Filtration Tips for Maintaining Water Quality
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Filtration Tips for Maintaining Water Quality
Filtration Tips for Maintaining Water Quality
o you feel like it's time to upgrade your filtration system? Does it seem like your filter is having problems keeping up with water quality? While filters have a rating for recommended aquarium size, several factors can reduce filter efficiency and contradict these general recommendations. Consider the following to get the most out of your filtration system.

Can I use bulk (loose) chemical media with power filters?
A: Yes. Many new power filter models include a built-in media basket to accommodate chemical filter media. Another option is to use a filter media bag filled loosely with chemical filter media.
The fish load, or quantity of fish, affects the efficiency of a filter. As you add more fish to your aquarium or as your fish grow in size, they produce more waste. If your filter is unable to keep up with your aquarium's fish load, you may end up spending more time on maintenance and your aquarium may suffer from poor water quality. Similarly, the type or species of fish you house also plays a factor in filtration. For example, fish with greater mass, such as cichlids and goldfish, will require more efficient, 3-stage filtration than fish of lesser mass. Anticipate growth and select a filtration system that accommodates your aquarium's future needs.

Chemical filter media is often under-utilized by aquarists. However, chemical media is an important part of aquarium filtration. It improves water quality by effectively removing toxic or unwanted chemicals from the water. There is a variety of chemical filter media ranging from those that remove specific pollutants to multi-functional media that remove multiple pollutants. Simply supplementing with chemical filter media can significantly enhance existing filter performance. Activated carbon is an excellent choice.

The amount of food you feed also plays a role in filter efficiency. For instance, if you constantly overfeed your fish, your aquarium will require more filtration to remove uneaten food as well as fish waste. Maintain fish health and filter performance by feeding only the recommended amount of fish food and promptly removing any uneaten food.

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