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.

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).

Internal filters

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 to 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

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

Internal or external filter for the aquarium?

Aquarium filter: What is the real task of the filter? How does an external filter work and what are the advantages and disadvantages of external filters? Is the pump capacity or the volume more important? How does an internal filter work, what types are there and what are the advantages and disadvantages of internal aquarium filters? Which filter size is the right one?

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 substrate cleaner to help you with the regular soil clean every 2 weeks.

Surface skimmer

For a clean surface and to siphon off any floating matter, such as plant remains or surface scum (whitish film), use ...

Hose cleaning

Tests have shown that the hoses of external filters can become clogged by bacteria and algae within a few weeks.

Bacterial help

Before using the appliance for the first time and after a complete clean you need to start both internal and external filters biologically.


If your aquarium produces a lot of coarse organic substances, which rapidly clog your filter there is also bacterial help at hand …

JBL double stopcock+quick coupling
For connecting, disconnecting and shutting off hoses at the aquarium
from 16,35 €
More View product

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.

Are you treating your hoses right?

We use aquarium hoses for various purposes in aquaristics. Hoses are sometimes stubborn beasts: they remain obstinately in their coiled form and are very resistant to being pushed onto hose connections. You can outsmart hoses with a few tricks:

Put the hose in hot water for about 10 minutes and it will be easier to lay. Hot water or a hairdryer (carefully used) also helps if the hose cannot be pushed onto a tube.

Pump WITHOUT hose protection

Over time, hoses, except for genuine silicone hoses, harden continuously as they lose their plasticisers. This is not good at the connection to the filter tube, for example. Simply cut off the last piece of hose from time to time, heat the following piece of hose and it will fit again. At some point, of course, this will no longer work. Then, at the latest, it’s time to buy a new hose.

Incidentally, this hardening is also a reason why JBL external filters and UV-C units always have a hose locking nut at the hose connection, which is turned over the hose and thus secures the hose. You will also find such hose locks on the air and CO2 hose connections of JBL air pumps and CO2 bubble counters/check valves.

Air connections WITH hose protection

Grey or green hose?

Tests have shown that grey coloured water hoses (JBL Aquaschlauch GREY) are less susceptible to algae on the inside than green hoses. It is not a huge difference, but it is measurable. That is why JBL has equipped all its external filters with grey hoses.

Hose cleaning:

Cut open tube with biofilm inside

Of course water hoses are also subject to biological processes on the inside: When exposed to light, algae can form and there will always be a bacterial coating on the inside, even in the dark. You can feel this with your finger as a slimy coating. With the help of a hose brush (JBL CLEANY) anyone can easily and quickly clean the inside of the hoses from time to time. Measurements have shown that biological impurities in the hoses can reduce the flow rate by up to 25 %!

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