6 Essential Things You Need To Know About Fish Tank Filters

Discover the essential tips and tricks for maintaining a clean and healthy aquarium with our comprehensive guide. From selecting the right fish tank filter to routine maintenance, we’ve got you covered.

Types of tank filters

There are three main types of water filter media that we use with fish tanks and aquariums:

1. Mechanical

2. Biological

3. Chemical

Mechanical filters, such as sponge filters, are mostly used to polish the aquarium water. They will also house beneficial bacteria over time.

Biological filters, such as marine pure gems, balls, and blocks, house lots of beneficial bacteria and make the nitrogen cycle much faster. This is the most important type of filter that you should have in your tank. The more the merrier as it will help keep your tank water more stable over time.

Chemical filters, such as Poly-Filter, remove toxins from the tank water. These are not a necessity and it is purely up to you whether or not to use chemical filters.

Canister filter vs sump

There are pros and cons to using either a canister filter or sump.

Canister filters are quiet and use less energy. However, they lack space to hold your biological media. Additionally, in a heavily stocked tank, you will need to clean your canister filter more regularly (every one to two months).

Sumps are bigger, so they require more space and filter housing. However, sumps can hold more biological media, so you only need to clean the sump every three to six months.

How many aquarium filters do I need?

The number of filters you require will depend on the size of your tank or aquarium. You need to be able to turn the tank over five to six times per hour.

For example, if you have a 200L tank, you need enough filters to cycle 1,000 to 1,200L of tank water per hour.

How often do I need to clean the aquarium filters?

How often you clean your filters will depend on how many fish you have in your tank or aquarium.

If you have a heavily stocked tank, your tank filters will need to be cleaned monthly.

If you have an average stocked tank (one adult fish per 40L), it is recommended that you clean your tank filters once every two to three months.

Remember! Do not clean your water filters with tap water or fresh water! Only clean your tank filters with tank water so you do not remove your beneficial bacteria.


How to clean a sponge filter

To clean a sponge filter, follow the instructions below:

  1. Remove the sponge filter from the tank and squeeze out any debris or waste caught in the sponge
  2. Rinse the filter in a bucket of tank water, gently squeezing the sponge to remove any additional dirt or debris
  3. Repeat step 2 until the water runs clear
  4. Place the sponge filter back in the tank

Don’t forget, regular cleaning your aquarium can help maintain your filters by preventing debris and waste from building up and clogging the filter media. A clean tank means a healthier environment for your fish and less strain on your filtration system, leading to better overall performance and longevity of your filters.


What if I forget to clean the filter?

If you do not maintain your tank filters, your mechanical and biological filters will get clogged and build up debris. This will lead to lower water quality and less beneficial bacteria.

It’s very important to keep up with the maintenance of your filters. However, do not over clean your filters either. Clean them every one to two months at most.

Are expensive filters worth it?

Canister filters can often range from $200 to $1,000. However, the cost of the filter is not the most important factor. The most important thing to look out for is the water flow rate. Pay close attention to how much water the filter can cycle in an hour, rather than the price.

Best places to buy fish tank filters in Sydney

Visit us at our OZ Discus store in Sydney and browse our range of filters available. Our friendly staff are more than happy to help you find the best filter for your aquarium!

Disclaimer: This is a guide only. OZ Discus is not liable for any losses and holds no responsibility in the event of the death of the fish. Users of this guide are to use the information at their own discretion and accept all risks resulting from the use of this guide.

Shop OZ Discus

Visit our Live Fish Explorer and discover our premium Discus fish for sale.

We import our fish from the best farms and breeders around the world to ensure that you have the highest quality Discus for your fishkeeping journey.

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Our photos

All the photos you see on our products are what we have in store.

We do not use any stock photography that misrepresent the fish.

Most of our photos are shot without filtering to try give you the truest beauty and colour of the fish we have. 

Any filters we do use are to account for factors that reduce the colour when taking the photo, such as bad lighting. 

We fix using a quick filter to represent the Discus’s real life colour; best as we are able to by eye. These photos are clearly marked as being edited in ‘PhotoRoom’.

Premium Discus Farms

OZ Discus imports from international awarded, show grade, premium Discus breeders.

Each of these breeders are proud to stand behind the fish they supply to us.

By knowing details about the farm and fish, we are able to ascertain the age and breeding line to ensure the highest quality fish are available to you.

View our latest imports from IP Discus, Jagger Discus, Unique Discus, and more!

We are independent

OZ Discus is an independent Sydney store and as such has to uphold important corporate responsibilities.

When you buy from OZ Discus, you get peace of mind that we meet strict RSPCA and AIAA certifications and COVID-19 practices.

We also have dead on arrival (DOA) and returns policies and practices that give you confidence in your purchase.

We hope that you find our range of Discus fish suitable to your pursuit in this very rewarding hobby.

We import from the following breeders and each of these breeders are proud to stand behind the fish they supply to us. By knowing details about the farm and fish, we are able to ascertain the age & breeding line to ensure the highest quality is available to you.

– Tony Tan – IP Discus Malaysia
– Dendy Wijaya – Jagger Discus Indonesia
– Robert Lim – Unique Discus Malaysia
– Lee Chee Fong – Color Fish Malaysia
– Yap Wen Khong – Malaysia
– Koay KL – JIT Laiseng Discus Farm Malaysia
– Dr Teoh – Malaysia
– Julian Sockich & Kephra Richards – East Coast Discus Australia
– Alex Piwowarski – Piwowarski Discus Germany

All photos you see are what we have in store and we do not use any stock photography that misrepresent the fish. Also, our photos are taken straight from a smartphone too without filtering to give you the truest beauty of the fish we have.

We are Independent and have the importance of corporate responsibilities of a Physical Store

OZ Discus is an independent STORE, as well as an IMPORTER in Sydney of Discus fish only and this allows us to source select strains from the Worlds most renowned Discus farms to you.

Moreover, buying from us as an aquarium shop instead of home operators gives you peace of mind. We uphold social and corporate responsibilities in meeting
– COVID-19
certification and practices.

We also have DOA and returns policies and practices that gives you confidence in your purchase. I hope you find our range of Discus suiting to your pursuit in this very rewarding hobby.