The fish tank aquarium filter is one of the most important parts of your aquarium life. But not everyone knows what types of tank filters are and which one is better to buy.

So, we tried to write a clear and simple overview of the most popular fish tank filters for you.

Wich Fish Tank Filter is the Best?

People often ask what is the best fish tank filter?

Based on my years of experience, my answer is as follows: according to the aquarium size, appearance, convenient and fish species, density and other factors, maximum play the physical, biological and chemical actions, and can produce high-quality water, which is the best fish tank filter.

There are many fish tank filter types, including upper filter, internal filter and external fish tank filter and so on. Here, I will be based on my experience, simply talk about their strengths and weaknesses.

MarineLand Rite-Size Ready-to-Use Filter Cartridges

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The cartridges are ready to use as they arrive pre-assembled. It will fit to the filter like gloves and will take its place inside the filter with perfection making the process of filtration effective. As the cartridge slides, it results in a high level mechanical and chemical filtration.

Upper Filter

Upper filter, refers to the filter device mounted on top of the fish tank. For this type of filter, usually need to match the appropriate fish tank filter pump.

Pros: easy to clean, able to completely isolated harmful substances and reduce the harm to the fish.

Cons: because the filter is at the top of the fish tank, so the filter can not be too large, otherwise affect the appearance; filter tank is relatively small, and therefore can not be placed too many filtering medium, leading to filtering effect is not comprehensive enough; strong physical filtration, biological and chemical filtration effect is not ideal.

Internal Filter

The internal filter refers to the filter device mounted inside the fish tank.

Pros: very little noise, quiet, energy-saving and easy to clean.

Cons: occupy internal space, does not look good, small power, size can not be too large and can only be used for a small fish tank.

External Filter

External fish tank filter refers to the filter device installed outside the fish tank.

Pros: do not take up interior space, beautiful, almost no noise, large volume filter tank, and cleaning cycle is relatively long (generally once a month, more suitable for lazy people).

Cons: cleaning trouble, often need to check whether there is water leakage, powerful physics, and chemical filtration, but biological filtration is not ideal.

Bottom Filter

The bottom filter refers to the filter device installed in the bottom of the aquarium, put about 4 cm thick sand (about 4 mm in diameter) in the aquarium, and set the water pipes at the bottom of the sand.

Pros: natural, beautiful, large filtration area.

Cons: cleaning trouble, dirt may accumulate at the bottom, this will easily affect water quality; powerful biological filtration, but the physical, chemical filtration effect is almost zero.

Other Filters

In addition to the types described above, there are some common filters, such as back filter and plug-in filter. In fact, they are similar to the upper filter and external fish tank filters.

Pros: energy saving and easy to clean.

Cons: aesthetic impact, low-power, the role is not comprehensive, so can not be used for large fish tanks.

The following brief introduction to the physical, biological and chemical effects.

Physical effects: isolated fish feces, food residue and garbage, etc., to achieve the purpose of water purification.

Biological effects: cultivate beneficial bacteria, also called nitrifying bacteria. By nitrifying bacteria to decompose harmful substances.

Chemistry effects: by chemical characteristics of the filtering medium, to change the properties of water, thus to optimize the water quality.

We had chosen the best fish tank filtersย  for you below:

Fluval 406 External Canister Filter Review

Fluval 406 External Canister Filter - 110V, 340 gallons per hour (Misc.)

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Canister filters are more powerful filters suited to medium to large tanks.

These fish tank filters force the water through the filter media rather than letting it flow through as other filters do. Consequently, they are suitable for tanks that require a high level of filtration. Most canister filters will take a wide range of filter media allowing you to interchange the media to deal with different water conditions. Canister filters sit outside the tank, either behind or underneath it.

