Best Filter For Shrimp Tank – Reviews and Buying Guide

Using a sponge filter has become more and more popular among shrimp breeders because of many advantages that surpass the other odds. That is the reason why the sponge filter seems to sound a bit “low-tech” but it still exists as one of the most well-known filters among aquarists. While other types of filters easily get your delicate shrimps sucked into the filter intake, the sponge filter, on the other hand, creates a “food trap” for your shrimp to dig on and it is also very safe for even baby shrimps. Let us help you to seize 5 of the best filter for shrimp tank in the current market. 



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Top 5 Best Filter For Shrimp Tank You Should Buy

Top 1: NEWKOSEA Aquarium Air Filter

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There are 4 sizes for you to choose from: 5-gallon, 10 –gallon, 20-gallon, and 40-gallon filter. It does not include an air pump, airline hose, and check valve.


  • Extra space for bacteria: The design of 10-layer ribbing shape (for 40-gallon size, 7-layer for 10 and 20-gallon, and 5-layer for 5-gallon size) and double sponges generate more space for your beneficial bacteria to grow and quickly creates a biological filtration. The water outlet is adjustable and there are also two suction cups on it so that you could place the filter anywhere you like in the tank. Moreover, you could even put extra bio-media in the water outlet to increase the filtering effect.
  • Eco-friendly material: The sponge is made from food-grade material and should be changed within 6 – 8 months. 
  • Easy-to-setup and maintain: Firstly, this is an air-driven filter so you should connect it with an air pump and equip the airline hose with a check valve to prevent water to return to the air pump.  The sponge is also to be taken out for cleaning: just slide it off, rinse and squeeze in used aquarium water once a month.


  • The suction cup sometimes may pop out but you could easily get it back in place.
  • Need to use together with a power filter for the best filter results.

Top 2: Lefunpets Biochemical Sponge Filter

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There are 4 sponge sizes designed to suit a tank from 5 – 80 gallons. It does not include an air pump, airline hose, and check valve.


  • Great biological and mechanical filtration: This small sponge could be placed anywhere at the bottom of the tank and after being connected with an air pump, airline hoses with check valve then a biological filtration bed will be quickly set up. It is recommended to use together with a power filter to support the power filter in the period of newly changing filter media.
  • Fine & soft sponge: The sponge material is very soft and fine so that it could trap almost all the tiny impurities from uneaten food or fish waste. Because it is very soft, it is safe for your baby fish and shrimps.
  • Easy-to-setup and clean: All the parts of the sponge could be detached for easy cleaning. Just slide the sponge off, rinse and squeeze it in used aquarium water. You could also connect it with an air stone and creates incredible bubbles through the sponge. 


  • It is really tiny for each intended aquarium size and needs to be combined with other filters to get the most filtering effects.

Top 3: AQUANEAT Sponge Filter

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The package includes 1 Sponge filter, 4ft Airline tubing, 4 Suction cups, 1 Control valve, 1 Tee, and 1 Non-return check valve. It has a suitable size for a tank of up to 60 gallons.


  • Create both mechanical and biological bed: The surface of all the bubbles and pockets in the sponge provides the biological beds for bacteria for quick growth, especially in a newly set up tank. 
  • Easy-to-setup and maintain: To get it to start, just insert the airline into the unit and turn on the air pump to push water thru the sponge. For cleaning, just rinse and squeeze the sponge in tank water. After 3 to 6 months, the sponge may get clogged by tiny debris and there will be less space for bacteria, so you have to check and consider changing it.
  • Safe for baby fish and shrimp: The filter produces minimal currents so there is no way your baby shrimp will be sucked into the filter.


  • You may have cut one end of the plastic to put an air stone inside.

Top 4: Powkoo Sponge Aquarium Air Filter

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It fits a tank holding 5 – 20 gallons. You will need an air pump, airline hose, and check valve to make it work.


  • High-quality and durable sponge: The sponge is made from high-density porous 60ppi sponges and the design is a 7-layer ribbing shape, thus, it is long-lasting and creates more surface as well as quickly filtering to get crystal clear water.
  • Easy-to-use and clean: All the parts are detachable for cleaning jobs. There are both a clip and two suckers for setting up the filter anywhere in your tank. Moreover, the height and the direction of the filter could be adjustable easily with the flexible arm holding two sponges and with the adjustable and 3600 rotatable nozzles. For maintenance, rinse and squeeze the sponges once a month to clear the clogs.  
  • Good aeration:  There is also a diffuser to genera more air and oxygen to the water.


  • It does not allow an air stone but actually, you do not need an air stone at all.

