The 10 Best Aquarium Filters, Fix Your Match Of 2021!

Best Aquarium Filter Review by Aquarium Tales

An aquarium filter is one of the essential things you need to keep your water fresh and vibrant. The best aquarium filter should be efficient in filtering, easy to maintain, noise-free, and at the same time perfectly match your demands.

The aquarium is a lovely piece of stuff! It brings the perfect ambiance to any place. Bright and lively fish in the aquarium delights any class of people, either kid, adults, or elderly. 

Besides, it also has surprising health benefits. In this stressful world, spending time over an aquarium helps calm you down and lowers your anxiety.

For maintaining a healthy aquarium, you must have to pick a suitable aquarium filter! Selecting the filter is quite tricky. 

This article will discuss how you should choose an aquarium filter & what factors you need to consider. Moreover, I added a review of the selected ten aquarium filters of notable features. 

Pick The Best Aquarium Filter

How Does An Aquarium Filter Works?

An aquarium is a small containment, a closed volume of water, and high fish density, unlike a pond and river. Fish produces garbage from poop and respiration. Leftover foods also contribute to wastes. There’s no easy way out to clean that from the aquarium. If not cleaned, those will decompose to forming enemies to your fishes! 

Waste materials that decay form ammonia, which is highly toxic to fish. Ammonia is the single largest cause of fish mortality. Bacteria convert ammonia into nitrites. Later, it turns nitrites into far less harmful nitrates. Plants take the dish nitrates as appetizers.

Almost all the aquarium filter works on the same principle to keep the aquarium healthy for fish. Let’s know the three primary stages of how an aquarium filter cleans your aquarium.

Three stages of aquarium filter

Stage-1: Mechanical Filtration

Aquarium filters use some materials to trap the debris and particles. The media used are mostly foam, sponge, etc.; when water passes through those filter media, solid wastes like uneaten foods, feces are removed from the water. 

Stage-2: Chemical Filtration

Airborne dust, cigarette smoke, household cleaner, etc. remain in the water in a dissolved form, which is more difficult to remove. Chemical filtration utilize activated carbon materials to eliminate the suspended contaminants.

Stage-3: Biological Filtration

It uses media for bacteria to grow. Bacteria do the rest of removing ammonia and nitrites. 


Types of Aquarium Filter

Sponge Filter

Sponge filters are the simplest type of aquarium filter. They use sponges as filter media, remain fully submerged in the water, and are usually powered by an air pump.

The air pump’s outlet connects inside the filter housing with a tube, and the pressure exerted by the air sucks the dirty water through the sponge. Some sponge filters also apply a water pump to move the water.

Sponges provide mechanical filtration primarily, good at removing large debris; however, they work as an excellent biological filter once the tank is cycled.

It becomes the carrier of beneficial bacteria because of the high surface area. Also, sponges are often combined with different media like charcoal, zeolite to get chemical filtration.

Sponge filters are relatively cheap; it will cost you 10$-20$ to buy a good one. They are especially effective for low to moderate bioload.

The mechanical filtration sponge filters deliver relatively weak. Therefore, You may need one or more sponge filters or a combination of other filters for larger tanks and higher filtration demand.

Sponge filters are a good option for raising fish fry, shrimp, or small bettas where the gentle current is preferred. However, sponges frequently clog with the debris; you may need frequent cleaning.

Pros

  • Simple design, no moving parts.
  • Usually run by an air pump, low operating cost.
  • Gentle water flow.
  • Inexpensive.

Cons

  • Relatively weak mechanical filtration.
  • Require frequent water change.
  • Frequent clogging of the sponge. 
  • Small tanks with low to moderate bioload.
  • Temporary use in quarantine tanks, breeding tanks, etc.

Undergravel Filters

Undergravel filters, As the name suggests, sits under the substrate. They are the plate-type filters that operate by an air pump or powerhead to move the water. 

As water travels through the gravel or planted substrates, debris gets trapped. Clean water passes up through a lift tube with an elbow that remains atop the water column. The elbow contains activated carbon to provide chemical filtration.

The large surface area of the undergravel filters ensures adequate biological filtration. Since water is circulating continuously through substrates, all layers get oxygenated.

