Fish Filters & Media

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Fish Filters & Media

Every aspiring aquarist should know a thing or two about aquarium filters and filter media before getting started. There are some basics that you’ll want to be familiar with, and after that, it’s up to you to determine which types of fish you want to keep and how big the tank should be. In general, the best aquarium filter will be one that keeps the water sparkling clean and fits your particular needs. An aquarium filter doesn’t just clear up murky water. Its prime function is to improve the water quality and maintain the air that your fish breathe underwater. In order to do that, water is swept into a filter and passed through filter media. It goes through three stages of filtration before returning to the tank. Mechanical filtration uses a material like AquaClear’s Foam Inserts to catch solid debris such as fish waste or uneaten food. Chemical filtration uses activated carbon to remove impurities, odors and discoloration. The last stage is biological, which helps beneficial bacteria eliminate toxic ammonia and nitrites. Many of the filter cartridges available at Chewy combine two of these steps. Marineland’s Bio-Wheel Penguin Power Filter Cartridges trap waste particles (mechanical) and then filter water through Black Diamond premium activated carbon (chemical). The next question is which filter to get for your tank setup. A popular aquarium filter style for hobbyists is a power filter that hangs on the back of the tank. This type of external aquarium filter gives you all three stages of filtration, and it’s easy to access for cleaning. The Marineland Bio-Wheel Emperor 400 is a great example, and it works for both freshwater and marine tanks up to 90 gallons. Those under 40 gallons require a small aquarium filter, or internal filter, like Tetra Whisper 10i. Internal filters are submersible and provide quiet, three-stage filtration. For the serious enthusiast with larger tanks teeming with fish, an external aquarium filter is best. Canister filters sit underneath the tank and are ideal for more than 40-gallon capacities. Water is siphoned out, filtered and then returned to the aquarium. Penn-Plax Cascade is easy to install and comes with everything you need—large filter trays, startup filter media and input/output tubing. Chewy carries a wide variety of each of these types of filters, along with replacement accessory parts, aquarium filter media and cartridges.