External Filters sumps pros and cons

External Filters Sumps Pros and Cons

External filters, sumps are usually located under the aquarium inside the cabinet.

Long considered the King of filters, external filters have in recent years lost some ground to some types of canisters, despite its drawbacks such as difficulties set up, more budget, etc, while they are powerful, highly efficient and have a high retention capacity, external filters are still a major player in tanks over 120 L.

Let’s see some pros and cons of external filters sumps:

External filter sump

As external filters sumps are larger than internal filters. They have more filter media inside which results in less frequent cleansing than internal filters and are more versatile with various specialist filter media available to improve the water quality and keep fish healthy.

External filters are usually more expensive than internal filters but will be worth paying the extra money for versatility and greater filtering capacity.

External filters sumps usually fit into the cabinet under the aquarium connected by two tubes. Water is pumped from one end of the aquarium, filtered and then returned back to the other end of the aquarium via a spray bar or other spray nozzles.

Mountain Tree sump for aquarium

Filtering the water in an external filter is achieved through various chambers. The first is the coarse mechanical cleaning which removes the larger particles, fish manure, and waste fish food,  the second is biological which cleans the water of harmful ammonia, nitrate and nitrite and the third is the polishing which removes the very fine particles. Finally, there is the UV sterilizing, which kills all pathogenic leads to fish diseases from the water.


As the external filter has a big filtering capacity, the chambers of the filter can be easily adjusted to suit the tank conditions, for example, a larger coarse section for large messy fish like goldfish or specialist media such as Mountain Tree Filter Brush to greatly improve your water condition.


Many of the new external filters now have a self-priming mechanism which allows water to be drawn from the aquarium into the filter ready to be pumped back into the aquarium. This device makes life easier when cleaning or servicing the filter.


External systems sumps do have some disadvantages: set up is a bit more technical with suction and discharge tubes going outside the tank, manual start-up is a bit trickier, and a more substantial budget is required.


Many hobbyists reckon external filter especially bottom filter very difficult to set up and maintain. That’s because they might have chosen the wrong filter media to apply. It is recommended to choose high efficiency, convenient and carefree filter media.




The 21st China International Pet & Aquarium Show

The show was successfully taken place in Shanghai National Conventional Center during November 16 to 19.

The show presented the products and categories include:

Aquarium Products
Filter Material/Oxygen Equipment/Heating Bar/Lamp/Filtering Apparatus, Aquarium Tank, Water Plant/Trough Sand, Ornamental Fish Feed/ Ornamental Fish Medicine and Aquarium Tank Scenery-building/Decoration Product

Pet Products
Pet Clothes/Pet Article/Pet House/Pet Toy, Pet Food
, Pet Training Article and Pet Health-care Product/Pet Medicine/Pet Grooming Product

At the same time, championship of stingray, arowana, discus, guppy, koi carp, aquascaping, marine aquascaping were also taken place.

It’s our honest to sponsor to the CIPS International marine aquascaping championship. Mountain Tree Mini ring, Mountain Tree Nitro ring and Mountain Tree Coconut Carbon helped the show going smoothly.

Arawrding ceromany as a sponsor of CIPS International Arowana championship.

At CIPS, Mountain Tree presented customers with our core value-water, your life, your soul, our mission.

Mountain Tree ecology pond filtration and pond.

Mountain Tree ecology filtration attracted many customers’ interests and they dropped by our booth.

Mountain Tree ecology aquarium filtration and koi carp.

Ecological filtration displayed in 3D structure.

Thanks to our Mountain Tree members’ effort, customers are interested and satisfied with Mountain Tree product and its new concept.


Mountain Tree will continue to provide high quality and innovated product for water filtration.


See you next CIPS 2018 Guangzhou!


pH in koi pond and importance of pH balance


What is pH ? The specification of water pH

The pH or potential hydrogen (concentration of hydronium ions H3O+) is used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of water. In a test, neutral water is at pH 7, on a scale of 0 to 14.

