How to wash the filter in the aquarium?

The filter in the aquarium is the most important part of the equipment, a life support system for your fish that removes toxic waste, chemicals, and if it works correctly, it saturates the water in the aquarium with oxygen.

For the filter to work fully, it is necessary that beneficial bacteria are divorced inside it, and improper care kills them, resulting in problems with balance.
Unfortunately, most filters lack simple and clear instructions for the user to understand.

How often to wash the filter

All filters are different, small ones need to be washed weekly, and large ones can work without problems for two months. The only right way is the way of observation, watch how quickly your filter gets clogged with dirt.

In general, the frequency for the internal filter is about once every two weeks, and for the external one from two weeks for very contaminated aquariums, up to two months for cleaner ones.
Look closely at the flow of water from the filter, if it is weakened, it is a signal that it is time to wash it.

Types of Filtration


The easiest way in which water passes through the filter material and is cleaned from suspension, large particles, residual feed and dead plants. Porous sponges are usually used in both external and internal filters.

These sponges must be washed regularly to get rid of particles that have clogged them. If this is not done, then the strength of the water flow drops significantly and the quality of the filtration decreases. Sponges are consumables and need to be replaced periodically.


An important view if you want to contain complex fish and have a healthy, beautiful aquarium. It can be simplified to describe it this way: fish create waste, plus the remains of feed fall to the bottom and begin to rot. In this case, ammonia and nitrates that are harmful to fish are released into the water.

Since the aquarium is an isolated environment, a gradual accumulation and poisoning occurs. Biological filtration, however, helps to reduce the amount of harmful substances by decomposing them into safe components. This is done by special bacteria that independently inhabit the filter.


This type of filtration is used in emergency situations in the aquarium: poisoning, after the treatment of fish, to remove harmful substances from the water. At the same time, water passes through activated carbon, the pores of which are so small that they retain substances in themselves.

After use, such coal must be disposed of. Do not forget that you can not apply chemical filtration during the treatment of fish and it is not necessary if everything is normal in your aquarium.

Wash the filter correctly

Just washing the filter may not be the best idea, as you can destroy a colony of beneficial bacteria in it. Therefore, it is important not to wash the filter when you make any global changes in the aquarium - a large change of water, change the type of feed or frequency of feeding the fish, or start a new fish.

At such times, it is very important that the balance is stable, and the filter is a large part of the stable balance in the aquarium.

We clean the biological filter

Washcloths are most often regarded as a mechanical filter that traps dirt from the water. Your fish, however, do not care what crystal clear water they live in nature in far from ideal conditions. But it is important for them that there would be as fewer decay products in water as ammonia.

And for the decomposition of ammonia and other harmful substances, bacteria that live on the surface of the washcloth in your filter are responsible. And it is very important to wash the filter so that it does not destroy most of these bacteria.

Sudden changes in temperature, pH, chlorinated tap water, it all kills bacteria. To wash the washcloths in the filter, use the water from the aquarium; just rinse it in this water until it becomes more or less clean.

Strive for sterility in this case is harmful. You can also do with solid parts - karmic or plastic balls.

Filter Replacement

Many aquarists change the washcloths in the filter too often, as advised in the instructions. The washcloth in the filter should be changed only if it has lost its filtering ability or has begun to lose the forum. And this happens no earlier than a year and a half.

It is also important to change no more than half at a time. For example, in an internal filter, washcloths consist of several parts and only one can be changed at a time.

If only part is replaced, then bacteria from old surfaces will quickly populate new ones and there will be no imbalance. Taking a break in a couple of weeks, you can completely replace the old contents with new ones and not damage the aquarium.

Impeller Care

All aquarium filters contain an impeller. An impeller is a cylindrical magnet with an impeller, which serves to create a current of water, and is mounted on a metal or ceramic pin. Over time, algae, bacteria and other debris accumulate on the impeller and impede its operation.


It is very simple to clean the impeller - remove it from the pin, rinse under the pressure of water, and wipe the pin with a rag. The most common mistake is when people just forget about it. And pollution significantly reduces the life of the impeller and the most common cause of filter breakdowns is impeller pollution.

Develop your own schedule for filter maintenance in the aquarium, record when you last did it, and regularly check the level of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates in your water.

Watch the video: How to clean your aquarium filter Fish 101 (February 2020).

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