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Best Fish Tank Filters Reviews 2019
General Info 9

Best Fish Tank Filters Reviews 2019

aquarium filterMany pet enthusiasts choose to keep fish in their homes. They use small tanks around the house. In order to take care of the fish as well as keep him healthy, you need to feed him an clean up the mess left behind.

Messes might include algae growth, excess food, and dirt, as well as other debris in the fish tank. To clean the fish tank properly, you have to get the best fish tank filter available on the market today. It’s not easy to choose the proper type of fish because of so many options available. But, not all of them can work well.

Check out this article to learn about the different functions of fish tank filters, benefits, the types, and top models available.

Functions of Fish Tank Filter System

Before you learn about the best fish tank filter to buy, you should start with the basics. First, we will help you learn about the different functions of a fish tank filter. There are three major classifications that can help you choose the best one.

Biological Function

Fish produce ammonia as a part of the waste released from their bodies. It’s important to remove the ammonia from the tank frequently because it is harmful to your fish. And, you can eliminate the fishes’ bodily wastes from the tank thanks to using a filtration system.

Mechanical Function

You can see debris in a fish tank because of excess food fed to the fish as well as other dust particles from the room. And, the mechanical process of a fish tank filter can be able to help remove this debris as well as other visible waste in the fish tank. Of course, your fish will get good health when having a clean and well-aerated tank.

Chemical Function

The water we use come from different sources. Some sources can have metals or other materials. They may be harmful to your fish. That’s why you need a filter to remove them from the water. Different types of filters can be able to clean up the impurities due to different methods. Once you can remove them, your fish can be able to thrive.

Aquarium Filters Reviews

When it comes to choosing fish tank filters, you have to choose one from many different models on the market. They come from different manufacturers. That’s why it’s not easy to choose the best one. Here are some best aquarium filter reviews.

Fluval External Fish Tank Filter

This model offers superior filtering capability. This is a great choice for all sizes of aquariums made by many different manufacturers. Especially, it can be able to work well for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. It comes with the powerful motor technology that can speed the filtration process.

This product is better than its competitors because of its varying functionalities. The thing you need to do is just following the straightforward setup instructions. This helps to make sure you find the product working as required. In addition, this filter comes with fewer vibrations than other filters.

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

If you are looking one for both freshwater and saltwater fish tanks, this filter is for you. This product can deal with different types of aquariums. Also, it can be able to provide an impressive 350-gph water flow.

You just need to keep it well maintained so that it can work efficiently and effectively. It’s easy to start up the filter by pressing a button.

Marineland Magniflow Canister

The canister lids come with a feature offering the filter a watertight seal. It’s essential to keep leaks from happening. And, you will lose substantial water that needs to be circulated back to the aquarium.

In addition, the filter comes with the polishing filter pad incorporated in the filter. This pad has the purpose of removing the fine debris. Thanks to it, you can end up with cleaned water without any problems.

This product is designed to have the bio-filter balls as well as ceramic rings. They help to provide a multifaceted surface. This filter can also give you the black diamond carbon that helps to remove discoloration, the odors, and other water impurities.

EHEIM Classic External Canister Fish Tank Filter Media

This filter comes with a promo-elastic silicon sealing ring. It helps to keep the filter securely sealed while working in the aquarium. You needn’t worry about experiencing the leakage reported as occurring with other fish tank models.

It is equipped with filter sponges as well as other types of loose filter media. This product comes with several accessories such as a spray bar, inlet hose, hose, and many others.

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter Cascade

This product is sure to provide excellent quality in exchange for the price. It can be able to pump 265 gallons per hour. You can choose this product for 100-gallon aquariums.

In addition, it can deliver powerful performance for a long time. Thanks to this filter, you can deliver crystal-clear water to both marine and fresh aquariums. This filter has a coarse sponge to remove the waste from the tank.

AquaClear Power Filter

This is also a great choice when it comes to choosing several models used as fish tank filters. This product is one of the best hang of back filters to consider buying today. It can be able to meet the needs of most aquarium hobbyists.

This model comes with different variations in terms of flow rates. So, you can pick one to deliver the flow rate that is the best for you. It ensures to provide you an impressive filtration capacity. It has the flow control technology to reduce the effect of water flowing.

Fluval Fx6 Aquarium Canister Filter

This option has the purpose of starting automatically once the canister fills with water. You needn’t siphon the water when getting it started. It comes with a purge valve drain at its base.

The valve helps to empty the canister, so you can easily perform maintenance. The spout attached to the system allows you to adjust to send multiple streams of filtered water.


As mentioned above, several things will affect the way the filter will work. There are some models available on the market today. It’s important to pay attention to the design so that you can get one that fits in your aquarium. It’s important to set up, Now, you have a look at the best fish tank filter systems, it’s time to choose the correct one.

Best filters for 20-Gallon Fish Tanks
Buying Guide 3

Best filters for 20-Gallon Fish Tanks

FILTERS FOR 20-GALLON FISH TANKSFilter is one of the most crucial parts of a fish tank. Not only does it provide the proper amount of oxygen to your fish but it also makes the water environment inside the tank cleaner and healthier.

Filters are responsible for maintaining the overall health status of the fish in the tanks and prolong their lives. However, if you do not choose the right filter, according to the size of the tank, the effectiveness will not be at 100%.

In this article particularly, we are going to give you some honest review about the best filters for 20 gallon aquariums. Being a relatively small size tank, you can pick many different types of filter, to your own reference. They include power, canister and internal filters.

They are the most popular in today’s world, due to their superior power and effectiveness over all the other types of filter. If you are a beginner and don’t have any experience with any type of aquarium filters, it is not going to be too big of a problem. However, getting some basic knowledge about aquarium filters is advisable. Without further ado, let’s get into the six best fish tank filters for 20 gallon aquarium.

1. AquaClear 20 power filter for 20 gallon fish tank

This is a power filter with the Hang-On-Back design. The product from AquaClear power filter can go very well with different sizes, unlike other types of filters that can only be used for specific tank sizes. This is because it has a larger media capacity. With the large filtration capacity, the filter is very flexible to use filter media that makes it the most favorite filter on the market. You can choose your own filter materials to work with the filter and don’t have to use ones from the manufacturer.

It comes with some filter materials like AquaClear foam, activated carbon and BioMax that are necessary for setting up a complete system with mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. With the grid of all types of filtration provided, the filter ensures that all the water going through it is properly filtered and safe for the fish to live in.

People love to use the filter with only biological and mechanical filter media to provide the ultra-clean environment for their fish; and they only add activated carbon media to perform the chemical filtration when the aquarium water looks yellowish. The filter features a flow rate of 100 gallons per hour which is strong enough to keep a tank with 20 gallons of water clean and clear for a long period. The flow rate can be adjustable to fit various tank sizes and fish types, so don’t worry if it is too strong for your tank. The flow rate can be reduced up to 50% without interfering with its filtration efficiency because of its patented re-filtration system (Cycle Guard with BioMax). This system holds the water within it for processing multiple times when the flow rate is reduced.

The filter is very popular on the aquarium hobby and its quality is proven by thousands of hobbyists on the world. With its very affordable price, quality and customization ability, I strongly recommend this filter for creative hobbyists who want to build their own filtration system. This is also the best tank in this article for all aspects are well adjusted to be balance. No drawback is too significant to make you change your mind over to some other tank.

We can spend all day talking about the sweet spots of the product from AquaClear. The quality product keeps the water clean and clear all the time. The capacity of the filter is large so that it can contain more filter media, thus enhance the performance. Also, the filter materials are highly flexible in order for it to filter out almost all the unwanted dirt. Another plus point of the product from AquaClear is that it operates very quietly, which makes sure you would not be disturbed while your fish is being taken care of. The flow rate of the filter can be adjusted without changing its efficiency. Being easy to set up and cheap to maintain, coming with 2-year warranty, the AquaClear filter is the best choice for the 20-gallon tanks.

2. Marina Slim S20 power filter for 20-gallon aquarium

I like Marina because of their quality aquarium kits like the Marina LED aquarium kits for starters. Their quality products have satisfied most customers from the new comers to advanced hobbyists. You can easily notice that when you read the reviews of Marina’s products.

Marina Slim S20 power filter features a very compact design for easy setup, even in small spaces. It features an adjustable flow control that makes it an ideal choice for small tanks up to 20 gallons. The best feature of Marina Slim S20 power filter is that it operates so quietly but still ensures its filtration efficiency. It can start itself after installation, cleaning or power interruptions without the need of manual priming.

The only drawback of this filter is its capacity smaller than the Aquaclear 20 and you have to buy the filter cartridges for the maintenance. However, the abundance of biological filter materials (zeolite and Ceramic) included in the filter cartridges ensure that harmful nitrogenous toxins (ammonia and nitrite) are degraded and no longer harm your aquarium inhabitants. So, it is worth for your money.

3. Fluval C2 Power Filter for 20-25 gallon tanks

This is a high-quality power filter manufactured by Hagen Fluval, a well-known brand for their aquarium products. The product includes everything you need to get started: activated Carbon for chemical filtration, C-nodes for the colonization of helpful bacteria (biological filtration), and foam pad for mechanically filtering solid particles in aquarium water. The flowrate is around 119 GPH and can be adjusted flexibly throughout operation. The filter is ideal when used in 20-25 gallon tanks according to the US standards. There are 5 stages during filtration process. All the medias of the filter consist of a Fluval C2 Poly/Foam, activated carbon, C-nodes and Bio-Screen (which is a drip tray pad).

Since the 5-stage filtration process is kind of a new concept to many, i would like to make a quick description of it. The 5 stage aims to make your aquarium even more clean and clear, and provide an absolutely healthy environment for your fish to live in. The 5 stages are:

  • 1&2: poly/foam pad mechanically removes waste particles out of the water.
  • 3: activated carbon insert removes heavy meatals, odors and discolorations to keep the water clear.
  • 4: Bio-Screan trickles the water and make it well aerated and ready for biological filtration stage.
  • 5: C-Nodes provides optimal living space for helpful nitrifying bacteria, which processes nitrogenous toxins (ammonia and nitrite).