For the majority of freshwater aquatic species (fish, plants and micro-organisms) the optimal pH value for the tank is between 6.8 and 7.5 pH units.
However certain species or situations might call for other ranges: Discus prefer the rather acidic pH 6.2; pH 8.1, somewhat basic, is better for some African Cichlidae; a pH of 8.2 to 8.5 is quite basic, but ideal for a seawater aquarium.

water pH test kit

Some species adjust pH and water hardness range table

Acid pH 6~7.5

Hardness 50mg/L CaCo3

Neutral pH 7.5~8

Hardness 150~300mg/L CaCo3

Alkaline pH 7.5~8

Hardness 300~450mg/L CaCo3

Range pH 6.5~8.5

Hardness 50~350mg/L CaCo3

Pterophyllum scalare,

Botia macracantha,

Symphysodon discus,

Rasbora heteromorpha,

Aphyosemion and Wpiplatys,

Paracheirodon innesi,

Papiliochromis ramirezi, serrasalmus nattereri,


Poecilia hybrid,

Cyprinus carpio, Carassius auratus, peocilia reticulata, melanotaenia and bedtia, Xiphophorus helleri,

Haplochromis, hemichromis, julidochromis, melanochromis,pseudotropheus, tropheus Aequidens pulcher, Corydoras, thorichthys meeki, gouramis/colisa and trichogaster, labeo bicolor, barbus conchonius, betta splendens, barbus tetrazona,





Why ammonia is toxic to fish in pond water?

Ammonia is a nitrogen waste released by aquatic animals into the production pond environment.  It is a primary byproduct of protein metabolism.   Ammonia is excreted directly from the fish gill into the water.  Ammonia concentrations are usually at their highest late in the production season when biomass of the cultured species and the amount of protein fed are greatest.  Ammonia is toxic to aquatic life and toxicity is affected by pond pH. Ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N) has a more toxic form at high pH and a less toxic form at low pH, un-ionized ammonia (NH3) and ionized ammonia (NH4+), respectively.  In addition, ammonia toxicity increases as temperature rises.


 What is pH means? Defination of pH

The measure of whether water is acidic, basic (alkaline) or neutral is known as pH.  A scale of 1 to 14 is traditionally used, which represents the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration.  A pH of 7.0 is neutral; above 7.0 is basic and below 7.0 is acidic; close to 7.0 is weak and far from 7.0 is strong.  It is a common perception that the pH of water is neutral and constant at a value of 7.0.

The normal pH of water is 7.0, does it forever be the same?


 Factors that may affect pond water pH:
  1. Photosynthesis and Respiration

Pond CO2 concentrations and pH, are affected by respiration and photosynthesis.  Carbon dioxide is released during respiration and consumed for photosynthesis.  As a result, pond pH varies throughout the day (Fig. 1).


pond water pH and tempeature relationship





The daily interplay of photosynthesis and respiration creates a cyclical change in pond pH.  Pond water becomes most acidic just before the period of darkness ends and most alkaline after several hours of daylight.  The presence of un-ionized ammonia, the toxic form, increases as pH rises and decreases as pH falls which causes ammonia to become more ionized.  The concentration of un-ionized ammonia in production ponds is lowest just before dawn and highest late in the afternoon.

Process analysis:

Early Morning: Absorb CO2 for photosynthetic production of sugar.  As daylight progressively intensifies, the rate of photosynthesis increases and so does the uptake of CO2.  The removal of CO2 reduces the concentration of carbonic acid, and pond pH rises.

Late Afternoon: Late in the production season, high waste nutrient concentrations can promote dense phytoplankton   blooms   which,   in   turn,   can remove all of the CO2 from pond water during photosynthesis.  This can cause the water to become alkaline with pH levels greater than 9.0.  Pond pH is highest late in the afternoon — a few hours before sunset.

After sunset: photosynthesis and CO2 uptake stop. However, respiration continues day and night.  During respiration, plants and animals consume oxygen to free the energy stored in food.  The end product of respiration is CO2, which is released directly into the water.  As photosynthesis is halted by the absence of light, CO2 begins to accumulate and the carbonic acid concentration increases.  The rising concentration of carbonic acid causes the pH to fall. Toward the end of the production season, the biomass and respiration of cultured animals and phytoplankton is high. Nighttime concentrations of CO2, and therefore carbonic acid, can become excessive, lowering pH below 7.0.  As such, pond pH would be lowest an hour or two before sunrise.


