Best Filter For Goldfish Tanks – A Comprehensive Buying Guide

Best Filter For Goldfish

Goldfish are notorious for being untidy, but many new goldfish owners underestimate how filthy these fish can be. Filtration is the most powerful tool for maintaining water quality and keeping your goldfish healthy

You’ll need a robust filter to keep your water pure, keep your waste products down, and allow beneficial microorganisms to colonize. These evaluations will help you choose the best filter for your goldfish tank based on your needs.

A good filter is better than nothing and will save you some time. But a superb filter will substantially minimize the number of water changes you need to perform and allow you to stock your aquarium to its maximum capacity.

If you’re looking for the best filter for goldfish tanks, you’ve come to the right place. This comprehensive buying guide will discuss all of the different factors you need to consider when choosing a filter for your aquarium. I’ll also recommend some of our favorite filters for goldfish tanks!

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Best Overall
SeaChem – Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter, Tidal...
Best For Large Tanks
Fluval FX6 High Performance Aquarium Filter,...
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Tetra Whisper EX 70 Filter For 45 To 70 Gallon...
Product
SeaChem – Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter, Tidal...
Fluval FX6 High Performance Aquarium Filter,...
Tetra Whisper EX 70 Filter For 45 To 70 Gallon...
Price
$57.49
$359.83
$35.12
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
921 Reviews
3,591 Reviews
8,972 Reviews
Best Overall
Preview
SeaChem – Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter, Tidal...
Product
SeaChem – Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter, Tidal...
Price
$57.49
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
921 Reviews
Check On Amazon
Best For Large Tanks
Preview
Fluval FX6 High Performance Aquarium Filter,...
Product
Fluval FX6 High Performance Aquarium Filter,...
Price
$359.83
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
3,591 Reviews
Check On Amazon
Best Low-Priced
Preview
Tetra Whisper EX 70 Filter For 45 To 70 Gallon...
Product
Tetra Whisper EX 70 Filter For 45 To 70 Gallon...
Price
$35.12
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
8,972 Reviews
Check On Amazon

Choosing The Best Filter For Goldfish

An aquarist said that Goldfish keepers should think of their filter as a mini sewage treatment plant. This is because goldfish are a messy species, and they need a robust filtration system in their tanks.

There are a few things to consider:

Choosing The Best Filter For Goldfish

Tank Size Vs. Filter GPH

When it comes to selecting the correct filter, one factor to consider is the size of your tank. Choose a filter rated for no less than the size of the tank if you have messy goldfish.  

A too-small filter will not filter toxins from the water effectively, resulting in a harmful buildup of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrate. In an aquarium, goldfish produce a lot of bioloads, which your filter should be able to handle. 

The GPH is a measurement of an aquarium filter’s filtration capacity.

What Is GPH, And Why Does It Matter?

GPH is the abbreviation for the gallon per hour. The number of gallons of water that can pass through the filter in one hour is called capacity. The GPH rate of your filter is vital because it ensures a healthy water flow that keeps your goldfish in a clean, chemical-free environment.

A filter with at least 3-4 times the aquarium’s capacity is often suggested. So, for example, a filter with a GPH of at least 30-40 would be required for a 10-gallon aquarium.

Related read: Best 5-Gallon Filter Review & Buying Guide

Biomedia Capacity

Goldfish have a reputation for producing a lot of garbage. As this waste accumulates, it decomposes into ammonia, an extremely poisonous gas. Beneficial bacteria, on the other hand, can eliminate this problem since they can continuously break down ammonia into less toxic forms until they’re converted to harmless molecules.

To be as effective as possible, the beneficial bacteria require a surface to attach to, preferably with good water movement. Biomedia is a filter media that provides that surface and is constructed of a porous material that allows water to pass through it.

When selecting a filter, ensure it has adequate biomedia to retain enough beneficial bacteria. Filters having a large biomedia capacity are essential for goldfish.

The Total Number Of Fish

The capacity of filtration you require is proportional to the number of fish in your tank. For example, a 1/2 goldfish in a 40-gallon tank will be fine with a 40-gallon tank filter. Four goldfish in a 40-gallon tank, on the other hand, will almost certainly require a filter designed for a higher capacity.

Goldfish make the tank water dirty very quickly. Remember, you can not over filter your tank, but easily under filter it – which could be deadly for your goldfish.

Output Current

While athletic goldfish breeds like Common and Comet goldfish don’t mind strong filter current, fancy goldfish don’t enjoy it.

Their fins are longer and catch the water current, which causes them to float around the tank or struggle to stay put.

They will sometimes give up the struggle and sit in a corner or at the bottom. This stresses the fish, causing their immune system to deteriorate.

They can suffer from diseases from the consequences of a weakened immune system.

