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What to do if Fluval FX2 is not starting

If your Fluval FX2 Canister Filter does not appear to be starting properly, or at all, then you can take a look at this troubleshooting article.

How does the Fluval FX2 start up?

The Fluval FX2 should go through the following process when starting up once you plug the canister filter in a power outlet:

  • Water should pump into the filter for around 1 minute in order to fill out the rest of the canister.
  • The pumping will pause for around 2 minutes to evacuate any air from the canister.
  • The pump will then start up again and will remain active until the canister is unplugged from the power outlet.

How to get the FX2 to start properly

To get this Fluval canister filter to start up properly, you can try doing the following:

1. Before doing anything else, make sure that you installed the FX2 properly in relation to your fish tank. Make sure you meet the following guidelines:

  • The hosing should be as straight as possible.
  • Each of the intake and outtake hosing should be no longer than 6.5 feet or 2 meters. The total hosing length for both combined should be no longer than 16.4 feet or 5 meters.
  • The FX2 canister should be within a range of 8 inches to 59 inches (or 20 cm to 150 cm) below the top of the water surface of your fish tank. Ideally, the unit should be completely below the bottom of the tank if you want it to pump water efficiently. You should avoid putting this device above the top of the water surface as it will not function properly.
  • The top of the water surface should be no more than 8 inches (or 20 cm) below the top of the fish tank.
  • Make sure that the intake strainer is completely underwater as it is required to pump water into the canister.
  • You should also check to see if the canister and hosing are tightly sealed in order to avoid any potential leaks.

If you lost the user manual, then you can find the official installation video for the FX2 below:

2. If you are sure that you have installed FX2 properly, then the next step is to make sure that water is already inside the canister.

This product does not have any self-priming features. As a result, you need to manually open the top lid of the canister and then pour water into it.

The FX2 requires at least 1.4 gallons or 5 liters in order to start properly. So, if the canister does not appear to be full, then you can try pouring in more to see if you are able to get the pumping to start.

3. You should also make sure that levelers next to the intake and outtake of the canister have been set to allow water to fully pass through in and out of the filter.

The levelers should both be set to the vertical position.

4. There is a possibly that the impeller of the FX2 may be damaged. This is the only moving part of the canister and will wear down over time, especially if you avoid cleaning it.

If you think that you need to replace the impeller, then you can check out this list to find the appropriate parts.

5. If the FX2 still can’t start up correctly, then we suggest contacting Fluval for additional support.