5 Of The Best Aquarium Filters For Your Fish Tank

April 23, 2017

It is nice to have fish pets in your house. They add elegance to your interiors and improves the overall the ambiance of your property. Fortunately, it doesn't require you to spend that big to raise your marine ecosystem.

You just have to make sure that the water is always clean! Of course, you can achieve this by having the best aquarium filter!

Installing a water filtration system on your aquarium is quite essential. In fact, you will realize that this component can minimize the frequency of you cleaning the tank.

It is a great investment for those who don't have much time to spare on maintaining their aquarium.

In this article, we will be showing some of the best aquarium filtration systems in the market today just make sure that you will be able to spot which of them can benefit your setup!

Furthermore, you don't want to get a water filter that is not compatible with an aquarium, right? So what are you waiting for? Read on!


Best Aquarium Filters


Product Name


Our Rating

Fluval 406 External Filter

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

Fluval FX6 Canister Filter

EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter

AquaClear 110 Aquarium Power Filter

Aquarium Filter Buying Guide

If you want to get the right water filter system, then you have to know the key considerations in choosing one.

You should be aware that there is no such thing as "one size fits all" when it comes to aquarium filters. Therefore, we have listed some of the most important things that you have to pay attention with.

Size of your Aquarium

Before you buy an aquarium filter, you should determine the exact size of your water tank first. Otherwise, you will not be able to find a proper filtration system that could fit your setup.

After all, not all filters will work on any tanks. Some of them can deal with huge tanks while some are just for small aquarium sizes.

Once you can determine the size of your setup, you will be able to get the right filter for you. Manufacturers will always specify the ideal aquarium size for their product. As a result, the shopping process would become smooth and convenient.

Filtration Mechanism

Each of the aquarium filters nowadays is using various type of filtration. For example, some of these aquarium filters combine mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration to enhance their performance.

Of course, anyone would love to have a comprehensive filtration system. But they could add to the overall cost of the device. Therefore, you still have to weigh in your preferences, budget, and requirements.

Moreover, you have to be aware that some aquariums require specific types of filtration systems. Because of this fact, it is your responsibility to learn about the various types of water filters (e.g. canister and power filters).

Flow Rate

One of the most important considerations in choosing an aquarium filter is the flow rate. Specifically, this particular term indicates how fast the filter can process the aquarium water.

Ideally, you have to choose a water filter that has a high flow rate (gallons per hour). The latter can guarantee you that your fish tank is clean at all times. Moreover, it cuts down your power bills as well!

Availability of Filter Media

A good aquarium filter can accommodate various types of filter media. Specifically, the media enhances the performance of a water filter.

If your system can cater different media at the same time, you can guarantee that your fish tank will always be free from debris and other unwanted microorganisms.

Smooth Operation

You have to get an aquarium filter that operates silently and smoothly. Noise and vibration could potentially harm your marine life. Moreover, these two can pose a nuisance on your property, especially if your aquarium is in your living areas.

Of course, it would be great if you can get a filter that is easy to maintain and clean. Specifically, you have to choose a filter that has removable parts (including the interiors). In this way, you will be able to clean each component quickly!

We got all the important details covered. It is now the time to take a look at some of the top-rated aquarium filters nowadays! See them for yourself!

5 of the Best Aquarium Filters

1. Fluval 406 External Filter

Get it via Amazon .com

The Fluval 406 is one of the most powerful aquarium filters that we tested. Its filtering capabilities exceeded even its predecessors.

We love this water filter because of its compatibility to most aquarium sizes. Moreover, it could even work on saltwater and freshwater setups!

This device has a powerful motor that doesn't break even in high cleaning demands. Furthermore, this device utilizes multi-stage filtration technology to enhance its versatility and efficiency in cleaning.


  • Comes with a self-priming mechanism (you don't manually siphon the water)
  • Ideal for 100-gallon water tanks
  • ​Operates quietly and smoothly (it doesn't produce noticeable vibrations)
  • ​It has separate modules that enable you to clean this filter easily
  • Comes with AquaStop Valves and Lock Clamps for easier maintenance


  • Aligning the hoses inside the canister is quite difficult
  • Overall installation process requires time

2. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

Get it via Amazon .com

Here is another impressive aquarium filter that you should check out! The Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter is an excellent filtration system that can perform on both saltwater and freshwater setups.

