Multiple fish tank filters (5 interesting facts)

After reading this article “Multiple fish tank filters” the reader will be able to know about the advantages and the disadvantages of multiple fish tank filters. He or she will also know about the redundant aquarium filtration system and the maintenance of multiple filtration systems.

Is it okay to have multiple fish tank filters? 

It is fine to have multiple fish tank filters when your aquarium is large enough. There are some occasions when you have to add multiple filters to your fish tank for the proper working of your aquarium and the health of your fish in the aquarium.

When it comes to owning a fish in an aquarium you might think of a filtration system for your freshwater aquarium. There are many filters available in the market. The mechanical and biological filtration( sponge filters) is essential for the proper working of your fish tank. Tetra whisper can perform 3 stages of mechanical filtration.

Their many filters depending upon the size, capacity and location of a filter. 

The only thing you need to keep in mind while adding an extra filter to your aquarium is the flow of water in your tank. Adding an extra filter will increase the flow of water in your tank and that might not be beneficial for the type of fish you are having in the fish tank. 

Benefits of having multiple fish tank filters 

There are several benefits of multiple fish tank filters. Bacteria in your tank is beneficial for your fish and the aquarium itself. Bacteria break down waste and neutralize the harmful substance produced by the nitrogen cycle. Bacteria is all over the tank but the most prominent place that is inhabited by the bacterial colonies is the filter itself. 

The reason why the bacteria needs the filter to live is that the filter pulls the water through and the bacteria there has the chance to encounter water as it passes through the filter. 

If you have one large filter( canister filter) then you probably need a strong and powerful filter for your large aquarium to pull all the water through it. The one large filter can pull water with more force and the flow rate will increase that will lessen the chances of bacteria colonizing to encounter water on their way. 

Contrary to this if you have multiple fish tank filters then the same amount of water is being filtered but the filtration is gentle and the flow rate is not that powerful. It will allow the bacterial colonies to intersect with the water. 

The second benefit of multiple fish tank filters is it reduces the risk of the disaster of breaking fish tank filters. 

If you have a single large filter and suddenly it breaks then what will you do? How will the fish survive in the water? These are the questions you should think about. The only solution to this problem is multiple fish tank filters. 

If you have at least two filters working then you are at ease because if suddenly one breaks the other will back up the situation and the filtration process will be running smoothly. Introducing a new filter to the aquarium is quite a tricky task so you should go with the multiple fish tank filters strategy. 

The third benefit is the further protection of bacterial colonies. You can alternate the filtration process by using multiple fish tank filters. 

In case you are using two filters then while cleaning one filter the other filter will be running at the same time. In this way, one colony of bacteria is protected from disruption because cleaning the filter can disturb the bacterial colonies and cause a loss in the productivity of these small creatures. 

The fourth benefit of having multiple fish tank filters is you can establish a new tank with existing filter bacteria. If you want to establish a new tank for your beloved fish then you need to add a filter. 

Adding a new filter will be very tricky as you have discussed above. Instead of starting from scratch, you can add a pre-established filter in your new tank for smooth running. This will give your fish to live in an environment with little disturbance and also your aquarium plants will thrive. 

Disadvantages of having multiple fish tank filters 

Although using multiple fish tank filters is recommended. But there are few situations in which using multiple fish tank filters can cause a disturbance inflow of the fish. Multiple fish tank filters are essential for filter feeders and reef tanks but they are not essential for betta fish in betta tanks, fry and small tanks. In case you have a small tank and adding multiple filters in it would increase the flow of water. 

Increasing the flow of water in a small tank would increase the load on the fish. As there is not enough room for water flowing then the fish room is also not enough. The fish will have to invest more energy in his movement across the fish tank. Moreover, many fishes are sensitive to increase water flow therefore we need to not use multiple fish tank filters in our small aquarium. 

The second disadvantage of using multiple fish tank filters is in heavily planted aquariums. Plants need carbon dioxide for their survival. If water flow increases the carbon dioxide will not remain on the surface of the water and there will be no carbon dioxide available for plants to flourish. 