Product Features:

  • Advanced filtration system providing maximum versatility and premium performance for aquariums up to 100 gallons
  • Instant priming for convenient, simple and quick filter start-up; No manual siphoning
  • High output motor is sealed in epoxy to resist high temperatures for performance and safety
  • AquaStop Valve offers air and water-tight seal permitting hosing to be disconnected without breaking the vacuum
  • Pump output of 340 gallons per hour; 3-year warranty

Penn Plax Undergravel Filter for 40/50 Gallon Tanks

Penn Plax Undergravel Filter ReviewThese filters for fish tank usually come as a set when you purchase a beginner fish tank. A layer of gravel sits on a slightly raised platform and the filter functions by sucking water through this layer of filter, where the gravel acts as the filter media. Meant for medium tanks with not too many fish, they are relatively easy to clean. Most of the time, all you need to do is vacuum or siphon the layer of muck that build up at the base of the fish tank. They are not too expensive but the platform base comes in standard sizes that might not fit a custom fish tank.

Hydro V Sponge Filter – Up to 125 gallons

Sponge filters are simply a sponge that fits over the water intake. These are really used for breeding tanks where small fry could get sucked into the water intake and are not really suitable for anything but the smallest home aquarium.

AquaClear 70 Power Filter – 110 V, UL Listed

Aqua Clear - Fish Tank Filter ReviewPower filters have become the most popular type of fish tank filter. They are easy to install and simply hang off the back or side of the aquarium, making the filter media easier to change than the canister filter. The biological fish tank power filter can be increased by adding a bio wheel. These are best suited to small to medium sized fish tanks.

Product Features:

  • Refiltration system that offers superior contact time with filter media and energy efficient pump lowers operating costs
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Filtration volume is up to 7 times larger than comparable filters
  • Comes equipped with AquaClear Foam, Activated Carbon and BioMax and Cycle Guard for continuous biological filtration and superior water quality
  • 2-year warranty; Ideal for aquariums up to 70 gallons

The Rational Allocation of Fish Tank Filter

First, consider the size of the aquarium. If the length of fish tank is greater than 1.1 meters, or the volume is greater than 180 liters are large fish tank; if the length is between 0.7 to 1.1 meters, or the volume is between 80-180 liters are medium-sized fish tank; if the length is less than 0.7 m, or the volume is less than 80 liters are small fish tank. Next, consider the aquarium surrounding environment, including aesthetics, convenience and energy saving, and so on. In order to select the appropriate fish tank filter, you also need to consider the fish species, size and density.

For large fish tank, we recommend that you use two or more types of fish tank filters. Large fish tank can accommodate more fish, leading to more dirt, so no matter what kind of single filter to use, it is impossible to achieve perfection. Recommended use filter vat and upper filter. To give full play to the advantages of the filter vat, place physical and chemical filter media as much as possible, without affecting the aesthetics, the upper filter should be as large as possible, and filled with biological filter media, in order to give full play to the biological effect.
For medium-sized fish tank, you can use the high power filter vat. In the filter vat, in addition to placing physical and chemical filter media, but should place biological filter media as much as possible, and improve the water outlet, increase oxygen in the water. Recommended to use mixing filter, such as internal filter and the upper filter or external filter and the upper filter.

For medium and large fish tank, when using mixing filters, filter media placement needs to be adjusted according to actual needs. If the fish tank is placed in a dark place, or the fish is relatively expensive, we recommend using a quartz UV germicidal lamp. Because if the light irradiation is not good, it will lead to the growth of bacteria and algae quickly, germicidal lamp can effectively solve this problem.

For small fish tank, the space is relatively small, and the need to consider the appearance, general use of single filter, and the filter can not too large, the upper filter and plug-in filter are good choices.

In addition to the above suggestions, you need depending on your situation, rational matching fish tank filter. If the filter is too large, the noise will be larger and have greater power consumption, resulting in waste; if the filter is too small, it may not reach the purifying effects. Good fish tank filter systems can be more effective.

Fish culture can beautify the environment, increase the fun, but also need to have energy-saving awareness. Novice should pay particular attention to water, electricity, equipment, and supplies will make you spend money, so you should do the budget in advance. This article is some of my experiences, I hope to be helpful to novices, enabling them to better understand the fish tank filter. If there is anything unclear, you can ask questions, Iโ€™ll try to help you solve.

