Top 5 Best Reverse Osmosis Systems For Your Aquarium

A reverse osmosis (RO) unit might be an overwhelming aquarium equipment, but once you get to know its functions and its benefits, you might be considering to get one. A reverse osmosis (RO) unit comes in handy when you want to have clean, safe, pure and high-quality water for your aquarium. This article will discuss the basic things that you need to know about reverse osmosis systems and show our top picks for the best units out there.

Quick Look: Top Rated Aquarium Reverse Osmosis Systems

What Is The Reverse Osmosis Process?

Using untreated tap water for your aquarium can do harm to its inhabitants. You may not see it, but there are certain bacteria, minerals and chemicals that are present in your tap water, which risks the health of your aquarium inhabitants. It contains various contaminants and impurities such as chlorine, nitrate, phosphate, copper, and other heavy metal chemicals. These contaminants and impurities make it possible for algae to grow at a harmful and aggressive rate. To counter this, applying an efficient filtration is not a bad choice.

The reverse osmosis process in an RO system occurs when water is drawn through a semi-permeable membrane, which makes use of membranes made from Thin Film Composite (TFC) materials. That removes up to 99% of impurities from tap water and produces water that is free from contaminants. Installing a reverse osmosis system for your aquarium will purify your water directly from your water source. A 4-stage RO/DI unit with a deionization (DI) cartridge can produce top quality water.

What Are The Benefits Of Having A Reverse Osmosis System For An Aquarium?

A reverse osmosis system or reverse osmosis unit (RO) can typically have a minimum of three and a maximum of 5 stages of filtration. This ensures water that is produced after the filtration stages is safe and pure. It is capable of separating dissolved organic molecules, metal ions, and other extremely fine particles with a particle size up to 0.001 microns, from water. But that’s not all that there is to it. There are also several benefits that you can get from installing a reverse osmosis system.

  • It is cost-effective compared to buying purified water regularly from your fish store for your aquarium.
  • It prevents excessive algae growth which is caused by the presence of nitrate and phosphate.
  • It is suitable for freshwater aquariums since it maintains the pH level of plants.
  • It is ideal for saltwater aquariums which require purified water.
  • It is ideal for reef aquariums since it manages and treats nitrate levels.
  • It requires little maintenance.

The RO unit caters to both freshwater and marine aquariums. Using an RO unit in a freshwater tank will provide water without General Hardness (GH) or Carbonate Hardness (KH) which is good for plants and soft-water fish. On the other hand, using of an RO unit for reef and marine aquariums removes impurities such as phosphate, nitrate, and silicates that can affect the health of corals and the tanks inhabitants.

What Are The Things To Consider When Getting A Reverse Osmosis System?

RO units are beneficial to your aquarium. But before planning on getting a reverse osmosis system for your aquarium, there are a couple of things that we would like to point out for you to consider.

  • Pure RO water can cause drastic pH changes which can be lethal for freshwater aquarium inhabitants. You can choose the best pH meter for your fish tank here.
  • Pure RO water can cause harmful conditions for being too sterilized if not chemically altered to fit the aquarium inhabitant’s need.
  • Pure RO water must be added with the necessary minerals before it can be added to certain types of aquariums. Several ways of doing this is adding tap water, water conditioner, and other liquids that would suit your aquarium needs.

Reverse osmosis systems don’t come cheap. Choose the one that is right for your tank since most reverse osmosis systems may cost you several hundred dollars. However, the cost will be worth it once you see the improvement of your tank’s water quality.

You also have to consider the replacement of certain parts, most especially the membranes that usually suffer from wear and tear. You should also prepare to utilize the waste water since RO units produce large amounts of this. Wastewater contains all of the filtered minerals and nutrients which may be harmful for your tank inhabitants but great for watering your plants.

What Are The Components Of A Standard Reverse Osmosis Unit?

A reverse osmosis (RO) unit is comprised of several key components with different functions. Being familiar with each of them is a good step before getting one. The components of a reverse osmosis unit are the following:

  1. Membrane – The membrane is semi-permeable and strains all the impurities and contaminants from tap water, allowing only the filtered water to pass through.
  2. Flow Restrictor – This manages and allows pressure buildup in the unit.
  3. Flush Valve – The flush valve washes the deposits from the membrane.
  4. Pre-filters – This part removes the components of tap water that can cause damage to the membrane.
  5. Waste Water Outlet – Water that contains high levels of chemicals from the filtered water flows here.
  6. Product Water Outlet – Contaminant-free water with a total dissolved solids (TDS) with a level of 10ppm or below flows here.

If you want to know more about the reverse osmosis system, here is a video that you can watch.

A Review Of The Top 5 Best Reverse Osmosis Systems For Your Aquarium

You’re now set to choosing the best reverse osmosis system for your aquarium. There may be a lot of products being offered out there, but our review can help you narrow down your search. Take a look at our recommendations below.

LiquaGen 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis/Deionization (RO/DI)

LiquaGen 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis/Deionization (RO/DI)

This product from LiquaGen is a versatile reverse osmosis filter. It is great for aquariums but it also its other uses, as long as high-quality purified water is needed, then this product will do the job.

This product is ideal to first-time RO/DI users for its simple design. You don’t have to worry about the installation process since it is already a pre-assembled. It guarantees a TDS level of 0 ppm. It features a membrane capacity of 50 gallons per day (GPD) which is already a good number. If you worry about the warranty, this product comes with a manufacturer warranty good for 1-year. However, the auto shut off valve and the check valve are not included unless requested.

PROS

  • Immediately produces the right pH for fishes after use.
  • Comes with maintenance accessories.
  • Good filtration performance.
  • Easy to set up.

CONS

  • Bulky built.

SpectraPure MaxCap RO/DI System

SpectraPure MaxCap RO/DI System

This product may seem pricey compared to its other counterparts. However, the SpectraPure Maxcap RO/DI System assures its buyers that it will deliver. It has a capacity 90 gallons per day (GPD).

The membrane features a 99% high-rejection thin-film composite. Water conservation is also a key selling point of this product since it has a 2:1 waste ratio. It produces 50% less waste water and is equipped with an automatic in-line shutoff valve. It also has a manual flush valve. It has a no-rust mounting bracket. It has an in-line ball valve that enables manual system shut off and a float valve that can be used during unattended operation. The filter housings with a housing wrench enclosed are made of clear materials and a . As an additional perk, this product also comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.

PROS

  • Easy to set up.
  • Fast water production.
  • Reduces waste water efficiently.
  • Made of quality parts.

CONS

  • Not enough tubing included.
  • Costly spare parts.

AquaFX Barracuda RO/DI Aquarium Filter

AquaFX Barracuda RO/DI Aquarium Filter

The AquaFX Barracuda (RO/DI) aquarium filter is a product that has a lot to offer. It is priced reasonably and has the following features, a membrane with high flow and high rejection rate, a 1-micron sediment filter with high efficiency, a chlorine guzzler carbon block filter, and a resin cartridge.

It also has a pressure gauge of 160 PSI so that you can read the pressure coming from your water supply. The metal bracket is made of solid aluminum preventing it from rusting, which ensures the product’s durability . It also has a clear filter cartridge housing so that you can check on it if it needs to be replaced. For convenience, quick connect fittings and a filter wrench come along with the product.

PROS

  • Doesn’t have leaks.
  • Works great on making your own saltwater.
  • Good filtration performance.
  • Easy to install.

CONS

  • Produces large amount of waste water.
  • Slow water production rate.

Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis Systems

Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis Systems

The Aquatic Life RO Buddie has a compact design. It is also not that expensive compared to the other RO units in this list. It has a capacity of 50 gallons per day (GPD) up to 100 gallons per day (GPD).

It boasts of a 3-stage reverse osmosis system that uses a Thin-Film Composite (TFC) membrane. Producing quality water is achievable with this RO unit. It also uses cartridges which are not hard to replace. Other features of this product include a faucet adapter, quick connections for easy removal and replacement of cartridges, mounting brackets to hold the unit securely so that you won’t have to worry about its placement, and a membrane housing wrench for easy cap removal.

PROS

  • Requires less pressure to operate.
  • Great membrane.
  • Portable and compact build.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Works great getting TDS to 0 ppm.

CONS

  • Produces more waste water.

Aquatic Life 4-Stage 100 GPD Junior Reverse Osmosis Filter System

Aquatic Life 4-Stage 100 GPD Junior Reverse Osmosis Filter System

The RO Junior packs a lot of features. It can provide up to 100 gallons per day (GPD) of filtered reverse osmosis water. It has a manual flush valve for an increase and extended membrane life.

Checking the cartridge if it needs replacement is hassle-free with this product since it has a clear micron cartridge housing. It is equipped with an auto shut-off valve that stops incoming water supply after turning off the outflow. This feature is great for those who are cautious when it comes to wasting water. It comes with wrenches so that you can access the cartridge and membrane housings with ease. Also included are the garden hose adapter, 0.25 inch press fit connectors, a 0-160 PSI gauge for pressure reading, a built-in wall mount bracket, and a tubing for the plumbing set up. This product comes with a 1-year limited warranty upon purchase.

PROS

  • Great at conserving waste water.
  • Easy to install.
  • Well-built.

CONS

  • Leaking around the joints.
  • Slow performance.

Installing a reverse osmosis system for your aquarium can remove impurities from tap water and produces contaminant-free water. Purifying your water directly from your water source can be a big deal to your fish’ health. From all the products that we have reviewed, the top pick for this reverse osmosis system roundup is the SpectraPure MaxCap RO/DI System because of its easy set up. Its waste water reduction is an added bonus to its great performance. The quality parts of this product also make it durable.

How about you? Do you agree with our top pick?

5 Best Heaters For Your Aquarium

Is an aquarium heater important? If you have tropical or marine inhabitants in your aquarium, then the answer is yes. The aquarium heater warms up the tank’s water temperature according to what your fishes require which is usually around 78 degrees up to 82 degrees. It’s necessary to get one so that your fish will thrive healthily in your tank.

This article will help you learn more about heaters and discover some of the best aquarium heaters available.

Quick Look: Top Rated Aquarium Heaters

Fishes That Need Heaters

If you want to forego aquarium heaters, you should think twice if you have the following fishes:

Angelfish, Bala shark, Banjo Catfish, Barbs Betta fish, Black shark, Bloodfin, Cichlids, Danio, Discus, Rainbowfish, and Tetra fish.

Generally, tropical fishes cannot withstand cold temperatures as this can lead to the deterioration of their health, even premature death. Unlike non-tropical fishes which can survive even at the lowest temperature , tropical fishes are extremely sensitive to the cold.

Different Types Of Aquarium Heater

An aquarium heater is not limited to one type only. They come in different shapes and sizes. Knowing what they are and what they do can help you to choose the best aquarium heater for your tank inhabitants. There are the different types of aquarium heaters that you should probably know:

Internal Heaters

The heating element is inside the fish tank. Here are some varieties of internal heaters:

  1. Submersible - the submersible type of aquarium heater warms up the tank efficiently. It lies below your tank’s water level and must be kept submerged or else it can be damaged. It can be positioned either horizontally or vertically inside the tank. The clips and suction cup holds the heater in place. Usually, the submersible heater is placed just below the filters output.
  2. Hanging – from the name itself, this type of heater is typically hanged off the top edge of the tank, secured at the back. Its temperature controls can be accessed to the portion that is laid outside of the tank. The hanging heater must be placed below the surface of the water to prevent being damaged.
  3. Substrate – compared to the submersible and hanging heaters, this particular type is not commonly used by aquarists but ideal for planted tanks. The substrate heater, in the form of an insulated coil wire, is buried under the aquarium gravel or substrate and emits heat that warms up the water.

