How Do You Set up Adequate Filtration for a Fish Tank?


Quick Answer

To set up adequate filtration for a fish tank, install a filter that provides mechanical, biological and chemical filtration, such as a power filter. While installation instructions vary for each filter, the standard process for installing a power filter involves attaching the intake tube, filter cartridge and biological sponge toward the back of the aquarium. Fill the tank with water before starting the power filter.

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Full Answer

Mechanical filtration removes debris and other particles from water. Biological filtration doesn't take anything out of the water; rather, it develops beneficial bacteria to start and maintain the nitrogen cycle in the aquarium. The nitrogen cycle changes ammonia, which comes from waste breakdown, into other substances which aren't as dangerous to the fish. Chemical filtration uses activated carbon to take dissolved waste and minerals out of water.

Several different types of filters are available, and most offer at least mechanical and biological filtration. If your current filter does not offer chemical filtration, you can usually add another filter that does. Chemical filtration isn't necessary, as changing the water frequently also maintains the water quality, but having chemical filtration is much more convenient.

A power filter's intake tube goes into the tank and takes water from the chamber. It filters the water through the filter cartridge to chemically filter it, and then sends it through the biological sponge.

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