Maintenance A New Planted Aquarium by Waterfall Filter

Maintenance of a planted aquarium seems a tough and tedious operation, but necessary to maintain aesthetics. This tedious operation is greatly assisted with proper filter selection. Among the number of options, HOB/waterfall filters do the best job. It is easy to install, operate, clean, and maintain a waterfall filter.

Here you’ll learn about the newly planted tank’s characteristics, the best filter for a planted aquarium, and the maintenance of the waterfall filter.
best filter for planted aquarium

New Planted Aquarium Maintenance

A newly planted aquarium is a completely unstable world that tests your patience. There are some specific challenges that it carries until it achieves stability. You should know these factors for a newly planted aquarium maintenance. Some of the key issues that are also characteristics of it are in the following.

Characteristics of a Newly Planted Aquarium

  • Fast Algae Growth

Newly set fish tanks often encounter fast algae growth and specifically planted tanks encounter it a lot. The reason behind this fast growth is that earlier plants try to find balance. Meanwhile, algae use all the light, extra CO2, and nutrients. This leads to a swear out-break to algae growth.

  • Water Cloudiness

Water cloudiness is the other sign of a newly planted aquarium. Cloudiness caused due to unstable substrate, growth of bacterial colony, or excessive nutrient application. Unrinsed gravel in the tank also causes cloudiness.

  • Stressed Plants

Head-down plants are the other sign of a newly planted fish tank. When plants shift to a new environment, they lose their earlier balance and try to maintain a new balance. Old leave shreds down and branches begin to grow. Usually, it takes some time to acclimatize the plants to a new environment.

  • Stressed Fish

The other most apparent characteristic of a newly planted aquarium is the uncomfortable fish. When fish migrated to a new aquarium, they became uncomfortable. You can see the signs of stress as they try to hide them in the cave or under some tree trunk.
There are some signs that you can check with the help of some instruments.

  • Abrupt changes in pH and other factors
  • Excessive nitrate

How Long Does It Take To Form a Stable Fish Tank Ecosystem?

It appears tricky to give an exact figure answer. It took 3 to 4 weeks to months. Some specific factors play a vital role in a tank’s ecosystem stabilization. These factors include

  • Tank size
  • Plantation density
  • Fish population
  • Aquarists experience level
  • Maintenance Frequency

Filtration Requirements

Above, you have learned about some specific characteristics of a newly planted aquarium. Proper selection of aquarium filters helps to maintain a planted aquarium at large. If we look at the available options, then the Hang-On-Back (HOB) or Waterfall filter is the best filter for planted aquariums. How filtration plays a vital role in a planted aquarium maintenance, is in the following.

  • Mechanical Filtration

There is a huge debris generation in the early days of a newly planted tank. The shredded old leaves along with much other physical waste are there. These filters help to remove it from the aquarium continuously and help to achieve a fast balance.

  • Oxygenation

Proper oxygenation is greatly required for fast ecosystem balance. Filters, especially waterfall filters, help to meet the goal.

  • Biological filtration

Waterfall filters also do biological filtration. Earlier-day imbalance raises nitrate production in the tank, which ultimately fuels the algae growth. Biological filtration helps to grow the bacterial colonies that encounter this imbalance.
HOB waterfall filters

Filters for Planted Aquarium

Several filter types help in planted aquarium maintenance at different levels. Among all the types, the Hang-On-Back (HOB) or waterfall filter is the best filter among the options. Scroll down to find the reason that is stated at the end of the following section.

Introduction to HOB/Waterfall Filter

As the name suggests, the HOB filter hangs on the back rim of the aquarium. They are also known as waterfall filters. A pump pumps the water and moves it through the several filter media, present in it. They are common among aquarists, due to their simple design and easy maintenance.

Usually, waterfall filters offer mechanical and biological filtration. However, advanced HOB filters can offer all three major filtration processes, i.e., chemical, mechanical, and biological. A sponge helps to remove debris, and biological filtration pallets help to keep the nitrogen cycle balanced. All the chemical removal is done with the help of a carbon filter.

Role of HOB/Waterfall Filter for Aquatic Plant Growth

In a newly planted aquarium, mostly mechanical and biological filtration is required. Both of these filtration are done with a waterfall filter effectively. It also offers proper control over the algae growth, proper oxygenation, equal nutrient distribution, and adequate water movement. All of these things are nicely achieved with the help of the waterfall filter.

Comparison with Other Filter Types

  • Space Acquisition

Waterfall and canister filters don’t occupy aquarium space. The waterfall filter hangs on the back, while the canister filter is placed under or beside the tank. On the other hand, internal and sponge filters occupy tank space because they are fully submerged in the tank.

  • Filtration Capacity

In this aspect, canister filter rates high in both mechanical and biological filtration. The waterfall filter is good. Sponge filters can only do biological filtration. The price of the waterfall makes it a suitable option.

  • Maintenance

In this case, the waterfall filter proves the best filter over internal, canister, and sponge filters. The waterfall filter is easy to access and maintain.

  • Suitability

The waterfall filter is the most suitable for medium size tanks. While canister filters do the best job for large tanks. On the other hand, both internal and sponge filters are best fit with small-size fish tanks.
planted aquarium filter maintenance

Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining the Waterfall Filter

Cleaning of Waterfall Filter


The process should be done once a month. By following the above steps, you can use the same filter years and years without any problem. Keep in mind to clean the motor assembly to prolong the life of your waterfall filter.
planted aquarium maintenance


Filtration plays a big role in newly planted aquarium maintenance. In the early days, a lot of mess is there. Therefore, it’s crucial to select a proper filter for planted fish tanks. Among several available filter types, the HOB/waterfall filter is the best filter for planted aquariums. With proper maintenance, you can use it over a longer period.

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