10 Best Aquarium Filters

This post is a review of the 10 best aquarium filters.

The water filtration system is arguably the single most important piece of equipment a fishkeeper needs to keep their fish happy, healthy, and thriving.

Without a filtration system in place in an aquarium, the water will quickly become polluted with toxins and debris, potentially leading to cloudy water, the lack of beneficial bacteria, and ill or dead fish.

Selecting the best fish tank filter depends on the needs of the aquarist.

There are plenty of great water filtration systems available on the market to solve the problem of needing an aquarium filter; however, knowing the best one to pick for your tank may not be as easy.

Not every water filtration system is created the same.

There are different brands of aquarium water filters, different types of filters such as an external canister filter and power filter, different kinds of filter media, and different models and filtration cartridges for different kinds of aquariums.

In this post, we will take a look at 10 of the best aquarium filters and discuss how they stack up against each other based on their features and benefits, as well as cover how to choose the best aquarium filter for your fish species and overall aquarium setup.

Quick Comparison Guide of the 10 Best Aquarium Filters

Comparison Chart

Last update on 2022-06-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Aquarium Filtration System Guide

The fish aquarium filtration system is a very important part of the aquarium.

Not only do you need to maintain a healthy fish environment, but it is also an all-important component for the general maintenance of your aquarium.

Fish tanks are not difficult to maintain, but they do require time and effort.

A thorough understanding of what is required for proper maintenance will provide fish owners with peace of mind that their pet has a safe home while also keeping them healthy and happy.

Aquarium filters are designed in many different ways to best suit your needs – from choosing between under the gravel or external filter options to deciding which filter is best for your fish species, and even what size is best for your aquarium.

Modern filtration systems are an efficient and easy way to keep your water free from debris and neutralize biowaste without having to do weekly water changes. Before I can pass on my tips for choosing the best freshwater aquarium filters, we need to talk about their features and which types are ideal for different aquarium set-ups.

The water in a fish aquarium is constantly flowing, passing over the solids that have settled on the bottom of the tank, such as uneaten food, settled debris, and fish waste.

The filtration system is designed to keep your fish tank free from this type of material so your water remains clean and healthy for your fish.

The particulates are removed that would be harmful to fish health if allowed to linger in the water for an extended amount of time.

Before jumping into the best aquarium filters or even the types of filters, it is important to understand how aquarium filters work. This will help you select the best filter for your aquarium setup and fish species.

Filtration Cleaning Process

The filtration cleaning process is one of the most important things to understand as a fishkeeper.

Without the knowledge to keep your tank clean, the water quality may get low enough to affect the health of your fish.

The task seems like a simple one, and while it isn’t difficult, preparation and the right equipment are a necessity. Otherwise, an expensive mistake can easily happen.

How Filters Clean the Water

Tank filters clean the water by collecting debris and other impurities that are in the water using filter media.

Filter media is anything placed in the tank filter that alters the quality of the water flowing through it.

There is a variety of filter media on the market. The specific type you select should be based on your aquarium inhabitants and environment.

When you purchase a new aquarium, you’ll need to choose one or more filters for your fish, selecting from mechanical, biological, and chemical.

Biological filtration provides healthy bacteria for your fish to thrive on by removing ammonia from their environment.

Mechanical filters collect larger pieces of waste while a filter’s chemical media removes organic compounds from the tank water.

Chemical Filtration cleans the water by removing organic compounds from the tank water.

After these phases have been completed, clean water will be released back into your aquarium as it was received without any trash or harmful chemicals inside.

The best kinds of filters will remove ammonium without releasing harmful chemicals back into the environment and are easy to maintain with regular cleaning cycles that take less than 15 minutes each week.

These include the canister filter, hang-on-back or HOB filter, under gravel filter (UGF), box-type models, a wet/dry trickle filter, foam blocks, and sponge air pumps.

Each will be covered in detail a few paragraphs down the page. First, we will discuss the types of aquarium filtration media.

Types of Aquarium Filtration Media

There are three types of filtration media, including biological and mechanical filtration as the first two, and chemical filtration as the third type.

Biological Filtration

The biological filter process is a key component of most aquarium filters.

It is the process by which beneficial bacteria break down ammonia and nitrite, converting them into harmless compound nitrate.

The bacteria in your filter help break down ammonia into nitrates and then convert them to nitrogen gas which is released out of the tank when it’s filtered through this stage.

Beneficial bacteria thrive in oxygen-rich water with surfaces they can attach to, such as sand or rocks.