There are tons of good things you can bring up to talk about this advanced filter. The 5-stage filtration is absolutely a breakthrough in cleaning the aquarium environment. Quality product keeps the water clean and clear with great efficiency. The flow rate of the filter is adjustable, so you will not have any problem with it. The filter media is free to use, and it is easy to set up and maintain. You also don’t have to worry about the noise issues regarding most filters, since the operation of the machine is very quiet. The minor concerns about this product is the a-little-too-high price and less filtration capacity than most AquaClear filters.

4. Whisper internal filter for 20-gallon tanks

This internal filter has the flow rate of around 125 gallon per hour. This filter is designed especially for 10-20-gallon tanks. The cartridge is one pre-assembled Whisper Bio-Bag filter cartridge. It is placed and works inside the aquarium. The internal filter should be the oldest in this list. It is a traditional type of aquarium filters and a head start for those who want to dig into fish. This in-tank filter is compact, cheap, easy to install and use. Only assemble the filter, then position it inside your aquarium (submerge into the water), and the filter will do its work to keep the tank clean and clear. The filter uses a medium Whisper bio-bag cartridge and a patented Bio-scrubber pad to provide a three-stage filtration. The Whisper bio-bag cartridge is a floss pad filled with activated carbon to eliminate waste particles, odors, and discolorations in the aquarium water. The Bio-scrubber pad provides a large surface for helpful bacteria to thrive in.

According to many experienced people, the Whisper internal filter is like a 50-50 deal, for it has plenty of either pros and cons. It is dirt cheap, and has a bio-scrubber for biological filtration. There is almost no noise while it is operating because it is submerged in the water, which is the most obvious sweet point of internal filter. The Whisper product is ideal for low-level water tanks or turtle tanks, since the higher the water level is, the less effective it becomes. On the darker side, the filter will definitely take space inside the aquarium. There is less media capacity than the more advanced power and canister filters. The biological stage seems very weak during operation. Another bad thing about all internal filters is that the flow rate cannot be altered, so it is impossible for you to reduce the performance of the machine when the water is just a little dirty. You may have to use the cartridge from the manufacturer rather than custom-made ones. In another word, the performance of the filter will remain still until it breaks.

5. Fluval 106 external canister filter for 20-25-gallon tanks

The canister filter has a flow rate of about 145 gallon per hour and that number can absolutely be changed during operation. The filter is made for tanks sized at around 25 US gallons, both fresh and saltwater. There Is a total of 3 types of filtration inside the filter. The filtering media includes 4 foam pads, 1x70g carbon, 1x120g BioMax. Since this is a canister filter, there are 2 media baskets inside.

Most aquarists prefer to filter their fish tanks with canister filters despite the fact that they are usually much more expensive than power or internal filters. Unlike other canister filters which commonly goes with large or extra-large tank, the Fluval 106 canister filter is among those rated for small tanks, under 20 gallons.

The filter chamber of the Fluval 106 is larger than other comparable canister filters that are rated for the same tank sizes. It includes two large filter media baskets that is capable of accommodating a variety of filter media. Because its capacity is much bigger than other filters, it has the advantage of containing more filter materials for better filtration and less maintenance (longer periods between maintenance times). Needless to say, the filter is designed to fit in aquariums with the size up to 25 gallons and this one should be a must-have for a 20-gallon fish tank if you are picking a canister filter over all the other types.

For an advanced filter like this one, there are plenty of points that I can use to recommend it to you. The best thing about a canister filter is the excellent performance of three types of filtration. The filter has an incredibly large capacity, which is 30-50% more than round canisters. The convoluted water flow pattern inside the filter is designed for better water-media contact. What’s more, the flow rate of the machine is not only high but also adjustable. Fluval solved the noise issue in their external filter with a sound dampening impeller, so that it can operate quietly. instant priming by pressing the button on the lid is a good feature that is included in the product. Last but not the least, the product is easy to disassemble for maintenance, easy to find replacements, has a large capacity for low and maintenance and it comes with a 3-year warranty. The only downside of the filter should be the price because it is rather expensive than other canister filters.

6. Penn Plax Cascade 500 Canister Filter

Another canister filter with a slightly lower flow rate than the Fluval 106, at around 115 gallon per hour, and of course that flow rate can be adjusted. The filter is ideal for 20-25-gallon aquarium, both marine and freshwater. There are three types of filtration inside this filter. The filter media consists of bio-floss, bio-sponges, activated carbon to perform multi-stage filtration and completely purify your aquarium water.

Setting up and maintaining the Cascade 500 canister filter requires a little effort only. Once it is already in place, the filter works effectively and speedily to keep your fish tank in the clean and clear condition all the time. Installing the filter takes around half an hour and after spending that worthwhile 30 minutes, you should notice the changes to your aquarium in a 1-day time.

The filter has a very affordable price tag for a canister filter. it comes in a large capacity for excellent performance of three types of filtration. The flow rate, though lower than the Fluval 600, is still high and can be adjusted. It is very quick and easy to prime only by pushing the button on its top. There are flow rate control valves and easy-lift clamps for easy setup and maintenance.

Best Heaters for Mini Size 5-Gallon Tanks
Buying Guide 1

Best Heaters for Mini Size 5-Gallon Tanks

Fish, just like all the other kinds of animals, cannot withstand too low temperatures for a long period of time. Maybe you do not know, but the water in the fish tank corresponds very actively with the air temperature. If the weather gets too cold, the water temperature drops too, hence put your beloved fish in unideal conditions. The longer the status remains, the more harm that your fish is in. Many people have tried to make the surrounding of the tank thicker, so that the water inside would be less affected by the weather outside. However, the trick does not go very well. To solve this problem, people have come up with heaters that can spice things up a little bit for the fish, so it can survive the deadly cold weather. In today’s article, we are going to look at a few best heaters for 5-gallon fish tanks.

Best Heaters for 5-gallon Fish Tanks

1. Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater

The Tetra HT Submersible heater has an indicator light which turns on whenever the heater is on. This means that you will never mistake this heater for being on or off when the opposite is the case. The light is red when heating and turns green when the ideal temperature has been achieved.

There is a built-in thermostat that automatically adjust the water so that the temperature would level off at 78 degrees. Some people don’t like how you cannot adjust this heater, but others like it for this very reason. Simply put it in the water, turn it on, and it is good to go. Any aquarium with the volume ranging from 2 to 10 gallons can absolutely make the best out of this specific heater. When the tank has a good lid or hood, the effectiveness and efficiency is even enhanced to the next level.

It’s a cool heater because it can be put in an aquarium both vertically and horizontally. It is very easy to install, plus it is fairly small, so it does not take up very much room inside of the tank. The suction cup can be used to attach to the interior of the aquarium and you don’t have to worry about the endurance of it. Be sure to place the heater inside of the water before plugging it in. This is a very simple and basic heater. Although the aquarium heater is not equipped with great features, it can finish its task at a point that we cannot feel more satisfied.

The heater runs completely fine out of the box, so not adjustments or settings are required for this thing to operate. Installation is a piece of cake, since the device is designed so that even those who do not have any previous experience or knowledge about installing a heater in an aquarium can get things together. It has an internal thermometer, a component that once thought to be only available on premium devices. No matter what kind of aquarium you are using, the heater can be installed either vertically or horizontally. As long as it fits the tank, the heater can operate that way. A weakness of the device is that the temperature cannot be changed from the ideal condition, which is 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Pen Plax Aquarium Heater

Aquariums with the volume of up to 5 gallons would go really well with this 25-watt heater. That being said, this heater does also come in several other versions, each of which is ideal for larger aquariums. Pen Plax Aquarium Heater have been regarded as the most accurate device on the market by many people. It can heat the water and maintain the temperature within 1 degree, give or take. This is especially important for the fish because submarine creatures tend to be really sensitive when it comes to water, so a stable heat level would prolong the lifespan of all creatures inside the fish tank.

The default degree of the Penn Plax heater is 76 degrees, and as a matter of fact, that number can be changed. If 76 degrees is not what you truly want or need, then you can make the water colder or hotter to the point that you feel you fish can be really comfortable and stress-free. A programmable heater is always a home-run for those who seek for the coolest and most premium feature of a fish tank. in addition, you will have the ability to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius to your own liking. Whether you are familiar with the temperature unit or not, you can absolutely switch back and forth to make the best out of the tank. on other devices, these two features seem to be normal, but in fact they are luxuries in the aquarium heater market.

The Penn Plax heater has a preset temperature of 76 degrees, and if you want to adjust the heat level, you can absolutely do so. Being customizing your own device is pretty satisfying and comfortable because every region has its own climatic traits. Programming this aquarium is very quick and easy Designed to operate in complicated environment, the heater is submersible. This trait is far better than waterproof, because being waterproof means you only have a limited amount of time and a fixed depth before your device get completely broken. On the other hand, being submersible means that you can place the device in the water for as long as you want. It is a fairly simple water heater in the sense that you just plug it in and it is good to go. Just be sure that it is fully submerged underwater before plugging it in. We do like how this model is very easy to install.

You can use the suction cup that comes with the kit to place it on an interior wall of the fish tank. it does not take up too much space and can be installed in the tank either vertically or horizontally. It is also a good option because it can be used for both saltwater and fresh water aquariums.

On the bright side, the heater is an actual space saver. If you have a small or medium-sized fish tank, this heater is the right treat for you. It is also very easy to use, since it does not even take you too much time to actually learn how to get started with it. Although the temperature is adjustable, the heater comes with the plug-and-play mechanism, which means you don’t have to adjust or change anything about the default configurations for this thing out of the box. It can also be programmed, like increasing or decreasing, or even turn itself off at a certain point of the day. After all, this is a heater with temperature unit of both F and C, which is comfortable for people from different regions. Having to convert from F to C when you are in Asia must be very tiring. The whole kit includes a suction cup for easy installation. The accuracy of the heater is top-notch, since all the sensors inside the device are of top quality. Another plus-point of the heater is that it is available for both salt and freshwater. The only drawback of the product is that it is not very durable. You will have to replace the device with a new one quite frequently to enjoy the best service provided by it.

