Best Aquarium Filters Review in 2021

If you are a pet enthusiast and keep fish in aquariums in your house, you must know that aquaria life is not just thrilling but also demands high maintenance. You must not want to see your adorable fish affected by the debris or algae growth as you lack in maintenance.

Hence, you should bring one of the best aquarium filters which will keep water fresh by cleaning and purification and help survive the lively animals. Even some times for a betta fish tank there need a filter

When you are a fish lover, you would definitely want to keep your fishes in a healthy way. And for this, you need to purchase a reliable and high-quality aquarium filter that possesses all necessitous features. Take a glance at the features mentioned below prior to making a purchase:

  • Functionality – Ensure to check the basic functions of a filter, before you buy. The filter must reduce all toxic components which could lead to fishes’ death.
  • Types –The filters which are compact and small in size are the best options for many aquariums. For biological filtration, you can choose both wet and dry filters.
  • Size –Decide the size of the filter according to your aquarium so it can be compatible with the design of your aquarium.

10 Best Aquarium Filters Review

1. Fluval External Fish Tank Filter

In case you want to buy an external canister filter which helps you filter your aquarium as hassle-free and easy as possible, you must opt for the Fluval 406 External Fish Tank Filter.

This filter has many exclusive design facts that make it more efficient than other filters out there and you can be stress-free about its cleaning and maintenance simultaneously.

This model of Fluval is definitely better than the previous 405 one and showcases better performance, easy installation, cleaning and priming at an ease.


  • Easy to clean and maintain with patented AquaStop valves and easy-open lock clamps.
  • Four media baskets that can tackle your filtration media. t-->
  • The excellent flow rate of 383gph which can manage up to 100 gallons.
  • Sound-dampening impeller makes this filtration system run quietly.


  • Designed with high-quality materials.
  • Holds 35-40% more volume than the designs of round filters.
  • Operates silently due to its sound-dampening impeller.
  • Filtration media is included with four media baskets.
  • Easily clean a breeze with the help of patented AquaStop valves and easy-open lock clamps.


  • Doesn’t feature a spray bar. Hence if you have delicate fish, you need to buy it to reduce this filter’s strong flow.
  • Its solid-color ribbed hose is susceptible to catch dirt and debris and never helps you check the water flow through it. It would be tough if you want to connect some accessories like diffusers or in-line heaters.

2. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

The Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter functions with both saltwater and freshwater aquariums. Due to the variety of its functionality, fish enthusiasts find this product reliable. This easy-to-install filter contains all necessitous accessories that need to be connected to the aquarium and it starts filtration in almost 30 minutes. You can see the enhancement of your aquarium in just less than a day. 

It features a fast push-button prime which makes it easy-to-install. Due to its 2 independent 360-degree rotating valve taps, you can place it with no worries. It features swimming pool style hose clamps and flow-rate control valves that make its installation and adjustment easy enough.

Its great cobalt blue color makes it really attractive besides your aquarium. Its solid mounted tip-proof rubber base keeps the whole filtration unit in place.


  • Solid tip-proof base
  • Comes with 2 separate 360-degree rotating valve taps
  • Has safe and watertight fitting
  • 5 large media baskets
  • Long-lasting construction
  • Swimming pool style rotating valves with flow controls.
  • 350 GPH that can manage up to 200 gallons.


  • Its filtration system makes it easy to install and run seamlessly.
  • You can combine this filter with other media like an activated carbon, bio-floss, and bio-sponges for various types of requirements.
  • It is built with sturdy materials to keep the fish tank good-looking for longer.
  • It contains a huge sized tank which can be used for long.


  • This filter makes noise while in operation.

3. EHEIM Classic External Canister Fish Tank Filter Media

The EHEIM Classic External Canister Fish Tank Filter Media is possibly the most extensively praised, highly advisable, widely used, andthe best aquarium canister filter out there on the market these days. Fish enthusiasts have been using this filter for many decades and it still features the similar design so the buyers can understand that it is doing something right.

This filter is simple and classic in design and it looks like a green small plastic bucket featuring 2 holes in it. Its simple design makes it more dependable, easier to clean, and more durable as well.

This proficient filter consumes a very little power and operates almost noiselessly. Its permo-elastic silicon sealing ring keeps it safely sealed while in operation. So, you won’t need to worry regarding encountering a leakage which may occur with other models of aquarium filters.


  • Durability keeps it in smooth operation.
  • Simple and affordable to purchase.
  • Silent and efficient functionality.
  • No media tray, i.e. better water flow past filtration media.


  • Efficient and noiseless activities.
  • Available in various models and tank sizes
  • Durable and easy to operate
  • Tested and tried for longer
  • Features filter sponges and loose filtration media.
  • Contains accessories like inlet pipe, spray bar, installation and hose accessories.


  • Replacement parts are costlier than other brands.
  • No self-priming feature makes its priming tougher.

4. AquaClear Power Filter - 110 V

If you want an excellent aquarium filter which possesses an efficient filtration procedure, you must opt for AquaClear Power Filter – 110V. This filter certainly mitigates the long-term usage costs due to its energy efficient pump.