They are GOOD for planted tanks. Continuous aeration inside the substrates helps build aerobic bacteria that convert all waste into usable nutrients.

Undergravel filters are cheap and very effective, best use in under 55-gallon aquarium, and not suitable for reef tanks. Nevertheless, careful selection of substrate is mandatory. Too fine may clog the plate, and too coarse may not trap the particulates it should.

The trick of using an undergravel filter is to ensure proper maintenance & sufficient air-water flow all through the substrates. Otherwise, oxygen-depleted areas will allow harmful bacteria to grow, which can be deadly for your fish.

A powerhead can help provide better air/water flow because it moves a lot more water than air. However, the undergravel filters don’t include an air pump or powerhead; you need to buy them separately to use with the filter. Check our detailed article on undergravel aquarium filters.

Pros

  • Extremely cheap 
  • Provide better biological filtration than any other type.
  • Simple mechanism & long-lasting

Cons

  • Mechanical filtration is not robust like high-tech filters.
  • Limited substrates option. 
  • Regular cleaning of the substrate using a gravel vacuum is required. 
  • Beneficial for small planted tanks. 
  • Betta, goldfish, shrimps, and nano tanks. 

Hang On Back (HOB) Filters

HOB filter is a simple piece of compact equipment consisting of all the filter media, an electric pump, and an intake tube. The pump pushes the water through filter media, water gets filtered, and clean water comes back to the aquarium.

HOB filter uses mainly foam as the filter media to trap the particulates.  Ceramic ring works as growing media for bacteria to provide biological filtration.

Some HOB filter also comes with bio-wheel for better colonization of bacteria. Activated carbons or resin inside the filter chamber provides chemical filtration.

They require a little more maintenance; you need to clean or replace the media once every 3-4 weeks.

Sometimes you may feel they are noisy because of the splashing sounds of the returning water. However, most HOB filters have the option to adjust the flow rate so that you can reduce the noise as well.

Some HOB’s are suitable for both saltwater and freshwater tank. They are suitable for tanks ranging from 10 to 60 gallons. Larger tanks of more than 150 gallons, you may need to buy multiple power filters, or you had better upgrade to a canister filter. 

They popular among planted aquarists because they take so little space and no compromise to make with the visual appeal. Since they sit externally at the aquarium’s rear end, only the water intake submerges in the water are visible from the front view. Check my article on the best HOB filters for aquariums. 

Pros

  • Provide cost-effective filtration.
  • They take little space, sits over the top rear end.

Cons

  • Demand filter media cleaning or replacing once 3-4 weeks. 
  • More water evaporation than other types, more water refill necessary. 
  • Can be noisy.
  • Standalone filter for 10-50 gallons.
  • Secondary filter for larger tanks using canister filters. 
  • Planted tanks and aquascaped aquarium.

Canister Filters

Canister filters are high-tech filters, the best use for large tanks, 50 to 500 gallons. They offer superior filtration to any other filters.

However, they are expensive; if you want little maintenance and comfort of fishkeeping as well as owning a healthy aquarium, you should spend the money.

You need to place your canister filter outside of the aquarium; the most common location is to under the fish tank, hidden by the aquarium stand. All the media remains inside the canister casing to provide three-stage filtration.

They are equipped with a high-powered pump. The pump sucks the water from the tank through an inlet tube. Water passes the filter media in the canister housing, and crystal clear water cycles back to the tank. They are well capable of polishing the water and removing fine particulates.

The pump of the canister can sometimes be noisy; a constant humming sound can be irritating. However, if you buy a quality canister from renowned brands, you can also eliminate this little problem.

Although they require less maintenance, cleaning the canister can be time-consuming and demands meticulous efforts because you have to save the bacteria.

Pros

  • Superior and better filtration than any type.
  • Can remove the more fine particles.
  • Less maintenance frequency. 
  • Low noise.
  • The outlet flow is adjustable.
  • Customizable filter media options.

Cons

  • Expensive, you need to spend at least 100$.
  • Require careful maintenance.
  • Best use in a larger tank (20 to 500 gallons)
  • Suits in heavily planted tanks with high bioloads.
  • Suitable for fishes that produce a lot of waste.

Internal and Submersible Filters

Internal and submersible filters remain immersed under the water, powered by an electric pump or air pump. You need to attach the filter to the aquarium wall with the suction cups.

