10 Best Aquarium Water Filters

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In Brief: Best Aquarium Water Filters

  1. Aqua Clear – Fish Tank Filter
  2. Penn Plax Cascade 500
  3. Whisper In-Tank Filter with BioScrubber
  4. MarineLand Penguin 350 BIO-Wheel Power Filter
  5. Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filter
  6. Tetra Whisper EX Silent Multi-Stage Power Filter
  7. Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter
  8. Marina Power Filter
  9. NO.17 Submersible Aquarium Internal Filter
  10. Amzdeal Water Pump Aquarium
How We Decided

27 products considered. 600+ reviews analyzed, 31 research hours spent, 20+ info. sources referred

More about our Methodology

Review of Best Aquarium Water Filters

Aqua Clear Fish Tank Filter

Key Specs Overview:

  1. Tank capacity from 5 to 20 gallons
  2. Pump output of 100 gallons per hour

Aqua Clear is a huge name in the fish tank industry. Not only have they been in the business since 1978, they invented the first hermetically sealed pump clip-on filter.

Fish hobbyists trust Aqua Clear to provide superior water quality for all their tanks. The Aqua Clear 20 is no exception. Their unique filter design allows you to use more media with continual biological filtration.

Pros
Comes equipped with AquaClear Foam, Activated Carbon and BioMax
Longer water to media contact time
Easily control flow rate for different types of fish
Filters toxic substances but leaves good bacteria behind
Helpful instruction for optimal media placement and cleaning
110 V
Works quietly
2 year warranty

Cons
You might also need to purchase an intake sponge
If you’re a fish enthusiast that wants to insure your tank has crystal clear biologically balanced water, this is the perfect filter.

Penn Plax Cascade 500

Key Specs Overview:

  1. Tank capacity up to 30 gallons
  2. Pump output of 115 gallons per hour

Penn Plax is a family owned and operated business. We’ve trusted them to provide us with everything we need for our pets since 1956. Since we know they care about our pet’s needs, we trust them to provide us with only the highest of quality products.

This is an amazing canister filter for your small to medium size tank. The powerful filter is easy to set up and maintain. You can rely on the Cascade 500 for your freshwater and saltwater tanks.

Pros
Two customizable media baskets
Rotating flow valves for easy maneuvering
Push button primers
Easy removal and maintenance of flow valves
Works quietly
Directional returns
Air-tight seal for accurate flow rate

Cons
Might have too much bypass
Weak tray locks

The Cascade 500 is a high-quality canister filter with powerful pump output that will work easily and quietly with your medium-sized tank.

Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter with BioScrubber

Key Specs Overview:

  1. Tank capacity up to 40 gallons

Tetra was stared over 50 years ago in Germany. Its founder is responsible for the development of flake fish food which was a huge discovery at the time. Today, Tetra is a global manufacturer with over 1,000 dealers all over the world.

The Whisper in-tank filter uses bio-bags, an eco-friendly filter that is biodegradable and compostable. On top of the environmental benefits, this inside-mount filter works in tanks with as little as two inches of water, so it’s really versatile.

Pros
Quiet underwater motor
Great for turtles
Three stage filtration
Catches debris and fish waste
Uses activated carbon to reduce odor
BioScrubber forces even water flow

Cons
Uses clips instead of suction cups
The Tetra Whisper is perfect for beginners or amateur fish enthusiasts with smaller tanks or terrariums.

MarineLand Penguin 350 BIO-Wheel Power Filter

Key Specs Overview:

  1. Tank capacity up to 75 gallons
  2. Pump output of 350 gallons per hour

MarineLand says your pets deserve better and we have to agree! This innovative company is filled with fish enthusiasts from all walks of life with different specializations making them super knowledgeable about all things tank and terrarium.

The Penguin 350 Bio-Wheel power filter has everything you need for all size tanks with a powerful pump output capacity. The three stage mechanical, chemical, and biological aquarium filtration is easy to set up and maintain so your fish and reptiles will thank you!

Pros
No air pumps, valves or tubing for easy maintenance
Bio-wheel removes toxins like ammonia and nitrates
Two-piece vented cover
Quiet
Easy filter changes
No shut down required
Flow rate can be regulated

Cons
Bio wheel can get stuck
Loud at full pump output
This beast of a filter is so easy to use and maintain, you’ll have clear water for a long time with little maintenance required.

Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filter

Key Specs Overview:

  1. Tank capacity of 20 gallons
  2. Pump output of 100 gallons per hour

Aqueon brand focuses on the details when it comes to their products. This attention to detail helps them keep their products high-quality and highly rated by happy customers.

