Do you need to unplug your filter during a water change?

AspiringAquarist

Active Member
Member
Messages
142
Reaction score
0
Location
New York
Experience
1 year
I'm doing 50% daily water changes with Prime now since my tank is still cycling and there's fish in there. I have an AquaClear 50 filter, Tetra Whisper 20, and a Lustar Hydro Sponge III filter.

My question is do I need to unplug the filters before the water change? Or should I let it run throughout the change until the water level becomes too low for the water intake tube?

Thanks.
 

funkman262

Well Known
Member
Messages
890
Reaction score
21
Location
Tampa, Florida
Experience
1 year
I do for a couple reasons. I don't have any proof but I feel like the filter could get damaged if the water level gets too low (you'll notice less water getting pumped as the water level drops) especially if the water falls below the intake. Also, a lot is getting stirred, especially since I have sand, and I don't want the impellor to get damaged. It won't harm the fish if you leave the filter off for a short while so I would unplug it if I were you.
 

cm11599ps

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,153
Reaction score
44
Location
Long Island
Experience
More than 10 years
I've always kept the filters on. My rationale is that if I'm cleaning and disturbing the gravel then the filter will help clear things up quicker. You probably want to unplug the heater though.

1) If it cracks then isn't there a possibilty of you getting electrocuted?
2) If the water level drops below the heater then the heater may crack.
 

click

Well Known
Member
Messages
532
Reaction score
2
Location
GTA, Ontario
Experience
Just started
I'm unplugging the heater and pump simply because I am not confortable with the idea that they both run on electricity and water is one of the best electric conductors. Even though the pump is below the tank, should there be a fault with the motor or sealers, there is probably 1 chance in a million to get shocked and I am not willing to take that chance. Call me insane but I say is better to be safe than sorry.
 

inohuiam2

New Member
Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
West Nyack, NY
Experience
More than 10 years
Hello AspiringAquarist,

Here is a link to the owner's manual for the AquaClear 50.



In the manual, under "SAFEGUARDS", it reads: "11. The pump must not run dry."

IMO, you should turn off the power to all electrical items while doing a water change of the amount you are doing. It's easy to get distracted while doing the water change and you might forget to be cautious of things that might require your attention.

Click's warning is a great one and it wouldn't hurt to heed it.

Joel
 

ristin

New Member
Member
Messages
48
Reaction score
1
Location
N.CA
Experience
2 years
I turn mine off. I have everything plugged into a surge protector so I just hit the master off switch for everything. I'm running dual Aqua Tec 30-60's and there is a minimum water level line on the pump housing which isn't very far below the normal water level.
 

Candymancan

Active Member
Member
Messages
117
Reaction score
0
Experience
5 to 10 years
I unplug it because its noisy if I dont.. The water doesn't drain from it, cause the filters sit lower then the water can escape from but the constant swishing of water is anoying.. I have all my stuff on a single surge protector so I just flip the switch to turn it all off.
 

LyndaB

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,428
Reaction score
174
Location
Connecticut
Experience
More than 10 years
We always always always unplug our filters and heaters when doing water changes. You absolutely should not let your filter run dry. It would be like running your car with no oil.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
OP
A

AspiringAquarist

Active Member
Member
Messages
142
Reaction score
0
Location
New York
Experience
1 year
When I turn off my filters there's no actual water in the filter box but when I touch the filter media it is still wet. Is this okay?
 

Aquarist

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
39,038
Reaction score
339
Location
On the beach
Experience
More than 10 years
Morning AspiringAquarist,

I would recommend placing the filter media in siphoned tank water just to be on the safe side.

Ken
 

harpua2002

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
7,245
Reaction score
126
Location
North Georgia
Experience
More than 10 years
AspiringAquarist said:
When I turn off my filters there's no actual water in the filter box but when I touch the filter media it is still wet. Is this okay?
Should be fine. The only time I move my filter media is to clean it. At this stage in the cycling game, you probably don't want to do that.

BTW, the correct answer to your original question is that you should always always ALWAYS unplug all your equipment before you start your maintenance, due to the risk of electric shock. That said, I generally leave the lights on during water changes so I can see what I'm doing. I plug the lights into a GFCI outlet on the wall, and put all the other equipment on a power strip. That way, I can flip the power strip off and cut power to everything but the lights. But of course, for safety's sake, I won't recommend that anyone else do that. ;D
 

New Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
213
Guests online
2,748
Total visitors
2,961

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom