There are many factors one must consider when selecting among fish tank filters. The best aquarium filters will depend upon any number of elements including the size of the tank as well as the particular brand and model of the tropical fish tank. There are literally hundreds of filters from which to choose, so it is important to know the specifics of the each individual tank before making a choice. One should also know the difference between types of fish tank filters.
For instance, there are bio wheel filters that happen to be one of the most popular types of power filters on the current market. Filters such as those in the Marineland line work on a three-stage filtration process. They are also easy to install and maintain. The Marineline filters also do not deplete oxygen but perform well and can work with freshwater and marine takes that hold up to 75 gallons.
There are other bio wheel filters such as those offered from Penguin. The moderately priced 150B power filter works with tanks up to 30 gallons with a larger BIO-wheel to support nitrifying bacteria. This helps keep harmful ammonia and nitrates from infiltrating the fish tank. The filter never clogs or needs replacement. The three-stage process of this filter screens out dirt and debris; eliminates discoloration, odors and other impurities; then gets rid of toxic ammonia and nitrate.
Those who have larger tanks may want to look at aquarium canister filters. They are ideal for both freshwater and saltwater tanks. They are powerful but require a little more maintenance than many other filters. Canister filters can provide filtration on biological, chemical and mechanical levels, so they are very versatile. With all their distinct designs and functions, it is possible to customize many of these filters to make them work more efficiently with an aquarium.
Eheim canister filters range in price depending upon the particular model one needs for the tank. The Ecco 2234 Comfort Plus filter falls into the middle of this range and has many of the features typical of the brand. It is virtually silent and designed for tanks up to 60 gallons. It also has a unique multifunction handle used not only for carrying, locking and unlocking the tank but also as a priming device.
For those who have to concern themselves with the budget first, sponge filters provide perhaps the most inexpensive option. Simple but effective, these filters can work with fish tank pumps to increase aeration and filter flow. They are most ideal with biological filters since they can quickly build bacteria but they are also compatible with mechanical filters. However, they are usually best with small tanks and are even good for quarantine tanks because they do not filter out medication.
There are many sponge filters in the Lustar line such as the Hydro V filter. This filter can actually provide biological and mechanical filtration for tanks up to 125 gallons. These filters can be stacked upon one another in order to increase the filtering capacity. However, it is important to have the airline tubing, airstone and pump when connecting the filter. The Hydro sponges are also very easy to maintain.
In addition to these types of filters, there are other kinds of power filters as well as diatrom, fluidized bed, internal, undergravel and wet/dry filters. Each of these filters has its own advantages and drawbacks, so one must look carefully at each before determining which will work best with a particular aquarium or tank. Once the right filter is in place, one can then get other supplies such as filter bags, cartridges, media and other parts to keep on hand. Two other filters you can read about on our site are the Eheim 2213 and the Fluval FX5.