Best Filter For Goldfish: 10 Picks

Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter


Pros

  • It doesn’t take up a lot of tank space.
  • Quietly runs.
  • Filtration in three stages.
  • A vast surface area for beneficial bacteria.
  • Produces a soothing sound of running water.
  • There are different sizes available.

Cons

  • Some people may be bothered by the sound of running water.
  • Shrimp and fries can be dragged through the filter intake.

Looking for a powerful and convenient aquarium filter for your goldfish tank? Look no further than the Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter.

This filter delivers a three-stage mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.

The penguin power filter is also incredibly easy to set up, perfect for any fish lover. Plus, the penguin rite size “a” cartridge comes ready to use with each filter, so you can start using your new filter right away.

MarineLand Penguin 75 Power Filter, 75 GPH...
34,265 Reviews
MarineLand Penguin 75 Power Filter, 75 GPH...
  • Bio-Wheel technology delivers a three stage mechanical, chemical, and biological aquarium filtration
  • Certified flow rate of 75 GPH (gallons per hour), perfect for aquariums up to 10 gallons
  • The penguin power filter requires virtually no set-up, making it perfect for any fish lover
  • Convenient penguin rite size "a" cartridge comes ready to use with each filter

Penn-Plax Cascade Canister Filter


Pros

  • It’s user-friendly and straightforward to set up.
  • Three-stage filtration with the directional return.
  • It has a pleasing appearance.
  • It is excellent for all fish and plants due to the adjustable flow rate.
  • When in use, it is pretty quiet.
  • Comparatively, the pricing is reasonable.

Cons

  • The push-button primer can sometimes malfunction.
  • The power consumption is a little excessive.

Penn-Plax Cascade Canister Filter is the perfect filtration system for your goldfish tank. The filter media will keep your tank clean and healthy, while the state-of-the-art features make it easy to use.

With four stackable, large-capacity media baskets, you can customize filtration to fit your needs.

This top-of-the-line filter media comes with 4 Poly Fiber Floss Pads, 1 Coarse Bio-Sponge, and 1 Bag of Activated Carbon, making it perfect for removing harmful chemicals and toxins, clearing up discolorations, and reducing foul odors from your aquarium’s water.

Penn-Plax Cascade 1200 Aquarium Canister Filter...
8,818 Reviews
Penn-Plax Cascade 1200 Aquarium Canister Filter...
  • CASCADE 1200 CANISTER FILTER: Without effort, the Cascade 1200 Canister Filter quietly delivers crystal clear water...
  • STATE OF THE ART FEATURES: In addition to the push button primer that allows for a simple and quick prime, this Canister...
  • FILTER MEDIA: This Canister Filter comes standard with 4 Poly Fiber Floss Pads, 1 Coarse Bio-Sponge, and 1 Bag of...
  • ITEMS INCLUDED: 2 Independent Valve Taps, Push Button Primer, Flow Rate Control Cut-Off Valves, Swimming-Pool Style Hose...
  • MEASUREMENTS AND OTHER USEFUL INFO: The Cascade 1500 Canister Filter measures 11.5” (W) x 11” (D) x 20.5” (H)....

AquaClear Fish Tank Filter


Pros

  • There are five different sizes to choose from.
  • Filtration in three stages.
  • The starting filter media is included.
  • When cleaning and upkeep are required, it is effortless.
  • Self-priming.

Cons

  • Without proper cleaning and care, it may become noisy.

AquaClear’s Fish Tank Filter is a superior filtration system that offers maximum contact time with filter media and an energy-efficient pump.

Quick and easy installation makes this fish tank filter the perfect choice for anyone looking for optimal water quality.

AquaClear comes equipped with AquaClear Foam, Activated Carbon Filter, BioMax, and Cycle Guard for superior filtration.

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AquaClear, Fish Tank Filter, 40 to 70 Gallons,...
18,629 Reviews
AquaClear, Fish Tank Filter, 40 to 70 Gallons,...
  • Aquarium filtration system that offers superior contact time with filter media and energy efficient pump lowers...
  • Quick and easy installation, we recommend that you clean aquarium filter every two weeks for maximum operation and...
  • 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

Seachem Tidal Aquarium Power Filter


Pros

  • There are three different sizes available.
  • Filtration in three stages.
  • There are numerous extra features.
  • This package contains starting filter media.
  • Customization of media is possible with the filter media basket.

Cons

  • Without proper maintenance, it will not be able to filter well.
  • Every couple of weeks, cleaning and replacement of the media are required.

It’s easy to set up and even easier to use, making it a great choice for beginners and experienced fish enthusiasts alike. Plus, it comes with a built-in maintenance monitor, so you can always be sure your aquarium is running smoothly.

The Seachem Tidal Aquarium Power Filter also features a versatile, large-capacity media basket that can accommodate your mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration needs.