External Heaters:

The heating element is outside the fish tank. Here are some varieties of external heaters:

  1. In-line – before the water from the filter hits the tank, it is already warmed by an in-line heater. This particular type of external heater is attached to a section of the external plumbing that pumps water to the filter and heats it as it goes through.
  2. In-filter – there are some aquarium filters that offer the inclusion of built-in heaters. As the water passes through the filter, the built-in heater inside it also radiates heat. The water goes back to the tank clean and heated.
  3. In-sump – this type of aquarium heater can be found in the sump of a trickle filter.

These types of heaters typically have the standard parts such as the envelope which keeps the internal components from getting wet, the heating element which is a piece of resistance wire that is energized via the electric supply, and the temperature adjustment button.

Heater Installation and Use

Here are some quick tips on the installation and use of your aquarium heater:

  • Most of the internal heaters come with suction cups. Use them to place your heater on the side of your aquarium tank.
  • If your heater does not come with a temperature gauge, we suggest that you get one. This can help you in monitoring the temperature and the environment of your tank.
  • Use the thermostat to switch the heater on and off as necessary.
  • When using an internal heater, always keep the water level higher than the heater to prevent heater failure.
  • Let the aquarium water heat up first. Give it at least an hour before you start adding fishes and turn the heater on. This will prevent the glass from breaking due to temperature difference.

Choosing an Aquarium Heater

There are some guidelines that you need to know before buying an aquarium heater. When you choose a heater, choose one that is compatible or well-suited with your tank. A drop in the water temperature can be dangerous to your fish especially if you own tropical ones. To maintain the right temperature of your tank, remember that the heater size matters.

This rule should always be applied when you scout for aquarium heaters: you must have three to five watts per gallon for every 10° Fahrenheit above room temperature in order to thoroughly heat the tank and maintain that temperature. If you need more heating source, we recommend that you use several heaters instead of getting strong and large ones.

If you want to know more, here is a video about choosing the right aquarium heater for you tank size.

Top 5 Best Aquarium Heaters

A variety of aquarium heaters can be found and bought nowadays. You spend money on this important piece of aquarium equipment for the well-being of your aquarium inhabitants. However, it should be money spent wisely. You must have the best because your fish deserve all the proper care that they can get. Here are just some of the best aquarium heaters that we could find.

Zacro AH064 Submersible Aquarium Heater

Zacro AH064 Submersible Aquarium Heater

The Zacro submersible 300-watt aquarium heater is fully submersible and is made of glass. It is ideal for aquariums that are 53 up to 99 gallons in volume. It has a visible temperature setting that can be easily set and adjusted.

It allows you to calibrate the temperature ranging from 65 up to 93 Fahrenheit or 20 up to 34 centigrade degrees. It is made from waterproof materials and features double insulation. This aquarium heater assures prospective buyers of its durability because the product is made from insulated glass of high quality. You don’t have to worry about scalding when using this heater since it has a dependable protective container. This aquarium heater has an operation with a heating cycle of five to ten minutes before it stops and starts again after the interval period.

PROS

  • Easy to set up and install.
  • Fully submersible.
  • Suction cups keep the thermometer & heater stable.
  • Cycles properly and slowly up to the desired temperature.
  • Made of high quality glass.
  • Water temperature can be kept at a set temperature.
  • Comes with an extra LCD digital thermometer for ensured temperature accuracy.

CONS

  • It randomly turns on and off when it wants.
  • Issues with maintaining the set water temperature.

Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater

Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater

The Cobalt Aquatics NEO-Therm heater can be fully submerged on different types of aquariums such as freshwater and saltwater tanks and terrariums. This modern, sleek, stylishly designed electronic heater that works on 25 watts, features an easy and simple way to set the control system with its one touch button.

The design is not the only selling point of this aquarium heater. It is durable and shatterproof. Its cutting-edge electronic thermostat is very accurate. Its LED feature can display both the set temperature and tank temperature at the same time. It allows you to change the temperature range to 66 degrees Fahrenheit up to 96 degrees Fahrenheit. This product assures optimum safety and reliability to its users through its integrated thermal protection circuitry. This is a good feature since it turns off the heater before it can overheat.

PROS

  • Thin, sleek, and flat design that takes up less space.
  • Well-designed bracket system with 2 suction cups.
  • Easy to read LED display.
  • Easy temperature setting with a press of a button.
  • Maintains tank water temperature regardless of room temperature.
  • Easy to install.

CONS

  • Temperature fluctuation issues in cold regions.
  • Changing the temperature can be difficult.
  • Suction cups failure after a few months of use.

Aqueon 50W Pro Heater

Aqueon 50W Pro Heater

The Aqueon 50W Pro heater is a well-performing heater. Just like the previous heaters, this one is also fully submersible and compatible with fresh or saltwater aquariums.

It offers most of the necessary things that you would want your heater to have. Its electronic thermostat is accurate when it comes to temperature setting. The ceramic build is both reliable and durable. It is shatterproof and nearly indestructible thanks to the good quality of the materials it is made of. It is also an uncomplicated piece of equipment to use.

PROS

  • Good heat distribution.
  • Visually pleasing design.
  • Can be mounted horizontally.
  • Accurate thermostat.
  • Fully submersible.
  • Durable ceramic build.
  • Comes with a six-foot cord.
  • Maintains temperature level well.

CONS

  • Issues with temperature dial accuracy.
  • Weak suction cups.

Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater

Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater

The Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater is perhaps the most affordable aquarium heater from this list. This product is fully submersible and can be installed vertically or horizontally inside your tank.

Its small size makes it easy to conceal behind plants, rocks, or other aquarium decorations. It has a variety of features including its red(when heating) and green(when on standby) indicator lights to signal the heating status. This heater is ideal for aquariums between 2 to 10 gallons of water. Ideally it should be used for tanks with hood or a glass canopy in order to contain the heat inside the aquarium. The low voltage thermostat maintains water at 78 degrees Fahrenheit requiring any adjustment to it. A precautionary addition to the heater is that it automatically shuts off whenever overheating is detected.

PROS

  • Affordable price.
  • Regulates tank temperature well.
  • Runs quietly.
  • Convenient red and green light temperature indicators.
  • Small and compact build.
  • Maintains a consistent temperature.

CONS

  • Temperature cannot be changed or set.

Hydor In-Line External Heater - Original ETH

Hydor In-Line External Heater - Original ETH

The Hydor In-Line External ETH Heater introduces a different way of performing heating tasks with its patented PTC heating technology. Instead of being submerged underwater, this heater is placed outside of the aquarium.

This external heater is suitable for marine and tropical aquariums. It has a safety feature that self-limits the heating element to prevent any risk of overheating. This heater is designed to be used on return lines coming from canister filters or sumps. It has a highly accurate electronic temperature control and temperature setting. It is easy to use and effectively prevents variations in temperature.

PROS

  • Well-constructed build.
  • Maintains consistent temperature.
  • Saves tank space.
  • Heats tank evenly.
  • No leaks.
  • Easy set up.

CONS

  • Noticeable temperature spikes.
  • Issues with built-in thermostat failing.

Aquarium heaters are important. It is an aquarium equipment that you must get, especially if you have tropical fishes. Temperature changes day and night. You can’t always be sure that the temperature of your tank’s water consistently stays at a safe level for your fish. Getting an aquarium heater can be a great investment if you are not willing to risk the health of your fish.

So, from the list of the best aquarium heaters above, we recommend the Aqueon 50W Pro Heater. Its price is budget friendly and the cons far outweigh the pros. You can check the other aquarium heaters from the list if you don’t agree with our choice.

Another reviews that you need to read:

5 Top-Rated Aquarium Thermometers For Different Needs

It has been proven that aquariums are actually beneficial for our health.

Just being able to observe the marine creatures residing within an aquarium causes drop in heart rate and lower blood pressure.

Keeping an aquarium inside your home, instead of having to visit the public aquariums, can increase the benefits as you can observe your fish and plants daily.

These benefits can increase significantly if you have an aquarium inside your home, because you can observe your fish and plants daily.

But maintaining an aquarium isn’t all that easy. 

While your fish and plants provide you the relaxation you need, you also have to give them care and ensure that they are in good .

A step you might need to take is getting an aquarium thermometer.

What Are Benefits Of Having An Aquarium Thermometer?

One of the most vital things in keeping aquatic creatures is knowing the water temperature they need to survive, which has to remain , and the only way for you to observe and maintain it properly is installing a thermometer.

Some thermometers can even provide an alert feature that sets off an alarm whenever the water temperature changes from the ideal range (we’ll get to this later on).

Knowing your aquarium’s water temperature allows you to monitor your fish and plants properly. It helps you be more aware of the changes in the temperature that may affect the health of aquatic life.

Most thermometers are also inexpensive, however, this may vary depending on the types of thermometer that you want to get.

There are primarily three types of aquarium thermometers.

LCD Stick-On Thermometers

This type of thermometer comes in the form of a vertical or horizontal strip that you can stick on the outside wall of the aquarium.

The advantage of getting this type of thermometer is that they’re easy to use and are pretty much unbreakable. They can show you either Celsius or Fahrenheit readings (or both!) and you have the option of placing them on an area that will not obstruct your aquarium’s aesthetics.

One of the downsides of using this, however, is that readings can be inaccurate due to the thermometer being placed outside of the aquarium. The room temperature may also affect the thermometer, so it would be advisable to stick the strip on an area away from direct sources of heat or cold, such as sunlight and air conditioner.

It is also recommended to avoid placing the thermometer below gravel level as the reading may not be as accurate as well.

The most ideal way of using the LCD thermometer is when it’s viewed straight on, as this is how it can read temperature best. This type of thermometer can be hard to read in low light and it does not come with an alert feature.

Standing Or Floating Thermometers

This is the type of thermometer that needs to be submerged in the water.

There are various styles of floating or standing thermometers as well—there is the one that can be stuck to the inner walls of the tank using a suction cup; magnetic one that can be held by a magnet on the outside; those that are hanging by a clip; that can simply free float in the water; and , that weighted down to sink and stand on the bottom of the aquarium.

Regardless of the style of the thermometer, this type can accurately read water temperature as it is submerged. The room or air temperature has no effect on it.

There are disadvantages this type (of thermometer), however. One is the fact that it can be difficult to read—not only because it’s submerged, but also because the scale often has smaller numbers compared to other thermometers.

Another downside is that most of these thermometers are made of glass, which means it is breakable. If your fish moves around a lot, it might not be advisable to use a free floating glass thermometer.

On a good note, there are models that are made of plastic or stainless steel, which are both more durable than glass.

Similar to the stick-on thermometer, this type also does not have any alert features. However, this makes them inexpensive, which may be good if you’re on a tight budget.

While you can choose the style that you prefer, the best way to use a floating or standing thermometer is by sticking them to the inner tank using a suction cup. This way, the device will not get in the way of your fish, plants and ornaments. You also avoid the risk of infecting the water if ever the glass-type thermometer breaks.

Digital Thermometer

These thermometers come with a probe that is placed inside the tank and is connected to a digital display outside. There are models that have a cord physically connecting the probe and the display, while there are also wireless types.

Most of these thermometers are battery-operated, however, some high-end models also come with a plug that you can connect to your wall sockets or to an extension cord.

Some of the pricier models come with an alert feature that will blare an alarm when the temperature rises or falls from the desired range.

Because the probe is dipped into the water, the temperature reading is just as accurate as the floating type. It is also easy to read, similar to the LCD stick-on type, as the display is placed outside the aquarium.

The only drawback for this type is that it’s generally more expensive. Since it’s either battery-operated or plugged, continuous use also means additional expenses.

The most recommended way to use this type of thermometer is to stick the digital display on the outer tank using a suction cup, while the probe is submerged in the water. This way, you can easily view the temperature and the thermometer would not be moved around unnecessarily.

So How Do You Choose a Thermometer?

You have to weigh the pros and cons of each type against your own situation.

