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 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!
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.
For a clean surface and to siphon off any floating matter, such as plant remains or surface scum (whitish film), use the practical and convenient surface skimmer JBL TopClean II .
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!
JBL double stopcock+quick coupling
- A quick release coupling helps when technical devices such as external filters need to be disconnected from aquarium-mounted hoses for cleaning
- To assemble: cut through the hose, attach the hose ends to the quick release coupling and secure from slipping with lock nuts
- Freshwater and marine water resistant, extremely robust POM/ABS plastic. Not designed for tap water pressure (4 bar)
- The full water flow is maintained. No reduction in performance when used on technical equipment
- Package contents: 1 quick release coupling with stopcocks
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.
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.
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.
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 %!