If you own fish tank then you definitely know the role that filters play. Fish tank filters helps to keep water clean and purified. However, these filters can only perform well if they are well maintained. Small particles and debris usually clog the filter making it hard for it to perform its function well. It is therefore very important to know how to properly clean the filter so as to keep water in the aquarium clean and purified. In this article, we are going to give you tips on how to clean fish tank filter.
When is the right time to clean fish tank filters?
This is a common question asked by many people. However, this question does not have a definite answer. Experts recommend that you should clean the filter when it is dirty and clogged. However, you are advised to clean filter on a weekly basis so as to remove particles that have accumulated.
Just like humans, fish also need time to adapt to new environment. Changing filter on a weekly basis will give fish time to adapt to the new environment before another change is made.
Main components of fish tank filters
1. The filter floss
Also known as filter pads or filter wool, filter floss helps to trap small particle thus preventing them from clogging the filter. Because of its function, filter floss are not supposed to be used for a long period of time. They should be changed just after a few uses depending on how dirty they are.
2. Filter sponge
The filter sponge is located adjacent to the filter floss. Unlike filter floss, the filter sponge contains plenty of beneficial bacteria and hence it should not be replaced regularly. Instead, it should be cleaned just the way you would clean any other sponge. All that you need to do is squeeze it in a bucket full of clean water until all dirt and debris comes out.
How to clean fish tank filter
The process of cleaning fish tank filter varies depending with type of filler that your fish tank has. Before you start the cleaning process, it is advised that you first consult your user manual and follow the cleaning process that the manufacturer has recommended. Below are basic cleaning tips for different types of filters.
1. Mechanical filters
Below is a step by step process on how to clean mechanical filters:
When cleaning mechanical filter, experts recommend that you use water from the fish tank to clean the filter. Using tank water is beneficial to the fish because they will not notice any major difference in their environment.
Before you start the cleaning process, unplug the filter from the tank to make the cleaning process easy. This will also prevent you from electrocution.
When cleaning the pad or sponge in the water tank, gently scrape off the filth of the pad with your hands. If you are not comfortable using your hand, you can wear gloves, especially if water in the tank feels unpleasant.
Don’t pour leftover water, instead, use it to clean the remaining parts of the filter. Gently scrub each part of the filter and ensure that all filth stuck inside is removed. Use a brush to clean stubborn and hard to reach dirt.
Once you are done, return the sponge to the pad gently then place the filter back to the fish tank. Turn on the filter and observe how it is working.
2. Chemical filters
Cleaning process of chemical is different from mechanical fillers. Unlike chemical filters, mechanical filters are usually cleaned by swapping carbon regularly. Carbon swapping can be done on a weekly basis or when you notice that water in the fish tank is actually tuning cloudy. However, to get the best results, expert recommend that you follow the cleaning process that the manufacture has given.
3. Biological filters
Biological filters have not been designed to remove particles and debris from water. Instead, they provide more surface area to enable beneficial bacteria to thrive. Biological filters contain most of your bacteria and hence should be handled gently.
When cleaning it, carefully swish around water tank bucket until all dirt is removed. Do not use brush or sponge when cleaning biological filter. A quick rinse from water from the tank is enough.