5 Best Filter for Aquarium – Medium and Large Tanks

Last updated on December 24th, 2022 at 11:04 am

There are many various parts to any aquarium, but one of the significant components of any aquarium is its filter. You need the possible best filter for the aquarium to provide a secure and clean home for your underwater friends.

An aquarium must be kept clean. Every aquarium needs some filtration system. Having the best aquarium filter is the standard method of keeping your water clean. These days finding the proper filter is not easy as there are not one filter suits all. The right one for you will depend upon various factors, like fish species, tank size, and water flow.

This article will explain the best filter for an aquarium and what basic information you ought to know before buying one. We have also selected a few most suitable aquarium filters for you.

Editor Pick Best Filter for Aquarium

1) MarineLand Penguin 100 Power Filter

MarineLand Penguin 100 Power Filter

Key Features:

  • ASIN: B0007ZS230
  • Dimensions: 13.97 x 13.97 x 20.32 cm
  • Pet Life Stage: All ranges
  • Flavor: Flavorless
  • Color: Black
  • Size: 10-20 Gallon, 100 GPH
  • Weight: 748 g

For medium-range tanks that go from 50 to 75 gallons, you would like to get the Marineland Penguin. This filter is a bio-wheel hang-on back filter that is great for mid-range sized tanks. These filters require a bit more installation work, but it still takes only minutes to line up. The maintenance may be more than the other filters because the bio-wheels sometimes can stop and needs to be reset, but that only takes a minute.

The bio-wheel filters take more room than your standard hang-on back filters as they adjust for the wheel, but it is not much larger. The bio-wheel is meant for optimal tank cycling allows beneficial bacteria to reintroduce into your tank.

These filters are great at removing small particles, but larger ones will gather at the intake hose, requiring you to eliminate them manually. The activated charcoal inside the filtration system will keep harmful chemicals from endangering your fish. These filters rotate water around the bio-wheel and you can hear more water trickle than others. 

The convenience of found out, maintenance, and use are incredible. If you are a replacement hobbyist or simply upgrading your tank, this is the best filter for an aquarium. The only tricky part will be placing the bio-wheel with the lid on top.

However, once placed and running, you will see that the cover and entire filter are incredibly secure and effective. The intake tube is ideal for water circulation. So, the bio-wheel provides you with mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration, which will keep your tank looking clean and clear.

1. It is highly recommended for medium-range tank sizes.
2. The multi-stage filtration process is very practical.
3. It is virtually undetectable.
4. Reintroduction of beneficial bacteria
1. The filtration motor is a bit noisy.

2) Tetra Whisper EX 70 Filter for 45 to 70 Gallon Aquariums

Tetra Whisper EX 70 Filter For 45 To 70 Gallon aquariums, Silent Multi-Stage Filtration

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 16.03 x 32.72 x 24.13 cm
  • Pet Life Stage: All ranges
  • Flavor: Flavorless
  • Color: Black
  • Size: 45-70 Gallons
  • Weight: 1.1 kg

The Tetra Whisper EX 70 filter is a good choice for low maintenance fish aquariums. It is designed for quiet filtration and ideal cycling of freshwater tanks, and this filter may be an excellent choice for your seafood. A hang-on back filter needs little or no effort to put in.

Additionally, the maintenance is minimal as you got to clean it once monthly. The media inside this filtration system will permit beneficial bacteria to grow and distribute throughout your tank during cycling.

The porous filter inside the system will get rid of even the littlest particles from the water. 

As with different water qualities from various sources, the activated charcoal during this filter eliminates any impurities from the water, creating a secure environment for your fish. There is a water trickle that you will hear with this filter, but it is not very loud or disturbing. In respect of the size of your tank, Tetra Whisper is excellent for range from 30 gallons of water up to 70 gallons. 