Near the suction line, the filter casing holds the filter media, mainly the sponge. Sponges are porous fine mesh material, works as the mechanical filter, traps the waste materials.

They also function as a bacteria-growing medium for biological filtration. Some models also provide 03 stage filtration by adding chemical filter media.

Internal filters are not suitable for large tanks, only to fish bowls, nano tanks, and small tanks. Regular replacement of the filter element is required depending on the extent of clogging.

Pros

  • Remain submerged in the water, hence space saver. 
  • Operate by both air pump and electric pump.
  • Better filtration than sponge filter.

Cons

  • Filtration efficiency varies a lot on the model.
  • You need to sink your hand underwater to bring the filter up for maintenance.
  • High powered one may be costly. 
  • Usable in small tanks where high-level filtration isn’t needed.
  • Best suited in low to moderate bioload.

Wet/Dry Filters (Sumps)

Sumps are basically auxiliary tanks where an arrangement is made to keep all the equipment like a protein skimmer, heaters, etc. It is also used as a filter.

This is usually seen in saltwater aquariums; however, if you have an extra-large tank, you can use sump filters in your freshwater aquarium.

Sumps offer a clutter-free display of aquariums because gadgets are kept separately from the main tank.

The water column increase is a notable advantage of sump filters, preventing toxic materials’ quick buildup. In saltwater tanks, it ensures fewer fluctuations of salinity and pH.

Sumps also provide better aeration in the tank; water circulation between the main tank and the sumps improves dissolved oxygen.

You should go for a sump filter, only if you have considerably large tanks and also if you have extra space to set up the sumps.

Pros

  • Efficient mostly in biological filtration. 
  • Use a small pump to circulate the water. 
  • Some sumps also use media stages for better filtration.

Cons

  • Require a lot of space. 
  • Difficult for beginners to set up. 
  • Might be expensive depending on the set up.
  • Best suited in saltwater or marine aquarium.

Pick the Best Aquarium Filter from Our Top 10 List

Probably, you don’t like a loud aquarium filter. Do you? If you want quiet operations, this filter is for you. 

The company has introduced new noise dampening materials and state-of-the-art technology to ensure frictionless rotations. Sometimes, you may wonder whether it is running or not since this aquarium filter creates almost zero noise.

The pump can generate very high (303 US gallons per hour) pumping power and pressure. Although very powerful, it didn’t compromise with efficiency.

The electrical energy it consumes is equivalent to a single 15W LED light bulb, which is very minimum for a filter.

Media trays of this aquarium filter fit superbly inside the canister, following no leakage of water.

Moreover, the media basket handle allows us to remove all at once rather than remove them one by one. This aquarium filter also has a broad filter element selection option; you can employ it based on your call.

Giving you an extra bit of time enjoying your aquarium, The Fluval 307 Canister Filter is designed in a way so that it takes less effort in maintenance.

It has no self-priming option, although you may prefer that. However, the primer handle is very smooth to operate. You just needed less than 05 strokes to start it.

This aquarium filter works best for 55 gallons tanks and is suitable for 40 to 70 US-gallon fish tanks. It is a complete package, comes with all the essentials you need to set it up for the first time. 

All in all, it is such a fantastic unit to keep your fish tank water sparkling clear. In terms of overall performance, it is one of the best aquarium filters in our sense.

We picked it from Fluval 07 series. If you wish, you can also look at other models available on 107/207/407. Filters in this 07 series can be used in various sized aquariums ranging from 10 to 100 gallons, depending on the model you selected. 

Pros

  • Vertical pre-filter orientation for excellent filtration.
  • High capacity pump.
  • Effortless maintenance. 
  • No leaking tendency. 
  • Options to withdraw all the media at once. 
  • Wide filter media choice. 
  • Low energy consumption. 
  • Includes everything in the packet.

Cons

  • No self-priming option. 
  • A bit pricey.
  • No spray bar.

Are you on a budget? You are probably planning to buy a filter but looking for an affordable one with high performance! Here you go! This beginner-friendly aquarium filter is especially for you. 

The Polar Aurora Canister Filter has a built-in UV sterilizer. The UV sterilizer emits a lethal dose of ultraviolet light that can destroy harmful parasites and viruses and prevent algae spores.   

