Are you looking for the best filter for your fish tank?
If yes, then you are in the right place!
Having a good quality fish tank filter is not only necessary for cleaning purposes but is essential to your fish health!
So, let’s explore the 13 best fish tank filters that you should definitely KNOW about!
13 Best Fish Tank Filters
|Marine land Penguin Power Filter w/ Multi-Stage Filtration||Freshwater and Saltwater||50 to 70-Gallon|
|Aquatop CF Series Filter||Freshwater and Saltwater||4-pack|
|Tetra Whisper in-Tank Filter with BioScrubber for Aquariums||Freshwater and Saltwater||Up to 40-Gallons|
|Marineland Multi-Stage Canister Filter for Aquariums||All water types||5 to 20 US Gallons|
|Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter||Freshwater and Saltwater||3 gallon|
13 Best Fish Tank Filters
1. Marineland Penguin Power Filter w/ Multi-Stage Filtration
- Brand: Marine Land
- Size: 50 to 70-Gallon, 350 GPH
- Mechanical and chemical filtration.
- It includes Bio-Wheel that is designed to remove toxic ammonia and nitrate from the tank
- The filter cartridge helps to clear out debris and dirt of the tank
- It is designed to help grow beneficial bacteria that is required for biological infiltration
- It requires a lot of maintenance, in terms of keeping the filter clean
- It does not have an adjustable water flow system therefore it is not recommended for a tanks under 10 gallons.
2. Aquatop CF Series Filter
- Brand: Aquatop
- Size/Dimensions: 4-Pack – 6.8 x 0.8 x 5 inches; 0.8 ounces
- Pre-assembled cartridge
- They are designed with operational ease; therefore, beginners can use them easily!
- They meet the highest standard of water purification
- They are long lasting and can be re-used just after rinsing them
- The cartridges have to be changed after 2-4 weeks for best results
- The quantity of charcoal is less than as required for filtration
3. Whisper In-Tank Filter 40i with BioScrubber
- Brand: Whisper
- Dimensions: 5.1 x 5.9 x 10.5 inches; 1.5 pounds
- Bio-Bag Filter Cartridges
- It is easily adjustable to high and low level of water in the tank, with brackets and suction cups.
- It does not cause any disturbance to the fish as it is unusually quiet.
- This filter can be easily mounted inside, which is convenient and easy to maintain
- The hook to hang the filter on the tank may come off easily
- It takes a lot of space inside the fish tank
4. Marineland Multi-Stage Canister Filter for Aquariums
- Brand: Aqua Clear
- Size: 5 to 20 US Gallons
- Different filter media placements
- Impressive design with ease in handling ensured
- Cleaning the tank is easy owing to the media trays
- Detailed instructions make setting up easy
- Remarkable performance with a production of clean sparkly water
- The plastic plumping tends to feel a little flimsy.
5. Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter
- Brand: Aqueon
- Size: 3 Gallon
- Automatic pump
- It includes suction cups and hangers that can be used for both, frame-less and framed aquariums
- The filter includes replaceable cartridges that makes chemical filtration process, more efficient.
- It is easy to install, economical and efficient filtration system
- The flow of water cannot be adjusted that makes it difficult for maintenance
- It functions loudly that can cause a disturbance in the tank
6. Fluval C Power Filter
- Brand: Fluval
- Size:Between 20 and 50 gallons, 200 GPH
- Three-stage filtration
- The filter cartridges are easy to install and clean as well. Also, there are two slots hence two filter cartridges can be used as once.
- It keeps the tank clean by screening out dirt and debris
- It includes BIO-Wheel, which is designed to grow beneficial bacteria
- It has a frequent complaint of making lots of noises after using it for a few months
- The filters require adjustments and modifications over time
7. Polar Aurora 3-Stage Filter
- Brand:Polar Aurora
- Bio-Bag Filter Cartridges
- The filter is quiet and convenient to use, even for beginners!
- It includes suction cups brackets that make it easy to adjust to different water levels
- The bottom of the filter can be removed to access the impeller for cleaning
- It makes a fantastic waterfall that is ideal for turtle tanks
- It takes a lot of space inside the tank
8. EHEIM Classic External Filter with Media
- Brand: EHIEM
- Size: Up to 20-Gallon, 100 GPH
- Secure sealing
- Offers a quiet operation
- Energy efficient
- Versatile- can be used for a variety of marine life and tanks
- The instructions are unclear making setting up somewhat tedious
- Priming can be a bit difficult at times
9. AA Aquarium Green Killing Machine Internal UV Sterilizer with Power Head
- Brand: AA Aquarium
- Patented sealed UV Bulb
- UL Safety Tested UV, Kit
- Four pieces of sponge pre-filter and pumps rated 220L/Hour
- It clears green water or cloudiness in the aquarium within days
- It is easy to install and set up
- The entire process of fighting bacteria and yeast in tank water is done without chemicals
- There are complaints regarding the design of the product; a lot of cables in the tank.
10. Aqua Clear – Fish Tank Filter – 60 to 110 Gallons – 110v
- Brand: Aqua Clear
- Patented water flow control feature
- Size: 40 to 70 US Gallons
- Multi-stage filtration system
- patented Re-filtration system
- It provides optimal biological, chemical and mechanical filtration that keeps the aquarium healthy
- It helps with debris removal and provides optimal water distribution patterns
- It has a gentle water flow that is suitable for delicate fish and plants
- Regular cleaning of the filter is required for efficient and maximum filter operation
- It has frequent complains of being noisy
11. Tetra ReptoFilter for Terrariums
- Brand: Tetra
- Size: 90 GPH
- Three stage filtration system
- It keeps the water crystal clear
- It does not too much space in the terrarium
- It operates quietly hence does not cause any kind of disturbance to the reptiles
- It is difficult to clean, and it requires weekly cleaning for optimum results
- There are complaints regarding the filter making noise
12. PENN PLAX World Aquarium Filter, Small
- Brand: Penn Plax
- Size: up to 5 Gallons
- Three-stage filtration
- It fits in almost any small aquarium with an easy to replace disposable cartridge filter.
