5 Reasons For Aqueon Filter Making Grinding Noise-Fixing Guide

All the fish tank filters make a slight buzzing noise during its functions in order to clean out the waste products from the water. But a filter in perfect condition will always make the sound well within a range that is not too irritating to us.

So, when your tank filter is making an intrusive sound that is way above the detectable level, it’s time for you to address the issue before it’s too late to fix it. Because eventually, a noisy filter is gonna get you crazy.

Well, there are mostly 5 reasons why your Aqueon filter is making a grinding noise

  1. The filter has become dirty
  2. There is something wrong with the impeller
  3. The filter is incorrectly positioned
  4. The water pump is faulty &
  5. Something else is wrong with it and the filter needs to be reset.

Here, on public demand in our social media, I decided to share my experience on how I dealt with my loud and noisy tank filter in this article. 

Make sure you go through the whole article so that you can try all the tips and tricks to stop your fish tank filter from making these noises. 

So without making any delay, let’s fire away–

Aqueon Filter Making Grinding and Loud Noise- 5 Ways to Fix

1. Dirty Filter

Dirty Filter

The most common reason for the grinding noises in your Aqueon filter is the dirt and sludge piled up inside it. 

Whenever I’ve forgotten to clean up the filter for some time, I’ve noticed that the debris gathered in the filter stops the water from flowing properly. Besides, it also causes the filter to make loud noises.

Control Measure

When my aquarium filter becomes noisy the first thing I do is check the filter for any debris that is clogging the filter. 

Sometimes small stones or little pieces of gravel can enter the filter and cause internal friction making loud grinding noises. For this, you have to look inside the different parts of your filter for visible debris and remove them.

To do this, first, you need to turn off the filter and get the filter out of the tank. Now, remove the filter cartridge or the sponge. Then clean the filter media using the tank water. It’s better to always use tank water instead of tap water to clean the filter media.

This is because tap water contains chlorine which kills all the beneficial bacteria living in the sponge. Also, clean the filter tubes with a cleaning brush and similarly use the tank water for cleaning.

Now finally, drain out the extra water from the filter after cleaning and replace the filter media back in the filter. After that, reassemble the filter. Then put it back in the tank and plug it into the outlet.

2. Defective Impeller

Defective Impeller

Impeller is a part of the filter that continuously spins to push the water through the filter media so that it can be filtered. 

Sometimes the impeller can become dirty or even any of the impeller parts can be broken. And this will result in increased friction while the impeller is spinning. As a result, it will make grinding noise.

Control Measure

Sometimes the impeller becomes noisy just because some dirt is attached to it. In this case, simple cleaning and using lubrication can solve the whole noise issue in your filter.

However, not all lubricants are suitable for use in the aquarium filter and even some lubricants can be very harmful for both the filter and the fish. This is why I prefer to stick with the best lubricant for my filter that keeps my fish safe.

Check out this video to lubricate your water filter correctly.

If the impeller is still not working even after greasing it, that means the impeller is very likely to be broken. And for this, you must get a replacement for the same model. (our pick: Aqueon Filter)

3. Incorrectly Positioned Filter

The thing is, in fish tanks that are much larger, the filter can be knocked over by the movements of some big and frisky fish. As a result, the filter can become very noisy.

Once I had an internal filter that was fixed in the aquarium glass with the help of a suction cup. And a couple of my large goldfishes would sometimes misplace the filter while grazing on some algae on the glass underneath the filter box.

Eventually, the filter got stuck and it started to vibrate against the glass creating loud grinding noise. 

Control Measure

If your filter is fixed on the aquarium glass then use a piece of sponge to plug the space between the glass and the filter box. For my filter, it worked like magic.

The sponge will keep the filter in its place and restrict the movement and vibration as well. As a result, the irritating rattling noise will be stopped. 

However, if this solution is still not working then iId recommend getting a canister filter for your tank.

4. Faulty Water Pump

Once I had these grinding noises coming out from my aquarium filter and I cleaned the dirt and checked the impeller.

Surprisingly, everything was okay and I got confused about what the issue was with the filter. Then I figured it was the pumps that were making the buzzing sound.

Control Measure

A pump can make noises because of any debris or if any parts are damaged. The faulty water pump should never be ignored because if you still have the warranty of the filter you can contact its manufacturer company for the replacement.

However, if the warranty has expired, you must get a new pump as soon as possible. This is because a faulty pump could stop working at any minute. As a result, your tank water will turn bad without a functioning filter and cause damage to life underwater.

5. The Filter Needs Reset

Sometimes when every other option fails, a simple resetting of the filter can solve the noise problem within a minute. So, you can try resetting the entire filter system.

Besides, check if the water level in the aquarium is adequate. Because if it’s very low then the filter can make sounds.

Usually, when the water evaporates and its level gets lower day by day it can cause stress in the filter. So make sure to maintain the water level in your tank.

Control Measure

Well, to perform the resetting you have to turn off the filter at the main. And then leave it for a minute like this and then switch it back on. 

Besides, check if the flow rate is too high. Because this issue can put pressure on the filter parts and create a slightly louder sound than usual.

In this case, decrease the flow rate gradually and adjust to a position where the noise gets much quieter.

Though remember that if you decrease the water flow too quickly all at once, then it can cause the filter to malfunction. And this could lead to the tank water being very dirty causing stress to the fish.

However, if this is still not working then you can dissemble the filter and check for internal broken parts. But if you are not comfortable with this then the best option for you is to choose a good aquarium filter.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do All Fish Tank Filters Make A Noise?

Unfortunately, yes! All the fish tanks make some noises but it’s just a faint humming sound. But as time goes by the filters start to make louder noises, especially the old ones. However, if the filter has dirt inside it or has faulty parts then it can suddenly become noisy too.

Does A Loud Noise In The Filter Bother Fish?

Normally the loud sounds of the filter do not bother the fish. However, if you notice that due to loud noise, your tank fish are behaving unusually then probably it’s bothering them. In that case, you have to fix this issue as mentioned above in the article.

What Should An Ideal Fish Tank Filter Sound Like?

Sadly, no filters are completely soundless. But ideally, a normal fish tank filter should make a low humming sound that is not very intrusive. In other words, it shouldn’t irritate people around the tank while working or watching tv.


Sadly, every filter has a chance of becoming very noisy with time. You just have to know how to tackle the issues with your Aqueon filter as they come. Follow the article to fix the grinding noise problem very easily with the simple tips I shared throughout this piece. 

I hope this article helped you to solve the grinding noise of your Aqueon fish tank filter successfully. Don’t forget to share it with your other aquarist friends to help them out too.

And most importantly, let us know on our social media what other thing about your aquarium is bothering you. I’ll try my best to help you get some more insights through my own experience.

Howard Parker

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