3. Fluval Marina Submersible Heater for Aquarium

This next water heater is classified as a mini heater, which based on its size is definitely true. Lots of people really like the Fluval Marina due to its very small size. Small aquariums are already tightly pressed for space, so having a heater that preserves as much prime real estate as possible is always handy.

The Fluval Marina heater is fully submersible and has a totally waterproof seal to make sure that the internal components do not suffer from any kind of water damage. It also has an impact resistant design. This is important in case you drop the thing by accident or if some rowdy fish happen to bump into it. For safety concerns, the heater has a bumper that keep the fish and itself safe and sound.

The Fluval Marina heater comes with easy to use brackets and suction cups, so it only takes a few seconds to mount on the interior of your aquarium. This model can only be mounted vertically, but that is not a big deal seeing as it is so small to begin with. When it comes to getting started, the heater itself only needs to be plugged in and it is good to go.

The product is equipped with a temperature adjusting dial and you can pick a level among many others as well. It is perfect for small or medium-sized aquariums, especially in tropical regions where the temperature changes significantly throughout the year. It does come with a light to let you know when it is running. Also, it can be used in both saltwater and freshwater, something which many people will appreciate.

In short, the heater from Fluval is very easy to set temperature dial. Setting it up is not too big of a problem as well. Better than most saltwater-freshwater heaters, the Fluval product has a remarkably greater durability. It also comes with suction cups to help holding the heater inside the tank. it can be used in both saltwater and freshwater environments, so you should not be worry about what type of fish you are having. Coming in a small size, this is an actual space saver, which you will find very useful if you do not have a spacious aquarium. Small as it looks, the effectiveness of the product is undebatable. However, when the surrounding environment is too unstable, the product would be a little messed up.

4. Hydor Slim Heater

This is definitely one of the more unique water heaters for betta tanks out there right now. Unlike traditional heaters which are long and tubular in shape, this one is like a flat oval that sits on the side of the aquarium. It may not look futuristic or modern or anything near that, but the shape is surely convenient enough because it does not take up too much space inside your fish tank. Even though the Hydor Slim Heater comes in a compact shape, it is a beast when it comes to performance, especially when working in 5-gallon tanks. The machine operates effectively and rest assured because it will heat up your aquarium in no time. The device has all the high-quality components that can get the job done very quickly. It can make your tank or terrarium to around 10 degrees warmer than the room temperature, making things ideal and comfortable for your fish. That being said, it is a simple plug in and go water heater. In other words, it has a set temperature that cannot be adjusted. This is something that some people don’t mind, just as long as the required temperature matches the heater’s setting.

A sweet point about the heater is that there are no glass components, thus your fish will stay unscratched for as long as it stays in the tank. The exterior material is hard rubber, which has an incredible durability. It is common sense that many companies use rubber as a waterproof solution, and the Hydor Slim Heater is no exception. The heater will not do any harm to your fish or go faulty anyhow.

Maybe one of the coolest parts here that we liked is that you can hang it on the side of your aquarium or you can out it under the gravel too. If you are looking for a versatile heating device for your beloved fish, the Hydor Heater is definitely an option to be considered picking.

Summing up time! On the bright side, the heater runs perfectly out of the box. No adjustments are required for it to operate correctly. In another word, this is a plug-and-play device that can be put under gravel without worrying about anything like durability or safety. Your fish will stay safe and sound as long as it is under the same roof with the Hydor Slim Heater. However, the device cannot be adjusted and it may look funny to some people. If you have a premium tank and you need everything to look decent, this device may not be for you.

5. Cobalt Aquatics Mini-Therm Heater

Unlike the previous heater which was made of rubber, this one is made of glass. This does make some people worry due to durability issues, but the Cobalt Aquatics Heater is made with a shatter proof design that makes it difficult to break. The internal components will not be exposed to water, your fish won’t get electrocuted, and this little guy is proven to have a long life. The compact and small size of the heater is what makes this heater so special. You will fall in love about how effectively Cobalt designs the product. It is around and tubular, just like most other fish tank heaters on the markets. Small as it looks, the solid build of the product ensures that your tank will be in the best conditions while you still have a lot of space to do many other things.

This heater can be used for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums though it cannot be adjusted in terms of the temperature. It is able to raise the water temperature to around 10 degrees in comparison with the temperature of the surroundings. There is no need for time-consuming configuration process or setting up the device inside the tank, because it is a plug-and-play device. It really does not get any easier than that.

Using the heater is very simple, due to the fact that the company does not want you to spend a lot of time making the machine work. All you really have to do is just to plug the device in, leave it there and let it do its job. With a compact yet solid design, the heater is really a space saver, especially in tanks that do not have too much space for interior decorations. It is also good for salt and freshwater fish, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not the type of the water in the tank will do any harm to your device or the other way around. A plus point when talking about this product is that it is shatterproof, so it will surely bring you a lot of comfort when you use it.

6. Aqueon Mini Heater

The heater comes with two mini suction cups that can be attached without taking any effort from you. The installation was simple enough – all you have to do is to put it in the tank, slightly push to engage suction cups, then plug the device in one of the power outlets in your house. After several hours, the temperature of the water increased from about 74 degrees to about 78 degrees where it maintained most of the time. I installed the heater on the side close to where the bowl with the Betta was and touched the side of the bowl to the side of the tank. The Betta hung out there as he could obviously feel the warmth from the heater through the glass.

Had it not been for one slight issue, this would have been the heater of my own choice. Although everything else was very sweet treats, it indicated in the manual that if the ambient temperature reached 78 degrees, to unplug the heater. Since we were still cycling without the fish, we could test what happened when the room temperature increased. Here in Florida, it’s not unusual during the winters for us to have outdoor temperatures in the 40s in the morning and 80 in the afternoon. What we found was on the warmer days, the tank’s temperature was increasing up to 86 and at night was dropping to about 76-78. The room temperature was about 78 and 69 respectively.

To sum up, the Aqueon Mini Heater is fully submersible, so you would not find any problem keeping it underwater for too long. It is also shatterproof, which is going to bring you a lot of pleasures at the end of the day. There is a safety mechanism inside the heater, which allows it to shut itself down when there happens to be any thermal issue. The default temperature of the device is 78 degrees Fahrenheit, and it only consumes 10-watt. The small size of the heater (about 8 inches in length) makes it really easy for it get inside those tiny tanks like 5-gallon ones. The fact that it does not take up too much space is really a game changer for budgeted aquarists.

7. Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater

Another great heater for 5-gallon tanks is the Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater. It’s a heater that isn’t going to set you back too much and has a LOT of great features.

One of the features that I really like about this aquarium heater is the light that lets you know if it’s heating your tank or not. This makes monitoring your aquarium a lot easier.

And if you were concerned about the lack of control in the Cobalt heater then this one more than makes up for it. In fact, you can set the temperature in 0.5°C (about 0.4°F) increments, which is a lot more finely tuned.

The glass is also shatterproof. And while shatterproof glass isn’t completely necessary, it’s still better to have it. The chances of glass shattering in a tank are slim, but still there. So why not just cut that risk altogether. And the glass that surrounds the heater also causes a larger radiation space. Meaning heat will be distributed more evenly.

However, one downside to this heater is the way that it looks. It’s very large and will take up a lot of space in any tank smaller than 5 gallons. And on the subject of the way it looks the blue ring and the other colors draws a lot of attention to it, making your tank look a lot more unnatural.

8. Freesea 50W Aquarium Heater

The Freesea 50W Aquarium Heater another great heater with a lot of cool features. And if you like the look of it then you should definitely add it to your betta tank.

If you’re looking for a heater with a wide variety of temperature settings then this is going to be the ideal choice. You can set the temperature from anywhere between 59-94°F, which is an extremely wide range. If you don’t want to use this heater in your bettas tank then it also makes a great quarantine tank heater!

Another great feature of this heater is that you don’t have to change the temperature on the heater itself. The dial you need to use is on the cord outside. This is great for two reasons. First of all, there’s less risk of you contaminating your fish tank and secondly, you don’t have to get tank water all over your hands.

And this is another heater that is set and forget. Once you’ve set your ideal temperature you can just leave the heater to do its thing. The only downside is that it doesn’t look too great and the big red number on the heater is kind of distracting. Also, if you’re using this heater you have to make sure you NEVER take it out of the tank when it’s still on or it could overheat and break. The other heaters on this tank aren’t as fragile as this one and that’s really what causes it to end up near the bottom of the list.

9. Tips for using Aquarium Heaters

In larger tanks, or in situations where the room temperature is significantly below the desired water temperature, two heaters may be required. Heaters are required to be placed at the other end of the aquarium to ensure even heatwave throughout the tank.

It is best to use multiple units with hang-on and submersible heaters. This provides more even heat distribution and puts less strain on the heaters. Also, if one of the heaters goes out, the temperature may not plummet too dangerously until you can get a new unit. It’s also smart to buy an extra heater to keep on hand as a backup.

The heater tube length is very crucial because it helps raise the heat in your fish tank. If it is made of low-quality materials, or it does not have a decent durability, the efficiency of the device would not be at its most. As a general rule, the heater tube needs to be at the same height with your aquarium, because that is the optimized length for all heater tubes.

Check for heat sources and fluctuations. Your tank may be located under a vent or next to intermittent heat sources that can make the temperature rise and fall. Always unplug the heater when you are draining the tank to prevent the heater from overheating when it is no longer submerged.

Top 10 Best Fish Tanks Reviews
Buying Guide 2

Top 10 Best Fish Tanks Reviews

As a pet owner, you should be totally aware of the essence and benefits of securing a comfortable, safe resting place for your buddies. If you are really into fish pets, this mean you need to buy a fish tank that has great features and of high quality. Fish tanks do not provide a good place for fish alone, but they also add a soothing atmosphere to any room that you put them in.

