So you have decided or you have already a fish aquarium in your workspace/ living space. Great! Now you have to move to the essentials associated with the maintenance of your fish tank. Perhaps the most vital accessory you need to figure out is your tank’s filter. It is the filtration system of your unit that will ensure a healthy living environment for your fish by removing toxins, excess food, decaying organic matter, and fish waste products. You can imagine what would be if these things were allowed to accumulate in the tank and stress the fish atmosphere.
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So much for why you need a filter. You must now be wondering what kind of filters are there. A simple internet search would show that ‘Power Filters’ for aquariums are a popular choice amongst aquarium holders. In case you’re wondering about the details of this filtering kind, here’s your guide:
Whats is Power Filter:
A Power Filter is a hanging style filter that is attached to the back of fish tanks. It relies on a lift tube to pump tank water out of the tank to its filtration unit, where the water passes through several filtration media. The structure of the filtration chamber varies from model to model; however, all of them typically contain mechanical, chemical, and biological filters to ensure that the water returning to the tank is as fresh as it can be.
5 Best Power Filters for Aquariums
1. AquaClear Power Filter- 110V – Editor Choice
AquaClear Power Filter is a popular choice amongst tank holders, and it is rightfully so. This filter proves its versatility by coming in various models and compatible with a wide range of aquarium sizes.
Adjustable flow rate
Some fish and plants do not do well under a high flow rate. With AquaClear, you need not worry about this problem. You can simply adjust the flow rate of your filter according to your aquarium’s needs. If you select a gentler flow, you don’t have to worry about unfiltered water because then AquaClear automatically switches to processing water in the filtration unit multiple times.
Keeps beneficial bacteria
Not all bacteria are harmful. Some of them are vital to keeping your fish’s environments stress-free. However, usually, filters don’t take care of it and kill the good bacteria in the water as well. AquaClear realizes the importance of certain bacteria in the tank water and lets them be. The top layer of the filtration unit consists of BioMax, which is designed with a pore system. This feature is home to beneficial bacteria.
I mean, what’s better than that? You have a lifetime assurance that if anything were to go amiss with your Power Filter, you could contact the company and have it fixed at their expense.
Multiple filtration layers
Now, almost all Power Filters come with multiple filtration layers. However, AquaClear beats all of them by coming in six times the usual number of filtration layers. This ensures that the water returning to the tank is squeaky clean.
Problem with changing filter media
It’s no secret that changing the filter media of this particular brand is a huge hassle. It takes a lot of patience and effort.
2. Fluval C Power Filter
Fluval C-Series is the world’s first and only 5-Stage clip-on power filter that offers two mechanical phases, a chemical phase and a two biological phases for amazing water clarity.
Five-stage filtration system
Fluval C comes with an elaborate filtration system that is divided into five stages. Each stage targets a particular aspect of polluted water, removing unwanted material. Steps 1 and 2 cover mechanical filtration by sieving out debris and both large and small particles. Then water is pushed to stage 3 of the unit, where it has to pass through activated carbon for chemical filtration purposes. This stage removes any odors and discoloration from water. Steps 4 and 5 are a biological filter and C-nodes, respectively. The latter is a porous bed that thrives beneficial bacteria for water to take into the tank.
In case you need to slow down the water flow into the tank because of your plants/ fish, Fluval C allows you to do so. And to ensure that the water quality of the tank is not compromised upon (due to gentler pumping rate), it re-filters water multiple times before sending it back to the aquarium.
Fluval C is not one of your quietest Power filters available. The noise is described as vibratory/rattling and is often unpleasant.
Expensive media change
If you have to go for a media change for your Fluval C, you might have to worry about the expenses because this is one thing that is heavy on the pocket.
3. MarineLand Emperor Filtration Systems
Two separate water pumps
MarineLand Filtration system comes with two different water pumps To achieve exceptional water flow and filtration. The two filters are designed in the same way and cooperate. Together, they can process 400 gallons of water in an hour.
Large mechanical filter area
The fast-acting Black Diamond Carbon filtration bed comes with 45% more the filtration area than that common in other brands. This means that water is cleaned more effectively and extensively before returning to the water tank.
The bio-wheel is a section in each of the pumps, designed especially to favor the growth of beneficial bacteria. In each cycle through the filtration unit, water is made to go through this area to load itself with the microorganisms necessary for healthy fish life.
Requires 9.5 inches of space
While having two separate filter pumps seems reasonable, it comes with its drawbacks. This drawback is the increased amount of space needed. A MarineLand filtration system requires 9.5 inches of space on the back of your tank. This might not be a problem if you have a bigger tank. However, if you are working with a smaller container, the filtration unit might not look very aesthetically appeasing at the back.
Comes in one size
You do not get a size option when it comes to MarineLand filters. They only come in one size that is suitable for aquariums with up to 80 gallons of water.