This aquarium filter is relatively cheaper than its high capacity (525 GPH). However, filter elements are not free with the box; you need to buy them separately.

The Polar Aurora Canister Filter offers a self-priming pump that will do the priming job for you. You need to press a button and wait for the pump to run.

This aquarium filter fitted a spray bar with the outlet tube. The spray bar is a decent piece that improves aeration within the tank. Additionally, it can be applied to adjust the output flow from the filter. 

Drip-free shut-off valves and smooth lifting of the media basket will expedite your cleaning job. Moreover, a variety of media suit in this aquarium filter. 

The Polar Aurora Canister Filter is one of the best aquarium filters for large tanks and is ideal for managing a vast water volume (200 gallons). 

Pros

  • Comparatively lower cost.
  • Four-stage filtration system.
  • Self-priming pump. 
  • Spray bar added.
  • Maintenance of the filter is a child’s play.
  • A diverse alternative of media.

Cons

  • No filter media is added to the package. 
  • Only for fish, not for turtles.

Fluval FX4 Canister Filter is one of the popular filters among aquarists. It is mainly because of some smart and unique traits this aquarium filter has. Besides, it delivers a powerful and consistent performance.

This aquarium filter can tackle a large volume of water (700 gals/hour). Smart Pump Advanced Technology is in action to monitor and optimize the performance to give the best output.

Fluval FX4 Canister Filter auto evacuates the air that builds up over time in your tank. Every 12 hours, the filter will pause and allow air to escape. It is for maximizing filtration efficiency.

Smooth water change options, you can do water refilling and drain by using the pump and multi-functional utility valve. Aqua stop valves and purge valves assure the least effort maintenance for the aquarium owners. 

The Fluval FX4 Canister Filter is very silent, with no humming sound; rubberized feet ensure the soundless operation. 

This aquarium filter is very compact in its design and small height (21’’), allowing it to (only 21’’) fit in almost all aquariums. However, due to compactness, filter media space is limited to some extent. 

Fluval FX4 Canister Filter is intended for use in a fish tank up to 250 gallons. 

For an extra-large tank like 400 gallons, look at its “big brother,” Fluval FX6 canister filter. Although we didn’t include it in this review, it is also a worthy aquarium filter, so it takes place in our best canister filter list.

Pros

  • Comes with all accessories.
  • Excellent pump performance.
  • Air auto evacuation.
  • Large water treatment capacity.
  • Simple water removal.
  • Painless maintenance.
  • Quiet running. 
  • It fits in almost all aquariums.

Cons

  • A little expensive.
  • Restricted filter media space.

AquaClear Power Filter is a HOB filter; hang it on the back of the fish tank (wherever you want), it will save your limited space problem.

This filter’s simplicity and easy to install features allow a couple of minutes to set up and prepare for filtration service. In the package, everything is added, including the necessary media to get set and go.

Another specialty of this AquaClear Power Filter is adjustable water flow, making this aquarium filter even more attractive.

Sensitive fish and plants might require a gentle water drift.  Without compromising filtration quality and doing any harm to the motors, you can fine-tune the flow.

This aquarium filter has presented with a re-filtration system. Up to 50% of the water will be processed multiple times while the flow is low. Therefore, it improves contact time with the filter media.

The company demands it is seven times more efficient than the filters of the same class. This can also be used efficiently in different conditions, both in cold and tropical settings.

The maintenance frequency of the aquarium filter is quite high. It is recommended to clean up every two weeks for better output.

Sometimes, it may create some noise, but it depends on the frequency and the quality of the maintenance. A properly managed filter doesn’t make too much noise.

Although it may not be suitable for all tanks, the AquaClear Power Filter is the best aquarium filter for effectiveness and easy-to-use function. This one is perfect for aquariums up to 110 gallons. 

Pros

  • Patented re-filtration system. 
  • Seven times more efficient and powerful.
  • It is usable in various conditions. 
  • Easy to set up, includes essential media.
  • Two-year warranty. 
  • Not require much space.
  • Straightforward installation.

Cons

  • Frequent cleaning is required. 
  • Sometimes, it may create some noise.

Another canister type aquarium filter is Penn Plax Cascade 1000 Canister Filters. Comparatively cheaper, although very effective and applicable in large aquariums, up to 150 gallons.