Children enjoy feeding the fish and also watching them as they swim. Having an aquarium in your house is one of the greatest ways for them to have a grasp on the submarine life and how to take care of pets. If you have a qualified fish tank, you will surely enjoy the benefits it offers.

There are plenty of fish tanks that are available in the market currently, and I know for sure deciding on which tank to buy might be a problem to some. The good news is that I have your needs covered and I have reviewed the best-rated fish tanks available on the market. Without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

10 Best Fish Tanks on the Market

1. SeaClear 50 gallon Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set

At times when quality determines the choice then the choice is very clear. No other fish tanks can stand a chance against the virtually invisible seams of the SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set that make the most and very extreme aquatic dreams realistic. The whole set includes an beautifully designed aquarium, a reflector and an electrical 24-inch light fixture.

The acrylic aquariums are clear than the glass fish tanks plus they are also more than fifteen times stronger and weigh half the weight a glass aquarium weigh. The designing material makes it more impact resisting and less prone to chipping, cracking or even breaking, unlike the glass aquariums.

This aquarium gives you a choice to use either fresh water or salt water depending on the fish that you want to rear as pets. It is not only a haven for your guests but also for your children and other pets to play around it. Your fish and decorations that include artificial plants and gravel will pop up giving your aquarium a unique and beautiful view.

It may take days to talk about the SeaClear Aquarium tank. It is very easy to clean due to the fact that it is made of acrylic. The tank can hold the temperatures better at a constant balance. There is crystal clear viewing for all and from all sides. It has cut outs for an airline on each side of the tank and has two large openings on the top to fill and scrape the bottom too. The rounded seamless corners give it a unique design.

Perfect as it sounds, the fish tank still has some downsides. It contains one fluorescent bulb that is barely enough for lighting, so you might need to get some more bulbs if you want your tank to look absolutely stunning and gorgeous at night. The fish tank comes with an external filter, which can be noisy at times. If you want to eliminate the noise, get a third-party filter. What’s more, the top part is not removable limiting you in times of cleaning.

2. Fluval Edge Aquarium with LED Light

The Fluval Edge aquarium can only be described using one word, and that is Edgy. This aquarium is cool, breathtaking, trendy, stylish and more so contemporary. It has a striking 3D cube design that is new and revolutionary, this is an eye-catching masterpiece that stands out everywhere you decide to put it.

The Fluval Edge consists of two parts that work harmoniously; a clear glass aquarium nestled inside an outstanding pedestal. This pedestal appears to be clasping the fish tank making it appear like it has been suspended in the open air. There is a column that houses the filter and electric wiring.
The Fluval Edge top is clear, and it allows a crystal and virtually unobstructed aerial view of the interior of the tank. Water evaporation in this tank is minimal because the top is completely sealed and you can fill the aquarium right to the brim realizing a spectacular effect.

Instead of a traditional canopy, there is a small cover at the top that houses the LED lighting of the aquarium. The 21 LED bulbs ensure that you can turn on all the lights for a full blazed illumination or you can choose to turn only the blue bulbs giving it a moonlight effect. These LED lights create a very clear and natural looking light for the inhabitants.
About the pros, the fish tank has an inbuilt pump inside the filter that circulates water. The filter skims and washes the water cleaning the environment of the fish habitat. Being the flagship of Fluval, the fish tank of course has a 360 degrees viewing. The only drawback of the fish tank is the default filter seem to be too noisy.

3. Tetra 20-gallon Aquarium Kit

Are you an aquarist looking for that traditional look in an aquarium that has all the natural scenery and creates a peaceful and relaxing environment yet letting your fish stand out extremely? Worry no more the Tetra team has your search covered. The Tetra 20 gallon water capacity Aquarium Kit is one of the bestselling Tetra glass designed aquarium with that traditional model and they that are built to last and also withstand any scratches made on them. The aquarium provides this natural effect and makes your fish stand out in their habitat.

It is designed with a whisper filter that is quite quiet and provides a powerful and dependable flow of water. Man-made plants that are in the fish tank gives it a uniquely natural ocean feels while still giving your fish a place to live in without any sources of stress.

The Tetra kit also comprises of one LED hood that is essential in the illumination department, and it also has once tetra mini UL heater that can sustain some tropical fish in the aquarium. The kit also includes the tetra 20 whisper filter and gravel. These items are of very high quality.

On the bright side, the nice size énures adequate fish movement throughout their lifetime. The water heater comes with a fixed temperature while the filter Is amazingly quiet. The LED light bar gives the tank a stunningly attractive look. Your tank will look gorgeous even without further improvement of decorations. The tank is also easy to set up and clean. For the comfortable and smart design, feeding your beloved fish is easier than ever. However, some of the decorative plants are not decent enough to go well with other decors. Also, the thermometer sticks outside the tank may cause some cases of inaccuracies.

4. GloFish 29045 Aquarium Kit with Blue LED light

If you looking to add a colorful zing to your environment, then this GloFish 29045 Aquarium is the way to go. It is a clear curved aquarium that includes a micro filter and filtration system that uses medium bio-bag. The main material of the tank is Acrylic and it is equipped with some LED lights that highlight the unique color and hue of the fish, also brighten the interior décor. Coming with all those décors is the installing manual, so you should not have any problems getting all those lights in place.

The crescent shaped seamless plastic aquarium gives the room a bright lighting through the 15 Blue LEDs, and the cover is clear. This aquarium is perfect for aquarists, with small size cartridge filters. Your Glo fish will enjoy this safe home.

The aquarium is a five-gallon water capacity that gives you more space and room to have different types of fish to live there. The Aquarium is also designed to take up only small spaces in your room.
The tank comes an extremely low amount of power, so low that it even insignificantly contributes to your monthly electricity bill. The beautiful glowing LED brightens the interior décor and makes the whole tanks look futuristic and absolutely stunning. The tank is pretty compact and it requires a relatively small space to fit in. it is made of clear plastic hence it is visible and attractive. It is very easy to clean up the whole tank as a perk of being made of plastic.

However, there are some downsides that you need to pay attention to when considering picking the fish tank. There has been reports about occasions when algae build up in the aquarium. The filter can at times suck small fish in the aquarium, so you may need to be careful with that. The Pump can be loud at times and vibrates constantly, so it may not fit in places that require silence.

5. Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit

The Marineland 5 gallon portrait kit is a glass curved design aquarium. The kit design of this aquarium includes a 3 stage hidden filtration that comes with a rite size cartridge Z, an adjustable filter flow pump and a Bio-foam. The filter caddy and pump of this aquarium are classically hidden in the rear compartment, and there is room to squeeze in a small submersible heater if you want.

The rear compartment has a nice feature that hides all excess accessories from the viewing of the aquarium. This aquarium comes with a sliding canopy that is made of glass, and it facilitates easy access to the tank for easy feeding and also water dosing care. It also has some hinged lights and a 3-way switch to juggle between that white and blue, blue only setting and off. These LED lights create a shimmering light in the tank to mimic the underwater effect of the sunlight.

It may take all day to talk about the perks of the fish tank. The built-in filter is silent, and cartridges are very easy to find and replace in case of malfunctions. All the wire lines and cords are all carefully hidden, which is something that even aquariums at a much higher price would die for. Another good thing about this Marineland product is that the footprint on the desk or table is relatively small. The contoured solid glass cover and corners make it beautiful and absolutely fantastic no matter it is daytime or nighttime.

Light construction does not flip up and ensures easy access to the interior of the tank. last but not the least, the tank is very easy to set up and it takes only a little effort to clean. However, the base of it is made of cheap plastic, and it is not attached to the tank itself, so you may need to be a little bit careful with that. The glass cover leaves some tiny gaps in the front corners, and because of the fragile nature of the material, the company cannot custom made the product to the best version of it.

6. Aquaeon Kit Betta Falls

Are you a person who likes making unique statements in life? The Aqueon Betta Falls aquarium will sure make the stylish and desirable statements that you want to convey. This aquarium has a unique and elegant designed shape that houses three separate betta in one unique housing.
This is a compact curved cascading waterfall design that gives you that unique statement you intend to share and making the Betta falls contemporary.

The waterfall provides a constant and reliable flow of water that is filtered and purified while, the separated sections house up to three betta, crustaceans or even small fish.

The Aqueon Kit Betta Falls contains some fill indicator windows that show you the water levels in the aquarium. It also uses the powerful Aqueon quiet flow filtration system that silently ensures maximum filtration of water. There is also an Aqueon ten watts heater underneath the aquarium that ensures you can even keep some small tropical fish in one of the chambers. To achieve a unique look, the Aquarium uses translucent accent gems for the substrate and also adding on the Aqueon Flexible bubble LED wand underneath the three chambers to give the glowing waterfall aquarium that is fully unparalleled.

On the bright side, the tank is compact enough for a medium-sized desktop. It also doubles up like a fountain, which is quite an interesting design among all the traditional tanks currently on the market. The sweetest spot of the tank must be the fact that the fish cannot see each other thanks to the fountain-like design, so the chance they get stressed is very close to nil.

However, the aquarium is difficult to heat, so those who live in regions with extreme climate in the winter should reconsider purchasing this product. The pump speed can be the way too extreme for the small fish and other tiny submarine creatures. There are not too much room for the fish to move around, so if there are species that have a playful nature, the tank should not be ideal to live in. The waterfall can at times jettison the fish food to the bottom of the tank, making the base a true mess, thus negatively affect the visuality of the tank.

7. Tetra 29041 Half Moon Bubbler

The tank is an excellent way to show your little marine friends to others using the new bubble design on the Tetra 29041. It gives you a seamless half circle view over what is inside the tank.
The sleek modern design makes the aquarium fit for any part of the house; the living room, bedroom or even the kitchen.

The aquarium has a 3-gallon water capacity and plenty of room to house your little tiny important friends. It also comes with an auto color changing diving bell LED lighting technology for the best illumination. The light technology also combines with an air curtain to form one of the best mesmerizing bubbling effects ever known to man. The Tetra Whisper cartridge based filtration system operates in a quiet and smooth manner, and it ensures easy maintenance of the tank. There is also a nice clear lid at the top of the tank, and it is very efficient when feeding the fish.

