How Often to Change Fish Tank Filter

Speaking of fish tank filters, do you know their roles in aquariums? Actually, adding a fish tank filter will bring a handful of benefits to aquariums. For instance, remove excess waste and toxic substances, convert the harmful substances into harmless ones, promote the nitrogen cycle, promote the generation of beneficial bacteria, as well as circulate the water and aerate the tank. So next in this article, we are going to cover some pointers about how often to change fish tank filters and how to clean and maintain them. Without wasting much time, let’s dive deep into the topic.

Does a fish tank filter always need to be on

Generally, it is recommended to keep a fish tank filter always on. Then why turning off the fish tank filter is not a good choice?

  • A fish tank filter can remove waste, uneaten food, fish feces, harmful bacteria, or other unnecessary substances from the aquarium.
  • The filter provides places for beneficial bacteria and microbe colonies to grow. It is helpful to the nitrogen cycle.
  • Without a fish tank filter your fish tank may face bad oxygen flow, waste accumulation, and poor water quality. And it is not good for fish.
  • Some fish tank filters also play a role in aerating aquarium water, which helps to maintain sufficient oxygen levels.
  • If you turn off the filter, dirty water and unnecessary substances on the filter may regurgitate into the fish tank when you turn on it.

Additionally, can you turn off the fish tank filter at night? Actually, maybe sometimes you can. But it is better not to turn off the filter at night. Because a night may mean 7 hours or more. It is a long time, actually. Stagnant or dead aquarium water would pose risks of oxygen deficiency, and fish may breathe hard.

Then, when can you turn off the fish tank filter?

  • The time you feed fish, you can turn off the fish tank filter for a while. Then the motor of the filter can take a break, which also prevents the motor from getting burned.
  • You can turn off the filter in the case of clean aquarium water and there is an air pump in the tank. But do not keep it off too long. Otherwise, it would damage fish.

How often to change the fish tank filter

Until now, you have known that fish tank filters are necessary for aquariums. It helps to keep aquariums clean and keep aquatic pets healthy. Nevertheless, the filters need to be changed. But how often to change it? If you want to know the answer, please read on.

Regular cleaning and replacement are vital. The average lifespan of fish tank filters is about 2–3 years. You can change the filter once each year or it is also feasible to use the filter until it is broken. Nonetheless, you should change the filter media. Commonly, whether should you change the filter media is determined by the status of the filter media. Usually, mechanical and biological filters do not need to change regularly. You can replace them until they fail to filtrate the aquarium water. Also, you should change the chemical filters once a month. When you change the media, you can soak them in aquarium water before adding them to the tank.

How to clean the waterfall and internal filter

Next in this segment, we will give you examples of how to clean fish tank filters.

How to clean the hang-on waterfall filter

In this part, let’s have a look at how to clean a hang-on waterfall filter.

  • One: unplug and detach the filter.
  • Two: pour aquarium water to fill an empty bucket.
  • Three: clean the impeller, hoses, and other small parts of the filter with a soft brush.
  • Four: clean the filter sponge with water.

How to clean the internal canister filter

Cleaning an internal aquarium canister filter can be easy. Just follow the steps mentioned below:

  • One: unplug and remove the aquarium equipment connected to the filter.
  • Two: pour aquarium water to fill an empty bucket.
  • Three: put the filter media into the bucket filled with aquarium water.
  • Four: clean the impeller, hoses, and other small parts of the filter with a soft brush.
  • Five: After hooking the filter back up, refill the canister with aquarium water before turning on the filter.

Maintaining your fish tank filter

Fish tank filter cleaning

Commonly, it is feasible to replace the filter media once a month. As for fish tank filter cleaning, just keep in mind – to avoid frequent and thorough cleaning. Because it may kill a large portion of beneficial bacteria on the filter. Plus, it is best to clean the fish tank filter with tap water or water in the fish tank, never use hot water to clean. While cleaning the filter with soap or bleach is not a feasible alternative.

Then, how often should you clean the filter? There is no definitive answer. Because the frequency of filter cleaning may be varying from filter type. The followings are some tips.

  • Hang-on filter: clean it once every few weeks or once a month.
  • Sponge filter: clean the sponge once every two weeks.
  • Canister filter: clean it once every a few months. For instance, once every three months.
  • Under-gravel filter: clean it once every two weeks.
  • Internal filter: clean it once every few weeks, but once a month at least.

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Comments (4)

  1. Hello, what kind of carbon replacement filter would I need to get for the corner filter?

    Mohammad Qureshi
    Sep 17, 2023 Reply
    • Hi, Mohammad Qureshi. The kind of carbon replacement filter depends on the corner filter you have. Just examine the existing carbon filter in your corner filter and note down its dimensions, shape, and other specifications. Actually, we typically use ceramic ring media and activated carbon filter media.

      That’s it. Hope it can help you out.

      hygger team

      Sep 18, 2023 Reply
  2. I have a Hygger internal aquarium canister filter. HG-009-L. Is cleaning the filter media sufficient or do I need to replace any media at some point?

    Yolanda Booth
    Jun 20, 2023 Reply
    • Hi Yolanda Booth, generally, you can clean the filter media by rinsing it with your fish tank water every month, it is enough for daily maintenance.
      It is suggested to replace some media per year, but it mostly depends on your tank water quality.
      Any questions about hygger, please feel free to mail us via [email protected]

      hygger team

      Jun 21, 2023 Reply

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