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Bottom filter for aquarium: advantages and disadvantages

In this article I decided to acquaint the readers of the site with a bottom filter for an aquarium, its advantages and disadvantages in relation to other structures. The bottom filter is a type of filter that combines both mechanical and biological filtration of water in an aquarium.

The use of bottom filters is preferable in aquariums of small sizes and without plants, for a number of serious reasons.

Let’s start with the design of most bottom filters. Often they are a perforated plate through which the holes should be free to pass water.

This plate is placed on the bottom of the aquarium on special racks, which provide a gap of 1-2 centimeters from the bottom glass for the free circulation of water between the plate and the bottom. Aquarium soil is poured on top of the plate, and a pump is inserted into the special hole of the plate to “drain” the water.

The filter element is usually the aquarium soil itself, but many manufacturers have filter models where an additional layer of filter material is installed between the filter plate and the bottom.

Mechanical filtering of the bottom filter is based on the fact that all the dirt from the aquarium water is deposited in the ground. Biological filtration is possible due to the constant circulation of oxygen-enriched water through the soil, in which case the soil is a substrate for the growth of colonies of beneficial bacteria that process ammonia and nitrite into less harmful nitrate.

In pet stores there are various models of bottom filters from famous manufacturers for a fairly reasonable price, despite this due to the simplicity of design, many aquarists make bottom filters with improvised tools with their own hands. Drawings of such structures and materials used can be easily found on the Internet.

Like any other design, the bottom filter has its advantages – advantages and disadvantages – disadvantages.

Advantages of the bottom filter:

  • Small visible volume in the aquarium. Thanks to its filter element, the only part of the filter that is visible in the aquarium is the pump.
  • Good biofiltration performance at minimal cost. The main source of ammonia in aquariums is organic matter decomposing in the soil; in the case of the bottom filter, we not only get rid of this drawback, but also turn the soil into a biofilter.
  • Ensuring uniform mixing of all layers of water in the aquarium.

  • Restriction on the size of the fraction. In aquariums with a bottom filter, sand or a small fraction of up to 2 mm cannot serve as soil because it is quickly clogged and does not pass water. In addition, the fine fraction can leak through the restrictive perforated plate or tube.
  • The need for a weekly soil siphon in aquariums with overpopulation. If you do not produce such a siphon, the ground will quickly become clogged and lose its filtering qualities.
  • The inability to install in aquariums herbalists. The bottom filter, like any other biofilter, will take nutrients from the plants, besides, the filtered soil and the constant flow of water through it are not the best friends for the plant roots.
    The difficulty of installing in a working aquarium. To install this filter in an aquarium, you will need to at least remove all the soil from it.
  • High complexity of service. Despite the fact that branded donor models have many technological holes for its cleaning, high-quality cleaning of the bottom filter is possible only if you completely remove it from the aquarium.

On this brief introduction to the bottom filter for the aquarium I think is complete, the information from this post is enough to make the right choice regarding the need to purchase this equipment.

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