Best Aquarium Filter Products of 2020 [COMPLETE GUIDE WITH COMPARSION]

Table of Contents

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An important thing to consider when you are a fish owner or have a plan of becoming one is what equipment you should put in addition to your aquarium. We might say that an aerator would be on the top of the list as the fish also needs proper oxygenation under water. But that’s probably not enough. A good air circulation underwater is only as good if the water itself is free from toxins that builds up over a period of time such as ammonia, aerates, nitrates and more. This is one of the reasons why most aquariums have a pair of important equipment for fish, such as the best aerator and a best aquarium filter products.

First Choice  Cascade CCF3UL Canister Filter, 100 Gallon, 265gph $ 4.2/5
Second Choice      Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter $ 4.1/5
Third Choice     AquaClear 20 Power Filter – 110 V, UL Listed $ 4.2/5
Fourth Choice      Marineland Penguin Power Filter, 50 to 70-Gallon, 350 GPH $ 3.9/5

Some people who do not have the option to install or get a set of aquarium filter, they could resort to a weekly basis of maintenance and cleaning. You can choose to clear out the fish in the aquarium or fish tank, take out the water, clean and refill. Regardless of the size of your tank or aquarium, that seems to be an effort-full task with most people. The best aquarium filter can save you a lot of time and from all this trouble. In addition, every time you try to take out the fish creates a traumatizing effect. Other types such as tropical fishes require you to have to keep the same water temperature. Replacing a tank with new water can alter the temperature and could have a dangerous impact for your fish.

There are 2 types of aquarium filters you can avail. It can either be external or internal filters. External filters are installed on the outer area of your tank or aquarium. It suctions the water out through the tubes and into to the filter, cleaning the water and taking out debris that could increase toxicity and washing it back to the tank/aquarium. Internal filters on the other hand keep the circulation and cleaning of water within the tank or aquarium. It is usually installed inside and under your stone/sand/pebbles. Regardless of which type you choose, it is advised that although it saves you the trouble of cleaning your fish tank/aquarium on a timely basis, you must maintain and clean your filters as it stocks/piles up debris that could clog or if not maintained, might also cause to poison the water.

Best Aquarium Filter

Marineland Penguin Power Filter, 50 to 70-Gallon, 350 GPH

Our first product is from Marineland. It is their best aquarium filter available in the market. It can filter, clean and maintain an aquarium or tank with 50 to 70 gallons of water capacity. This filter set however, has different capacities available. It has an efficient flow-rate of about 350GPH. The filter has a two, large-size, filter cartridges. It uses bio-filter technology that highly performs in maintaining a clean and safe environment for your fish. This can work for months or years as it is built and designed with great quality and heavy duty performance.


AquaClear 20 Power Filter – 110 V, UL Listed (Includes AquaClear 20 Carbon, AquaClear 20 Foam & AquaClear 20 BioMax)

Next filter product is an external filter form AquaClear. This set features a filtration system with an accurate and superior contact-time. It uses an energy-efficient, power-saving system that cuts the electric operation cost in half but maintaining a daily high performance. It has a larger size filters that could store a filtration volume, 7 times greater than normal or ordinary filter. This is great for tanks or aquariums with capacity not over than 20 gallons of water. The manufacturer offers 2 years of warranty, making it safe and worries free in-case of problems.

To give you an additional information and to show you how fun and exciting the unboxing of the set would be, here is a short video of an external filter from Aqua Clear.

This video shows the complete set of the 20 Power Filter. It is securely packed and looks very durable and not at all cheap. This guarantees a high performing filter device.


Tetra 26313 Whisper EX 70 Filter, 45-70-Gallon

One of the cheap aquarium canister filters you can choose to have if you need a practical set of filters that’s within your price range is from Tetra. For a cheap and affordable price, this filter set can hold up a tank or aquarium with 70 gallons of water capacity. It uses large size carbon filters that produce minimal sounds. It highly performs all the time while staying quiet as possible. There are also smaller size filters and with much lower price. You can choose between 10-20 gallons, 20-30 gallons and 30-45 gallons.


