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Choosing A Filtration System For Your Saltwater Aquarium

Choosing a Filtration System

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With such a wide variety of filtration methods to choose from, saltwater aquarium filter selection can be mind boggling. If your tank is already equipped with a built in filtration system (ex., Eclipse, SeaClear and Perfecto Biowheel Ensemble), your problem is solved, unless you want to modify or add on to it. So, how do you pick one? Let's start with the basics.

There are 3 basic types of filtration in saltwater (or freshwater, for that matter) aquariums, all of which play a part in or enhance the Biological/Nitrogen Cycling Process:, which is every aquarium's primary filter. They are: Biological (B), Mechanical (M) and Chemical (C). Some filters are capable of performing more than one task.

Biological which, with the aid of bacteria (nitrobacter & nitrosomona) convert ammonia into nitrate, then into nitrate via these filter types:

2) Mechanical filters, which physically remove both dissolved and particulate material from the aquarium water column. 3) Chemical filters which remove toxins through chemical reaction or adsorbtion. There are a number of well-designed multi-functional canister filters on the market today that may fulfill your needs. You might also want to look into our Do-It-Yourself Projects & Plans section to see if there are some components that you can make yourself.

For more insight on the many ways filtration systems are utilized, browse our Tank Photo Resources. These are links to personal saltwater Web sites where aquarists' provide all kinds of detailed information about their aquariums, including their filtration set ups.

You can also browse through the About Saltwater Aquariums Set-Up Polls to see what most other aquarists are doing.

~~Stan & Debbie Hauter

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