How to Set Up Different Kinds of Aquarium Filters?


Aquarium filter is crucial for removing decaying organic matter, excess food, dangerous chemicals, and toxins that fish eliminate from their system. Buildup can become toxic and can be fatal to fish. Filters help to clean water and are designed to do it in one or more ways.

  • Biologically
  • Mechanically
  • Chemically

A novice buyer will be confused at the kinds of aquarium filters available in the market. It is essential to get to know them in deep and then opt for one that is suitable for your tank size and needs of the fish. Below are some common filter types and tips to install them.

How to set up aquarium filters?

Assemble the filter

Installing fish tank filter starts with assembling the different parts. Manufacturers send the different parts in a box for ease of delivery. All the parts are shipped in a single box, you just need to assemble the device. There will be a manufacturer’s guide with details of how to assemble. Follow the steps and have the filter assembled.

Aquarium filter set up process

Internal filters

  • Find a reasonable spot in the fish tank to setup the filter
  • Insert filter cartridge within the inner filter
  • Place it inside the and press suction container tightly against tank glass
  • Fill the tank with water
  • As you hook the filter device on the tanks glass wall make sure it is immersed properly
  • Make sure that the water layer is 10-15 mm above the filter device, double check that filter is submerged properly prior connecting wire to the power outlet
  • As the power is on you will witness bubbles leaving filter as water gets drawn through the cartridge

Under gravel filters

  • The filter has to be positioned under the rock or gravel
  • Before filling the tank ensure that it is positioned tightly
  • The lift tube needs to be fitted appropriately, so as to support the filters working capability
  • Attach the power-head and the pump airlines to proper lift tubes prior turning on the electricity

External filter

  • Keep several rags at hand in case of leaks,
  • For water release and abstraction, you will need hose measurements to ensure there is sufficient distance from curbstone
  • To load filter in the device with tank water connect water inlet hose with threaded clamp then open the tap.
  • Make sure water does not spill out from second opening, therefore as soon as the device gets filled close the inlet hose
  • Connect the outlet hose to the filter and poor water from the other free end then connect it with plastic tap within the aquarium
  • Open both the faucets and you will see water moving
  • In case, after installation you experience water flow issue then it can be because of air tight chambers in filter tubes. Just turn on and off a few times. If this does not solve the issue then liberate the hoses from water and fill them again.

External filter installation process is complex, so it is wise to call professionals. You can even check how to videos on the internet to fix issues.

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