Top Fin Filter Not Working? Causes, Fixes & Adjustments

You can consider the Top Fin filter as the guardian angel of your fish tank. It does 80% of the basic job for your fish tank and upholds the resident’s well-being. The Top Fin filter effectively helps in proper oxygen circulation through the tank. It keeps the water clean and flowing. So that no bacteria, toxin elements, and other harmful chemicals can’t settle into the aquarium water. 

Without a filter, your tank will turn into a filthy plunge, raised in toxicity level with lack of oxygen. As a result, your aquarium will lose its grace and life soon. A working filter in your fish tank is compulsory to avoid such a situation. 

However, despite having a Top Fin filter, you may face some troubles associated with the proper functioning of the filter. It can just stop working. There can be various reasons behind and so the solutions. To know that, you have to go through this article on causes, fixes, and adjustments of a “Top Fin filter is not working?” 

Let’s dive into the write-up without more delay.

Why Isn’t My Top Fin Filter Working?

You can’t say exactly why a Top Fin filter may stop working. But some causes can be present behind a broken Top Fin filter. 

top fin mf m finter

Improper Plugging 

Improper plug-in, power surge, or inadequate power supply is one of the very first reasons a Top Fin filter is not working. Possibly your filter is not plugged correctly or has a loose connection. Other than that, there can be a power surge or internal problem with the outlet you are using to plug in your Top Fin filter.  

Clogged Filter

Your Top Fin filter can go out of work and make noises if it’s clogged anyhow. It can clog due to long-term use without cleaning. Also, if your filter is small for your fish tank, it has to filter more with short capacity, leading to filling wastage in the filter fast. As a result, your Top Fin filter will continue to stop frequently. Apart from that, your new filter can be clogged also. While manufacturing material, dust can reside in the filter resulting in blockage. 

Impeller Is Not Functioning 

An impeller is a crucial part of your whole filter. It runs to create flow and water suction. Your Top Fin filter will not work if the impeller is broken, loosened up, or blocked by waste. 

Irregular Water Flow 

If you are a good aquarist, you know already that water flow is variable from fish species to species. And if your filter is not producing enough water flow, there might be a mismatch with the size and capacity of your filter and fish tank. 

Other than these reasons, there are few causes. For example,  you might not submerge the filter in the right length.

How To Fix Top Fin Filter That Is Not Working?

top fin fish tank

The first step you have taken to fix any problem is identifying the problem behind it. So if you have found out the reason, there are solutions: 

Ensuring Proper Power Input

A proper power supply is among the first few things people often pay heed to last. You have to provide an uninterrupted power supply for a proper functioning Top Fin filter. That’s why when you notice the filter is not working, check if the connections are tightly plugged. However, it’s better to check your outlet before plugging the filter on it. 

Regular Cleaning 

A Top Fin filter is a one-man army for your fish tank. It cleans the aquarium water, reduces toxins and bacterias away. So you have to clean the filter regularly to keep it up for performing. Doing so will not let any waste clog in the filter. Moreover, a clog-free filter will work most efficiently. 

Taking Care of The Impeller

A well-functioning impeller is important for a working Top Fin filter. Check your filter impeller each time of cleaning. Wash it and keep it clean. The best practice is to change the impeller if any slightest damage is visible. 

Choosing The Right Size

If the water flow in the fish tank is slow and not enough, it’s because the Top Fin Filter is not working properly. Somehow you have chosen the wrong one. For a perfectly working Top Fin filter in your aquarium, you have to pick the right sized filter that fits your aquarium’s size and water quantity. 

How Do You Adjust a Top Fin Filter?

As you already know, different fish species need different water flow levels. Some can survive in any water flow, whether some may face difficulties swimming or feel dizzy in full force flow. So you have to adjust the filter accordingly. 

For adjusting a Top Fin filter, open the cover of the filter box, and you can see the point where water gets in. And at the top of the tube, there will be a round shaft that is spinnable. To adjust the water flow, spin the cover upwards or backward respectively for slow flow and fast flow.

Read Also: Who Makes Top Fin Aquariums?

Should the Top Fin Filter Be Open Or Closed?

Open or closed, you can use it either way according to your preference.

If you keep your Top Fin filter open, it will filter the water from different depths of the tank. The filtration process will be thorough.

However, you choose to keep it close; the filter will work on the bottom part of the aquarium. This adjustment means a close Top Fin filter will pull water from the lower level of the tank.


Addressing a problem is half of the solution. After reading this article, we hope it will be easy to find the causes why the Top Fin filter is not working. Also, you can sort out the problems instantly.

However, right after getting a Top Fin filter, make sure it’s placed/submerged in the right position. Sometimes you may need to force some water inside the filter to clear the manufacturing dust and make it work. We suggest choosing the right size. Moreover, clean and maintain regularly to keep your Top Fin filter performing for a long time. 

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