All fish tanks should have some means to perform biological filtration since this method alone might be enough to sustain an aquarium that houses small fish populations.

However, many larger tanks will employ additional methods due to their size requirements. Examples would be mechanical filters and chemical treatments along with biological filtering.

Bio-Wheel Power Filter

A bio-wheel is an apparatus used in the biological filtration process. This biological filter incorporates a porous mesh rotating paddle wheel to filter the water.

The wheel enters and exits the water as it turns, ensuring the mesh is exposed to water and air basically at the same time.

During the process, beneficial bacteria are developed since they require air to grow.

Bio-Ball

A bio-ball is used in the biological filtration process to remove harmful ammonia buildup produced from fish waste from your water.

Bio Balls are small spherical plastic shapes with grooves and ridges in them. They have openings that provide a place for nitrifying bacteria to grow, which is necessary for fish to survive.

Essentially, the purpose of each bio-ball is to house and grow populations of beneficial bacteria.

Mechanical Filtration

Mechanical filtration is the most common type of debris removal in a home aquarium system.

Mechanical filtration removes solid particles from water by circulating and straining them through some kind of tank filter.

This process alone may not be sufficient since mechanical filters do not remove or convert ammonia, nitrate, or nitrite that are found in tap water.

It’s important to understand that you need both kinds: first removing free-floating waste before they decay into harmful substances and then cleaning or replacing the filter medium every two weeks so as not to harm your aquatic pets with potentially toxic levels.

Mechanical filtration does not only focus on removing the contaminants from the water, it also aids in the process of aerating the water for increased fish health.

Chemical Filtration

Chemical filtration uses activated carbon to remove chemical additives from the water.

Activated carbon is a form of charcoal that has been processed and made porous.

When you put activated carbon in the filter system, it will absorb all impurities like chlorine or ammonia from tap water for up to six months before needing to be replaced.

Chemical filters are designed to remove organic pollutants from the water that are not removed by biological and mechanical filtration.

Types of Aquarium Filters

There are numerous types of aquarium filters on the market, each with its own benefits, style, and design.

Power Filter

Hang on Back filters are typically referred to as HOB filters. They are also referenced as a power filter.

The HOB filter is the most commonly used type of aquarium filter.

It removes water from the fish aquarium with a siphon and pushes/pulls it through filter media then returns it to the tank.

Power filters are an effective means of water filtration, and in most cases, they are simpler to maintain than an internal aquarium filter.

 There are advantages to using a power filter, including:

  •  There is a large selection of filter media based on aquarium needs.
  •  Easy to clean without disturbing the fish because they are located on the exterior of the tank.

 The disadvantages of using a power filter:

  •  They have a smaller capacity for filter media in comparison to canister filters.
  •  They can be noisy as a result of filter vibrations against the tank.

Canister Filter

Canister filters were originally introduced for the filtering of drinking water using low pressure.

With the development of the aquarium external canister filter came the need for high water pressure so there was enough power to force water to get through the density of the filter material.

With a canister filter water enters via the intake pipe located at the bottom of the canister, it passes through the filter material and then feeds back into the aquarium through the return pipe.

It houses a pump, typically located at the top of the canister, that forces water to circulate through the filter.

The canister filter system is a sealed and complete flood system. The aquarium, intake pipe, filter interior, and return pipe are enclosed and act as one unit of water.

Two siphons are included in this configuration, including the intake and return path, which counterbalance one another.

This is effective because the filter pump can easily lift the water and return it to the aquarium no matter how high the intake siphon is located in the canister.

Advantages of a canister filter:

  •  In comparison to HOB filters, canister filters offer more flexibility for filter media (material).
  •  The interior space of the aquarium is not compromised.
  •  The filter material can offer high volume since the size is not an issue with it being outside the tank.
  •  Easily disconnected from the tank for cleaning and maintenance without disturbing the fish.
  •  Since the plumbing is outside the aquarium, other aquarium equipment is easier to install such as carbon dioxide diffusers and water heaters.

 The disadvantages of a canister filter:

  •  Canister filters can be more difficult to clean because of the two siphons, with a greater risk of damage from incorrect cleaning.
  •  Typically cost more than an internal filter setup.
  •  Higher risk of a water leak because an external filter is located on the exterior of the tank.

 Diatom Filter

A diatom filter is not a commonly used or well-known type of aquarium filter.

They are not a continuous process filter, meaning they are used for periodic tank cleaning and maintenance to manually remove the debris and waste from the bottom of the aquarium.