For you, as the owner of this aquarium, it gives you the power to control the air pump where you can adjust the airflow between the air stone and the pump creating the ripple and bubbling effects that you desire.
The tank has the best silent whisper filters, so it fits complicated environment like at the offices or at libraries where silence is the top priority. The fish tank is small and portable to carry around. If you like to move around, change your living place frequently, then this tank is made for you. The lid is also clear and has an opening for feeding. Keeping your fish full has never been that easy and effortless. The half-moon design is unique and it makes the tank fit anywhere, even in the shadiest corners. What’s more, the filter and bubble disk are easy to adjust to your own liking. The only that you need to concern about is that the pre-filter sponges do not cover the filter intake.

8. Tetra Led Half Moon Betta Aquarium

If you are looking for a tank that is small and fits very well in your home, apartment, or even your office then the Tetra LED Half Moon Betta Aquarium that uses 1.1 gallons is at your disposal. This Aquarium is small, and it requires a little place for setting up, it is one of the smallest Betta tanks that are available in the market currently, and it can fit on your desktop or any other room.
The tank is designed to have a half moon shape that ensures that there is plenty of room for a Betta. It also has LED lights that are detachable and can either be placed on either the top or bottom of the tank giving you the best illumination that you desire.

The lid also features a suitable feeding hole ensuring that your precious pets are easily fed. The tank also has cord holes on the left side that are essential in case you decide to place a heater in the tank. This hole for wires can accommodate two large wires making it one of the best betta tanks. The tank also comes with batteries for the LED Lighting and a Universal Serial Bus (USB) port for charging. With this aquarium, you can never go wrong in providing room for your pets.

The tank comes in great design, perfect for offices and kids’ rooms. Another sweet thing about it is that it is completely cordless, so no more worrying about where to hide the cables and finding a plug. The aquarium is large enough for the betta to swim in, and the LED lights run on batteries. You can either leave the tank there, so insert some batteries if you want to increase the visuality of it. However, the plastic bumps on the bottom make it impossible to have artificial plants in the tank.

9. API Aquaview 360 Aquarium Kit Internal Filter

A beginner fish tank that does not come in a sophisticated design or construction, so you would not encounter anything difficult when using it. The tank, unlike most aquariums on the market, does not require a great deal of knowledge about tanks or fish to blossom. The aquarium boasts a 2-gallon capacity and a distinctive cylindrical tank design that offers a 360 degrees viewing which are great for the office, home, dorm room or even your apartment.

There is no need to incur the maintenance hassle of a large aquarium, and you can get yourself this bad boy that has and stylish design, and it is an ideal size for your choice. The fish tank has a super clean ten internal power filter that purifies the tanks water and is also in charge of cleaning it at a fantastic rate of 45 gallons per hour.

The Bio-Chemistry Zorb 10 resin carbon filter cartridge performs the task of removing organic aquarium pollution such as colors, heavy metals, toxic gases and odors from the fish tank. Constructed of crystal clear, acrylic that is impact resistant this aquarium is safe for your fish to inhabit in. The full hood’s LED lighting gives this compact desktop tank a bright illumination for the inhabitants without the cost of any heat transference of another conventional aquarium making it an energy efficient aquarium.

10. API Panaview Aquarium Kit with Power Filter

People of all walks of life dream of owning an aquarium, aside from the idea that they are beautiful many feel that they can be a great mode of entertainment and also be relaxing. This is an aquarium designed to accommodate 5-gallon water capacity with a three sixty degrees viewing.

This aquarium has an API Superclean ten internal power filter that cleans and purifies the tank as well. It also comes with Zorb ten filter cartridge which is responsible for removing odors, discolorations and much more. Did I mention that this aquarium is energy efficient?

Oh yes, it is, this product uses minimal power, and it does not produce any discharge when in use. The Seven LED lighting that includes; amber, blue, green, aqua, purple, white and red and they are responsible with illuminating the tank’s inhabitants. The acrylic design of construction ensures that the aquarium is resistance to impact, eliminating the risk of leaks that are associated with aquariums with glued seams of leaks and more importantly it is child-friendly.

The fish tank is compact and very easy to set up. It is small, so it takes up less space in your room. You can spare that amount of space for something else to your own liking. The lighting is great and it allows multiple colors. The fish tank has an incredibly great design which includes a cut-out to enable the use of large filters.

There are two downsides that you need to consider when buying this tank. The built-in filter is tiny and noisy at the same time, and there is no feeding door, so you may want to remove the whole upper lid in case you want to feed the fish.

Some things to pay attention to when choosing a fish tank


The size of the tank is mostly determined by how many fish you want to keep and also where you want to place the fish in your home, apartment or even your office. A bigger tank may accommodate much fish, but on the other hand, small aquariums are easy to clean and maintain while they also take up minimal space. The decision is indeed yours, but you will need to make up your mind about what you really want and how much space you can actually spare for a fish tank.

Filtration Equipment

If you intend to keep your fish clean and healthy, it should not have missing filters. Many of the aquariums in the market come with their filtration system, but you may be required to purchase filters separately. It is advisable that you research on the different types of filters that exist and which one is suitable for the tank that you want. Buying a tank that comes with its filters is more convenient.

Fish tank construction

This simply means the durability of your fish tank. It is good if you take your time and learn about the different materials that fish tanks are made of they can be plastic, glass or acrylic materials. The construction of the fish tank will also affect its design it is of significance that you also take note on that.

Lighting System

There are plants that require lighting in order to generate food for the fish, so the manufacturers often include a lighting system for the kits out of the box.The right and adequate amount of light should also be considered. The lighting system can keep things vibrant and also provide that unique illumination that is beautiful and attractive to adults, kids, and pets. Some lights are for decorations for artificial plants while others are important for food processing.

Cost and Fish Type

Before deciding to get a fish tank, you must have made some estimation, and one of them should be your budget. A trick to do this is that the maximum amount of money you want to spend on a fish tank need to well correspond with the type of fish that you are planning to adopt. Some of the fish species are quite expensive to rear and maintain the same goes to some fish tanks hence, you need to be so particular with the fish that you want to keep plus its fish tank and ensure they are within your budget.


With all the shapes, styles and sizes of fish tanks available in the current market, there is a lot to decide from. Buying a fish tank is an investment regarding time and money, and as such, it is very important that you end up getting it right. The review provided will help you in selecting the best fish tank from the various options provided, and it will be your choice to assess whether the tank is suitable for you and your needs. This means that you have to get it right to avoid any regrets in future. I advise that you should first bear in mind the duties that come with an aquarium before you seek any purchase

Best Filters For 55-Gallon Fish Tanks
Buying Guide 5

Best Filters For 55-Gallon Fish Tanks

Using the best aquarium filter for a 50/55/60-gallon fish tank is very important to keep the water clean and clean and reduce maintenance works you have to do to keep the large tank work well for a long period. Among all types of aquarium filter types on the market currently, canister filters are proved to be the most powerfully superior to all the other types of filter. They are the best treats for large size aquariums like 50-60-gallon tanks. They have grown in popularity for a few years back, and a greater number of people, more than ever before, are now using them as the main filter for their tanks right now. The best canister filters come with supreme mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration capabilities that no other types of filters can be a match of.

A huge point that you need to know about the canister filters is that they can be used for saltwater tanks, freshwater tanks, for reef tanks, or even for turtle tanks. They will just work fine in all of those aquariums without any difficulties during operation. This impressive capability is what makes the canister filters become the choice of many people.

55-Gallon Fish Tanks
Benefits of canister filters

Before really digging into the best filters for large size aquariums, you need to be a hundred percent convinced that the canister filters are really the ones that you are looking for. Here are what you are going to get after purchasing a canister filtration machine.

High Flow Rates

Whenever you compare the canister filters to other types of filters, it is easy to see that they have better flow rates. Some can even go up to 320 gallons per hour. This means that the whole filtration process for your aquarium should take less time, which saves you time and energy. If you are going to get one, just make sure that you check out various models to understand their flow rates before making your choice.

Flexible Media Selection

The canister filters often come with many types of filtration media you can select from, but you need to know how such media works before making your purchase.
Read a number of reviews on each type of media to see if it has always served to meet the owners’ expectations. You can also check on the amount of maintenance needed for the media before selecting it for your tanks. Trust me, you won’t want to get a filter which is going to take you out for a few maintenance or repairs after a few cycles of operation.

Easy Setup Processes

Setting up a canister is seen to be the easiest, compared to the process of setting up other types of filters. It is always important that you follow the instructions as given by the manufacturer, just to make sure the setup procedure is completed correctly.

Easy to clean

Cleaning canister filters is easy when you have the right manual and all the right tools. Most of them are designed to be disassembled easily so that you can access the internal components for cleaning. The manufacturer guides are surely very easy and effortless to follow, so that you can have a deep and overall understanding of how to perform the maintenance, without having to call any specialists over for such simple task. Once the filter is cleaned, you can now put the components back together and mount it again, ready to thoroughly filter your tank crystal clean again.

Quiet Operation

Everyone with an aquarium is in search of a filter that does not produce a lot of noise when operating. The best way to avoid noise and vibrations is by using a canister filter. These filters have been tested by a range of users and the customers always come back online to talk about their experience. Most would agree that they had a pleasant time having a nap in a room with a canister filter on.

Strong Mechanical Filtration

The whole idea of filtering your fish tank water is to remove unwanted components from the water.
This includes debris, among other things, introduced into the water over a couple of days or weeks. Running your canister filter should easily catch the debris and prevent it from going back into the fish tank. This means that your marine life will have the clean environment necessary for survival.
You should clean the filter often to ensure that it keeps working to separate the debris from the fish tank water.

Canister Filters Aquarium reviews

1. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

Penn Plax is absolutely well-known for producing heavy duty canister filters and this one is no exception. With this model, you get a multi-stage filter, which means that all the dirt is removed in every possible way.
At the end of the day, your fish will be living in a crystal-clear tank where everything is cleaned up, thanks to the filtration capability of the filter. It is made to be multipurpose, so you can use it for either saltwater or freshwater aquariums. This means that it can be perfect for goldfish who would love a clean environment.