If you are a beginner hobbyist or an experienced one, you will love the convenience of use of this aquarium filter. The design is tranquil and ensures that you will have clean and clear water in the least times from the two filter cartridges inside. This filter will give convenience in mind from the innovative use of Timestrip technology to the patented carbon filter cartridges.

1. A valuable asset for small to medium range tank sizes.
2. Ultra-simplistic and low maintenance filter
3. Space-saving design is actually working.
4. Best for every type of water condition due to the use of carbon filters.
1. Sometimes starts humming and produces weird sounds.

3) Fluval FX6 High-Performance Canister Filter

Fluval FX6 High Performance Canister Filter

Key Features:

  • ASIN: B00BJQ50HC
  • Dimensions: 38.35 x 39.62 x 52.58 cm
  • Pet Life Stage: All ranges
  • Flavor: Flavorless
  • Color: Black
  • Size: 1500L
  • Weight: 9.03 kg

The Fluval FX6 Filter is the high performance canister option. This filter comes in a range of sizes and prices that make it ideal for any fish hobbyist to enjoy their tank with ease. The push primer makes it easy to install. The valves allow you to get rid of the canister while leaving tubing inside the tank for straightforward cleaning. As a canister filter, it does require more room than most other sorts of filters.

This filter comes with various stages. The sponge inside the filter is suitable for beneficial bacterial growth. The carbon layer is right for chemical filtration because it contains enough carbon to eliminate toxins from the water.

Fluval FX6 filter is impressive for a bundle of reasons. The multi-stage filtration process allows you to feature multiple sorts of particles for clear water and cleanliness. You will be ready to adjust the water flow to your preference. The spray bar that you place inside the tank is suitable for optimal water dispersion. This canister filter is right for maintaining, and it features a stackable filtration tray.

Additionally, there is an air-tight seal that will leave proper flow in operating. The waste matter will suspend so you can get nothing but clear water. As a bonus, it is self-starting; add water and switch it on.

1. Deeply suggested for large tanks and messy fishes.
2. It has flow rate valves with adjustable water flow.
3. Wide range of readymade filter
4. Ultra-quiet in operating
1. An expensive product with high performance.

4) RC Hagen A595 AquaClear 20 Power Filter

RC Hagen A595 AquaClear 20 Power Filter

Key Features:

  • ASIN: B000260FVG
  • Dimensions: 11.43 x 17.78 x 16.51 cm
  • Pet Life Stage: All ranges
  • Flavor: Flavorless
  • Color: Black
  • Size: 1500L
  • Weight: 635 g

The AquaClear is the one of best filters for aquarium out there when it involves hanging on back filters. The AquaClear filter is straightforward to put in though it has many parts than some filters. Maintenance is minimal but has more components to wash. Depending on the dimensions you would like, this filter ranges from $80 to $130. Containing Biomax Ceramic Rings, this filter is excellent for biological filtration.

Additionally, the surface of the sponge is right for beneficial bacteria. The insert foam that comes with this filter is ideal for capturing small particles in the water. This filtration system’s middle layer is formed from a pouch of activated charcoal. It ensures each harmful chemical far away from your tank as they filter through the carbon layer. This filter is so quiet you will barely notice it running aside from the trickle of water. 

You will use this filter with live plants and smaller fish. The filtration media should get replaced every two months for optimal operation. If you would like a filter that is powerful enough for goldfish, this filter is excellent. The water flows alongside the amount of GPH (gallons per hour) that get filtered through will help stay your tank optimal. 

Overall, this filter is right for any tank size and any fish breed. This filter is straightforward to wash from the surface through the impeller.

1. Recommended for small to medium range tank up to 20 gallons.
2. Filtration volume is up to 7 times larger than comparable filters.
3. It offers a 2-year warranty.
4. Quick and easy installation
1. It has a noisy impeller.