Trickle Filter (also known as a Wet Dry Filter)

Trickle filters are used in freshwater aquariums and saltwater tanks.

These filters are available in two layouts. The first layout places the filter on top of the aquarium, and the second option places the filter below the aquarium.

In the layout that houses the filter on top of the aquarium, water pumps over the top of perforated trays filled with the filter media, typically wool.

As the water trickles through the perforated trays, it ensures the filter wool (or other material) stays damp and not completely submerged in water.

This allows beneficial bacteria to grow so biological filtration can occur.

In the second layout option, the trickle filter is placed below the tank. Gravity pulls the water to the filter since it is below the aquarium, then prefiltered water is passed to a perforated drip tray.

The prefiltering can occur inside the tank through a siphon, a sleeve in the overflow, or via filter media laying on the perforated plate.

The water with the debris and waste gather on the perforated drip tray which it strains through to the filter material for cleaning.

The cascading water releases carbon dioxide, then picks up oxygen, and bacteria convert the debris and waste into less harmful material.

At this point, the water enters a compartment of the sump which is filled with filtration material to clean the water.

 Algae Filter

Algae are known to have properties that remove harmful chemicals in the water, creating a healthy environment for fish.

Algae filters offer a similar filtering process that replicates the natural cleaning process in lakes and oceans.

Baffle Filter

Baffle filters are located below the aquarium, similar to a trickle filter.

They are made up of multiple baffles the water passes through on its way to the pump, which returns the water to the aquarium.

The baffles act in a similar way as a canister filter with each filled with different filter materials depending on the desired outcome.

Internal Filter (also called Submersible Filter)

Internal filters are another type of fish tank filter. They are located inside the aquarium.

An internal or submersible filter is an aquarium filter that is placed in the tank and submerged underwater.

Many have an electric pump, making it an internal power filter.

They typically attach to the glass with suction cups.

This type of filtration requires no additional parts or equipment outside of the tanks themselves; however, they need to be cleaned regularly because an accumulation can occur underwater from waste build-up.

Internal filters can also be difficult to clean without removing the entire unit from its submerged state, which disturbs fish and other aquatic life swimming nearby.

Examples of internal filters:

  •  sponge filter
  •  corner filter variations
  •  under gravel filter
  •  foam cartridge filter

Airlift Filter

An airlift fish tank filter rises in a tube by using bubbles from the air pump to create water flow.

An airlift filter is an efficient filter, but it does not last as long as most other fish tank filters.

Airlift filters are also more expensive than some other types of aquarium filters, making the bottom line expense much more since they are also replaced more frequently.

However, they do provide a highly sufficient flow rate that can keep the water in the tank much cleaner for longer periods of time.

Examples of internal filters:

  • sponge filters
  • corner filters (also called box filters)

An open-cell block of foam covers the inlet with a sponge filter. They prevent small fish from being pulled into the filter, making them especially useful for in a breeding tank or for raising fry.

Corner Filters are more complex. They are generally placed in the bottom of the aquarium in the corner. The box has small openings, allowing the water to enter, pass through a layer of media, then exit via the airlift tube and return to the tank.

This type of filter is not suitable for large tanks or tanks that are heavily stocked.

Undergravel Filter

A premium under gravel filter is great for larger tanks that need a lot of filtration. This filter is installed under the gravel, so it will not disturb any living organisms on top of it.

The media in this type of filter needs to be replaced regularly or bacteria can build up and cause toxic ammonia levels in the water.

Undergravel filters have been on the market longer than most other filters. They are made of a porous plate that lays on the bottom surface of the aquarium beneath the gravel.

Undergravel filters have historically been driven using air displacement.

Air stones lay near the uplift intake tube base. The tubes force water out of the uplift tube causing negative pressure underneath the filter (also known as the plenum.)

Water then percolates downward and flows through the gravel, creating beneficial bacteria and utilizing biological filtration. The gravel or whatever substrate is used in the aquarium is the actual filtration media. (LINK)

If a higher water flow rate through the gravel is needed, this is achieved with the water pump, not the air displacement.

PRO TIP

Important notes of awareness about undergravel filters:

  • Aquatic plants and undergravel filters are not friends.
  • Sand, peat, and other fine texture substrates tend to clog an undergravel filter and should not be used.
  • For an undergravel filter to be effective, the substrate bed should be flat and evenly placed on the bottom of the aquarium. If the substrate is uneven, water only flows to the thin layers, leaving the heavily covered area untouched and likely to become anoxic. (source)

Water Filtration Flow Rate/Water Movement

The water flow rate in the tank is important, as it is the power that drives water movement and filtration.

