The 10 Best Fish Tank Filters

When looking to purchase a fish tank filter, it is important to compare different options and features between them.

There are certain advantages and disadvantages that can be sorted through when looking at some of the best fish tank filters that are available on the market for purchase.

Best Fish Tank Filters 2019

This comparison table will take an in-depth look at each of the different features that the top ten filters offer in the ‘Product Reviews‘ section. It is important to balance the features, price ranges, and the quality of each filter to understand what will work best for your specific fish tank or aquarium.

Some buyers may find themselves on a budget, while others intend to spend more to get the right features for them. This table takes a look a selection of five different factors that could potentially sway your intentions.

There is also the sixth category with recommendations to help make a final decision.

ProductCapacityPricingRatings
Aqua Ultraviolet Ultima II Aquarium Filter with Two Inch Valve Highest CapacityMost ExpensiveHighest
Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power FilterNormalExpensiveNormal
Aqua Clear Power Filter – 110 V
(My Recommendation)
NormalMost ExpensiveNormal
Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter for Aquariums NormalExpensiveNormal
MarineLand Emperor Filter Systems 400BHighest CapacityExpensiveNormal
Penn Plax Cascade 300 Submersible Aquarium FilterNormalCheapestHighest
Tetra Whisper EX Silent Multi Stage Power Filter for AquariumsLowest CapacityMost ExpensiveHighest
AquaTech Power Aquarium Filter with 3 Step Filtration Lowest CapacityCheapestNormal
MarineLand Penguin Power Filter with Multi-Stage FiltrationLowest CapacityCheapestNormal
AquaClear 110 Aquarium Power Filter Highest CapacityMost ExpensiveNormal

Fish Tank Filters Buyer’s Guide

Each of the aquarium tank filters mentioned above have their own advantages and disadvantages. It is hard to understand all the in depth fundamentals that go into aquarium tank filter designs. This section is going to raise potential questions that consumers and aquarium handlers should think about before completing a purchase.

Why is it important to have an effective aquarium filter?

There are a number of reasons that it is important to equip an effective filter to an aquarium that is intending to support fish or other marine life. The most important reason is to protect the environment from damaging materials, such as debris, waste, decayed life, or other unneeded items that may exist in the tank.

The general purpose of the filter is to eliminate anything inside of the marine environment that could harm the active organisms that live within it. Water quality levels would likely drop without an effective tank filter, and the best filters will create a crystal clear living environment for the aquarium’s fish life.

Quick Answers

  • The water quality will deteriorate without an effective aquarium filter.
  • Debris, dirt, or other unwanted items could potentially harm the fish.
  • The filter is designed to remove fish waste from the tank.

What makes each individual fish tank filter different from each other?

Every fish tank filter is specifically designed to support a different type of aquarium. Some aquariums have a larger water capacity than others, and some filters offer support for larger or smaller aquarium sizes.

In some cases, a certain filter may support a feature that is specifically needed for a certain type of aquarium or fish tank. In most cases, filters all try and accomplish the same thing, but they are designed with alternative technologies, methods, and support different types of tanks.

Quick Answers

  • Each filter supports a different size of aquarium.
  • Some filters can support higher flow rates.
  • Different technological methods are used in different types of aquarium filters.
  • Some filters are designed to be beginner friendly.

What should the biggest concern be when purchasing an aquarium filter?

In most cases, there are three major things for buyers to be worried about when purchasing an aquarium filter. The first concern is whether or not the filter will function as it is supposed to. This includes the possibility of filter leaks, flow rate malfunctions, and reliability issues.

Secondly, buyers should be concerned about whether the filter is going to protect the fish inside of the aquarium. There are some filter brands that take extra measures to ensure this.

Finally, the last concern is whether the filter is made with high quality parts and technology. The last thing that any buyer wants is a piece of junk. Some filters may create loud and annoying buzzing sounds that ruin the entire purchase. It is important to do the right research to ensure that you don’t get stuck with a piece of junk.