If you install this filter, you can save your time as it gets installed in a very less time period ,This power filter is not just dependable but also designed with activated carbon, cycle guard, BioMax, and AquaClear foam for the seamless processing of its biological filtration.

For this reason, this model is considered to be one of the finest water qualities in comparison with other regular brands out there.If your aquarium can hold almost 110 gallons, filtration will become easy with this filter. This model is great to install. It offers a fast installation, which is it’s the greatest and the user-friendliest feature included in the installation guide.


  • Excellent design for biological filtration
  • No damage to the impeller and motor


  • Easy and fast to install.
  • It features a re-filtration system which provides excellent contact time with filter media.
  • Its energy efficient pump reduces costs of utilization.
  • Designed with cycle guard, BioMax, an activated carbon and the AquaClear foam for excellent water quality and constant biological filtration.
  • Its filtration volume is up to 7 times larger than other models.


  • Not ideal for 240V usage.
  • Not very easy to clean.

5. Fluval Fx6 Aquarium Canister Filter

The Fluval FX6 Aquarium Canister Filter is a beast in one word. This canister filter is really huge and equipped with some awesome features and technologies. Smooth water changes, smart pump technology, and self-starting features are one of them.


  • Lifts out all three large media trays to clean with the Tote Handles which pull out.
  • Possesses self-starting features, i.e. only add water and plug it in.
  • Its energy efficient motor assembly utilizes 10% less power than earlier models.
  • Prevents leaks with large locking clamps which keep the canister and motor in place safely.
  • Makes sure to showcase the best filtration capacity at every time.


  • It is designed for offering noiseless operation.
  • It’s a huge multi-stage filter which is amazing for both saltwater and freshwater aquarium up to 400 gallons.
  • Its filtration system is highly efficient and clog-proof.
  • Its intake tube is telescopic that helps you adjust the length to your aquarium and features an anti-clog strainer for keeping the water flowing.
  • It has brought the smart pump technology back from its former model that stops the filter every 12 hours for maintaining ultimate filter performance.
  • Every accessory of this filter, including intake/outtake tubes, media tray, valves, and the canister itself are highly durable and well-made.


  • The large size of these units needs larger space to be placed.
  • It features giant sponges that don’t remove bacteria in the aquarium properly.

6. Marineland Penguin Power Filter

If you are a beginner in aquarium filtration, opt for the Marineland Penguin Power Filter as it is the easiest filter to use and maintain for long. This filter is highly advisable to help you become an expert in aquarium filtration, thanks to its capacity to compatible with medium aquariums on 20-70 gallons of water.

If you are a fish enthusiast, you need not worry as it manages the leftovers of fish waste and food particles, cleaning the aquaria properly. It has the capacity to replace its Rite-Size Cartridges for a healthy and clean environment for all the water plants and fish. It comes with a three-stage filtration system which includes mechanical, biological and chemical filtration for an efficient cleanup. It can reduce the chances of nitrates and toxic ammonia growing in your tank.


  • Easily adaptable forthe newbies.
  • Has minimal noise while in operation.
  • Features a 3-stage cleaning system.
  • Has 100% water contact


  • It comes with easy to use and convenient Penguin Rite-Size Cartridges.
  • This filter offers simple 3-stage aquarium filtration – mechanical, chemical and biological.
  • It features certified flow rate of 350gph that is ideal for every fish tank to manage up to 70 gallons.
  • It does an amazing job with the bio-load of Tropical Community Fish Oscars and African Cichlids.
  • The replaceable Rite-Size Cartridges remove leftover food and fish waste in a minute.


  • List Element

7. Marineland C-Series Filter

In case you prefer large tank filtration, then the Marineland C-series Filter is the best option for you. This multi-stage filter comes with stackable trays which collapse easily and don’t need much maintenance as well. Whatever size of your aquarium is, it is compatible with any size of aquariums from medium to large.

This filter is able to manage up to 150 gallons of an aquarium filled with your preferred fish and water plants. With this reliable filter, you can make a large reef fish community which will meet your expectations, by cleaning water efficiently, making water crystal clear and making a healthy environment for your fish.


  • Features the replaceable media slots
  • Includes the three-stage aquarium filtration
  • Contains an easy installation guide
  • Intuitive setup and maintenance


  • This filter features a 3-stage fish tank filtration procedure.
  • Features certified water flow rate of 530gph which is ideal for every fish tank to manage up to 150 gallons.
  • It uses Rite Size InchX-Inch floss and foam.
  • This multi-stage filter contains stackable trays with handles which collapse in on themselves for an easy maintenance and care.
  • Perfect option for the large fish tank enthusiasts.
  • Comes in 4 different sizes so it is perfect for any medium to large aquarium.
  • Designed for both freshwater and saltwater large fish community.
  • Keeps the water crystal clear and ensures a healthy environment for your fish and water plants.


  • It does not come with a bio-wheel.

8. SunSun Hw304B 525GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit

The SunSun Hw304B 525GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit is really helpful for the fish enthusiasts who look for filters for their large sized fish tanks. This filter is perfect to work with different fish tanks and capable of handling up to 150 gallons easily.