Fluval C2 Power Filter

This is Fluval’s Power Filter – C2 series. This is an external filter good or best used for water tanks or aquariums with 30 gallons of water capacity. It works fast and cleans the tank at above average rate. It filters about 119 gallons of water every hour. Imagine how many gallons and how long can you clean up a tank or aquarium if you’re doing it manually? The filter set is fully-equipped with indicators if it needs some maintenance. The filter has a clip-on feature that provides a fast and easy maintenance.


To assist you in setting up the set as you might find the instruction manual included in the set hard to understand, here is a short video tutorial of how to set up your Fluval C2 aquarium filter.

You will see that the filter device is very easy to install. The set comfortably hangs at a chosen corner of the aquarium or fish tank and does high performance filtering and at higher rate.


Tetra 25775 Whisper Power Filter 60, up to 60-Gallon

This is Tetra’s cheap but powerful aquarium filters. It has a filter power that could efficiently clean and maintain an aquarium or water tank of about 60 gallons of water capacity. This set works silently. It is not like ordinary filters that creates vibrations and noise which is quite irritating. It uses large size bio-bags in its cartridges that do not create any sound as it absorbs dirt and debris. You can also have this set in smaller size, capacity limit and lower price. It has a 20, 30, 40 gallons version for smaller tanks or aquariums.


Cascade CCF3UL Canister Filter, 100 Gallon, 265gph

Another amazing aquarium filter is the Canister Filter from Penn-Plax. It features a large size cascade. The design is simple and very user-friendly. It has an easy-quick push button on top for self-primer. This canister filter is a good example of external filters. There is a rotating caps or valves on top that could rotate by 360 degrees to angle to your desired position or adjustment. It is very easy to set up and assemble unlike with internal filters. This set is slightly expensive but in exchange of high-end and long-term performance.


Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter With Quad Filtration System Cleans Up to 35 Gallon Tank

Again, from Penn-Plax, this is an external, hang-on aquarium filter for fish tanks or aquariums with 35-gallon capacity. This set does not require heavy installation inside the tank or aquarium. You just need to easily place it on the edges or chosen corners of your tank or aquarium and you are good to go. It requires a little bit of effort in setting up and assembly. Regarding that, you can refer to the detailed manual included. This simple hang-on filter delivers almost 150 gallons of clean and clear water in just an hour. It works very fast but keeps it on a minimum level of noise that you could barely hear.


Aqueon Quietflow 50 Filter

This aquarium power filter from Aqueon is a powerful set with a quiet performance. It has great flow efficiency where it could keep clear water in a tank or aquarium of 50 gallons of water capacity. It could be used for both salt and fresh water tanks/aquariums. This large filter set is a hang-on, external filter that requires minimal installation effort and very easy to operate. It is cheap but very reliable. The manufacturer even issued a life-time warranty as they are highly confident about their product. That alone could keep you assured that the product is built with great sturdiness and durability.


The video below will show you the unboxing of the filter set from Aqueon. This is one of the best-selling aquarium filter products at a low and affordable price.

The set, as seen on the video, looks elegant, sharp and reliable. This is a high-performing filter device that works and operates silently and provides a quieter flow compared to other filter devices.


KollerCraft TOM Rapids Mini Canister Filter, 80 GPH

The next product is both a fresh-water and saltwater aquarium filter. It is an external, hang-on filter set that works with any fish types. This set highly performs and efficiently extract toxic waste and debris and bring back many gallons of clean and clear water. The set uses an integrated-spray system that evenly distributes water from the tank to the filter and extracting it back to the tank. There are 3 stages of filtration using this set, first stage is mechanical, then chemical and lastly, biological. It is one of the cheap but highly competitive filtration systems you can get.