Quick Answers

  • It is important to ensure that the filter is not a piece of junk.
  • Noise complaints are the worst, try and avoid loud and annoying or buzzing filters.
  • The filter is a lifeline to the aquarium, it has to do its job the right way.

What is the average price range for an aquarium or fish tank filter?

The best fish tank filters on the high end can be several hundreds of dollars, while the cheapest ones could exist on the market around twenty bucks. The big difference in the price ranges is caused by the varying features on each filter. Some filters can supports higher flow rates and large capacities than others. The larger capacity filters will always cost more than the lower capacities.

Some filters are equipped with modern automation technology that takes the priming process out of the human’s hands. This can add a lot of value to the filter, which means the price will go up. Less automated filters will likely remain cheap, but it is important that you get what you pay for, and that remains true in the aquarium filter market.

Quick Answers

  • Low end filters can start at around twenty dollars for low capacity tanks.
  • High end filters can cost several hundreds of dollars with automated features.
  • Larger capacity filters will always cost more than lower capacity filters.

Extra Information Regarding Aquarium Tank Filters

There are a number of things that need to be determined when purchasing an aquarium fish tank filter. This filters can be incredibly expensive, and nobody wants to have to repurchase a filter for making the wrong decision for their aquarium.

A filter is designed to eliminate the tedious work of having to remove fish from the aquarium on a weekly basis in order to replace the water and ensure the fish are living inside of a clean environment. Filters can do a great job automating this process and eliminating some of the tedious parts about aquarium handling.

Filters can effectively improve the aquarium water level on the fly by eliminating the worse components that can exist inside of a tank. These components include dirt, dust, debris, decaying fish, marine food, and other unwanted waste. Filters can create crystal clear marine water environments with the right investment in a fish tank filter.

This guide has covered the various different features and price ranges that come along with different aquarium tank filters. It is important to remember that some aquariums could benefit greatly by choosing the right tank filter. The process in deciding should not go without thought, because buyers could risk their entire aquarium’s marine life if things are not to turn out as expected.

Generally speaking, it is best for beginners to purchase automated filters that do most of the work automatically. There are a number of instances where a beginner to aquarium handling has made a simple mistake that harmed the entire fish tank. This is not an issue that is fun to deal with, so automated and slightly more expensive filters are probably a good place for beginners to start.

For advanced and experienced aquarium handlers, well it is probably best for them to make their own decisions in regards to which filter they desire for their tank. Although there are many options on the market, there are only so many good options, some of which can be really expensive. Each of the ten aquarium filters mentioned in the product reviews section is diverse and separates itself from the competition in some way. Some of them offer larger capacities, unique features, or a cheaper price range.

After taking an in-depth look at the ten different filters in the ‘Product Reviews’ section, it is likely that the perfect aquarium filter for your needs exists somewhere in that top ten. It is important to make the right decision the first time because things can get out of hand in a hurry. Nobody wants to have to scramble to return a filter because it doesn’t work for their aquarium’s needs.

Option #10 – AquaClear 110 Aquarium Power Filter – (60 to 110 Gallon Tanks)

 

The AquaClear 110 Aquarium Power Filter comes equipped with a refiltration system that uses efficient energy methods to save on operational costs. The filter is quick and easy to set up, and includes AquaClear Foam that can help increase the aquarium’s water quality.

The standard filter can support between sixty and one hundred gallons, and comes with an extended two year warranty.

PROS

  • Supports aquariums between sixty and one hundred gallons.
  • Includes AquaClear Foam that can help increase the aquarium’s water quality.
  • A two year warranty is included with the purchase of the filter.

CONS

  • This particular filter is somewhat more expensive that similar competitor items.
  • The noise that this filter makes can be loud and annoying in some cases.

