Why Is My New Fish Tank Filter Not Pumping Water

fish tank pumping water


Setting up a new fish tank can be an exciting experience, but when you’re ready to turn on the filter and nothing happens, it can quickly become a source of frustration. If your fish tank filter isn’t pumping water, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered! We’ll walk you through some of the most common reasons why your filter may not be doing its job so that you can get back to watching those happy little fishies swim around in no time.

Common Reasons Fish Tank Filter Isn’t Pumping Water

Fish tank filters are a crucial part of keeping your aquarium’s water clean and healthy. When they don’t work properly, it can have disastrous consequences for the fish living in your tank. If you’ve noticed that your filter isn’t pumping water, there could be several reasons why this is happening.

Not Enough Water in the Fish Tank

If your fish tank filter isn’t pumping water, one of the first things to check is whether there is enough water in the tank. If the water level is too low, it could be preventing the filter from doing its job properly. Fish tanks should be filled with clean, dechlorinated tap water, and the water level should be high enough to cover the filter intake tube.

Clogged Intake Tube or Impeller

The next thing to check is whether the intake tube or impeller, which helps pull water in through the filter, is clogged. Fish tank filters can easily become blocked with debris such as fish waste, gravel dust, and uneaten food. If the tube or impeller is clogged, you’ll need to remove it from the filter, clean it out with warm water, and then put it back in place.

Power Source Issues

If your fish tank filter still isn’t pumping water after checking the intake tube and making sure there’s enough water in the tank, the next thing to look at is the power source. Fish tank filters are typically powered by a small electric motor that runs on either batteries or an outlet. If you’re using batteries, make sure they are fresh and not dead. The same goes for the electrical cord if you’re using one—if the connection is faulty or the cord is too long, the filter may not be getting enough power to run.

Airlock Problem

If, after checking the intake tube, impeller, and power source, your fish tank filter is still not pumping water, another possible cause could be an airlock. An airlock happens when a pocket of air gets stuck in the filter system and stops the water from moving through the system as it should. This can happen if the filter is not correctly primed at the start or if the aquarium water level is too low. To fix an airlock, try running your filter for a few minutes with the lid off to see if it helps dislodge any air pockets.

Motor Issues

The small electric motor that powers most fish tank filters often gets overlooked, but it can be the source of many filter-related issues. Fish tank filters run on either batteries or an electrical outlet, and if the power source isn’t functioning correctly, the filter may cease to work properly.

If you’re powering your filter with batteries, make sure they’re fresh and not dead. If you’re using an electrical cord, check for frayed wiring or a loose connection that could be preventing the motor from working properly.

If none of these solutions have fixed the problem, then it’s likely that your fish tank filter motor is broken and needs to be replaced.

Next Steps

If the above solutions have not fixed the issue with your fish tank filter, then it is likely that you will need to replace the motor. Fish tank motors can be found at most pet stores and online retailers. When purchasing a new motor, make sure to get one that is compatible with your filter and matches its power requirements. Once you have the new motor, follow the instructions for installing it, and your filter should be back to pumping water in no time!

How Often Do You Need To Change The Fish Tank Filter

Fish tank filters should be replaced every 6 to 12 months, depending on the type of filter and how often you clean it. Regular maintenance on your fish tank filter is key to keeping it running at its optimal performance. Fish waste, uneaten food, and fine particles from gravel dust can quickly clog up a filter, reducing its efficiency, so be sure to clean it out regularly.

If you notice that your filter is starting to become less efficient, then it may be time for a replacement. Fish tank filters are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, and they will help keep your fish healthy and happy by providing them with a clean environment.

How Often Should I Change My Fish Tank Filter Cartridge

Fish tank filter cartridges should be changed every 6 to 12 months. It’s important to clean out your filter cartridge often so that it works well and doesn’t get clogged up with things like fish waste, gravel dust, food that hasn’t been eaten, and other things. If your filter starts to work less well or looks dirty, you might need a new cartridge.

How To Clean Fish Tank Filter Tubes

Regularly cleaning your fish tank filter tubes will help ensure that your filter can continue to do its job. Here are some steps for cleaning fish tank filter tubes:

  1. Unplug the filter from the power source and remove it from the tank.
  2. Use a small brush or toothbrush to clean off any debris that has built up on the outside of the tubes. This will help keep your filter in good condition.
  3. Remove the filter media cartridges or filter foam and rinse them off in clean water. This will help remove any debris that has built up inside the tubes.
  4. Reassemble the fish tank filter tubes, making sure to check for any leaks or damage.
  5. Put the fish tank filter back in the tank and plug it back into the power source.

By doing these things, you can help make sure that the tubes in your fish tank’s filter are clean and working well.

Why Is Your Filter Not Pumping Water? | Aquarium Care


Fish tank filters are a vital part of keeping your fish healthy and happy, so it’s important to make sure they are working properly. If you encounter any issues with your filter, the above tips should help you get it running again in no time! And remember, if all else fails, don’t forget that fish filters come with a fishy warranty: “If it ain’t pumping water, we’ll refund the gills!”

Leave a Comment