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Is It Essential To Have A Filter On A Tropical Fish Tank

Natural water filtration by rocks and substrate in a river

When considering filters on a fish tank we need to think about the overall picture of what we’re trying to achieve and to what level and aren’t able to generalise when answering whether you need a filter on a tropical fish tank.

A fish tank filter is designed to rid the aquarium of unwanted waste product produced by the fish living in it. It does this by breaking down harmful chemicals given off by waste products by them being eaten by beneficial bacteria which grows inside the filter. This keeps the levels of nitrate, nitrite and ammonia stable. This is a similar process to that which happens in the real world by rivers and streams etc running through rocks and substrate. This is why we need to have a filter on our fish tank, in order to ensure the water isn’t stagnant and gathering harmful waste.

Natural water filtration by rocks and substrate in a river
Natural water filtration by rocks and substrate in a river

There are different levels required though. For example, if you have a heavily stocked rift valley tank with plenty of Malawi cichlids for example then the waste produced per fish, per volume of water for that fish, will be very high. Therefore a large amount of filtration and large regular water changes are essential. On the flip side, if you were to keep one tetra in a 1000 litre aquarium then you wouldn’t need a filter and may only have to change a small amount of water infrequently.

I would therefore say that although it may not always be essential, fish keeping as a hobby is also keeping a pet and is our duty as fish keepers to provide the best possible environment for the animals we have chosen to take care of so would strongly advise always running some filtration when keeping tropical fish.

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Fluval 107 External Filter, 1 kg

Features:
  • Fluvial eTEC (Efficient Technology) construction employs cutting-edge design, materials & manufacturing methods to deliver powerful pump performance, reduced energy consumption & ultra-quiet operation
  • Powerful motor generates constant pumping power and pressure that endures over time
  • Re-engineered, precision-crafted pump runs up to 25% quieter than previous generation

New From:
£89.95 In Stock

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Fluval 207 External Filter

Features:
  • Fluval eTEC (Efficient Technology) construction employs cutting-edge design
  • Powerful motor generates constant pumping power and pressure that endures over time
  • Re-engineered, precision-crafted pump runs up to 25% quieter than previous generation
  • New ergonomic AquaStop valves with raised lip for smoother operation
  • Unique vertical pre-filter cartridge with independent access provides more surface area and better mechanical filtration

New From:
£100.00 In Stock

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Fluval 307 External Filter, 1 kg

Features:
  • Fluvial eTEC (Efficient Technology) construction employs cutting-edge design, materials & manufacturing methods to deliver powerful pump performance, reduced energy consumption & ultra-quiet operation
  • Powerful motor generates constant pumping power and pressure that endures over time
  • Re-engineered, precision-crafted pump runs up to 25% quieter than previous generation

New From:
£129.99 In Stock

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Fluval 407 External Filter

Features:
  •  Fluval eTEC (Efficient Technology) construction employs cutting-edge design, materials & manufacturing methods to deliver powerful pump performance, reduced energy consumption & ultra-quiet operation
  • Powerful motor generates constant pumping power and pressure that endures over time
  • Re-engineered, precision-crafted pump runs up to 25% quieter than previous generation
  • Redesigned, substantially enlarged rubber feet stabilizers offer superior vibration-dampening ability and added protection
  • Energy-efficient some 07 series filters draw as little energy as a single household LED lightbulb

New From:
£177.99 In Stock

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Fluval FX4 External Filter, 1000 Litre

Features:
  • Multi-stage filter pumps out 700 gallons (2650 L) of water per hour
  • Smart Pump TM – advanced microchip technology continuously monitors and optimizes pump performance
  • Self-starting – just add water, plug in and Smart will take over. Trapped air auto-evacuated every 12 hours to ensure maximum efficiency
  • Easy water changes eliminate need to carry heavy buckets. Simply attach hosing to output and Smart does the rest
  • Removable, stackable media baskets eliminate water bypass and hold a total of 1 gallon (3.9 L) of media

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£202.99 In Stock

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Fluval FX6 High Performance Canister Filter

Features:
  • FX6 compact, super capacity canister processes and circulates 2130 Litres of water every hour
  • Removable, stackable media baskets eliminate water bypass and hold a total of 1 gallon (3.9 L) of media
  • Smart – advanced microchip technology continuously monitors and optimizes pump performance
  • Self-starting – just add water, plug in and Smart will take over. Trapped air auto-evacuated every 12 hours to ensure maximum efficiency
  • Easy water changes eliminate need to carry heavy buckets. Simply attach hosing to output and Smart does the rest

New From:
£239.99 In Stock