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When and How To Use External Filters?
A simple external power filter is a valuable addition to a SHOWLR setup for several reasons. It will provide added water movement and circulation for your aquarium, as well as accommodating any mechanical or chemical filtration you may desire. Nothing fancy is needed here, since it's primary purpose is to provide adjustable water move and current that can be switched during feedings if needed.
The type or brand of supplemental filter you choose for your SHOWLR tank is therefore not critical, but there are certain desirable features you want to look for in any filter that will be used for seahorses. For example, it should provide good surface agitation and water movement with adjustable flow to promote gas exchange at the air/water interface. The intake tubes should reach all the way to the substrate (add extenders if they do not) and be screened off or otherwise shielded so they cannot "eat" a curious seahorse. The filter must provide efficient oxygenation and gas exchange and be able to accommodate mechanical and chemical filtration media such as activated carbon and polyfilter pads. A prefilter is very desirable, as is a "waterfall" return.