All That You Need to Know About Chemical Filter

Usually most of our home aquarium gets affected by various harmful chemicals. Few pollutants like copper can be found in fish medications too. The other chemicals like chlorine and other heavy metals, are also found in water. Besides this, there are other pollutants like ammonia which is a byproduct of fish waste, any uneaten food, or any critical biological filtration.

Why do we need chemical filtration?

Chemical filtration can remove those toxins which any mechanical and biological filtration cannot. Therefore, chemical filtration is essential for clean, pure, clear and pollutant-free water in aquarium.

Chemical filtration is one of the simplest ways to get rid of these dangerous pollutants out of fresh as well as saltwater systems. Many different chemical filter medias are available and most of them remove specific pollutants out of water column. Find out right chemical media to suit to your aquarium’s filtration requirements for improved quality of water.

Activated carbon

Carbon is one of the most popular fish tank filter forms of chemical filter. It can boast as microscopic pores which bind with and can remove any dissolved particles from the aquarium’s water. Carbon can help remove variety of pollutants like chlorine, copper, dissolved proteins, any medications, and many other organic/inorganic compounds. It can also remove odor and discoloration and create very clear aquarium water. However, you must replace it frequently to get optimal chemical filtration process.


Zeolite is certain mineral-based media having porous composition. It is different from any chemical filter media and removes and absorbs ammonia and any other nitrogenous compounds out of freshwater aquariums. Many zeolite forms can rapidly decrease large ammonia concentrations from the water. Some forms can be soaked in the saltwater to recharge for reuse within the aquarium filter too. It can be obtained in both synthetic and natural forms.

Phosphate removers

This chemical filter media too is highly porous as well as super absorbent. It can effectively bind large phosphate concentrations, heavy metals, dissolved organic compounds and other pollutants. Due to high phosphate levels, water clarity reduces and may feed undesirable organisms like nuisance algae. Phosphate can easily precipitate any dissolved magnesium and calcium in saltwater aquariums. Most of the reef hobbyists generally prefer that are based on ferric oxide hydroxide formulas.


Resins can attract and also remove certain specific water toxins with the help of ion exchange. In this process, resins can draw charged toxins like ammonia, from your water column and then exchange them with any less harmful compounds, like sodium. They can work in same principle like zeolite and can be obtained in both synthetic and natural forms. One of the biggest advantages for most resins is, oftentimes any single resin formula can work to neutralize variety of pollutants of aquarium.

This multi-faceted media of chemical filter is particularly beneficial in any existing systems of filtration without providing any scope for multiple filter media to expand. Any resin can remain highly active for long periods with very little fluctuation on absorptive capabilities. Due to this, resins are suitable for use for more demanding corals and fish that can thrive in aquariums only with high quality water.

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