The Penn Plax Cascade 1000 Canister Filters are attached with two-valve taps that can rotate 360 degrees, which serves to maneuver flow smoothly in the aquarium cabinets.

It offers excellent comfort by providing a self-priming pump. Push the prime button a few times. After that, the filter will blow out all the air & the pump will start over.

You can customize and use any combination of filter media. The installation of this filter takes almost 30 minutes to finish. The filter packet arrives with all required belongings for setting up and start filtering.

The Penn Plax Cascade 1000 Canister Filters’ air-tight seal ensures the right flow rate while maintaining silent operation. Cleaning up is simple; attached quick disconnect hoses ease the dismantling of the filter.

If you are a newbie in the aquarium endeavor, this aquarium filter gives you the perfect balance between factors such as capacity, cost, and ease-of-use.

The Cascade 1000 filter is the right choice, although power consumption is slightly higher and requires a hefty 27 watts for functioning.

Pros

  • Large capacity of media baskets.
  • You can use any combination of filter media.
  • Trouble-free installation.
  • Filter media included. 
  • Silent.
  • Disassemble the filter is straightforward.

Cons

  • Power consumption is comparatively higher.

Another canister filter that we suggest is EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter. This German-made aquarium filter is designed for aquariums that hold water, no more than 92 gallons.

The pump flow rate provides an exact balance between mechanical and biological for long-term filtration. Also, it renders better water circulation and maximum oxygen enrichment in your aquarium.

This canister filter is simplistic in design but efficient and permits flexibility in media selection. Both coarse and fine filter pads you can use; some users find coarse one works better. If you use fine pads, you need to do frequent cleaning.

The EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter is a complete package including filter media, quick disconnect valves, spray bars, and accessories.

Overall, The EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter is durable and well known for its long service life. Moreover, it is pleasantly calm and spends only 15W of energy.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Simple design.
  • Wide filter media range.
  • Packaged everything for easy setup.
  • Easy maintenance.
  • Low energy consumption.
  • Super Quiet.
  • Some users experienced a long service life.

Cons

  • Some find it difficult to prime.
  • Instructions are not clear enough.
  • Frequent clogging of tubes.

If you want to buy an aquarium filter at a reasonable price and at the same time provide excellent filtration, we highly recommend this one.

This aquarium power filter is for fish tanks, ranging from 50 to 75 gallons. The pump capacity is 350 gallons per hour, sufficient to circulate the water in the aquarium. The mid-level strainer of this filter is for adjusting the flow rate if you want.

Without the need for valves and tubings, the MarineLand Penguin 350 BIO-Wheel Power Filter provides effective 3-stage filtration.  The aquarium filter is equipped with rotating bio-wheels, proven the best for biological filtration.

50% more surface area for beneficial bacteria growth is gettable with bio-wheels than other aquarium filters of its kind. While it rotates, it exposes bacteria to the air, therefore, secures the best bacterial function.

Similar to other power filters, maintenance is super simple, which makes it loveable to aquarists. You don’t need to shut it down while cleaning up the media; lift the filter cartridge, wash them, and put them again into the slot while still running. 

Pros

  • Very affordable.
  • Technologically advanced.
  • Straightforward maintenance.
  • Adjustable flow rate.
  • Easy setup.
  • No need for extra space.
  • The best for biological filtration.

Cons

  • A bit loud.
  • Some users noted bio-wheels are not long-lasting.
  • Not suitable for tanks with sand or other fine particles.
  • Without a lid, water may splatter.

This canister type filter we find worthy of considering into the best aquarium filter list suits both fresh and saltwater aquariums.

A water polisher is included in its media stack for enhanced water clarity. Quick-release valves allow easy and doing spill-free maintenance.

A self-priming pump makes this aquarium filter so lovely to those who want to avoid the hassle of manual priming.

You may need to go very close to hear any noise since this aquarium filter is impressively quiet.

This aquarium filter model comes in different sizes for various fish tanks starting from 30 to 100 gallons.

Whatever your need is, the Marineland Magniflow canister filter will deliver the best output, depending on how well you maintain it.

Pros

  • Water polisher added in the media layer.
  • Self-priming pump.
  • Quiet running.
  • Block valves for spill-free maintenance.
  • Package with all for the startup.

