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When it comes to setting up and maintaining a thriving saltwater aquarium, choosing the right filtration system is crucial. Two popular options to consider are canister filters and sumps. In this article, we'll compare these two filtration methods, highlighting their pros and cons to help you make an informed decision for your saltwater aquarium.

Canister Filter


  1. Efficient Mechanical Filtration: Canister filters are excellent at mechanical filtration, removing debris and particulate matter from your aquarium water.

  2. Compact and Easy to Install: They are relatively compact and can be easily installed in most aquarium setups.

  3. Customizable Media: Canister filters allow you to customize the filter media to suit your specific needs, such as adding activated carbon or phosphate removers.

  4. Quiet Operation: Many canister filters are designed for quiet operation, ensuring minimal disruption in your living space.


  1. Limited Biological Filtration: While they provide good mechanical and chemical filtration, canister filters may offer limited surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow.

  2. Regular Maintenance: They require periodic cleaning, which can be a bit more involved compared to some other filtration methods.



  1. Exceptional Biological Filtration: Sumps excel at providing a large surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize, aiding in the natural nitrogen cycle.

  2. Versatility: Sumps can be customized to include various filtration components, such as protein skimmers, refugiums, and chemical filtration media.

  3. Hidden Filtration: Sumps are often located in a separate, hidden area, maintaining the clean and uncluttered look of your main aquarium.

  4. Large Water Volume: Sumps increase the overall water volume in your system, which can help stabilize water parameters.


  1. Space Requirements: Sumps may demand additional space beneath the aquarium, which might not be feasible for all setups.

  2. Initial Setup Complexity: Installing a sump can be more complex and may require additional equipment, such as an overflow box.


The choice between a canister filter and a sump for your saltwater aquarium depends on your specific needs and constraints. Canister filters are great for smaller aquariums and are known for their mechanical filtration efficiency. On the other hand, sumps are ideal for larger systems, providing exceptional biological filtration and the opportunity to incorporate various filtration components.

Consider your aquarium size, available space, and the level of filtration you require when making your decision. Whichever you choose, maintaining a clean and healthy saltwater aquarium is within reach with the right filtration system.

When it comes to finding high-quality aquarium supplies for your saltwater aquarium, Tropic N Reef Aquariums has you covered. E

Explore our range of products to ensure the success of your saltwater aquarium, reef aquarium, or fish tank. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced aquarist, we have the equipment and accessories you need to create a stunning coral reef aquarium.

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Introduction: Creating a thriving and balanced aquarium environment is the ultimate goal for every hobbyist. One of the essential components in achieving this is biological filtration. In this blog, we will explore the concept of biological filtration, its benefits, and its crucial role in the aquarium hobby. We will discuss the implementation of biological filtration in both freshwater and reef aquariums, and highlight various products, including Cermedia MarinePure, that can enhance the biological filtration process in your aquatic setup.

Understanding Biological Filtration: Biological filtration is a natural process that utilizes beneficial bacteria to convert toxic substances, such as ammonia and nitrites, into less harmful compounds like nitrates. These beneficial bacteria colonize porous filter media, providing a vast surface area for their growth and multiplication.

Benefits and Importance of Biological Filtration:

  1. Water Quality Improvement: Biological filtration plays a vital role in maintaining excellent water quality by eliminating harmful substances that can lead to stress and diseases in aquarium inhabitants. It promotes a stable nitrogen cycle, contributing to a healthier environment.

  2. Nitrate Reduction: Excessive nitrate levels can negatively impact fish and coral health. Biological filtration helps convert nitrites to nitrates, minimizing their accumulation and ensuring a safer environment for your aquatic pets.

  3. Biological Stability: Establishing a robust biological filtration system contributes to a stable aquarium environment. It reduces pH fluctuations, maintains consistent water chemistry, and provides a more favorable habitat for fish, corals, and other inhabitants.

Implementing Biological Filtration:

  1. Selecting Suitable Filter Media: Choose porous ceramic materials or biofilter media like Cermedia MarinePure, which offer ample surface area for beneficial bacteria colonization. These media enhance the efficiency of biological filtration and support a healthy nitrogen cycle.

  2. Placement Considerations: Integrate the chosen biological filtration media into your filtration system, such as canister filters, sumps, or media reactors. Ensure sufficient water flow around the media, allowing the bacteria to receive necessary oxygen and nutrients for optimal performance.