Top 5: Aquapapa Bio Sponge Filter 20 

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This filter pack contains 4 sponges with two sizes: small and large. Small filter dimensions: 3.0″D x 6.5″H – Recommended tank size up to 20 gallons and large filter dimensions: 4.5″D x 8.0″H – Recommended tank size up to 40 gallons. It does not come with an air pump, airline hose, and check valves.


  • Simple but work well: The sponge filter gives off many bubbles and adding oxygen to the water. And you will also see the difference in your water after a few days because the biological filtration will be quickly set on the sponges.
  • Safe and gentle: Although the air bubbles are going out from the outlet, there is almost no current around the filter, so your baby shrimps and tiny fishes will surely not suck into the filter.


  • The unit may be too small to add an air stone inside.
  • It creates very weak mechanical filtration so it should be a good filter for breeding or play as a secondary filter in a normal tank.

What are the pros and cons of using a sponge filter for a shrimp tank?


  • Its biological filtration really makes it reliable in cleaning water.
  • Sponge filters also can do good mechanical filtration as long as the pump could draw water as needed.
  • It is easy to maintain, just rinse, squeeze the sponges into used tank water then you could reuse it for several months.
  • The shrimps love the bio-film on the sponge.
  • It is absolutely safe for baby shrimps.
  • It is cheap.


  • It does not have a chemical filtration chamber.
  • The aeration and circulation are not enough.


What are the most popular freshwater shrimps?

  • Amano shrimp: It is also known as Japanese Marsh Shrimp, Japanese Swamp Shrimp is a kind of tank cleaner, who eats algae and uneaten food built up at the tank bottom or around the sponge filter. Amano shrimp could thrive in friendly communities like Cory Catfish and Otocinclus Catfish or other freshwater snails.
  • Bamboo Shrimp: This is a popular aquatic shrimp, also known as Wood Shrimp, Asian Filter Feeding Shrimp, and Flower Shrimp because of many advantages it brings to the tank eco-system. It plays a filtering part by screening out the tiny matter in the water column. Thus, it needs constant water currents in the tank more than other shrimps. It also needs to live with non-aggressive species which will not eat them.
  • Ghost Shrimp: It is also known as Glass Shrimps, who have bright-orange legs and feelers and dark eyes. They are good food scavengers and love to live with aquarium plants.
  • Red Cherry Shrimp: They are small shrimps who love to live in a tank with live plants for more shelters and interesting places to explore. They could spend hours finding tiny bits of food and soft algae among the hard rock at the bottom of the tank.
  • Vampire Shrimp: A Vampire Shrimp, also known as Viper Shrimp, African Filter Feeding Shrimp, African Fan Feeding Shrimp, is a filter-feeding shrimp, just like Bamboo Shrimp. However, unlike Bamboo shrimp who passively extends the web-like feeding mitts out waiting for water to bring food to them, Vampire Shrimp moves their feeding mitts back and forth to catch the food. 
  • Whisker Shrimp: It is also known as Indian Whisker Shrimp, which looks very similar to Ghost Shrimp, both having nearly transparent bodies, torsos, and tails. However, Whisker Shrimp have longer bodies and longer feelers. They are also more aggressive. They could constantly eat alga and clear debris from the tank bottom.

What is the best filtration system for a shrimp tank?

Shrimps, especially freshwater shrimps are very sensitive and delicate. Thus, choosing a filter that could both clean and oxygenate the water and keep the shrimps safe is very important. 

Each filtration system should be decided based on the tank size and the stock.

Below are the most common filters for your choice and combination:

  • Sponge filter: The key here is that the sponge filter is 100% shrimp-safe and could become food traps for shrimp. However, sponge filters sometimes could not create enough water currents for filter-feeding shrimp such as Vampire Shrimp or Bamboo Shrimp. Especially, in a tank that is bigger than 10 gallons, a sponge filter will not do enough filtering job and you will need the support of an internal filter or HOB filter.
  • Internal filter: This is a good filter for a shrimp tank, just take care of any part that may become a shrimp trap.
  • Hang-on-back (HOB) filter:  This filter is perfect if you do not want any ugly thing inside your tank. However, the water intake is usually very strong and you need to safeguard it with a kind of sponge to not let it become a shrimp trap. 
  • Canister filter: This kind of filter is usually used in a big tank, which is holding more than 20 gallons. The filter is usually placed outside the tank, however, the hoses may become shrimp trap, thus, it is not best suited for a shrimp tank. If you are using it for a 50-gallon tank with shrimp, then adding a sponge filter to it will make the tank work best.

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