For example, if there are too many filters in a smaller tank with a low water flow rate, then the filter will be overworked trying to keep up with removing waste from all of the surfaces.

This can lead to an increase in nitrate levels because bacteria cannot break down these high concentrations quickly enough before they become nitrates-a which is a toxic byproduct of fish waste.

How to find the Best Aquarium Filter for Your Tank

Once you know the fish species and any other aquatic life that will dwell in your tank, you are ready to pick out the filter based on their health and survival requirements.

Aquarium Filter Size vs Aquarium Size

In order to keep your aquarium cleaner longer, you need a fish tank filter that provides the correct water flow rate for your aquarium size.

The longer your aquarium stays clean, the healthier the environment will be for your fish.

Purchasing the right fish tank filter for your aquarium size is one of the main considerations.

Generally, the recommendation is that all the water in your tank should pass through the filter at least four times each hour. (source)

For example, if you have a 30-gallon tank, the water pump and filter flow rate requirement would be approximately 120 gph (gallons per hour.)

If it is a close call, move to the next higher flow rate.

 Aquarium Use and Flow Rate

The filter media you choose has a significant impact on controlling the water flow rate.

Biological and chemical media often work better at a rate of 4 times an hour or less.

But if the flow is less than one time per hour, perhaps due to filter material being clogged, it could deprive biological media of life-giving oxygen, possibly causing a sudden release of toxins.

Mechanical media, on the other hand, performs optimally with a higher flow rate, so a good balance between the two needs to be achieved depending on the media type and amount contained in the filter. (source)

 Aquarium Use and Flow Rate

  • Aquariums with large fish should have a higher water flow rate filter, in addition to possibly adding powerheads that clean a large amount of fish waste out of the tank.
  • Reef tanks also need a higher water flow rate filter so the water is continuously moving at all times.

Slow Flow

These aquatic inhabitants experience stress if they have to continually swim in a current.

PRO TIP

Keep in mind that flow rates listed on a pump were measured under optimal conditions and may not be accurate in a live tank environment.

For example, if your tank is sitting on a table 4 feet off the floor and you place your filter on the floor beside the table, your flow rate is likely not going to meet the expectation that is listed on the pump. It will not be able to push the water upward 4 feet in the specified amount of time.

Also, if there are turns and elbows in the filter tubing, this also slows the flow rate.

Last, if the filter has any clog from collected waste and debris, this will significantly impact and decrease the flow rates. This is especially true with smaller tubing.

Best Aquarium Filters – Top 10 Reviews

1. AquaClear Hagen Power Filter

Sale
AquaClear Fish Tank Filter, Aquarium Filter for 10- to 30-Gallon Aquariums, 110v, A600A1
  • Aquarium filtration system that offers superior contact time with filter media and energy efficient pump lowers operating costs
  • Quick and easy installation, we recommend that you clean aquarium filter every two weeks for maximum operation and efficiency
  • Provides optimal mechanical, chemical, and biological filtrations
  • Comes equipped with AquaClear Foam, Activated Carbon Filter and BioMax and Cycle Guard for superior water quality
  • Filtration volume is up to 7 times larger than comparable fish tank filters

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

Cons

  • Quiet motor operation
  • Offers 3-stage filtration
  • Filter media is included with the unit
  • Adjustable flow rate
  • Media baskets are large for wide diversity
  • Pulls sand substrate into the filter
  • Needs to be primed

2. Fluval FX High-Performance Canister Filter

Fluval FX6 High Performance Aquarium Filter, Canister Filter for Aquariums up to 400 Gal., A219
  • Multi-stage Filter that produces healthy aquarium water, freshwater or marine aquariums
  • Features Smart Pump Technology for optimum filter performance, efficiency and management
  • Self-starting filter-just add water and plug in. Head height (maximum): 3.3 m (10.8 feet)
  • For aquariums up to 400 gallons

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

Cons

  • Self-priming pump
  • Professional grade quality
  • Variable-rate motor maximizes performance
  • Smart Pump Technology
  • Designed for all filter media, including mechanical, chemical, and biological
  • High rated filter so the cost is more than other similar filters in other brands
  • Flow can overpower tanks less than 250 gallons
  • Does not come in any other size

3. MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter

Sale
MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter 50 - 75 Gallon Aquarium, 350 GPH
  • WITH ROTATING BIO-WHEEL: Patented Bio-Wheel technology provides excellent wet/dry biological filtration.
  • MULTI-STAGE FILTRATION: Delivers mechanical, chemical and biological aquarium filtration to maintain a clean aquatic environment.
  • COMPATIBILITY: Use with Marineland Rite-Size Filter Cartridges (see individual filter for sizing recommendations).
  • FIVE SIZES: Available in 75 GPH, 100 GPH, 150 GPH, 200 GPH and 350 GPH sizes.
  • Age range description: All Life Stages

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

Cons

  • Multi-stage filtration
  • Rotating bio-wheel
  • Available in multiple sizes to meet all aquarium requirements
  • Simple set up
  • Noisy motor operation

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4. Penn-Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

Penn-Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter (1000 Elite)
  • $167 Value. Cascade Black Elite filter kit for aquariums up to 100 gallons.
  • Pumps 265 gallons per hour. Quick easy push button self-primer. Flow rate cut-off valves adjust water flow.
  • Includes filter, (1) Bio-Sponge, (1) Bio-Floss 6pk, (1) Pro-Carb 2pk, (1) Bio Rings 10oz and (1) Large Magna Sweep algae magnet.
  • Be up and running in minutes. Nothing else to purchase. It is all included.
  • Quick and easy monthly maintenance saves you time and aggravation.

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

Cons

  • A multi-stage external filter
  • Supports a freshwater aquarium and a saltwater aquarium
  • Simple set up
  • Spray bar comes with the unit
  • Somewhat difficult to purge air

5. Eheim Filter 2213-37 Classic

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

Cons

  • Flexible setup for mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration
  • Accurate flow rates
  • Maintenance intervals are between 3-6 months
  • Quiet motor operation
  • Somewhat difficult to purge air

6. Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter

Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter For aquariums, Easy Maintenance
  • 3-STAGE FILTRATION: Water flows through media layers to filter water and ensure a clean aquatic environment
  • VERSATILE: For freshwater and saltwater aquariums
  • FAST SETUP: Water-tight canister lid lifts up for easy removal
  • EASY MAINTENANCE: Valve block for quick release to shut down water flow – separates from housing for quick, spill-free maintenance
  • THREE SIZES AVAILABLE: Comes in 220 GPH, 360 GPH and 360 GPH sizes

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

Cons

  • Multi-stage filtration for an extra clean water environment for your fish
  • Available in multiple sizes to meet your aquarium requirements
  • Top-sealing gasket on the filter media
  • Quiet operation
  • Excellent customer service from the manufacturer
  • Tubes are reported to be loose or not fit
  • Poor instructions for installation

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7. Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter

Polar Aurora Free Media 4-Stage External Canister Filter with 9-watt Light, 525 GPH with Free Media
  • Good for up to 200 gallon fish tanks. Maximum flow rate of 525GPH from built in pump
  • 4 media trays capable of handling your choice of filtration media; Comes with an adjustable spray bar. This is a helpful feature if you want to adjust the output flow from the filter
  • Convenient self-priming pump that eliminates the need for manual siphoning; Single valve disconnect & priming pump ease routine maintenance
  • Built in 9 Watt Light for promoting clear water. With free media.
  • The four flexible media trays allow you to add other filtration media such as SunSun's activated carbons, ceramic rings or bio-balls to achieve excellent mechanical, chemical, and biological...

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

Cons

  • Can handle fish tanks up to 200 gallons
  • Responsive manufacturer if there are questions or any parts arrive broken
  • The media baskets are extremely large, making them versatile
  • Easy maintenance for setting up and cleaning
  • The motor runs quietly
  • Equipped with a spray bar you can use or bypass if you typically don’t use them
  • Does not have an on/off switch
  • The UV switch has a tendency to collect moisture condensation inside of it, making it difficult to read
  • Filter is large in size, taking up a lot of room
  • Does not have adjustable flow control
  • The hoses are stiff – the recommendation is to run them under hot water prior to attaching

8. SeaChem Tidal 75 Gallon

SeaChem – Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter, Tidal 75 Gallon (300 Liters) by Sicce
  • Adjustable flow.
  • Built-in maintenance monitor.
  • Surface-skimmer inlet.
  • Versatile, large capacity media basket for mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration needs.
  • Fast-easy setup; no plumbing required.

