8 Best Fish Tank Filters in 2022

The value of filtration in an aquarium cannot be overstated. Several factors, such as the aquarium’s size, the species it will house, the owner’s maintenance routine, the amount of accessible light, and the amount of free space around the tank, all play a role in determining what filter will work best. 

In order to help you narrow your search, we have produced a list of the most widely used, effective, and reasonably priced aquarium filters, along with detailed evaluations of each. 

Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel (Best Quality)

The Marineland power filter is our top pick since it can have three different types of filtrations. Furthermore, it can be used with aquariums of varying sizes without breaking the bank.

This filter is a waterfall style that hangs on the rear of a tank and uses a suction mechanism to draw water from the tank, pass it through the filter, and then return it to the tank. 

Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter 150 GPH, Multi-Stage Aquarium Filtration

The revolving bio-wheel offers a kind of wet or dry biological filtration, while the filter itself contains biological, chemical, and mechanical filtering stages. This filter is available in five different sizes, giving you the flexibility to choose the one that is most suited to the amount of water in your aquarium. 


  • Provides a wet and dry filter
  • Filters well in multiple stages;
  • Costs less than competing options 
  • Filter toxic ammonia effectively


  • Big size

Aquapapa Bio Sponge (Best Price)

The Aquapapa Bio Sponge filter is the most cost-effective option. For example, suppose you have numerous aquariums and wish to equip them with high-quality filtration systems. In that case, you may save money by purchasing this set of three filters in bulk rather than buying them individually. Sponge filters can help aquariums because they add oxygen, get rid of the waste in the water, and filter the water biologically. 

Aquapapa Bio Sponge Filter for Betta Fry Aquarium Fish Tank Up to 60 Gal ea. 3-Pack (L)

The high dissolved oxygen concentration in the water results from the air infusion chamber’s bubble production. Simply attach airline tubing to the top of the sponge filter, and you’re ready to go! In addition, the mechanical filtration system in the sponge removes trash from the water, keeping your aquarium clean. 


  • Excellent for use in tanks with young fish. 
  • It can be used as an aeration system
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble. 
  • Better than fluidized bed filters


  • The intake tube and the air pump are not included 

Marineland Magniflow (PremiumChoice)

The price of this filter is more than that of some of the others we looked at, but we believe that its superior quality and longevity make up for the difference. This superior filter employs three distinct methods of cleaning the water in huge tanks: mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration.

The aquarium’s water is filtered as it moves through the medium layer. The filter pads are easy to change, and the canister is airtight when the cover is lifted.

Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter For aquariums, Easy Maintenance

The sturdy design of this filter makes it a good choice for larger aquariums. The filter pads provide both mechanical and biological filtration to keep the water clean by catching debris and encouraging the growth of bacteria that break down nitrates. 


  • Long-lasting
  • High-quality
  • Performs better than undergravel filters in large aquariums 


  • It is costly

AquaClear Filter (Easiest to Set Up)

The AquaClear filter is our premium pick since it is simple to set up and effective in three distinct ways (chemical, biological, and mechanical). Furthermore, this filter has a number of filter media built in to help maintain pristine water quality.

To maintain peak performance, the filter media should be changed every two weeks, even though this filter has a filtering capacity up to seven times higher than other kinds of filters on the market.

AquaClear 50 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for 20- to 50-Gallon Aquariums (Packaging may vary)

The filter is available in five different sizes, spanning from 5 to 110 gallons, so you may choose the right one based on the dimensions of your aquarium. This filter has everything to keep your aquarium running smoothly except the filtering material inside it.


  • It comes in a range of five sizes and three types of filters.
  • Equipped with filtering media 


  • It needs weekly cleaning. 

Tetra Whisper Internal Filter (Silent Filter) 

This aquarium filter model is installed on the interior of the tank rather than dangling from the outside. This internal filter is both quiet and effective, and it can circulate a lot of water through its system to maintain a pristine water column.

The output current of the Tetra Whisper internal filter may be adjusted, making it suitable for use in aquariums of varying sizes and housing a wide variety of fish species. It also comes with mounting suction cups so they may be attached to the inside of the aquarium glass. 

Tetra Whisper 4i Internal Power Filter, Filtration for Aquariums Between 1 and 4 Gallons

Filter cartridges are pre-assembled and included with each unit, but eventually, they will get filthy and clogged with debris. To fix this, you will need to replace the cartridge with new filter media of the same type. 


  • Easy to install
  • Free assembled cartridge
  • Adjustable flow rate
  • Includes air pump


  • You’ll need to buy filter media often. 