Aqueon 10-Gallon QuietFlow Internal Filter, Mini

This is Aqueon’s mini 10 – 15 gallon filter set. It features an internal filter that requires to be submerged inside the tank or aquarium. Regardless of its angle or position, may it be horizontal or vertical. It could still perform efficiently and to its optimum. This mini filter has an adjustable flow rate as well as the return height and the direction of the water. It uses durable filter cartridges that could be easily replaced if it someday wears out. You can also have this set on a larger scale of water capacity; 20 gallons, 30 gallons and 40 gallons.


Fluval 206 External Filter

This is a small aquarium filter but with great filtration power. It may be small but it is an expensive external filter set due to its top of the line performance. This set highly performs in 45 gallons water capacity but could also work well given an allowance close within its capacity range. It uses a sound-damp design that allows the set to perform its designated operation in silence. You can barely hear the filter set clearing your water. It also has clog-proof feature that allows the set to efficiently strain dirt, debris and other things that could increase toxicity level of your aquarium or fish tank.


Odyssea CFS 130 Hang on Aquarium Canister Filter External

One of the few cheap but high performing filter set is from Odyssea. It features a hang-on external CFS filter with an accurate flow-rate of about 120GPH. This external filter requires some tools and assembly but on minimal skill levels. You just need to follow the instructions on the detailed manual included in the filter set. Its body measures approximately 6 inches by 5 inches by 11 inches in dimension. It includes all necessary kits for filtration such as sponge, filter pad, bio-ball, etc. It is best used for tanks or aquariums that caters fresh water animals and with capacity not over than 40 gallons of water.


Marineland ML90749 Magniflow Canister 160 Filter

A DIY aquarium filter could save you some amount of money, maybe half, but will also cost you your time and will probably require you a set of crafting tools and equipment. That is why MarineLand offers you a chance to avoid any tiring task for a cheap price with this amazing magniflow filters. It features a large canister filter that could efficiently clean and filter a tank of not over than 30 gallons of water. This set filters about 160 gallons of water per hour. You can choose to have this set pack in a standard packaging or a frustration free packaging.


Sunsun 4-Stage External Canister Filter with 9-watt UV Sterilizer for Aquarium, 370 GPH

This is filter is from SUN. It is an external canister aquarium filter with a filter power of around 370 GPH. There are two sizes or versions for this set, the HW-302 Filter and the HW-303B Filter. This can accommodate a large capacity of a fish-tank or aquarium with not over than 100 gallons of water. It has a product dimension of 10.5 inches in length by 10.5 inches in width and about 16 inches tall. It has a pumping power of 35-watts. The set comes with a 9-watt sterilizer that controls the growth of bacteria and algae and efficiently promotes clean and clear water.


Tetra 25905 Decorative Reptile Filter for Aquariums up to 55 Gallons

The next set is an innovative set of a water filtration system and an aquarium decor. This is Tetra’s 25905 series of a reptile filter. The set is ideal for other types of aquarium animal or pet such as newt, frog or turtles. It is best used for 55 gallon water tank or aquarium. This set will add a wildlife environment and make your aquarium or tank livelier. It uses a multiple-stage whisper filter system that efficiently cleans and clears the tank quietly. It performs high standard operation silently. The set has a locking cover that keeps your pet or other animals out of the filtration area for safety and security.


Penn Plax Cascade 600 Submersible Aquarium Filter Cleans Up to 50 Gallon Fish Tank

This is Penn Plax’s 600-Cascade fully submersible filter. It is the best aquarium filter if you are looking for a set that does not require any assembly or installation. It does not consume a lot of space in the external parts of your fish tank or aquarium. This filter quietly delivers and cleans an estimated 175 gallons of water an hour. This is best used for marine aquariums with 20 – 50 gallons of water-capacity. It uses carbon cartridges that remove toxins, odors, contamination, discolorations and other harmful chemicals. It features a spray-bar that evenly distributes clean and filtered water.