When it comes to capacity, it boasts of handling more water than many of its competitors, and can even be used for 200-gallon tanks. When it comes to installation, it should be very easy. The manufacturer provides you with all the necessary parts so that you do not have to spend any extra money to install the filter on your tank.

You get flow rate control valves, which are all important to prevent any leaks while doing maintenance. The large filter trays used on this model will last a long time before there will be any need to think about replacing them.
Changing the media should not be hard, as it comes with an easy-lift clamp that gives access to the filtration media and other parts that require maintenance.

2. Fluval External Filter

The new model from Fluval is going to be a dark horse on the market for all the advanced and incredibly convenient features that come with the product and I am pretty sure that you will fall in love with the device once you get your hands on it. This model comes with superior filtration abilities that make it suitable for all types of aquariums.

You can use it with both freshwater and saltwater aquariums and it will be equally effective with either. The advanced motor makes sure that there is a strong flow rate maintained in the aquarium even during the maintenance.
You might have experienced other filters making noise during the filtration process. This one is engineered to minimize the vibrations and the overall noise produced when in operation.

This makes it suitable for saltwater, freshwater, reef, and discus fish tanks, as the fish often do not like the vibrations. The multistage filtration process is important for this model, as it ensures that there is minimum maintenance is needed and maximum versatility supplied.

When the machine operates, it goes through for stages of filtration, namely the mechanical stage, chemical stage, and biological stage. The manufacturer has equipped this model with aquatically top valves that will stop the water from flowing without even needing to disconnect the hoses; this should eliminate any leaks and overall maintenance mess. Due to its design, you can use this filter with up to 100-gallon tanks with ease.

3. Marineland Magniflow Canister

The newly designed canister filter from Marineland is out there to provide you the most premium experience when it comes to aquarium cleaning. Quick support and a throughout, spill-free setup is included when you bring the device home. Its great and practical features make both marine and freshwater aquarium become crystal clear after a while of operation. With new technology that it bears inside, the filter is assures your fish a comfortable and healthy environment to live in. A multi-stage filtration process, by means of mechanical, biological and chemical filtration, should be the highest rated and trustworthy feature of the product, so that it can prove itself to be a worthwhile investment to most aquarists.

The Magniflow canister filter includes all types of unique, user-friendly components in order that you can keep up with the conditions of both your fish and your tank without paying too much attention or having to make too much effort like you used to. It comes with a lid that create a water-tight seal when compressed and lifts up for simple expulsion.

The Stack n’ Flow filter plate permits various media layers for complete mechanical, biological and chemical filtration, and is simple to take off to change or clean the media.
A fast-prime button loads the filter chamber with water for quick, self-priming setup, and a specially-designed valve lets you instantly close down the flow of water and separate the cover from the engine housing for easy, spill-free upkeep.
The advanced components on this newly made filter give you the tools you need to create a spotless, healthy aquatic condition with considerably less exertion.

4. Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

Hydor Professional Canister filter might be a newcomer in the canister filter game, but the product surely knows how to gain people’s trust. Although Hydor does not have too much experience of making a large-size aquarium filter, they are, without doubt, able to turn their product into an actual game-changer by starting with the built.
The base is equipped with four rubber feet so that the device can stand stably during its operation inside the tank. I am pretty sure that the stability you see when this thing works is the best stability you can ask from an aquarium filter on the market right now.

Setting it up should be a real breeze, even for those who might not have used a canister filter before. You should be done setting up the filter within just thirty minutes. Make sure to refer to the manual for instructions about how all the connections fit together-that will make it easy.

The capacity is just amazing, as these models can handle a lot of water. There are a variety of models to choose from, and the largest you can get is for a 40-gallon to 150-gallon tank. The filter works just as well on the smaller tanks.
The noise level of the filter is quite low so that the marine life is not disturbed. With such quiet operation, this model is great for aquatic turtles, reef tanks, and saltwater and freshwater tanks.

5. Fluval Fx6 Aquarium Canister Filter

As expected, this is an amazing canister filter, as it comes from a reputable company. To start us off, it comes with the high capacity needed to handle more filtration and still maintain its compact size.
As compared to other models, this one is often considered to be great for tanks ranging from 250 gallons to 400 gallons. Not many filters can boast of being able to handle such amounts.
This model is also equipped with a number of technological features that make it exceptionally efficient. One worth mentioning is the self-priming start system that prepares the canister for the filtration process as soon as you hook it up.

The intake strainer is made to be clog-proof so that it can be effective for longer. You will not have to worry about the debris getting past it, which would impede water flow in a planted aquarium.
There is a component on the filter called “the aquastop valve” that make your maintenance a lot easier, even for tropical aquariums. The work of the valves is to separate the housing from the filter in a single step. This will eliminate leaks and make maintenance simpler for the user.

6. Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter

The CF series is among the most popular canisters on the market today, because it comes with a feature none of the others have—a UV sterilizer. Some people may be skeptical as to whether the UV sterilizer works or if it is just a marketing gimmick to get people to buy the product.

Starting with its construction, you get a solid filter with this model, even though it has many plastic parts, which many people might consider unattractive. The work of the UV sterilizer is to eliminate microorganisms such as algae, bacteria, and other parasites found in the water and sand substrate of your tank.

If you have had your hands on a canister filter before, you will find installing the device is absolutely piece of cake. For new users, you might have to work a little harder, as the manual is not as clear as it should be.
With a flow rate of about 370 GPH, you can be sure this filter is a good one that will benefit the environment for your fish. The capacity, on the other hand, is less outstanding but still within a respectable range. You can use this model for tanks up to 175 gallons.

7. SunSun Hw304B 525GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit

It is actually true that a performance-tailored model is the thing that most aqua-aficionados search for when looking for a durable and high-quality canister filter. The Pro Canister Filter by SunSun, a Singaporean brand, is an excellent filter that can be used as a supplement device alongside with other filters to provide a premium filtering and cleaning performance.

Whether you use this device with others or alone, it will bring you a filtration ability and the cleanest possible aquarium water that all fish would desire. When comparing the device with others on the market, this thing is an actual beast when it comes to both design and performance.
It works superbly and also helps the main filter to last for a longer period as it takes on the majority of the workload. The device can take a solid flow of extremely pressured water, so you can choose the flow rate that would comfort you fish the most. Afterall, these devices are created in order to make the fish healthy, right?

You need only to press the button to fill the tank with water. After that, connect it and the filter starts pumping promptly. This priming feature wipes out the need for siphon priming.
The fourth phase of this canister includes the interference of a kind of bright, built-in nine-watt ultraviolet neon light. As we all know, the ultraviolet light is able to eliminate any suspended algae that can manage to pass through the canister. In another word, the light is a double check so that you fish can live as healthily as possible.

When algae cells are exposed to UV light, they will instantly be killed. This will diminish the odds of an algae sprout and keep your aquarium crystal clean and clear. The UV light element likewise lessens the population of parasites and pathogenic bacteria that cause fish diseases. This sterilization ability of UV light is diminished when the water is unclean.
The dirt particles obstruct the UV beams from striking the microorganisms and decreasing their viability. The SunSun Four-Phase includes the UV light as the last phase of filtration, guaranteeing that only clean water is exposed to the ultraviolet light.

The canister includes spray bar, suction cups, and long hoses. This canister filter is recommended on the basis of its great performance and design. If you bring this device home, it will be a quality filtration reinforcement to improve the condition of your aquariums.

Aquarium Water Basics You Should Know
General Info 5

Aquarium Water Basics You Should Know

The key factor of the environment for your fish is aquarium water. But, many owners ignore this environmental element. In this article, we will help you learn how to not only provide but also maintain the ideal water conditions for your aquarium.

aquarium water

Ammonia Poisoning

This is one of the biggest killers of aquarium fish. You normally have to face ammonia poisoning when setting up a new tank. But, it may be caused by adding too many new fish when the filter fails because of power or mechanical failure. Once you see your fish are in distress or die suddenly, it’s time to consider ammonia as the reason.

Aquarium Algae

The fact is that every aquarium owner will have to suffer from aquarium Algae sooner or later. Some of them grow normally, but the growth is unsightly. Actually, it can be hazardous to fish as well as plants.

Aquarium Water Testing

Some people say that aquarium water testing isn’t necessary. But, some others test everything. It’s not easy to answer what should be tested as well as how often. When setting up a new aquarium, it’s important to test the water. It helps to avoid fish loss. This helps to ensure the continued health of your fish as well. To do this, you need test kits.

Cloudy Water

Many owners wonder about the baffling phenomenon of cloudy water. There are a couple of basic causes of cloudy water. So, you need to try to solve cloudy water. Most importantly, you need to determine the root cause in order to take the best steps to deal with the problem.

Do Rocks Affect Water pH?

It’s hard to know about the impact of rocks on water chemistry before you put them in the tank. If you use limestone, it can be able to cause for the pH elevation in your aquarium water. Limestone is known for the ability to both harden the water.

Also, it can increase the pH. In fact, placing limestone can raise water pH. In addition, to increase water PH, you can also place crushed coral or any highly calcareous material. Once your water becomes hard and alkaline, it’s time to test the rock. You need to make sure the rocks you will toss in your tank are safe for your fish and plants.

Do Water Changes Kill Fish?

The water change can kill all your fish. So, how to do water changes? You shouldn’t make a sudden massive change, especially when you didn’t do any of your water changes for months and years before. But, you still need to change your water regularly. First, you should just change less than 5% of the total. After a week, you can perform another change.

Go on doing this process for several months. But, you should raise the percentage of water changed slightly each time. By this way, you can make a slow change in water chemistry that allows your fish to adapt to without harm. When you are familiar with the water changing routine, you will have to take less time to complete.

Nitrite Poisoning

This problem is also considered as a major killer of aquarium fish. It can be able to make you lose half your fish to ammonia poisoning even all of your fish. The fact is that ammonia levels are increased, elevated nitrites also follow soon. In order to deal with this problem, you need to test your new tank when setting it up.

