Why is my top fin power filter not working?

You can think of the Top Fin filter as your fish tank’s guardian angel. It does 80% of the most important jobs for your fish tank and keeps the fish healthy. The Top Fin filter works well to make sure that oxygen gets to all parts of the tank. It helps keep the water flowing and clean. So that no bacteria, poisons, or other harmful chemicals can settle in the water of the aquarium.

Without a filter, your tank will turn into a dirty pit, and the lack of oxygen will make it more toxic. Because of this, your aquarium will soon lose its beauty and life. To avoid this, you must have a working filter in your fish tank.

But even if you have a Top Fin filter, you may have problems with how it works. It could just stop doing its job. There can be many reasons for this, and there are also many ways to fix it. To find out, you need to read this article about why a “Top Fin filter is not working?” and what to do about it.

What Should Be Your First Concern When Your Filter Breaks Down?

When your filter breaks, the first thing you should worry about is the air flow. Fish can live without a filter for a short time or for good, but they can’t live without oxygenated water in their tank.

If your fish tank’s filter breaks, you can use an airstone or an air pump to move the water around and add oxygen.

If your filter is broken because of a power surge, you can also buy battery-powered air pumps online or at some pet stores.

What’s wrong with my top fin filter?

No one knows for sure why a Top Fin filter might stop working. But a broken Top Fin filter can have more than one cause.

Improper Plugging

One of the first reasons a Top Fin filter won’t work is that it wasn’t plugged in right, there was a power surge, or there wasn’t enough power. It’s possible that your filter isn’t plugged in right or that the connection is loose. A power surge or a problem inside the outlet you use to plug in your Top Fin filter are the only other things that could cause this.

Clogged Filter

If your Top Fin filter is clogged, it can stop working and make noises. If you use it often without cleaning it, it can get clogged. Also, if your filter is too small for your fish tank, it has to filter more water in a short amount of time, which wastes water quickly in the filter. Because of this, your Top Fin filter will keep stopping often. Besides that, your new filter can also get clogged. When making materials, dust can get into the filter and stop it from working.

The engine isn’t working.

The impeller is an important part of your filter as a whole. It moves to make water flow and pull water in. If the impeller is broken, loose, or clogged with waste, your Top Fin filter won’t work.

Water Flows Wrong

If you are a good aquarist, you already know that the way fish move through the water varies from species to species. And if your filter isn’t moving enough water, the size and capacity of your filter and fish tank might not be a good match.

Aside from these, there are not many other reasons. For instance, you might not put the filter in the water for long enough.

Common Issues and How to Fix Them

Here are some of the most common reasons why fish tank filters stop working and what you can do to fix them.

Filter Not Working Entirely

If your fish tank filter suddenly stops working, it could be because of a power surge, a clogged motor or intake tube, a problem with the cables that connect the parts, or a motor that has burned out or broken.


Check the motor, the tube that goes in and the tube that goes out of the filter for clogs. Listen for strange sounds and tremors.

Leave your filter unplugged for a few hours to see if a power outage was the problem. On the other hand, make sure that the plug is really plugged into a power source. This is a pretty common problem, but it’s easy to fix. Just put the wires back where they belong.

You wouldn’t believe how many times I thought my filter was broken only to find that it wasn’t plugged in right.

Another reason

If neither of these fixes works, there may be a problem with the electrical parts of the filter, like broken wires or pins. If you don’t know how to fix electronics, you might want to think about buying a new filter at this point.

No Pulling

As was already said, if your filter isn’t sucking in air, there’s probably a clog somewhere in the line. Small rocks, sand, algae, plant matter, and other things may have gotten stuck inside the device, making it lose suction and stop working.

If your filter is clogged, you will likely hear a grinding sound coming from it.

Broken Motor

You may also have a broken or damaged impeller or motor in your fish tank filter. The motor in a filter powers the impeller so that it can pull water from the tank, move it through the filter media, and put it back into the aquarium.

If either of these isn’t working right, it can make the filter lose suction.


Rinse the rest of your filter with old tank water, and then put it back together. Plug your filter back in to make sure it’s still working.

If your fish tank filter still doesn’t have any suction, the motor and/or impeller may be broken or damaged. Check to see if your filter came with a spare part. If it didn’t, you can order new parts or think about buying a new filter.

Too Much or Too Little Flow

Your filter’s flow rate helps move the water around and add oxygen to the tank, but if it is too low or too high, it can cause a lot of trouble. If the rate of water flow is too fast, it will be hard for your fish to swim, especially if they like slow currents.

Different types of fish need different flow rates, so check the needs of the fish you have to make sure your filter meets their needs.

On the other hand, if the flow rate is too low, it won’t move enough water around to keep the tank oxygenated.


If the flow rate of your filter is too high or too low, check to see if it can be changed. Some filtration systems have a flow rate that can be changed, so you can change how much water the filter puts out.

If you can’t, you might need to buy a stronger filter with a flow rate that can be changed.

Most of the time, a flow rate that is too low or too high isn’t a problem with the filter itself. Instead, it’s a problem with not having the right filter for your tank.