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

Cons

  • Maintenance and cleaning are quick and simple
  • Powerful flow
  • Never needs to be primed
  • Adjustable flow controls
  • Includes a skimmer
  • Skimmer is a risk to small fry
  • Struggles with mechanical media so consider other options if this is a must for your aquarium
  • Large openings in intake screen, also a risk to small fry

9. Polar Aurora 265GPH External

Polar Aurora Free Media 265GPH / 370GPH / 525GPH External Aquarium Filter with Builtin Pump Kit Canister (265GPH)
  • Good for up to 75 gallon fish tanks SunSun parts can be applied Flow rate: 264 GPH (1000L/hr) Pump Power: 18W Hose size: 3/4" Max-H: 4.6 feet
  • 3 media trays capable of handling your choice of filtration media; Comes with an adjustable spray bar. This is a helpful feature if you want to adjust the output flow from the filter. No Light!!!
  • Convenient self-priming pump that eliminates the need for manual siphoning; Single valve disconnect & priming pump ease routine maintenance
  • Canister filters for aquariums use high water pressure, from a properly powered pump, to force water through the dense filter media. A pump can draw water from an under-gravel filter, and run it into...
  • The three flexible media trays allow you to add other filtration media such as SunSun's activated carbons, ceramic rings or bio-balls to achieve excellent mechanical, chemical, and biological...

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

Cons

  • 3 media trays to handle your preferred filter media
  • Equipped with an adjustable spray bar to make adjusting the output flow a simple process
  • Simple to set up, even for users that are new to a canister filter system
  • Keeps tank water clear, clean, and healthy for your fish with little effort
  • Plastic casing is not strong and can easily break if not handled carefully
  • Poor performance of the prime button, taking extra time for set up
  • Motor can be overly noisy compared to other brands of filters in similar style

10. Aqueon Quietflow Power Filter

Aqueon QuietFlow 50 LED PRO Aquarium Fish Tank Power Filter For Up To 50 Gallon Aquariums
  • Dense floss removes particles and debris
  • Activated carbon removes toxins, odors and discoloration
  • Patented bio-holster removes toxic ammonia and nitrites
  • Diffuser grid removes additional toxins while adding oxygen for more active fish
  • Reduces splashing makeing the return exceptionally quiet

Last update on 2022-06-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

Cons

  • Self-priming so it starts up automatically after maintenance or cleaning
  • Low noise creating a quieter environment
  • Features all stages of filtration, including mechanical, chemical, biological and wet-dry
  • Available in a variety of sizes to meet the specifics of practically all tanks
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Water must be watched carefully to prevent the filter from burning up
  • The unit is larger than some other units available on the market
  • Multiple corners and crevices make cleaning difficult

Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Aquarium Filters

 1. Is it alright to have two filters in one tank?

It is not a problem to have more than one filter in your fish tank. In fact, this has a name and it is called redundant filtration.

In some instances, having multiple filters is recommended and better for your fish than just having one filter.

2. How often should you clean your filter?

Generally speaking, your aquarium filter should be cleaned approximately once a month.

Of course, this also depends on the type of filter, how many fish are in your tank, and the size of your tank.

3. Which filter is good for small aquariums?

The Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter is an excellent choice for small aquariums. It comes in three sizes, the smallest is for tanks up to 30 gallons.

Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter for Aquariums, 160 GPH
  • 3-STAGE FILTRATION: Water flows through media layers to filter water and ensure a clean aquatic environment.
  • VERSATILE: For freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
  • FAST SETUP: Water-tight canister lid lifts up for easy removal.
  • EASY MAINTENANCE: Valve block for quick release to shut down water flow – separates from housing for quick, spill-free maintenance.
  • MARINELAND FILTRATION PRODUCTS: Count on Marineland brand for the most reliable, technically advanced aquariums and accessories on the market.

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Which is better internal or external aquarium filter?

The type of fish tank filter you select is probably different from your neighbors, and their neighbors.

Internal aquarium filters are less expensive than external filters, and they are better for small or medium-sized tanks that have small to medium-sized fish.

External filters don’t take up space inside your tank; however, they need additional space outside the tank.

The most important consideration when choosing your filter is to get one that has the best flow for your fish species and aquatic plants.

Quick Guide Recap of Best Aquarium Filters

Comparison Chart

Last update on 2022-06-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Final Words

Keeping your aquarium water clean has to be a priority for fishkeepers if they want happy, healthy, and thriving fish.

With all the filters on the market, selecting one of the best aquarium filters for your tank simply takes time for research, budgeting, and then making the final selection.