Option #9 – MarineLand Penguin Power Filter with Multi-Stage Filtration 

 

 

The MarineLand Penguin Power Filter with Multi-Stage Filtration is great for smaller aquariums between thirty and fifty gallons. This particular filter can support up to 200 GPH. This MarineLand filter utilizes three stage technology in order to deliver a satisfying aquarium filtration experience.

The MarineLand Penguin Power Filter with Multi-Stage Filtration comes with Penguin Rite size cartridges that can be used with the filter. This filter is best suited for smaller aquariums, and is currently priced at a very respectable range.

PROS

  • This aquarium is priced at an extremely respectable price range.
  • Includes convenient Penguin Rite size cartridges, that are easy to use.

CONS

  • This particular filter is best suited for smaller aquariums.
  • The reliability record for this fish tank filter is not very good.

Option #8 – AquaTech Power Aquarium Filter with 3 Step Filtration 

 

 

The AquaTech Power Aquarium Filter with 3 Step Filtration is a relatively small scale filter that is capable of supporting small aquariums up to approximately fifteen gallons. This filter is equipped with an impressive three stage filtration system.

This fish tank filter also comes equipped with an AQUA-Tech Filter Cartridge. A two year warranty is included at the moment of purchase.

PROS

  • This aquarium is priced at an extremely respectable price range.
  • Includes convenient AQUA-Tech Filter Cartridge, that is easy to use.
  • A two year warranty is included with the purchase of the filter.

CONS

  • This particular filter is best suited for smaller aquariums. (Max of 15 Gallons)
  • The reliability record for this fish tank filter is not very good.

Option #7 – Tetra Whisper EX Silent Multi Stage Power Filter for Aquariums 

 

 

The Tetra Whisper EX Silent Multi Stage Power Filter is an aquarium filter that supports tanks up to seventy gallons. This is a beginner friendly filter, as it comes ready to use right out of the box.

This filter takes advantage of timestrip technology in order to provide a simple experience to beginners and advanced aquarium handlers. This filter is designed to provide an intuitive filtration system, while still focusing on keeping your aquarium water clean and sustaining a healthy environment for fish to thrive.

PROS

  • This aquarium water filter takes advantage of timestrip technology.
  • This filter is great for beginners and advanced aquarium handlers.
  • This aquarium is priced at an extremely respectable price range.

CONS

  • This particular filter is best suited for mid sized aquariums. (50 – 70 Gallons)
  • The reliability record for this fish tank filter is not very good.
  • The noise that this filter makes can be loud and annoying in some cases.

Option #6 – Penn Plax Cascade 300 Submersible Aquarium Filter 

 

 

The Penn Plax Cascade 300 Submersible Aquarium Filter is a small scale submersible fish tank filter that can support aquariums up to ten gallons in size. This filter is designed to provide clear water for a thriving marine environment inside of your small aquarium.

This filter comes with an adjustable water flow on the pump head, and also included a spray bar options that allows aquarium handlers to establish even water levels inside of the tank.

PROS

  • This particular filter is among the quietest options on the market.
  • There is an adjustable water flow handle on the pump head.
  • Water levels can be distributed evenly with the spray bar option.
  • This aquarium is priced at an extremely respectable price range.

CONS

  • The reliability record for this fish tank filter is not very good.

Option #5 – MarineLand Emperor Filter Systems 400B 

 

 

The MarineLand Emperor Filter Systems 400B is designed to support aquarium tanks up to eighty gallons. The certified flow rate for this fish tank filter is 400 GPH. This filter has a special two pump design that creates a satisfactory filtration and flow rate. There are special adjustments to this filter to allow double the space for filter cartridges.

PROS

  • This filter is known for its incredible filtering capabilities.
  • It can support larger aquarium tanks, up to eighty gallons.
  • This aquarium filter can support double the space for filter cartridges.

CONS

  • This aquarium filter is priced slightly above average for the features that it provides.
  • This filter can occasionally output very annoying sounds for short periods of time.

