Fluval Edge Filter Stopped Working

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Fluval edge filters are some of the top mechanical filtration systems, primarily thanks to the vertical placement of the filter media.

The water is forced through 4 layers of media, cleansing it of even the smallest particles.

You can get your own Fluval filter for any type of setting, from nano tanks to full-sized environments that house dozens of fish of various sizes.

They’re great for all aquatic setups, come in various types, and require minimal maintenance and long-term cleaning.

That being said, even Fluval edge filters can experience malfunctions and clogging problems. So, let’s get into that.

Troubleshooting Fluval Edge Filter

You have a variety of potential issues to consider when dealing with Fluval edge filters. These may not be as frequent, but they can occur, demanding swift and precise intervention.

Here are the most common to consider:

Check Power Input

Always verify the power input first. If the filter stops working, the problem is most often due to a faulty electric outlet.

Disconnect the filter’s power input and connect another appliance in its place to test the electric outlet. If it works just fine, the problem may be with the filter’s motor unit instead.

You may need specialized assistance in this case because things can go south fast if you try to solve the situation by yourself.

Priming the Filter

The priming process refers to filling the filter with water for ease of functioning. Aquarium filters operate with water, not air.

So, before you start the filter, open the filter case and pour a cup of tank water inside. This should kick-start the mechanism and allow the filter to operate normally from the get-go.

Any problems linked to the lack of filter priming only occur when you first start the filter. This makes priming a necessary step before turning your filter on.

Clean the Impeller

The impeller is a rotating tube with a propeller at one end. The impeller essentially pulls and pushes water through the filter’s internal mechanism and comes in various sizes and shapes, depending on the filter variation you’re using.

Some impellers have 4 blades, while others have 8, depending on the filter’s size and power needs.

Several issues can affect the impeller, causing it to malfunction or stop working altogether.

One problem is an improperly fixed piece, causing the impeller to create a specific grinding noise inside the filter.

Another issue is accumulated gunk on the impeller’s blades or spinning mechanism. This may cause the filter to backfire or malfunction due to the accumulated dirt.

You can clean the impeller fairly easily. Just open the top lid and look for the impeller. It should be located close, right underneath the lid; you can spot the propelling blades immediately.

If it’s clogged, you can clean it on the spot. If the situation is cloggier than that, remove the impeller and clean it outside for optimal results.

Clogged Intake Tube

The intake tube is where most problems come from. The filter’s intake sucks in all of the water and dirt from the water, so it’s natural that it will eventually clog up.

Especially if the filter runs at low power, allowing the filth to latch onto the tube easier.

If the intake is seriously clogged, I recommend turning the filter off and performing generalized maintenance work. The filter most likely has clogging problems that go beyond what’s visible at the surface.

Avoid tap water when cleaning the intake or any other part of the filtration system. Or, at least, dechlorinate it to prevent chlorine from reaching the colonies of bacteria or even migrating to the tank.

Chlorine is deadly to fish and invertebrates.

Dirty Filter Media

The filter media is the filter’s lung system, housing all of the beneficial bacteria that consume ammonia and excess nitrates.

The problem is that the filter media will eventually become clogged with all the matter it accumulates over time.

The filter media’s lifespan depends on several factors, like the type and size of the media, the tank water’s filth level, overall maintenance routine, etc.

If the media appears clogged, consider cleaning it before anything else. When doing so, consider:

  • Always use tank water or dechlorinated water when cleaning the media
  • Not scrubbing the piece too aggressively, not to kill the colonies of beneficial bacteria
  • Not using any cleaning chemicals in the process for the same reasons

A full replacement may be necessary if the filter is beyond salvation. However, remember that the new filter media has no bacterial content.

So, I recommend cleaning the old one as best you can, then running the new one in parallel.

This allows the bacteria to migrate towards the new media, colonizing it faster and restoring the system’s balance.

Bent Output

The output tube may become bent or tangled due to the aquarium’s positioning. The same problem can occur accidentally, when moving the tank a bit by mistake or when changing its position slightly.

As a result, the tube may change its position, getting bent in the process.

The water won’t go through as easily or at all, creating pressure inside the filter and causing the entire system to malfunction.

Always check the output to clear any potential kinks or bends.

Check for Leaks

Leaks should be fairly obvious, but then again, they may not be. Especially if you have the aquarium in an area that sucks all the leaking water.

In this case, you should verify the filter’s tubing system to make sure there are no leaks causing the sudden drop in performance.

These are especially dangerous due to the proximity to the filter’s electrical source. If you can patch the leaks, do so. If not, you may need to replace the faulty tubing.

However, if you can’t identify the problem despite all your efforts, I recommend speaking to a Fluval representative for professional assistance.


Fluval filters are reliable units, providing a wide range of products for all aquatic setups imaginable.

That being said, they, too, can experience malfunctioning, albeit rarely.

Fortunately, you should be able to pinpoint and solve the issue after a bit of troubleshooting and tinkering work.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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