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Today we will be we will be learning about and choosing the heart of your new aquarium: the filtration system. A healthy biological filter will allow your tank and all of its critters to thrive.
The biological filter is the heart of any saltwater aquarium. The biological filter uses the bacteria found in the oceans to process the toxic waste (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) produced by the tank occupants, converting them into harmless elements and compounds. Useful material include:
- What Is A "Biological Filter"?
- Biological Filtration Poll
- Choosing the Right Biological Filter Material
Sumps are normally placed under the aquarium and are used to contain wet/dry (biological) filters, protein skimmers, heaters and other devices as well as to grow denitrifying algae and mangroves. What is a Sump and Do You Need One? will help you to decide if this useful piece of equipment will work for you. You can Compare Prices of Sumps/Wet/Dry Trickle Filters available on the market to give yourself an idea of what using a sump type filter will cost. Many saltwater aquarists save money with a DIY Sump or using a Cheap, Easy DIY Sump.
Protein skimmers help remove biological waste from your tank before being processed by the biological filter. What is Protein Skimming? explains what they are and how they work. You can browse through the latest models of Tank Mounted Protein Skimmers and Sump Mounted Protein Skimmers to see what will work best for your aquarium. Again, if you are handy with tools and like to create, DIY Skimmers will be very helpful.
Canister Filters have evolved over the years to become much more than a simple mechanical filter. Many of these filters now incorporate mechanical, biological and chemical filters all in one neat package. Canister Filters Profiled describes what the Top Canister Filters are capable of. Simple and efficient, a single canister filter unit can quickly solve all of your filtration needs.
Wet/Dry or Trickle Filters
Wet/Dry or "Trickle" Filters are simple devices which process ammonia and nitrites and increasing the DO (Dissolved Oxygen) content in tank water. The Top Under Cabinet Wet/Dry Aquarium Filters are popular with saltwater aquarists as well as easy to install. DIY Wet/Dry Filters are easy to make and can save you a lot of money.
Jaubert Live Sand & Berlin Live Rock Filtration Systems
The Jaubert Live Sand and Berlin Filter systems were among the first filtration innovations to make keeping a saltwater aquarium plausible. While they are simple in design, they do have some limitations.
Alternative Power Source
Power Outage! Your Tank Is Dying! What Are You Going To Do? Realistically, you will experience a power outage in the future. Your tank can survive for days without lights, but your biological filter, corals, critters and inverts will start dying in a few hours without Oxygen, water circulation and the proper temperature.
If you total the replacement cost of your tank critters, live rock, live sand and corals, you will quickly see that investing in an alternative power source to save your tank isn't really all that expensive. With a little imagination, you may find that a small generator will be very useful in your everyday life.
That's it for today. Tomorrow we will determine which lighting, live rock, substrate and sea salts will work best for you.