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SeaChem – Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter, Tidal...
921 Reviews
SeaChem – Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter, Tidal...
  • 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.

Hygger Sponge Filter


Pros

  • This filter is very safe for tiny shrimplets and fries.
  • It helps to lessen the amount of debris in the water.
  • Beneficial bacteria colonies can colonize a broad surface area.
  • For quarantine and nursery tanks, this is the best solution.

Cons

  • For large or overstocked tanks, this is not a good option.
  • There is no chemical filtration.

The Hygger Sponge Filter is perfect for small goldfish tanks! It combines bio-filtration, oxygenation, and physical filtration in one and makes small water flow, ensuring the excellence of the water quality.

Your Goldfish or shrimp will be happy and healthy with this filter! It comes with 1 double sponge filter with 2 containers +1 bag of ceramic media balls + 2 spare sponges (packed in the 2 containers).

Plus, it’s easy to set up – just choose a powerful enough air pump according to your fish tank size, and you’re good to go.

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hygger Aquarium Double Sponge Filter, Comes with 2...
2,770 Reviews
hygger Aquarium Double Sponge Filter, Comes with 2...
  • 【Multi-filtration functions】this sponge aquarium filter combines bio-filtration, oxygenation and physical filtration...
  • 【Filter Demension】plus the sponge filter with media balls takes up no more room. Small filter is 6" in width and 9"...
  • 【Package Includes】1 double sponge filter with 2 containers +1 bag of ceramic media balls + 2 pare sponges(packed in...
  • 【Detachable Fine Sponges 】you can easy to take down the 2 sponges from the filter to clean or replace it, the 2...
  • 【Easy to use】all the parts of this filter are detachable, you can easily to assemble them together, with 2 strong...

SUNSUN Aquarium UV Sterilizer Canister Filter


Pros

  • Various sizes are available.
  • UV sterilizer with a separate on/off switch is included.
  • Filtration in five stages.
  • There are detailed setup instructions included.
  • Three deep filter media trays are included.
  • Cleaning and maintenance are required every 1-2 months.

Cons

  • Upkeep is moderately challenging.

SUNSUN Aquarium UV Sterilizer Canister Filter is perfect for removing harmful toxins and bacteria from your aquarium. Plus, its LCD display is simple and easy to use – you’ll be able to get your tank running perfectly in no time.

This filter removes harmful toxins and bacteria, but it also helps to adjust the flow rate of your aquarium – perfect for keeping everything just the way you want it.

And don’t worry about priming – our filter doesn’t require any special steps before you start using it.

SunSun HW-3000 UV 9W 5-Stage External Canister...
179 Reviews
SunSun HW-3000 UV 9W 5-Stage External Canister...
  • 5-Stage Canister w/ 9W UV Sterilizer
  • Amazing LCD display that is simple and easy to use
  • Adjustable Flow: 396-793gph, perfect for your tank!
  • No priming required
  • Suitable for freshwater and saltwater aquariums

Tetra Whisper EX Filter


Pros

  • There are various sizes to choose from.
  • Filtration in four stages.
  • The starting filter media is included.
  • Self-priming.
  • Dripping is reduced – thanks to cartridges.

Cons

  • Filter cartridges are designed specifically for this filter.
  • Additional O-rings may be required to keep the intake together.

The Tetra Whisper EX Power Filter provides silent multi-stage filtration for clear, clean water, fast setup, and continuous flow. Plus, it’s easy to use and maintain – no priming required!

Keep your goldfish happy and healthy with the Tetra Whisper EX Power Filter. It ensures that your tank stays clean and debris-free, without all the noise.

Tetra Whisper EX 70 Filter For 45 To 70 Gallon...
8,972 Reviews
Tetra Whisper EX 70 Filter For 45 To 70 Gallon...
  • WHISPER QUIET The Tetra Whisper EX Power Filter provides silent multi-stage filtration for clear clean water
  • FAST SETUP Sets up easily right out of the box – no priming required
  • CONTINUOUS FLOW Moves water continuously to prevent debris buildup
  • NO-MESS FILTER CARTRIDGE CHANGES Design minimizes dripping to make cartridge changes easy
  • SIZE This filter fits 45 to 70 gallon aquariums

EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter


Pros

  • There are five different sizes to choose from.
  • Filtration in three stages.
  • The starting filter media is included.
  • All of the necessary valves and hoses are included.
  • There are detailed setup instructions included.
  • It consists of a silicone elastic closure and improves oxygenation.

Cons

  • The cost is high.
  • Priming necessitates the use of a particular tool or sucking on a tube.
  • Replacement components or media may be challenging to come by.

EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter is easy to use and comes with everything you need to get started. Plus, it’s backed by our 2-year warranty, so you can rest assured that your fish tank is in good hands.