- It keeps the water crystal clear by eliminating contaminants and maintaining a healthy environment for fish and plants.
- It does not have or require a motor or moving parts to operate.
- It does not clear out cloudiness from the aquarium
- It makes a loud bubbling noise
- The filter cartridge requires replacements that can be costly
13. API Filstar XP
- Brand: API
- Anti-airlock system
- Features a large media tray ensuring that no bacteria are left behind and optimal performance is provided.
- Starting it up is easy owing to the self-priming feature; no manual siphoning is required.
- Feasible maintenance owing to centralized control of the functions for removal of canister
- Quiet operation with minimal vibration
- Three stages of filtration that makes sure that no impurity is left behind.
- The tubing is somewhat stiff making it difficult to place it into the valve.
- Not enough media is provided, and thus you have to buy it.
What Does A Fish Tank Filter Do?
A fish tank filter keeps the aquarium clean by removing chemicals, decaying organic matter, fish food excess, and ammonia.
If these toxins are not filtered out, they can harm fish in the tank, resulting in them poisoning themselves and eventually dying.
Are Fish Tank Filters Necessary?
At first, it might just seem like an extra cost, especially after filling your aquarium with tons of fish!
However, necessary to maintain the ecosystem of the aquarium along with the health of the fish, including the plants.
It can be really time-consuming to clean out the fish tank daily, that too all by yourself!
Sure, it will be fine cleaning out a small tank
Bigger tanks require a lot of effort and time; hence, filters make life easy by doing ALL the work!
What Are The Different Types of Filtration Methods?
There are three filtration methods,
- Biological Filtration
- Chemical Filtration
- Mechanical Filtration
Let’s explore them in detail below!
Are There Different Types of Aquarium Filters?
There is a variety of aquarium filters that one can easily find, we found the most common ones!
Let’s take a look at them in detail,
- Power filters – They are well-known filters as they provide biological support to the tank through Bio-wheel. Also, they are easy to use and are affordable as they come in a variety of price ranges.
- Canister Filters– They are suitable for large tanks as they are known to provide excellent water filtration.
- Under-gravel filters– These are placed under the layer of gravel at the bottom of the tank. They rely on the power-head or an air pump to operate and also include replaceable filters at the end of the tube for chemical or mechanical filtration.
What to Keep in Mind While Choosing A Fish Tank Filter?
Hundreds of fish tank filters are available that promise the best filtration services
There are some tips that you should keep in mind before purchasing one!
Let’s take a look at them in detail below
How to Set Up An Aquarium Filter?
If you are worried, then don’t worry, because we have got you covered!
There are some simple steps that you have to follow, and Voila you’ll be good to go!
Do Filters Require Maintenance?
Fish tank filters are NOT maintenance free as they require cleaning too
They tend to clog up that can cause havoc in the aquarium if not taken care off.
The filter cartridges need to be replaced monthly depending on the on the type of filter, the number of fish, and the size of the tank.
As larger tanks with fewer fish may not need to be changed as often, it is vital to maintain the correct balance in the tank.
The weekly or monthly cleaning of the impeller is highly recommended for the health of the fish and aquatic environment in the aquarium.
Can Filters Harm Fish?
They can cause harm ONLY if you end up buying a filter that is incompatible with your aquarium size and setting.
It is highly recommended to do your research while buying the most suitable filter for your tank
The second most important thing is being attentive towards the functioning of the filters so that you don’t end up losing your favorite fish.
Does A Fish Tank Require Cleaning, Despite Having A Filter Installed?
It is recommended to clean your tank after every two weeks, even with a filter.
Being a fish keeper, your aim should be to provide your fish a clean and safe aquatic environment.
It is crucial to take into account that the filters require regular maintenance too
It will depend on how stocked up your aquarium is with different types and numbers of fish, plants, and rocks.
As small aquariums and terrariums don’t require much physical cleaning as large aquariums.
Is it Essential to Maintain Filter: Fish Ratio?
At times due to over-crowding of fish in the tank, the filter fails to function
It is necessary to maintain the Filter: Fish ratio so that filter can keep the water clean and ammonia free.
In order to maintain a large aquarium or even a small aquarium, it is highly recommended to buy a filter that caters to the specific size of the aquarium and number of fish.
What is the right time to install a filter?
As soon as you plan to set up your own aquarium, it is recommended that you buy a filter while buying your fish.
Installing the filter initially will eliminate exposure of toxins to the fish and the plants
It will not only help in maintaining it but also keeping the environment of the aquarium; stress- free.
Can fish survive without a filter?
There are certain species of fish that can survive without a filter
- Zebra Danios
- Betta fish
- Wild-type Guppies.
- Regal White Cloud Minnows.
- Blind Cave Tetras
It is better to be safe than sorry, as no matter what fish are at risk to ammonia and toxins in the aquarium.
It depends on how many fish are in the tank; less number of fish do not need a filter for survival but regular cleaning.
How often should a filter be changed?
It primarily depends on how heavily is your aquarium stocked with fish. Usually, small tanks don’t need frequent filter changes as compared to a bigger tank.
Are aquarium filters easy to maintain?
Filters are easy to maintain, and they just require regular maintenance such as cleaning or replacing them monthly, that too if needed.
How long does an aquarium filter last?
The life of a filter depends on the quality of the filter and the number of fish in the tank. It is however recommended that the filter is replaced or changed after every few weeks.