If the room where your aquarium is located generally does not change in temperature (e.g. no aircon or vents, thick curtains that prevent sunlight from coming in), then the LCD stick-on may be a good choice.

However, if you’re on a tight budget and your room temperature sometimes goes from warm to cool, it might be a better choice to go for a floating or standing type.

If you have the budget and you want both the accuracy and convenience, the digital type might be the perfect choice.

Another thing to consider is the type of fish residing in your aquarium. Some thermometers have a limited temperature range. For example, most floating and LCD stick-on thermometers can only read from 0 to 40 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, many digital thermometers are capable of reading from -50 up to +70 degrees Celsius. That’s an enormous difference, and it may or may not matter depending on what kind of fish you keep.

Additionally, if you’re a buyer who likes the assurance of having a warranty, this is another factor to think about as well. Many of the thermometers on the cheaper side do not come with warranties.

The amount of cleaning and maintenance you’re willing to do matters as well. If you would prefer not having to clean your thermometer regularly, the LCD stick-on type or the digital type may be more suitable for you.

If you don’t mind cleaning regularly, and would like to save more money, the floating thermometer may be ideal.

5 Top-rated Aquarium Thermometers Reviews

To help you choose, we’ve listed up 5 top-rated aquarium thermometers. All three types—floating or standing, LCD stick-on, and digital—can be seen on this list.

SODIAL(R) New Fish Tank Thermometer

SODIAL(R) New Fish Tank Thermometer

A floating type thermometer that features a suction cup for easy installation. It’s made of glass, and features a green indicator for easier reading.

Since it’s one of the submersible types, it provides an accurate reading of the water temperature.

PROS

  • Affordable.
  • Provides accurate temperature reading.
  • Comes with suction cup, hence, easy to install.
  • Has a green indicator for easier reading.
  • Shows both Fahrenheit and Celsius readings.

CONS

  • Made of glass and is breakable.
  • Glass type thermometers are also more prone to algae and would need to be cleaned regularly.
  • A limited range of 0 to 40 degrees Celsius.
  • Does not come with alert feature.
  • No warranty.

LCR Hallcrest A-1005 Liquid Crystal Vertical Aquarium Thermometer

LCR Hallcrest A-1005 Liquid Crystal Vertical Aquarium Thermometer

This LCD stick-on thermometer is a vertical model, featuring large numbers that are easy-to-read even from afar.

It is easily installed due to its adhesive back—you just have to stick it on the outer glass. It also shows different colors for more convenient readings.

PROS

  • Affordable.
  • Easy to install.
  • No need to clean regularly as it’s supposed to be placed on the outside of the tank.
  • Shows large numbers that allows you to see the readings even from afar.
  • Can provide accurate readings if room temperature is kept consistent.

CONS

  • Can provide inaccurate readings if the room temperature changes every now and then.
  • Shows only Fahrenheit readings.
  • Limited range of 66 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Does not come with alert feature.
  • No warranty.

Zacro LCD Digital Aquarium Thermometer

Zacro LCD Digital Aquarium Thermometer

A best-selling digital thermometer that comes with a suction cup, allowing for easier installation. It also has an easy-to-read LCD screen that provides temperature readings to within 0.1 degree.

The probe is connected physically to the thermometer.

The wide temperature range makes this a good choice for those who keep tropical, coldwater, and other types of fish in separate aquariums. LR44 Batteries are also included in the package.

PROS

  • Affordable, even though it’s a digital type.
  • Wide range of -50 to +70 degrees Celsius.
  • Can show both Celsius and Fahrenheit readings.
  • Comes with a battery.
  • Easy to install due to suction cup.
  • Has a 24-month warranty.

CONS

  • Does not come with alert feature.
  • Pricier compared to the LCD stick-on and floating types.

TAAM Rio Aquarium And Pond Floating Thermometer

TAAM Rio Aquarium And Pond Floating Thermometer

This floating thermometer can be used not only for an aquarium, but also for a pond. It is made of durable plastic that can withstand impacts and can display temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.

It also comes with a 34-inch rope to easily secure it, should you decide to use it on a pond.

Since it is a floating thermometer, it will have more accurate readings compared to the LCD stick-on.

PROS

  • More durable compared to its glass counterparts.
  • Can show readings in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.
  • Can be used for both aquariums and ponds.
  • Shows accurate temperature readings because it is submerged in the water.
  • Comes with warranty.

CONS

  • Might look big and unsightly on an aquarium.
  • Price is higher than others on this list, despite being a floating thermometer.
  • Limited range of 0 to 50 degrees Celsius.
  • Would also require regular cleaning due to algae.

RISEPRO 2-Pack Digital Water Thermometer

RISEPRO 2-Pack Digital Water Thermometer

The RISEPRO Digital Water Thermometer comes in a pack of two, and it’s surprisingly affordable.

It comes with suction cups that are easy to install and has a wide temperature range of -50 to +70 degrees Celsius. Like most digital thermometers, it is battery-operated and comes with four LR44 batteries, two of which are spare.

It is also packaged nicely in a box that provides instructions.

PROS

  • Very affordable – you get two thermometers.
  • Provides extra batteries.
  • Can display temperature both in Celsius and in Fahrenheit.
  • Wide temperature range, which makes it good for any type of aquarium.
  • Suction cups for easy installation.

CONS

  • Does not come with warranty.
  • No alert and alarm feature.
  • While affordable, it’s still pricier compared to the LCD stick-on and floating types.

What’s The Verdict?

If you’re finding it hard to decide, our best pick would be the best-selling Zacro LCD Digital Aquarium Thermometer.

It was a close call between the two digital thermometers. After all, the RISEPRO 2-Pack Digital Water Thermometer will give you not one, but TWO thermometers, and extra batteries!

However, the Zacro Thermometer won us over due to its 24-month warranty.

Because of its wide range, it can be used for any type of aquarium, offering flexibility that the LCD stick-on and floating types cannot provide. It’s affordable too!

Regardless, all of these aquarium thermometers are great on their own. They are suitable to the needs of various people…or in this case, fish and plants. You just have to weigh the pros and cons and see which product fits your situation more.

What is your pick?

Another aquarium equipment reviews:

What’s The Best PH Meter For You: Top 5 Reviews

Being able to test hydrogen-ion activity in various products which contain water-based solutions requires accuracy, which is why finding the best pH meter is crucial. PH meters have lots of applications from checking quality control to laboratory processes.

Testing the acidity levels of food and water is probably the most vital uses of pH meters. Practically speaking, you can buy a meter for your own personal use at home or for broader uses such as in research facilities or production companies.

Though there are many products out there, they all vary in features and each has their own benefits and disadvantages. To be able to help you out, we have compiled the information you need in selecting your pH Meters as well as a list of the Top 5 Best pH Meters in 2018.

What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Using PH Meters?

No matter where you would need to use a pH meter, whether in an industrial setting or a clinical setting, knowing all the benefits would help you use them better. Who knows, you may find other uses for pH meters aside from what you already know! So read on and find out the benefits:

Simplicity

Rather than using old fashioned test strips or even having to carry out a titration experiment, using a pH meter to measure the acidity of a given solution is much easier. Having to determine the correct color from test strips and titrations is not really accurate since people may have different perceptions of color. With a pH meter, all you have to do is press a few buttons to control the device and it gives immediate, more precise results.

Purse And Pocket Size

The use of pH meters is truly beneficial as they are usually portable and easy to carry. No matter the meter is placed indoors or outdoors. The good thing is that it is highly portable. What better, that you don't even have to plug it into a socket when you're outdoors or in the field. It happens so as some pH meters are actually battery-operated.

User-Friendly Calibration

Most, if not all, pH meters come with calibration controls, which you will be able to calibrate yourself by following the directions in the manual. Correct calibration is essential in obtaining accurate results, especially if you are doing research or performing an experiment. Regularly calibrated and maintained pH meters will surely last for years to come and save you a lot of money!

Other Benefits also include precision and reliability, objectivity and accessibility of the product.

So What Should You Look For When Finding The Best PH Meter?

Benchtop PH Meters - Standard Vs Extended

Benchtop pH meters are very useful. These versatile versions even have the choice to add on different accessories such as printers and probe arms. The most accurate and multifaceted meters are the benchtop models.

A standard range benchtop meter covers most procedures which involve water-based solutions as it measures the standard pH scale of 0 to 14. An extended range benchtop meter, on the other hand, are used in procedures which need a base acid that falls outside the standard pH scale of 0 to 14.

Resolutions

  • A pH resolution of 0.001 is best for exceedingly sensitive lab applications.
  • A pH resolution of 0.01 or 0.1 can be used in standard lab applications.

Durability

When purchasing a pH meter, you must consider its durability. It should be able to withstand the elements, especially if you are to use it outdoors or in the field. It should be impervious to dirt, water and harsh chemicals, which it may come into contact with. For meters which will be used with high temperatures, check that it won't break even at a temperature of at least 71 degrees Celsius.

Automatic Temperature Compensation

Readings may be influenced by the temperature in which they are used. Consider buying a meter with an automatic temperature compensation as this additional feature is very helpful for samples which have a high temperature and no time to be cooled down before being tested.

Without this feature, you may only test samples at room temperature or make use of a temperature compensation chart in order to get the correct reading.

The Modern Touch

It would be very useful to find a meter that connects to a computer, especially when you frequently check many samples at once. Having it connect to a computer, whether using a cable or via bluetooth, will allow you to record the readings and save the important data you need.

Other Important Things To Consider

Level Of Accuracy And Consistency

Since pH meters have different uses, the levels of accuracy vary as well. For instance, measuring the acidity of different foods makes your choice of meter different as well.

You'll need a meter with an accuracy of 0.01 to 0.02 units, especially when the sugar-to-acid ratio is relevant. Incorrect readings may run the risk of permitting foods with dangerously high pH levels to reach the consumers.

For the use of meters in scientific experimentation and research, meters should be accurate within 0.002 pH units. Your pH meters should also consistently produce the same reading every time it is used. If different readings show up, then that means it is not reliable.

Ease Of Operation

Knowing how to calibrate your meter depending on your needs is essential. Accuracy can only be met when your device is correctly calibrated. Go for meters which have at least a 2-point calibration as there are 3 standard solutions for you to calibrate, pH 4, pH 7 and pH 10.

The appropriate style of electrode is also important for you to consider since it again depends on your testing needs. The ease of using your device is highly dependent on this factor. Some pH meters come with many types of electrodes, while others require you to purchase them separately.

Choose the ones with the appropriate electrodes, for example, if your solution is thick, some electrodes may get clogged, then your electrodes may get damaged and your device will be of no use.

Your Budget

Since there are many options to choose from, you have the choice to find the one that suits your budget best. Additional features may mean additional costs. Simpler meters which may cost less still have good basic features, as long as it serves the purpose you need it for.

The Reviews Of The 5 Best PH Meters

Now that you have brushed up on your guidelines for choosing the best pH meter, you need to see and read about different products that are actually on the market. Always keep in mind the different considerations before making your choice. Take note of the purpose for buying a meter as well as the features you may need.

METTLER TOLEDO's PH Meters

METTLER TOLEDO's PH Meters

Mettler Toledo's pH meters are the most precise, accurate devices which are easy to use and effortless to maintain! It is best for a wide array of applications and measurements. The innovative design of these products are ensure durability and flexibility for your needs.

These pH meters are sure to stand the test of time as well as different elements and substances they may come into contact with, while still giving precise results. They are used mainly for significant research and development processes as well as for checking quality control.

PROS

  • Versatility in function in terms of Process Applications and Laboratory Applications.
  • Wide variety of devices which can be used to keep an eye on and manage industrial processes.
  • Easy to use while still remaining elaborate and flexible.

CONS

  • May not be used to test acidity of different food.
  • The laboratory devices are not portable in size.