Noisy Power Filter Fix

FAQs (Related Question)

How long does it take for top fin filter to work?

Position the heater and light hood and plug them in along with the filter. Add water conditioner and bacteria starter and let your tank run for up to 48 hours before adding live plants or fish.

Why is my top fin 10-gallon filter not working?

One of the biggest causes of a fish tank filter that just won’t run is a clogged motor. This is much like our second point, which has to do with a clogged impeller, intake, or outtake tube, but in this case, something might be stuck in the motor.

How long can a fish survive without a filter?

A fish live without a filter for a maximum of seven days and a minimum of three days. A filter helps clean the water over and over again, so the toxins in it don’t settle down.

How long can a fish live without a pump?

Enough oxygen is also crucial, so consider keeping an emergency battery-powered air pump around your house for such occasions. Fish in an optimally stocked tank can last for a period of anywhere from 3 to 12 hours without power. Whereas, in an understocked aquarium, they can survive for up to a day or two.

How do you unclog a fish filter?

Here’s how:

  1. Siphon or scoop out some water. You will need about two cups of water from the tank to use to clean the filter’s sponge.
  2. Unplug the filter. This step is pretty self-explanatory.
  3. Clean the sponge or pad.
  4. Scrub the casing and tubes.
  5. Put the sponge or pad back.

Should fish tank filter make bubbles?

Is a fish tank filter supposed to bubble? Generally speaking, no, a well-functioning filter should not be producing an abundance of bubbles in fish tanks. If there are enough bubbles to cover the surface of the water, then the filter is either not working properly or may be clogged with debris.

How do you fix the top fin filter sound?

How to fix filter noise

How do you prime a canister filter?

One trick is to fill the canister as much as you can, assemble it, with both intake and outlet hoses submerged in the tank, and then plug it in. Tilt the canister to the side to submerge the impeller and it will start suction, pulling the air in the lines through.

How do you take apart a top fin filter?

How To Successfully Change And Clean A Topfin 10 Power Filter!

How does a power filter work?

A power filter is an electronic component that effectively reduces electromagnetic interference in power line of any equipment. Eliminate noise in power flow the efficient way with quality power noise filters from Future Electronics.

How do you adjust the flow rate on a top fin filter?

How To Adjust The Flow In The 2.5 Gallon Top Fin Retreat Aquarium

How often should I change my top fin filter?

Directions: Rinse the filter cartridge under cool tap water to remove dust.To help maintain a healthy aquarium, change the filter cartridge every 3-4 weeks, or if water flow becomes obstructed.

Can I turn my fish filter off for one night?

Can You Turn Your Filter Off at Night? It is not a good idea to turn off your aquarium filter every night. The filter plays a key role in the health of your tank, and shutting it down for hours at a time can eventually lead to problems.

How do I know my fish tank filter is working?

How to Know if My Internal Aquarium Filter Is Broken

  1. Water Stops Moving Through the Filter. If the motor is humming but no water is moving, the motor works but the filter itself has shut down.
  2. Filter Rattles When Turned On.
  3. Dirty Parts Inside the Filter.
  4. A Crack in the Facade.
  5. Suction Cups Missing.
  6. A Word About Cleaning.

How can I add oxygen to my fish tank fast?

If your fish are gasping at the surface of the water, take emergency action to immediately increase the tank’s oxygen: Perform a large water change (as much as 50 percent of the tank’s volume). Then increase the water movement by adding a powerhead, airstones, or even an additional filter.

Can fishes survive in tap water?

Ordinary tap water is fine for filling up the aquarium as long as you let it sit for several days before adding fish (the chlorine in the tap water will kill the fish).

How do you give fish oxygen without a pump?

Ways To Oxygenate Fish Tank Without A Pump

  1. Add live aquarium plants.
  2. Use a strong filter with an adjustable flow rate.
  3. Increase water surface agitation.
  4. Increase water surface area.
  5. Keep fish that swim in different levels of the tank.
  6. Water changes/cup method (for emergency situations)

How do you clean a fish pump?

Clean Those Pumps! | How-To Tuesday

Why is my fish tank pump not blowing bubbles?

If you notice there are no bubbles, then the filter might not be working. Therefore, you might be forced to replace or repair the filter. The most common cause tends to be that there is a disconnected or blocked air pump. Moreover, if you notice that the fish tank is cloudy, the water may be contaminated.

Why is my filter bubbling so much?

An aquarium filter may cause unnecessary bubbles if it is dirty. A dirty filter is one that has a lot of protein buildup, including plant matter, uneaten food remnants, fish waste, etc. Water that is high in such protein causes air to stick together and forms multiple bubbles when it comes out of the filtration system.

Why is my fish tank filter sputtering?

Most of the time the filter is not the culprit when it comes to aquarium noise. Generally, the problem is with the air pump, but sometimes the filter itself can cause excessive noise if it is not running properly. Anything inside the filter can get dirty or damaged or be out of place, resulting in more noise than usual.

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