Glossary: wet/dry filter
Type of filter normally placed under the aquarium, and often home-made. The basic premise is that water trickles vertically downards through separated compartments containing mechanical and biological filter media with spaces inbetween so that it is also exposed to the air briefly. It then collects in a base chamber or sump from where it is pumped back to the main aquarium. There are many commercial designs available, some of which are more effective than others. Not popular in marine reef aquaria due to the associated accumulation of nitrates as by-product.