Aquarium Filter Floss 101: Info + Our Recommendation

Aquarium filter floss is foreign to many new aquarists. With so much to learn, beginners naturally spend their time on the most important things (like the filters themselves).

Over time, they begin to familiarize themselves with the whole process of fish farming. It’s exciting to finally feel like you know what you’re doing!

But then they hear about filter floss and feel like newbies again.

You see, filter floss is one of those things that is extremely useful but not crucial enough for everyone to talk about. In fact, there are plenty of rather experienced aquarists who don’t know much about it either!

So that’s where this guide comes in.

Here you will learn everything you need to know about aquarium filter dental floss. What it is, its benefits and which one we recommend!

What is aquarium filter floss?

Let’s start with the basics.

Filter wire is basically padding designed to catch larger trash and debris in your tank. It is usually constructed with a solid side so that water can pass through it efficiently without bending it.

It is flexible and can be cut to fit a wide variety of filters. This means that if you want to include filter floss in your tank, it is highly unlikely that your filter will not be compatible.

There are a number of brands that essentially offer the same product, with a few minor differences. This makes it a bit difficult to find the best one (we share our favorite at the bottom of the guide).


So what are the benefits of using filter floss in your aquarium?

Well, as you might have guessed, the reason people include it in their tank is to improve water quality. It’s still the name of the game, and some owners swear by it.

The good thing about this is that you can quickly have a positive impact on the cleanliness and clarity of your water by adding filter floss to your tank. While other changes take a while to settle in, Filter Thread is the exact opposite.

In fact, if you add high quality filter floss to your tank it shouldn’t take more than a few days for you to see the impact.

Another benefit that filter floss can bring to an aquarium is a reduced load on the rest of your filtration. The flosser handles a lot of the heavy lifting and acts like a bouncer outside of a club. It captures so many unwanted waste particles in advance that your other filtration may come to a halt.

This means you’ll get more out of your other gear and save time in the long run. When you compare it to cleaning or repairing a filter, replacing floss is incredibly easy to do.

Author’s note: It’s pretty cheap too. Even though you’ll have to change it quite often (more on that in the section below), it still won’t break the bank.


Even though we have talked about the advantages of adding filter wire to your aquarium, there are some disadvantages that you should be aware of.

In our opinion, these are overdone by the anti-flossing crowd. But it’s up to you whether they’re enough to turn you away or not.

The main downside to using filter floss is their potential to increase the nitrate level in your tank. Since these pads catch a lot of junk and debris, they can quite easily start creating nitrate that impacts the rest of your tank’s life.

So how to get around this?

The answer is actually quite simple. In order to prevent the rapid production of nitrate by the dental floss of your aquarium filter, you only need to change it regularly.

It really is that simple.

The optimal number of changes per week really depends on bioload and tank size, but you’ll probably be changing it every 5-7 days. Waiting longer than that is a little too risky.

When you consider how easy it is to change the filter wire, it really doesn’t matter. However, some people feel differently. They don’t like the option of adding nitrate and prefer to let their other filtration do the work.

It’s ultimately up to you to decide. In our opinion, it’s so cheap and easy to test that you might as well try flossing before deciding if it’s for you or not.

Author’s note: Some aquarists believe that changing the filter wire frequently makes it more expensive than the original price suggests. It ultimately depends on your budget but in our opinion it’s still pretty affordable (our favorite brand gives you a lot for a very minimal price).

How to add it to your tank

The funny thing about aquarium filter floss is that it’s really easy to use, but a lot of people don’t realize that. Since there are so many conflicting opinions about it and a general lack of information about it online, you end up with some aquarists thinking it’s fancy equipment that has a curve. learning.

And that couldn’t be further from the truth.

When you start using filter wire, you simply place it somewhere in your filter. It really is that simple.

Once you have some to use, here’s what the process looks like:

First, you need to measure the area of ​​your filter where you will be adding the floss. Depth is less of a concern than length and width. Since filter floss can be used in a wide variety of filters, it is up to you to size it for your particular equipment.

Now that you have the dimensions of the area where you are going to place it, it’s time to start cutting. Just take scissors or a craft knife and cut the padding to fit. Make sure there are no loose pieces that could separate and float in the tank.

Author’s note: Make sure your scissors or blade are clean before doing this. This is a step many people skip in this process, but we think it’s important. You never want to introduce waste or unwanted chemicals into your tank!

Once you have cut it to the appropriate size, simply place it in the previously measured spot in your filter. You have finished!

It’s a good idea to write down the dimensions somewhere so you can quickly cut more when you need to change it in the future. Another option is to cut a bunch all at once so you have a spare to pull out (we prefer that).

One tip worth mentioning is that you should try to be as efficient as possible when cutting the filter wire. This will allow you to get the most out of what you buy and save some money.

You can also save the remaining pieces and combine them so you don’t lose anything. Many aquarists don’t because it doesn’t seem to make a big difference, but it adds up!

Our favorite brand

Now that you know all about aquarium filter floss and how to use it, we thought it would be helpful to share which brand we recommend.

Many tank owners have told us that it can be difficult to tell the difference between different brands and products of filter floss. This is because on the surface they all look very similar.

We’ve tried a bunch of filter bristles over the years and this one from inTank is definitely our favorite.

Here’s why:

First of all, the build quality is superb. They are bonded pads that hold up over time and can be placed in a wide variety of places without falling apart. It gives you peace of mind knowing that your fish aren’t going to eat pieces of dental floss thinking it’s food.

Half of the tang is thicker which helps catch small detritus and also acts as a support layer to handle all levels of water flow. Despite the durability of the padding, it is still very easy to cut however you see fit.

From our experience, we found that the water quality was much nicer after using this filter thread compared to others. Not only did the pads seem to catch more litter and detritus, but the water was crystal clear as well.

What really seals the deal for us is that the price is extremely competitive. Although it provides premium results, it is priced the same as most other quality filter filaments.

Usually, when it comes to aquarium equipment, some products are unquestionably the best on the market (like the Fluval FX4 cartridge filter). But you usually have to pay dearly for the difference in quality.

This is not the case with this filter thread. In our opinion, you are getting the best product available for a very standard price. Feedback from other customers also echoes our thoughts.

What’s not to like about that?

Final Thoughts

By now you should have a good understanding of aquarium filter floss and its benefits. If you’re someone who cares about water quality (whether it’s functional or aesthetic), you owe it to yourself to give it a shot.

You will be amazed at the kind of gunk it will remove from your water. You will also notice the reduction in the wear of your other filtration.

We personally are in the pro-filter floss camp and plan to use it in many of our own tanks for the foreseeable future.

If you still have questions about the benefits or the best way to add it to your existing filter, write to us. Talking shop with other aquarists is part of the fun when it comes to this hobby!

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