Tips for Installing a New Aquarium Filter

Posted on July 03 2024, By: Aquarium Dimensions

Tips for Installing a New Aquarium Filter

Do You Have 15 Minutes?

Plan for about 15 minutes to set up and install your new aquarium filter. 

Assemble Your New Fish Tank Filter

No matter which type of a filter you order, it will have to be assembled. Manufacturers send filters disassembled. We can't recommend any tips here, since each model is different, but don't wing it. Follow the instructions. 

Place the Filter

The next step is to install the filter into the tank. How this is done depends on which of the two most common types of filters you have.

Under-gravel filters: They must be placed under gravel, obviously. Just make sure none of the gravel comes into the air pipes. Also, make sure it cannot accidentally move. Connect lift tubes as well. This is a mandatory step that some hobbyists simply skip. The power supply is the next thing to connect.

On-tank filters: These are a newer type of filter, and they've become quite popular. As the name suggests, they must be installed on the tank itself. Pay close attention to the way they attach to the tank. Some must be drilled and bolted into place, while others must be hang-on. In both cases, they must be placed on the back side of a tank, so they don't affect the view. Top tip: Always choose models that have the best power cord insulation.

Start the Filter in a Full Tank Without any Fish

None of the filters should be activated without water in the tank! It is essential to fill the tank with water, so the entire filtration system pulls the water in for operation.

Confirm the filter is working correctly before you put any fish in your tank. You can see this visually by looking at the clarity of the water, but you can only be sure after performing a full water test on the water “cycling” in your tank. If you do not have a water test kit, then scoop up a cup of water from your tank and take it to a local fish store. The store will gladly test the water for you.


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