cleaning filter?


hI all,

wondering how often and how one should clean the filter in a tank.

the tank in questions is 10gal in size and stocked with 3 smallish fish.

the filter used is a topfin.

do I just rinse the filter?

do I buy a new one?

how can I tell its time to change it? will this be reflected in water chemistry?



I clean my filter and filter media once a month, that means, I rinse my media is old tank water from my water change, and take my filter body apart,(intake tube, impeller assembly and such) and clean them completely with cotton swabs, and used tank water


There's no need to clean the filter unless your water flow back into the tank is slowing down. I believe you have filter media which consists of a pouch which contains carbon. You simply rinse the filter media in old tank water to get some of the gunk off and replace it in your filter. Most of your tank's good bacteria is in this media, so you want to keep it as long as you can. Once your pouch starts falling apart or gets too gunked up to be cleaned anymore, you can take a small piece of it an place it in your new pouch to "seed" the new media. Make sure you rinse in old tank water and not water straight from the tap or you will kill of the good bacteria. When doing tank maintenance, it's not necessary to "clean" the filter each time you do water changes, only when it's sluggish. If you have a sponge in your filter, squeeze it out in old tank water until it doesn't feel slimy anymore and put it back in the filter. Sponges can last decades and won't need replacing for a long time.
  • Thread Starter


awesome! great response, thanks for the excellent tips!


A question I have is do you clean the actual filter itself? Meaning the machine. If so, how often and with what? I've cleaned my intake tube with a brush, but the lip where the water flows back into the tank is cruddy. Is that "good bateria" or should it be cleaned?


Every 2-3 months for the filter body itself is fine. The lip is probably catching any water impurities or tank gunk that's slipping through the filter media -- no harm in cleaning it when you clean the filter body. You can clean it with the same brush you use to clean the intake tube, or get a 'veggie scrubber' type brush at your local supermarket and make sure you just use it for fish stuff.

Just keep the filter media damp/wet while you're cleaning the filter body.

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