A Simple Guide To Figure Out The Best Filter For Fish Tank

Fish make wonderful pets, but they aren’t the cleanest of species. You’ll need a filter if you want to keep an aquarium clean and ensure the water is safe for your fish. The right aquarium filters can keep the water quality stable while still ensuring that your tank water is crystal clear. This ensures that the fish’s environment is as friendly and livable as possible. Let’s take a look at the top 5 best filter for fish tank as follows.



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Top 5 best filter for fish tanks you should not miss

Top 1: Tetra Whisper Assembled Bio-Bag Filter Cartridges for Aquariums

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Outstanding features:

Tetra Whisper Bio-Bag Replacement Cartridges are plastic filter cartridges that eliminate odors and discoloration while keeping the water crystal clear. These easy-to-use medium cartridges suit the PF101 Power Filter, 10i Internal, and Reptofilter 90 GPH. Each cartridge is ready to use, simple to put together, and simple to replace. Tetra Whisper Replacement Cartridges provide comfort and dependability to almost all customers. The ultra-activated carbon in your aquarium water prevents waste particles, odors, and discoloration. As a result, it maintains a tank that is safe, transparent, and thriving thanks to good filtration. It catches debris densely through dual-sided mesh filters, debris, and fish waste. Also, it is easy to assemble and ready to use.


  • Active Cleaning: decreases the buildup on glass.
  • Stable water helps avoid pH crashes, making maintenance easier.
  • Integrated Design: a molded tablet with a timer.


  • Not strong filter

Top 2: MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter

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Outstanding features:

This Marineland hang-on filter is available in four different sizes: 100 GPH for up to 20 gallons, 150 GPH for up to 30 gallons, 200 GPH for up to 50 gallons, and 350 GPH for up to 70 gallons. The filter must be positioned on a straight edge on the glass due to its unusual shape and design, which means it’s typically a decent match for the back of the tank. The smaller three sizes each have a single filter cartridge area, while the larger model (350 GPH) has two.

The water in your tank will go through mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. A full cartridge containing all three forms of filtration media is installed in each filter slot. Depending on the filter model, cartridges are compatible with Rite-Size A, B, or C filter packs, so you can quickly substitute them with the cartridge of your choosing. A proprietary Tetra BIO-wheel sits at the water outlet, removing ammonia while still providing a home for the beneficial bacteria the tank needs.

Once you have the filter, you just need to do a little setup. The package includes everything you’ll need to get started with the filter, including the filtration cartridge(s) and BIO-wheel (s). To clean the filter, simply turn it off and disassemble it as desired. Filter cartridges can be replaced on a monthly basis, but the BIO-wheel does not have to be replaced at the same time as the cartridges.


  • The filter can be changed without shutting it off.
  • The BIO-wheel aids in the addition of oxygen to the water as well as the growth of beneficial bacteria.
  • Most fixes are easy and can be completed at home
  • The flow rate can be quickly adjusted without modifying the filter itself.


  • After initial startup, the filter can be noisy for a few days before quieting down.
  • Cartridge replacements can be costly.

Top 3: Tetra Whisper Internal Filter for Aquariums

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Outstanding features:

This Tetra product is a perfect alternative for those who choose an in-tank filter to one that hangs off the back of their tank. The aquarium clip is included, and installation is simple. Your tank can be put right up against the wall with this pump, which is very useful if you have small space.

This filter employs a dual-sided thick mesh filter to capture vast bits of waste and debris while simultaneously providing the ideal environment for beneficial bacteria to flourish. The filter placed in the tank is much quieter than most kinds of filters.


  • The filter will work in as little as two inches of water, making it suitable for reptiles or having a waterfall effect in any tank.
  • One Bio-Bag filter cartridge comes pre-assembled.
  • Simple suction cups or a bracket may be used to mount it.


  • The mounting clip is prone to breaking, and replacements are difficult to come by.

Top 4: MarineLand Penguin

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Outstanding features:

The Marineland filtration machine, which is rated to have a circulating rate of up to 150 gallons per hour, is another top-of-the-line filter for your fish tank. You should depend on it to provide clean water to your tank’s fish in order to maintain a safe and balanced habitat.

Because of its efficiency, you will love this filter. For starters, it has Black Ruby Premium Activated Carbon, which is excellent for keeping tank water clean and safe for your tank’s fish. It will also provide organic purification for its BIOGRAPHY wheel, which has been checked and proven to eliminate nitrite and ammonia, which would otherwise harm your fish.

In addition, it has two vented covers that reduce noise, making it suitable for container owners who want a simple and quiet filter process. Finally, for the best performance, this device will have three-way filtration.


