How To Properly Clean An External/canister Filter

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RossC

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How to Properly Clean an External/Canister Filter

I've seen this question asked on many forums and all over YouTube so I thought I’d write a friendly and hopefully easy to follow guide on how to maintain your canister/external filter.

Step 1:
As with any sort of tank maintenance turn off your filter and heater. Make sure you are safe from electric shock and your fish will not become too stressed during the procedure. It’s handy to have towels and buckets on hand in case of any accidents.

Step 2:
If your filter has one, close the flow taps/valve. This prevents water leaking out of the inlet and outlet pipes, but also helps stop air becoming trapped in the tubes whilst siphoning water from your tank. Once the water is shut off, siphon about ¾ of a bucket of water from the tank. Do not throw this water away!
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Step 3:
Move the filter and bucket of tank water to a safe and spacious work area, away from anything that can be damaged by water spillage. Carefully open your filter up, and then gently but quickly move the filter media into the bucket of water.
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Step 4:
Throw out the water in the filter and give it a good scrub if needed, don’t worry about using tap-water here there are virtually no bacteria that live on the filter housing itself.
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Step 5:
Fill the filter back up with water from the tank to about 50%-75% capacity, not tap water! Then gently swill and clean any large particles off the filter media in the bucket of water and put back into the filter with water in. Don’t keep your media out of the water for too long as it will die off.
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Step 6:
If needed clean out the motor or impeller as manufactures instructions say, don’t risk opening up the motor if you are unsure as this can be very dangerous.

Step 7:
Put the rest of your filter back together again, top your tank back up, double check all connections are secure and taps/valves are open on the filter. Turn everything back on, sit back and relax for a job well done.
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Video for this guide:
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Any questions or suggestions please add them below, hope you found this helpful
 

DJH584

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Very helpful indeed Ross. The only thing I have apparently done wrong is refilling the canister with fresh dechlorinated water at the right temp rather than using existing tank water.

Regards

David
 
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RossC

RossC

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Very helpful indeed Ross. The only thing I have apparently done wrong is refilling the canister with fresh dechlorinated water at the right temp rather than using existing tank water.

Regards

David
Its not the worst mistake in the world, its just better to use tank water as your pretty much guaranteed to not lose any bacteria. But hey if it works for you your way continue this is only a guide :D
 

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