New Tank Shopping List - Filtration
Protein skimmers are vital tools in saltwater aquariums, enhancing water quality by removing organic compounds and waste before they break down. Operating on the principle of air-water interaction, these devices create fine bubbles that attract and bind dissolved proteins and other impurities. As the bubbles rise, they form a foam that overflows into a collection cup that can easily be emptied and cleaned. By effectively eliminating these substances, protein skimmers contribute to a healthier environment, reducing nutrient buildup and promoting optimal conditions for marine life to thrive. Once you have your protein skimmer installed, learning how to tune your protein skimmer is key for optimal performance.
A media reactor is the most efficient, effective, and organized way to run chemical filtration media. Because the water is forced to go through the media inside, using a media reactor is our preference vs a standard media bag. It's particularly useful if you're using media like Granular Ferric Oxide, GFO, to reduce phosphate as this type of media should be lightly tumbled to avoid clumping. But the most common media is carbon because it helps provide crystal clear water, removes some toxins, reduces odor, and is relatively inexpensive. To learn more about how to properly implement a media reactor on your aquarium setup, don't miss our beginner how-to on media reactors.
Mechanical filtration is simply a filter that physically removes particles from the water column before they can break down. Traditionally, filter socks have been used for this purpose, but in recent years, automatic filter rollers like the Theiling Compact and Red Sea ReefMat have been booming in popularity. When you learn about these filter rollers, it'll become clear why they're being used more and more. No filter socks to change every couple of days. no filter socks to wash. Just consistant filtration and clear water. If this sounds good to you, we have the perfect guide for you to learn more about how fleece roller filters work.
Biological filtration is a natural way for your aquarium to process waste and convert ammonia into less harmful nitrite and nitrate. While most biological filtration will take place on the surfaces of your live rock and sand bed, many aquarists give their bio filtration a boost by adding biological media to their sump. Ultra porous ceramic media is the go-to these days as it has much more surface area vs plastic bio media used in the late 90's and early 2000's. Luckily, it comes in many different form factors including large bricks, thin plates, spheres, blocks, and more, so finding bio media to fit in your filtration system is a breeze.