Biological Filtration: making Tropical Fish happy since 500,000,000 B.C.

Biological filtration – the filtration method that depends on the work done by beneficial bacteria – is the most efficient filtration form precisely because it works according to natural laws.

Let’s take a look at an aviation metaphor to flush out the concept.

Did you know that the Wright Brothers were one of many pioneers of powered flight?

They, in fact, had a lot of competition. So, why does history remember the Wright Brothers, but not their competitors? How were the Wrights able to achieve in 1903 what Samuel Pierpont Langley, Alberto-Santos Dumont, and many others couldn’t?

Very simply, the Wright Brothers designed an airplane that worked according to the natural laws.

Langley, on the other hand, tried to overpower nature by mounting brawny engines on his airplane designs. Yes; these heavy engines produced a lot of horsepower, but they also weighed his airplanes down. In fact, his aerodromes had to be launched from a catapult just to get off the ground! …And, even then they didn’t work!

Basically, the Wright Brothers were able to beat their competition because they understood how air behaves. By mounting small engines on efficient wing surfaces, they effectively applied their knowledge of physics to their Kitty Hawk design. They knew that they couldn’t overpower nature, so they decided to work with it!

Well, your filter (the actual machine) is the engine that powers your aquarium.

While many filter designs (the hang-on power filter comes to mind) try to replace biological filtration with brut strength – with mechanical and chemical means of cleaning the water, the best aquarium filters (the most notable of which is the canister filter) optimize Mother Nature’s proven filtration method.

You can learn more about the many benefits of canister filters in The Kick-Ass Aquarium. Very simply, though, canister filters are great at providing biological filtration. That’s because they contain ultra-porous blocks that provide beneficial bacteria with a lot of space to grow on. Canister filters, in effect, increase the total amount of bio-filtration that occurs in your aquarium!

So, don’t follow Mr. Langley’s bad example! Don’t try to overpower nature!

My sincere advice is to take advantage of nature’s timeless filtration method. Increase that beneficial bacteria count! The more beneficial bacteria your aquarium houses, the more stable your fish tank environment will be! Believe me, your tropical fish will reward you for the wise choices you make!

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