Why Use a “Power Filter”
Some utilitarian ways to make your aquarium look better 
 
Amphibians
Axolotls
Caecilian Worm
Chaco Toad
Mud Puppies

Newts General
Newts Eastern
Newts Golden

Newts Mandarin
Salamanders
Suriname Toad
Tadpoles
Terrarium I
Terrarium II
USA Toads
Water Dogs
Misc. Toads

Frogs
Bull
Clawed
Dumpy
Dwarf
Fire-Belly
Floating
Green Tree
Leopard
Pac Man
Pipa pipa
Pyxie
Red-Eyed Tree
Tomato
Misc Frogs 
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV

Misc Frogs V

Animals
Bunnies
Bunnies II 

Cat-N-Around Cat Club
Cat-N-Around Cat Club 2007 Annual Show
Hawkeye Cat Club 2004
Hawkeye Cat Club 2005
Chinchillas
Degus
Ferrets
Ferrets by BOB
Gerbils
Ground Squirrels
Guinea Pig
Hamsters I
Hamsters II
Hamsters III
Hamsters IV
Hamsters V
Hedgehogs
Kittens
Kids & Kittens
Mice
Mice Pets II
Parasites
Rats I
Rats II
Rats III
Rats, Hairless
S-T Opossums
Siberian Chipmunks
Sugar Gliders
Sugar Gliders II
Water Bottles

Bugs
Crabby 500
Crab 04 Results
Centipedes
Cray/Lobsters
Crayfish II
Crayfish III
Cray, Yucatan
Fiddler Crabs
Shrimp, Algae
Shrimp, Aqua
Shrimp, Orange Bee
Shrimp, Red
Shrimp, Flower

Shrimp, Ghost
Shrimp, Rudolph
Hermit Crabs
Hermit Crabs II
Madagas Roach
Mantids
Mini-Clams
Mini-Crabs
Patriot Crabs
Giant Millipedes
Red Claw Crabs
Reiman Butterfly
Spider, Black Widow
Snail, Apple
Snail, Colombian
Snail, Land
Snail, Malaysian

Snail, Mystery
Snail, Trapdoor 
Scorpions
Tarantulas
Tarantulas II
Tarantula Night 2006
TarantulaWeen VII
TarantulaWeen 9
Walking Stick
Misc. Bugs
Misc Bugs II  

Birds
Breeding Tips

Button Quail
Canaries

Cockatiels
Dove, Diamond
Dove, Ringneck
Finches
Love Birds
Parakeets
Pelleted Foods
Quaker Parrots

Parrot Pictures
Parrot Pix II

Parrot Pix III
Dave's Parrots


Lizards
Alligators
Anoles
Bearded Dragon

Beardies II
Calotes
Chamel, Jackson
Chamel, Panther
Chamel, Veiled
Crested Geckos
Gecko, Golden

Gecko, House
Gecko, Leopard
Gecko, Tokay
Horned "Toads"
Iguana New
Iguana Dragons
Iguana Q&A I
Iguana Q&A II
Iguana Training
Iguana Update
Cool Iguana Pics
Knight Anoles
Monitors, Nile

Monitors, Savana
Monitors, Water

Salmonella
Skinks
Skinks Blue-Tongue
Tegus
Uromastyx maliensis
Water Dragon
Misc Lizards
Misc Lizards 2
Misc Lizards 3
Misc Lizards 4
Misc Lizards 5

Misc Lizards 6
Misc Lizards 7
Misc Lizards 8
Misc Lizards 9
Misc Lizards 10


Snakes
Anacondas
Boa, Rosy

Boa, Red-Tail
Corn Snake
Garter Snake
Green Snake
Kids/Corn Snakes
Kids/Red-Tail Boas

Kids at Pet Expo 1

Kids at Pet Expo 2

Kids at Pet Expo 3

Kids at Pet Expo 4

Kids at Pet Expo 5
King & Milk
Python, Ball
Python, Burmese

Snakes Alive
Snakesgiving
Snakesgiving II

Misc Snake Pix
Misc Snakes II

Misc Snakes III  

Turtles/Tortoises
Box, Asian
Box, USA
Races
Snapping

Spiny

Sulcata
Water

Western Painted

Live Foods
Blackworms
Blood Worms
Br Shrimp I
Br
Shrimp II
Crayfish 1
Crayfish 2
Crayfish 3 
Crickets
Dandelions
Daphnia
Earthworms
Feeder Goldfish
Fruit Flies
Ghost Shrimp

