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How Do You Unclog an Aquarium Pump

The main reason to use an aquarium air pump is to agitate (aerate) the water inside the tank. It is a simple device that helps to introduce oxygen (O2) and remove carbon dioxide (CO2).

But, what if the pump stops pumping? This help guide explains the common causes of fish tank pump failure with some quick and easy fixes to get it working again.

What to Do if No Air is Going into the Tank?

First, let's begin by confirming how much oxygen fish actually need to stay alive.

Most aquarists say the level of Dissolved Oxygen (DO) in water should be at least five (5) parts per million (ppm) for fish health care.

In other words, if the oxygen level drops below two (2) ppm, your fish may be in immediate danger of dying. Hence, you'll need to find a way to get it aerated.

You can use a Dissolved Oxygen Meter to determine the exact oxygen concentration inside your aquarium.

Pro Tip: Another section contains a list of reasons why a Top Fin filter may not be working efficiently, and how to troubleshoot the most common fixes.

Aquarium Air Pumps: Basic Checks

One common reason why fish tank pumps suddenly stop working is a loose or broken air tube connection. So, start the problem solving process by making sure all the air pipe connections are secure.

Next, try to confirm that your pump has a functioning power supply. The easiest way to check this is to disconnect the air pipe from the pump assembly and feel for a slight rush of "wind" coming out of the outlet. If not, you might need to buy a replacement pump.

Pro Tip: Remember, the best aquarium air pumps come with a guarantee of at least one year. So, you should be entitled to a free replacement if your submersible pump breaks down in the first twelve months.

Troubleshooting a Faulty Fish Tank Pump

As already stated, a lack of oxygen bubble aeration of the water in an aquarium is going to be detrimental for fish health.

So, let's look at some reasons why a fish tank pump malfunctions and how to fix it. In particular, you may need to:

In fact, regular cleaning of the pump will reduce the likelihood of it getting dirty and blocked. But, if a power surge damages the motor inside the aerator you may need to buy a new one.

Cleaning a Clogged Air Pump

Pro Tip: Another guide lists the common reasons why a fish filter is making a weird noise, how to troubleshoot the cause, and then fix the problem.

Changing a Broken Motor Shaft

Repairing a Power Head Wire

Replacing a Rubber Gasket

Dismantle the pump assembly and disassemble the air cylinder to reveal the rubber gasket. Use a screwdriver to take it out and then replace the new rubber gasket.

Conclusion and Safety Tips

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