5) Penn-Plax Cascade Aquarium Filter With Quad Filtration System

Penn-Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter with Quad Filtration System

Key Features:

  • ASIN: B0002DJ82G
  • Dimensions: 9 x 6.5 x 11 inches
  • Pet Life Stage: All ranges
  • Flavor: Flavorless
  • Color: Black
  • Size: 100 gallons
  • Weight: 4.96 Ounces

Penn-Plax Cascade Aquarium Filter is also a hang on aquarium filter. It normally delivers 300 gallons per hour of crystal clear water for fresh or marine aquariums ranges from 55 to 100 gallons in size. The Revolutionary Bio-Falls Quad-Filtration removes the extra ammonia and nitrite and offers maximum oxygenation.

Each Cascade filter has automatic features, such as a self-leveling system, adjustable flow rate, and adjustable intake tube length. They are ready to go, right out of the box; setup takes just a few minutes. The adjustable flow knob allows you to scale back filtration during feeding times or as required. This aquarium filter is suggested for both freshwater and saltwater tanks. 

An activated carbon cartridge removes the harmful chemicals, toxins, odors, discoloration, and other contaminants from your aquarium. Internal sponge optimizes colonization of beneficial anaerobic bacteria and is independent of the first stage filter media. Poly fiber floss cartridge traps the floating particulate to make it the best filter for an aquarium. The water flow is favorable for Betta macrostoma, fantail goldfish, and lots of other medium size fishes.

Additionally, the Penn-Plax Cascade filter is often used with a fine filter floss to achieve maximum stage filtration. 

1. Use for large range tank up to 100 gallons.
2. Filtration volume is 300 gallons per hour.
3. It offers a very quiet operation.
4. Good build quality and value for money
5. Expect it to filter up to 150 GPH
1. You cannot use it dry during filtration
2. Not fit for live plants

Types of Aquarium Filters Available in the Market

There are several different aquarium filters available in the market to keep your fishes safe. Every filter has its good and bad points. However, you would like to remember the following factors to choose the right option to fulfill your requirements.

Air Driven or Sponge Filters:

There is some standard basic setup of a filter in the market. Filters don’t do much when it involves chemical, biological, and mechanical filtration. Air-driven filters are best for breeding tanks or a tank that has small fish. The sponge/air-driven filter works on a vacuum pump where the water pulls through the sponge material. The sponge itself is beneficial for surviving helpful bacteria in mechanical filtration.

Hang on Back Power Filters: 

The most common filter you’ll see is that the hang-on back power filters. They fit on your aquarium by hanging over the rear of your tank. They filter the water through a suction tube inside the aquarium and push the water through a filter pad. Most of those filters bring a filter pad that’s jammed with activated charcoal to get rid of harmful toxins from the water. Inside the filter, beneficial bacteria have a perfect area to grow. Therefore, you can add these bacteria to your water, making it a healthy and vital environment for your fishes. Some of the newer hang-on back power filters accompany a bio-wheel with a specialized biological filter.

Canister Filters:

Canister filters are often getting used by fish hobbyists. These filters are great that are 40 gallon fish tanks or large. These filters are among the simplest for mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration due to how large they’re compared to hold on back (HOB) power filters. 

Canister filters have a siphon tube and a versatile pipe that goes from the filter to the tank. The water goes up through the filter then spreads out back to the tank employing a water bar. It is the best filter for aquariums once you have cichlid, live plants, or large fishes. The filtration process is making for better mechanical filtration by forcing the water through a fine mesh. Biological filtration is completed through oxygen that’s skimming the water. 

Under Gravel Filters:

You can place gravel filters under your substrate. They pull water up through uplift tubes. There are two ways in which the water travels up through the under gravel filter. 

  1. One is by an air stone and vacuum pump that matches the highest tube and pumps the water around the tank. 
  2. The second is through a strong pump that sits on top and sucks the water up. 

You can get mechanical filtration when the water passes through gravel. However, biological filtration can only happen if the water is passing over the substrate. Chemical filtration doesn’t happen with this kind of filter.

