Filtration for Your Cichlid Aquarium

Posted by Fluval Edge

Just like any other freshwater fish, cichlids have to have appropriate filtration in order to live in a wholesome happy environment. There are two sorts of filtration to think of a canister filter or a sump. A canister filter is one of the most commonly used filtration systems for freshwater tanks mainly because they are simple and easy to use and you can acquire them at a reasonable cost. Sumps are not utilized as quite often with freshwater, but are applied even more in the saltwater hobby. Sumps are a bit significantly more challenging to get setup, but you will come to obtain out that the advantages of a sump far outweigh the disadvantages. In this post I will describe the advantages and disadvantages of the two.

Canister filters

Canister filters are most well-liked inside the freshwater hobby since they are rather simple to install and are normally a great deal more than enough filtration if maintained effectively on a common basis. When a canister filter is bought, pretty considerably everything is already together and all you will need to do is add the filter media, place the intake and outtake in the water, and commence it up. Beneath is a picture of a basic canister filter and its functions.

Based on your preference, you can put whatever media you would like into the cartridges. Personally, I like to use pre-filter media grams, polishing pads, and carbon. The pre-filter media grams are utilised to catch the medium to large particles. I use polishing pads just after the pre-filter media to catch any smaller debris that gets past the grams. Lastly, I used carbon as the final stage in the canister filter to clarify the water. This is just my personal preference, and you can pretty a lot setup your cartridges even so you'd like.

I have made use of canister filters for a variety of years and I personally prefer Hagen Fluval filtration more than the other brands. I utilised a Fluval 204 filter in a 40 gallon aquarium for more than 6 years and in no way had any problems. I am at present running a Fluval fx5 in my 110 gallon tank and it does an amazing job at keeping my tank clean. I wouldn't use anything else.

The only disadvantages of a canister filter are that it requires common cleaning about twice a month. This does not mean that the media desires to be changed, but filter pads will need to be rinsed along with the canister to get rid of any undesirable buildup. Whichever media you make a decision to acquire, the directions will tell you how quite often it requirements changed.


If you want to do a additional complex filtration method, a sump could possibly be for you. A sump or a wet/dry filter is a separate tank that is located below the primary display aquarium that consists of compartments/dividers utilised to place filter media and equipment in. You can also add a canister filter into the sump for even significantly more filtration. The idea of a sump is to dilute the bio-load of your major aquarium by adding the additional quantity of water. Most individuals use a sump that is about 1/3 of the size of their principal aquarium, but it can't hurt to go even bigger. When it comes to the sump, larger is often improved significantly more dilution.

Okay, this is how it works. The water enters the sump by employing an overflow box. The overflow box is began by a syphon and drains down to the sump through plumbing. Water moves through the sump to the other finish where there is a return pump. The return pump delivers the water back into the key tank, which also requires plumbing.

Benefits of a sump:

- A place to put equipment such as chillers, filters, and heaters eliminating clutter in the major tank.

- Water level in the principal tank usually remains the similar given that evaporation takes location in the sump.

- Overflow box continually keeps the surface of the main tank clear, which also permits for better gas

- Water alterations can be completed in the sump rather than disturbing the principal tank.

- Dilutes bio-load which helps maintain nitrates down.

- Provides you the ability to totally customize your filtration to maximize its effectiveness.

From my expertise with sumps, I can't genuinely say that there are any disadvantages other than the reality that it takes a small extra work to get setup. In my opinion, I personally get pleasure from carrying out issues myself and taking the time to do points perfect to steer clear of complications later down the road.

Of course this is just an overview on the positive aspects of a sump and I will go into more detail on how to truly build a sump in a several article. I hope that I could aid you in deciding which filtration is the finest for your Cichlid fish aquarium.