aquarium filter

Best Aquarium Filter | Canister vs Power

Aquarium Filters Top 5, Internal vs External

Aquarium filter is the most important part of the equipment in the entire aquarium. The basic function of the filter is to provide appropriate biological, chemical and mechanical filtration of our aquarium


In order to keep the fish living healthy and thriving, you must ensure a high-quality filtration system. Your responsibility is to feed and clean the mess they’ve left behind. Without one of the best fish tank filter, you will find it very difficult to do so.


Choosing the best filter is not an easy thing to do. That’s why I created a list with the best fish tank filters for 2018. Having in mind my 25 years of experience in freshwater and marine aquaculture, these are top 10 filters that you can buy.

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1. Marineland Penguin Power Filter

The reason why we are rating this product as one of the best aquarium filter is due to the fact that it offers a 3-stage filtration. Don’t worry, you don’t have to worry about air pumps, valves, and tubing. It has been designed with a filter cartridge access and a quiet operation so you can keep the aquarium in your room. It has a certified flow rate of 350GPH which is suitable for 70-gallon aquariums. Due to the fact that it’s one of the best, you have options to choose between 30-gallons to 70-gallon.

Best Feature

Versatile – This filter provides a mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration. This means that it will get rid of all pollutants in the water.

Pros Cons
It stimulates the growth of good bacteria The filter needs to be cleaned
It removes odors and discoloration Customer service could be better
Capable of removing ammonia and nitrite Noisy operation
It attaches to the outside of the tank
Easy to set up by beginners

2. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

This is another aquarium filter model that offers a 3-stage filtration system. It provides a swimming pool style rotating valves to remove all of the impurities that can be damaging to the health of the fish. One of the greatest things about it is the fact that it’s very easy to operate. Just simply push the button for a quick and easy setup. It comes with a spray bar, tubing, and directional spout. Therefore, you can use it straight away. The 265 GPH filter is recommended for aquariums up to 100-gallon.

Best Feature

Flow valves – The valves rotate 360-degrees so it’s capable of fitting on a variety of compact cabinets.

Pros Cons
Designed with an air-tight seal for a quiet operation Some people have reported a grinding sound
The clamps are easy to lift The tubes are made from plastic
The floss pad removes fine particulate matter
Equipped with an integrated O-ring
Easy to set up by beginners


3. Tetra Whisper in-Tank Filter Aquarium Filter

You can use this filter for aquariums and terrariums. Therefore, you should consider purchasing this model if you don’t want to spend additional money. You can choose between 3-gallons to 40-gallons. It uses Bio-Bag filter cartridges to remove impurities, chemicals, and bacteria. We advise that you install it with two suction cups depending on how much waste the fish produce. You can mount it on the inside of the aquarium for whisper quiet operation.

Best Feature

Accessories included – Each filter comes with one pre-assembled filter cartridge. This will remove any additional costs.

Pros Cons
It can function in water as little as 2” You cannot adjust the water flow
You can place it on the bottom of the tank The cover of the tubes can get slimy
Not designed with a noisy pump


4. Fluval External Filter Aquarium Filter

This multi-stage aquarium filter is suitable for fresh and saltwater. It’s suitable for aquariums that can handle 100-gallons of water with a flow rate of 383 GPH. It has a sound reducing impeller which is very helpful if you want a whisper-quiet operation. Its square-shape design will hold 50% more water than a round-shaped canister. Therefore, it ensures a superior water flow through a complex cleansing path. You will be thoroughly pleased with the fact that you will not have to constantly clean the filter.

Best Feature

Clog-proof – Regardless of how much dirt there’s in the water, the strainer will not get clogged. As well as, the foam screen is dual-layered to be more hygienic.

Pros Cons
Designed with 3-filtration stages The instructions are difficult to follow
Comes with multiple media baskets Customer service could be better
You can adjust the flow rate of the water The impeller is prone to crack
Suitable for mid-size or large aquariums
Lock clamps positioned the motor into place


5. Penn Plax Cascade Aquarium Filter

This fish tank filter can deliver 200-gallons per hour. The revolutionary Bio-Falls Quad-Filtration system will provide efficient filtration to remove bacteria, ammonia, and nitrite. This will ensure maximum oxygenation. The activated carbon cartridge removes the harmful toxins, odors, and discoloration. The internal sponge optimizes the growth of good bacteria. As well as, the poly-fiber floss cartridge traps the particulate matter. You can adjust the flow of the water according to your needs.

Best Feature

Adjustable flow knob – This allows you to reduce the filtration during feeding times and when it’s needed.

Pros Cons
Recommended for fresh and saltwater The pump is made from plastic
The filter is lightweight and portable People have reported leaks
Comes with a generous 3-Years warranty
Designed with a whisper-quiet operation
It features a self-leveling system


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