the product, which can be shut off if necessary.

The most common cause of filter leaks can be weak latches, so you should pay attention to them so that the latches appear to be reliable and strong.

External models are always easy to use, they do not need to be cleaned often, unlike internal devices, which need to be cleaned once every two weeks, in addition, they do not emit noise during operation.

Aquarium life

Any of the aquariums can be called a closed mini-biosystem, which needs several different devices in order to function normally and maintain comfortable conditions for fish and vegetation. Water filters are the very device that can be located inside and outside the aquarium. If the aquarium is small and there are few fish living in it, then you can do with the internal device, but if the volume exceeds 100 liters, then experts advise purchasing external equipment with good throughput.

Modern models

It is imperative to take into account the dimensions of the aquarium equipment so that it fits comfortably to the cabinet. Many modern products have their own advantages, which everyone appreciates in their own way. built-in heaters, electronic pump control, UV sterilizers.

If large fish live in the aquarium, then it is necessary to choose only powerful models, since such inhabitants eat more food, which means they give more waste. If the aquarium is very large, then experts advise purchasing several filters.

Many Chinese-made products have appeared on the modern consumer market, according to experts, they are not reliable and of high quality, therefore it is better to purchase filters of European production, which have proven themselves for more than a dozen years for flawless and reliable operation.

Benefits of external filters

  • If we compare internal and external filters for aquariums, then the external models are much more effective in cleaning the water, they do not spoil the overall picture in a small underwater “kingdom”, and also leave more free space for the inhabitants being outside.
  • The external filter needs regular maintenance only once every 2 months and it is possible to combine and replace filter elements in it.
  • When cleaning external equipment, this work does not affect the inhabitants in any way, such models are suitable for marine and freshwater aquariums.

Negative sides

  • All external filters are expensive.
  • Models of external filters do not always fit into the overall design of the room, so you need to foresee in advance a good place in which the aquarium will be located and look attractive.

Equipment selection

All filters are divided according to power and it is best to buy a model whose water pumping rate will be designed for a larger aquarium, for example, if the aquarium is 150 liters of water, then it is better to choose a filter for 200 liters, this will allow water to biofiltrate more efficiently.

The pump impeller is of great importance, it can be made of metal and ceramics, the latter option is considered more wear-resistant and less noisy, therefore it is more expensive. When buying a product, you should pay attention to its configuration, since there are models that have only sponges in the package, and you need to buy the rest of the elements yourself, which is very inconvenient, it is much easier to use immediately ready-made and fully equipped equipment.

Filter for a small aquarium, which one to choose?

Owners of small aquariums from 5 to 50 liters often face the problem of finding a small internal filter for their pond. The problem is that you need good filtration and aeration of the aquarium, but at the same time, the filter should not create a strong current, so that fish and plants are not blown away.

In this article, we will provide guidelines for choosing and using mini-filters.

And you need to start with the fact that the soil plays an important role in the life of the aquarium, especially in small aquariums where the biobalance is quite easy to disrupt. The soil should be neutral, light, porous, laid with a thickness of 5-7 centimeters. All these conditions will allow you not to worry about the biological filtration of the aquarium, because in such a substrate colonies of beneficial bacteria, nitrifiers and other organisms participating in the nitrogen cycle, will develop well. And, as you know, the lion’s share of biological processes occurs in the soil! We can say that the primary filter in the aquarium is the soil, so pay special attention to this issue.

As for the filters themselves for small aquariums, there are three options: hinged waterfall filters, mini-filters with a glass, and an airlift filter. Consider their advantages and disadvantages.

Mini filters with glass for aquarium: pros and cons

Perhaps the most popular and used filters for small aquariums. For example, the Laguna KF internal filter. which we recently reviewed.

Why are these filters so convenient ?! They have a “glass” where you can put various fillers, depending on the situation in your mini-aquarium.

READ  How to properly install the internal filter in the aquarium

When choosing, pay attention to the complete set, for example, the presence of a flute nozzle, it will help you reduce the flow. Also, it is advisable to rotate the filter nozzle to the sides. this will also help you to minimize the flow, if necessary. Pay attention to the size of the glass, although the aquarium is small, the filter is still a filter. A small compartment for filter elements, in fact, levels out all filtration capacity. It turns out a pump, not a filter.

With that said, choose mini-filters based on the size of your aquarium and the tasks you set for it. For example, Atmonovsky liners of the AT-F series have a gradation: 150, 350, 450, 800, 1200 liters / hour. The first three are fine for us. 150 turns straight for dumbbells up to 30l., 350 turns

60l. But again, a lot depends on the population density of the aquarium and other conditions.