The Importance of Fish Tank Filter Pump

Fish tank filter pump is an important part of fish tank filter systems, and is one of the key factors that determine the aquarium water quality. Many of the root causes of fish diseases was due to the fish tank filter pump power is too small, and the density of breeding is larger, which cause the filter system can not break down harmful substances in the first time, such as ammonia and nitrite, poor water quality would be easy to breed bacteria and parasites, the consequence is the fish will get sick. So choosing the right fish tank pump is very important.

Factors to consider when selecting the fish tank filter pump are: the species of fish, fish tank size, filter type, stocking density and size of the fish, and so on. Generally speaking, the greater the capacity of the fish tank, the more simple filtering medium, the greater the stocking density, the larger the fish, which will require higher power fish tank filter pumps.

One important way to improve the filtration system is to give your fish tank re-match a suitable fish tank filter pump. In the current market, most of the finished product power is too small, and the filtering medium is simple, and are generally less than the rated power and the marked flow. Most novices prefer larger stocking density and feeding frequency (hope the fish to grow up quickly), but found that the fish began to get sick or die. The reason for this is not understood stocking density, fish species, feeding frequency required to match the strength of filtration system and the size of aquarium. Of course, you also need to consider safety, durability, the actual water flow, and the fish tank filter pump brand is also an important factor needs to be considered.

The Correct Use of Fish Tank Filter

Filter for fish tank is a device used for water purification and oxygenating, its role are: clear manure and other contaminants in the water, keeping the water clear, no harmful substances, maintaining adequate oxygen, no pollution, and water quality suitable for fish growth. When the design and manufacture of your fish tank filter systems has been perfect, but also need the correct use in order to fully play its role. No matter how powerful fish tank filter should also consider stocking density, which is the premise of maintaining good water quality.

Rational use of filter material.

In the current market, there are a large number of new type filter material, and they are expensive. The price of high-end filter material, and even much higher than the aquarium itself. In this article, the conventional filter material will not be described in detail. Currently the most popular is the bacterium house, Iโ€™ve tried several brands of far infrared bacteria house, their advantages are chemically stable, and PH values fluctuate slightly, but will produce slag dust, in the first month of use , the aquarium is very turbid. When selecting these upscale filter material, physical properties and chemical stability are preferred conditions, it is best to buy a small amount first.

According to the water quality adjustment needs to select the filter material.

In the physical filtration process, white cotton is required, preferably simultaneously with the coarse and fine, to meet the needs of physical entrapment. If there are no other requirements, you can only use the physical filter material and biological filter material. Of course, if the requirement for water is relatively high, you may be appropriately selected softener resin, etc., to adjust the water quality.

The rational allocation of fish tank filter pumps.

Recently, I used a few different brands of fish tank filter pumps, some fish tank filter pump prices relatively low, but the quality is poor, with less than half a year, the displacement losses increased significantly, failed to achieve the desired effect, and the noise is relatively large, some even unbearable. When selecting fish tank filter pump, pump displacement should be 4 to 6 times the total volume of the aquarium and the filter tank, and we should also eliminating the loss of displacement, so as to achieve the desired effect of water treatment. For example, I have used a pump which marked displacement is 10,000, but the actual flow rate is just over 7000, and does not exclude other pump displacement losses will be even greater.

Improve the nitrogen cycle process.

Although already equipped with high-grade fish tank filter pump and high level bio-filter, if there is no reasonable use and maintenance, it will be difficult to achieve good filtering effect. Regular maintenance is required to be done, such as white cotton should be regularly cleaned and replaced, and the number of filter material need to meet the stocking density. Even the biological filter material, when the water quality is seriously aging or PH values โ€‹โ€‹fell sharply, be sure to replace batches to ensure water quality is stable.

Fish Tank Filters Accessories

Fish tank filters have parts and accessories that you have to change from time to time. The most commonly used are filter bags, filter cartridges, and filter media. Examples of filter media are ceramic rings, sponge or foam inserts, filter gravel, foam blocks, and filter pads.

Detailed Description of the Fish Tank Filter

Many novice fish culture lovers often worry for the fish tank filter, the filter is good or bad for the fish culture is very important, water quality is good or bad not only depends on the nature of water, and need a good fish tank filter systems, you can also say that it determines the success or failure of fish breeding. Many seniors have written a lot of articles talking about their ideas and experiences, after a period of research and study, I wrote this article, I hope you like it.

