Top Rated Fish Tank Filter List in 2020 + Buying Guide
If you don’t have any time to waste, but you still need to learn fast about the best fish tank filters, here is what you need to know. Dr. Fox highly recommends the KEDSUM 4.8W 25GPH as the product with the most positive feedback from fish owners. This 3-in-1 filter helps to oxygenate the water in your tank and contributes to removing oil film, too. Its quiet operation is another great plus. The water flow can be adjusted, as well. Should the KEDSUM 4.8W 70GPH be out of stock, Dr. Fox advises you to purchase the Tetra Whisper In-Tank, as a second alternative.
Our Top Choice
5 Best Fish Tank Filters (Reviews) in 2020
1. Kedsum 4.8W 25GPH Submersible Aquarium Filter 3-in-1
The KEDSUM 4.8W 70GPH is an excellent choice if you are searching for more than just a simple filter. Its 3-in-1 functionality ensures that the water in your fish tank is filtered, properly aerated to get the necessary oxygen for the fish, and also cleared of oil-film caused by food, to ensure proper living conditions for Oscar fish but not only.
The cotton filter installed on this model is quick to action, which means that you will not have to wait for a long time for it to clear the water. One thing that must be noticed about this model is its cascade flow design that helps with quick water oxygenation. Also, the filter will look great in your aquarium and will add to the overall appeal of the landscape for your fish.
You will appreciate its quiet operation. The maximum flow rate that can be achieved is 70GPH, and you can adjust it using the supplied valve to ensure that the water flow is ideal for your tank.
This 3-in-1 filtration system is perfect for anyone who is looking to maximize their investment when purchasing a filter for their tank at home.
The water in the reservoir will be not only clean but also adequately oxygenated, as this model increases the amount of dissolved oxygen, due to its free cascade design.
A nice thing about this filter is that it can be used as a landscape decoration, due to its beautiful design.
The water is purified in three stages, each of them ensuring that no harmful elements and bacteria will remain to make your fish sick.
The filter will not vibrate during operation, and it produces very little noise, so you will not be disturbed in any way.
Some buyers mention that the wording in the instructions is difficult to understand and that you will need to figure out things on your own.
2. Tetra 25817 Whisper In Tank Filter with BioScrubber
You can use this model successfully for aquariums up to 20 gallons. Providing reliable 3-stage filtration, this filter is dependable, and you can rest assured that your fish will enjoy the best conditions possible. One of the most important aspects to appreciate about this filter is ease of mounting.
The filter can be mounted on the inside, which means that you will be able to place your tank against a wall without a problem. This simple detail makes this model more convenient than other filters available for sale, and this convenience contributes to its overall appeal. The filter is very quiet, as the motor remains immersed in water.
You should not worry that performance is affected in any way. The Tetra Whisper In-Tank is as efficient as any external filter, and the bacteria resulting from fish food disintegrating in the water will be properly handled.
The Tetra Whisper In-Tank is a convenient choice since you can place it inside the tank, mounting it quickly on a wall; this allows you to install your tank flush against a wall.
The model deserves its name, as its immersed motor will make very little noise, and you will not be bothered by its operation.
An important aspect of this filter is that it can work in water depths of minimum 2 inches, which makes it the ideal choice for turtle tanks.
You can either use the suction cups or the bracket for mounting the filter.
The Whisper Bio-Bag cartridge comes pre-assembled, so there will be no effort required on your part.
You must keep in mind to clean the filter frequently, especially if you are using it for a turtle tank, or its motor will burn out, as pointed out by some reviewers.
3. Aqua Clear Fish Tank Filter 5 to 20 Gallons
One aspect that may interest people who own fish tanks is low operating costs for the filters they install. The AquaClear Power Filter takes care of such issues, and it offers you the possibility to save up some money in the long run. Another thing that you will surely appreciate about this filter is that it is easy to install.
The filter excels in filtrating large volumes or water, and, according to the specs, when compared to similar models on the market, this one manages to filter seven times more water. Superior filtration is ensured by a complex system. The AquaClear Foam provides one level of filtration, while the Activated Carbon layer further filters the water.
The BioMax and Cycle Guard features are there for making sure to eliminate harmful bacteria from the water. For aquariums that can hold up to 20 gallons of water, this filter is the ideal choice.
You will love that this filter is not noisy at all, and no one’s sleep will be disturbed by it.
The complex filtration system ensures that your fish will get proper living conditions, and even the bacteria will be taken care of.
One thing to bear in mind is that this model deals only with harmful bacteria and its original CycleGuard feature makes sure that the beneficial bacteria are not eliminated from the water.
Filtration volume is superior on this particular filter, and the manufacturer says that it can filtrate seven times more water than similar models on the market.
You can save up money, as its operating costs are very low.
Some buyers report that the top of the intake pipe tends to overflow.