Example of water temperature with water pH relationship

This has significant implications for water quality monitoring, especially several weeks prior to harvest when fish biomass is greatest.  For example (Table 1), a producer measures water quality at 0400 hr.  The total NH3-N concentration is 2.7 mg/L, pH is 7.0, and water temperature is 28 ℃.  The farmer then cross-references these values with a standard, pH-temperature table and calculates the concentration   of   “un-ionized”   NH3-N  to  be 0.019 mg/L.  The  producer decides to check water quality again at 1600 hr and finds that total   NH3-N  is  still  2.7  mg/L.  But,  pH   and water temperature have risen to 9.0 and 30 oC.  After checking the reference table, the farmer discovers that the un-ionized NH3-N concentration is now 1.2 mg/L.  An un-ionized NH3-N level of 0.019 mg/L would be considered    acceptable    for   channel   catfish production.  However, the un-ionized NH3-N concentration of 1.2 mg/L recorded at 1600 hr could be lethal to channel catfish within several hours.  Over a 12-hr period, the un-ionized ammonia concentration increased approximately 63-fold.  The temperature change accounts for less than 10% of the increase in toxicity while the rise in pH from 7.0 to 9.0 is responsible for more than 90%.













0400 hr

1600 hr














Table 1.  Amount of total ammonia-nitrogen (Tot/NH3-N) present as un-ionized ammonia-nitrogen (UI/NH3-N), for early morning and late afternoon pH and temperature measurements in a hypothetical production pond.

Measuring pH and Ammonia

When your pond and aquarium is experiencing pH imbalance, there are no visible signs. Since a small change in pH means a drastic change in alkalinity or acidity, it is important to monitor pond and  aquarium pH frequently. Keep a notepad to record your pH readings whenever you test. It will help you recognize patterns and find solutions when something is altering your pH. Before long, you’ll be a pro at using pH conditioners to stabilize pond and aquarium pH.


Plan on regular tests, at least every 2 months. The pH test is a very simple, comparative colorimetric test, very easy to do yourself. pH tester

China International Pet Show Nov,2016

Welcome to Mountain Tree booth on China International Pet Show 2016


The remarkable growth of CIPS is due in large part to the thousands of pet professional retailers and

wholesalers who flock to Guangzhou each year to see the latest product offering from more than 1,200 exhibiting

companies. Buyers from 78 countries comprise of more than 50,000 attendees.

Mountain Tree CIPS 2016

Mountain Tree CIPS 2016




























Company from Italy, Germany, UK also attended this show.

The aquatic exhibited various from tank, aquarium accessories, filter accessories, chemical,

fish food and pump accessories etc. This 100,000 -sq-meter space features more than 1,000 new products and point-of purchase display.

Mountain Tree CIPS 201














Mountain Tree CIPS 201














Mountain Tree CIPS 201



Mountain Tree CIPS 201













Mountain Tree CIPS 2016
















Mountain Tree CIPS 2016 aquatic plant















CIPS brought you an extensive array of competition featuring experts in every aspect of Masters of Aquascaping,

Stingray Competition, Discus Competition, Betta Competition, Guppy Championship, Crystal Bee Shrimp Competition etc.


Mountain Tree CIPS 2016












Mountain Tree CIPS 2016

Mountain Tree CIPS 2016

Mountain Tree CIPS 2016

Mountain Tree CIPS 2016
















At the show, we had a new spotlight that our new brand was successfully launched, Yeben, which  focuses on filter media, target at domestic market.

Mountain Tree CIPS 2016
















Mountain Tree CIPS 2016














Many customer consult about the new product and show much interested in it.


Mountain Tree CIPS 2016














Mountain Tree CIPS 2016














Mountain Tree CIPS 2016














Mountain Tree CIPS 2016














Mountain Tree CIPS 2016

















We are doing better in next show CIPS 2017, Shanghai.


Looking to see you then.