How To Clean The Filter In A Fish Tank

How To Clean The Filter In A Fish Tank

Keep the filter in your fish tank clean for happy healthy fish

The filter is the heart of the fish tank so needs to be cleaned regularly in order to keep the fish happy and healthy. Do this at the same time as you change the water; every 2 – 3 weeks.

You will need:

  • the bucket of tank water from the water change
  • cloth

Turn all the electrics to the tank off and remove the lid.


 It has several compartments with different filters and each one is cleaned slightly differently. The polyfilter keeps the water clean and can just be rinsed in tap water. The second filter is biological and eats all the detritus. This cannot be rinsed in tap water so is rinsed out in the water which has been syphoned from the tank. If it is rinsed in tap water all the good bacteria is removed. Give the pad a couple of good squeezes out, no more otherwise too much bacteria will be removed.

Take apart the magnetic impeller and clean off all the algae, this can be rinsed in tap water. Put it back together and clean off any other algae from the pump. Reassemble the filter and replace it in the tank.

Replace the lid and turn on the electrics.

Angela Slater

Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas.