Best fish tank filter

Choosing a Fish Tank Filter

LLA14 148x300 Choosing a Fish Tank FilterThe fish tank filter or filtration system is the single most important factor in maintaining a healthy environment and healthy fish. A recent article in Aquarium Fish Magazine estimates that more than 80 percent of all fish health problems in aquariums are directly linked to improper or inadequate filtration.

There are several types of filters used by today’s hobbyists. An undergravel fish tank filter is the very least a tank needs to stay healthy.


An undergravel filter is a slotted plate situated inside the aquarium on the bottom glass under the aquarium gravel. Air bubbles or power heads are used to pull water down through the gravel and up through the lift tubes.

CPF5F 300x251 Choosing a Fish Tank FilterDuring this process, large particles are trapped in the gravel so that they are not suspended in the water – mechanical filtration. Additionally, nitrifying bacteria live on the surfaces of the individual gravel grains and “processes” the water as it goes by, converting ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate – biological filtration.

An undergravel filter plate should cover the entire bottom of the tank, and the gravel bed should be 2 to 3 inches thick. Gravel should have an average diameter of 3 millimeters (1/8 inch) to ensure lots of surface area for bacteria to grow on while providing enough space among the pieces to permit good water flow with minimal clogging. Water flow through the filter should be between 0.5 and 1.5 gallons per minute for each square foot of aquarium bottom area.

Should the undergravel filter bed become partially clogged with particulates, the water will channel around those areas and reduce nitrifying (biological cleansing) activity – the process of converting ammonia to nitrite to nitrate.

The result will be rising concentrations of ammonia. Meanwhile, without oxygenated water passing through some areas of the gravel, anaerobic regions (areas with minimal amounts of oxygen) will develop and become inhabited by undesirable bacteria (e.g., heterotrophic bacteria that produce deadly hydrogen sulfide gas, which smells like rotten eggs). If the gravel bed becomes totally clogged, the nitrifying bacteria (beneficial bacteria) will die and heterotrophic bacteria (undesirable bacteria) will take their place.

There are two ways to deal with this problem. One is to use a hydro-cleaning device, sometimes known as a gravel “vacuum.” When siphoning water from the tank, the gravel is churned about in the large end of the siphon hose and the particulate matter is removed while the gravel remains in the tank.

Tetra Tetra 25846 Whisper In-Tank Filter 3i, 1 to 3-Gallon
Pet Products (Tetra)
  • Designed for Use in Smaller Aquariums Up to 3-Gallon, Uses Small Whisper Bio-Bag Cartridges
  • Uses small Whisper Bio-Bag Cartridges
  • Provides convenient 3 stage filtration

It's best to use an additive

by ---

That removes chlorine and chloramine which you can buy at a pet store. You can also let the water sit out open for a day before adding it to the bowl, which will let the chlorine evaporate, but chloramine will remain if it's present.
Goldfish are a very messy fish. Most goldfish enthusiasts will tell you that it needs a minimum of 10 gallons for maximum health and life expectancy, but if it's a smaller fish you can get by with a smaller tank. At the very minimum I'd get one with a simple filter.

No, I don't.

by Purrrrrr

My fish are well taken care of and this arguing with me telling me to get rid of the filters is just stupid. Sorry but it is. If I had regular fish would you all tell me to do away with the filter, what about the Puffers tank, should I get rid of theirs too??? No.
And it's stupid to think how the pet stores take care of them is "right" *cough ML cough* Do you also think the way they keep their puppies is whats best for them? To live their entire lives in a tiny cage?????

You might also like:
Best Goldfish Aquarium w/ filter, …
Best Goldfish Aquarium w/ filter, …
Fish Tank Filter DIY - Airlift system
Fish Tank Filter DIY - Airlift system
Related Posts