Internal Filters:

These compact filters are great for Nano tanks, like 5 gallon tanks. They’re stuck to the within of the glass using suction cups. Most people use them by placing them at the rock bottom to stop dirt from building up. There are internal filters that possess a vacuum pump with an airline that’s connected to the filter. This connection will allow water to maneuver through the filter easily. The air bubbles pop up at the surface of the water, and you can get good mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration.

Wet/Dry Filters:

Experienced tank owners still employ Wet/Dry filters, although these are not as common as other filters. You are more likely to find them in saltwater tanks. These filters are great for biological filtration because being exposed to both water and air helps discover an outsized gathering of beneficial bacteria and eliminates waste. 

Dry filters are more rigid because you need a reservoir to carry water and assist the water run to the pump. Chemical filtration happens once you place a chemical media within the filter. However, mechanical filtration is extremely limited.

Fluidized Bed Filters:

A fluidized Bed filter will mount on the rear of your tank, and it pumps water into it. Then water will transport through a pile of granules. These granules can contain plastic, sand, or silica chips. It works similarly to a sand pool filter. Fluidized Strip Filters require that you purchase a pump separately to suck the water into the filter. Most of those filters don’t come with the pump. Biological filtration occurs when beneficial bacteria grow on the surface of particles that are suspended. Chemical filtration with this sort of unit isn’t ideal, and mechanical filtration is merely semi-good.

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Basic Roles of the Filter

You might be wondering what role your aquarium filter plays in your aquarium. There are three primary functions that the best filter for an aquarium will

do. These primary functions are Biological filtration, Mechanical filtration, and Chemical filtration. Each plays a particular role that helps provide your fish with the safe home they deserve.

Biological Filtration:

The biological role of a filter is to eliminate waste from your tank. As fishes swim, they’re constantly producing waste which will quickly dirty your tank and make it uninhabitable. How the simplest aquarium filter conducts biological filtration converts your fishes’ waste into a less toxic substance to all fishes.

Mechanical Filtration: 

The mechanical aspect of a filter is to get rid of particles from the water. Mechanical filtration is straining the water to catch any of those free-floating particles that decrease the cleanliness of your tank. The filter features a sponge-like pad inside it which will catch the particles and eliminate them from the tank and gravel.

Chemical Filtration:

Chemically, the filter helps eliminate harmful impurities from the water, which will seriously harm and even kill your fishes. Activated filter carbon is in most filters, and it removes the chemicals within the water that are dangerous to fish. Since the tank isn’t free-flowing water, the filter will work to keep it from stagnation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Filter for Messy Fish? 

If you’ve got cichlid or platy fish, you recognize that they’re very messy fish. You would like to make sure that your filter will have a fine porous media inside the filter for these fish species. Choose to add additional filter cartridges. For that, your best choice should be a hang-on back filter.

What Filter is Right for Nano Fish? 

When you are handling tiny fishes, you would like a filter that doesn’t have an outsized suction or flow involved. The best filter for small fishes goes to be an indoor filter or a canister filter if you’ve got a large tank.

Is It Alright to Possess Two Filters in One Tank? 

If you select the proper filter according to our expert opinion mentioned above, there is no need to plant two filters in your aquarium. However, there aren’t any rules against having only one.

What Filter Is Best for Planted Tanks? 

Most filters work well for planted tanks. Most of those listed above are often used with live plants to be ideal for filtration and flow. Specifically, you should choose a filter that features a gentle flow and outstanding mechanical filtration to eliminate particles from the water without harming plants.

How Often Do You Have to Clean Your Filter? 

When you will experience any performance issue, notice that the filter is a clog. Therefore, you should wash your filter a minimum of once every week. However, for giant tank filters, you’ll probably clean them every 3rd week.

Final Words 

In our expert opinion, the listed above are the best filter for aquariums on the marketplace for any situation or size of tank you’ll have. Therefore, if you’re on the market for an aquarium filter, find out which one is right for your situation and make a safe and friendly environment for your fish’s love.

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