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In an enclosed environment, the water chemistry is ever-changing and as a result the environment has an affinity to continually change with it.  Unfortunately most fish and invertebrates have limitations on their ability to cope with these changes.  This is why it is preferable to come as close to duplicating the natural habitat as possible.  A sound and functional filtration system is the one of the key elements to achieving this.  There are many options available, and a huge variety of filters to choose from.  Educate yourself or consult with us to determine which filtration system is best for your aquarium.  Filtration systems that are easily accessible for maintenance are preferable.  This series of pages is designed to offer information about the different devices available, and how they work in this end of aquarium keeping.
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The three vital types of filtration to an aquarium are biological, mechanical, and chemical.  Simply put, biological filters encourage the growth of nitrifying bacteria that breakdown ammonia to less toxic chemicals such as nitrate.  Mechanical filters aid in the physical removal of waste products, and debris (detritus) from the aquarium.  Chemical filters  purify the water by chemical reactions that take place at the cellular, microbial, and even atomic  levels.  In most cases, it is best to incorporate all three types for optimum results.  In certain types of aquaria, these are the minimum filtration requirements.  In other types, only one may be used as the primary filtration mechanism.  Below are links to pages that go into more thorough detail about the different types of aquarium filtration:

Biological Filtration

Chemical Filtration

Mechanical Filtration

Auxiliary Filtration

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Fresh and saltwater community fish aquariums require an excellent biological and mechanical filtration system.  Fish produce a lot of waste and nitrate, so these filters should be fully functional and maintained.  Live plant tanks utilize natural resources (photosynthesis) to keep oxygen levels high.  However, some aquarists use thick substrate beds for sound biological filtration, and the use of carbon dioxide is sometimes used to aid in plant respiration.  Reef aquariums usually require more advanced filtration systems because the inhabitants can include fish, invertebrates, macroalgae, microalgae, and environmentally sensitive corals which require special care in terms of advanced filtration, high water quality, intense lighting, toxin removal, and the addition of minerals, trace elements and/or vitamins.  To keep a system as complex and pure as the tropical oceanic reefs of the World also requires a lot of observation, care, and maintenance.

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Common filtration devices that we use include  trickle filters, sumps, protein skimmers, dosing systems, natural algae filters (algae scrubber), denitrifiers, reactors, controllers, monitors, etc.   Other various components can be of great importance such as water purification filters (RO), lighting systems, ozonizers, CO2 injection, controllers, surge systems, timers, environment simulators, float switches, wave makers, chillers, computer software, and others.

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