Aquarium filter and aquarium accessories
Your most important technical support: the aquarium filter
Due to fish excrement and plant remains, 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?
For a filter not only the pump performance is important but even more so 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 an aquarium size which suits the filter is always indicated. If in doubt, select one size bigger – then you will have less work when cleaning. And the next size up doesn’t cost much more. In order to do a quick filter cleaning on a monthly or two monthly basis, you should make sure that the filter is quickly and easily to clean. Don’t forget to take a look at the power consumption and compare it, if necessary, with that of “cheap” filters, where you can save a few euros on its purchase, but where you will lose considerably more money during its operation than you saved at the beginning.
Internal or external filter?
Up to an aquarium size of 200 litres the internal filter is an alternative. But from 200 l upwards “only” external filters can be the solution. Internal filters from 10 l ( JBL ProCristal i30 ), are suitable for small aquariums, 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 the sucking in of 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 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.
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.
It is unavoidable that some waste will accumulate at the bottom. And you will need to invest in a gravel cleaner for the regular soil cleaning every 2 weeks ( JBL AquaEX Set 20-45 ). Combine the soil cleaning with your partial water change every 2 weeks and you will have no waste problems in the aquarium.
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.
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!
If you have a power outage for more than 2 hours, DO NOT just put it into operation again. It must be cleaned beforehand. Due to the power failure oxygen is missing inside the filter and it starts rotting. “Rotting” means, in a biological point of view, that putrefaction processes are starting.
When setting it into operation again, you would “shoot“ the „fouling water“ into your aquarium and this could kill your aquarium dwellers.