5 Reasons Why Aqueon Filter Is Not Working [Fixing Guide]

Your Aqueon filter has suddenly stopped working and it’s not pumping any water inside the tank anymore. This issue can be a nightmare for any aquarist. 

Because without the filter working properly, your aquarium can be filled with toxins that will lower the water quality and poison the fish eventually. 

Not to mention it will also decrease the visibility of your beautiful aquarium as the unfiltered water makes the tank look cloudy. 

Don’t worry though because a filter can have some common issues that can be handled very easily. And I’ve been through this so many times that whenever my Aqueon filter stops working, I start to move some things around. 

First off, I like to check if–

  • The filter is making a lot of grinding noises
  • There is no water current in the tank
  • The filter is vibrating too much
  • The filter has no suction at all

When your Aqueon filter has checked any of these problems, you have to figure out why it’s not working. And today this is what I’m going to share with you guys.

So, without making any delay, let’s get down to business–

Aqueon Filter Not Working- 5 Causes & Solutions

1. Check The Power Sources

Power Source Verification

When my aquarium filter is not working after unplugging, the first thing I check is the power connection. Because these things happen most commonly with everyone as a silly mistake.

Remember that, if the wires are unplugged or have got loose, the filter is never going to work.

Surprisingly, most of the time I thought my filter had some fault but later I found out it wasn’t plugged in properly. 

Control Measure

So, make sure that all the power sources including the extension cord and power strip are well connected. And you’ve got your solution.

However, sometimes you also might need to check if the power outlet is working properly. To be sure about this, I mostly get some other electronic devices plugged in, in the same power outlet as well.

If all the devices aren’t working there, that means something is wrong with the power outlet. 

And you have to install a new one with a proper electrical connection near the tank.

But if the devices are working, it means nothing is wrong with the outlet, instead the filter itself is broken.

2. Blocked Impeller

You see, the impeller helps to circulate the water in the aquarium. So this one is a crucial part of the Aqueon filter’s motor. If it’s broken or blocked by debris and algaes, it can cause your filter to have no suction power at all.

In addition, it will totally stop filtering the tank water as well.

Control Measure

I’ve been through this several times and fortunately, the fix is pretty easy.

First, unplug the filter and take it out of the water. Then take the whole filter apart by reading the manufacturer’s instruction manual.

Now thoroughly clean up the impeller shaft and filter media chambers as well as the filter tubes. After removing the blockage, reassemble the filter and then plug it back in.

If it still doesn’t work then that means the impeller is totally broken. In this case, you have to get a new impeller following the specific model and replace the broken one with it.

3. Wrong Nutrient & Water Levels

Aqueon filters have minimum and maximum water level requirements. So if the water level in your tank is too low or too high it can greatly affect the filter performance.

Another thing is, fish excrement and dead organic matter add ammonia and nitrate to the tank. And your tank filter has its own capacity to remove ammonia and nitrates.

But if there are high levels of ammonia and nitrite in your tank water, your filter won’t be effectively able to remove it. In addition, the ammonia and nitrates will clog the filter media and eventually the filter will totally stop working.

Control Measure

The fact is that ammonia and nitrites are such toxic elements that their levels should always be very minimum in order to keep the tank healthy. I prefer to have zero ammonia in my aquarium as much as possible.

However, this chart can help you get a clear view of the range they should be within– 

Ions In Aquarium Acceptable level 
Ammonia 0 ppm or undetectable 
Nitrite 0 ppm or undetectable to less than 1 ppm 
Nitrate 5 to 10 ppm 

To keep the ammonia and nitrite levels down–

  • Always avoid overcrowding your aquarium with fish
  • Also, avoid overfeeding
  • Take out the dead fish as soon as you can
  • Throw out dead and decaying plants without delay

4. Clogged Filter

Clogged Filter

When the Aqueon 10 filter gets badly clogged it will obviously not be pumping any water. Debris like sand, small rocks, small plant parts, and algae clog the filter and later it prevents any water from entering and exiting the filter.

When the filter is clogged it will make odd grinding noises and a lot of vibrations. Though all the filters make a light humming noise but they don’t make heavy vibrations.

In addition, if the clogging is too much then the filter will have no suction at all. In addition, clogging is an even more frequent and serious issue for the un-graveled filters not working.

Control Measure

Disassemble the filter at first and then check for any clogs in the whole filter including all the intake and outtake tubes and motor as well. Clearly remove the clogging with a brush and then rinse it off thoroughly.

After that, reassemble the filter back. Though make sure to put all the pieces right where it should be using the instruction manual. Otherwise, due to the misplacement of filter parts, the issue won’t resolve and the filter won’t work.

However, remember to turn the power on only when you’ve put your filter back into the water otherwise the motor can get burned out.

If your tank still isn’t working that means there’s something wrong with the motor or impeller.  Then I’d suggest getting those damaged parts replaced or consider getting a new filter.

5. Air Trapped Inside The Filter

Sometimes air can get trapped inside the filter, causing it to lose suction. In this case, your filter needs to be primed by filling the intake tube and filter chamber with enough water to remove any airlocks or bubbles present inside. 

The airlocks can be very serious causing the filter motor to overheat and get burned. Besides, a filter that is not working will put your fish in the tank at risk.

Control Measure

Priming is a kind of setup process. And if you miss performing this in your filter before you start using it, there’s a chance it can get some air inside the tubes. 

But the good news is, it’s a pretty easy process. For the self priming filters, press the prime button so that water will start flowing into the chambers through the tubes. 

However, not all filters are self primed. So to fully prime these ones, you have to turn off the pump and start pouring water into the filter reservoir until it becomes full. 

Besides, make sure to keep the flow rate of your tank according to the fish species you have. Because different types of fish have different flow requirements. 

You see, the high flow rate will make it difficult to swim for the fish that are accustomed to the pond. This is because naturally, they prefer slow flow in the tank.

All fish require different flow rates, so check the preferences of the species you own and make sure your filter provides what they need.

However, avoid keeping the flow too low because it will not circulate enough oxygen in the tank. And rather cause all the fish to die gradually.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Long Can the Fish Survive Without a Filter?

Well, it depends on the health of the fish and the cleanliness of the tank water as well. If the tank is unclean then the fish might survive just a few days without the filter. However, in a clean environment, the fish can live up to a whole week without the filter.

How often should you clean your fish tank filter?

It depends on the type of filter you have. If the filter is hang-on type then you have to clean it every 4 weeks. And same goes with the in-tank filters too. But in the case of sponge filters, you need to clean it every two weeks.

How long do Aqueon filter cartridges last?

The replacement cartridges for your Aqueon Power Filters need to be changed every 4-6 weeks for the best kind of performance in the tank. You can take a bit more time to replace it too. But it will decrease the performance of the filter a lot.

Should I run my aquarium filter 24/7?

Yes! The aquarium needs to be clean and free from toxic substances all the time and the filter plays a key role in this. This is why shutting it down for hours is not a good thing for the tank.


Your Aqueon filter is very trustworthy. But like any other electronic item, sometimes Aqueon Filter stops working. When it’s not working it can be due to power loss or wiring issues, blockage, or damaged impellers as well.

I hope this article has helped you to figure out what’s wrong with your Aqueon filter and how you can get them to start working again.

Don’t forget to let us know on our social media, what topic you would like to see in your next article.

Howard Parker

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *