Should the Aquarium Filter Always Be On?

If you have an aquarium in your home, you know how hard it is to maintain a fish tank. Maintaining your fish tank takes commitment so it is important to be consistent and do it regularly.

Maintaining a fish tank includes cleaning the tank, purifying the water, adding decorations, lights and a filter for your fish. Even after you’ve set up your aquarium, you may still have questions that need to be answered.

And one of the common questions many aquarium owners have is whether the aquarium filter always be on (and whether to switch it off at night) 

Should the Aquarium Filter Always Be On?

Your filter plays a very crucial role in keeping your water clean. Not only that, but it also keeps your fish healthy, and this is why it may be a little alarming if it is turned off for longer periods of time.

If you turn off your filter every night, it may start affecting the quality of your water. So you shouldn’t turn off the aquarium filter at night.

An aquarium filter removes dirt, debris, and grime like uneaten food, dead plants and waste from the aquarium water. Besides that, your aquarium filter plays a huge role in helping bacteria to convert toxic chemicals into chemicals that are safe for the fish. This is also called the nitrogen cycle.

Here’s how the filter helps these bacteria turn toxic chemicals into harmless chemicals: the aquarium filter is usually where these bacteria live since they also need oxygen to survive inside the tank.

A good filter not only pumps water in the fish tank but also provides enough oxygen for all the fish and plants to thrive. This is why turning the filter off for a long period of time can harm the fish; the plants and even the bacteria need oxygen to survive.

Make sure your filter is cleaned regularly; otherwise, it may do you more damage than good since dirty filters can release dirt and grime in the water if they haven’t been cleaned for too long, which can be harmful to the fish and the plants.

Also, if you turn it off and turn it back on pretty regularly without cleaning them, the filter will only bring the dust back instead of taking it away from the water. This means that all the dirt and grime your filter cleaned yesterday, will enter your aquarium again the next day.

Related read: How Often Should You Change an Aquarium Filter?

Reasons to Turn the Aquarium Filter Off

Homeowners might want to turn their aquarium filter off because of the noise that they make. Since this noise can be disruptive while people are sleeping, there are a few ways to overcome that, and none of them include turning the filter off.

The first step is to figure out where this noise is coming from. Either it’s the water moving inside your fish tank or it’s the filter that is making this noise.

If you believe it is the water, try checking the level of the water in your fish tank. If the water in your tank is very less, it can cause a loud gurgling noise, which you can overcome by increasing the water level. A good idea is to always fill your tank with water up till the lid— this will give more room to your fish and the water will stop making noise.

If you believe that it is the filter that is making all the noise, raising the water level will affect that, too. If the filter is completely immersed in water, it will make less noise. You can always change the water flow rate by adjusting it, which will, in turn, lower the noise of your filter.

Your filter may be making unnecessary noise because of the different parts of your filter. You need to open most filters to clean them so you can easily reach every part and clean it thoroughly.

If you don’t do that, dirt or grime may keep building up, which can damage the impeller, thus resulting in a loud noise. If your filter hasn’t been cleaned for a long time, grime can also keep the tubes apart, which can cause a loud rattling noise.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when cleaning your filter: It is always a good idea to unplug your fish tank before you start cleaning it since it can be extremely dangerous to be around electricity and water. When coming to the filter, it is essential to go through the instruction manual on your filter.

Some filters can be opened completely, while some are not designed that way. If you are not aware of what to do with your filter, you might end up damaging the filter and may even hurt yourself in the process. If your filter still has not stopped making any noise, you could get a new filter, but make sure to check its sound level before you buy it.

Since aquarium filters use electricity to work, some people may turn them off to save electricity consumption. While that is a good idea, turning your tank filter off every night can cause disastrous results.

Will My Fish Die If I Turn off the Aquarium Filter Often?

Your fish will not be affected if you turn off the filter every once in a while. The bacteria living in your filter will also not die if the filter is turned off sometimes.

However, if you turn off the filter every night or even often, your fish and the bacteria in your aquarium may die since filters play a huge role in providing them with oxygen and keeping the tank clean.

If that doesn’t happen for too long, your fish will die because of the lack of oxygen and the dirty water that they will be kept in.

Your aquarium filter is an essential part of your tank, so you can’t turn it off for a long period of time. Make sure to maintain your fish tank and filter so that your fish remain healthy.

Can I Turn Off An Air Pump During the Night?

Unlike filters, an air pump is not essential to your aquarium and the fish’s health. If your air pump is too loud, you can simply turn it off during the night, but make sure your filter is turned on and functioning properly.

However, in some fish tanks, the air pump and the filter are the same. Many small fish tanks use the air pump as a filter because it can easily help keep the water flowing.

In this case, you can’t turn the filter off, but you can come up with ways to reduce the noise. You can do this by placing a soft object under the pump.

Since air pumps tend to vibrate really loudly, they might make a lot of noise if they are on top of something hard, but if your pump is on top of something soft, the sound will be lowered automatically.

Another way to reduce the noise is by putting your air pump in a box without a lid, which can help keep the sound level to a minimum.

Make sure the box does not have a lid because if your air pump is in a closed space for too long, it can overheat, which can harm your fish. Since air pumps release heat and there won’t be proper ventilation for the heat to escape, your pump won’t last very long in a closed space.

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