Glass Worms

Grindal Worms
Infusoria
Mealworms
Microworms
Rosy Reds

Super Worms

Wax Worms
White Clouds

 

Decorating
Bubbles
Driftwood
Gravel
Plastic Plants
Rocks
Slow Growing Plants

Miscellaneous
Bob's Acclimation

How to Start
How to Add New Fish
How to Keep Healthy
Which Fish Get Along?
10 Questions to Ask
What is Ich?
Under Gravel Filters

Sponge Filters
Cloudy Water

Cool Water Tanks
Gravel Vacuums
Preventing Disease
Feeding to the Max
Frozen Foods
Green Water
Nasty Chemicals
Overfeeding
Power Filters
Rift Lake Salts
Quarantine Tank
Mini-Tank
2nd Av Bait

Pet World Visit
Dandelions

Aquatic Plants
Amazon Swords
More Swords
Sword Plants III

Anubias
Anacharis
Aponogetons
A. boivinianus
A. fenestralis
A. ulvaceous
Aquarium/Bog
Banana Plant
Bolbitis
Bunch
Bunch Plants II
Cryptocorynes
Crystalwort
Dwarf Lily
Grassy
Grassy II
Hornwort
Hygrophila
Lace
Java Fern I
Java Fern II
Java Fern III
Java Fern IV
Java Moss
Moss Balls
Onion
Vermiculite

Watersprite

Different Watersprite

                         Fish bowls hold very few fish, get dirty quickly, and crack if handled carelessly.  No wonder most people (and fish) prefer aquariums with their superior filter systems.  

Under Gravel Filters never wear out (unless Eric gravel vacuums them).  

LA Pic
Ramming your gravel vacuum cleaner too hard fractures your filter.

However, power filters take much less time to maintain – simply change the cartridge.  (Alright, you need to take the impellor out and clean out the slime monthly.)  U.G. and power filters both provide the three forms of filtration:

  1.  Mechanical – takes out the lumps,

  2. Chemical – takes out colors and smells,

  3. Biological – converts nitrogenous wastes.

Power Filters consist of a water pump that pulls water up and out of your tank and into a box that hangs on your tank’s lip.  Gravity pulls the water back into your tank.  Your water passes thru various filter media as it returns.  This turns your tank over several times per hour and provides a water current your fishes love.  As the water cascades back into your tank, it circulates your tank’s water so it all eventually goes thru your filter media.

Filter Media usually consists of a cartridge – a porous “bag” containing carbon.  The bag filters mechanically. The porous cartridge itself strains out lumps that would cloud your water, feed excessive bacteria, and reduce the oxygen content of the water. 

You can also add different filter media to the cartridge to increase its effectiveness.  The carbons and resins filter chemically.  Carbon in the bag adsorbs colors and smells.  It “polishes” the water.  Zeolite in the cartridge adsorbs ammonia.  You can also add nitrate and phosphate adsorbers that starve algae.

Eventually, waste-removing bacteria also grow on the porous cartridge – and especially on the “bio-wheels” or sponges or other bacteria-growing materials.  These bacteria filter biologically.  The nitrosomonas and nitrobacters change otherwise harmful ammonia and nitrites into harmless substances.

Dirty bags clog up and eventually the water flows around them and back into your tank thru a small shunt.  It is now time to change your cartridge.

Save a $?  Some thrifty souls take their dirty cartridge over to the sink and wash out the dirt that clogged the pores.  This saves a little cash but eliminates the minimum maintenance feature of these very effective filters.  Unfortunately, it also reduces their effectiveness.  By the time the cartridges clog, their carbon and resins are more than used up.  The cartridges also clog up again very quickly.

Medications.  If treating for any type of disease, make sure you remove the carbons and resins.  They will adsorb, absorb, or remove any medication you use.  

Aeration.  Some people worry about “lack of aeration” with these filters.  Not to worry.  Aeration takes place at the water’s surface – not from the tiny bubbles coming up your air stems.  Your power filter aerates your tank as it filters it – even if your cartridge becomes totally clogged with debris.