Orion™ Versa Star Pro™ pH Benchtop Meter

Orion™ Versa Star Pro™ pH Benchtop Meter

Be assured of precision, high performance and undeniable flexibility with the Thermo Scientific™ Orion™ Versa Star Pro™ Benchtop Meter with pH Module. Encounter even the most difficult applications for pH, mV OPR and temperature with this device.

Test results and measurements are shown on the striking color display. The four meter channels are totally customizable and have interchangeable modules.

You will be able to perform up to six point calibrations and record up to 2000 data point sets with a time or date stamp on them. You may also transfer the calibration and data records to a computer or printer!

PROS

  • Includes an electrode stand to easily place the sensors in the samples for testing.
  • Includes many accessories such as universal power adaptor, computer interface cable, meter test certificate, etc. 
  • Portable due to its size.
  • Has alarms which notifies you when a set offset value, high/low limit value, and calibration time.
  • Has a Calibration Log which stores up to 30 latest calibrations made.
  • Offers a system access feature that is intended to make sure of data reliability by not allowing unwanted access to different meter functions such as date/time setting, data log and calibration log.

CONS

  • May only be used for scientific applications.

Jellas Pocket Size PH Meter / PH Tester / Mini Water Quality Tester For Household Drinking Water, Hydroponics, Aquariums, Swimming Pools, PH 0-14.0 Measuring Range, 0.1PH Resolution (Yellow)

This portable pH meter is small and easy to bring everywhere. Despite its size, it is durable. Because of its size and strength, it is best to use either at home or even at research facilities. It can be used to test the acidity of swimming pools, food and winemaking as well as for bottling tasks. This meter gives precise and accurate results and is very easy to use. It is able to calculate up to a pH range of 0-14.

Simply immersing in the substance which needs to be tested allows the device to quickly measure the pH level when it is activated. It then gives the pH reading on the LCD screen. Easy and precise!

PROS

  • Measures pH levels rapidly and accurately.
  • Portable due to its size.
  • Digital LCD that shows clear readings of pH levels.
  • Includes some useful additions

CONS

  • Glass bulb sensor is too fragile.
  • The device is not waterproof.

Apera Instruments AI209 PH20 Value Waterproof PH Pocket Tester, ±0.1 pH Accuracy, 0-14.0 PH Range, Complete Kit

Apera Instruments AI209 PH20 Value Waterproof pH Pocket Tester, ±0.1 PH Accuracy, 0-14.0 PH Range, Complete Kit

Small but powerful, this pH meter is among one of the most useful and uncomplicated meters in the market. Among its high performance feature is the auto indication of qualities that give stability which makes gathering data simple and easy.

It also has a built-in self-analysis feature that immediately shows an inaccurate adjustment or estimation.

This device also includes the auto alignment with buffering acknowledgement which gives you an opportunity to get the results you need without having to use straps. This device also has an auto temperature remuneration feature to ensure exact temperature recordings. It is basically a complete package with alignment arrangements of pH 4 and pH 7. It also includes four batteries, which will allow you to make use of it for up to 2000 hours. Finally, the glass knob comes with a 6 month guarantee from the makers.

PROS

  • There is a 2 year warranty for the entire product.
  • Gives precise pH readings.
  • Portable and sturdy.
  • It's a complete kit which comes with a first-rate product packaging.

CONS

  • Complicated calibration.
  • Handling the device requires much care.

HM DIGITAL PH Meter PH-80 Handheld Water Resistant Water Quality Tester Pen With ATC For Hydroponics Gardening Aquariums Reefs Pools Spas Water Treatment Drinking Water

HM DIGITAL PH Meter PH-80 Handheld Water Resistant Water Quality Tester Pen With ATC For Hydroponics Gardening Aquariums Reefs Pools Spas Water Treatment Drinking Water

This versatile device has a broad spectrum of uses in various applications such as in cultivating, testing waters in swimming pools, spas and aquariums as well as drinking water and nourishment ventures. 

This meter is very easy to use. Some of its features include its portable size, which makes it convenient to carry around.

It has an LCD screen which shows the accurate and rapidly showing results and a programmed temperature remuneration so you don't have to figure out the correct results because of the effect of the external temperature.

The one touch programmed alignment is easy to use as well, which makes it simpler and easier to get results. It can be calibrated to pH 4, pH 7 or pH 10 with a pH range of 0-14. The device contains three 1.5 volts catch cell batteries, a top packaging for competence arrangement and a pH 7.0 cushion.

PROS

  • Large LCD for easy to read results.
  • Allows you to measure pH levels and temperature too.
  • Water resistant and waterproof.
  • Includes a data hold function, auto switch off function and a low power indicator.

CONS

  • A bit more expensive compared to other pH meters.
  • The cap has no seal lock.

Conclusion – Finding The Best PH Meter Is Easy With The Right Information!

The best pH meters come in different shapes, sizes and prices. Again, the first thing you should consider is what you will use your meter for as every pH meter is different. Some meters can only be used to obtain specific results from specific substance while other, more versatile ones can be used for a plethora of substances to get varied results.

Using a pH meter does not require much effort as long as it is calibrated correctly so remember to read the manual well and follow the steps in it. Also, remember to take good care of your meter as they don't come cheap!

After reading this article, you must have got a good understanding about pH meters. Now, its all upto you, depending on your priority only you can decide which one is the best for you. If portability is your concern, HM DIGITAL PH Meter PH-80 should be your first choice. It also has other advanced features apart from being an ideal PH Meter PH-80. On the other side, if you are looking for a handheld pH Meter which comes with 2 years warranty, then Apera Instruments AI209 PH20 Value deserves to be number one product in your list.

Whichever direction you choose to go, make sure that you are happy with your choice. Do your research and find the best product which will fit your needs. Good luck and have fun searching!
If you are traveling a lot, you may need automatic fish feeder for your fish tank!

The Best Protein Skimmer For Your Aquarium

One way of successfully keeping your aquarium clean and your fishes healthy is through the use of a protein skimmer. The protein skimmer complements the aquarium filter in removing harmful waste materials by removing the excess protein in your aquarium. Protein skimming is a tried and tested process, but choosing the right protein skimmer can be a trial and error process. This article will help you in choosing the right protein skimmer

Quick Look: Top Rated Protein Skimmer For Aquariums

Purpose Of A Protein Skimmer

A protein skimmer is an type of aquarium equipment is commonly used or installed in the maintenance of a saltwater aquarium. It is specially designed to be compatible with aquariums with saltwater for the removal of proteins, dissolved organic compounds (DOC), and other harmful substances from the aquarium before being digested by the bacteria. This results in the slowing down of nitrate build-up, extension of water changes intervals, and prevention of algae build-up. Your tank will have more oxygen available to its inhabitants after the protein skimmer removes wastes before it gets consumed in the biological process.

The protein skimmer is essential and effective for a saltwater aquarium but not the same can be said if it is used in aquariums with freshwater. Fresh water doesn't have as much protein compared to saltwater which is why foam build-up isn’t that much. It doesn’t have any negative effects on freshwater fishes or your tank. The protein skimmer just won’t do much to improve the quality of the freshwater aquarium’s water.

In conclusion, protein skimmers are filters generally best suited for saltwater environments. It is important when it comes to setting up and maintaining saltwater aquariums such as the fish only setup, in which the fish only with live rock or (F.O.W.L.R.) or reef tank setups.

The Protein Skimmer And How It Works

If you are still in the guppy stage of being an aquarium owner, you might want to get a good understanding of the protein skimmer. Here are the basic things that you need to know about an aquarium protein skimmer:

  • The protein skimmer is also known as a foam fractionator.
  • A protein skimmer removes harmful organic and inorganic compounds from your aquarium before they decay and become ammonia and nitrate. It also removes dissolved organic compounds.
  • It maintains and corrects nitrate levels.
  • Protein skimmers remove waste from fish, plants, and invertebrates.
  • A typical protein skimmer is cylindrical or conical. It produces fine air bubbles that serves as an adsorbent. These air bubbles attract waste that rise to the top and then forms into foam. The foam that the waste sticks to is collected in the skimmer’s cup and removed.
  • The collected foamy waste is called “skimmate.”
  • The collection cup of the protein skimmer must be cleaned regularly.

Benefits Of Having A Protein Skimmer

As we’ve mentioned earlier, protein skimmers can be a great help in keeping your aquarium healthy and clean. However, there are still more benefits that you can get with an aquarium protein skimmer. These are:

  • It lowers the nitrate level of your tank by preventing excessive nitrate buildup.
  • It is ideal for reef aquariums since it helps lower the nitrate level which results in healthy corals.
  • It removes biological toxins from the tank.
  • It reduces aggressive algae bloom.
  • It reduces carbon dioxide buildup.
  • It improves and increases the oxygen level of your tank which is great for the health of its inhabitants.

There are plenty of benefits offered by a protein skimmer. You can still have a tank without a protein skimmer but you will have to do frequent partial water changes to avoid algae issues. This will require more effort and time on your part. A Protein skimmer can save you from all that tedious work.

Types Of Protein Skimmers

Protein skimmers come in different shapres and size, but a standard one has at least three components:

  1. The skimmer body.
  2. The air source and foam separation area.
  3. The collection cup.

Skimmers are classified according to their design and how they operate. These classifications are the following:

  1. Co-counter flow systems – air is introduced at the bottom of the skimmer body and comes in contact with the water as it rises towards the collection cup.
  2. Counter-current system – air is forced into the system under pressure and moves against the flow of the water before rising towards the collection cup. The different variations are the pin-wheel, needle-wheel, and the mesh-wheel.
  3. Venturi - a venturi valve which is situated in the intake tube is used to mix in air with the water.
  4. Needle Wheel – a spoked wheel is used which spins and chops up the incoming waterand produce fine bubbles.
  5. Spray Induction – a spray nozzle creates fine bubbles as the water is forced into it.
  6. Downdraft and Beckett – it mixes air and water to create bubbles.

The two most common types of protein skimmers are the Hang On Back (HOB) skimmer, which doesn’t take up any tank space and can be hidden behind the tank with a background, and the In Sump skimmer, which can be placed in your tank.

To learn more about protein skimmers, here is a video you can watch below:

Top Rated Protein Skimmers

Choosing the best protein skimmer for your aquarium can be a grueling task. There a lot of manufacturers who offer products packed with all kinds of promises. Our review can help you pick the protein skimmer that works best for your tank. We have rounded up the top 5 protein skimmers available in the market along with their pros and cons. Check out our list:

Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Skimmer

Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Skimmer

The Bubble-Magus BM-Curve 5 protein skimmer offers advanced features. Installation is easy with this product due to its compact design. It boasts of an internal pump that can perform its functions with efficiency. This protein skimmer is compatible with tanks up to 140 gallons. 

Other features of this product are its needle wheel pump that produces just the right amount and size of air bubbles, a bubble plate that reduces turbulence created in the reaction chamber, a skimmer body that is curved which allows the foam to smoothly rise to the collection cup, and an air silencer that keeps the skimmer running quietly. Cleaning and performing maintenance on it will be an easy task since it has a quick-release collection cup and a collection cup drain.

PROS

  • Easy to setup.
  • Pulls skimmate almost immediately. Visible results follow within a day.
  • Good build quality.
  • Fits well in the sump.
  • Runs quietly.
  • Includes a drain plug that helps with easy draining while the sump continues to run.

CONS

  • Can be sensitive to depth changes.

Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB Protein Skimmer

Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB Protein Skimmer

The Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB Protein Skimmer is a hang-on back skimmers. If you want to save tank space, then this one is for you. It is capable of filtering aquariums up to 105 gallons. 

The pump is easy to install and also easy to operate since you just need to mount it inside your aquarium. It is equipped with an efficient pinwheel pump. The surface skimmer is also adjustable. This product is made of high-quality acrylic material. This product gets the job done by producing an ideal mix of water and air for superior waste removal.

