How to Hide Aquarium Filter Intake

You’ve all experienced it; you’re watching your fish happily swimming around in their tank when suddenly they dart away from the filter’s intake. You wonder what could be wrong with them but then realize that there must be something scary in the water.

How to Hide Aquarium Filter Intake

You investigate and notice a couple of leaves or some other debris floating near the intake tube, causing your fish to flee. After scooping out said waste, you relax, knowing that everything is okay again. So, this article is for you. You will learn how to hide aquarium filter intake with just one simple trick!

Step to Follow on How to Hide Aquarium Filter Intake

Step One: Determine

First, you have to determine what you want to use for your intake cover. This can be anything that flows into the opening of your filter that captures it. This is a very viable option if you have a sump for your aquarium because it provides a natural environment to keep the intake out of sight and reduce the amount of airflow needed to pull water through to the filter.

Determine the Intake Cover

If you do not have a sump for your aquarium, you can use different types of materials to hide the intake. These include triangular-shaped rocks, reef-safe or natural-looking ornaments that can be broken down a drilled hole to accommodate the intake.

Step Two: Obtaining the Material

After deciding what type of material you would like to use for your intake cover, go out and purchase it. If you purchased a sump from the start, make sure that when they drill the intake hole, they drill it at an angle going up towards the back of the sump. This will allow for a better water flow and make a more natural look when you cover your filter.

If you did not purchase a sump, find materials that are either triangular-shaped rocks reef safe or natural-looking ornaments that can be broken down and drilled a hole to accommodate the intake. Ensure that the material is at least two inches larger than your filter to ensure a proper fit.

Step Three:  Placement

Once you have the material, it’s time to place it. If you purchased a sump, find the three-inch intake strainer and run your tube from your filter into the opening of it. Ensure no gaps between the top of your hoses connected to your intake filter and the bottom of your aquarium hood. You can use a zip tie around your hose and filter to hold it together.

If you did not purchase a sump, place the material on top of your intake tube inside the aquarium near the back wall or any other location that will keep most of the intake from being seen from most angles. Use a zip tie or super glue to secure the material in place and keep it from floating around or moving when you move your aquarium.

Step Four: Verify

Now that you have your intake hidden, take a few minutes and verify that there is less chance for any fish or hermit crabs to be sucked into your filter. If there was no change, then try moving the material closer to the intake. If this does not work, try moving the material in another direction.

Verify Your Intake

Be careful not to have any gaps where water can be seen flowing through it, or else fish may still get stuck in it. If there is no change, try to find a different type of material that might work better for your tank, depending on the shape of your filter intake and what type of aquarium you are using. These steps should help you in learning how to hide aquarium filter intake.

Step Five: Add Water and Turn on Filter

Once you have confirmed that the material is doing its job, add water to your aquarium and turn on your filter. You can glue or tie down any loose ends of the material so nothing will come undone while adding water to the aquarium. After all this, you should have successfully hidden the filter intake from your aquarium.

If you need to change it later, you can easily do so by removing any material added and repositioning or adding a different type of material to hide the filter intake. Don’t be afraid to experiment with what works best for your tank as long as nothing will impede your ability to have a successful filtration system.

Step Six: Maintenance

It’s important to note that because you are constantly moving water through the filter, you will need to take out your intake tube and clean it every month or two. This can be done by using a toothbrush with warm water and soap attached. Make sure not to scrub too hard against any of the holes, or else you might damage them.

Maintenance Your Intake Tube

If you have a sump with a built-in refugium, then this is not necessary and can be done once or twice per year. If there is anything more specific that you would like to know about how to hide aquarium filter intake, leave a comment with your question below.

Then you can use the intake tube to siphon out any old water inside of your filter. Make sure that you do not touch the filter sponge with the toothbrush since it will damage it. Once you have cleaned your intake hose, make sure to rinse it with fresh water and let it dry before putting it back into your aquarium.

Conclusion

Of course, some people will disagree with this approach. However, if you’re one of those more traditional fishkeepers who prefers the filter intake to be on display as a testament to your knowledge and commitment, there are still ways for you to hide it.

You could try placing the filter in an out-of-the-way corner or behind something that blends into its surroundings, like plants or rocks. Another option is purchasing a new aquarium stand that has built-in storage for your filter.

Whether you stick the intake tube through a hole in the back of your aquarium stand or place it somewhere under the stand, this is still an effective way to keep it hidden so that no fish or hermit crabs are sucked into it. We hope you enjoyed this article on how to hide aquarium filter intake.

You may also check it out: How to Add Substrate to an Established Aquarium

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