Water Filters and Fish

by wfnblog on January 2, 2013

Fish make great pets, especially for young children who are learning responsibility. However, many people don’t realize how much care goes into maintaining an aquarium. The most important thing you can do to keep your fish healthy is to give them clean water. Because fish eat and, you know, do their business, in the water, it gets dirty very quickly. Using a water filter is a great way to maximize the life of the fish and to minimize the amount of cleaning you have to do.

Clownfish and AnemonesInternal Filter

There are usually 2 types of an internal aquarium filter. Typically, fresh water tanks use a filter placed under the gravel. This helps to collect extra food and fish waste in the gravel. What makes it through the gravel gets sucked up by the filter and kept out of the water. For freshwater tanks, you can also use activated charcoal ( just like we use in drinking water) to remove excess minerals from food and fish waste. The activated charcoal filters are the most common and easy to use. Many pet stores recommend these because they are so user friendly and help to cut back on the number of water changes for the fish.


External Filter

External filters are the best filters, for most types of aquariums. They can be more expensive than the internal filters, but all the filtering is done outside the tank. This type of filtration typically occurs with salt water tanks. Although they are common with salt water tanks, they can definitely be used for fresh water tanks.¬†For salt water aquariums, a sump tank is used. It typically sits below the main tank and is usually hidden by the tank stand. A tube inside the aquarium allows the water to flow down into the sum, where it is pumped through a line of filters. These filters catch the waste, particulates, and bacteria. From there, the filtered water is pumped back to the top of the aquarium. This system keeps a constant flow of water going in the tank, just like the ocean. This the reason it’s so essential to have this type of filter for salt water aquariums.


No matter which type of filter, or fish, you get, you’ll love having an aquatic pet! They’re fun and interesting, and very low maintenance. With proper care and excellent water quality, even a typically gold fish can live for a very long time!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Selina Raynolds March 23, 2013 at 1:16 am

Yes, I agree with you with your last statement. You’ll definitely love a fish for a pet! but definitely you need to make sure it’s well taken care of, with a well filtered water. Thanks for sharing this information, I actually learned that external filters can also be used for fresh water tanks. This is pretty helpful.



Ben June 6, 2013 at 2:57 am

Do you know how often you need to clean the filter for external filter? Would that change for saltwater and fresh water too?


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