Aquatop PF40-UV Hang-On Filter with UV Sterilization

Our next set is an external filter set from Aquatop. This set features a transparent filter with an average flow-rate or filter-rate of 128 gallons per hour. It is recommended for marine aquariums or tanks with water of up to 40 gallons. The set has a pumping power of 7 watts and uses a 7 watts UV bulb for clearing bacteria and other contaminants. This set requires you some installation and assembly effort and mounting it properly to one of the corners of your tank or aquarium. It includes a detailed instruction manual to where you can refer assembly and installation process.


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

This is a cascade, hanging aquarium filters from Penn Plax. It runs using the quad filter system which performs greater compared to most filters. This set can clean and clear fish tanks or aquariums at a faster rate. It has a filtration power that delivers an estimated 300 gallons of water an hour. It can also be used at a wider range of water capacity from 55 to 100 gallons of aquarium. The device uses carbon cartridge where not only that it clears the water from dirt and debris, it also decontaminates the water from bacteria, toxins like ammonia, nitrate, odors, discoloration and more.


Aqua Clear Motor Unit for 20, 30, 50, 70 Power Filters

Aqua Clear brings you an aquarium power filter replacement unit with 20 – 70 power units at a cheap and affordable cost. They also provide you with a higher power unit option of 110 but almost double the price. This is best for people who have a non-working filter motor and does not want to buy a new set and would settle for a replacement. This motor unit easily attaches on to most filter set and does a high-end performance but with quiet operation. The set does not include an aimpeller. It is advised to check the compatibility although the set is compatible with most filter sets.


Marineland ML90750 Magniflow Canister 220 Filter

Again, Marinland just keep their Canister Filters coming, this is the ML90750 series of a 220 canister filter. It is very large that it ensures the water tightly and sealed with its canister lid. The set uses polishing pads that helps polish the water after filtration by remove dirt and debris and other contaminants. There is also a diamond carbon included and set inside the filter to remove odors, water-impurities or discoloration. The filter’s height is about 17 inches tall. It could efficiently filter an aquarium of more or less around 50 gallons of water capacity.


Aqua-Tech Power Aquarium Filter, 30 to 60-Gallon

If you are looking for a 55 gallon aquarium filter, have a look at Aqua-Tech’s Power Filter that could greatly accommodate a water tank or aquarium with capacity ranging from 30 to 60 gallons of water. You can also have this kind of set for smaller size aquariums with ranges of 5 – 15 gallons, 10 – 20 gallons and 20 – 40 gallons. This set uses a 3 step filtration system. It contains all dirt and debris, clear water impurities and decontaminates water from toxins and other dangerous substance such as ammonia and nitrate. It is cheap but very durable. The set requires a few of your time and effort for assembly and installation.


KollerCraft TOM Aquarium Mini Internal Filter, 45 GPH

This is a mini internal filter from KollerCraft. It is a mid-end filter with great and affordable price. It performs an adjustable flow-rate of 10 to 45 gallons of filtered water an hour. This set has a 45 GPH power which is far less filtration power compared to expensive sets but it could work well for a small price for small to medium size tanks or aquariums. Great thing about this set is the innovative design of an integrated spray that evenly distributes filtered water all across the aquarium or tank. It is ideally used for Nano tanks with capacity of 10 or less, gallons of water.


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

This next set is a small aquarium filter from Penn Plax. The filter can best clean a tank or aquarium with less than 55 gallons of capacity. This is a hang-on cascade filter that requires installation on a chosen corner of a tank or aquarium. The set uses the revolutionary quad-filter system that provides a high-end and the most efficient filtration for bacteria and other harmful contaminants such as nitrate and ammonia. There is an adjustable knob that allows you to adjust the speed and power of filtration at certain times that situation requires, feeding time for example. You do not want your fish foods to be filtered out as they eat.


Aqua-Tech Power Aquarium Filter, 10 to 20-Gallon

Aqua-Tech brings you a powerful, 10 – 20 gallon capacity, aquarium filter. It is an economical filter set, designed for a low maintenance cost. It’s easier to clean and maintain. This set uses advanced-3-step filter process which works efficiently and on a faster cleaning pace. It clears water at a high-speed. The set includes one cartridge that filters or removes dirt, debris and other water impurities. Aqua-Tech also provides this high performing filter on a lower and large scale from 5-10 gallons, 20-40 and 30-60 gallons.