Nitrogen Cycle

This problem is also called cycling, biological cycle, nitrification, start-up cycle, the nitrogen cycle, or break-in cycle. Older aquariums also experience periods that the bacterial colonies fluctuate. It’s important to understand the concept of this. Also, you need to know how to handle critical periods during the nitrogen cycle. Just in this way, you can increase your chances of successful fish.

Phosphates in the Aquarium

This condition occurs every aquarium while many owners don’t know about it. If you don’t maintain the aquarium properly, the phosphate levels will increase. And, it will contribute to algae growth. This problem will be harmful to your fish. That’s why it’s important to find out the causes as well as the way to deal with them before they become harmful to your fish.

Water Changes

Many owners wonder whether they should change their water or not. This is another problem often passionately debated. Even when you see your water seem to be clear, you may still be shocked because of detritus when stirring up the substrate a bit. The debris may be the result of the food eaten released back into the tank. That’s why it’s a must when it comes to water changes.

What is pH?

This is one of the things that can make many owners cringe. You know, water is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen molecules. Neutral water comes with a pH value of 7.0. It consists of equal amounts of hydrogen ions as well as hydroxide ions. These values can be able to rise or fall. As a result, the water becomes more acid or alkaline.

How Often Should You Change Aquarium Water?
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How Often Should You Change Aquarium Water?

Even if you see your water is clear, you still may be shocked at how much detritus there just by stirring up the substrate a bit. So, what’s the source of it?

The fact is that your cat or dog can escape their wastes when they go outside to potty or use a litter box. But, there is no choice for your fish friends. Their particles of food still are in their wastes until you take action.

That’s why you need to change water weekly. But, you need to pay more attention to sick or stressed fish signal.
How Often Should You Change Aquarium Water

Tank Setup

It’s important to keep your tank cycled for the health of your fish as well as your regularly scheduled water changes. Actually, a cycled tank is a mature one. This is considered as an established colony of nitrifying bacteria.

It purposes to turn ammonia and nitrite into nitrate. You need to control the nitrate level thanks to weekly water changes. If you don’t keep ammonia and nitrite levels at 0 parts per million, your fish friends can be sick.

In order to cycle your tank, you can use a bacterial additive, according to the manufacturer’s directions. The additive has the beneficial bacteria within a day or two.

It’s best to take some gravel as well as filter media from an established tank. Then, you need to add them to the new tank. Then, it’s time to add fish to the tank immediately.

Water Tests

Water tests are important for some main reasons. First, thanks to them, you can determine the time your tank is cycled. Also, you can know if ammonia, nitrate levels, and nitrite have spiked.

If you own a healthy established tank, you just have to test the condition of your water. You can do this monthly. If you overfeed your fish, they may die. So, you need to maintain your weekly partial water-change schedule.

Standard Water Changes

We recommend you to replace 10 to 20 percent of the tank water in order to keep your fish friend healthy and happy. The water change helps to keep the nitrate level low as well as your substrate free of waste.

You just need to avoid sucking up one of your fish buddies. It’s not essential to vacuum around plants in order not to disturb their roots.

Emergency Water Changes

Once your test tells you the presence of ammonia or nitrite, you have to change the water daily or more than once per day. Do this until the levels are lowered. You may resume weekly 10 to 20 percent water changes once your nitrite, ammonia, as well as nitrate levels, are back.

Hospital Tank

Once your fish becomes ill, you can help him recover. The thing you need to do is medicating him in a hospital tank. Also, remember to separate him from his buddies.

Some people think that it’s best to change the water of a sick fish daily. But, the fact is that this can render the medication ineffective. That’s why you need to follow the instructions for the medicine before changing the water.

Replacement Water

The fact is that your fish need good water, not just any water. Don’t fill your tank straight from your tap otherwise you will cause a spike of ammonia, nitrate, or nitrite. You should fill jugs with the fresh water.

Then, you need to treat each jug by using an aquarium water conditioner. It has the purpose of removing chlorine, ammonia, and chloramine.

In addition, it helps to convert nitrite and nitrate into a harmless form to fish. Also, these conditioners can be able to detoxify heavy metals. If you want to purchase bottled spring water or distilled water, don’t forget to add conditioner. This is safe.

Nitrate and Phosphate Waste

Aside from the junk, you can see, invisible waste byproducts are shown in the form of phosphates as well as nitrates. Your fish is stressful by this. Also, this can make them vulnerable to disease. Elevated nitrates may be able to stunt the growth of young fish.

In addition, nitrates help to promote overgrowth of algae. It’s best to change the water to keep nitrate and phosphate levels low. You don’t only need to change water due to wastes. In addition, there are other important factors in the water, including trace elements and minerals.

They are also important for the stability of the water chemistry. If you don’t replace them, the pH of the water may drop. Moreover, the vigor and health of the fish will be affected by the lack of trace minerals.

How Often You need to Change Aquarium Water

It’s important to change water as a part of regular aquarium maintenance. The frequency is different depending on many factors.

For smaller and heavily stocked tanks, you need to change the water more frequently, compared with larger and sparsely stocked aquariums. It’s best to change 10-15 percent of the water per week. If you have heavily stocked tank, it may bump up to 20 percent per week.

Water Changing Tips

Age the water

If you allow the water to sit for a day, dissolved gasses may be dissipated. But, this is harmful to the fish. Of course, it can let the PH stabilize before you add to the tank.

Clean the gravel

When you siphon off the old water, you need to vacuum the substrate at the same time. By this way, you can avoid some of the detritus building up.

Don’t touch the filter

It may disturb the beneficial bacterial colonies when it comes to cleaning the gravel. The other place to grow these colonies is the filter. It’s wrong to disrupt both locations at the same time. It’s essential to time your filter cleaning. This can take places between water change days.

General Info 1


Simply put, a refugium is a separate but connected component of your aquarium. The refugium may be located within your tank, hanging off the back or side of the tank, sitting on a table next to your tank or stashed underneath the tank inside the aquarium stand.

The one overriding requirement is that it must be connected to your main tank and share the same water. You may use the refugium to increase your water volume, provide a means of adding additional live rock and sand, grow out macroalgae and or provide a safe refuge for a huge assortment of tiny critters that would not otherwise survive within your main tank.

If you so desire, you can also house your protein skimmer, heaters and other maintenance gizmos within a chamber of the refugium. Many people setup their refugiums with large growths of macroalgae with 24 hour lighting to ensure full time photosynthesis. This ensures full time oxygen generation and limits the nightly pH drop.

Small hang on back unit

In the basic saltwater aquarium you run your lights for 10 to 14 hours during which time plants and zooxanthellae convert carbon dioxide to oxygen utilizing a process called photosynthesis.

This higher oxygen level helps to stabilize your pH level in your tank. Once the lights are turned off, plants and animals use the oxygen and convert it back to carbon dioxide. This process tends to have an adverse effect on your pH levels.

Depending on biological load, the oxygen level may decrease severly and take the pH down along with it. To combat this process you simply fill a refugium with macroalgae, keep the lights on for 24 hours and you have full time oxygen generation. No more oxygen related pH crashes.

In the basic saltwater aquarium you run your lights for 10 to 14 hours during which time plants and zooxanthellae convert carbon dioxide to oxygen utilizing a process called photosynthesis.

This higher oxygen level helps to stabilize your pH level in your tank. Once the lights are turned off, plants and animals use the oxygen and convert it back to carbon dioxide. This process tends to have an adverse effect on your pH levels.

Depending on biological load, the oxygen level may decrease severly and take the pH down along with it. To combat this process you simply fill a refugium with macroalgae, keep the lights on for 24 hours and you have full time oxygen generation. No more oxygen related pH crashes.

Not only does macro algae filled refugiums help to stablize oxygen levels they also provide one other VERY important and in some cases critical function.

The macro algae converts phosphates, nitrites and nitrates into new plant growth. This takes these pollutants out of the water and stores them within plant tissue.

As long as you don’t allow the macro algae to die off you are in great shape. Keeping the macro algae trimmed back is not much of a problem, in fact many of your fish and invertebrates will dine on a piece placed in the aquarium.

Caulerpa is one of, if not the most common form of macro algae utilized in refugiums. This alga provides all the benefits described above and is also a favorite snack of tangs.

Caulerpa does have some serious drawbacks. It is very invasive and can quickly gain an almost permanent foothold in your tank. It is very difficult to completely get rid of.

Also, certain species of Caulerpa, such as Grape C. pictured on left can go sexual and place a large bio load into your tank very quickly. Continued pruning and 24-hour lighting has proven to minimize these risks. But, there are no guarantees.

Chaetomorphia, better known as Cheato is quickly becoming the preferred macro algae for refugiums. It tends to be much more stable than Caulerpa in that it does not go sexual nor does it suffer from periods of quick die off.

Cheato grows slower than Caulerpa and therefore does not remove nutrients quite as fast as Caulerpa but that seems to be a good enough trade off.

Cheato tends to grow in a large ball. Try to keep the ball of Cheato tumbling around in your refugium (using water flow) or turn the Cheato over every couple of days to ensure that the entire ball gets plenty of light.

Give some serious thought to running a refugium with your reef tank. Have any questions; come on in and see us!

Aquarium Saltwater Information
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Aquarium Saltwater Information

Aquarium Types & Sizes

Glass versus Acrylic

Simply put, you can buy an aquarium of almost any size and shape, acrylic or glass, expensive or inexpensive. A good rule of thumb might be to buy an aquarium as large as you have both room for and can afford.

Water chemistry is by far the most important aspect of maintaining a marine aquarium. The more water you have in your tank the slower the chemistry will change, therefore the easier it is to maintain. It’s like insurance, the larger the volume of water, the more insurance you have.

Shorter and wider tanks are much easier to maintain then tall, thinner tanks. This is due to the fact that the more surface area that you have in relationship to the total volume of water dictates better oxygenation, gas and heat diffusion. Good rule of thumb, the more surface area….the better it is for your aquarium!

