Are Aquarium Filters Waterproof? (How To Ensure They Are?)

Image of fish in an aquarium with a filter

Aquarium filters help improve water hygiene and can be placed externally or internally. But if they are placed internally, are aquarium filters waterproof?

Internal aquarium filters are waterproof as they are designed to submerge in the water. For efficient functioning, all components like the valve, tubing, strainer, etc., are assembled to avoid leakages. However, the same is not true for external aquarium filters as they don’t operate underwater.

Now, let’s understand whether it’s okay to cover your aquarium filter with water in the fish tank.

Should Water Cover The Filter In A Fish Tank?

Aquarium filters are designed to remove impurities from the water in your fish tank.

They also help keep algae and bacteria levels down to maintain a healthy environment for the fish.

Internal filters are designed to be placed inside an aquarium or other container that holds water. So the water should cover these filters completely.

Internal aquarium filters are an excellent choice for small to medium-sized tanks that house small to medium-sized fish.

They clean food particles, skin flakes, etc., and purify the water.

They also oxygenate the aquarium water by creating the bubbles required for surface agitation to help gas exchange.

Basically, they provide the support required for the aquatic pets and coral to thrive.

On the other hand, external filters are placed outside the aquarium.

So there is no question of the water covering these filters.

These filters are powerful and used for large-sized aquariums with heavily stocked and large fish.

Let’s now understand where exactly you should place a filter in the fish tank.

Recommended Further Reading:

Where Should A Filter Be Placed In The Fish Tank?

You must place an internal filter inside the aquarium to improve the water quality and maintain the health of the aquatic pets.

However, the exact location will depend on the type of filter you use for the aquarium.

Given below are the different types of filters and their recommended location inside the aquarium:

  1. Air-powered sponge filters: These filters use air pressure to create bubbles for aerating the water. They can be easily installed anywhere within the aquarium without any special arrangements. The only thing you must ensure is to place them deep into the water.
  2. Canister filters: These types of filters have a reservoir attached to them. Canister filters are considered the best freshwater aquarium filters. They draw water from the aquarium through a lift tube into an external filter chamber, also known as a canister. The water sucked through the filter media traps the debris and other waste, and releases water in the sealed canister. Then, the clean water is pushed back into the aquarium with the help of a water pump. Although the canister is placed outside the aquarium, the output part releases clean water back into the aquarium. These filters should be placed about 1.5 to 2 inches below the water surface.
  3. Hang on the back filters: They are also known as power filters. Hang-on back filters are strong and have an effective three-stage filtration process. First, the bio-bag helps catch the debris and other impurities, and the activated carbon absorbs odor and discoloration.
  4. Internal power filters: An internal power filter is similar to the hang on the back filter. It is designed to be utterly submersible in the aquarium. The motor, filter box, and filter cartridge are entirely submerged. It is attached to the side of the aquarium by suction cups or a clip. An internal power filter is placed below the surface of the water. The water pump pulls in and releases the water through the pump nozzle, creating bubbles required to create surface agitation.
  5. Undergravel filters: Undergravel filters operate by pulling water, debris, and other impurities downward through the gravel placed at the bottom of the tank. Here, the gravel acts as a filter instead of depending on the filter to clean the water.

Now that you know the precise location to place your aquarium filter in the fish tank, let’s also see how you can make sure it’s waterproof?

Interesting Further Reading:

How To Make Sure An Aquarium Filter Is Waterproof?

Aquarium filters come with various accessories like hoses, tubing, fittings, and many more.

So naturally, these parts need to be appropriately connected to ensure the smooth functioning of the aquarium filter.

If installed incorrectly, there are chances of leakages and even permanent damage to the equipment.

Given below are the steps to make sure that the aquarium filters are waterproof.

  1. Check if the filter has been assembled correctly. If not, check whether all the components are securely fixed together using screws or glue. Also, look out for loose connections, which may cause leaks later.
  2. Ensure that the filter’s intake hose doesn’t leak when filled up with water. It could happen due to improper installation or a damaged connection between the filter and its intake hose.
  3. Make sure there is no blockage at the end of the intake hose. Blockages might occur because of algae growth or dirt clogging. Regular cleaning of intake hose can prevent such problems.
  4. Look out for any signs of leakage from the outlet tube. Leaks usually appear around the fitting where the outlet tube meets the housing. A small amount of water dripping here indicates a problem.
  5. Finally, test the entire system thoroughly before filling it up with water. Observe for any sign of leakage. If there are no signs of leakage, then you can start enjoying the benefits of an aquarium filter. Your filter will clean impurities, increase oxygenation and keep your aquatic pets healthy and happy.


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