How Canister Filters Work

Aquarium Filters are very important for your fish tank to keep it clean and remove unwanted organic chemicals that form from the fish poops and uneaten food. It continuously work to remove dust particles and the bacteria that live inside the filter consumes ammonia and nitrite to ensure the healthy environment for your precious little pet. There are several types of filter available in the market and canister filter obviously stands in the top place without any doubt. Due to it’s high efficiency and capacity to serve large volume of water they are pricy. Today we shall discuss how they work and how you should take care of it.

Canister filters are generally contrasted and the customary “hold tight” channels that are set over the aquarium. A powerful motor runs inside the canister which pull the water from aquarium and pass it through the media chamber with huge flow rate and pressure to ensure a great efficiency and output. Multiple chambers inside the canister ensures different levels of filtration for the aquarium.

Water filtration in a filter usually takes place in three parts. Mechanical, Biological and Chemical filtration. Mechanical filtration removes dust particles, detritus, uneaten food and visible elements from the water. Usually a foam or synthetic cotton is used for this purpose. In the canister filter the first chamber should be mechanical filter media. So that before water goes to the biological media it becomes clean and don’t clog the media.

Next chamber in the canister should be biological filter media. Ceramic rings, bio-ball, lava rock etc are used for biological filtration purpose. The basic thing is the media should be highly porous so that it can accommodate as much bacteria as possible. These ammonia are aerobic and they need oxygen to thrive. Canister filter ensures the supply and ammonia produced from fish food or poop is consumed by the bacteria inside the filter media.

Chemical filtration is not a must but good to have. If the supply water contains harmful chemicals then you should use this chamber to fill with charcoal or purigen. Otherwise you can just fill them up with more biological and mechanical filter media.

Lots of brands are available in the market for canister filters. Among them I personally prefer Fluval Canister Filter due to their highly efficient and noise free operation and at the same time great capacity for filter media. You can select basically any canister with some reputation behind it.

Taking care of canister filter is quite easy. You need to clean them like once per month. While cleaning don’t rinse the media using your supply or tap water. It may harm the bacteria colony living inside the pours media. For washing, use the aquarium water instead and never keep them out of water for a long time. Using detergent or any type of chemical is strictly prohibited.

Some canister filter comes with auto-prime feature. If not you need to manually prime them before starting. The process is simple but you may face difficulties. See the instruction with your canister or search youtube for a tutorial. Canister filter are great for planted tanks and high bio-load aquariums. If you have a big aquarium you should get a good quality canister filter.


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