What are you considering when you choose an aquarium pump?
The aquarium is a very popular and interesting hobby. But often those who are new in this field make mistakes in setting up the first aquarium and choosing aquarium pump. It is advisable in these cases to contact those who have more experience or search useful results on the Internet.
First of all, there is a choice of the pool: in general, for beginners. It is advisable to park around 100 liters. Since smaller or larger tanks may be difficult to manage. Regarding shape, we choose a classic rectangular tub. Since the water/air surface is enough to allow sufficient gas exchange.
Tub or Tank
Choosing the tub, we have to worry about the equipment: filter, lighting, heating and more. As for the filter, there are several types of filter. A good solution is the compartment filter, combining the advantages of mechanical and biological filtration. Fundamental, then, the pumps, which have the task of pushing the water towards the filters. (and of course also to move it in order to avoid stagnation).
For lighting (be sure to give our aquarium a dozen hours of light a day), head on the neon or on the led lights. Let’s remember that choosing the right lighting is crucial. Because it will not only stimulate the activities of our fish. But will also allow plants to implement chlorophyllin photosynthesis and thus grow well. The power must be at least 0.2 watts per liter; You should also pay attention to the color of the lamps (or rather the spectrum) because some are more suitable than others for use in aquariums. Finally, it should be said that the LED system involves a more substantial initial expense, but the longer it is cheaper than the neon.
The heating can be done by means of heating cables, test heaters, or both: the presence of a thermometer to control the temperature is also essential.
After choosing the equipment, we prepare the bottom: a few centimeters of fertilizer at the base, and then the classic layer of gravel. Then add the plants we chose and the water: if we do not intend to accommodate particularly demanding fish, the water in the municipal water network will be well provided that it is not too limestone or rich in chlorine.
Only a faded one after doing these steps, we can proceed with the addition of the fish.
Types of pumps
Aquarium pump The choice of the pump is a delicate passage as it is to choose the ‘pulsating heart’ of our aquarium, which will have to work 24 hours a day and will have to maintain good performance over time.
As mentioned, the pump function in an aquarium is to push the water to the filters and prevent it from stagnating. More generally, pumps are mechanisms that have the task of pushing a liquid or gas through an entry and exit.
There are two types: volumetric and fluid dynamics pumps
Volumetric pumps are so called because they use the volume variation in one chamber to aspirate or push the fluid. There are different types: rotary, piston, diaphragm, gear … These are very efficient, but also complicated and quite noisy pumps, and this makes them unsuitable for aquariums, where centrifugal pumps are preferred.
Fluid Dynamics Pumps
Centrifugal pumps (which belong to the category of fluid dynamics pumps) have a rather simple operation: they are formed by a rotating fret disk, which captures the fluid inside and pushes it toward the output. They do not create high pressures but are very silent, and are certainly the most suitable for aquariums. Centrifugal pumps can be in pallets, propellers, turbines, discs, etc. Aquariums usually use simple pallets, formed by 6-8 wings fixed around a rotating spindle.
Prevalence and flow of a pump
The two parameters that distinguish the pumps are the prevalence and the flow rate.
The prevalence is the ability of the pump to push fluid to the other and is generally measured in meters.
The flow rate is instead the amount of liquid that a pump can move from the input to the output in a certain amount of time. It can also be referred to seconds or minutes, but in aquariums usually, use liters per hour (L / h).
It is the relationship between these two values that we have to pay close attention to when purchasing: many manufacturers in fact “Baran”, pointing to the box only the flow rate, without specifying to what extent it was measured.
In itself, the flow rate without that of prevalence does not make sense. Generally, when the prevalence is not indicated, it means that the flow rate was measured at zero level. That is because of the misguided belief (correct theoretically, but imprecise from the practical one) that. Since the pump is immersed in the tank, it must not win any difference in height. This is true, but does not take into account the resistance offered by the pipes: this greatly affects the flow rate. Sometimes even halving it (it, of course, depends on the diameter and the length of the pipes).
In conclusion, serious and reliable manufacturers should put a curve or table on the pump box that indicates the different flow rates depending on the prevalence.
Aquarium pump: How to choose a suitable pump
Aquarium pump but, on a practical level, how do we choose a pump suitable for our aquarium?
The aquarium pump must, first of all, push the water through the mechanical filter to keep it clean. The pump capacity is stronger, the more this task will be done, the more water will be cleaned. But another task of the pump is to push the water through the biological filter. This second sliding must be as slow as possible to give bacteria to process the toxic substances.
Lastly, the pump must ‘blow’ on the water’s hair to prevent the formation of bacterial layers. That would make the water runny: this ‘puff’ must be strong enough to cover any area of the surface. But not too strong to cause waves.
But how to reconcile all these things? We have to refer to the size of the filter. In an aquarium, the right flow of a pump should be about 100 times the volume of filter materials.
If the filter is too small we have no choice. We will have to guide us to a low flow pump and risk water not being perfectly clean (due to the poor efficiency of the mechanical filter); If the filter is bigger, we can try to use more powerful pumps. It may be a good idea for the first tests to buy a pump with a paralyzer, or (given the high cost of the latter), build a “T” fitting.
As far as prices are concerned, aquarium pumps start at a minimum of a few dollars for compact and small pumps. Prices then rise around $20 for higher flow pumps, reaching up to $100 and more for very professional pumps and accessories.
To buy a aquarium pump, we can turn to a shop specializing in aquarium equipment, or even buy it online. In fact, many sites offer a wide choice of aquarium pumps for every budget and requirement. It is always advisable to focus on known brand pumps: this will result in a higher initial investment. But the longest is the right choice, as the pump will probably remain efficient over time.