What is successful fish keeping? Basically, it’s maintaining the aquarium. Always make sure the fish tank water is ever clean; that seems easy, right? Perhaps, it is not that simple as you may imagine. Can you do it yourself easily? The answer is no. you simply require a great fish tank equipment applied.
What you need is literally a great tank filtration system. Keeping the water in the tank in the highest quality is obviously your primary role.
You will be wrong if you think that the purpose of a filter is to only clean the fish waste. Ideally, it filters chemicals out that might harm fish as well as keep water with necessary bacteria for your fish to thrive in.
Generally, you need a tank filter that has a 3-way filtration system. That means the best fish tank filter is one that filters mechanically, biologically, and chemically.
- Mechanical function- removal of excess waste, food, dust particles, and visible debris.
- Biological function- removal of the ammonia gas excreted by fish as it is toxic.
- Chemical function- since water comes from various sources, it may contain metals that may be harmful to fish-mechanical system removes all these impurities from water.
Choosing the best fish tank filter can be overwhelming as there is a plethora of them in the market. To save you time and money here are top aquarium filters to take your filtration to next level. Simply, they are splendid.
Best Fish Tank Filters – Top Products
Fluvial FX6 Canister Filter
A fluvial FX6 canister filter is a real workhorse. It simply makes fishkeeping easier. Its capacity allows re-circulation and processing of almost 563 GPH-flow rates. Its filtration mechanism offers chemical, mechanical, and biological filtration allowing your fish a healthy environment always.
It is very easy to set up and has an improved motor technology that provides great performance and consumes less electricity by 10%.
Very easy to maintain-has an indicator dial that will tell you the last time you did a maintenance practice. It is dependable and durable hence you can count on it for a long period of time.
It is very quiet while in use and offers a self-priming pump of several filtration stages that clear all waste in the aquarium.
- Automated air evacuation
- Effortless maintenance
- Clog-proof and high efficiency
- Quiet operation
- Long warranty
- Adjustable nuzzles
- Durable and long lasting
- 6-stage filtration
- Somehow expensive
- Ribbed hosing and corrugated pipes make cleaning to some level difficult
Penn Plax cascade canister
Penn Plax cascade canister can clean 100 gallons effortlessly with a speed of 265GPH. For instance, it has a 3-stage cleaning process-biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration.
It delivers powerful performance continuously- don’t mind the time. Thus, it guarantees crystal-clear water for both fresh and marine aquariums.
Has a coarse sponge that effectively removes waste as well as excess food in your fish tank. The entire system is built such that it’s sturdy and strong ensuring a long time working condition.
Another feature is that it runs very quietly. Even if it’s in your bedroom, you won’t be bothered by any noise.
It is also easy to install and as well as easy to use as it only applies easy and quick self-primer push-button. It offers independent rotating valve caps at 360 degrees.
Its value is also good and when compared to the other canisters the price is relatively low.
- Easy to install
- Quiet operation
- Powerful performance
- More power required
- Small media trays
Aquaclear 30 Power Filter 110
For aquariums of around 30 gallons, Aquaclear 30 power filter 110 is a great option for them. It is efficient, reliable, quiet, and affordable.
They offer a hat-trick of filtration options- chemical, mechanical and biological. They use a multi-stage system of filtration.
Has an amazing flow rate to keep the aquarium fresh and clean-500 GPH.
Its design allows 6 times volume filtration and also a longer media to water contact. It is the best hang on the back filter you can find it on the market.
It employs a flow control technique that helps to reduce water flowing effect. This makes sure the impellers aren’t in any way harmed.
It is a lightweight type which is easily installed as well as has an effortless maintenance. It has a removable motor that makes cleaning even easier.
If you have to compare the price to quality ratio, you will be amazed to find out that it is absolutely good.
You also get a 2-year warranty so you don’t have to worry about its quality-the manufacturer trusts it already.
- Excellent flow rate
- When the flow is up, it can be noisy.
- Not good for 240v usage
- Clogs for slow flows
Marineland Magnaflow Canister
Aquariums with a maximum capacity of 70 gallons, Marineland Magnaflow canister works perfectly for them. It has a 350 GPH certified flowrate and uses 2 Rite-size cartridges which increases its performance.
Also, it offers a 3-stage filtration system-mechanical, chemical, and biological. It gives absolutely no water leaks as it comes with a watertight seal.
This makes is suitable for both saltwater and fresh aquariums. Its filtration system has 2 BIO-wheels which increase efficiency for an excellent biological filtration.
By beginners, it is the best as it is easily adaptable. Besides, it is affordable, durable, and an efficient performance.
Based on design, Marineland is very portable, attractive, and light in weight. It has got a solid construction that you don’t have to worry about durability.
If you won’t mind, you can pace it in your bedroom as it runs fairly silently.
- Has to be primed manually
- Not study
- Can’t adjust the flow
Eheim Classic External Filter
Eheim classic eternal filter solves all your worries of a possible leakage. Also, it has a permo-elastic sealing ring made of silicon that fully seals the product. It is also easier to increase its working capabilities as it has filter sponges and other media.
This filter is ideal for the marine and freshwater aquarium. They have low power consumption. It suits aquariums of not more than 350 liters and has a flow rate of 650GPH.
- It works quietly with high efficiency and a high service life.