Marineland Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter (ML90770)

This filter product, again, is from MarineLand. It is an internal canister filter that uses three efficient and fast-paced cleaning process of filtration. The device keeps the tank or aquarium clean and crystal clear in a short amount of time and for as long as it’s turned on. This has magnum polishing feature where it easily removes contaminants, dirt, debris and other harmful elements and leave only fish-safe water. The set is submerged, preferably at the center part of the tank or aquarium for proportional filtration. It does not require too much effort in setting up and installing.


Penn Plax 40/55 Gallon Aquarium Premium Under Tank Filter

Our next filter device set is from Penn Plax. This is a large, internal and under tank/aquarium filter. It is about 13 inches tall. The device features a trouble and maintenance free filter set with an adjustable lift tube. Great thing about this set is that it does not require any assembly and it is very easy to set up. It just needs to be fully submerged under the tank or aquarium and it is good to go. This type of filter is cheap and affordable and does not easily break and is highly durable. It is best used for tanks and aquariums with water capacity of 40 – 55 gallons.


TMS 3 Stage 265 GPH External Fish Marine Coral Canister Filter Pump

The TMS filter is an external canister filter for tanks and aquariums. It fits mostly any size but it is best used for water capacity, not over than 100 gallons of water. This device is extremely powerful and very reliable while being able to perform high-end operations silently. The set includes aperture tube, siphon tube, an elbow, pipe, seals, all the necessary tools and kits to install, replace or maintain the device. It uses 3-stage filter process like with most expensive filter products but stays within the range of a practical and budgeted fish equipment investment.


Finnex PX-360 Compact Canister Aquarium Filter

Finnex PX-360, best aquarium filter, features a compact canister filter with a carbon floss pad, rings made of ceramic, filter sponge and more. It works best as a filter for aquatic aquariums with not over than 25 gallons of water capacity. It could also work great for filtering turtle aquariums. The set also includes a filter hanger, strainer, spray bar and other accessories that make the set very easy to assemble, install and use. This set is on the mid-end quality filter that is not that cheap and not that expensive. It has also reliable durability and guaranteed to be long lasting.


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

Again, Penn Plax brings you another magnificent filter device for your fish aquariums or tanks. This set features a hang-on, cascade filter that works best for a 20 gallon tank or aquarium. It uses a quad or 4-stage filtering system that delivers around 100 gallons of water per hour. It is a lot of filtered water in under an hour compared to other devices. The set does not only bring about clear water but also cleans the entire aquatic ecosystem from bacteria, toxic substances such as ammonia and/or nitrate, dirt and debris. The set also features an adjustable knob so you can intentionally control the filtration at certain times such as feeding.


13w Uv Sterilizer Adjustable Pump Filter 150 Gal Aquarium Fish Tank

This is one of the few aquarium filters that feature a UV sterilizer. The device works to clean and filter your water but the added feature of the UV helps in maintaining a bacteria and toxin free water. This works best for both freshwater and saltwater aquarium and tank. It can clear up a tank of not over than 150 gallons of water capacity. The moderate size filter with an 8-watt pump can easily handle large size aquariums or tanks. The set comes with a free nozzle that allows you to adjust and regulate the flow of water. It comes with a cheap and reasonable price.


Jebao 4-Stage Aquarium Canister Filter 320 gph (404 with Media Kits)

Lastly, this is the Jebao canister filter. It uses a 4-stage or quad filtration that efficiently cleans and clear the tank or aquarium. It has about 320 GPH, far higher GPH compared to other cheap and ordinary filter sets. The device’s dimension along with an attached valve measures about 8.1 inches by 8.1 inches by 18 inches tall. Be advised that this device has 110 – 120 voltage and around 60 Hz power. It has a recommended tank or aquarium size of about 60 – 100 gallons of water capacity. There are media kits included and come free when purchasing this set.


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