Why you need to be cleaning your tank filter more regularly than you think!
Your tank filter is perhaps the single most crucial piece of equipment you have, and neglecting its maintenance can eventually make all of the investment go to waste.
Any experience aquarium enthusiast will tell you that the worries of ensuring a clean tank or pond does not by installing a filter. It starts with the installing, and it goes on to the extent of maintaining the filter and ensuring that there is proper care and replacement.
Failing to do so will lead to severe problems that can cost a fortune. So before you take that road, we've put together a few frequently asked questions and their answers around filter cleaning.
How often should you be cleaning?
This is an area where most enthusiasts have several questions. "When should you clean it?", "How often should there be a water change?", or even "Do I really need to clean it?"
As a fish enthusiast, you already might have a system in place when it comes to cleaning. If you are starting up, try to make a schedule for this. This can include weekly water changes, larger monthly water changes, and a day to replace filter media.
Filter media cleaning is an important action in the entire routine. While you might replace the filter media periodically, regular clean-ups are essential for the longevity of one media.
However, this process needs to be done periodically with the regular maintenance list, but overdoing it can also shorten one media's lifespan.
Here's a debrief of how often you should be cleaning the different types of filters.
Cleaning a canister filter
First, unplug any equipment attached to the filter. Next, fill a bucket of water and empty the filter media into it. Make sure you keep it for a while to cool down before starting.
Ensure that the media is always kept wet and don't dry to preserve the good bacteria. Take a brush and scrub the impeller and hoses along with the other small parts. When you find everything clean and complete, reassemble the pieces together.
When you are finished cleaning, fill the canister with tank water before plugging it in and turning it on.
Cleaning a sponge filter
Cleaning the sponge filter varies depending on the kind you have installed. If a powerhead or a pump powers it, you need to disconnect everything and focus on the impeller.
Rinse the service lines and remove any debris using a toothpick.
If your sponge filter has an air filter, check and ensure that it is clean. To clean the sponge, place it in a bucket of water and squeeze the sponge gently to remove a majority of the debris.
Do not let the sponge dry off at any time during cleaning.
Hang on filter
Maintainance for a hang-on filter is a combo of what is done to a hang-on filter or a sponge filter. Disassemble the filter, scrub the impeller and the intake tubes along with the small parts. Depending on the filter media, if it is mechanical, use water to squeeze the debris out.
If the filter has a bio-wheel or a biological filtration part, float it in the tank or place it in a bucket of water to prevent it from drying.
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