Aquarium filters and aquarium accessories

Aquarium filter and aquarium accessories

Your most important technical support: the aquarium filter

Due to fish excrement and plant debris, substances dissolve in water and create waste. An aquarium filter’s job is to offer a settlement area for bacteria which break down these pollutants and keep the water clean. In addition it filters out fine and coarser dirt particles from the water to keep it crystal clear.

What do you need to know about filters?

Filter efficiency does not only depend on pump performance but even more so on the filter volume. After all, what's the point of a powerful pump, if the filter material clogs too quickly and reduces the flow? On the filters, the aquarium size best adapted to its performance is always indicated. If in doubt, select one size bigger – then you will have less work when cleaning. Jumping up a size doesn't usually cost much more. In order to perform a quick filter clean on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, you should make sure that the filter is quickly and easily accessible. Don’t forget to take a look at the power consumption and compare it, if necessary, with that of “cheap” filters. You can save a few euros on their purchase, but you will lose considerably more money during their operation than you save on their purchase price.

Internal or external filter?

For an aquarium size up to 200 litres, an internal filter can be a suitable alternative. But from 200 l upwards, only external filtration should be considered as a suitable solution. Internal filters ( JBL PROCRISTAL i30 ), are suitable for small aquariums, from a volume of 10 l. From 40 l, external filters are also an option ( JBL CRISTALPROFI e402 greenline ). The JBL CristalProfi m greenline internal filter is equipped with a foam mat which prevents sucking in shrimps and baby fish. It is ideal for aquariums between 20 and 80 litres, but can also be extended with a filter module for a longer service life or larger aquariums.

Internal filters are attached by suction cups to the glass pane on the inside of the aquarium. They are unobtrusive with no technical parts outside the aquarium which could cause problems in households with children or pets (e.g. biting through a hose). But the filter does take up space in your aquarium.

External filters you can discreetly tucked away in a cabinet. Only 2 hoses are needed to transport the water into and out of the filter again. External filters mostly have more filtration volume than internal filters and therefore don’t need to be cleaned as often.

In the end it’s your decision whether you pick an internal or external filter, except with aquariums with volumes below 40 litres (these require internal filters) and aquariums with volumes above 200 litres (these require external filters).

Which accessories are useful?

If you want your filter to keep the complete aquarium, including the substrate, clean, you would need to choose it 5-10 x bigger than recommended!

But this is not realistic because the strong current would then press the fish up against the opposite pane.


Gravel cleaner

It is unavoidable that some waste will accumulate at the bottom. And you will need to invest in a gravel cleaner for the regular substrate cleaning every 2 weeks ( JBL AquaEX Set 20-45 ). Combine the substrate cleaning with your partial water change every 2 weeks and you will have no waste problems in the aquarium.

Surface skimmer

Um eine saubere Oberfläche zu erhalten und alle schwimmenden Teile wie Pflanzenreste oder auch eine Kahmhaut (weißliche Schicht) abzusaugen, steht Ihnen mit JBL TopClean II offers an easy to use and practical surface skimmer, for a clean surface and to siphon off any floating matter, such as plant remains or surface scum (whitish film).

Hose cleaning

Tests have shown that the hoses of external filters can become clogged by bacteria and algae within a few weeks. As a result the filter performance can drop by up to 25 %! With the help of a hose brush ( JBL Cleany ) you can restore the full filter performance.

Bacterial help

Before using the appliance for the first time and after a complete cleaning you need to start both internal and external filters biologically. Highly concentrated bacterial cultures in JBL FilterStart will help you to run your filter biologically after 12-24 h with its full performance.


If your aquarium produces a lot of coarse substances, which rapidly clog your filter there is also bacterial help for that with JBL FilterBoost : specific heterotrophic bacteria decompose proteins (e.g. plant remains) and thus prevent a fast clogging of your filter. This prolongs the service life and you don’t need to clean your filter so often!

Power failure!

If you have a power outage for more than 2 hours, DO NOT just put your filter back into operation. It must be cleaned beforehand. Due to the power failure oxygen is depleted inside the filter and it starts rotting. “Rotting” means, in biological terms, that putrefaction processes are starting. If you were to start it again without cleaning, you would pour this polluted water into your aquarium and this could kill your aquarium inhabitants.

When setting it into operation again, you would “shoot“ the „fouling water“ into your aquarium and this could kill your aquarium dwellers.

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