Equip the aquarium – Aquarium for novices Part II Filter systems No clean aquarium without filter. Why – and which you need for your fish is explained here. You need a powerful filter so that your aquarium stays a feast for the eyes. It is its function to maintain the ecological balance in the aquarium which nature does by micro-organisms (bacteria). These transform organic waste into simple inorganic substances. This system cannot stay in balance in the aquarium as the amount of fish is always higher than in natural waters. A tank can appear clean but still contain life-threateningly high concentrations of harmful substances like nitrite. A basic distinction is made between mechanical, biological and chemical filters.  Mechanical quick filtering removes suspended matter from the water and, as a side-effect, bacteria cultures are formed after a while which have a biological filter effect. Biological filters are equipped with such bacteria cultures and only have a low mechanical filter effect as the throughput speed is low. Absorption filters replace or remove harmful substances from the water and are used mainly to reduce water hardness. In principle, the filter sucks in the dirty water. It is then pressed through materials like sponges or cotton and cleaned of rough dirt. Then, the flows back into the aquarium water. The bacteria take up residence on the filter material within two to three weeks after installation. They degrade harmful sub stances like ammonium and ammonia. There are internal and external filters for cleaning which are available in different sizes and strengths. The number of fish and the tank size are decisive for the filter selection. Internal filters are generally sufficient for smaller aquariums. External filters follow the same principle as internal filters, only that the water is sucked into the filter outside of the aquarium, is cleaned and led back into the tank. Aquarium owners with large tanks of more than 400 litres also like to use biological flow and silica filters. Always observe the conditioning time!Regardless which type you chose: the so-called conditioning time of two to three weeks has to be observed until the bacteria have settled in and fish can be introduced into the tank. The living environment for the fish is only stable enough when your measurements show low nitrate and no nitrite values. However: filter systems do not or only partially remove dead plant rests or fish faeces. The suction power is not sufficient to keep the floor of the tank clean, for example. A mull hoover remedies this. Aquarium novices can obtain advice from the expert Maxizoo staff before they purchase the required “hardware”. The third part gives you information on how to clean filters and how to make them even more efficient.

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