This top-of-the-line filter is equipped with a permo-elastic silicon sealing ring that ensures a safe and easy closure after cleaning.

It comes complete with filter media and installation accessories, making it the perfect choice for any aquarium.

EHEIM Classic Canister Filter 2213, Classic 250 -...
1,534 Reviews
EHEIM Classic Canister Filter 2213, Classic 250 -...
  • Permo-elastic silicon sealing ring fixed on the pump head for easy and safe closing after cleaning
  • Equipped with filter sponges and/or loose filter media
  • Accessories included: spray bar, inlet pipe, hose and installation accessories
  • Comes complete with filter media (EHEIM Mech & Substrat Pro) and valves
  • Permo-elastic silicon sealing ring fixed on the pump head for easy and safe closing after cleaning

Fluval FX6 Aquarium Canister Filter


Pros 

  • It has trouble-free operation thanks to intelligent, self-priming features.
  • It includes a quick water changing option, so there’s no need to lift heavy buckets.
  • The Aqua-Stop valves and Utility valve with hose make canister maintenance and cleaning a breeze.
  • Rubberized feet enable a quiet operation.

Cons

  • It isn’t inexpensive; in fact, it is a little pricey.
  • It takes more time and effort to remove and replace the lid.

Looking for a powerful and efficient aquarium filter?

Look no further than the Fluval FX6 Aquarium Canister Filter. This multi-stage filter is perfect for freshwater and marine aquariums and features Smart Pump Technology for optimum performance. Plus, it’s self-starting, so you don’t have to worry about adding water or plugging it in – just set it and forget it!

With a maximum head height of 3.3 meters (10.8 feet), this filter is perfect for larger aquariums up to 400 gallons. It also has a sleek, modern design that will look great in any home. So if you’re looking for an easy-to-use and powerful aquarium filter, the Fluval FX6 Aquarium Canister Filter is perfect.

Fluval FX6 High Performance Aquarium Filter,...
3,591 Reviews
Fluval FX6 High Performance Aquarium Filter,...
  • 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

Lee’s Premium Undergravel Filter


Pros

  • Beneficial bacteria colonies can colonize a broad surface area.
  • It can be used on a variety of substrates.
  • It can be used in conjunction with a powerhead to capture colossal debris.
  • There are three sizes available, ranging from 35 to 65 gallons.
  • This is an affordable option.

Cons

  • There is no chemical filtration.
  • It works best when used in conjunction with another sort of filter.
  • It cannot be used in tanks with naked bottoms.

An undergravel filter can be a great way to help reduce the amount of waste in your tank. By providing surface area for beneficial bacteria and trapping large debris, this filter can help keep your goldfish tank clean and healthy.

Lee’s Premium Undergravel Filter is perfect for anyone looking for an easy-to-use and affordable option.

You can easily add a pre-filter sponge to catch large debris with its reverse water flow feature. Plus, it comes with a powerhead pump to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Lee's 10 Premium Undergravel Filter, 10-Inch by...
131 Reviews
Lee's 10 Premium Undergravel Filter, 10-Inch by...
  • The larger plate sizes reduce the number of plates required
  • The added strength of the UGF plates makes this filter most preferred by saltwater aquarists
  • Size: 10-inch by 20-inch

What Are The Stages Of Filtration, And What Do They Do?

Mechanical: Filter floss and sponges, for example, are used in this stage of filtering to catch large particles of physical waste. Fish excrement, plant detritus, and leftover food are all removed from the water using mechanical filtering.

Chemical: Activated carbon, for example, is used in this filtration stage to eliminate odors and purify the water. Depending on the specifications, each tank may require different chemical filtration.

Biological: The healthy colonies of beneficial bacteria that dwell inside filters and other tank areas are referred to as this level of filtration. Beneficial bacteria known as nitrifying bacteria eat ammonia and nitrites for energy, eliminating them from the water and improving their quality.

In Conclusion: Which Goldfish Filter Should You Use?

That is a challenging question to address. But, finally, depending on the size of your aquarium, you have two options.

The Fluval FX6 High-Performance Aquarium Canister Filter is the finest choice for aquariums with a capacity of 100 gallons or more. It will more than suffice, thanks to its incredible flow rate of 925 GPH. In addition, its easy-to-use features make it convenient and straightforward to utilize.

The Seachem Tidal 75 Aquarium Filter is ideal for aquariums with 75 gallons or less capacity. It has an internal motor that reduces noise and the requirement to prime the filter. Overall, it’s a strong filter with adequate water flow that provides excellent filtration.

The Tetra Whisper EX Filter is the perfect filter for tanks with less than 55-gallon capacity. It’s whisper-quiet and sets up quickly without any priming required. In addition, the continuous flow prevents debris buildup and makes cartridge changes easy – no messes here!

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