A canister filter can cut down on the time it takes to clean up your aquarium and keep the water healthier for its inhabitants. Like most everything though, you will have to maintain and clean the filter for it to continue to perform at the best levels.

In this handy guide, we will teach you how to safely and properly clean your canister filter to keep it in perfect running condition. By learning these techniques you can improve the overall health of your aquarium and help your filters last longer saving you money in the long haul.

When to Clean Your Canister Filter?

One of the biggest questions you may have for cannister cleaning is how often to do it? The answer will vary depending on quite a few variables with your filter. Since there are various brands, sizes, and types of filters you will want to consider all of the following variables.

The main things that will change the consistency of cleaning are if your upgrade/downgrade the size of your filter and if you add or remove fish. The reasons for these are simple smaller canister can hold less waste and more fish guarantees more to debris to process.

Proper Tools

The first thing we need to do to clean our filters is to gather proper cleaning equipment so that nothing gets damaged. Most fish experts recommend you have a toothbrush on hand. The toothbrush can be used to gently scrub away algae that have begun to grow.

Next, it’s recommended to have a scrubbing pad or sponge to get off algae that is stuck to the filter. This provides you with a rougher material to pull of stuck debris without you having to put too much pressure on the area. In some cases, you can use toothpicks to get smaller spots.

You will also want to have a sink available with decent water pressure. Running water onto the filter can help loosen up stubborn dirt and reach the nooks and crannies. Make sure to use non-chlorinated water for this step, especially if you are trying to clean a bio-filter.

Lastly, you will want to have some Q-tips, towels, and small washcloths. The Q-tips are great for small spaces and are gentle enough to use just about anywhere. The washcloths are perfect for wiping up methods, and the towel is used to wipe everything off after you are finished cleaning.

How to Clean

To begin cleaning the filter we will need to take it apart, this process will vary slightly from filter to filter. Before you begin the process double-check that the filter is turned off and unplugged. Next, you will want to shut off the valves to keep any mess to a minimum in your home.

Make sure there is no more water in the tubes before shutting off the valves. Once this is done begin to unhook the hoses from their housing. You will now need to take the locking nut off, you will see some water come out so have the towels ready to quickly clean it up.

Now that you have freed your filter from the tubing, move it to a cleared off cleaning area. I recommend the cleaning area be near your sink so you can have access to running water. Once the filter is set, release any locks and remove the motor from the filter.

You will now need to remove everything from the filter. If you have a biological filter then submerge it in water to keep your bacteria alive. Set everything out separately so that you can clean each part individually to ensure that every part of the filter gets cleaned.

The Cleanest Canister Filter

You will now want to start rinsing out the different media tray to get the initial layers of grime off.
after you have affectingly rinsed the different parts of the filter you will want to move into the more psychical part of the clean-up process.

At this stage, you will want to scrub off any visible gunk with the toothbrush, make sure to pay attention to any crevasses. Once you have gotten off the softer algae you can switch to using the rougher pads or sponges. At this stage, you will want to scrub the spots of stubborn algae that the toothbrush didn’t remove. 

Make sure to still use plenty of care when scrubbing especially on the smaller parts of the canister that can be easily broken. Next, you will want to take up your Q-tip in order to get into the smaller parts of your canister.

 You can even add a little bit of soap to you Q-tip to help remove or loosen up dirt that has become trapped, just make sure to remove any excess product. Lastly, rinse off the canister one final time to get any leftovers off.

Now that your canister is clean you will want to begin putting it back together, before beginning this product fully wipe the wet filter down with a towel. Simply piece the filter back together and make sure to place your media back in the filter in the approbations order.

Make sure to relock the filter where appropriate to keep everything together. You will now want to carefully return the filter back to the aquarium and begin to rehook the hoses. Make sure not to plug in the filter until all hoses are secured and you have turned to valves to the filter back on.

Clean Safe

Once you start the cleaning process make sure to complete the process as quickly as possible to Marian regularity in your aquarium. Also, make sure to clean your hand thoroughly after the process to keep yourself from being exposed to harmful bacteria. Be sure to use warm water and antibacterial soap.

Along with this, you may want to consider using your aquariums water to help rinse out the filter. This can especially help with the biofilters keeping their good bacteria.