How to Clean an Undergravel Filter

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Undergravel filters in aquariums use gravel as filters in order to pull water and debris into the gravel before transferring water back into the tank. Learn about why it's important to keep undergravel filters clean and functional with help from the owner of a pet fish store in this free video on undegravel filters.

Part of the Video Series: Fish Tanks & Aquariums
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Eric with the World of Wet Pets Tropical Fish in Portland, Oregon, and I'm here to demonstrate how to clean an under gravel filter. Under gravel filters in aquariums are really handy things. They basically use the gravel as the filter. They sit underneath the gravel pulling water and debris down into the gravel and then the water transfers back up into the tank. Gravel and under gravel filters tends to be dirtier than in regular aquariums without under gravel filters. So it's very important that we keep them clean and functional just like we would any other filter. To do that we simply start a siphon. And we use our siphon to root around in the gravel, systematically kind of all over the place from one side of the tank to another picking up all the debris that's been trapped into the gravel. We do this in conjunction with our water changes that we should be doing regularly anyway so it's all fairly simple. And then when we're done we put in our fresh water and our under gravel filters are clean.


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