Biological Filtration in Reef and Freshwater Aquariums:

Reef Aquariums: In reef aquariums, biological filtration is of paramount importance. Live rock and sand are key components that serve as both aesthetic elements and biological filters. These porous materials provide surfaces for beneficial bacteria, corals, and other invertebrates to colonize. They aid in the breakdown of waste and help maintain water clarity in reef ecosystems.

Freshwater Aquariums: In freshwater aquariums, biological filtration can be achieved through various methods. The use of biological filter media, such as ceramic rings, bio balls, or sponges, enhances the colonization of beneficial bacteria. These media efficiently break down toxic substances, keeping the water parameters stable and ensuring a healthier environment for fish and plants.

Cermedia MarinePure Products: Cermedia MarinePure offers a wide range of products designed to enhance biological filtration in the aquarium hobby. Here are a few examples:

  1. MarinePure Bioballs: These highly porous ceramic bioballs provide an extensive surface area for the growth of beneficial bacteria. They are suitable for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums, offering efficient biological filtration in various setups.

  2. MarinePure Blocks: These ceramic blocks offer a substantial surface area and are ideal for custom filtration systems. They provide excellent biological filtration capabilities, ensuring optimal water quality for your aquarium.

  3. MarinePure Plates: These thin ceramic plates with high porosity are perfect for use in canister filters or other compact filtration setups. They promote the colonization of beneficial bacteria, contributing to superior biological filtration.


Biological filtration is an integral aspect of maintaining a healthy and thriving aquarium. By harnessing the power of beneficial bacteria, we can create a balanced ecosystem that promotes optimal water quality and the well-being of our aquatic inhabitants. Cermedia MarinePure products, with their innovative designs and superior performance, provide a reliable solution for achieving successful biological filtration in both reef and freshwater aquariums. So, embrace the wonders of biological filtration and take your aquarium hobby to new heights of beauty and vitality.

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Introduction: Discus fish (Symphysodon spp.) are among the most captivating and sought-after freshwater fish in the aquarium hobby. Known for their vibrant colors, graceful movements, and unique disc-shaped bodies, they have earned the title of "King of Freshwater Aquariums." In this blog, we will delve into the fascinating world of Discus fish, covering their origin, habitat, diet, ideal aquarium setup, maintenance requirements, possible diseases, and their remarkable personalities.

Creating a Discus fish aquarium is like embarking on a journey into the enchanting realm of one of the most magnificent freshwater fish species. With their vibrant colors, graceful movements, and regal presence, Discus fish have rightfully earned their reputation as the "King of Freshwater Aquariums." In this blog, we will explore the fascinating world of Discus fish, including their origin, habitat, diet, ideal aquarium setup, maintenance requirements, common diseases, treatment options, and their captivating personalities.

  1. Origin and Habitat: Discus fish originate from the calm and warm waters of the Amazon River basin in South America. They inhabit slow-moving rivers, flooded forest areas, and oxbow lakes. In their natural habitat, Discus fish thrive in soft, acidic water with temperatures ranging from 82°F to 86°F (28°C to 30°C).

  2. Diet: In the wild, Discus fish primarily feed on a variety of live foods, including small crustaceans, insect larvae, worms, and plant matter. However, in the aquarium hobby, it is more practical to feed them a varied diet of high-quality frozen or prepared foods. Pellets, flakes, and frozen foods specifically formulated for Discus fish are readily available and provide the necessary nutrients for their well-being.

  3. Aquarium Size and Number of Discus Fish: To provide ample space for Discus fish to swim and establish territories, an aquarium with a minimum size of 50 gallons (190 liters) is recommended for a small group of Discus. Larger aquariums offer better stability and water parameters control, reducing stress on the fish. As for the number of Discus to keep, it is advised to start with a minimum of six individuals to minimize aggression and establish a natural hierarchy.

  4. Basic Requirements for a Healthy Discus Fish Aquarium: a. Filtration: A robust filtration system is crucial to maintain water quality. A combination of mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration is ideal for removing debris and maintaining a stable nitrogen cycle. b. Heating: Discus fish require a consistent water temperature between 82°F and 86°F (28°C to 30°C). Use a reliable heater with a built-in thermostat to maintain a stable and suitable temperature. c. Lighting: While Discus fish don't have specific lighting requirements, providing a gentle and subdued lighting setup using LED lights or fluorescent tubes can create a natural ambiance without causing excessive stress. d. Substrate: Discus fish can thrive in different substrates, including sand, gravel, or even bare bottom tanks. Sand tends to work better in most cases as it represnts close to Discus natural environemnt. One of the common traits of Discus while feeding is to fan the sand substrate with their fins to stir the food up to eat. Choose a substrate that is easy to clean and maintain, ensuring it doesn't harbor debris or harmful bacteria.

