How to Clean Canister Filter Hoses

Do you get tired having murky or cloudy canister filter hoses? Can’t figure out how to reach all that pesky gunk clogging your line?

Cleaning the tank can sometimes feel monotonous as it is needed regularly, but we do it to keep our fish healthy and happy. If you own a canister filter you are going to have to learn how to clean the filter hoses effectively.

There are tons of ways out there to make cleaning your filter hoses much easier. Read on, as in the below article we will give you three great ways to make those hoses spotless and to keep your tank clean.

We also have a guide to cleaning your canister filter if it is the actual unit which requires maintence.

Why Do You Need To Clean Your Canister Filter Hoses?

Canister filters are one of the most effective filter systems you can use on an aquarium. These filters process large amounts of water making them useful for medium to large tanks. The water is pumped from the tank to the filter through a tube.

The water then filters through various mediums that remove any contaminants before returning to the take through a separate tube. These tubes can get clogged with algae and gunk if not cleaned regularly.

These clogs can lead to hindered water flow and can place stress on your filter system. We recommend you clean these hoses at least once every two months to keep your filter at peak performance.

In most cases even the most gunked up hose can be cleaned with the right tools and a little elbow grease. The only problem is finding cleaning methods that won’t damage your hose and won’t take up too much time.

Never use chemicals or products that are meant to break up clogs. Even if you wash out your hoses well the leftover chemicals can kill your fish. Many chemical decloggers can also eat through the material of your hose. Also avoid using sharp objects to try and pull out debris.

There are three main methods of cleaning your canister filter hoses; a hose cleaning brush, magnetized hose cleaners, and a sump pump cleaning method. Keep reading to help figure out which method will be easiest and work best for you.

Cleaning Your Filter Hoses

Setting Up Your New Cleaning Method

Prior to using any of these cleaning methods ensure you prep your hoses properly. Set up a clear open place to work.

Carefully remove the hoses from the unplugged canister filter and submerge them in warm water for about 30 mins. This loosens up anything on the inside of the tubes making them easier to clean.

You will also want to lay down mats or towel in your work area to catch any water and gunk that leaks out. Gloves are also a good option to keep your hands clean during the cleaning process. After you have prepped the lines you’re ready to use one of these three cleaning techniques.

After you finish with the process be sure to properly wash your hands and sanitize the cleaning area. If possible even have designated linens just for this process to keep it as sanitary as possible.

Method 1 – Hose Cleaning Brush

The simplest and most common method of cleaning canister filter hoses is an old fashion hose brush. This brush is circular and bristly on a long flexible stick that can be used to reach deep into the hose.

Insert the bristle brush end into the tube and start scrubbing the grim away. This method takes the most effort and can get quite messy.

You can get these brushes that extend so they can reach far into hose but the problem you will run into is the further it extends the harder it will be to clean. You just won’t be able to put enough pressure to remove hard to reach grime.

This option is relatively inexpensive as well, just check out this extra-long brush for $10. This is the perfect tool for enthusiasts looking to do simple maintenance on their hose. We do recommend looking at other methods for more serious clogs.

Method 2 – Hose Magnet

These cleaners use a powerful magnet outside the tube and a cleaning surface magnet that goes inside the tube.

All you need to do is pull the magnets along the tube and the cleaning surface will push the gunk and grime out. Try pushing the magnets back and forth to scrub harder to clean tougher places.

This method takes a while to do since the cleaning surface on the inside magnet is quite small. The benefit of this is it can reach throughout a long tube evenly and maintain the same pressure while scrubbing. It also has the benefit of not flinging debris like the brush does, so it is not as messy.

This is also a very affordable option as well with this magnet cleaner that’s only $13. This is a great product with good reviews that will get you started on this method.

Method 3 – Sump Pump

This is a very thorough and hands-off approach to cleaning your filter hoses. For this, you will need to submerge your sump pump and hoses in a mixture of either water and vinegar, or water and hydrogen peroxide.

You should use about one cup of hydrogen peroxide to every 5 gallons of water. We suggest using a large bucket of some kind to make submerging the sump pump and tubing easier.

Turn on the pump and it will cycle the mixture through the hoses and flush them out. This whole process will take about 30 minutes, so we would suggest that you set a timer and come back to it. It involves no scrubbing at all and the high-pressured mixture will push the grime right out into the bucket.

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Just repeat the process if the hoses are not cleaned to your liking. This method will cost a bit more if you don’t already have a sump pump. A quality sump pump will run you about $50, but is well worth the cost.

Finishing up The Cleaning Process

After using one of the listed methods above you are going to want to prepare to re-assemble your canister filter system. Leave the hoses out to dry for about two or three hours. (This would be a great time to do any other maintenance and cleaning on your aquarium.) The tubing should be crystal clear again with no cloudiness or green stain.

Once the hoses are dry just re-attach them the same way you removed them and plug everything back up. If you aren’t satisfied with the cleanliness of your hoses just repeat the process or even combine these methods.

Now you should have better performance out of your canister filter system without the gunk to block the flow of water.

Make sure to thoroughly clean the area you used for the cleaning process as well. This will ensure that harmful bacteria has a no chance to transfer to you or your family. If you use linens be sure to throw them in the wash as soon as clean-up is complete.

Super clean hoses!

Seems easy enough right, and now your filter will keep your tank clean and your fish healthy. These methods are easy enough for even novice enthusiasts to use. Just follow the easy steps in the methods above and you will have your hoses looking good as new.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below. Enjoy your clean canister filter system!

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