How to Hook Your Canister Filter to an Undergravel Filter

Written by naomi bolton Google
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How to Hook Your Canister Filter to an Undergravel Filter
A undergravel filter traps debris in the gravel. (aquarium fish 9 image by cherie from

An undergravel filter consists of numerous perforated plastic plates into which a vertical pipe is attached. Undergravel filters draw water down through the gravel that lies on top of the plastic plates and is typically run with an air pump. Particles of debris are trapped in the gravel, which acts as a mechanical filter. By hooking a canister filter, which is a remotely positioned container that contains filter material, to the undergravel, the aquarist can improve overall performance of the undergravel filter. Attaching the canister filter to an undergravel filter is a relatively easy task for any hobbyist.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Aquarium
  • Undergravel filter
  • Canister filter
  • Small bowl
  • Boiling water

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  1. 1

    Rinse your hands thoroughly under warm running water, to remove any soap residue and natural body oils, both of which will lower the quality of the water in your aquarium.

  2. 2

    Remove the air stone and air tubing from inside the vertical plastic undergravel pipe.

  3. 3

    Place your hand into the aquarium and gently push away the gravel lying around the vertical, plastic undergravel pipe.

  4. 4

    Loosen the undergravel pipe from the perforated plastic plates, which cover the base of the aquarium and remove this pipe from the aquarium.

  5. 5

    Remove the canister filter's plug from the wall power source.

  6. 6

    Close the plastic in-line valves on both the inlet and outlet ports on the body of the canister and disconnect the canister filter's outlet pipe from the body of the canister.

  7. 7

    Pour boiling water into the small bowel. Place the free end of the canister filter's outlet tube into the boiling water for 30 seconds and push it over the free end of the undergravel pipe.

  8. 8

    Place your hand back into the aquarium and carefully reattach the vertical undergravel pipe to the undergravel plates. In most undergravel filters, the pipe will simply fit into the relevant hole in the plastic perforated plates.

  9. 9

    Push the gravel back around the stem of the undergravel pipe.

  10. 10

    Attach the canister filter's outlet tube to the body of the canister filter.

  11. 11

    Open the plastic in line valves on both the inlet and outlet ports on the body of the canister filter.

  12. 12

    Plug the canister filter into the wall power source and turn on. The undergravel filter will now function in reverse.

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