PROS

  • Immediately starts cleaning the tank after installation.
  • Great for saltwater aquariums.
  • Delivers good results and crystal clear water.
  • Works in sump or hang on.
  • Runs quietly.

CONS

  • Adjusting can be difficult.
  • Requires adjustment as the water volume decreases with evaporation or increases with water changes.
  • Bulky build.
  • Produces leaks.
  • Collection cup can be hard to clean.

SCA-302 180 Gallon Protein Skimmer (In Sump)

SCA-302 180 Gallon Protein Skimmer (In Sump)

The SCA-302 180 Gallon Protein Skimmer is best suited for saltwater aquarium tanks up to 180 gallons which makes it ideal for large tanks. Its removable cup makes cleaning simple and easy. It features a powerful needle impeller pump.

This product is compact in size and has a compact design so it doesn’t take up much space. You won’t be having problems with compatibility since it fits most sump. Another good thing about this product is that it also comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty on the skimmer body while it has 90 days limited warranty on the pump.

PROS

  • Easy to calibrate.
  • Immediately starts skimming after installation and pulling thick skimmate efficiently.
  • Creates very fine bubbles.
  • Creates a wall of white foamy micro bubbles throughout the skimmer.
  • Has a good and compact design Runs quietly.

CONS

  • Inlet to the silencer’s is not of high quality materials.
  • Collection cup is tight-fit and hard to remove for cleaning.
  • Water level adjuster is not user-friendly.
  • Skimmer drain hose is short and replacement can be hard to find.

SC Aquariums SCA-301 Protein Skimmer

SC Aquariums SCA-301 Protein Skimmer

The SCA-301 protein skimmer by SC Aquariums is designed to work for saltwater tanks up to 65 gallons. It has a sleek and compact design which is good for aquariums that lack additional space for equipment.

It includes a collection cup that comes with a drain tube, an air silencer for smooth and quiet operation, and a removable cup for convenient cleaning and maintenance. Its pump is powerful enough to perform its functions. This product comes with a limited manufacture warranty that is good for 1 year.

PROS

  • Works great on smaller tanks.
  • Easy to clean collection cup. 
  • Simple design and compact.
  • Good performance for its price.
  • Runs quietly.

CONS

  • Issue with pump rattling and needing replacement.
  • Sensitive when setting.
  • Excessive production of microbubbles.

AquaMaxx HOB-1 Hang-On-Back Protein Skimmer

AquaMaxx HOB-1 Hang-On-Back Protein Skimmer

The AquaMaxx HOB-1 Hang on Back Protein Skimmer is another hang-on back protein skimmer that features a collection cup that is a responsive and submersible pump that is powerful enough to cater to tanks up to 50 to 75 gallons.

If you have a nano tank or any saltwater aquarium that is smaller in size, you can get this protein skimmer since it has a thin design. This protein skimmer effectively creates a mix of small air bubbles and turbulent water movement to enable protein, waste, and other materials into go to the collection cup. Maintenance and cleaning doesn’t require tedious work since it is equipped with a removable collection cup. The skimmate can also go to a separate container since it has a drain for fitting. This product runs with reduced noise.

PROS

  • Easy to assemble.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Water level stays constant in skimmer regardless of tank water level.
  • Runs quietly.
  • Produces bubbles and thick skimmate immediately.
  • Doesn’t require constant adjustment.
  • Noticeable difference in water quality immediately.

CONS

  • Continues production of large amounts of microbubbles, however, microbubble stopper is not included and sold separately.
  • Issues with mounting brackets snapping.

From the list of the top-rated protein skimmers in the market, we recommend the Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Skimmer for its high-quality materials and great performance. Its features are easy to understand and use. It’s a good protein skimmer and is very funtional Protein skimmers are important for reef and marine aquariums. However, some aquarium owners neglect this important step.. Corals, reefs, marine and freshwater fishe will benefit from having a protein skimmer. Check out the right protein skimmer for you and get a clean, healthy, and beautiful aquarium.
You also need to read our review about best ph meter.

Best LED Lights For Reef Tank In 2019 – Top 5 Reviews

Having all the right accessories in your reef tank and setting them up is only half of the job, believe it or not. The other which is even more important is LED lighting set up. We implement it in order to amplify the beauty and attractiveness of our wonderful aquarium.

If you’re looking to enhance the looks of the aquarium, why not choose the absolute best LED lights? If you ever had a dilemma, we’re here to solve it for you and help you find the best lighting for your aquarium.

What Are Some Of The Benefits Of LED Lighting For Reef Tanks?

Adding spectacular lighting to an already amazing aquarium can make everything looks much better and captivate the attention of passers-by, friends and family. Whether it is an aquarium of biological facility or your own home, LED lights have become a staple of all aquarium sets. There’s much more to know, and it’s not all about the benefit of looks. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Safety of use

Only until recently, LED lights in reef tanks have become such an common sight. In fact, the type of lighting you were most likely to see was old-school metal halide lights or some form of weird, unnatural fluorescent lighting. The problem with these is that they were filled with metal parts and sensitive wires which could lead to fatal injuries to both the owners and the fish.

Note: what about the advantage of LED light over the old one? Why is LED much safer? Please detail them

Much Better Lighting In The Aquarium

LED lights are different from older models of illumination because they focus most of their energy on providing light, not heat. Therefore, the amount of lighting they generate is the ultimate choice for having a better reef tank.

Technology has come a long, long way and now there are many variations of LED lights for reef tanks. You can easily choose different colors, sizes, illumination intensity, and so on. There are even models which allow you to change the rhythm and intensity of the light. You can match the color of light with your sofa. So, no matter you place your aquarium anywhere; you have complete control over it.

They Produce Much Less Heat

Sometimes, having lighting in your aquarium may alter the temperature of the water and mess with the fish. This can’t be further from the truth when it comes to LED lights. What’s different with them is that they focus much of their energy solely on lighting. Did you know that neon lights and regular bulbs spend an astounding 80% of energy only on heat production, and only 20% of actual illumination?

If you opt to purchase a high-quality LED lighting system for your reef tank, you won’t face problems like this and the fish will have both enough light and the suitable temperature

Enhanced Growth Of Plants And Animals Within The Tank

Most think this is bogus, but there is scientific proof that LED lighting matches the sunlight better and allows water organisms to develop better and faster. A more natural environment means healthier fish and densely grown plants. A win-win, right?

Things To Look For And Watch Out For When Purchasing LED Lights For Your Reef Tank

Power Drainage

It’s crucial to know at which rate the LED lights expend electrical energy. Some brands don’t specify this on the product, and in such cases, you should disregard such brands. It’s important to know how much energy will be required to power the system.

Ease of installation

Some brands offer more complex and more powerful versions of LED lights for aquariums. This might lead to more complex installation processes. You should do your research online, on YouTube and inquire with the manufacturer. If you aren’t sure about whether you are capable of doing it – don’t hesitate to call up an expert!

Difficulty of use

Although operating a LED light is simple, there are some brands and models which are more elaborately designed. Think about it – do you really want to sacrifice time and hassle with access controls, just because of a little amount of light in your aquarium?

Durability

There are different grades of LED lights and you should ask yourself about how much money are you willing to spend. Most models last to about 30.000 hours give or take. A bigger investment means more hours.

Extra options

Do you want to set the changes of intensity on automatic? Do you need different colors? Do you want flickering modes on? There are all legitimate questions and they all yield extra money if you wish to purchase LED lights for your aquarium.

And Finally... Things To Consider When Buying LED Lights For Your Reef Tank

Tank Size

What are the exact measurements of your tank? You should be aware of the fact that different sizes require different lights. You wouldn’t want to overspend because of a miscalculation.

Varieties Of Plants And Animals You Have

Different kinds of plants and animals require various light intensities to be able to advance in growth and health. Make sure you inform yourself about the parameters in order to provide your fish and plants with the ultimate features to be able to grow!

Light Intensity

Some people like different colors, whereas some prefer the plain white LEDs. After you decide on which spectrum of lighting your wildlife can grow the most – it all comes down to preference!

The Budget

Make a compromise between your wishes and the money that you are able to spend. This will create the ideal choice and everyone will be happy with your new LED lights – both you and the fish!

The Reviews Of The Top 5 LED Lights For Reef Tanks

After you have all the necessary knowledge and the guidelines, it’s time to round up the contenders for the title of the best LED lights for your aquarium. The competition was fierce, nevertheless, a sound decision was made in the end.

COODIA Aquarium Hood Lighting

COODIA once again proves its reputation when it comes to being the leader amongst lighting manufacturers. Simplicity and durability are the integral parts of this LED aquarium light. Unlike some models, this COODIA LED light gets bonus points for simplicity – you just set the light up and plug it in.

Don’t be mistaken, simplicity doesn’t mean lack of features in this case. Dimmable lights with interchangeable colors and intensities are just what you need to make your reef tank one of a kind. Everything is pretty much explained in the manual – so there is no rocket science involved.

What’s awesome about it is that it has an adjustable, extendable bracket that can fit any size from 30 cm, all the way to 50 cm. A rare sight indeed.

PROS

  • Very reasonable price for a quality product.
  • Uses a very small amount of energy compared to other models.
  • Extendable brackets for different sizes.
  • One of the most customizable options on the market, it has many lighting modes.

CONS

  • Fits only a 5-gallon tank. Not fit for 10-gallon tank.
  • White light is not very bright.

NICREW LED Aquarium Light

NICREW once again proved that they belong to the conversation for the top aquarium LED lights manufacturer and it’s really not that hard to see why and how. Out of all the models that we tested, this NICREW LED lights manifested the highest brightness parameters, as well as the smallest amount of heat produced.

The real deal here is the magnificent light adjustment for growing plants. The lighting system is equipped with blue and white LEDs for daylight adaptability, whereas you can turn on the special nocturnal system during night time.

What may disappoint some users is that it’s not very water resistant, but all in all – all the positives outweigh this lack of resistance, so it does not really matter.

PROS

  • Comes in a plethora of sizes and all perform equally well.
  • Energy efficiency is pretty high and expends less energy than most models.
  • Amazing brightness.
  • Yield excellent results with plants of all sorts.

CONS

  • Only 2 light options- White and Blue.

NOSIVA LED Aquarium Hood Lighting Fish Tank Light, 20 Inch (White and Blue)

With this model, we can see the power of innovation in full effect. NOSIVA decided to create one of the ultimate LED lights for reef tanks and did so in spectacular fashion – by adding 72 LED lights!

This large number is unheard of when it comes to LED lights for smaller fish tanks or reef tanks. They are concentrated on a small surface so that the plants and the fish can get the ultimate growth possibilities.

Again, we have the lack of water resistance, which can be a small speck on the impeccable reputation of this LED lighting system. With adjustable metal brackets, a big light hood and an energy saving program, you won’t have to worry about submerging this amazing LED system into the water.

It practically possesses all the necessities for a good growth program, with increased ease of operation in comparison to other models.

PROS

  • A large number of LEDs for efficient growth.
  • Adjustable brackets to fit the aquarium.
  • Extends the least amount of energy out of all the candidates on the list.
  • Very reasonable price for a fairly large LED lighting system.

CONS

  • The lighting is adequate but not ‘very’ bright.
  • There is no stopping mechanism for the extendable arms.

Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light

We are now venturing into the real hi-tech territory and in amazing fashion.This LED lighting model has all around customization options and adjustability available. We can say that their idea performed quite well.

During the testing, it showed the most stable set up out of all. It’s been a favorite amongst customers worldwide because of the size options it can be ordered in.

You will have a much better reef tank set up with this LED lights. The main reasons for that are the 24 hours on and off period, the automatic dimming down and much more modes for different plants. It’s a wise investment because it can last many years, even when changing plant species and different fish.

All in all, it losts out on the first place because it’s objectively the most complicated LED light to operate, out of all the models in the list.