  • 150 GPH is both approved and verified.
  • Three-way filtration.
  • Black Ruby Premium Activated Carbon keeps tank water clean.
  • Excellent water purification


  • Noisy filter

Top 5: Tetra Whisper EX Silent Multi-Stage Power Filter for Aquariums

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Outstanding features:

When it comes to aquarium supplies, Tetra is a well-known brand, and this multi-stage power filter is a perfect example of why. Its simple design makes it simple to use and maximizes water oxygenation and agitation while also filtering impurities.

This item uses a constant flushing operation to avoid sediment accumulation to ensure that the water flows freely through the system. Various floss densities, carbon, and a bio-scrubber are used in the filtration system to provide mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.


  • There are a lot of filter sizes used for tanks from 10 to 70 gallons.
  • This filter is ready to use right away, with no need for priming.
  • Filter cartridges with no mess are simple to adjust and don’t drip as much as other filter media.
  • If the carbon is depleted, time strip technology will let you know. It is time to replace the filter.


  • There isn’t enough space for more filter media.

What should you look for in a fish filter?

For filters, there are a few items that will be mentioned on product pages. Since there isn’t a single best fish tank filter for all pools, you’ll need to know a few things about what distinguishes one filter from another in order to make an informed decision about your own tank. The below are the most important details to be aware of:

Tank size

It’s worth repeating the aquarium filters must be suited to tank size. Although you can’t tell how clean the water is from looking at it, it may be harming the health of your fish, live plants, and other aquatic life. Filters should not be used excessively.

If your tank is 70 gallons, you will need a filter that can handle at least that much or more. Purchasing a filter that can do more is preferable to buying one that can only do too many. Your fish and plants depend on the filter to keep their habitat in good shape. You might lose a lot of aquarium life if your filter isn’t the right size.

Fish numbers and types

Aside from the size of your tank, the number of fish and plants you have can influence your filter selection. The best fish tank filters can keep up with your fish stock without allowing the water quality to deteriorate too quickly. The larger the number of fish you have, the more powerful your filter must be to keep up with all of their waste. 

To keep the water quality under control in a tank with a higher fish load, you can need to get a filter that’s rated for a larger tank than you have.

The rate of flow

Filters are rated not only by their capacity and power but also by their flow rate. The flow rate of the tank water through the filter is measured in gallons per minute.

A filter that can turn your entire tank over in four hours is usually recommended. A filter with a minimum flow rate of 120 gallons per hour, for example, is required for a 30-gallon fish tank (GPH). In ideal circumstances, the specified flow rate is always the maximum GPH.

Tank filter brands

There are some brands that manufacture filters that are considered to be more durable than others. Tetra, Marineland, Penn Plax, and AquaClear are some of the most well-known filter brands.

These aren’t the only trustworthy labels, but they are some of the most well-known. Sticking to reputable labels doesn’t guarantee a superior product, but it does increase the chances of finding one that performs as it should.

FAQs about best filter for fish tank

Why is it important to have a filter for a small tank?

The fish in a fish tank, no matter how big or small will still produce waste. Filters encourage you to maintain livable, safe water quality without having to adjust the water on a regular basis. 

Small tanks need to have a filter almost as much as bigger tanks since the limited space within allows water content to change more rapidly.

When should you clean a fish tank filter?

You should clean at least once every 2–4 weeks, the filter should be washed. If it runs over capabilities than itself, you should clean it more often.

What is the safest way to clean the filter in a fish tank?

The biological filter media must be washed with tank water rather than tap water while washing the tank filter. This ensures the chlorine in drinking water does not inadvertently destroy beneficial bacteria. Otherwise, any non-chemical method would suffice to clean your filter.

Is the amount of waste created by all fish the same?

Some fish make a bigger mess than others. This is something you should be mindful of before finalizing the setup for the filter. 

If your filter is still struggling to keep up with your current tank, adding messier fish could make it ineffective. To sustain the same water level, messier fish tanks need more powerful filtration.

Is it possible to use a new aquarium filter right away?

Yes. This is because biological filtration is an essential part of ensuring consistent water quality. Since a new filter would lack the beneficial bacteria that your tank needs, you will jumpstart the process by using the media from an existing tank.

As a result, it’s best to let your new fish tank run for a week or two before adding some fish, to allow the filter to build up beneficial bacteria.

In conclusion, selecting the best fish filter for fish tank is critical to the health of your entire tank. Recognize the variations between aquariums and make the determination that best suits your aquarium and fish and plants in your aquarium.

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