View Full Version : Do you turn off the filter during a water change

01-27-2007, 10:42 AM
My filter has been making a strange noise for hours after I plug it back in during water changes. If the intake tube is below the surface of the water, I think it is safe to leave it on, but I haven't tried it yet. I plan to today.

Mine is a HOB and I rinse the filter cartridges every time I change the water.

What do you do????

01-27-2007, 10:45 AM
yes because my tube is so short... it wouldnt work after i do a WC

01-27-2007, 10:52 AM
as long as the water is still flowing, i'd leave the filter running. if the water level is going to go down below the intake tube, then definitely turn it off .. you don't want to run a 'dry' filter.

making noise after you plug it back in could be many things. what kind of filter is it? is it running/pumping water but just noisy?

01-27-2007, 10:56 AM
I have a Emperor 400. I took it apart twice and the water is still flowing. I can't figure it out. It goes away after a few hours. Sometimes to get it to go away, I fire it back up a couple of times. The intake tube is about 6.5 inches long on a 55 gallon long.

01-27-2007, 11:08 AM
My water changes always go below the intake tubes, so I shut them down.

01-27-2007, 11:10 AM
If it is a growling noise from the impeller, it is most likely air bubbles....

I have heard that myself...
Usually if you unplug and plug the power back in a couple of times it will force the trapped air out more quickly.

01-27-2007, 11:10 AM
I have to shut mine down or air starts shooting through my aquarium. In another tank, the pump would be running without water so that needs to be shut down as well.

01-27-2007, 11:11 AM
I turn it off during every water change and clean the media.

01-27-2007, 11:25 AM
I leave it on as long the intake is below the water level. I have an eheim and the intake is a little under a foot and a half away from the top of the tank. Only during HUGE water changes would I have to turn it off. As long as it can run wet, why not leave it on? It can help remove some of the debris kicked into the water column during a water change.

01-27-2007, 12:44 PM
I wonder what will happen when I take the cartridges out when it is running. :huh:

01-27-2007, 12:48 PM
I do not shut mine off, the water is always above the intake so its safe. I also take my filter out and run it thru the bucket water.

01-27-2007, 12:58 PM
I wonder what will happen when I take the cartridges out when it is running. :huh:

The water just runs through it without being filtered. :idea: :rolleyes:

01-27-2007, 1:01 PM
I only turn it off if it drops below the intake or for tanks with sand substrates.

01-27-2007, 1:12 PM
I use emperors all it sounds like is air try changing the flow rate and it should stop.

01-27-2007, 1:21 PM
One time it lasted all night and I have my 55 in my bedroom. :eek:

I was up the next morning tearing it apart.

01-27-2007, 1:29 PM
I only turn mine off if the the water is going to be lower than the intake tube. Other than that it is always on.

01-27-2007, 2:05 PM
I spank my monkey and call her Sally....

i just take the water out .. and then add more water in

01-27-2007, 2:13 PM
If it's a HOB and you are planning to remove the filter media to clean it, I'd turn it off. You don't want to flush the dirty filter material and debris back into the tank while the filter is running.

tha cichlid man
01-27-2007, 2:46 PM
I only turn it off if it drops below the intake or for tanks with sand substrates.That's the same reason why I turn mine off.:cool:

01-27-2007, 3:24 PM
I always shut down the filter and the heater, I add a cup of tank water to the filter when I plug it back in.

01-27-2007, 3:45 PM
I turn mine down.. but for other reasons. The spraybar creates huge waves that almost kill my Needlefish when on high when the tank is half full.

And when removing water it helps to turn it down to save on filters. There is always some floating debris (when vacuuming heavily) and I would much rather it go down my drain than into my filter.

I would most definitely shut the filter completely off if it's sucking dry air. That will wear an impeller in seconds, not minutes.. and this happens with a lot of HOB filters, you lose siphon when the water level gets too low even when the intake is below the water line. Any more than a 25% and I had to shut my Emp400s off.

01-27-2007, 3:53 PM
maybe if i did low amount of water changes but doing 50% water changes the out flow gets exposed.

01-27-2007, 5:50 PM
The noise started getting louder and louder since the power went off for 18 hours in late November due to the ice storm. The power kept turning it on and off for a few hours before it finally went out for good. It hasn't been the same since. :sad:

01-27-2007, 6:05 PM
i leave mine on, its a real headache sometimes to get it started back up. makes a ton of racket as it tries to get rid of the trapped air bubbles when it stops. since the penguins come with a middle intake strainer, i close it when im doing water changes. i only do 30-40% so I leave my filters on.

01-27-2007, 7:17 PM
i turn all 4 of mine off along with my heaters

01-27-2007, 10:04 PM
I turn mine off.

01-27-2007, 10:09 PM
I gave it a try. As the water went down, the water coming out of the filter did slow up. That had me worried, so I took out three buckets and that is all.

I rinsed the media and yes, it did shoot some stuff out, but no more than when I fired it back up when I turned it off.

The beauty of it, the filter is silent. :clap:

I almost forgot to turn my heater back on. :duh:

Maybe next time I'll take an extra bucket out and see what happens.

Thanks for your help!! :dance:

01-27-2007, 11:21 PM
i use a python and i can quickly add as fast as i take it out i leave my filters and heater on but when adding water back in i put the end of the pyhon into the filter when the water gets up over the end of the tubeand let em fill up and they start filtering againl

01-28-2007, 1:20 AM
I tend to turn the filters off during water changes especially if they are going to be large water changes. If it is a small water change, I can leave it on but say in my discus tank that gets at lesast a 60 percent water change, I shut the filters down and proceed to work fast so the benificial bacteria inside the canister on the media does not start to die.


01-28-2007, 6:04 AM
I use a sump on my coldwater tank. What a pleasure to work on. I use a wet dry trickle tower in the sump, along with the canister from a Magnum 350 with the micron filter installed powered by a small submersible pump with the intake and outlet all in the sump. The heater and return pump are also in the sump. All maintanence chores are done in the sump and the water paramaters and clarity are perfect. Will never again consider any other type of filter for any tank. All of us freshwater people can learn a lot from our saltwater friends and their filter setups.

01-28-2007, 2:21 PM
i had a sump on my 50g once. it was super awesome. unfortunately when i moved and broke it down i had to take apart the plumbing in the overflow and the rubber gasket/o-ring/sealing piece now doesn't sit right and leaks. i've been to more plumbing supply stores than i can remember, and none of them carry anything even similar to what i need. so, no more sump.

when adding water back in i put the end of the pyhon into the filter when the water gets up over the end of the tubeand let em fill up and they start filtering againl

hopefully you are on a well. adding chlorinated tap water directly to the filter is a really good way to kill all your bacterial colonies.

01-28-2007, 2:39 PM
Try a pool supply store. One with parts for filters. They have tons and tons of gaskets for sand filters. You might get lucky.

01-28-2007, 2:48 PM
I mainly leave my filters going unless working with the sumps.
It sounds to me like your impellor is not doing very well, possibly even wearing out. The magnet sometimes sticks on older filters especially if they have run for a little while with little or no water in them. I have had this happen to a couple of filters over the years.

01-28-2007, 5:42 PM
i tried a couple pool/spa places. no luck.

01-28-2007, 8:17 PM
Can't you just buy impellors separately instead of buying a whole new filter. I can swear I remember them being sold by themselves. Also, if your Eclipse system type filter breaks, where can you buy another one?

01-28-2007, 8:22 PM
alot of the time the manufacturer sells replacement parts(ie. impellers,gaskets)