Cons

  • Frequent maintenance required. 
  • Air locking tendency.
  • Some users remarked about water leakage. 

The MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter is another affordable filter made by Marineland. 

Although typical internal filters usually handle small volumes of water, this aquarium filter can manage 97 gallons.  

The MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter has a submerged motor, eliminates the need for priming.

Very easy and quick startup of the filter, it places under the water. Clogging up is also very common, although this aquarium filter’s cleaning is the least of effort and time.

Additionally, if you shut off the motor for routine maintenance, no backflush occurs, debris remains in place, therefore, leaving the water clean.

The MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter cleans your fish tank water with its three-stage filtration and a micron cartridge for additional polishing.

Furthermore, you can charge this aquarium filter’s micron cartridge with diatomaceous earth (Diatom) to boost the filtration efficiency.

Some users, even the most veteran aquarium owners, rate this feature highly since Diatom helps to minimize algal growth.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Usable with turtles.
  • Efficient filtration.
  • No priming needed.
  • Cleaning is a breeze.
  • Micron cartridge with Diatom charging facility.

Cons

  • Some users mentioned, not quiet.
  • Regular maintenance may require.
  • No option to adjust the flow rate.

This aquarium filter developed by Fluval is a well-established name in the manufacturing of aquarium products. Astonishing features of the Fluval C Power filter captured our interest instantly.

When to clean a filter is not always easy to know; usually, you do after you find dirt’s in the water. Imagine if you have something that tells you exactly when to do so, then you may stay headache-free on your lovely fish wellbeing.

The Fluval C Power Filter has an indicator that will pop up when it’s time to wash the foam and polyester filter media. This works as a reminder so that you don’t miss any single maintenance when it’s due.

It used different compartments for each filter medium, which means you can pull out one media without disturbing the other.

You have to clean filter media usually once a month, though some may require cleaning up in six months intervals. It has a low motor cleaning frequency, is recommended to clean every three months, and the impeller assembly once a year.

The Fluval C power filter applies to 40 to 70 gallons of the aquarium, depends on the model you choose. You can regulate the water flow rate as per your demand.

Re-filtration technology will refine some of the water (max 50%) multiple times, with the reduced flow. This allows more dwelling time & enhances the efficiency of filtration. So, reduce flow doesn’t mean reduced filtration.

The intake tube suits different water parameters and aquarium depths. Power consumption also very low, around 3W.

Apart from all the benefits, some users noticed that it is a bit noisy; over time, the noise gets louder.

Pros

  • Inexpensive.
  • 5-stage filtration.
  • Super simple maintenance. 
  • Re-filtration technology.
  • Pop-up indicator for rinsing/ replacement of filter media.
  • Don’t take much space.
  • Easy installation.
  • Telescopic intake tube for varying depth.
  • Low power consumption.
  • Easy lifting of filter media.

Cons

  • Gets noisy over time.
  • Need a large hole on the lid if not open-top.


Things to consider for buying the best aquarium filter

The decision to buy an aquarium filter depends on several factors. We outlined the essential criteria you should consider to buy the best aquarium filter for your tank.

Tank Size: 

The most crucial criterion is the size of the aquarium. If you have a 50-gallon tank, you can’t buy an aquarium filter intended for 40 gallons. The manufacturer always specifies the recommended size of the fish tank.

A good habit is to buy a bigger size filter, capable of filtering more than the water your aquarium holds. If you do so, you’ll get additional benefits in water clarity & less maintenance. 

Filter Type:

All sorts of aquarium filters are not suitable for you. There are numerous types of them, like Power filters, Canister filters, internal filters, etc. They perform the same filtering job differently. Moreover, they have distinct features, advantages, and disadvantages.

The best aquarium filter for large tanks is the canister type filter. It is applicable in all sizes of the aquarium, but a bit expensive. For small and medium-sized tanks, peoples usually go for power filters or internal filters because of affordable prices.

Fish Density:

Which aquarium filter to buy also relies on the number of fishes you have. If you have a 10-gallon tank, you can keep 10 fishes of Neon-tetra size (3.5 inches), which will be optimum. If you add more fishes, then you need a bigger filter than specified for a 10-gallon tank. 

