Best Aquarium Filters: Ultimate guide & Reviews

To maintain a fish tank, you should use some necessary tools. And one of these devices is an aquarium filter. Thanks to the aquarium filter, you do not have to change water and clean the aquarium all the time.

It also helps you keep clean the fish tank. You can take advantage of using the aquarium filter, but how can you find the best one? The fact is that this is a piece of cake to look for.

What makes the best aquarium filter?

Of course, the first authority of an aquarium filter is clearing up debris and other dirty things. And most people always stay focused on this point. Nevertheless, there are other factors a fish aquarium owner should take into account. And I think you should do it, too!

  • The cost of a filter
  • The kind of that filter (you even see some types of filter media used because you will get a better comparison)
  • How to use it (is it simple to control)
  • How quiet or loud of a filter is
  • How easy or difficult of maintenance of a filter
  • The flow rate, input, and output of the filter
  • The media parameters of the filter
  • Other applications of the filter

A quick glance at the types of the filter

Canister filter

Canisters are top rated, but these are the most expensive filters. They have 3 main stages of filtration that you enable to add, get rid of, and change the filtration material.

Primarily, these are containers which have an inflow and outflow of water technology. They still maintain the cleanliness of aquarium water longer than other filters.

If you have a big tank, canister filters will be a great option with powerful filters and various water flow.

Of course, you enable to choose a smaller canister for your tank.

Hang on filters

Hang on filters would be fantastic for the open fish aquariums. They often offer 3 kinds of filtration if they have good quality. However, these require some changeable cartridges. They may also inflate with a small waterfall they make.

Trickle filters

If you are having a saltwater tank, then you could consider a trickle filter. Nonetheless, the price for establishing this filter is not affordable at all. Use it when your tank needs to deal with the biological filtration.

Power filters

These are quite popular filters used nowadays. They usually offer chemical, biological, and mechanical filtration as well. They, of course, have different sizes to fit on each side of the aquarium (up to 75 gallons).

Most novices love these because it is easy to set up and use. Also, they do not get stuck with the maintenance when it is time to do this task. The price is so economical for most people as well.

Other filters

There are also a few fresh aquarium filters which include sponges and can move the water by aeration. However, they often have poor performance because of slow water flow. Moreover, you enable to think of self-made aquarium filters, but be sure to find out the reliable source.

How about the filtration system?

Before choosing the aquarium filter, I think you should know 2 things. Ask yourself why you should need to get a high-quality aquarium filtration system and how it does.

Absolutely, an excellent filtration system is one of the largest investments and could become the difference between an enjoyable thing and a stuck nightmare. Fortunately, picking the true system could be hard because there are various options.

An aquarium filter system often has several types like these:

  • Corner filters or boxes
  • Canister filters are used for big aquarium filter systems
  • Internal filters
  • Diatomic filters
  • Fluidized bed filters
  • Hang on back filters (HOB) or power filters
  • Sponge filters
  • Trickle filters (wet or dry ones): these also put under the aquarium
  • Under gravel filters

On the other hand, a fish tank filtration needs to have good waste to diminish harmful debris in the aquarium. Normally, there are 3 major types of waste which are:

  • Solid waste: the filter and sponge floss you change in the filter will help you remove dirt and debris. This is called mechanical filtration.
  • Organic waste: When you turned on carbon in your filter system, you are hoping it controls anything which is dissolved in your aquarium water. It could be making odor or discoloration. This is the chemical filtration.
  • Biological waste: this is the main consequence of the nitrogen cycle like ammonia and nitrate. These are removed by a biological filtration like Biomax or Seachem.

Today, you may hear the chemical filtration system and you do not know what it is. In fact, this is the process of removing or neutralizing chemical substances from aquarium water with the support of dynamic carbon only.

Top 5 Best Aquarium Filter Reviews

Fluval C4 Power Filter

This unit is popular for its performance and reliability. It is designed with a five-stage filtration process. So, it can help to maintain a clean aquarium. There are three filter media types, including biological, mechanical, and chemical.

Besides these three filtration media, this filter comes with other beneficial features. For instance, it can be able to process 264 gallons of tank water per hour.

This aquarium filter also comes with a patented control system. Therefore, you can take control over the water flow. At the same time, it helps to protect the tank inhabitants. Plus, it’s easy to maintain it.

The Aqueon Quietflow Filter 55/75 400 GPH

This is one of the best choices when it comes to aquarium filters. It offers attractive features at an affordable price. Actually, it’s considered as a Power Filter, so you can set up it on the back of the aquarium.

It’s easy to use and clean this filter. It comes in all three types of filter media, including biological, mechanical, and chemical. It can be able to clean your tank effectively. In addition, it features an automatic startup.

You can choose this product for a 55-gallon to the 75-gallon aquarium. In fact, it is capable of processing approximately 400 gallons of water per hour. In spite of its high capacity, it produces little to no noise.

However, this option is not great for goldfish and Betta Fish.

The Aquaclear 20 Power Filter

If you want to get a great aquarium filter for small aquariums, this product is made for you. You can set up it on the back of the aquarium wall. In fact, this option is safe for children. Moreover, it’s also easy to clean and install. It comes with a filter pump made with energy efficiency in mind.

However, you may want to get a larger aquarium. Then, you can want to consider a larger filter to handle a higher capacity.

Once again, this unit is a good choice for beginners with small aquariums. However, it requires you to clean the propeller box once power outages. Besides, the filter may make noise for some.

Penn Plax Cascade 1,000 Aquarium Water Filter

If you need a filter for experienced fish hobbyists, consider choosing the Penn Plax. It’s capable of big things. You can use it for large aquariums with a large number of inhabitants. Also, it’s considered to be an aquarium filter for saltwater.

It can be able to remove debris as well as impurities thanks to the mechanical as well as chemical filtration media. This option can handle up to 100 gallons of water per hour. Especially, it offers a very quiet operation.

Fluval 206 External Canister Filter

The last filter we want to mention in this list is the Fluval 206 External Canister Filter. It’s a perfect choice for smaller aquariums around 40-gallons.

It’s easy to use because of the user manual and start-up guide. There are all three filtration media, including biological, mechanical, and chemical. Also, it’s a good option for families with young napping children because it’s nearly silent.

You can easily access and clean it when needed. However, it comes with a basic output nozzle without a spray bar.

When it comes to the carbon pads… 

Along with the aquarium filter, fish tanks should have carbon pads. These often utilized in a few different models of a filter. They feature great carbon element like a charcoal of getting rid of many toxins from the aquarium water and enhancing its clarity.

More importantly, all items containing carbon have a limited lifespan only. You should replace them when they reach their end using day because they can leave other dirty components back into the water.

Bottom line

Filtration systems play an important role in owning fish as pets. If you don’t have filtration, your fish can be ill. They also may likely not survive. That’s why it’s important to choose the right filtration device for your desired fish tank.

When you want to look up the brand for your aquarium filter, you should find some most ones like API, Eheim, Fluval, and Marineland. Finding the best aquarium filter is not a hard game to play anymore. Break a leg!