PROS

  • Adaptability to different species.
  • Excellent light manipulation options.
  • 5-year warranty.
  • Can change modes according to the growth phase of the plant.

CONS

  • Light begin flickering after months of usage.
  • It can be difficult to program the light sometimes.

VIPARSPECTRA Timer Control 165W LED Aquarium Light Dimmable Full Spectrum for Coral Reef Grow Fish Tank

The deserved champion is this amazing VIPARSPECTRA model. It takes home the crown in spectacular fashion, after a hard battle at the top.

Although the price seems high, the overwhelming amount of features simply blows any financial downside straight out of the water.

It has an unbelievable spectrum of light with a special mode that allows every section to be completely independent of the main setup. This is a major advantage for all reef tank owners, simply because it allows customization and focus on different parts of the aquarium – something other LED lights simply don’t have the ability to do.

Photosynthetic corals, algae and lots of exotic fish thrived under this light and we were delighted with the spectacular results.

PROS

  • Amazing color and dimming options.
  • Versatility when it comes to different sectors.
  • Can literally enhance the growth of anything.
  • Excellent customer service.

CONS

  • Does not have a purple light.
  • Gives a blurry haze off the rocks.

Conclusion – Which Is The Best LED Light For Your Reef Tank

LED lights really are an important part of every reef tank setup, as they add an incredible aesthetic feature to an already carefully set up ecosystem in the tank. All the models on our list are top notch, simply because it’s very tough to crack the top five in such a competitive market. Therefore, any model will do – it all depends on your preferences.

If we had to recommend only one, it would be the Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light, as it possesses the ideal price and quality options for growers of all types. The VIPARSPECTRA one is also stellar, but it may prove to be too much of an investment for beginners.

Whichever model you choose, it will serve you well, so – it’s up to you! Good luck and may your plants and fish grow to be big and healthy!

​Another aquarium equipment you may need: 

- Best aquarium air pump​

Best Aquarium Heater

All You Have To Know About Hob Filters And The Best Products Of 2019

A filter’s purpose is to clean. In an aquarium, it’s responsible for removing physical and soluble chemical wastes from your water.

But what is a hob filter? A new aquarium hobbyist may not be sure what it means and how it differs from other filters.

If you try to look for the dictionary definition of the word “hob”, you’ll probably find it difficult to relate the word to aquariums or even filters.

That’s because this word is not really related to it. In fact, for aquarists, “hob” is actually just an acronym standing for Hang On Back, which means a filter that is simply hanging on the back of your aquarium.

Why Should You Get A Hob Filter?

There are a lot of benefits in getting a hob filter.

Due to the fact that it’s just hanging on the back of your tank, it’s easily accessible so maintenance would not be too difficult. You can also quickly replace or remove the filter media.

Hob filters are also generally inexpensive, and provide great filtration as well. Because of the improvements in technology, most of the hob filters in today’s market make very little noise compared to their earlier versions. This makes them ideal for aquariums that are placed inside the bedroom.

What To Consider When Getting A Hob Filter

When buying equipment for an aquarium, you need to think of various things.

What type of product should you buy? Is this product better than other products?

However, they are mostly dependent on how you want your aquarium to turn out. There are no absolutely right or wrong answers for those questions, but you do have to think of them carefully. For a hob filter, these are the things you may want to consider:

1. The Flow Rate

When deciding on a hob filter, it’s important to take the size of your aquarium into consideration. If you have a big aquarium, a higher flow rate might be necessary to reduce the time needed for filtration. Similarly, a smaller aquarium or a nano reef tank may only require a hob filter with minimal capacity.

Most hob filters indicate the amount of water they are capable of filtering. There are also brands that offer the same product, but in different sizes, to accommodate various amounts of water. Some are good enough for just 5 gallons, while some can filter up to 300 gallons.

2. The Filtration Media You’d Like To Use

There are different types of filter media that you can use. While you can choose the kind of media you want, depending on the types of fish and plants living in your aquarium, many hob filters already come with their own filter media.

It’s quite common to find filters that are equipped with one or all of the three types of media: mechanical, chemical and biological. If you have a certain preference, then you should take that into consideration when choosing your hob filter.

3. Maintenance

Having to clean and maintain your filter is a given.

However, different models of hob filters may have various methods for cleaning and maintenance. For filters that have more filtration media than others, they may require a more thorough cleaning process.

Choose the type of filter that is easier to clean if you don’t have enough time for maintenance.

Most hob filters provide instructions on how to maintain the devices, so you should consider this factor before purchasing one.

These three are the most important things that are specific to the hob filter.

What Are Your Options?

It might be difficult to decide on which hob filter suits your aquarium best. To help you, we've rounded up 5 top-rated products for you to choose from. The products have a vast range of gallons per hour (GPH), as well as different filtration media to suit your preference.

Fluval C Power Filter

Fluval C Power Filter

This powerful filter comes in three types: C2, C3, and C4. Each type can accommodate different aquarium capacities. The C2 is suitable for 10 to 30 gallons; the C3 can filter from 20 up to 50 gallons; and lastly, the C4 can handle 40 to 70 gallons.

In terms of efficiency, the C2 model can filter up to 119 gallons per hour (GPH). The C3, on the other hand, is capable of filtering up to 153 GPH. Being the highest-capacity one, the C4 model can filter a maximum of 264 GPH.

It offers a 5-stage filtration system that is composed of mechanical, chemical and biological filter medias. The combination offers a thorough filtration of your water.

PROS

  • Extensive 5-stage filtration system that produces crystal clear water.
  • Suitable for tanks of different sizes.
  • Easy maintenance: the impeller cover only needs to be cleaned once a year, and the motor should only be cleaned every 3 months. It's also equipped with a cleaning indicator for when the poly foam needs to be rinsed.
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty.

CONS

  • Not very quiet and is probably not ideal to use on an aquarium in the bedroom.
  • More expensive compared to other brands, but you might want to consider the 5-stage filtration system that it offers.
  • Due to its 5-stage filtration system, there are more filter media for you to replace (foam needs to be replaced every 4-6 weeks; half the quantity of C-nodes must be replaced every 6 months; 2-4 weeks for activated carbon; 2-3 weeks for bio-screen).

AquaClear Power Filter

AquaClear Power Filter

This easy-to-install filter comes in 5 different models that can handle various tank capacities.

The first model is meant for aquariums with up to 20 gallons. Up next is the model that can handle up to 30 gallons, while the third one has the capacity of up to 50 gallons. The fourth one is good for up to 70 gallon aquarium.

And the last one can accommodate up to 110 gallons. Their filtration outputs vary as well, at 80, 100, 150, 200, and 300 GPH respectively.

The models come with a 3-stage filtration system, which involves an AquaClear Foam that removes debris and provides optimal water distribution patterns; an AquaClear Activated Carbon Insert, which gets rid of odor and discoloration; and AquaClear BioMax ceramic rings that allow good bacteria to thrive.

PROS

  • Has a wide range of aquariums for different sizes.
  • Comes with a 3-stage filtration system, which may cost less when it comes to replacing filter media (foam can be replaced every 2 months; activated carbon should be replaced every month; BioMax ceramic rings can be replaced every 3 months).
  • Does not make much noise.
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty.

CONS

  • Requires a more extensive maintenance process: the filter has to be cleaned every two weeks.
  • It is also quite expensive compared to other brands.

API SuperClean Power Filter

API SuperClean Power Filter

This affordable filter is great for small aquariums containing up to 20 gallons. With its quiet, leak-free design and advanced cartridge technology, this filter is capable of making your water (and even your gravel) clean and crystal clear.

It comes with a Bio-chem Zorb cartridge that provides a complete range of filtration media. You can also add more filter media if you want.

At just 1.9 pounds, this filter is small yet highly durable(1). With an adjustable flow rate, it's a good option for hobbyists who keep betta fish or other aquarium species that aren't too fond of strong currents.

PROS

  • Affordable.
  • Especially made for smaller tanks so it’s a great option for aquarium hobbyists who keep only a small tank or fish who prefer little current.
  • Easy to set up and maintain.
  • Quiet and leak-free design.
  • Comes with a warranty, but the duration is unknown.

CONS

  • May not be an option for those who have tanks with more than 20 gallons.
  • It can be difficult to find replacement filter cartridges such as nitra zorb and phos zorb.

Penn Plax Cascade Hang-On Aquarium Filter

Penn Plax Cascade Hang-On Aquarium Filter

This hob filter can deliver 300 GPH for aquariums from 55 to 100 gallons in size.

It has an efficient quad-filtration system with an internal sponge that allows colonization of anaerobic bacteria. These can aid in the removal of ammonia and nitrite. An active carbon cartridge is also included, which helps in removing harmful chemicals, contaminants, odors, and toxins from your aquarium. There is also a polyfiber floss cartridge that traps floating particles.

Recommended for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums, this hob filter has an adjustable flow knob that lets you adjust filtration as needed.

PROS

  • Comes with a quad-filtration system that ensures a thorough cleaning of your aquarium’s water.
  • Quiet and efficient motor.
  • Small and easy to install.
  • Warranty is available but for an unknown duration.
  • Optimizes maximum water oxygenation.

CONS

  • It is only offered in a single size, which is good for tanks from 55 to 100 gallons in size; quite a limited range compared to others.
  • Due to the quad-filtration system, it may be costly to replace all of the filter media.

Marina Power Filter

Marina Power Filter

This slim hob filter has a unique and compact design that reduces the needed space on the back of your aquarium.

Compared to other filters, which may look bulky, the Marina Power Filter is a nice fit to a small aquarium.

It comes in three models that can accommodate up to 10, 15, and 20 gallons respectively. All models are inexpensive and costs less than $20, however, shipping fee does not apply.

With its adjustable flow control, setting it up is easy and does not require any priming. It also includes two filter cartridges: a Bio-Carb and a Bio-Clear, which both contain Ceramitek. This is engineered to optimize a biological filtration.

PROS

  • Slim and unique design that makes it take up less of the space.
  • Includes two filter cartridges and may be more affordable to replace.
  • The filter itself is less than $20 regardless of the size you choose.
  • Self-priming; easy to set up and maintain.

CONS

  • Does not come with warranty.
  • Limited sizes available; the maximum it can handle is up to 20 gallons only, unlike other brands that have models for up to 100 gallons.
  • It’s mostly focused on biological filtration, however, you can customize this if you want to add mechanical and chemical filtration as well.

What’s The Verdict?

Our top pick would have to be the AquaClear Power Filter. Not only is it available in multiple sizes, it also offers a 3-stage filtration system that involves all three different kinds of filter media: mechanical, chemical and biological.

The manufacturers also provide easy-to-follow instructions on the hob filter’s maintenance and the replacement procedure for each filter media. Not to mention, they offer a 2-year warranty.

All of these are also offered by the Fluval C Power Filter. In fact, this one even has a 5-stage filtration system, which may be more intensive compared to AquaClear’s. However, it can be quite expensive to maintain and replace all of its filter media. It’s still a pretty good choice for those who have an extra budget and prefers a more extensive filtration process.

For those who prefer an inexpensive option, or those who don’t really need a powerful high-capacity hob filter, the API SuperClean Power Filter is a great option as well.

Overall, all of these products have their individual strengths and weaknesses, so carefully measure them up to your particular needs and wants for your own aquarium.

What about you? What’s your pick? Tell us in the comments section below!

5 Best Air Pumps For Your Aquarium And What You Need To Know

A lot of items are needed when building an aquarium.

There’s the thermometer, which helps you monitor the water temperature and ensure that it’s within the ideal range for your fish. Here is our review about best thermometer for aquarium.

Then there’s the filter, which is needed as it removes the excess food, fish wastes, and other harmful particles from the water. (Click here to read our aquarium filter reviews.)

Unlike a thermometer or a filter, however, an air pump is not considered as a basic necessity for an aquarium.