- Unlike other filters, it requires little maintenance.
- It doesn’t have a bypass to mean all debris goes through the media, hence super clean water.
- It is simple to operate and it is durable.
- No self-priming
- Doesn’t include activated carbon
- Instructions not clear
Fluvial External Filter 406
Fluvial external filter 406 if great for both marine and freshwater aquariums. It is perfect for aquariums that have a capacity of not more than 1500 liters with a productivity of 3500 l per hour and flowrate of 563GPH.
Their power consumption rate is low-10% less electricity. In case you forget on the maintenance, it has a monthly maintenance indicator.
Also, it has an automatic start system as well as an aqua stop water system. The multi-stage filtration ensures water purity.
It has a water intake chamber that you will always rely upon-it won’t let you down. It comes with a 2-year warranty indicating that manufacturers trust this product and so should you.
- It is quick and easy to clean. Besides, you can adjust the flow and runs quietly.
- Rather heavy
- Shaky output nozzle
Tetra Whisper Power Filter
Designed perfectly for aquariums of up to 60-gallon. Uses whisper bio-bag cartridges. It as well offers a hat-trick of filtration system that includes mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. Has a filtration design that is unique in that it has 3-in-1 filters that leave your fish healthier due to the resulting clean water.
- It is easy to maintain and clean
- Its durable, affordable, and it works just great.
- It also has an air pump and 2 feet airline tubing.
- It is lightweight as well.
- Flowrate isn’t fast enough
- If can’t clean the filter often, the motor can get noisy
Hydor Professional External Canister Filter
Hydor, a reputable company has produced one of their best filters. This is an efficient aquarium filter having porous bio rings and filter wool to provide a great mechanical filtration.
It is perfect for both freshwater and marine aquariums. It is easy to use and if you are a beginner you have nothing to worry about as it is easy to set up as well.
In addition, it is quiet and comes with latest technological advancements. It also provides 3-filtration systems-chemical, biological, and mechanical filtration.
They come in different models and can fit any tank size within the range of 20-150 gallons. Hydor professional also has a very easy priming system which makes starting up really great.
Its rectangular shape facilitates an efficient filtering process. It has ball-valve connections that reduced back pressure and also help to adjust the water flow.
- Finding replacements can be hard as it is a new filter in the market.
- Moderately expensive
- Can spill water out when not careful
SunSun Aquarium External Canister Filter
SunSun canister is ideal for both saltwater and freshwater. The unit is made up of plastic that is very durable making it last for long.
Moreover, it has a flow rate of 265GPH keeping the aquarium clean. You can easily install it and cleaning is easy as well. In addition, it is very quiet. It features also a shut-off valve which closes conveniently. This fish tank filter has no manual siphoning as it has a self-priming pump.
It uses 3-stage filtering system. It has a UV sterilizer included in the kit that kills algae spore and the bacteria.
- Got some issues with the filter motors
- Leaks after some time from hoses
Ehm Fltr 2217 classic Wm
Ehm Fltr 2217 classic is suitable for tanks with no more than 159 gallons of either salt or freshwater. It has a flow rate of 264GPH sufficient to sanitize and clean the water.
It offers a hat-trick of filtration possibilities-chemical, mechanical, and biological filtration, they also include an adsorptive-filtration process. Its pump and motor run efficiently with minimum service required.
It also comes with carbon pads and it is a reliable power consumption type of filter. It is easy to maintain and set up.
- Spraying capabilities lost after a while
- Made of plastic that looks fragile
Best Fish Tank Filter Buying Guide
As you may have noticed, there are several types of aquarium filters that you can choose from. Not all of them have the same features that you are looking for, and, therefore, there are different variables you should consider so as to get the best filter.
Here are things that should determine the choice you make.
Size of Your Aquarium
The best filter is one that fits perfectly all your requirements. Filters have guidelines on the size of the tank they suit. Once you know the size, your decision will be easier.
The flow rate is measured in GPH (gallons per hour). Choose a filter that fills the tank faster. Chose a filter that will handle with ease the volume of the tank you have. The rate should also be suitable for that species of fish you are keeping.
A filter that will leave behind some ammonia or other toxins that are excreted is not ideal. If you go for a filter that is small compared to your fish population, more ammonia and toxins will accumulate unsafe for fish.
Choose one with the right technology for your situation. One with various features is always considered to be the best but then you should be sure that the features are helpful.
Installation and Maintenance
If you can’t be able to set up the filter by yourself then consider another. Maintenance is as well important as you will want your filter to last longer. It should also be one that you can easily operate with.
Whenever the manufacturer trusts its own product, it means it is a good product. At least a filter should have a warranty of one year.
All the fish tank filters aforementioned will ensure a healthy and crystal clear aquarium. We recommend highly the fluvial FX6 aquarium canister filter simply because of its high performance across all features from a 6-stage filtration system, through an automated air evacuation to the long warranty. Also, depending on your requirements, a Penn Plax cascade filter can do the trick really well.
Above all, it doesn’t depend on the tank size or fish species you have- a filter is a must. You ignore a filter be sure of several problems. There is every reason to maintain and keep clean your aquarium and no other best possible way to do it than through a filter. Take your time and choose one that you’re your needs and enjoy the environment of a clean aquarium next to your bed.