You must also consider both the stand and the location. Water is heavy, almost 7.5 lbs per gallon. A 75 gallon tank with a 3 or 4 inch sand bed plus live rock can easily top out over 650lbs. Make sure that whatever stand or piece of furniture that you plan to use can safely support this load.

Place the tank where it makes best sense for your viewing pleasure but keep in mind that you should keep the tank out of direct sunlight and areas of the home the have large temperature shifts throughout the day.

It’s also advised to keep the tank in an area of low to medium traffic. Placing the tank in a hallway where the boys (or girls) run through on their way to the TV or computer is not a wise idea.

Glass versus acrylic, both materials make for excellent aquariums. Which should you use?

PriceMuch less expensiveMore costly due to manufacturing methods
Most often in built in squares and rectangles
Can be molded into almost any shape. Curved or bowed fronts are quite common
AgeGlass ages wellSome acrylics begin to yellow with age
Stability / CrackingGlass cracks or breaks easier than acrylic when struck by somethingAcrylic takes much more punishment before breaking BUT will scratch much easier
ScratchabilityDifficult to scratch. Simple razor blades may be used to scrape off algaeEasily scratched. Special tools must be used to clean and scrape acrylic
Much heavier than acrylic

So, which one is right for you? Many beginners start off with glass as it’s less expensive and easier maintained. While many more experienced reef keepers eventually move up to acrylic as they want the more customized sizes and shape. Both are great choices.

You have two overriding decisions to make; how big will your tank be and what will it be made of. For most beginners it’s recommended that you start off with at least a 30 gallon tank, probably glass to keep your initial costs down. If you choose to upgrade to a larger, more fashionable tank you can then use your 30 gallon as a hospital / quarantine tank.

Marine Aquariums

So, you’re considering entering the world of marine aquariums.

Congratulations! Let us start off by saying we wish you all the luck in the world. Many people will say you will need it to succeed. Experienced reef keepers will disagree.

Reef keeping is relatively easy once you understand the dynamics of marine chemistry, reef make up and proper stocking levels. In this section, we will go over the basics such as aquarium size, water quality, filtration and stocking.

Many of these topics will be discussed in more depth in other sections of this site. Needless to say, your success at reef keeping is directly related to your knowledge level.

Experience is always a plus, but years of experience failing or minimally succeeding at something does not outweigh good, solid research. Building a strong knowledge base before starting your tank is critical.

Again, let us state that reef keeping can be as easy………. or as hard as you make it.

We strongly recommend that you do as much reading as possible on this topic while at the same time spending as much time as you can here at our store. You might also want to join a local marine reef club. These clubs or associations are always looking for new members.

Existing members are an excellent source of knowledge and many of them will gladly show off their aquariums to members of their clubs. As you’re visiting our store or club members homes begin to try to decide what type of tank you would like to build.

What types and sizes of fish and corals make sense to you. What amount of room do you have to dedicate to this hobby and how much money do you want to invest, both start up costs and on going costs. It’s up to you to set your goals realistically based on desires, available space and financial investment.

PH And Alkalinity

Natural seawater in shallow reef zones has an average pH of 8.4. With this in mind, the normal recommended pH for a reef tank is 7.9 – 8.4. Keeping a balanced pH can be difficult. It is imperative that the marine aquarist understand the roles Carbonate Hardness / Alkalinity, oxygen / CO2 levels and water quality play in helping to maintain a specific pH.

Simply put, pH is the measurement of a liquids acidity level. The pH scale runs from 0 to to 14 where a pH of 7.0 is considered neutral meaning its neither acidic or basic. A pH level greater than 7.0 is considered basic while less than 7.0 is considered acidic.

Lower pH substances would include battery acid while higher pH substances include items such as bleach and drain cleaner. The pH scale is logarithmic based, meaning that each whole number increase or decrease is a tenfold difference.

A liquid that changes pH from 8.2 to 7.2 became ten times more acidic. Keep this scale in mind when trying to modify the pH of your aquarium, pH adjustments should be done gradually over time.

Alkalinity is the measurement of a substance resistance to change in pH. The higher the resistance the higher the alkalinity. Substances that help to minimize change in pH by raising the alkalinity level are normally called buffers. Some of the most widely used buffers in the marine hobby include carbonate and bicarbonate. By properly maintaining your alkalinity level you go a long ways towards maintaining a stable pH level.

Alkalinity can be measured in a number of ways. One of the easiest and least expensive methods is by measuring the carbonate hardness of your tank water. The measurement is in degrees of carbonate hardness or dKH. It is recommended that you maintain carbonate hardness between 8 and 10 dKH.

Note: The pH of your tanks changes slightly throughout the day and night. As a aquarist it is our desire to minimize these swings in pH. To that end it must be noted that the oxygen / CO2 levels in your water will certainly affect your pH level.

During the day algae undertake a process called photosynthesis whereby they convert light energy and CO2 to oxygen. This reduction of CO2 will keep the pH higher during daylight hours. You lose this natural process when the lights are off.

Therefore the more algae you have in your tank the larger a swing you will have between lights on and lights off pH. For this reason many hobbyists keep a refugium stocked with macroalgae and run the refugiums light schedule opposite of the main tank thereby keeping the photosynthesis process going 24 hours a day.

Getting back to water quality, decaying food, nitric acids and phosphate all tend to push your pH level down. As these items build up you will most certainly see a slow drop in your pH. This process can be slowed and or halted by consistent water changes and properly maintaining the buffering capacity of your water. High particulate matter, older water and low alkalinity could be a recipe for disaster.

Test your pH on a normal schedule. Monitor your pH levels, work diligently to maintain a proper alkalinity level and strive to keep your water quality as high as possible . Do all this and you are well on your way to succeeding as a marine aquarist!

Red Slime Algae Removal

The basic instructions to rid your tank of Red Slime Algae are as follows:

  1. Clean off as much red slime as you easily can before treatment.
  2. Remove activated carbon, phosphate remover or other chemical media from filters and turn off protein skimmer (if you have one).
  3. Put 1 tablet Erythromycian (200mg) per 30 gallons in the tank.
  4. Wait 2 to 3 days and repeat the dosage. Wait another 3 days and repeat dosage again. Within three days of this last dose the Red Slime should be gone.
  5. Four days after the last dose you may replace your activated carbon and restart your filters.
  6. Turn your Protein Skimmer back on and set it at a very low setting. Note: If you turn your Protein Skimmer on too high it will quickly fill with foam. Gradually increase the setting back to a normal range over a number of days.
  7. To prevent the return of Red Slime Algae we highly recommend that you run Chemi-Pure in the filter system.
General Info 1


When it comes down to it, water quality is the single most important factor in the success or failure of your marine aquarium. Almost everything you do in regards to your tank influences the quality or lack thereof of your water. Stocking, filtration, water source, top off water, aeration, total surface area, water movement and even heating all affect your water quality.

Let’s start off with some very important basics. Whenever possible it’s always best to start off with RO/DI water. Yes, natural seawater would be the preferred source of water for your tank, but few of us live near a facility that provides filtered, safe seawater to the public.

For the most part, seawater taken directly out of the sea is full of microorganisms that will most likely have a devastating effect on your tank. Most of these organisms in the natural seawater will die shortly after the water is placed in your tank meaning that you will need to do more not less water changes.

In addition, fish in your tank may come from parts of the world never exposed to those organisms specific to the area from which you are getting the water. This could easily kill your fish and invertebrates. So for the most part RO/DI water is the way to go.

There are some excellent RO systems on the market that will provide a reasonable amount of water a day without costing you a huge sum of money.

Much of this water will go towards mixing for saltwater while the rest will be used for freshwater top off. Come in and talk to us about We have a number of different RO systems available at the store.

Your choice of a synthetic salt mix is also very important. A high quality salt mix from a reputable company will give you consistent batches of water if mixed and aged properly.

A high quality salt mix will provide saltwater with acceptable levels of trace and minor elements and will help you better manage the quality of your water. Talk with us, we can and will make recommendations based on your specific needs.

Some of the things we need to consider include:

Does the manufacturer provide a guaranteed analysis or mix results? Besides high quality results, consistency is just as important.

Consider some specific guidelines. What specific gravity do you want to wind up with?

What calcium and pH levels are you shooting for?

Does the manufacturer provide a website or contact information? The manufacturer should either list a telephone number or website where you can get more information on the product?

Bottom line, start off with good quality water, free of chlorine or chloramine, minimal to no dissolved solids and organic life. Add to this water the right choice of synthetic salt and you are well on your way towards building a fantastic reef aquarium.

Quick note: it is highly recommended that you age your saltwater mix. Many sources claim that the aging process should be given a minimum three days while others tell us to wait at least a week before using the mixed saltwater.

Many of you may not have the time or storage capacity to age water much over a few days. Just keep this information in mind and do the best you can.

When looking at the salinity level of water you are simply looking at the amount of dissolved salts within the water. This is measured in parts per thousand.

Specific Gravity is the measurement that compares the density of a liquid to the density of water. Any liquid with a specific gravity greater than 1 is more dense than water. Saltwater has a SG of approx. 1.025. Specific gravity is much easier to measure than salinity therefore it is the measurement of choice for aquarists.

There are a number of tools available for the hobbyist to use to measure SG. Plastic hydrometers that may simply be dipped into the water and read and or glass tubes designed to float in your water. Or you can use a refractometer a device where you place a drop or two of saltwater on the lens, close the lens top and look thru the refractometers eye piece to read the SG.

All work well and will normally provide reasonably accurate readings. Although refractometers are more accurate and are becoming more and more affordable.

Recommendations for specific gravity run from a low of 1.020 to a high of 1.025. Many successful aquarists simply aim for 1.023 and do everything they can to maintain this SG with as little variation as possible. Using a high quality salt mix goes a long way towards meeting this goal.

Natural seawater in shallow reef zones has an average pH of 8.4. The normal recommended pH for a reef tank is 7.9 – 8.4. Carbonate Hardness or Alkalinity play a significant role in helping to maintain a specific pH level. Further information on pH, Carbonate Hardness & Alkalinity can be found here.