There are 3 types of filtration we will discuss…. Essential for a healthy aquarium

Mechanical Filtration

There are many different types of filtration out there and depending on the size of your setup you may consider several options. For smaller saltwater tanks, reef or fish, a good canister filter will do.


I use Marine Land but you can find many brands out there. I don’t trust just any filter though when your dealing with what is a very expensive hobby. Here is a link to Amazon for there fish and aquarium. To be honest they have the best prices.

Fish & Aquatic Pets



The other suitable filtration to use are sumps. They are a container housed usually under the tank that houses your filtration media, protein skimmer, and UV light. You can buy one or build on yourself and make it as elaborate as you wish.

Biological Filtration

Biological filtration is the micro-organisms that process the ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite in your m20160326_120621[1]arine system. I won’t go into huge detail but this is called the nitrogen cycle. All new aquariums will go through this during the setup process. These microbes live in the substrate and live rock and can be introduced through a process called seeding. The micro-organisms also live in the wet/dry portion of your filtration system and the course media itself. They are essential for the success of your tank. I explain more in the setup page.

Chemical Filtration

20160404_092920[1]Chemical filtration is the media your put in your mechanical filter. It could be activated charcoal or zoolite crystals. The purpose is to remove ammonia through a chemical reaction that causes the ammonia to attach itself to the media. There are many different types of media to choose from but the tried and true is activated charcoal. I always use activated charcoal in conjunction with other medias.

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  • TerryB says:

    Hi, glad to stumble on your site.

    I am planning to buy an aquarium for my son. He’s into fishes now…I don’t know anything about aquariums or filtration for that matter.

    I like to do all lot of research before I invest in anything. I also went to my local pet store for some ideas.

    I was considering to buy a 20 gallon tank. What filtration would you recommend?


    • Adam says:

      That depends of the type of aquarium you have be it fresh or salt and the type of fish you want to keep. For community tanks in fresh water any good Marineland filter rated for 20 gallons will do. I would recommend something a bit bigger if your son is into aggressive fish like piranha or an oscars. In that case I would use an under gravel and an over the back filter.

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