An aquarium's filter acts as the kidney of the system. Just like in the human kidney, aquarium filters segregate harmful toxins that are dissolved in the water. Before it can do this, however, it also has to deal with larger substances and particles that might clog up the filter and really restrict its handling of the more important filtration, which is the chemical filtration. There are many filter designs where larger particle filtration is handled through an ever decreasing series of physical barriers and the last barrier is a cylinder that runs the water through activated carbon, which then binds the harmful toxins that are dissolved in the water with the carbon.
If you are looking for a more robust version of filtration, you should look into specialized pre-filters. Pre-filters are devices that specialize only in larger particles. You need this type of set up if you want to preserve your main filter's key role, which is to take care of dissolved threats to your water's health. A good pre-filter is Tom Aquatics Aqua Lifter Suction (Pre-Filter) from Pet Store
. This unit filters out and segregates large particles before they enter the main filter which is the Aqua Lifter.
This type of set up is great if you ran an aquarium where you have to add water supplements that your plant and animal life need. One common example is a reef aquarium
where you have to put in calcium supplementation for the reef to stay in the best health. The problem with this though is if you do not have a segregated filtration system. This calcium additive might hamper the operations of your filter. You work around this problem by installing an Aqua Lifter with Tom Aquatics Aqua Lifter Suction (Pre-Filter). You get the benefit of the calcium supplement without the hassle of reduced filter strength and efficiency.
Pre-filter for Aqua LifterDosing Pump. Filters out large particles in water before entering Aqua Lifter. Ideal for reef additives such as kalkwasser.