Top fin filter

Top fin filter DEFAULT

Can someone provide some tips for altering a Top Fin Element Filter?

Hi Roy,

Unfortunately 1 Gallon tanks are not big enough to sustain a Betta fish. They can hold a snail, or maybe some shrimp. Not much more than that.

They need really at least 3 gallons, and the bigger the better. Otherwise you will likely soon experience ammonia poisoning, fin rot, etc. Daily water changes would be necessary to prevent this, and obviously for most that just isn’t practical.

It is true that Betta fish live in shallow rice paddies in Thailand: just they’re leaving out some crucial details. These “puddles” were at the very least about an acre in size, and being refreshed by rainwater all the time so that the betta’s waste is filtered. Tell that person to do a little more research of their own if you see them again.

So I suggest getting each Betta a larger tank. They will live a longer, happier life. They cannot thrive in 1 gallons.

Please feel free to ask any questions.


Tetra Bio-Bag Medium Disposable Filter Cartridges

Last Updated Sept 21, 2021

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Aquarium Forum > Beginners corner > General Aquarium Forum > Top fin Filter overflowing


View Full Version : Top fin Filter overflowing


08-23-2007, 10:19 PM

Hello I have a 30 gallon tank with a Top Fin 30 filter on it. The tank is over a month old and just recently the filter can't seem to push enough water through the filter media, so some of the water is overflowing back into the tank. I've cleaned the filter twice within the last week in some tank water, but that only seems to help for a day or two. Is this normal or a problem?



08-23-2007, 10:30 PM

do you have a heavy bioload?


08-23-2007, 10:40 PM

4x two inch redfinned tinfoil that heavy??

Maybe I should just clean the filter another time???


08-23-2007, 11:08 PM

how bigs the tank????


08-23-2007, 11:13 PM

how bigs the tank????

They said a 30 gal but I am assuming it's the 29 gallon Topfin aquarium kit as that is what I got and I got that crappy HOB filter with it.

Legos, I would seriously recommend upgrading your filter.
If you have the money go with a canister, but at least get a Aquaclear 50 or 70 on it or a penguin biowheel.
If you were interesting in having a great filter I have a xP2 on my 29 gallon and it works amazing. It is a canister filter that can be found on Just type in Rena Filstar xP2.


08-23-2007, 11:21 PM

If there is an adjustment at the bottom of the external tank that adjusts the angle the filter sits, depending on how thick the rim of your aquarium is, try adjusting that so the filter tilts more twards the tank.

If there is no adjustment, try to shim it out with something.

Also make certain the filter cartrige is completly inserted to the bottom of the filter. If its not, or it rises up it will raise the lvl of the water so it will come out the inlet tube slot.

Hope that helps.


08-24-2007, 03:56 AM

To swap out filters I would buy the new filter and filter the media in the tank for a week and then what??? Just swap 'em out or what?? All at once??? Won't my cycle get messed up in the process????


08-24-2007, 04:12 AM

I would let the old filter float in with the new on in the actual filter thing but then again that is just going to clog it up more. I think letting the filter sit in the tank would be good.
I would do a water change and just rinse the hell out of the filter by squeezing it and stuff in the water you took out. Last time I cleaned my filter pads I swished it in my bucket for like 2 minutes.


08-24-2007, 01:28 PM

Hello I have a 30 gallon tank with a Top Fin 30 filter on it. The tank is over a month old and just recently the filter can't seem to push enough water through the filter media, so some of the water is overflowing back into the tank. I've cleaned the filter twice within the last week in some tank water, but that only seems to help for a day or two. Is this normal or a problem?

I've had the overflow problem with a Whisper 20-40 that was on my 20g when I got it. I think its a fairly common problem with TopFin and Whisper HOBs. Have you tried taking the impeller out and cleaning that out? They tell you how to do it in the instructions.

Sounds like you don't have a very heavy bio load with only 4 fish in there. You probably don't need to upgrade your filter unless you are planning to get more fish. If you do decide to upgrade, an AC 50 is an excellent choice. I would just run both filters for a few weeks until the new filter has some bio build up and then take the Top Fin out. It shouldn't hurt your cycle. I'd try breaking down and cleaning the Top Fin first though and see if that solves the overflow issue.


08-24-2007, 01:43 PM

I am with Zackish on that one. TopFin filter is not good. I bet you have bacterial film on the water surface because the filter is not moving enough water. I had the same unit in my tank when it arrived from the manufacturer and it sucked. TopFin claims it can handle 30 gal., but that is a blatant lie. I could not cycle my tank because the filter was too weak, it could not oxygenate the water properly. Things did not improve for me until I got a Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel filter. Those filters are reasonably priced if you shop around (I paid $45 for the top of the line 450 Model) and they are good, my tank cycled within two weeks. If you decide to update the filter to biowheel, just take out the sponge from the TopFin, let it float for about 15 min or so while the biowheel gets a chance to wet itself and then gently rub the flaps on the wet biowheel with the sponge, that will plant whatever bacteria you had on the sponge to the biowheel. With proper aeration provided by the biowheel and amonnia in the water those bacteria will grow fast.

Lady Hobbs

08-24-2007, 02:38 PM

What I did with the filters that come with my tank kits... I moved all the filters to tanks smaller and upgraded those on the new tank.

The filter that come with my 29 gallon is moved to my 10 gallon and the filter that come with the 55 gallon is on my 29 gallon. (Both tanks lightly stocked.) They are inadequate for the size tank they come with but handy to have around in a pinch incase a filter should die in the middle of the night.

However, if your filter is running over, then the media most likely is clogged. You can just use filter floss instead of investing in all those cartriges. The carbon within them are only good for two weeks anyway. They are handy to have around to remove medication but not for much of anything else.

A filter will handle about half of what it claims so go as large as you can.

Remove your old filter media and put it in one side of your new filter when you get it and you'll be fine.

The Aqua Clears are good filters and parts are easy to find.

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