Filtration Types Used In Aquarium Designs In San Antonio (continued discussion)
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In this article we're going to cover the two types of filtration commonly found in fresh and marine aquarium designs in San Antonio. This is a continued discussion of the previous article Aquarium Designs In San Antonio Can Get Complicated
Some Aquarium Designs In San Antonio Use Biological Filtration & The Nitrogen Cycle
Proper control over the nitrogen cycle is a crucial element of a successful aquarium. Excretia along with other decomposing organic matter produce ammonia that is highly toxic to fish. Bacterial processes oxidize this ammonia in to the slightly less toxic nitrites, these are in turn oxidized to create the much less toxic nitrates. In the natural environment these nitrates are subsequently absorbed by plants as fertilizer and this happens to some degree in an aquarium planted with real plants.
An aquarium tank is, however, an imperfect microcosm of the natural world. Aquariums are generally much more densely stocked with fish compared to the natural world. This increases the amount of ammonia produced in the relatively small volume of the aquarium. The bacteria responsible for breaking down the ammonia colonize the surface of any objects inside the aquarium. In most case, a biological filter is nothing more than a chemically inert porous sponge, which provides a greatly enlarged surface area on which these bacteria can develop. These bacterial colonies take a few weeks to form, during which time the aquarium is susceptible to a problem typically referred to as "new tank syndrome" if stocked with fish prematurely. Some systems incorporate bacteria effective at converting nitrates into nitrogen gas.
Accumulation of toxic ammonia from decomposing wastes may be the largest reason for fish mortality in new, poorly maintained, or overloaded aquariums. Within the artificial environment within the aquarium, the nitrogen cycle effectively ends with the production of nitrates. So your nitrate level does not eventually get to a harmful level, regular partial water changes are required to remove the nitrates and introduce new, uncontaminated water.
Some Aquarium Designs In San Antonio Use Mechanical & Chemical Filtration
Mechanical filtration removes particulate material through the water column. This particulate matter may include uneaten food, feces or plant or algal debris. Mechanical filtration is commonly achieved by passing water through materials which work as a sieve, physically trapping the particulate matter. Elimination of solid waste is usually as simple as physical hand netting of debris, and/or involve highly complex equipment. All elimination of solid wastes involve filtering water through some form of mesh in a process referred to as mechanical filtration. The solid wastes are first collected, and then must be physically taken out of the aquarium system. Mechanical filtration is ultimately ineffective in the event the solid wastes are not removed from the filter, and are allowed to decay and dissolve in the water.
Dissolved wastes tend to be more challenging to remove from the water. Several techniques, collectively known as chemical filtration, can be used for the removing of dissolved wastes, the most popular being the use of activated carbon and foam fractionation. To some degree, healthy plants extract dissolved chemical wastes from water when they grow, so plants can serve a role in the containment of dissolved wastes. One last and less common situation requiring filtration involves the need to sterilize water born pathogens. This sterilization is accomplished by passing aquarium water through filtration devices which expose the water to high intensity ultraviolet light and/or exposing the water to dissolved ozone gas.
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