  5. Planted Aquarium vs. Bare Bottom Tank: Both planted and bare bottom aquariums can be suitable for Discus fish, each with its own advantages and considerations: Planted Aquarium: Live plants and drift wood provide natural hiding places, additional filtration, and mimic the fish's natural environment. However, live plants require appropriate lighting, nutrient supplementation, and may make maintenance slightly more complex. Bare Bottom Tank: A bare bottom tank offers easier maintenance, better visibility of waste, and reduced risk of substrate-related issues. It is easier to clean and allows for efficient water flow, but it lacks the natural aesthetic appeal of live plants.

  6. Discus Fish Diseases and Treatment: Discus fish are susceptible to various diseases, including bacterial, parasitic, and fungal infections. Common ailments include Discus Plague (Hole in the Head), Velvet Disease, and Flukes. Prevention is key, and maintaining optimal water quality, regular water changes, and a balanced diet can help minimize the risk of diseases. If an illness occurs, swift action is necessary, and consulting a qualified veterinarian or experienced aquarist is highly recommended. Medications such as antibiotics, antiparasitics, and anti-fungal treatments may be prescribed based on the specific diagnosis.

  7. The Personality of Discus Fish: Discus fish are known for their fascinating and captivating personalities. They exhibit curious behavior, recognize their keepers, and can even show signs of bonding. They are intelligent, social creatures that thrive in a peaceful and stress-free environment. The care and attention required to maintain their well-being make them highly rewarding and endearing companions for aquarists.

  8. Adding Trace elements: Adding trace elements to a Discus fish aquarium can provide several benefits for the overall health and well-being of the fish. Trace elements are essential minerals that are required in small amounts by living organisms. Here are some of the benefits of adding trace elements to a Discus fish aquarium:

  • Improved Water Quality: Trace elements help maintain the proper chemical balance in the aquarium water. They can enhance water quality by stabilizing pH levels and reducing toxic compounds such as ammonia and nitrite. This creates a more stable and healthier environment for the Discus fish.

  • Enhanced Growth and Coloration: Many trace elements play a vital role in the growth and coloration of fish. Adding trace elements can promote healthy growth, leading to well-developed and vibrant Discus fish. For example, iron is essential for the formation of red blood cells, while iodine contributes to proper thyroid function, which can affect coloration.

  • Strengthened Immune System: Trace elements like zinc, copper, and selenium are known to support the immune system of fish. They enhance the fish's ability to resist diseases and infections, reducing the likelihood of illnesses and improving their overall resilience.

  • Vital Nutritional Support: Some trace elements act as cofactors for enzymes involved in various metabolic processes. By supplementing the aquarium with trace elements, you provide the necessary nutritional support for proper physiological functions in Discus fish. This can have positive effects on digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall vitality.

  • Reproduction and Breeding Success: Adequate trace elements are crucial for successful reproduction and breeding in Discus fish. These elements contribute to the development of healthy eggs and sperm, increasing the chances of successful fertilization and hatching. Providing trace elements can help create optimal conditions for breeding pairs.

  • Preventing Nutrient Deficiencies: Insufficient levels of certain trace elements can lead to nutrient deficiencies in Discus fish, resulting in various health problems. By adding trace element supplements, you can prevent these deficiencies and promote overall fish health.

It's important to note that while trace elements are beneficial, it's crucial to maintain the correct dosage and ensure that they are within safe limits. Overdosing or imbalance of trace elements can be harmful to fish and other aquarium inhabitants. It's recommended to follow the instructions provided with the trace element supplement or consult with a knowledgeable aquarist or veterinarian for proper guidance.

Remember to regularly test the water parameters and monitor the behavior and health of the fish when introducing any new substances to the aquarium.


Setting up and maintaining a Discus fish aquarium can be a fulfilling and captivating experience. From recreating their natural habitat to ensuring optimal water quality and nutrition, every aspect contributes to the health and vibrancy of these magnificent fish. With the right knowledge, equipment, and dedication, you can create a stunning aquatic showcase and enjoy the royal presence of Discus fish in your home.

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