How to Setup a Filter in Saltwater Aquarium

A healthy aquarium depends on maintaining clean water, and it requires filtration to Remove contaminants and purify the water. A good filtration should help to keep Ammonia and nitrate levels low enough, that they do not have a negative impact on your water quality or on your tank inhabitants.

There are so many types of filtration systems for saltwater aquariums including canister filters, wet/dry filters, and fluidized bed filters. Canister filters work pretty well in saltwater aquariums. The Type of filtration you need totally depends on your tank.

A good filter will keep the tank's water clean and circulated, mimicking the Ocean's environment. Saltwater fish are highly sensitive to changing conditions. A good filter will keep the tank's water clean and circulated, mimicking the Ocean's environment. This ensures your fish will stay healthy and safe.

Following are the three main types of filtration-

Mechanical Filtration

It is the most basic kind of filtration but it is also one of the most important. Mechanical filtration systems separate un-dissolved waste from the water but will not eliminate dissolved waste, bacteria, algae, or debris. Mechanical filters are inexpensive and it also removes organic waste like nitrate/phosphate from the aquarium.

Setup for mechanical filter

  • Mechanical filters put things according to the size of the pores that allows water to pass through.
  • Dry the filter and then add a mechanical filter media set-up.
  • Coarse filter media has large holes and fine media has small holes.
  • Put coarse foam in the top layer followed by medium foam and fine foam at the end.
  • Coarse foam removes all the larger waste particles, whereas fine media foam can catch debris that is not trapped by coarse foam.
  • Fine foam can Trap all the small water particles.

Chemical filtration

Chemical filtration is up from mechanical filtration, its system eliminates liquefied impurities from the water- that is, dissolved wastes and toxins that you cannot physically see.
The Two most common chemical filtration media used in saltwater aquariums are, activated carbon and GFO- granular ferric oxide.

Setup for chemical filtration

  • The first step is to measure the appropriate amount of your water volume.
  • Pour the media into a filter media bag.
  • Then rinse with RO water or place under a faucet until the water runs Clear.
  • Place the media bag in a high-flow area of the tank or sump to maximize water flow through the media.

Biological filtration

The third type of filtration is very different from the other two because it doesn't involve any actual filtration in the literal sense. Biological filtration systems consist of nitrifying bacteria, it consists of non-corroding material such as plastic, fiberglass, ceramic, or rock that has large amounts of surface area nitrifying bacteria cells can colonies, which help to break down wastes in the aquarium. Biological filtration is started by adding bacteria to the system.

Setup for Biological Filtration

  • The first step is to prepare the water chemistry of the system before introducing nitrifying bacteria.
  • Provide alkalinity, a carbon source.
  • Adjust pH A range of 6.8 to 7.2 is best.
  • Provide ammonia and nitrite.
  • Introducing nitrifying bacteria.
  • At last, always monitor water quality parameters.

What type of filter is needed for a Saltwater Tank?

The most popular types of filtration systems for aquariums are the following-
Canister filters are one of the best filters for saltwater aquariums, wet/dry filters, and fluidized bed filters are also most popular for saltwater aquariums.

Canister filter

Canister filters work quite well in saltwater aquariums. It pumps out a lot of water and holds an enormous amount of biomedia, the special kind of filter media that houses Beneficial bacteria. So they're best suited to larger aquariums with a lot of fish. 

You can easily buy these filters on Amazon.

Steps for setup of canister filters

  • Step 1- Read the manual.
  • Step 2- Check the parts list.
  • Step 3- Assemble the canister.
  • Step 4- Place the canister filter under your aquarium.
  • Step 5- Install the hoses.
  • Step 6- prime the canister filter.
  • Step 7- Adjust the intake and screen.
  • Step 8- Adjust the filter return tube.

Wet/ dry filters

If you want a filter that is best for aquariums that do not have live plants or coral in it, the best option is wet/dry filters.

Setup for wet/dry filters

  • Place the filter lid on the sump.
  • Then add a skimmer in the third chamber of the sump.
  • Place the sump into your stand and attach the overflow.
  • Return the pump connected to your aquarium.
  • And know your wet/dry filter setup is completed.

Fluidized bed filters

This filter is ideal for planted aquariums, its unique shape makes it a lifeguard fluidized bed filter is an extremely efficient high-capacity biological filter.

Setup for fluidized bed filters

  • It is like a container that hangs on the back of your tank.
  • It can also be a cylinder or even a canister.
  • That helps to sit in a sump on the floor beside or under your fish tank.
  • This will be connected to a pump to push water through the filter.