Hinged filter for aquarium or backpack-waterfall

This is a kind of compromise between the desire of the aquarist to establish filtration and the physical inability to shove anything into the mini-aquarium. These filters are called “backpacks” or “waterfalls”. This filter is best suited for small aquariums where 5-10 liters of any internal filter would be redundant.

Waterfall filters come in two flavors: internal and external. The internal waterfall filter is installed inside the aquarium. it is completely in the aquarium, the external one is accordingly hung on the outside of the aquarium. Taking into account the specifics of the topic, we are more interested in external hinged filters.

The advantage of these filters is that they create a minimum flow in the aquarium, which is reproduced by a falling stream of water, at the same time, such a flow is sufficient to aerate a small aquarium.

Among the disadvantages can be called the inconvenience associated with filling the filter with filter materials, for example, coal, zeolite.

Younger versions of waterfall filters can be recommended for aquarium cubes of 5-10 liters, as well as for keeping fish of stagnant water, for example, for cockerels.

Airlift filter for small aquarium

Internal aquarium filters also include the so-called air-lift filters. The principle of operation of these filters is based on the movement of air under water. Air bubbles, rising to the surface, create a draft in the air outlet tube. Water, passing through the filter material under the action of this draft, is purified. The advantage of such filters is that they combine the functions of a filter and an aerator. Disadvantage. the noise of the bubbling water.

As a rule, they are used in a spawning aquarium to raise fry.

At the end of the article, a little life hack. If your filter is “blowing hard”, there is no flute, the nozzle does not turn. you can use a suction fork from an external filter. It looks like this.

Reducing the flow of the aquarium filter

The plug is inserted into the nozzle, into the spacer and strongly dampens even the flow from 1200 l / h. You can use something else that obstructs the flow, but does not close the nozzle (otherwise the water will go through the aeration tube).

Subscribe to our You Tube channel so you don’t miss anything


A very interesting type of filter for the aquarium. Its other name for the bottom filter is false. In this device, a flat filter element (plate with tubes and holes) is placed on the bottom of the aquarium and sprinkled with soil on top.

Water purification goes from bottom to top, and water goes through double purification: not only through the filter element, but also through the soil layer. The disadvantages of such devices are their low performance and difficulty in servicing. They are generally not used in large aquariums.

Filter element types

Filtration of aquarium water itself is

  • mechanical (separation of small debris grains)
  • biochemical (neutralization of harmful impurities and substances).

These are the tasks that filter materials are designed to solve in the aquatic environment.

Internal filter device

Located directly in the tank, it is perhaps the most popular in home aquaristics.

These filters are the cheapest and easiest to use. The only drawback is that they take up a useful volume of aquarium space.

Previously, airlift filters were popular. They are used to this day in spawning grounds, as they create a soft current and do not suck fry into themselves. They carry out both filtration and aeration of water. To create an air-lift filter, you will need a compressor, a sponge, and a curved tube. The water is driven by the air lift generated by the compressor.

Nowadays, pumps are mainly used that pump water through a sponge. They are easy to care for, provide effective filtration and strong currents.

Bio-fillers from multi-porous ceramics

Are becoming more widespread. It can also be special ceramic balls. On such a surface, beneficial bacteria quickly settle, creating large colonies.

The efficiency of biological purification of the aquatic environment increases many times over. Naturally, such filter elements are used in conjunction with mechanical filters.

Sponge filter

The most common filter element is special sponges, fine-pored and large-pore. Water, forcibly passing through the pores of the sponge, leaves mechanical debris in it (residues of food, plants, other foreign substances).

After about 6-7 days of working on the sponge, colonies of beneficial bacteria are formed that carry out biological cleaning (for example, from excess nitrates and nitrogenous compounds). Such sponges must be cleaned of accumulated debris after about 2 weeks of operation.

Aquarium filters: which one is better

A filter is a device for purifying (filtering) a medium. Accordingly, the aquarium filter is designed to purify the water in the fish house. Like any other device, there are many types of aquarium filters. When buying, it is important to immediately choose a device that is really suitable for a given aquarium.

Activated carbon

Another type of filter media is activated carbon. Due to its chemical properties, it purifies water better.

But with such filters you need to be extremely careful: when activated carbon is completely saturated with harmful impurities, it spontaneously releases them into the environment. In the worst case, this phenomenon can even lead to the death of the inhabitants of the aquarium.

Activated carbon should only be used to purify water from medications.