Media: 

Materials used to filter the water are called filter media. Usually, the aquarium filter includes the media cartridges with the package. However, some of the brands also offer the freedom to select filter media according to your demand. This option is likable to many aquarists.

Flow rate: 

Another critical criterion is the flow rate of the filter. The flow rate means the amount of water a unit can filter in an hour. An aquarium filter with an appropriate flow rate is imperative to choose which suits your aquarium size.

A flow rate three or four times higher than your fish tank volume is better to buy. If you have a 20-gallon tank, you should buy a filter of capacity 60 to 80 gallons per hour. Too high a flow rate might cause discomfort for your fish, and if it’s too low, that will be insufficient to clean the water. 

Noise levels: 

If not quite enough, Aquarium filters can be irritating for you, although it is natural to produce some noise from the rotating machine. 

Proper maintenance is necessary for keeping your aquarium filter noise-free. If you do not like a resonant filter, search for a filter, which is well known for low noise levels.  

Ease of maintenance: 

Effortless maintenance is enjoyable for all aquarium owners. Some filters are not easy to maintain; conversely, some are pretty simple. Go for aquarium filters offering straightforward maintenance. 

Room Size: 

How spacious the room you have will influence your choice of aquarium filter. A power filter or internal filter is the best option for small rooms since it sits inside the aquarium. If you have a large enough room, you can consider canister filters as well.

Frequently Asked Question

Is a bigger aquarium filter better?

More filtration is not a bad thing at all. It will help you maintain clear water for a more extended period. However, big filters usually come with a higher price and a strong current.

As long as you can afford an aquarium filter of larger size or your fish can tolerate the current, it is better to use that.

Some aquatic pets are sensitive to strong current, and they love gentle flow. In that case, a bigger size aquarium filter will not add any value, rather cause problems to your fish.

How often should I change my fish tank filter?

You have to change the filter media at a regular interval to get the best filtration output. Some filter media require partial or a full replacement, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and check the filter media condition to know the right timing.

What size aquarium filter do I need?

You should choose an aquarium filter with a flow rate three or four times higher than your aquarium water volume. If you have a 20-gallons tank, the flow rate of the filter you need to buy is at least 60 to 80 gallons per hour.

How to change the aquarium filter without losing bacteria?

During replacing the biological filter media, you can lose all the good bacteria. But, there is a trick to prevent that from happening.

You should change the biological filter media always in half portion. If you change in full, you are ruining all of them. It requires time for bacteria to grow.

If you lost all, at that time, no bacteria present in your aquarium, this could be lethal to your fish.

If you change in half, you are allowing bacteria to develop in the newly replaced portion. By doing so, you can preserve the beneficial bacteria.

What does activated carbon remove?

Carbon or activated carbon works as a chemical filtration media. Carbon filtering works by absorbing pollutants in the pore structure of a carbon media. It removes many contaminants such as chlorine, sediment particles, odor, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), etc., and keeps the aquarium water clear.

Do I need an air pump if I have a filter?

Almost all aquarium filters constantly circulate and enrich the water with oxygen. So, no need for an extra air pump to oxygenate the water. A filter that doesn’t move the water, such as a sponge filter, undergravel filter, in those cases, an air pump is required.

Final Words

Hopefully, you are confident enough to select the best aquarium filter on your own. Sharing the load with you, we have carefully chosen and also discussed all the features, pros, and cons in detail.

You can pick one of them which you find appropriate for your aquarium. A well-balanced, clean, and clear environment will keep your fish healthy and delighted.

You need to choose an aquarium filter wisely. The size of your tank, number of fishes you have, filter capacity, cleaning frequency, and ease of maintenance are the predominant criteria for selecting an aquarium filter. 

Aquarium filters need some time to adjust to the aquarium you have. During this time, levels of toxic substances may escalate quickly. When you set up a new filter, have a strict eye on your tank. 

2 thoughts on “The 10 Best Aquarium Filters, Fix Your Match Of 2021!”

  1. Great advice! People often overlook the importance of proper filtration, especially with fish that are seen as ‘starter fish’ or ‘common fish’. However, it can make a HUGE difference! You’ve got some great recommendations here. If anyone is looking for details to make the right choice, this is a valuable resource.

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