Monday, September 25, 2023
HomeAquarium & MaintenanceHow to Clean Aquarium Filter

How to Clean Aquarium Filter

We cannot afford to neglect the tank filter for too long for it to become too gross until we decide to clean it. In fact, regularly cleaning your aquarium filter is an essential part of maintaining a healthy and thriving aquatic ecosystem. And it should be done every month.

This blog post will go over the steps necessary to clean different types of aquarium filters. We will also provide some helpful tips on keeping your aquarium filter in good condition for years to come.

how to clean aquarium filter

How to Clean Aquarium Filter Sponge Filters

Sponge filters are one of the most popular aquarium filters on the market. Sponge filters are easy to maintain and efficiently filter out debris and waste from your aquarium water.
They are often used in freshwater tanks and can be an excellent choice for beginner aquarists.

What you will need

  • Tank water
  • Bucket or container
  • A pair of gloves

Step 1: Wear gloves and prepare the tank water

Put on your rubber gloves to avoid touching the dirty sponge and tank water with your bare hands.
Also, pour some tank water into a small bucket.

Step 2: Remove the sponge

Remove the aquarium sponge filter from your tank and place it in the bucket or container of old tank water.

Please know that you should not wash the sponge with clean water to avoid killing all the beneficial bacteria in the sponge.

Step 3: Wash the sponge

Gently squeeze the sponge filter and wash it until the water can run through it.

Please know that you should replace the sponge if it shrinks too much after being squeezed or shows signs of disintegration.

However, you should replace one or half a sponge since the new one will take more than a month to absorb substances and become mature enough for it to work.

How to clean Hang On Back (Power) Aquarium Filter

Power filters are another popular aquarium filter and are often used in freshwater and saltwater tanks. Power filters are easy to maintain and are very effective at filtering out waste and debris from your aquarium water.

- Advertisement -

Cleaning your aquarium filter is an important part of maintaining a healthy environment for your fish. Aquarium filters remove debris and waste from the water, keeping it clean and clear. Power filters are a type of aquarium filter that uses an impeller to create water movement, which helps to remove waste and debris from the water.

What you need

  • Filter media (such as activated carbon or filter pads)
  • Bucket
  • Distilled water or dechlorinated water
  • Latex gloves (optional)
  • A pitcher of tank water


  1. Put on the gloves as you wash the filters and handle tank water.
  2. Unplug the aquarium filter from the power outlet and remove it from the aquarium.
  3. Open the aquarium filter and remove the filter media. Most power filters have a canister that can be unscrewed to access the filter media.
  4. Rinse the filter media in distilled water. Be sure to use gloves if you are using activated carbon, as it can be harmful if it comes into contact with your skin.
  5. Clean the sponge in the pitcher of tank water, as instructed in the guide above.
  6. Replace the filter media in the aquarium filter and screw the canister back on.
  7. Rinse the exterior of the aquarium filter in a bucket of distilled water.
  8. Wipe down the aquarium filter with a clean cloth to remove dirt or debris.
  9. Install the sponge back to the filter, then pour some tank water inside the filter. Place the aquarium filter back in the aquarium and plug it into the power outlet.
  10. Turn on the aquarium filter and allow it to run for 24 hours before adding fish to the aquarium.

How to clean an aquarium canister filter

how to clean hang on back

Aquarium filter canisters are an important part of any aquarium filtration system, and it is important to keep them clean to maintain a healthy environment for your fish.

There are a few different methods that can be used to clean canister filters, and the best method for you will depend on the type of filter you have and the amount of time and effort you are willing to put into cleaning it.

What you need

  • Filter media (if applicable)
  • Gravel vacuum
  • Canister filter cleaning solution
  • Chlorine bleach (optional)
  • An old toothbrush

Step 1: Remove the filter

Turn the filter off by unplugging the power source, then remove it from the tank. If you have a canister filter with removable media, remove the media and set it aside.

Also, you should turn off the shut-off valves to avoid water spilling. Then, make sure to unscrew the water tubes from your tank’s motor housing.

Step 2: Pre-wash the canister filter

Place the canister filter in a sink or tub and open the valves to allow water to flow out of the canister.

If your canister has a gravel vacuum attachment, use this to help remove debris from the inside of the canister.

Once the water has been completely drained from the canister, close the valves and remove any remaining water by tipping the canister upside down and shaking it.

Step 3: Wash the canister filter

- Advertisement -

Fill the canister with clean water and add the recommended amount of aquarium filter canister cleaning solution.

Alternatively, you can use a bleach solution made by mixing 1 part bleach with 20 parts water.

Run the cleaning solution through the canister for the recommended time (usually around 15 minutes).

Step 4: Remove all cleaning solutions from the canister

Rinse the canister thoroughly with clean water to remove all traces of the cleaning solution.

If you are using a bleaching solution, it is important to rinse the canister multiple times with clean water to remove all traces of bleach before putting it back in your tank.

Step 5: Clean the filter media

If you have a canister filter with removable media, clean the media in a bucket of clean water. You can use an old toothbrush to scrub the dirt off the media strays.

Step 6: Clean the impeller

It is time to remove the gunk stuck in the impeller that threatens to damage the motor. You can use the old toothbrush again for this task but make sure to do it gently.

Please know that the impeller hole also requires some gentle cleaning.

Step 7: Reassemble the filter

Reassemble the filter and put it back in your aquarium. Make sure to turn the shut-off valves back on.

Run the filter for a few hours to allow the water to circulate and remove any residual chlorine from the bleach solution.


As you can see, cleaning your aquarium filter is not a complicated process. By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you should be able to keep your aquarium looking and running great for years to come.

- Advertisement -

Have any questions about filter cleaning or other aspects of aquarium maintenance? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll do our best to help you out.


(Vote: 2 Average: 5)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular