It's important to have good filtration In your home aquarium because the quality of your water is critical to the health of your fish. The better your filtration, the clear your water will be and the more fish will be able to keep while still maintaining good water quality and a healthy environment. There are three basic kinds of filtration commonly used in the home aquarium - biological, chemical and mechanical.
Often times the filtering system will include two of these types of filtration combined. a good example is the typical aquarium filter that hangs on the outside of the aquarium with it to go into the water that sucks up the water, pushes it through a filter and some sport of sponge and returns it to the tank through the other side. This type of filter uses mechanical filtration as well as biological filtration. Mechanical filtration is pretty much what it sounds like, it uses mechanical means to filter particles and such from the water. This is your typical filter that has some sort of a pump which sucks the water in and some sort of a filter that the water passes through and then a tray or tube that puts the filtered water back into the aquarium. These can be the power filters that hang off the back of your tank in suck water up through a tube running through a cartridge before pouring it back into the aquarium, or under gravel filters that suck the water down through the gravel actually using the substrate as a filter and then return the water at the top of the tank.
Biological filtration is one that not a lot of people think about but it is very important for your home aquarium. the waste from your fish indicating pieces of money and food are constantly being broken down into ammonia which can be toxic in your fish tank. Biological filtration allows bacteria to keep this ammonia making the water safer for your fish.
The thing is that this bacteria needs something to grow in. While the bacteria can grow right in the gravel bed, a lot of mechanical filters include a bio wheel or some type of media or a sponge that the bacteria can grow on. Chemical filtration relies on the use of chemicals such as carbon or more new chips to absorb the ammonia In the water. Many power filters also come with a little carbon pack that you act to be with water and putting your filter in this carbon pack will be doing the job of chemical filtration. But the bacteria colony in your biological filtration should also be taking this so many people question whether you actually need chemical filtration in your home aquarium. Aquarium filtration is vital for any aquarium but the size of your tank makes a difference as to which types of filters you use.
If you are in doubt, your best bet is to ask the person at you're aquarium store where you bought the fish tank and they are usually pretty well versed in what type of filters are best for the style and size tank you have. Maintaining your filter and changing the cartridges as recommended its key to having happy healthy fish and a beautiful crystal clear tank.
Lee Dobbins writes for http://www.fish-tank-guide.com we you can learn more about choosing, setting up, and maintaining your aquarium as well as find out about certain accessories like the aquarium filter.