How to Prevent Fish from Getting Stuck to Filter

7 Ways on How to Prevent Fish from Getting Stuck to Filter

Large and other small-body adult fish usually don’t get stuck in a tank filter since they are also smart enough to keep their body safe. However, the problem comes with the baby fish and fish fry. These fish can easily get stuck in the tank filter and potentially hurt themselves.

Small fish may also get stuck in the filter media as they try to pass through, leading to death. As such, it’s important to keep your tank healthy and safe for your fish.

In this article, we shall look at how to prevent fish from getting stuck to filter to help protect the fish at your aquarium.

How to Prevent Fish From Getting Stuck to Filter

blue madarin fish
Pet fish

1. Install a Foam Pre-Filter

The easiest way to prevent your pet fish from getting sucked into a filter is to use a high-quality foam pre-filter.

These filters work by creating a barrier between the water in your aquarium and the actual filter. This helps prevent your fish from getting sucked into the filter or stuck on it.

Foam pre-filters are quick and easy to use and have less impact on the water flow. This is due to the foam holes that allow a considerable amount of water to flow through them freely and get to your filter or pump. And since these filters are purposely designed for aquarium use, they don’t pose any risk of water contamination or impurities that can cause issues in your fish tank.

2. Place Decorations in Your Filter Intake

Another ideal way to prevent fish from getting stuck to the filter is using aquarium decorations. You can use various decorations for this, but the best thing is to put your filter inflow inside the decoration. This will prevent the fish from getting into the filter while letting water get to it.

Some decorations can still allow your fish to get close to your filter intake, but you may use other ornaments or plants to make it more difficult and help keep your fish safe.

The more creative you become, the better. For instance, you can extend your filter intake with additional tubing hidden under the substrate to make the intake a specific decoration.

Read: Velvet Betta fish symptoms

blue and gray fish near corrals
Underwater fish

3. Increase Your Tank Size

One of the best solutions to prevent your fish from hanging around the filter is to increase the size of your tank. An overcrowded fish tank is usually a recipe for disaster.

See also: External aquarium filters

Many fish require more swimming area and a more robust filter since the fish will quickly make the water dirty. Depending on your fish population, get a fish tank that will offer adequate room to swim around.

However, if your fish tank is too small, the fish will likely move close to the filter, and the suction will invariably suck in your pet fish.

4. Use Tights to Keep the Fish Away from the Filter

Cover your tank filter with a pair of cheap ladies’ tights. This works similarly to a pre-filter. It creates a physical barrier at your filter intake to stop or limit fish from being sucked into it or getting stuck.

The only problem with using ladies’ tights is that some have chemical coatings on them, which can potentially cause issues with your tank water. Even if you wash the tights several times before adding them to your tank, there is still a minor risk of contamination.

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5. Ensure the Input Flow in Your Filter is Properly Set

One common mistake among novice aquarium enthusiasts is setting the input flow too high on the filter. Unfortunately, this can increase the suction power that can either suck in fish or get them stuck on the filter.

Double-check the instructions on the filter, or check out the manufacturer’s website for directions on how you should set your filter for different-sized fishes. It is usually easy but a highly effective way to help keep your pet fish safe.

6. Create a Cleaning Up Schedule

The more you clean your fish tank and filter, the stronger your fish will become. Clean water means healthy fish with stronger immunities.

However, this doesn’t mean you need to change your fish tank water every week. You can still have a healthy and safe habitat for your fish by frequently scrapping off the ick from your filter, vacuuming the substrate, and refilling water.

This will also enhance the functioning of your filter instead of creating more suction power in some areas or no suction in other spots.

Read: Top-rated turtle tank filters

7. Install Undergravel Filters

Undergravel filters are biological aquarium filters that function differently from regular or chemical filters. They are typically plastic plates that you lay on the bottom of your tank, with each plate having numerous small holes on it covered by aquarium gravel.

Each corner of the plate is equipped with a lift tube that connects to the top of the tank. Water gets pushed up by an air-powered pump or a powerhead.

As the water gets pulled back through the gravel, it gets filtered without creating a stuck risk to the fish. Now you have some insights on how to prevent fish from getting stuck to filter without much hustle.

FAQs on How to Prevent Fish From Getting Stuck to Filter

Is It Good to Turn Off Fish Tank Filter at Night?

It is not a good idea to turn off your fish tank filter at night. The filter plays a crucial role in keeping the aquarium aerated.

Turning off the filter can cause a decline in the essential elements in your fish tank, which is likely to affect the health of your fish.

However, you may turn it off once in a while when you are sure that your tank is in good condition.

Could My Filter Be Killing My Pet Fish?

Tank filters are not always responsible for the death of your fish. They will only cause death when the fish get stuck in them for a long time. However, if you prevent your fish from getting to the filter, you can be assured they are safe.

How Can I Tell What Size of Tank Filter is Right for My Aquarium?

The best way to determine the correct filter size for your aquarium is to look for an aquarium filter with a flow rate of at least six times the volume of your fish tank.

So, if your fish tank is 20 gallons, then your filter rate should be around 200 gallons per hour (GPH).

Read: Best aquarium canister filter


Born for Pets: How to Prevent Fish from Getting Stuck to Filter

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