How to Clean Fish Tank Filter

A fish tank filter is an integral part of a healthy and happy aquarium. Whether you have a freshwater or saltwater tank, your filter is the key to keeping it clean and clear. But what happens when it begins to clog up?

How to Clean Fish Tank Filter?

Learn how to clean your fish tank filter with these easy steps!

1. Unplug the power cord to your fish tank

Otherwise you may find yourself without electricity for hours if there’s no breaker switch nearby. It’s also best not to work with electrical appliances while wet because you could get shocked by coming into contact with some exposed wires or other sources of electricity. Make sure all water in the aquarium has drained out so that nothing will be spilled during this process and set up something safe and non-slip to stand on, such as a stool or chair. Alternatively, if your bucket will hold water (a five-gallon bucket is recommended), use this instead of the fish tank for the purpose of avoiding electricity and water spills.

2. Remove any decorations from inside of the aquarium

This will make it much easier to clean things out when we’re done with it later on in the process. You can also set these aside somewhere for now, as they’ll be put back in at some point after cleaning.

3. Place a bucket or other container in case water spills out during cleaning

Now you need something that is able to hold more than just a few drops of water while still being safe enough not to fall over or spill. If you don’t have a bucket on hand, any type of container will do. Make sure it’s large enough to hold at least a gallon or so of water should anything happen (some people use garbage cans for this purpose).

4. Open up the filter box and remove all parts (including filter, sponge, etc)

You may also wish to clean these pieces as well before putting them back into their respective places later on in the process. If your pump is separate from the main filter tank then you can leave it out until everything else has been cleaned with warm water and soap or other cleaning solution that will dissolve pet hair and debris while not harming any of the biological life inside your tank.

5 Clean out any sand or gravel that are present in the filter box.

Cleaning out and replacing your sand once or twice a month is a good idea as it can harbor some harmful bacteria if not cleaned regularly. If you do clean your sand, be sure to rinse it very well before putting it back in later on so there isn’t any soap residue left over from when you wash it out with water and soap or other cleaning solution that will dissolve pet hair and debris while not harming any of the biological life inside your tank.

6 To reassemble – place all pieces back into their proper places and plug in power cord for your fish tank

Once everything has been put back together, test to make sure everything is operating properly before moving onto the next step Return the fish to their previous spots in the aquarium.

How Often Should You Clean It?

Depending on what type of filter you have, how many fish you keep and other factors, cleaning may vary. Cleaning the tank using the methods described above should be enough to restore back into good working order after a few uses of your filter. However, for the best results, it is recommended that you replace your mechanical parts every three months or so to ensure efficiency and safety.

1. Hang-On Filter Cleaning

The most common type of filter is the hang-on filter, which may also be referred to as a bio-wheel filter. This design hangs off on one end with an intake tube for water and a hose that pumps out water after going through all of the mechanical bits inside of it. This type of system will often use some sort of foam material on top, either natural or artificial. Cleaning this part can take as much or little time as you’d like since there are no moving parts involved aside from rotating tubes and impeller blades—and if those are removed then this style becomes virtually maintenance free (this won’t work with all filters however). Cleaning should be done by removing any debris in the filter box, rinsing the foam inside and scrubbing this with a brush (for stubborn areas, you can also use strong detergent or vinegar). Cleaning should be done every few weeks to maintain the water quality in your tank.

2. Sponge Filter Cleaning

This type of filter uses little to no moving parts so cleaning is often easy—or at least it would be if these didn’t need replacing about once a year. If cared for properly, then this can last much longer than that however due to any unseen wear on the sponge material itself over time which can lead to deterioration of some sort. Cleaning involves popping out the sponge inside and rinsing it off with warm water and soap or other cleaning solution that will dissolve pet hair and debris while not harming any of the biological life inside your tank. Cleaning should be done once a month or so depending on how dirty it becomes and on whether you have too many fish in your aquarium.

3. Canister Filter Cleaning

Canister filters are often used in smaller to medium sized tanks, though some may also use this filter for large ones as well depending on personal preferences and budget (canisters can get quite expensive). This type uses various foam blocks and other parts that must be cleaned regularly to ensure maximum efficiency. Cleaning involves removing all bands from the housing to drain water from these before rinsing them with warm water mixed with either vinegar or baking soda (don’t mix both together) then gently scrubbing with a brush until rinsed thoroughly. Cleaning should be done once a week or so depending on how dirty it becomes and on whether you have too many fish in your aquarium.

4. Undergravel Filter Cleaning

This is another type of filter that goes unnoticed until something goes wrong, at which point the need to clean this usually arises out of nowhere. Cleaning involves removing the glass plate from the top and rinsing everything down with warm water mixed either vinegar or baking soda (don’t mix both together) before gently scrubbing with a brush until all debris has been removed from inside of these tubes as well as any growth if present (these are quite easy to remove however). Cleaning should be done every few weeks to maintain the water quality in your tank.

5. In-Tank Filter Cleaning

This type of filter sits inside of the tank itself and uses biological bacteria as well as mechanical parts to clean water flowing through it. Cleaning involves removing carbon, pads, foams and other materials then rinsing these with warm water mixed with either vinegar or baking soda (don’t mix both together) before gently scrubbing with a brush until all debris has been removed from inside of these tubes as well as any growth if present (these are quite easy to remove however). Cleaning should be done every few weeks to maintain the water quality in your tank.

FAQ:

1. How do I clean my aquarium filter?

If you’re talking about disposable filters then all you have to do is throw these away when they get clogged up. Cleaning them doesn’t make any difference and in fact may shorten their lifespans if done too often (disposable filters can be cleaned however). If you’re talking about power filters or other types of internal filter, then it depends on what type you have whether or not this can be cleaned regularly. Some types like undergravel ones cannot be cleaned once installed unless there’s physical damage otherwise … Read more

2. Can you wash fish tank filters?

It depends on which type of filter you have and whether the manufacturer says that this should never be done since doing so may cause irreparable damage (like with undergravel ones). Cleaning is okay so long as the manufacturer doesn’t state otherwise.

3. Can you clean and reuse fish tank filters?

Yes but only some types and again, it depends on whether this should be done or not (again, for undergravel ones). Cleaning them is fine though.

4. How often should you clean fish tank filter?

It depends on which type of filter you have and how dirty it gets since doing so too quickly may shorten their lifespans due to stress from excessive cleaning. Try to wait a month before doing this if your fish don’t seem ill … Read more