How To Choose The Best Amazon Aquarium Air Driven Filters?


There are three main types of airdriven filter available: corner box, cartridge and sponge types. 

Undergravel filters are also sometimes run with an airpump. As well as the filter itself, you need an airpump.

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✅ Best Commercial Air Pumps for Aquarium

Good quality really powerful pump for the price – This is a good pump that you can plug multiple air stones into and still get great air flow from each stone. Helps supply your pond or tank with lots of oxygen for your fish. Runs a little warm, come on though….you should expect that to a degree. Quiet as a mouse. Good quality very satisfied with the quality price ratio.

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Best Aqueon Replacement Filter Cartridge

All in one cleaning system – They are simple to change and all the fish tank yuck is in one place and easy to throw away .These filters came as advertised and fit Aqueon 20 and 30 filters fine .the order was delivered on time and in good condition

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Best Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filter 50

Excellent filter – love the sound of running water and this filter just sounds soothing. You can hear it from upstairs but it is not disturbing at all. It is a gentle hum. Keeps the goldfish tank nice and clean as long as you do your

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Best hygger Aquarium Double Sponge Filter

Very Clever Sponge Filter – Hygger makes excellent aquarium products but this filter is especially clever. What makes this so different is incorporation of compartments for ceramic bio material which is provided though one can choose any bio ceramics. Increases biological filtration in a way no other sponge filter can do. Note that the two extra sponges are packed in the bio compartments.

Corner box filters & cartridge filters

The corner box is probably one of the oldest filtration methods. Filter wool and (commonly) carbon are placed in the filter and replaced regularly. The filter wool provides mechanical filtration, while the carbon removes a range of dissolved impurities.

Air driven cartridge filters usually use a replaceable cartridge containing filter matting for mechanical filtration plus carbon and/or zeolite to remove dissolved impurities.

Since the wool and carbon or filter cartridge must be replaced regularly, very little biological filtration is provided by either of these systems. Also, since they use an air pump to produce water flow they do not have a very large water turnover. On going costs for these systems can also be quite high. Filter wool and carbon can be purchased in bulk, reducing their cost somewhat, but must still be replaced every week to fortnight. Cartridges can be cleaned a few times before being replaced, but are often relatively expensive when compared with the replacement media for internal or overflow power filters.

Getting the most out of this filter system:

Replace wool and carbon (if used) regularly. Wool should be removed as soon as it becomes clogged with waste products, or at least fortnightly. Carbon will generally lose its effectiveness after 2-3 weeks. Service your air pump and replace diaphragms and air valves as necessary.

Sponge filters

These filters use an air pump to pull water through a sponge filter. The sponge acts as a mechanical filter and will also support some nitrifying bacteria. The sponge filter can be cleaned and re-used many times, and, if care is taken, it will retain most of its biological filtration ability. Eventually, when the sponge begins to collapse, the whole filter will need to be replaced.

The drawback of air-driven sponge filters is, again, the lack of water flow through the sponge, which limits their efficiency. These filters are predominantly used in tanks for raising fry. These aquaria are usually small anyway, and strong currents are not desirable for fry, which may be at risk of being sucked into the inlet of stronger filters.

Getting the most out of this filter system:

Rinse the sponge gently in water from the aquarium to clean it of organic matter (this will minimise loss of nitrifying bacteria). When replacing the filter, ideally run the new filter while the old one is still operating. This will give the new sponge time to build up nitrifying bacteria. Service your air pump and replace diaphragms and air valves as necessary.

About air pumps

Setting up your airpump

No assembly of the airpump itself should be required, but you will need to attach it to the airdriven filter, airstone or bubble wall via airline. The air pump sits outside and preferably above the aquarium. If you wish to locate the airpump anywhere below the water level, you should fit a checkvalve or make a vertical loop in the airline above the aquarium to prevent water siphoning into the pump if the power goes off.

Servicing your airpump

Air pumps do not need cleaning or lubrication, but eventually the diaphragm inside will stretch or split and will need to be replaced. To check the diaphragm, turn off and unplug the pump, then remove the base (usually held in place by four or five screws. Inside the pump will be the diaphragm and armature as illustrated above, plus the motor coil. In twin outlet pumps there will be two diaphragms, and (usually) two arms, although some run two diaphragms from a single modified assembly. The diaphragm sits over a cylindrical chamber (the air chamber) which leads to the air outlet. You can usually examine the diaphragm without removing it from the air chamber. If the diaphragm needs to be replaced, it is usually easiest to do so by taking out the air chamber, diaphragm and airchamber as a unit. A screw on the side of the pump may be holding the air chamber in place, in other models it simply slides in. Undo the screw if needed and then gently manoeuver the air chamber, armature and diaphragm out of the pump. The diaphragm can then be removed from the airchamber. In most pumps the diaphragm can be unscrewed from the armature. In others it is attached and the whole armature must be replaced. Once a new diaphragm has been fitted to the armature, fit the diaphragm snugly over the airchamber and replace the whole assembly.

Inside the airchamber are flapper valves which will also eventually wear out, although they do last longer than the diaphragms. The flapper valves can be replaced while the air chamber is out for replacement of the diaphragm. To replace the flapper valves, use tweezers to remove the rubber lugs which hold them in place, drop in the new flapper, and replace the rubber lugs.

Trouble shooting

Problem: Air pump is not running, there is no noise or vibration from the pump
Possible causes & remedies:
1. Check power supply, make sure airpump is plugged in and turned on at the power
2. Burnt-out motor or broken wiring: these cannot be repaired, you will need to replace the airpump.

Problem: Airpump runs, but little or no air is produced
Possible causes & remedies:
1. Clogged airstone may be restricting airflow: for sandstone airstones, rinse in hot water or replace with a new airstone. For synthetic diffusers and bubblewalls, poke new holes with a sharp pin.
2. Kinks or other restrictions in airline: check that airline is not kinked or restricted or of excessive length. Make sure taps or g-clamps are not turned right off
3. Air leak in airline or fittings: Check that air is not escaping from loose or broken connectors or taps.
4. Worn or split diaphragm or flapper valves: check the diaphragm and replace if it has been stretched, has split, or is stiff. Replace flapper valves if they are split or stiff.
5. Air pump not powerful enough: to run a very long airstone/bubblewall, or to run an airstone in a very deep tank, a powerful airpump is needed. A stronger airpump may also be needed if the airline connecting it is very long.

Problem: Airpump is excessively noisy
Possible causes & remedies:
1. Worn or split diaphragm, bent or loose swing arm: check the diaphragm and replace if it has been stretched, has split, or is stiff. Check arm is firmly in position and straighten if needed.
2. Vibration of airpump against solid object: make sure that the airpum body is not in contact with the stand, cabinet or any other object.

Problem: Water inside airpump
Possible causes & remedies:
1. Water has siphoned into the pump: disconnect power immediately! Disassemble pump and allow to dry completely before reassembling and checking to see if it still works. If it does not, it will need to be replaced.

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