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Trickle Filter Pro's & Cons


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Hi Guys,

I've been doing a bit of research on trickle filters as am looking to use one in my new 6x2x2 which will house tanganyikans. I've found some pros and cons but not extensively.

I've also gone throu this site and looked at the previous trickle filter posts but they dont go into to much detail.

Does anyone have a list of pros and cons for these filter types and also how much media should I be looking to use for this size tank.



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Easy to set up

Great oxygen exchange

Good bio-mechanical filtration

Can be cheap depending on what media is used

The filter is separate from the main tank so is ideal for display tanks (nothing to clutter the view).


More chance of ending up with wet carpet laugh.gif (if the overflow gets blocked the tank will overflow, and if the pump stops, you need a big enough sump to handle the excess water).

Needs to be hidden as is a bit ugly.

If you don't prefilter the solids, the bioballs / coral etc may get clogged up.

I personally love trickle filters, and have had one running my 3000 litre bank for several years now with no problem.

Here's a pic of it before I improved it with the addition of a UV filter and more bioballs (and tidied it up laugh.gif ):

user posted image

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You have got most of the pro's there. Great for display as mentioned, you can put your heater in there too. Also gives you more water volume. Makes water changes easier IMO.

A couple more con's: They can really smell sometimes If you arent regular with your maintenance. Extra water loss thru evaporation. Depending on design, the noise can be an issue with some.



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