It could be necessary, but that depends on you and your fish tank.

What Do Air Pumps Do?

In general, air pumps can bring air from outside the aquarium to inside the aquarium through an outlet.

The outlet can be in form of decoration. For example, you can arrange a coral or a plant that has bubbles coming out of its center. If you enjoy having miniature structures in your tank such as a house or a ship, you can turn their chimneys into your air pump’s outlet as well.

Another option would be to use an air stone that you can hide behind plants or corals.

You can also illuminate the bubbles produced by your air pump using a colorful light source to provide more aesthetic appeal.

Aside from using the air pump to form bubbles for aesthetic design, however, you can also use it to provide more oxygen to your water. The more your water moves, the more contact it has with air, so more oxygen will then get into the water.

Providing oxygen to your tank is also the job of the filter outlet, which is why the air pump is not considered as a necessity. However, it doesn’t really hurt to have an additional back up, in case your filter breaks.

The addition of an air pump is not harmful to your fish. So if you like having an additional source of oxygen or just the nice effect of the bubbles, you can definitely get one.

There are also some types of filters that require the use of an air pump. An example would be an undergravel filter or a corner filter. However, for some of these types of filter, a water pump can also be used.

If you use protein skimmers, an air pump would be necessary as well, especially if the skimmers use air stones to produce the foam that removes organic waste from your tank.

Accessories For An Air Pump

While most air pumps come with instructions on how to install the device and its accessories, knowing the purpose of them can be extremely helpful and may give you that extra preparation you need.

There are only a few accessories that you can use with an air pump.

1. Airline Tubes

These are the tubes that you will use to connect your air pump from outside the aquarium to the ornaments or air stones inside the water.

2. Connectors or T-Valves

These items allow you to customize the air flow through multiple airline tubes. It is especially necessary if you want to connect the air pump to multiple ornaments or air stones.

3. Check or Return Valve

A check valve or return valve is a must for every type of air pump. It’s a device that allows air to pass in only one direction and prevents air or water from going backwards into the pump outlets. This can be useful whenever there are power outages or when the pump loses its power source, whether it’s the electricity or battery.

4. Gang Valve

These are used when you need more airlines than the amount supplied by the pump. It is also useful when you want to connect the air pump to various ornaments or air stones. When using gang valves, you can adjust the air flow individually to achieve your desired bubble effect from each air stone or ornament.

Before getting an air pump, be aware of what accessories you might need. This mostly depends on what you intend to use the air pump for.

Some of the most powerful air pumps are capable of pumping air to more than one tanks. If you’d like to do this as well, then the amount of accessories needed to accommodate multiple tanks would have to be well thought of.

You can check if the air pump comes with these accessories before purchasing. If not, or if the amount of accessories is not enough for what you need, you can buy them separately. Most of them are inexpensive and are fairly easy to find.

Some accessories are also offered to be bought together with the air pump as a bundle, so you can opt for those if you want to save more money.

How To Choose The Right Air Pump

This depends on what you intend to use the air pump for.

Some air pumps are suited for different sizes of tanks, but the sizes are only relevant if you intend to use the air pump to operate an undergravel filter.

If you’re using the air pump for decorative purposes, then the more ornaments you run using the air pump, the larger it has to be. Similarly, if you’re only running a few ornaments, then a smaller air pump would do the trick.

You should also consider air resistance. If you are using decorations in your tank that resist the air coming from the pump, then you might need a larger air pump. Note that larger air stones may also provide higher resistance compared to small air stones.

Additionally, if your tank is more than 20 inches high , you might need to get an air pump that is meant for deep water so that air can still be pushed far below the water surface.

What Are Your Options?

To help you decide on which air pump to buy, we’ve listed up some of the top-rated air pumps below, along with our reviews for each product.

Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump 4

Uniclife Aquarium Air Pump 4

With two outlets and various accessories, this 4-watt pump is ideal for tanks that contain 60 to 400 liters of water. It comes with a 6 feet power supply cable, 2 return valves, 2 air stones, 2 M airlines, and 2 connectors.

It has a voltage of 110 to 120V 50/60Hz, and provides pressure of up to 0.016Mpa. The airlines come in the standard 4mm internal diameter.

The air pump itself is measured at 129x71x63mm.

PROS

  • It has most of the accessories you might need.
  • Affordable price considering the accessories it comes with.
  • Has a low sound, described to be similar to that of a ticking watch or the sound of rustling leaves.
  • Adjustable flow rate.
  • Warranty is available, but for an unknown period of time.

CONS

  • Lacks power and may not be good enough for bigger fish tanks.

Marina Battery-Operated Air Pump

Marina Battery-Operated Air Pump

Known as a “back-up” air pump, this battery-operated pump is ideal for situations wherein your main air pump fails to deliver. Whether it broke or you just had a power outage, having a battery-operated air pump is a good idea to have a reliable air source for your fish.

At 6.2 ounces, this air pump is measured at 1.5x2.5x5 inches. This makes it very easy to carry around.

PROS

  • Affordable.
  • Battery-operated and can be relied on during power outages Ideal when you’re in transit or during fishing.
  • Small and portable.
  • Comes with air stone and 18-inch tubing.

CONS

  • Might not be the best option to use as your main air pump as buying and replacing batteries can be more costly.
  • Makes more noise compared to other air pumps.
  • Requires 2 D-cell batteries in parallel, a setup in which one cell will always discharge the other over time. It’s advisable not to leave the batteries in the unit when not in use.
  • Does not come with warranty.

Tetra Whisper Air Pump

Tetra Whisper Air Pump

This pump is designed for deep tanks with significant back pressure. It can pump air down to 8 feet. It comes in seven sizes, starting from the smallest that can handle up to 10 gallons, to the largest, which can handle up to 300 gallons.

Despite being a powerful air pump, it is still known to be a quiet one, that is why it is called “Whisper”. At only 8 ounces and 3.5 watts, this small but highly capable pump provides versatility.

PROS

  • Has a unique dome-shaped design that minimizes noise and turbulence.
  • Availability of pumps for various sizes of aquariums, which makes this pump a great choice regardless of your tank’s size.
  • Comes with a free program called TetraCare, where you can ask for online and over-the-phone support. They also send emails containing aquarium tips and guides for the first six months since purchase.
  • Lifetime warranty available.

CONS

  • Warranty does not cover rubber parts such as flappers, diaphragms, and isolators, which are parts that may fail on a pump.
  • Does not come with accessories.

Deep Blue Professional Air Pump

Deep Blue Professional Air Pump

This AC/DC battery-operated air pump automatically switches to battery backup when power outages occur and recharge once power has been restored.

It comes with two output ports and an impact-resistant design.

It can pump air continuously for 14 hours on a full battery. There are also interval modes that can extend the battery life for up to 28 hours. Despite the strong batteries, it only weighs 0.3 ounces.

PROS

  • Adjustable air flow.
  • Reliable; continuous operation even when there is a power outage due to backup battery extension.
  • Rechargeable battery.
  • Quiet air pump.
  • Has impact-resistant design, which makes it more durable.
  • Warranty is available, but for an unknown duration.

CONS

  • Great only for smaller tanks up to 50 gallons due to lack of power.
  • Does not come with accessories.
  • More expensive compared to other air pumps that has higher capacity.

JVSURF Aquarium Air Pump

JVSURF Aquarium Air Pump

This energy-saving air pump is driven by a thin piezoelectric ceramic plate, making it different from traditional electromagnetic air pumps. It doesn’t contain EMI, a motor, or a shaft, so it’s lightweight, silent and highly durable.

It also comes with multiple accessories. The installation process is simple and so this pump is ideal for beginners. It has a unique shape and design that can add aesthetic appeal to your aquarium.

PROS

  • Comes with an air stone, an airline, a suction cup, and a user manual.
  • Easy to install and is lightweight so it can be attached to the outer glass of your tank using the suction cup.
  • Unique design and system that makes little noise.
  • Warranty is available for an unknown duration.

CONS

  • Only suitable for smaller aquariums with up to 20 gallons.

What’s Our Pick?

It’s been a close fight between the Deep Blue Professional Air Pump and the Tetra Whisper Air Pump.

While the Deep Blue Professional’s rechargeable backup battery is an amazing feature, we think the Tetra Whisper’s support availability and wide range is awesome too!

Ultimately, the winner would have to be the Tetra Whisper Air Pump.

One of the things you have to consider when getting an air pump, especially when you’re using undergravel or corner filters, is the capacity of the pump. The Tetra Whisper Air Pump has multiple options that can accommodate from 10 gallons up to 300 gallons.

What’s The Best Filter For Turtle Tank: Know It Here

Turtles are wonderful additions to any house and a tank can really change the atmosphere of a household. Aside from all the decorations and the aesthetic improvements the turtle tank provides, it’s also a big responsibility to maintain your tank at the same time. The turtles are prone to producing a lot of waste and using up all the gallons of water. This can lead to hygienic problems that may damage the health of your turtles. The solution to that problem? A turtle tank filter, of course.

Filters for turtle tanks have come a long way in recent years and have turned into true technological works of wonder. More filtration media, more power, and more stability are all advantages that a turtle tank owner has at his disposal.

The market for filters has grown immensely and there are a lot of brands to choose from. That’s why we’ve decided to aid you in providing the best possible experience for your turtles. After our quick guide and the top 5 list, choosing a quality filter for your turtle tank will be a piece of cake. Enjoy!

What Are The Benefits Of Filters For Turtle Tanks?

First and foremost, filters are used for improving the hygienic state of the water in order to improve the health of the turtles and their quality of life. Since turtle tanks are small bodies of water, the aquatic mass doesn’t move around a lot and it can easily get stale.

That means fungus, mold and other detrimental health hazards can appear. Stale and uncirculated water also lead to a lack of friendly bacteria, which are crucial to every ecosystem.

Since turtles usually live in big bodies of water, the water mass moves and there is no need for a filter, as every bit of waste is taken far away from the turtle colony. Filters for turtle tanks provide excellent alternatives to big pools and they can do the filtering in a few different, but equally important ways.

Mechanical Filtration

It is the most basic way of filtering your turtle tank. It’s the first line of defense against health hazards. This works by separating solid waste from water, usually by employing a sponge, aquarium filter floss or polyester pillow stuffing.

Mechanical way of filtration is the least expensive way of filtering water and you should take care of it. As most of the obvious stuff that’s floating around, regular cleaning is required. Knowing that the discarding process is easy, you should throw the stuffing or the floss along with the waste that has accumulated there.

Biological Filtration

It is the second way of dealing with the problem of stale unclean water in your turtle tank. Your filter can use a sponge or floss, just like the mechanical one, but the main weapon of biological filters is the friendly bacteria that grow and flourish on the filter media. The so-called bio-media can be ceramic rings, cycling accelerators, and the Seachem Matrix formula.

The filter for your turtle tank engages the bacteria to devour turtle feces, ammonia, fungi or anything else that might stand in the way of a normal ecosystem. These kinds of turtle tank filters last years and are very reliable.

Chemical Filtration

It is also crucial to keep your turtle tank clean via a filter. Chemical filters usually employ ammonia systems or activated charcoal. Keep in mind that these filters should only aid you when the turtle tank is brand new and the friendly bacteria are not set yet. Active charcoal can also be used on its own to purge the smell from your turtle tank.

Things To Look Out For When Buying A Filter For Your Turtle Tank

Picking the good filter for your turtle tank might not be the daunting task it once was, but there are still a few things to keep in mind and a few factors that may improve the life of your beloved turtles. First and foremost, you should be aware of the different filter types as well as their flaws and advantages.

In-Tank Filters

These are not so good for the turtle tank because they are prone to jamming during the water rotation process. It functions using a pump that sucks in the water and filters it while letting it fall into the tank afterward. They are inexpensive, but also inefficient.