It does an excellent job to maintain the water by keeping it crystal clear. Its whole capacity of 525gph makes it faster than other filters out there. Fish enthusiasts love this model due to its noiseless operation.

It comes with a 9W UV sterilizer that kills all bacteria and algae spores from the water, keeping it healthy and safe for your fish and water plants. Its easy-to-use feature makes it one of the best choices for people who look for a high-quality fish tank filter.


  • Features a UV sterilizer
  • Easy to install
  • Able to manage up to 525 gallons (2000L) per hour
  • Provides a noiseless operation


  • An amazing option for both saltwater and freshwater fish tanks.
  • Incorporates a 9W UV bulb
  • Promotes crystal clear water
  • Helps kill bacteria and algae spores
  • An excellent choice for up to 150 gallons fish tanks.
  • Includes filter media to improve water color, clarity,and odor.
  • The Bio balls not just increase dissolved oxygen levels but also promote gas exchange.
  • Its filter media doesn’t affect the water characteristics.
  • Features a convenient self-priming pump to reduce the requirement for manual siphoning.


  • Filter motors are not up to the mark.

9. EhmFltr 2217 Classic Wm 264g

The EhmFlter 2217 Classic Wm features a noteworthy technology which helps it provide an improved performance. If you want an aquarium filter which features high efficiency and a dependable filtration system, then this classic series is the right choice for you. You will really prefer its motor and pump that boasts an excellent capacity to run and don’t need extra maintenance and service.

You can fit the adsorptive, biological, chemical and mechanical filtration procedure in a very less time due to its properly designed chamber. Its flow rates are smartly designed for acquiring the precise balance between the biological and mechanical long-term filtration, water circulation and oxygen enrichment.


  • Balanced flow rate
  • Efficient filtration process
  • Embraces user-friendly and advanced technology
  • Smooth optimal conditions for better aquarium maintenance.


  • The unit of its pump needs minimal maintenance.
  • Easy to function and easy maintenance
  • Its one-chamber design makes it easy to install.
  • It can be easily setup for biological, mechanical, chemical and adsorptive filtration.
  • Flow rates are accurately calculated for offering a precise balance between biological and mechanical long-term filtration process, oxygen enrichment and water circulation.
  • Gives optimal filtration to keep fish healthy and safe.
  • Perfect option for specific purpose filtration like adsorptive (carbon) or chemical.


  • Doesn’t function on a 220V.
  • Replacement parts are costlier than other brands.

10. Marineland Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter 

The Marineland Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter features a high-quality filtration alongside water polishing cartridge to offer you the clearest and cleanest water.

Its compact design helps it fit every aquatic environment and it maintains the natural beauty of your fish tank. Its design also incorporates a large surface area for the development of advantageous biological bacteria that breaks down the toxic nitrates and ammonia.

This filter boasts a micron cartridge to help remove all fine particles that lead to cloudy water. It includes a mechanical Rite-Size JH Floss Sleeve that helps remove leftovers of food and fish wastes and the Black Diamond Carbon to offer chemical filtration which maintains water clarity, color,and odor.


  • The option for water polishing
  • Three-stage filtration process
  • Dual-chamber media container
  • No priming required.
  • Filters 290 gallons per hour
  • Submerged motor for fast and simple setup
  • Maintains water clarity


  • With the help of its water polishing option, it removes dirt and debris from water, leaving it crystal clear.
  • It’s a perfect for the fish tanks up to 97 gallons.
  • Its dual-chamber media container enables customizable media.
  • It features a submerged motor that helps in easy and quick installation.
  • This filter is a perfect option for freshwater and marine aquariums.
  • Versatile and compact
  • Its Rite-Size JH Floss Sleeve prevents premature clogging.
  • It features a precision heater to adjust the temperature inside the fish tank.


  • Makes noise when it is ready to be cleaned.

How to Maintain an Aquarium Filter

Maintenance of an aquarium filter is required on a daily basis. You can easily forget when you last serviced the filter; hence, you must schedule a routine and maintain it for cleaning the tank filter regularly.

Sponge filters must be cleaned once in every 2 weeks. The HOB filters need to be cleaned every week while the Canister ones can be maintained in every four months’ intervals.

Don’t forget to take some precautions so you can preserve the advantageous bacteria inside the aquarium filter. Daily maintenance will not just keep your fish tank healthy but also keep your fish safe.

How to Fit an Aquarium Filter

  • Fit the filter parts to put them together.
  • Attach the inflow tube into the aquarium’s interior.
  • Attach the J-tube to the inflow tube.
  • Fit the tubing along the cap into the J-tubes bottom.
  • Insert the washable filter into the holding tank besides the tubing.
  • Attach the filter cartridge to the holding tank’s back.
  • Fill the holding fish tank with cold water up to ¾ full.
  • Finally, attach this holding tank to the aquarium’s back side.


So, the aforementioned filter systems can be counted in the list of the best aquarium filters to pick up. Every day, you can see a new model in the market; hence, ensure to select the best type of aquarium filters. The design is necessitous so the filter can adjust perfectly. I can recommend all of them confidently but among all the mentioned filters, my best recommendation will be the Marineland Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter.

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