Why is My Hang on Back Filter Not Working?

Hang on back filter is one of the most popular filters for aquariums. It is easy to use and maintain.

Like all the other aquariums, it also shows problems if not maintained properly. It is a common question why is my hang on back filter not working?

There can be many reasons for it. A clogged filter is one of the most common reasons. Besides, broken motors, faulty or missing parts, etc. can also cause trouble in the filter.

What is Hang on Back filter?

Hang on the back filter is a kind of filter that can be set outside the fish tank. It is customizable and works great.

Aquarists go for this filter because most of them keep the aquarium for its beauty. A large filter inside the aquarium can ruin the beauty of it.

On the other hand, for those who have small aquariums, a filter inside it can make it even smaller. A hang on back filter is the best choice for them.

It does not take up any space inside as well as you can hide it easily. 

Reasons Why Hang on Back Filter not Working and What’re the Solutions?

As you know, there can be more than one reason why the hang on the back filter is not working. Here are some of the reasons you can check before replacing the filter.

Clogged Filter

Clogging is the most common problem of a troubling filter. But do not worry, this problem can be solved easily.

As time pass and the filter do its work, it starts to accumulate debris from the dirty water.

The Fix

The best way to solve this problem is to clean the filter. Routine cleaning is the way to prevent this beforehand.

If you found out that, a clogged filter is the problem with the filter not working then clean it thoroughly.

But be careful because there are certain rules you have to follow while cleaning it. If you want to know more about How to Clean Your Filter Click Here.

Otherwise, you may lose all the beneficial bacteria from the filter. It is never good for the aquarium environment.

Broken Part

Another reason can be a broken part of the filter. The impeller or the motor is the most common part that can be broken.

If the impeller is broken, it directly affects the water pump. When the water pump is defective, your filter will not work.

The Fix

Thoroughly check all the parts of the filter to know exactly which part is broken. The next step you need to do is, to read the manual instruction carefully and find out if there is any warranty.

If yes, you can contact the provider. If not, check if only that part can be replaced.

Generally, the motor or the impeller can be changed separately. So that you do not have to replace the whole filter.  

Unprimed Filter

Priming the filter is an important part people forget often. It means filling the filter with aquarium water to replace the air after cleaning.

Because sometimes the tube gets clogged with air instead of water and the filter stops working.

The Fix

For fixing the problem, you need to unplug the filter and take it out of the tank. Pump out all the water inside it as well as the clogged air. So that you have an empty filter to work with.

Now simply, prime the filter with some aquarium water and put it back in the aquarium. If the air clog tube is the problem it will be solved by then.

Damaged Wiring

Another neglected part of this problem is, not checking the wiring thoroughly before plugging the aquarium equipment.

Sometimes the wiring gets damaged and as a result, the filter does not work. If this is the case, not only the filter but also other equipment will also stop working.

It is a common indication of this problem.

The Fix

In this case you will be needing professional help to solve this problem. Doing this yourself can be proved dangerous. Call an electrician and check the wiring of the plug.

If the wiring is faulty, they will repair it in no time.

The Benefits of a “Hang on Back Filter” in an Aquarium

The main benefit you get from this hang on back filter is its appearance. You can make it almost invisible.

If you want to decorate and give full space to your fish, hanging in the back filter is the best choice for you. Because as the name suggests, it hangs on the back of the aquarium.

That means you get the full aquarium without losing any space inside it. the best part is, you do not have to sacrifice the performance of the filter.

Because it is as good as any other filter available in the market. It is customizable and cleans the tiniest part of a particle. So that, the water remains clean and fresh for the fish.

Can fish Survive without an Aquarium?

Yes, but not for long.

An aquarium is a closed area unlike a fish’s natural habitat in nature. It gets out of oxygen and becomes toxic over time without any filtration system.

That is why you need to maintain the ecology of the fish tank artificially. A filter is a big part of that ecological system. Without it, a fish may survive a couple of days.

After that, they will suffocate and start to die. So, a filter is an irreplaceable component in a fish tank. No matter what kind of filter it is. But good quality filters always pay off.


Filters are prone to trouble. No matter what filter you use. A hang on back filter is no different. But do not worry immediately. Because most of the filter problems are treatable. 

Try all the methods mentioned above to find out the actual problem. Then fixing it will not be a big deal. Remember, routine cleaning and maintenance can save you from the repairing hustle. 

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Arif H Fahim

Welcome to PetFishTank! My name is Arif. I make an effort to publish educational articles using my many years of expertise as a fish owner.

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