• Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!

canister filter cleaning and maintenance

msubhan

AC Members
Started my new tank from feb ,01,2019, after a month of cycling the tank, added new fishes(9 medium angel fishes) from 1st week of march.

Please let me know when is the ideal time to clean the filter? Attached image of filter(SUNSUN HW-302) even though some trace of dust particles is seen in the inlet flow ofhe tube , output water flow is smooth

224327
 

SalmonAfrica

Say what now?
How often you need to clean your filter depends on a number of factors - how stocked your tank is, how often you feed, what filter material you're using, are there other filters etc.

Often you can get a feel for it by checking on your new filter regularly. If you pop it open now and see it is already quite clogged up, then you know that it needs more regular maintenance. If not, you can wait slightly longer periods before attending to it.

Just remember that when you're cleaning these filters, you're doing so in old tank water, and keeping the filter media wet. This way, you won't have to worry about restarting the cycle in your filter.
 

FreshyFresh

Global Moderator
Staff member
Could be it needs cleaning now, it could be OK for 3 more months. Like said above, depends on how much food gets dumped into the tank, how many fish are in there, water volume, etc.

I open up and clean my Sunsun 302s every 3-4 months, but these are not the only filter on the tanks.
 

fishorama

AC Members
I use a prefilter sponge over the intake. That keeps some debris out (leaves & poo) of the filter media. The sponge will need a quick (ish) rinse every week or 3 but can make it so you don't need to clean the filter as often.

I usually wait until the return flow slows a bit. It depends on the tank, some need cleaning every 2 or 3 weeks (HOBs); some, every 3-6 months (canisters). Until you get the hang of your filter, fish & plants (if any) just plan to clean every 6-8 weeks. You need to get comfortable cleaning your filter & reassembling it. Sometimes it takes some futzing around with...& ALWAYS clean your impeller. I have had the most trouble when I've tried to skip this easy step. A Q-tip is your friend, lol.

I use 2 filters on most tanks, so I clean them alternately...including the prefilter sponges. I'm lazy & have seen what works for my tanks...but it can change depending on increasing fish size or plant load.
 

msubhan

AC Members
OK, Thanks for inputs. What I understand is, if filter is cleaned I need to use tank water for cleaning the media, and also fill the filter with tank water to start the filter again, once it is reassembled.
 

OrionGirl

No freelancing!
I never use tank water to clean the media. I don't SOAK it, but the beneficial bacteria are tough, and tightly adhered. I rinse any sponges super well, really squeeze them out and try to get them back to white. Hard media, like ceramic rings and the like, get a swish and run through with tap water. Nothing too cold, nothing too hot. I've never seen an ammonia spike afterwards...but keep in mind, my tanks are a) all planted and b) all lightly stocked. So YMMV.
 

Rbishop

...and over the edge.
Staff member
As OG, I have NEVER used tank water to clean canister filters, or any other style filter. Never had an issue of spikes or trashing the BB.
 

fishorama

AC Members
I use tap water, too, but like I said, I have 2 filters per tank...that's a big "fudge factor". There's a learning curve... I rinse & squeeze the heck out of my filter media &/or prefilters under running tap water.
 

OrionGirl

No freelancing!
The thing to keep in mind is that dechlorination is for the benefit of the fish. Chlorine will burn gills and reduce slime coat. The beneficial bacteria hitch hike into the tank in the water. I've tried it, and even with chloramines, there are enough of the nitrifiers in tap water to start colonies growing. It's definitely easier to import them from an established tank via media, filter sludge, plants, established substrate or wood, of course, since you get bigger colonies. The bacteria live attached to things, but as with most life that lives in moving water, sometimes they get knocked away and swept downstream...and the darwinian thing to do is start a new colony in the new location. So there's always SOME in tap water, and it tolerates low levels of chlorine just fine.
 

FreshyFresh

Global Moderator
Staff member
I too clean the majority of my canister media in water straight out of the tap. The only tray I'll put in a bucket of fresh, dechlornated tap water is the one that contains the top tray bio media. Like said, is this necessary? Nope.

To me, the recommendation for using tank or dechlored water is for the benefit of people brand-new to the hobby, to get them in the habit of protecting your bio media to a degree.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store
Top