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  • Writer's pictureStewart Kessel

Product Review: Aquarium Filter Hose Brushes

When using an external filter canister, it will be necessary to clean your aquarium filter pipework from time to time. Although this may be for aesthetic purposes when using transparent pipework, more importantly, the build-up of algae, biofilm, and other detritus will reduce the filter flow rate and efficiency by as much as 30%. That is right; it can reduce the flow from your filter by nearly a third!

I find the easiest method to clean the hoses is to use a dedicated filter hose brush. Ideally, you need to carefully remove the aquarium filter hoses and insert the filter brush with water still in the tube. The gentle action of pushing and pulling the hose brush through the pipe will remove the algae and biofilm build-up. Then flush through the hose with clean water before reinstalling.

In practice, the easiest method to do this is to place the pipes lengthwise, or if need be gently looped, in a bath, basin or another suitably large container whilst cleaning.

The key features you need to consider when looking to select a suitable filter hose brush would include the following:

Key Features to consider when purchasing a Filter Hose Brush

  • Length of the flexible rod

  • Brush diameter and length

  • Flexibility of rod

  • Resistance to rust

  • Robustness of brushes

Choice of Filter Hose Brush

To help you in your research for the best selection for your aquarium set-up, here are a few potential products that may fit your requirements and budget.

JBL Cleany Double-ended hose brush


Small & large brush heads

Suitable for 9 to 30mm hose diameters

160cm rod length

High flexibility steel spring rod


Only partially corrosion resistant

Above average price

Hobby Spiral Brush


Competitively priced

150cm total rod length

22mm brush diameter

Flexible steel rod


Unsuitable for some std hose diameters

Build quality

Dokpav 155cm tube cleaning double-ended hose brush


Competitively priced

155cm total rod length

18mm and 30mm brush heads

Flexible steel spring rod


Only partially corrosion resistant

Brush heads may be too soft

Aqua One Pipe Brushes


3 brush head sizes

Plastic coated rods/handles

Ideal for spray bars/inlet tubes

Good build quality


Short rod/handle length

Not suitable for long hoses

From the numerous available products, my go-to product is the JBL Cleany double-ended hose brush. Its long length means it is suitable for most filter set-ups and hose lengths. The small and large brush heads at either end mean it will clean hoses with diameters from approximately 9 mm to 30 mm, which again covers the most common filter hose sizes. The steel spring rod is sufficiently flexible to navigate all but the most acute pipe attachments.

JBL Cleany Aquarium Filter Hose Brush Set

Design-wise, in-common with most hose brush sets, the brush ends are not rounded and therefore not well adapted to cleaning closed pipe ends, but that is not the tool’s intended purpose.

General build quality is good, and in my experience, the brushes are robust if not abused, but the steel spring rod will rust if continuously left damp.


If you have an external filter, a good maintenance tip to keep an eye on your filter hoses and ensure any build-up of algae, biofilm, and other detritus is not impeding water flow. A dedicated aquarium hose brush that meets specific criteria will help you quickly rectify this situation. The JBL ‘Cleany’ hose cleaner is one such useful tool that comfortably fulfils this purpose.

Author: Stewart Kessel CChem, MRSC

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