As fish enthusiasts, one of the major purchase decisions you will make is choosing a pond or aquarium filter. When you make this decision, you will always have three options to choose from – biological, chemical and mechanical.
Out of the three, biological and chemical filters take center stage. Because of its easy-to-use functionality, the mechanical filters are often ignored.
In comparison, the advantages that mechanical filters bring to your pond or aquarium are massive. But first, it is essential to understand how mechanical filtration works and how it helps prevent your aquarium from having a clean environment.
The ABCs of Mechanical Filtration
Mechanical filters trap particles such as decaying material, uneaten food, fish waste, and other media. Mechanical filtration is the first stage of the process, and it needs to be placed in a way where the water coming from the tank has its first impact on the media.
Mechanical filters also help in the cultivation of beneficial bacteria when it comes to sponges and pads.
There are several types of filtration media currently in the market. Some filters have pads, others have sponges, and some come with filter wool. All these media have openings through which the water passes, enabling filtration.
When the water passes through the media, the different layers that create these sponges and pads restrict this particle movement, and only clean water circulates.
Here's a look at the major types of filtration media that you can buy in the market today:
Sponges, pads, or foam blocks are used in canister and power filters. Sold in rectangles, squares, or selected lengths like the KoralFilter Pad, they come with several pore sizes to match the requirement. It is essential to read the product information to pick the proper pore size, or it might clog the first stage of filtration.
These pads fit into either indoor aquariums or even outdoor ponds. For outdoor ponds, there are separate pads made for this purpose.
2 Filter Floss
Filter wool or floss is used in several filters. It is probably one of the oldest forms of mechanical filtration with old-style tank box filters.
While the boxes are used rarely in the present times, filter wool has continued to be used in canister filters.
3 Combo Cartridge
The power filters combine the mechanical and chemical media into a single cartridge. The outer layer of the cartridge provides mechanical filtration, while the inside offers chemical filtration. Most cartridges can open the inner cartridge to replace the chemical media, and others demand the user replace the entire cartridge.
Changing Mechanical Media
With the use of time, mechanical media will trap more matter, reducing the speed of water flowing through the filter. One of the rookie mistakes is never to clean the filter and leave it as is.
But if it is not maintained, eventually, the mechanical media will reach a point where water flow will slow or stop entirely. This stoppage will result in any biological colonies in the filter dying off quickly.
The mechanical media needs to be washed to clear out the clogging and replaced periodically to avoid such events.
With the use, you will realize that you won't dislodge debris even through cleaning. You will see this easily when water flow still runs slow even after a clean-up. When this happens, it is time to replace the media.
Pro tip: Do not replace the media since it gets discolored. Replace only when the water flow is reduced, even after cleaning.
If you are looking to purchase your filter media, look no further from KoralFilters' range. Thousands love our range of filters, and we are confident that you'll love them too.