Freshwater Aquarium Maintenance - Cleaning Hanging Power Filter

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
We know that without regular water changes, the “good” bacteria will not be able to keep up with the accumulation of uneaten food or fish waste and the ammonia will quickly reach a dangerous level. And no matter what types of aquarium filter you have, you will need to regularly clean your aquarium. However, we should wait a couple of weeks before cleaning the aquarium filter.

Why wait? Actually I've explained it here. The major cleaning you just performed disturbed the beneficial bacterial colonies on the plants, rocks, and gravel. Fortunately many beneficial bacteria reside within the filter media, so you haven't completely upset the Eco-system. However if you changed the filter at the same time, you might trigger a dangerous ammonia spike because there aren't enough beneficial bacteria left to eliminate the toxins. That's why you should wait to clean the aquarium filter after performed the major cleaning your fish tank. Beyond that, cleaning hanging power filter regularly at least once a month will keep your fish healthy.

How To Clean a Hanging Power Filter :
OK! The list below are steps to clean a hanging power filter. It's only need 20 minutes to do so...

  1. Have fresh filtration media, a small pitcher, and a bucket on hand before starting.
  2. Place about two quarts of tank water in a small picture and set aside.
  3. Turn the filter off and unplug the cord from the electrical outlet.
  4. Gently lift the filter off the aquarium and place in a clean bucket.
  5. Remove the sponge insert. If it is disposable, discard it and skip to step nine.
  6. If the sponge insert is refillable, discard the filtration media inside it.
  7. Place part of the tank water in a small bowl and gently rinse the sponge in it.
  8. Refill the washed sponge insert with fresh media, close and set aside.
  9. Remove any algae or lime deposits from the filter housing, and rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
  10. Rinse the new or refilled sponge insert using the pitcher of tank water.
  11. Place the rinsed sponge insert in the filter housing.
  12. Hang the filter back on the aquarium.
  13. Using a small cup partially fill the filter with tank water, then replace the cover.
  14. Plug the filter in and turn it on. Voila! Clean filter.

Tips To Clean a Hanging Power Filter :
  • If you use refillable inserts, be sure to seal the container of filtration media very tightly after each use.
  • It's a myth that you should never replace the filter insert. Dirty filters that can no longer be cleaned thoroughly are unhealthy.
There are many different opinions as to how often a tank needs to be cleaned. In general, the more often you clean your aquarium, the healthier your fish will be. In new freshwater aquariums (less than 3 months) we recommend a 1/3 to ½ water change every two weeks. As the aquarium becomes older a water change once a month should be sufficient. We do not recommend you take more than ½ of the water out at any one time.