There is little to no control over the water flow, and that is seen as an issue by some customers who bought the product.
4. Penn Plax Cascade CCF3UL Canister Filter
This option has 4 media baskets and a flow rate of 265 gallons per hour and that makes it a great choice to use in aquariums that have a capacity of up to 100 gallons. The flow valves rotate 360 degrees for easy maneuvering in small aquarium cabinets. The large-capacity media baskets let the owners customize their media needs.
The filter can use any combination of media and included in the package you will find a floss pad for removing particulate matter and a coarse sponge to remove ammonia and nitrites. Setting up the unit is also very easy since the push button primer allows for quick and easy setup that even novice users won’t have a problem using.
What’s more, the Penn Plax tank filter comes with all the necessary items so that you can start using your new purchase right away without having to spend more money or time searching for missing accessories.
It comes equipped with all the necessary accessories including the quick-disconnect tubing connectors that can be used to control the filter’s flow rate.
You don’t need to worry that the product will disturb you while it is in use since customers have reported it works very silently and that they could barely hear it running.
Compared to other brands this option is available at a very low price and it offers good value, making it ideal for anyone who’s looking for a budget fish tank filter with premium features.
It has a sturdy tip-proof base and that makes it very difficult for the product to be knocked over accidentally.
The extra-large media basket will let buyers customize their media needs depending on what the filter will be used for.
The priming is the main issue with this option since you might need to work a little to get it going.
5. No17 Submersible Aquarium Internal Filter
If you’re looking for a discreet internal filter for your fish tank, this option can create a clean and fresh living environment for your aquatic pets living in aquariums that are 10 to 50 gallons. This option can work perfectly for both small and large aquariums thanks to the 200 gallons per hour adjustable water pump.
The pump is designed for reliability and the 8W motor is very efficient and quiet. It is so silent that you won’t even be able to hear it running but you will instantly notice the results as the water in your aquarium will look better than ever.
Included in the package are two nozzles of choice for cleaning your aquarium. Furthermore, the filter has multiple filter media that can meet all filtration purposes. Thus, whether you’re looking to buy a filter for your fish or turtle, your favorite pet will have a clean and healthy habitat to call home.
It is a powerful filter with an adjustable flow rate of 200 gallons per hour but it manages to operate quietly so that it does not disturb you while it keeps your aquarium clean.
This motorized filter lets you choose from multiple filter media, and that lets you create the perfect environment for most aquatic creatures.
Since this is an adjustable filter, you can use it for most tanks that have a size of 10 to 50 gallons.
The product comes with a warranty period of 180 days in which if any problem arises, you are guaranteed free maintenance or replacement of the unit.
The power cord has a length of 5.25 feet which should be more than enough for it to find its way to the nearest power outlet without the need of an extension cord.
The filter needs a few more suction cups since bigger pets such as turtles can easily move it around.
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
Fish need a healthy environment to thrive, and that is why fish owners need to know how to purchase the best fish tank filter system available. We can help you reduce the time required for researching the various models available so that you can make an informed decision. The following recommendations will increase your chances to purchase a filter that will keep your tank clean and your fish happy.
The primary functions of a filter
One of the most important aspects to learn about when shopping for a filter is what functions it must serve. First, a filter must have a biological function and address the accumulation of ammonia in the water, something that happens naturally, due to the fish eliminating this substance from their gills. When there is too much ammonia present, fish may even die through suffocation.
A chemical function is essential for a clean tank because the water used for aquariums can have hard metals and other noxious chemicals that will affect the fish’s well-being. Cleaning up all the impurities from the water will ensure that healthy environment your fish need.
Last, but not least, the mechanical function of a filter is designed to remove the debris resulted from the fish’s activity. The filter will aerate the water inside the tank and help to remove the debris, creating healthy conditions for your fish to thrive.
About water flow rate
If you read the specs on various models on the market, you will notice something called water flow rate. This value is measured in gallons per hour the unit can pump. What you should be looking for is a filter that comes with a higher rate of the water flow, as these models are more efficient in cleaning the water inside the tank.
Different brands offer different advantages, and one thing that varies from one unit to another is the water flow rate. Make sure to strike a right balance between pricing and reliable water flow rate so you can get the best filter for fish tank available.
One way of establishing which filter you need for your tank at home is to see the various filter types available. A type that is popular for small water tanks that you usually install at home is the air-driven type. This can easily be mounted inside the tank, and it can do a great job keeping your fish’s environment clean of debris.
Undergravel models are those that must be installed on the bottom of the tank. Their biological function is outstanding, as they help beneficial bacteria to break down the waste inside the reservoir, to clean the water clean.
Power filters are very popular, too, as they can be installed with ease and they excel in all the three primary functions of a filter. They can be hung on the back of the tank, and they also come with replaceable cartridges. The best fish tank filter reviews agree that this type is one of the most useful you can find.