Hygger Fish Tank Filter 

The Hygger twin sponge filter may be used in tanks of various sizes to help maintain clean, healthy water. The filter’s bio-sponge medium encourages the growth of beneficial microorganisms, which maintains water stability by regulating its chemical composition.

The components are removable and straightforward to set up, and as a bonus, you get two extra sponges to swap in when the originals get clogged with detritus. 

hygger Aquarium Double Sponge Filter for Fresh Water and Salt-Water Fish Tank (M)

This filter’s sponges should be cleaned twice weekly to maintain its efficacy, and the filter itself may be disconnected and washed with used tank water. An aquarium’s filter media and sponges work together to get rid of waste and help good microorganisms grow.


  • Three-stage aquarium filtration
  • Easy installation process
  • Two extra sponges 


  • You’ll need to clean the sponges every two weeks

Aqueon Quietflow

The Aqueon internal power filter has low noise, high efficiency, and simplicity of usage. In addition, this self-priming filter comes with both suction cups and hang-on clips, making it suitable for both framed and unframed aquariums.

This filter has a bio-holster where good bacteria can grow and a carbon cartridge that can be switched out to filter chemicals. 

Aqueon QuietFlow 75 LED PRO Aquarium Fish Tank Power Filter For Up To 90 Gallon Aquariums

A coarse media sponge is used in the filter to provide an extra mechanical filter. Aquariums can use this filter’s chemical, biological, and mechanical filtration to keep the water clean and the water parameters stable, thanks to the beneficial bacteria in the filter media.


  • Simplicity
  • Self-priming
  • Three-stage aquarium filtration systems


  • you’ll need to change the filter material once a month

Read also: 6 Best Betta Fish Tanks Reviews

Fluval C-Series 

This three-stage clip-on power filter may benefit both fresh and saltwater tanks. The foam mat in this filter is readily removed for cleaning, and it functions as one of two mechanical stages that collect particles of varying sizes. First, activated carbon is used to clean the water chemically.

Then, a bio-screen pad filters out large dirt particles while giving good bacteria plenty of room to grow.

Fluval C4 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for Aquariums up to 70 Gal.

Activated carbon should be replenished periodically to keep the filter functioning effectively. It is simple to dismantle for cleaning. Add extra filter media to increase the filter’s efficiency.


  • Suitable for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums
  • Simple to set up


  • You’ll need to change the filter material once a month

What Type of Aquarium is The Best for Me?

It might be challenging to pick the best filter for your aquarium from the various options available. Some common kinds of filters include: 

Sponge filters

As the best gravel filters and bed filters alternative, this filter is easy to implement. By sucking dirt and debris from the water column into the sponge and exhaling clean water from the top, these filters serve as both a mechanical and biological filter system. Also, the air stones’ bubbles that come out of the top of a sponge filter also act as aeration, giving the aquarium water more oxygen.

The setup is straightforward, requiring just an air pump and some airline tubing to attach the device to the sponge filter. Sponge filters need air pumped through a tube system and into the filter itself. While they are inexpensive, the cost of the necessary tubing and air pump will add up.

In addition to containing filter media (such as activated carbon) in cartridges, filters often have a sponge portion for mechanical and biological filtering. 

Read also: 6 Best biOrb Aquariums on the market

Canister filters

Despite their higher price tag, canister filters perform well. Using an input tube, valve, or sieve, they siphon water from the aquarium, pass it through filter media in a pressured canister, and then pump the filtered water back into the fish tank. 

In order to keep a canister filter from becoming clogged, you will need to regularly replace the filter media, which must be purchased separately. 

Internal filters

Internal filters are not only simple to set up, but they also seldom need additional equipment like air pumps. A big sponge or filter medium may be placed within an internal filter. The bulk of the filtering process will occur here. 

The filter pulls water in and then sends it back into the tank, either in a steady stream, a waterfall, or a trickle; it depends on how the filter is made.

Most internal filters need the cartridge that holds the media and any filter wool to be changed regularly to keep the filter from getting clogged and upsetting the delicate ecosystem of the aquarium. 

As the name suggests, internal water filters are placed below the water’s surface and stuck to the glass with suction cups.

HOB filters

Even though they protrude from the aquarium side and are cumbersome to install, hang-on back filters are often the best option for delivering effective 3-stage filtration. This is because the dirty tank water comes into the filter through a long tube (the intake) below the waterline.

After going through the filter media cartridges, the water comes out of an outlet that looks like a small waterfall. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Marineland Penguin is the best filter for a fish tank. This fish filter has unmatched filtration efficiency and adaptability. 

There is plenty of room for more biological and chemical filter media. It is very unlikely to break or stop working for many years, and the cleaning process becomes easier on the latest canister filter. 

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