One brand of power filter contains a protein skimmer that removes nitrogenous waste products mechanically.  An aerator causes the waste products to “foam up” into a removable cup.  Salt water enthusiasts use these because nitrogenous waste products are much more poisonous in saltwater (the higher pH).  Also, water changes cost much more when changing saltwater.

You can increase the effectiveness of your power filter by using any of the one-drop-per-gallon flocculants.  These products cause small particles (usually bacteria and infusoria) to lump together into larger particles.  Your filter then removes them faster.

Other power filter tips that will make your life easier include:

1.       Never overfeed (because the extra bio-load can exceed your filter’s capabilities).

2.       Put a strainer on your uptake tube (to keep debris and fish out of your impeller).  Once a fish runs thru one of these piscatorial salad shooters, it rarely survives.  

LA Pic
Crud like this will reduce your filter flow by 90%.

3.       Wipe out your impeller housing once a month (because debris happens).

4.       Maintain your regular weekly water changes (to maintain water quality and stability).

5.       Change your cartridge every four to eight weeks (because you use up the carbon).

6.       Cut off a strip of your old cartridge and drop it in your filter box (to maintain optimum bacteria-based biological filtration).  

Diatoms Make Super Filters.  Like the other power filters, the diatom filters move tremendous quantities of water – 300 gallons per hour.  But diatoms work quite differently.

Tiny algae cells that lived in the ocean extract silica from the water and used it to build a protective cell wall.  These diatoms live in the ocean in countless quantities.  When they die, their shells settle to the bottom and form diatomite – diatomaceous earth or diatom powder.

Diatomite consist of dust-fine white shells with countless protruding spines and projections.  Only very fine particles can get past a layer of diatoms.  They literally screen out anything down to one micron in size (one thousandth of a millimeter).  This means they filter out many disease organisms – including ich.

Diatom filters work by coating a nylon bag or fiber core with a layer of these sticky shells.  Then they force the water through the layer at high speed.  This removes virtually all visible particles.  Diatom Filters make a 10 gallon tank crystal clear in 10 or 15 minutes, no matter how dirty it was to begin with.

Many people make the mistake of cleaning their gravel with their diatom filter.  What a waste.  You can take 98% of that crud out with a cheap gravel vacuum cleaner at a fraction of the cost.  Your diatom filter will clean 10 tanks without recharging unless you use it to clean your gravel.

With powdered carbon, you can take out colors, odors, medications, and fish wastes.  With the proper resins, you can remove nitrites and ammonia – almost instantly.

You need to clean your diatom filter when the flow slows.  Rinse off and replace your diatom powder.    Dirt on the bag/core cuts your flow rate by 50 per cent or more.  This won’t hurt the filter, it just makes it take longer to do the job.

If you recharge your diatom and the flow stays slow, you need to clean or replace your bag or filter core.  Fish slime, dirt, and bacteria eventually clog it.  

Combination.  Using both under gravel and power filters together gives you excellent filtration – the best of both worlds.  LA.

© 1998, © 2003, © 2004, © 2005  LA Productions

3600 Sixth Avenue

Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues

Des Moines, IA 50313

515 283-0300

Home

Fish

Other Stuff

Anabantids
Betta Leaf 
Betta Breed 1
Betta Breed II
Betta Info
Betta  Housing
Betta Pla Kat
Choc Gourami
Climbing Perch
Gourami Pix
Kiss. Gourami
Osphronemus
Pearl Gourami
More Pearls
Paradise Fish  
Snakehead
Spawn Gourami
T. trichopterus

Catfish  
Banjo
Bullheads
Bull Sharks
Channel  
Corydoras
Cory Pics
Electric
Glass
Hoplos
Otocinclus
Pangassius
Pictus
Plecostomus
Pleco Bristle
Pleco Costly I
Pleco Costly II
Pleco Costly III
Pleco Costly IV
Pleco Costly V
Pleco Costly VI

Raphael
Red-Tail
Shovelnose
Sun
Synodontis
Synodontis petricola
Turushuki Catfish
Upside-down
Misc Catfish
Misc Catfish II
Misc Catfish III

Misc Catfish IV
Misc Catfish V

Cichlids
African I
African II
African III
African IV

Amer. Small
Amer.  Med 
Amer. Large
Angelfish I
Angelfish II
Angelfish III
Angelfish IV
More Angels
Buttikoferi