Aside from its versatility, this filter is compatible with various types of aquarium sizes. However, we recommend that you should install this device to 200-gallon water tanks.

Meanwhile, the flow rate of this water filter is pretty decent as well. Specifically, it can process water at a rate of 350 gallons per hour. When it comes to maintenance, this machine won't give you a problem. All of its parts are easy to remove and replace!


  • It has a large tank, which means that it takes time before you would replace the filters
  • The quality of the materials used in this aquarium filter is sturdy and durable
  • Comes with mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration mediums
  • It has a self-priming mechanism
  • The valve caps can rotate 360 degrees for easier setup


  • Produces grinding and mechanical sounds while operating
  • This filter is not ideal if you have aquatic turtles

3. Fluval FX6 Canister Filter

Get it via Amazon .com

Fluval FX6 is a powerful aquarium filter. It uses multi-stage filtration mechanism that works with marine and freshwater aquariums.

This particular product features the Smart Pump Technology. This particular innovation enhances the performance and efficiency of the filters of this device.

There are two versions for the Fluval FX6. The first one works with 250-gallon water tanks while the other version is for 400-gallon aquariums.

It is one of the few aquarium filters that exhibits high capacity flow rate (563 gallons per hour). If you have a pretty large aquarium, this filter is an excellent choice!


  • Canister can process water at 563 gallons per hour
  • The specialized bearing reduce the vibration of the impeller
  • ​Comes with an electric board that monitors that performance of its pumps and impeller
  • Perfect for large aquariums
  • ​It has a purge valve that allows you to empty the canister for maintenance


  • It is quite expensive
  • You can bend the tubes at certain sharp angles

4. EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter

Get it via Amazon .com

Another good choice for an aquarium filter is the EHEIM Classic. We were certainly impressed when we tested this machine. It got a sealing ring on its pump so that you can easily secure it to the canister.

Moreover, it comes with multiple accessories for operation and installation. It comes with an inlet pipe, spray bar, and a hose.

Despite its size, the EHEIM Classic and work with 100-gallon aquariums. It is a high-capacity canister filter that is compatible with filter sponges and other types of media.


  • It has a loose filter media that improves its cleaning efficiency
  • Uses the combination of mechanical and biological filtration
  • Works on large water ecosystems
  • Immune to leakage, thanks to its silicon sealing ring
  • Installation is quite simple


  • Some parts are somehow flimsy
  • Doesn't have a self-priming mechanism

5 . AquaClear 110 Aquarium Power Filter

Get it via Amazon .com

It is undeniable that the AquaClear 110 is a small filter. But despite this, it can still surprise you with its powerful performance. As its name suggest, this aquarium filter is ideal for 110-gallon water tanks. Moreover, it has a flow rate of 500 gallons per hour, which is pretty astounding, indeed!

This particular machine is great if you are looking for a compact filter for your home. It can operate subtly as well because it doesn't produce noise and vibration.


  • It has a patented circulation grid that filters the water multiple times
  • You can reduce its flow rate (when you reduce the flow rate, the recirculation system process the water several times)
  • Uses mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration system
  • ​It can maintain and preserve healthy bacteria and microorganism
  • Comes in multiple models to cater different aquarium sizes


  • Doesn't work well with sand substrates
  • Some areas of the filter is hard to clean

Final Verdict

Having an aquarium filter is essential to preserve the health of your precious marine life. Without it, you would have to clean your aquarium manually, which is very tedious and time-consuming.

Moreover, there is a good chance that you will disturb the "peace" of your underwater friends when you do manual water cleaning.

There are a lot of aquarium filters in the market today. However, we recommend that you should try these filters that we featured. We tested each of them to examine their individual performance. Fortunately, they have exceeded our expectations.

Among these filters, we deem the Fluval 406 External Filter as the best aquarium filter. It has a high-flow rate which is ideal for large fish tanks.

Moreover, its constructions are rigid and innovative. Therefore, investing in this product is never a regrettable move!

Did you learn from this article? Which of this aquarium filters do you think works best? Tell us your answers in the comment section below!

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About the Author


Hello, fishing world! My name is Bella. Yes, you got me right, I am a woman! But, I am a woman not only fond of cooking and shopping. I am a woman who shows interest in everything that covers topics regarding fishing. Don’t get me wrong! I believe that the world of fishing is not exclusively for men! In fact, I, myself enjoy fishing. That’s why I created this website.

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