Fish are great to look at, it can be relaxing to see their colours swim gently around the tank. To keep the tank clean enough to see through, you need to use a quality aquarium filter. Not only does it make your tank look better, but it is much healthier for the fish.
A high-end aquarium filter can help your fish to live longer, and reduce expensive vets bills. This is the part of your aquarium that will prolong its lifespan and is an essential piece of kit for any enthusiast. It doesn’t matter how many fish you have, clean water is vital. Because there are some low-quality products on the market that can fail you and your fish, you need to be sure you find a good filter. In our list, we run through the top ten, and why each one is so good.
Here are our top 10 picks for the best Aquarium Filters:
#10 Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters
For a reliable tank with little fuss involved, the Aqueon QuietFlow is a worthy addition to your tank. Even after a power cut or cleaning, this will start up automatically making it a trustworthy aquarium filter. The water flow rate has been tested to a high level and it is constant meaning your fish will always have clean oxidised water. There is even an LED light which notifies you when it is time to change the cartridges, something particularly handy for the novice fish owner. The pump is internal which helps to reduce the noise and with a flow rate of 400 gallons per hour, it is an excellent option for anyone. Comes in a variety of sizes.
Pros: 400 gallons per hour flow rate
LED light to notify when to change cartridges
Cons: Other filters are more powerful
#9 NO.17 Submersible Aquarium Internal Filter
An 8W adjustable filter that won’t put a big dent in your bills, even the initial outlay is more reasonable than most. It is good for smaller tanks of up to 15 gallons meaning it is not powerful enough for the larger display tanks but can do an ample job in the right aquarium. It pumps water at a rate of 200 gallons per hour but is adjustable to suit the needs of your tank. With two nozzles, and everything you need to clean your tank and is considered to be one of the quieter aquarium filters in the range. It can be placed horizontally to provide clean water for turtles as well.
Pros: Good value
Great for small tanks
Cons: Not powerful enough for larger tanks
#8 EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter with Media
The sealing ring in this product ensures that access to the pump head is easy, making it convenient to clean. With a good selection of accessories included, it has everything you need to get going. It has all your installation equipment, spray bar, hose and more. This is a classic filter that has been developed to offer low maintenance filtration. It is also energy efficient, meaning it won’t hike your bills up. It provides a constant water circulation and enriches oxygen, making life for your fish a lot happier. A compact product, that comes with a stand. Good for up to 66 gallons, it will be suitable for a variety of tanks.
Pros: Works up to 66 gallons
Cons: Water can flow a little fast for some
#7 Tetra Whisper in-Tank Filter with BioScrubber for Aquariums
From one of the go-to names in the pet store, Tetra has made a compact, yet reliable filter that is designed for use in smaller tanks. You can use it in anything up to 10-gallons so it is good for entry-level fish owners. Fit it with medium bio-bag cartridges and it can be placed over the side using a hanger, or the two suction cups to keep it where you want it inside the tank. A cheap option that shows you don’t need to break the bank when you first get fish. With over 50 years of experience, Tetra makes products for all sizes of tanks, and in their compact filter, you know you are getting quality.
Pros: Good for compact tanks
Can be hung over the side or placed against the glass
Cons: Only works up to 10-gallon tanks
#6 MarineLand Penguin Power Filter
A neat piece of kit that has a certified flow rate level of 350GPH. This is impressive for an aquarium filter of this size. For aquariums of up to 70 gallons, this is a reliable product that delivers different levels of filtration depending on the needs of your tank. You also get ready to use cartridges so this is all you need to get going. It can be used in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums because of the high-powered big wheel filter. You don’t need to worry about air stones or pumps when you have this in your tank. It is well suited to beginners because it is so easy to set up, but more experienced fish owners will know that this has the quality to work for them too.
Pros: Suitable for up to 70 gallon tanks
Works on both freshwater and saltwater
Cons: Can be a little noisy when it gets older
#5 Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter
For a larger scale aquarium, this heavy-duty filter can work in tanks of up to 150 gallons. This makes it suitable for both freshwater and marine use. Even with a tight area, this filter can still rotate at 360 degrees. The primer button allows you easy access and comes with everything you need to set it up. There is even a floss pad included, along with sponges. It is made of high-quality materials that make light work of some larger areas. This is a serious aquarium filter for those who know what they are doing, but it also comes with instructions for installation. A product that will benefit your fish, along with the large filter tray, it is built to last.
Pros: Works in tanks of up to 150 gallons
Includes a lot of extras
Cons: Might be too powerful for some
#4 Aqua Clear – Fish Tank Filter – 60 to 110 Gallons – 110v
An energy-efficient pump that won’t leave your bills sky-rocketing. Installation is simple and won’t take long, just follow the step by step instructions that are included. The filtration volume is. what sets this apart. It can create up to 7 times more than similar aquarium filters in this price range. A good value addition to your home, it comes with everything you need to provide a comfortable home for your fish. For aquariums up to 110 gallons, this comes with a 2-year warranty and is best used in temperatures up to 35C. It comes with a flow control system that reduces flow by around 50% without damaging the motor. A hang-on system that is efficient, and does the job well.
Pros: 2-year warranty
Cons: Some need a more powerful filter for their larger tanks
#3 Marina Power Filter
A powerful aquarium filter that will suit compact tanks of up to 10 gallons. Good for beginners or those in small spaces, it is intuitive, meaning even after a power cut, it will self-prime so you don’t have to worry about your fish when you are out. As you would expect from a small filter, it is easy to maintain and installation is as simple as you could hope for. The submerged motor is quiet and non-intrusive. The slim design means there is more room for your fish to enjoy the clear, clean water. You can even control the filtration level to make sure you get the rate you desire. Includes two cartridges to help you get going.
Pros: Quiet filtration
Cons: Not powerful enough for bigger tanks
#2 Fluval Number 306 External Filter
A serious piece of equipment that will suit the more experienced fish owner with an aquarium capability of up to 300L. The instant prime that comes as standard makes it easy to start and installation isn’t as complicated as you might think thanks to the thorough instructions. It has a noise reduction impeller that helps to keep the volume from this filter reduce. Maintenance is easy thanks to the aqua top, everything is in place for this to be powerful enough to work in bigger spaces, but can be set up by anyone. The flow rate of 1,150 litres per hour but is adjustable.
Pros: Good for big aquariums
Noise reduction impeller
Easy to maintain
Cons: Can be too big for some
#1 Boxtech Aquarium Filter, 10-20 Gallon Fish Tank
The energy-efficient pump that comes with this beginners level aquarium filter will save you money on your bills, meaning you will never begrudge its constant use. It can be used by anyone, just read the instructions carefully, although it is considered to be an easy-to install filter. The filtration volume is what better than most in this price range, giving you good value. The company has designed this for use on smaller tanks of 10-20 gallons, and the oxygen port rotates 360 degrees. The sponges are removable, and it even comes with 2-suction cups to help keep it in place. It increases the oxygen levels in the water, whilst making sure you get a clean, clear view of your fish.
Pros: Easy to install
Cons: Only good for up to 20-gallons