Chocolate
Chocolate Spawning
Cichlid Decor
Cichlid Food
Convicts
Convicts 2
Convicts 3
Convicts 4
Dempseys
More Dempseys
Jack Dempsey Spawn
Discus
Dither Fish
Flower Horn
Green Terror
Jaguar
More Jaguars
Jaguar Spawning

Jaguar Spawning II
Jewel Fish
Keo's Flowerhorns
Keo's Flowerhorns II
Kribensis

Oscars 1
Oscars 2
Oscars 3
Oscars 4
Oscars 5
More Oscar
More Oscar II
More Oscars III
More Oscars 2007
Peacock Bass
Red Devils
More Red Devil
 
Red Parrots

Red Parrots Spawn
Pikes
Pink Tilapia
Rams
Red Bay Snooks
Roger Stephen's Cichlids
Severums
More Severums
Severums III

Tanganyikans
Texas Cichlid
Texas Spawning

Texas Spawn II
Uarus
Misc Cichlids I
Misc Cichlids II
Misc Cichlids III
Misc Cichlids IV
Misc Cichlids V
Misc Cichlids VI
Misc Cichlids VII
Misc Cichlids VIII

Livebearer  
Guppies
Half-Beak
Mollies
Moons/Platys
Swordtails

Minnows/Tetra 
Barbs
Barbs, Black
Barbs, Gold

Barbs, Rosy
Barbs, Tiger
Barbs, Tinfoil

Danios

Distochodus
Fathead Minnows
Headstanders
Killies, Econ.
Killies, Golden
Killies, Peat
Killies, Plant
Misc Mini-Fish
Pacús 

Piranha, Black
Piranha, Red
Rainbowfish

Rainbowfish, Dwarf Neon
Rainbowfish, Irian

Silver Dollar
Tetras, Larger
Tetras, Smaller
Tetras, Spawn
Tetra, Vampire
White Clouds

Pond Fish
Carp
Channel Cat
Gold. Comets
Gold. Fantails
More Fantails
Gold. Oriental  
Gold Oriental II 
Gold. Spawn
Kloubec Koi Farm
Koi
Koi II

Koi III
Plecostomus
Shubunkins

Oddballs  
Af. Butterfly
Af. Lungfish
Af. Mudskippr
American Eel
Archer Fish

Arowana
Bichirs
Borneo Suckers
Brackish I
Brackish II
Brackish III
Brackish IV
Brackish V
Michael Troung's Pix
Butterfly/Wasp
Chameleon Fish
Chromides

Chin Alg Eater
Crazy Fish
Crocodile Fish

Datnioides

Dojo
Electric Cat
Electric Eels

Elephant Nose
Exodon paradoxus
Flounder
Gars
 
Glassfish
Goby Bumble
Goby Butterfly
Goby Dragon
Goby Misc.
Half-Beak
Knife African
Knife Clown
Knife Ghost
Loach Botias
Loach Clown
Loach Kuhli
Loach Weather
Moray Eel  
Peacock Gudgeons
Polypterids
Puffers

Ropefish
Scats
Siam Algae Eater
 
Spiny Eels 
Snakehead
Stingray
Stonefish
Wasp Fish
Wolffish
Wrest Half-Beak
Misc Mini-Fishes
Misc Odd
Misc Odd II
Misc Odd III
Misc Odd  IV

Misc Odd V

Sharks  
Bala
Black
Bull
Chinese Hi-Fin Banded
Iridescent
Red-Tail
Siam Algae Eater

Pond Info 
Blank Park Zoo
Bob Humphrey's Ponds
Cattails
Maffett Reservoir
DMACC's Pond
D.M. Botanical Center
D.M. Water Works
Dr. Ervanian's Garden
Duckweed

Dwarf Lily
Ewing Park "Pond"
Jan & Chris's Water Garden
John McDonald's Pond
Hall's Four Acres
Klines' Water Garden
Landscaper Effects
Mini-Pond Pics
Pioneer Corn's Pond
Pond Fish Predators
Pond on 38th Street 
Pond Pics
Pond Plants
More Pond Plants
Pond Plants III
Reiman Ponds
River Scenes
Riverview Island
Selin's Water Gardens
Selin's Japanese Garden
Tom's Used Cars Pond
Urbandale Duck Pond
Water Hyacinth
Water Lettuce
Wild Ponds