How to Troubleshoot a Tetra Whisper Filter

By Bonnie Conrad

If you plan to set up a successful freshwater or saltwater aquarium you need to make sure you have the right filtration. A powerful filter is an absolute must for any aquarium, and for years Tetra Whisper filters have been a popular choice for aquarium hobbyists. These filters can provide years of trouble-free service, but it is important to know how to solve common problems with the filters before they become major issues.

Whisper Filter Troubleshooting

Unplug your Tetra Whisper filter from the outlet and carefully pull it free of the aquarium. The back of the filter will be filled with water, so be sure to have a bucket handy to keep any water from spilling onto your carpet or floors. Place the filter in the bucket, making sure that the cord does not get wet.

Examine the intake strainer and make sure it is not broken or damaged. If the strainer is damaged it could allow gravel and debris to get into the motor, and that could severely damage the filter. In addition a faulty intake strainer could allow small fish to be sucked into the tube, so be sure to replace the strainer if it is cracked or damaged.

Carefully remove the intake strainer from the intake tube. Check the tube for debris and clear anything you find. Remove the intake tube from the impeller and then open the impeller to examine it for debris or other contaminants. Use a flexible aquarium brush to clean the impeller motor. Reattach the intake tube and intake strainer.

Pour the water out of the back of the filter, being careful that no gravel gets into your drain. Be sure to close the drain in your sink before pouring out the water, and be sure to remove any gravel before letting the water down the sink.

Pull out the old filter and replace it with a fresh new one, then carefully place the filter back on your aquarium. Fill the back of the filter up with water that is roughly the same temperature as the water in the tank. After the back reservoir is filled to the top, plug the filter in and listen for the motor. After a couple seconds the motor should come on and you should see water begin to flow. If water is not flowing the motor may be damaged. Check your owner's manual to determine how to order the replacement parts you will need to repair the filter.