Aqueon also partners with the organization Pets in the Classroom, a grant for classroom teachers to keep fish in their classes to teach kids about fish and the responsibilities of pet ownership.

The QuietFlow Pro power filter uses Aqueon’s special filter pads to maintain mechanical, chemical and biological filtration for a wide range of gallon sizes. With an easy to read LED filter indicator, you’ll always know when it’s time for a change.

Pros
Four stage advanced filtration system
Self-priming and automatic start
LED indicator monitors water levels
Water circulation maintained by certified flow rates
No difficult to maintain wheel
Internal pump won’t leak or be noisy
Bio-pin wet/dry technology
Lifetime warranty

Cons
Included filter may not last long
The QuietFlow uses advanced technology to remove toxins while adding oxygen which is great for keeping happy, healthy fish.

Tetra Whisper EX Silent Multi-Stage Power Filter

Key Specs Overview:

  1. Tank capacity from 45 to 70 gallons
  2. Pump output of 340 gallons per hour

This is the second Tetra product we’re including because we feel so comfortable with this trustworthy brand. Tetra’s expert fish enthusiasts have helped develop products that are high performing but still great for anyone from beginner to professional hobbyists.

The Whisper EX is an intuitive filtration system that uses a power filter which is perfect for medium to large tanks. Maximized outflow and continuous flushing are just some of the special features you’ll love on this power filter.

Pros
Uses time strip technology to alert you to filter changes
Filter cartridge carrier is clean and drip-free
Bio-scrubber to remove toxins
Multi-stage filtration uses different floss densities
Maximum oxygenation
Can work in 3-4 inches of water for turtle tanks
3 year warranty

Cons
Filter may be loud
Your fish and turtles will swim happy with this amazing power water filter!

Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter

Key Specs Overview:

  1. Tank capacity from 30 to 35 gallons
  2. Pump output of 150 gallons per hour

Penn Plax is another company that makes such high-quality products, we’ve included more than one on our list! This trustworthy family owned business cares about our pets as much as we do.

Their Cascade hang-on aquarium filter uses a bio-falls quad filtration system that’s revolutionary when it comes to maintaining balance in your tank or terrarium.

Pros
Uses activated carbon cartridge to remove toxins
Internal sponge for beneficial anaerobic bacteria
Adjustable flow rate
Freshwater and saltwater approved
Adjustable intake tube
3 year warranty
Works quietly

Cons
Included cartridges aren’t very effective
If you’re looking for a hang-on water filter, this is versatile and a great deal!

Marina Power Filter

Key Specs Overview:
Tank capacity up to 10 gallons
Pump output of 92 gallons per hour

Marina brand products are owned by Hagen, a family company known for their love of animals. Their products are great for everyday users and are sure to improve your pet’s quality of life.
The power filter is great for small tanks and its aesthetic design won’t detract from the beauty of your aquarium.

Pros
Space-saving design
Self-priming
Easy to setup and maintain
Adjustable flow control
Includes bio-carb and bio-clear filter cartridges
Submerged motor is quiet but effective
Easy to customize

Cons
Sponge covered plastic piece may dislodge
For a healthier aquarium at a great price, this is a perfect product!

NO.17 Submersible Aquarium Internal Filter

Key Specs Overview:

  1. Tank capacity from 10 to 50 gallons
  2. Pump output of 200 gallons per hour

This submersible internal aquarium filter is so versatile it can be attached horizontally or vertically to best suit your tank design. The fantastic micro bubbles help keep your tank cleaner, longer.

Pros
Three stage filter with reusable media
Quiet operation
Adjustable flow rate
8 watts
180 day warranty
Compact design

Cons
Attachments do not greatly increase flow rates
Since it small it can’t grow much good bacteria
This compact unit is a great price with so much functionality, you’ll be happy to use it in your small to medium tanks or aquariums.

amzdeal Water Pump Aquarium

Key Specs Overview:

  1. Tank capacity up to 55 gallons
  2. Pump output of 400 gallons per hour

Amzdeal has a lot of products we love for our pets. They understand that pet-owners want access to affordable but good quality products to make our pet’s lives happier and healthier.

Their aquarium water pump and filter is high-powered for bigger aquariums and ponds but still works great with medium aquariums, making it the perfect versatile power filter.

Pros
Made of high quality, ABS plastic
Completely submersible for quiet functionality
Multiple water outlets
Flow control
High discharge height
Two filters prevent blockage while improving circulation
Easy to clean

Cons
Too powerful for small tanks
Instructions are confusing
You’ll be glad you bought this powerful filter for your pond or larger tank!

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