Option #4 – Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter for Aquariums 

 

 

The Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter is one of the most impressive aquarium filters on the market, and it is also one of the most expensive. This filter can support tanks up to one hundred gallon capacity.

The filter foam pads that come with this filter can filter out debris and dirt. This filter is known for providing extremely impressive water quality. The water quality will be crystal clear if set up is completed properly.

PROS

  • The water quality will be crystal clear if set up is completely properly.
  • The filter foam pads that come with this filter can filter out debris and dirt.
  • This filter can support tanks up to one hundred gallon capacity.

CONS

  • This filter is priced in an extremely expensive price range.
  • This aquarium filter can leak from the seams.
  • The longevity for this tank filter is alarming when you consider its price.

Option #3 – Aqua Clear Power Filter – 110 V 

 

The Aqua Clear Power Filter – 100 V is respectably priced and comes from a well known brand. The filter is designed to support mid sized aquariums around fifty gallons in capacity. The refiltration system is designed to offer exceptional contact time with filter media. The efficient pump is also developed to save energy and lower operational costs.

The installation for this filter is easy for beginners. A two year warranty comes with the purchase of the Aqua Clear Power Filter – 100 V.

PROS

  • Supports aquariums between thirty and fifty gallons.
  • Includes AquaClear Foam that can help increase the aquarium’s water quality.
  • A two year warranty is included with the purchase of the filter.

CONS

  • This particular filter is somewhat more expensive that similar competitor items.
  • The noise that this filter makes can be loud and annoying in some cases.

Option #2 – Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter 

 

 

The Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter is designed to be a vertical oriented aquarium filter that can efficiently filter aquarium water. One of the unique features about this filter is the fact that it include an auto start pump that does not require priming. The filter pump is designed to automatically restart if electric power is lost and restored.

The filter can be setup easily with suction cups or hanging clips. At the moment of purchase, there is an option to include a limited lifetime warranty.

PROS

  • Easy installation for beginners, using suction cups or hanging clips.
  • Pump does not require priming if electric power is lost.
  • A limited life time warranty can be added during the purchase of the filter.

CONS

  • The filter is designed for small scale aquarium tanks. (Less than 40 Gallons)
  • The noise that this filter makes can be loud and annoying in some cases.
  • The reliability record for this fish tank filter is not very good.

Option #1 – Aqua Ultraviolet Ultima II Aquarium Filter with Two Inch Valve 

 

 

The Aqua Ultraviolet Ultima II Aquarium Filter is a powerhouse when it comes to aquarium tank filters. This remarkable filter can support aquarium tanks up to TWO THOUSAND gallons of capacity. This filter is easy to install, and requires virtually no maintenance.

The backwashing process takes a mere five minutes per week, and there are integrated internal jets that take care of everything. This filter is specifically designed for heavy aquarium tank loads and massive flow rates.

PROS

  • This aquarium filter takes care of everything with internal jets.
  • The filter is specifically designed for heavy aquarium tank loads. (2000 Gallons)
  • This aquarium filter is easy to install and there is virtually no maintenance required.
  • The reliability record for this aquarium tank filter is remarkable.

CONS

  • The price range for this filter is astronomically high.

Conclusion

There are hundreds of great aquarium filters available for purchase on the market. There are dozens of respectable brands and efficient filters that can be utilized for all types of aquariums. Each filter holds special characteristics that effect its value, and it is important to understand the features that come along with each aquarium filter.

This guide has covered ten of the best filters that are available for purchase on the market. There is also a buyer guide with specific questions that should be answered before completing a purchase. This guide also supplies additional information when it comes to researching the features of each aquarium filter.

Whether it comes down to the price range, the list of features, the quality of the filter, or the aquarium filter capacity, owning an aquarium filter is far better than not owning one at all, considering it takes the tedious cleaning requirements and replaces it with automated filtration. Investing in the right aquarium filter will allow consumers to experience the excitement of possessing a crystal clear marine environment with an impressive tank filtering system.

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