Cleaning Your Canister Fish Tank Filters

No matter how wonderful or expensive the filter is, it will eventually clog if it is not maintained properly. While there are many types of canister fish tank filters on sale these days, maintaining and cleaning them is the same.

The great thing about canister fish tank filters is that it does not need to be cleaned and maintained as much as other types of aquarium filters. However, there will come a time, after a couple of months when they will have to be cleaned. No matter how wonderful or expensive the filter is, it will eventually clog if it is not maintained properly. While there are many types of canister fish tank filters on sale these days, maintaining and cleaning them is the same. 

Cleaning Equipment

Here are some of the cleaning equipment that you will need to prepare before starting your work:

  • A bucket
  • A syphon
  • A toothbrush
  • Rubber bands or string
  • A used sock
  • Vaseline

Transporting Your Filter To Your Workspace

This step firstly depends on whether your filter inlet comes with an off valve. If you are able to close off the water inlet, then you can leave the filter hose intake inside the aquarium. However, if you canister fish tank filters does not have this option, you will have to remove the entire filter hose intake from the aquarium or else the tank water will flow out of the hose when you dislodge it from the filter. 

Turn off the filter and carry it to your workspace. 

Cleaning The Media For Mechanical Filtration

The filter media for mechanical filtration will definitely be the dirtiest component in your canister fish tank filters. 

Open the canister filter top and remove the mechanical filter pad. It will definitely be caked with excess food and waste so make sure you are at your workspace when you do this. This filter media need to be rinsed but do not use tap water to rinse it. I’ll repeat this again: DON’T USE TAP WATER!  The reason is the filter will house colonies of beneficial bacteria which provides biological filtration and the chlorine in tap water will kill off the colonies of bacteria. What you will need to do is syphon some of the aquarium water into your bucket and use this to rinse the filter media. 

Most aquarium shops recommend changing the filter media but I find that in most cases, this is not necessary unless you’ve been using the filter for a few years and the filter sponges look worn out. 

Cleaning The Media For Biological Filtration

If your canister fish tank filters come with a biological filter basket, you could also rinse them as they do sometimes get waste matter on them. To do this, remove the basket and gently switch them in tank water. Again, do not use tap water. 

Cleaning The Canister Housing

Empty out any excess water and rinse the inside a little.  It really isn’t necessary to scrub it, just make sure any solid waste is rinsed away. 

Cleaning The Mechanical Parts

In a canister filter, the propeller would usually be heavily grimed because it takes in the full force of the dirty tank water. You can clean the propeller with an old toothbrush but do this gently as the parts can be brittle and may break if you exert too much pressure. 

Reassembling The Parts

Once everything is nice and clean you can start assembling back the parts according to how you dismantled them, with last out first in. Once the parts are assembled, rub a little Vaseline on the cover rubber seal to prolong its life before closing back the canister.

Restarting The Canister Filter

Connect the hose inlet to the canister filter but don’t connect the outlet first. Before turning on the filter, you will need to prime it to ensure that there is water inside the canister and to prevent airlock. Do this until the canister filter is filled, then turn on the filter and watch as the water flows smoothly. If the water is not flowing smoothly, you might have to prime it a little more. 

If your inlet flows directly into the tank, then place tie the sock over the inlet to prevent waste from flowing into the tank. The sock you use must be thoroughly washed with normal water to ensure that it does not have traces of detergent on it. 

After a few minutes, remove the sock or if you managed to remove the outlet hose, attach it back. That’s all that you need to do.

This is how you would clean your canister fish tank filters. For more information on filters and other aquarium guides, visit Fish Tank Filters at http://fish-tank-filters.org today. 

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