One filtration unit makes a great deal of annoying noise. Imagine two of them working side by side all the time. Sound is going to be a severe problem with this brand of filters. The noise is described as being harsh and grinding-like. So you should consider your noise tolerance before getting a MarineLand filter.
4. Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters
LED warning light
Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters is one of the best things about this filtration system is that it informs one if its cartridge is clogged and requires cleaning. Often, people go on without realizing that their cartridge is full of gunk and is hindering the filtration process. They only understand that something is wrong after their fish tank starts to smell horrid. However, with Aqueon, this isn’t a problem. As soon as its cartridge is full, its LED warning light would go off, alerting you of the matter.
This is an important feature. Most of the Power filters are not good when it comes to managing noise pollution. However, Aqueon QuietFlow is designed especially with this kept in mind. The noise is controlled to a minimum. Customers describe its sound as being dampened.
The pump is designed such that it protects itself from leakages and ensures that a high oxygen flow rate is maintained towards the tank. The former protects water loss, while the latter keeps the fish healthy and happy.
Five stages of filtration
The five filtration stages ensure that water entering the filtration unit is adequately treated before being sent back to the aquarium. Water passes through dense floss, activated charcoal, a biological filter, and an optional pad.
Sensitive bacteria colonies
Good bacteria colonies for tank water is a feature of this filtration unit. However, they are fragile as well. If you change the filter, there is a high chance you would disrupt the colonies.
5. Tetra Whisper Power Filter – Best Budget Aquarium Filter
If you are tight on budget or just starting as an aquarium holder, Tetra Whisper Power Filter will be a good option for you. This brand is made by a trusted company and has been around for decades, meaning that it is reliable. This reliability comes with a price tag that is not too heavy on the pocket, which is a plus-plus.
Tetra Whisper comes on various sizes to suit the needs of multiple tanks, with capacities between 10 and 60 gallons. This makes it quite versatile.
The included media in the filtration unit is not quite up to the mark. There are better models available with better media.
Noisiness is an issue with Tetra Whisper. The noise described as being irritating.
What is the Best Aquarium Power Filter?
The AquaClear Power Filter- 110V is undoubtedly the best Power filter available in the market. It is way ahead f is time and caters to various problems aquarium owners complain of facing with their screens. It is a versatile model that comes in five different sizes, making it suitable for multiple tank sizes. So, you can select a model of AquaClear based on the water capacity of your tank.
Some fish require a gentler pump flow to thrive well. With most of the Power filters, there isn’t an option to adjust the flow rate. However, AquaClear allows you to set the rate as per the needs of your tank’s inhabitants.
Moreover, it has a highly efficient filtration media. Water that enters its unit is filtered extensively and is made sparkling before it is reintroduced into the tank. What is more remarkable is the fact that even with this, AquaClear makes sure that good bacteria are always present in the water to help the aquatic life. Its bacterial colonies are not fragile and can easily sustain under cartridge changes.
How does Power Filter Work?
A Power Filter typically hangs on the back or the side of a fish tank. It depends on a lift tube to pump water out of the tank and into the filtration unit. The filtration unit consists of several filtration media. Some power filters may have up to five different kinds of media. However, all of them typically have mechanical, chemical, and biological cleaners. Some of the filters also come with good bacterial colonies to help reintroduce vital microorganisms in the water tank for fish and plants.
How to Install Power Filter in an Aquarium?
Each Power filter has its installation subtleties that depend on the manufacturer. Therefore, you must check your filter’s manual. However, there are a few necessary steps that are common to all filters:
- Examine the filter for any cracks after removing it from the package. If there are no cracks, proceed to fix it on the back of your aquarium.
- Next, you must rinse the filter media. It is vital for the carbon filters inside.
Now, you should install the intake tube. The tube should be towards the bottom of the tank, about an inch or two from the gravel. You can cut the tube to adjust its height.
- Fill the filter box with water.
- Plug in the filter. It may require a few moments for your filter to achieve optimal flow.
How to Clean Aquarium Power Filter?
Again, the cleaning process varies from model to model. You should consult the guide that comes along your filter for specifications. Just keep this thing in mind- you will have to replace filter media after some time, regardless of how often you clean them up. With this being said, let’s look at some processes common to all filters.
- If your screen uses a sponge, the best way to clean it is just to rinse it. However, if there are signs of wear and tear, you might want to replace it.
- The carbon media in your filter must be replaced frequently enough because not doing so compromises on the healthiness of your tank water. Also, make sure to remove it if you want to add some medicine in the tank because the carbon will absorb all of it.
- Tubing and piping of filters often get clogged with debris. Therefore, it is wise to clean them up regularly.
Finding a suitable Power Filter for your aquarium is as necessary as it can be. It is, after all, the filtration system that ensures a healthy living for your fish. Therefore, I hope this article gives you a good idea of the aquarium filter which is best for you and then makes an informed decision regarding the brand you would want.