Filtering masses and foams for aquariums

Aquaristics is an exciting field that requires a lot of attention and many parameters to be taken into consideration in order to reproduce the aquatic environment of our fish. Before embarking on the choice of filtering masses and foams, it is necessary to choose the right filtration system, adapted to its tank and its population. Then we can select the essential filtering masses and foams.

The filtering masses and foams, what are they?

Filter media and foams are essential to maintain the quality of the water, which is essential for all aquatic life in an aquarium.

The water sucked through the filter will pass through the different filter media and foams, which will absorb or transform harmful particles. The water is thus healthy and purified.

The filter used (internal, external, settling) can be important, the filtering masses and foams are integrated inside the filtration system.

Small presentation of the filtering masses and foams

There are different types of filtering masses and foams with different and complementary characteristics and qualities.

The filtering masses and foams known as “mechanical” will be porous materials (or nets) that will trap the passage of large particles, solid or undissolved, suspended in water. Examples include absorbent cotton, perlon, various foam diameters and some ceramics. The captured particles will clog the filtering masses or foams, plug them and the water will no longer pass through. The filter must then be cleaned.

The purpose of biological filter media and foams is to treat certain substances with bacterial agents. The nitrogen cycle must be set up. Ammonia discharged from fish waste (very toxic), passing through the biological filter, will be transformed into nitrites (harmful) and then into nitrates (harmless). This part does not get dirty and does not need to be cleaned as it would destroy the indispensable bacteria. In biological filtration, certain very porous substrates (pozzolan), ceramics with high porosity and other foams can be used, for example.

Chemical filtering masses and foams are only used in certain circumstances (fish diseases, etc.). By physico-chemical process, some harmful substances will be absorbed or transformed. In berf, we find “activated” carbon, resins (anti-phosphate, anti-nitrates…), peat and other products. Their effectiveness decreases over time.

How to place the filtering masses and foams in the filter?

As a general rule for internal, external, or settling compact filters, it is necessary to proceed as follows:

  • in the first position the mechanical filter to retain the large particles
  • in the second position the biological filter to transform the ammonia
  • possibly the chemical filter in the third position only if necessary (erase traces of a drug …).

The filtering masses and foams are therefore indispensable to the filtration system, for healthy, clear and limpid water!