If you are planning for an aquascape or heavily planted aquarium then you need to go for a single filter instead of using multiple fish tank filters. 

Redundant aquarium filtration 

If you are using a single filter and then you realize that you should shift adopt a more safe and convent strategy then you shifted to multiple fish tank filters strategy. If you have a single fish then you do not need to worry about it but in case you think that by increasing the filters you should increase the number of fishes then you might probably give it a second thought. 

If you set up a 100-gallon tank and have two filters of 50-50 flow rate then it is easy to handle things. But if you change the 50 GPH filter with the 75 GPH filter then the filtration process is not smooth. You might be thinking about it that how it happens? The answer is very simple there is not enough water for filtration, the filter cannot perform its activity easily. 

There are several situations in which you should not use a redundant filtration system. In case you want to use multiple filters in your fish tank then you need to consider some of the factors. 

First, you need to consider the location of the filters in your fish tank. The location should be such that the flow of water is not disturbed by either of the filters, also the flow should be smooth and there should be no clash among the filters. 

The second is the type of fish you are keeping in your fish tank. Some fishes are sensitive to water flow and by using multiple fish tank filters the water flow increases then you should keep this in mind. 

Right size of filter to be used in aquarium

While choosing which size of filter you should use. You do not need to consider the type of filter you will be using but instead the size of the filter in your fish tank. 

Most of the people are comfortable in using the outside filters( Atman filter)

In this filter, the water is sucked through the pump and it passes through a series of tubes, sump and then it returns to the aquarium again. Oxygen is also necessary through aquarium air pumps.

When it comes to the power of a fish tank filter then the flow rate should be four to six times the volume of water. For example, if you have a 55-gallon fish tank then the filter should have a power of 220 GPH. 

If you wish to add another filter to your tank then you will think that you should upgrade to a bigger tank but that is not the case. You should add filters that make up the power of a single filter to be used in the aquarium. 

Maintenance of multiple fish tank filters 

The single filter tank requires more maintenance than multiple fish tank filters. In case of single fish tank filter, the load is on one fish tank. Continuously dealing with the water flow increases the chance of debris in the filter system so you need to clean the filter more often. 

In the case of multiple fish tank filters, the load is divided among the filters so that it is easy to maintain the flow of the water.


In this article “Multiple fish tank filters” we have discussed the pros and cons of multiple filtration systems. We also learn about redundant filtration systems and know-how to maintain a multiple filtration system in an aquarium.

Feel free to ask anything about “Multiple fish tank filters” in the comment section below.

FAQ; Multiple fish tank filters

Frequently asked questions of “Multiple fish tank filters” are:

Can you have too many filters in an aquarium?

You cannot actually over filter an aquarium but you can under filter one. If your aquarium has predator fish or any fish that produces large amounts of waste or your aquarium is heavily populated with stuff then you need to add multiple fish tank filters to your aquarium.

Do you leave fish tank filters on all the time?

You should keep your filters all the time turned on. If you turn off your fish tank filter then there is a likely chance that you find your dead fish in the tank in the morning.

How do I know if my fish filter is too strong?

You will know that your fish tank filter is too strong when the fish is swimming smoothly or is swimming straight. The ease of swimming will tell you that the filter is too strong.

Do fish tank filters use a lot of electricity?

No, filters do not consume a high amount of energy. The filters and the powerhead consume electricity between 3 watts and not exceeding 25 to 50 watt. The fish only aquarium consumes less energy. UV filters consume energy between 8 to 130 watt.

Where is the best place to put a filter in a fish tank?

The best place for the fish tank filter is at the water level of the aquarium which is at the top of the fish tank. It will prevent the water flow back into the filter in case of power loss.

How long should a filter run before putting fish in?

You should test your filter and other power equipment 24 hours before placing the fish in the aquarium. You should make sure that the water is flowing smoothly through your fish tank filter, adjust the heater and it will take 24 hours to stabilize.


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