An aquarium is a closed ecosystem where you bring in a piece of nature into a glass box and, keeping water chemistry and quality right up is the most important factor in maintaining an aquarium. This means, the filtration system in an aquarium is the most important part of the entire aquarium setup. Filters for aquarium comes in difference sizes, shapes and setup systems. Internal filters, hang on back filters and canister filters are the broad category of aquarium filters.
This article attempt to set some factors in selecting an external canister filter for your aquarium.
1. Flow rate: One of the main factor to consider in selecting an external canister filter for your aquarium is the flow rate that it offers. Flow rate is generally measured in terms of liters per hour – how many liters of water that the filter can circulate with in an hour. More types that your entire aquarium water gets though the filter, the better it is for the biological, mechanical and chemical filtration.
As a standard, following could be the minimum flow rate one should think of:
(a) For Nano tanks (60 liters) : water volume* 8-10 2. For larger tanks : water volume*5 Pro-Tip: As you can see, the flow rate of filter is preferred to be larger for nano tanks. Also, note that the flow rate printed on a canister filter is the rate without bio media. One should expect about 60% flow rate of what the brand claims on its product, after filling the canister filter with media. × Aquarium water filter water flow. Canister filter water flow.
2. Media Capacity: No one wants to invest in a good filter and then end up not getting it to do the actual filtration process. This happens if you over look the media and the canister filter media capacity. 1 liter of media capacity for every 30 liter of water could be considered as a fair volume for a canister filter media capacity. Pro-Tip – If your filter is small and cannot accommodate the preferred media volume, you may want to add more biological media as part of the aquarium substrate system and add beneficial bacteria concentrates more frequently.
3. Max Head: A canister filter is kept below the aquarium and a good aquarium canister filter should be able to push the water up at maximum throw rate back to the aquarium. Max head is the maximum height upto which the canister filter can push the water back up to the aquarium. Planning your cabinet height, where you are going to place the canister filter and how high will be the outlet of the filter from the head of the canister filter is very important while choosing a canister filter for your aquarium.
4. Water Circulation: A canister filter with good flowrate should result in creating a good water circulation inside the aquarium. This will make sure that there are no dead spots in the aquarium. A good water flow will also encourage aquatic plants like moss, bucephilandra and monte carlo to grow well and not trap waste.
5. Easy Priming System: Priming an aquarium canister filter means, filling the filter with water and get the filter to circulate water. A good canister filter should have an auto priming or manual priming system that is simple and quick. Priming is also important as we need to regularly stop the filtration for restart, as part of maintenance.