Decorative Filters

These are basically the same as the in-tank ones, but they don’t have the appearance of a usual filter for turtle tanks. They’re masked to look like rocks so that the turtle tank looks more natural.

Undergravel Filters

As far as turtle tanks are concerned, these are somewhat of a controversy amongst the turtle tank community. They use the gravel and the sand at the bottom of the tank as filtering media.

This filter pulls the waste down to the gravel and removes it from the water. The water is the cycled two to three times and released yet again. Despite the initial hype, we don’t recommend you to buy them because of the inefficiency and proneness to breakage.

Canister Filters

These are called the champions of the filter market by some and with full right. They employ a powerful water pump to suck in the water and expose it to numerous filtering media within the canister. Many experts say that this type of filter can help you the most, as it is the safest way to make sure your water is clean and that the turtles are healthy.

Although the filter type may determine the type of life your turtles will lead, there are a few more simple factors that may influence your choice of an ideal turtle tank filter.

What Breed Are Your Turtles?

This may be crucial as some breeds don’t respond well to chemical filtration and overly thorough measures. Also, if you have a lot of smaller turtles in your tank, a big in-tank filter may be the solution if you are on a limited budget. Both the turtles and your wallet will be happy!

How Many Turtles Are There?

The number of turtles directly influences the power of your pump. The more turtles there are, the more money you will need for purchasing a pump powerful enough to filter all that waste.

How Big Is The Tank?

The water surface is an important factor in purchasing the right filter for your turtle tank. As the water quantity increases, you will need even two filters or only one with an extremely powerful water pump.

How Much Are You Willing To Spend?

People always say the ideal product is the one which has a combination of an economic price and supreme quality. By calculating your budget, you may be able to see how much you have at your disposal and at which brand you should aim for.

That should conclude the list of info you should be aware of when buying a filter for your turtle tank. The type should determine the efficiency and the size of your tank and the turtle population should determine the power. Now that that is settled, it’s time for the final showdown, in order to see the absolute best filters for turtle tanks out there.

The Reviews Of The Top 5 Filters For Turtle Tanks

Now that you have all the necessary knowledge about the criteria for choosing the right filter, it’s come down to the top five. After months of extensive testing, collecting reviews and impression from both amateurs and experts – here it is!

This is the verdict of the best five filters for turtle tanks currently on the market and we have to say – it was a battle, but only one came out victorious.

SunSun Hw304B525GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit

SunSun Hw304B525GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit

SunSun may be a relatively unknown company, but they absolutely mean business with this excellent turtle tank filter. It’s also versatile and can be implemented in other types of tanks for aquatic animals.

Features

  • An improved size limit, this model can handle up to 75 gals. turtle tanks.
  • Extra blue and white filter pads are included in the package so you can get the hang of switching them.
  • The triple threat of Ceramic rings, Bio balls, and filter carbon makes up for an excellent filter formula.
  • Any of the three filter media can be removed at any given time.

PROS

  • Very reasonable price.
  • Versatile method that is interchangeable.
  • Handles small turtle tanks excellently.

CONS

  • Can sometimes struggle with bigger tanks and perform slowly.
  • Questionable customer service.

Exo Terra Turtle Cliff Aquatic Terrarium Filter/Rock, Medium By Exo Terra

Exo Terra Turtle Cliff Aquatic Terrarium Filter/Rock, Medium By Exo Terra

Some experts may say that in-tank filter for turtle tanks are out of fashion, they can’t be more wrong. This Exo Terra decorative piece is one of the finest on the market and we had a blast testing it.

Features

  • A powerful pump is cleverly hidden so that it doesn’t disrupt the aesthetics of your turtle tank.
  • It comes in five different colors and styles so you can choose to plan your decorations around it.
  • The filter chamber is filled with activated charcoal and friendly bacteria.
  • The emphasis is on the speed of the filtration process.

PROS

  • Faster filtration when compared to some older models.
  • Great, unnoticeable looks.
  • Easy refill and cleaning.

CONS

  • Somewhat faulty membrane.
  • Doesn’t work well with bigger tanks.

Fluval Canister Filter

Fluval Canister Filter

Fluval is one of the staple companies of the turtle tank filter business and they maintain such a reputation by putting out a model like this. The new FX4 Canister really amazed us and is bound for a big break this year.

Features

  • Smart Pump technology completely removes the need for manual control.
  • Even though the canister is big, you don’t have to change water because a hose connection is available.
  • Filter media baskets are also removable – you can combine your own filtration plans.
  • It can filter and pump out 700 gals. of water per hour.

PROS

  • Efficient in big scale turtle tanks with multiple gigantic specimens.
  • Able to work multiple days without even the slightest hickup.
  • Reliable and contains a lot of media.

CONS

  • The pray may be a little too much.
  • Unsuitable for smaller environments.

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

When it comes to choosing the ideal filter for your turtle tank, the Penn Plax is certainly deserving a high place on everyone’s top list, as the superior quality meets an economic price that isn’t worth missing out on.

Features

  • It’s available in a multitude of sizes, for every possible turtle tank size.
  • The filtration is a multi-stage one and you can select which stages do you want to be skipped.
  • Rotating taps ration the bacteria in the water so that the turtles may get the ultimate care and hygiene.
  • Shut of valves make for a sterile and easy-to-clean environment.

PROS

  • Easy to use and can be mastered in a matter of hours.
  • Maybe the best performance-to-price turtle tank filter out there.
  • Excellent customer service.

CONS

  • The valves can get buggy after two weeks of non-stop service.
  • Doesn’t work well with lots of small turtles.

Fluval 405 External Canister Filter - 110V, 340 Gallons Per Hour

Fluval 405 External Canister Filter - 110V, 340 Gallons Per Hour

Our champion is truly a heavyweight in the game and it still cements the Fluval’s position on the turtle tank filter market. They consistently put out respectable products with superior results. This is absolutely no exception.

Features

  • The new and improved filtration system has many options, from quick filtering to long-term programs that can be implemented over a course of a few days.
  • An output of 340 gallons per hour puts this filter on the very top in the pumping category.
  • The valves are specially designed to be air tight and to deflect any unwanted debris while removing the hosing.
  • Resistance to temperatures of all sorts is a very welcome addition.

PROS

  • Very powerful and durable, can be used in all sorts of turtle tank projects.
  • Excellent customer service, plus a 3-year warranty.
  • The motor can work for hours and is energy efficient.

CONS

  • Somewhat expensive for beginners.
  • Slow delivery time.

The Final Verdict

When it comes to the ever competitive market of filters for your turtle tank, this battle could have gone either way and some experts and users may disagree with our choice. Be how it may be, the differences between these filters are small and it’s all just a matter of preference in the end. If you were to ask us about our verdict, we would say that the Fluval 405 External Canister Filter is the ultimate choice if you want immediate results and excellence. The budget may be a problem in a way, so a good alternative would be the Penn Plax one, as it employs a good performance-to-price ratio. The whole point of gaining turtle tank care experience is experimenting. The only way to accomplish that is to try different products and see for yourself how do they function. Good luck! May your turtles grow big and healthy!

Aqueon Betta Falls

The betta is one of the most popular tropical fish available to the aquarist. Its popularity is due in large part to its beautiful, flowing fins and tail. Many bettas exhibit brilliant colors that are sometimes the result of selective breeding, and this coloration is another factor driving their popularity with fish keepers. Bettas are also relatively easy to keep as they can tolerate a wide range of water conditions though they will thrive in a clean and heated environment.

Caring For Bettas

The most critical factor when keeping bettas is that you cannot keep two males together in a small tank. Though some success has been reported keeping multiple male bettas in large aquariums over 30 gallons they are usually kept in smaller tanks. Males kept together will tear at each other’s fins and will usually lead to the death of one of them. Just seeing each other through glass or in a betta condo can trigger aggression and lead to extreme stress and negatively impact their health. Even keeping a pair of one male and one female betta is challenging as they can also be very aggressive with each other. Additionally it is hard to find non-betta tank mates that will not either nip at the betta’s fins or be the target of a betta’s aggression. For these reasons they are often kept singly in smaller aquariums. Displaying multiple bettas usually requires using multiple tanks.

Aqueon Betta Falls

Aqueon’s Betta Falls is a new product that attempts to get around the problems of displaying multiple bettas in one unit. It is designed to allow viewing of three bettas kept in separate, small tanks. By integrating a filtration system that serves all three tanks at the same time it eliminates the need for a complete setup for each betta you wish to keep. Its unique design makes for a striking appearance and does beautifully display your bettas. Let’s look more closely at the Betta Falls and see some of its advantages and potential disadvantages.

Pros

  • Allows you to house 3 bettas in one unit.
  • Filtration keeps water clean and reduces need for water changes.
  • Stylish design is suitable for a desktop.
  • Fish cannot see each other eliminating stress.
  • Waterfall feature can be pleasing and relaxing in itself.

Cons

  • Each tank is only a little over 1/2 gallon in size.
  • Tank is not heated.
  • Potential for fish to get into another tank leading to fights and injury.
  • Can be noisy if not filled correctly.

Aqueon Betta Falls Features And Benefits

Display Multiple Bettas

The Betta Falls is designed to house 3 bettas. This is normally not possible in a tank this size. The fish are kept separated in three small tanks that share the same water as it circulates through the tanks. Aggression possible when bettas can view each other is eliminated by the use of frosted panels that the fish cannot see through.

Filtration

Many betta bowls and small tanks designed for bettas do not provide filtration. These small aquariums rely on the aquarist to make daily water changes to maintain a healthy, aquatic environment for their bettas. Using Aqueon’s QuietFlow technology, the Betta Falls constantly filters the water and circulates it between the three tanks by way of the cascading waterfall feature. The flow rate can be controlled which can be key in keeping your bettas happy and safe. Filter cartridges can be easily changed as needed. The addition of filtration is a big advantage over tanks that do not offer this feature.

Aesthetically Pleasing Design

The Betta Falls is available in white or black. Its unique design makes for a more interesting display than many of the small, plastic tanks that are available and often used to house bettas. It looks great on a desk or small table. Three units can be set up back to back to create a striking circular display of up to 9 betta fish.

Reviews Around The Internet

My research has shown some mixed reviews of the Betta Falls. Positive comments have focused on the tanks’s modern appearance and the ability to have 3 bettas in such close proximity without triggering aggression. Many users find the waterfall feature to create a pleasing and relaxing sound that increases the enjoyment of viewing their fish. Reduction of water changes made possible by the filtration system is also a compelling feature of the Betta Falls.

In some cases aquarists have reported that fish can jump downstream and enter another tank. This is not something that you want to happen and there are covers included that will minimize the potential for this mishap to occur. Reducing water flow rate from the filtration system will also help prevent this problem. The individual tank sizes are rather small and may not be the optimum size for long term betta care.

Alternatives

1. Penn Plax Deluxe Triple Betta Bow Aquarium Tank, 0.7-Gallon

This small tank will hold up to three bettas. It holds less water than the Betta Falls. It does not include a heater and the filter requires use of an external pump. The lighting system is battery operated.

2. AquaOne Betta Villa Trio

The Betta Villa Trio is a larger tank that holds 8.4 gallons of water. It is available with LED lighting and multi-stage filtration system. It is triple the price of the Betta Falls but affords your fish more room to move.

3. Penn-Plax World Betta Fish Condo

The Betta Condo is designed to be used within a larger aquarium. It is comprised of rectangular compartments with opaque dividers to prevent aggression. It uses the light, heat and filtration of the larger aquarium that hold the condo.

Conclusion

The Aqueon Betta Falls is a distinctive and relatively inexpensive way to display multiple bettas. It takes up much less room than three individual tanks and the shared filtration system is a big plus for both you and your fish. While there are potential difficulties they can be addressed by using the product carefully. If you are interested in this aquarium you can check it out here.