Tropical fish and aquatic plants must be grown in a suitable living environment, so as to grow rapidly. In the process of keeping tropical fish, aquarium water quality is an uncertain and dynamic environment, reared in the aquarium are living organisms, they secrete and excrete dirt in every moment, harmful substances in the water will continue to increase, which requires the fish tank filter to maintain stability water quality.

Filter for fish tank is an important part of the aquarium, aquarium filter through the filter material to filter out impurities in the water, fish waste, secretions, bait and organic matter in water, in order to adjust various indicators of water and maintain water quality stability, keep the water inside the aquarium permanently fresh, making the tropical fish and aquatic plants like living in the wild environment.

Aquarium filter consists of filter tank, water pumps and filtration materials. Fish tank filter working principle is pumping water through the water pump to the filter tank, filter tank containing filter material, filter material will filter water and put harmful substances or impurities in the water to stay in the filter tank, filtered water back to the fish tank.

In the aquarium market, we can see many different shapes aquarium filters, including the upper portion filter, built-in filter, bottom filters, external fish tank filter and biochemical cotton filter. Although they have the function of filtering, but for different purposes and different aquariums have different choices. For example, compact aquarium space are relatively small, if matched with a built-in filter, available space inside the fish tank will become even smaller; if youโ€™re rearing very small fish, high power filters may suck fish into the filter, so you can use bio-cotton filters; if there are aquatic plants in the fish tank, water flow can not be too fast, so you can use the built-in filter or bottom filter.

Best aquarium filters work required by the fish tank filter pump, both sides of the fish tank filter pump, inlet and outlet pipe are respectively connected. Fish tank filter pump can be divided into a submersible pump and off-water pump. The biggest advantage of submersible pumps are sound light, and in the work itself will generate heat that can raise the water temperature 1 ~ 2 โ„ƒ, but in the summer the water temperature will be too high, then you should use an external pump. When buying fish tank filter pump, pay attention to the tightness of the pump, and the sound should be relatively small. Fish tank filter pump power and capacity of the aquarium is directly proportional, the larger the aquarium, the greater pump power is required.

The Role of Fish Tank Filter Systems

The role of fish tank filter systems is to remove toxins in the water, in order to maintain water bodies clear. In the process of judging the quality of the water, toxins index is very important, as long as there are toxins, no matter how clear the water, the water is not good, not suitable for fish farming. The presence of toxins described nitrification system is not yet perfect, high-quality water toxins indicators must be zero. Essence of aquarium filtration system is biological filtration, it is through the establishment of nitrification system, using biochemical means to break down toxins, in order to maintain water quality, which is why fish tank filter system also known as biological filtration system.

The main role of the aquarium filter system are as follows:

Physical filtration, the filter material is cotton filters. Cotton filters fibers can filter insoluble impurities and waste in the water. Physical filtration is an essential part of the aquarium filter systems. Cotton filter should always wash and changed frequently, this can effectively reduce the content of organic matter in the fish tank, thereby reducing the burden of nitrification system, and then further reduce minerals waste. If you ignore the physical filter configuration scheme, bluntly said, fish tank is like a septic tank.

Chemical filtration, the filter material including ammonia absorption stone, water softener resins and activated carbon, and so on. By chemical filtration can remove harmful substances soluble in water and can adjust the PH value; in addition, the use of activated carbon in the filter process, although its role is physical adsorption, but the adsorbed substance is soluble in water. It should be noted that most of the chemical filtration filter material, such as water softener resin, etc., when in use, the need to meet the testing equipment, so as to better control water quality. Therefore, for the average player, you can omit this step.

Biological filtration, the filter material including biochemical ball and biochemical cotton and so on. The use of biochemical balls and other filter medium, in order to provide a good growing space for nitrifying bacteria, the biological effects of nitrifying bacteria can put toxic waste into non-toxic substances. This is the most important part of maintaining aquarium water quality.

Other effects: for example, the filtered water can scour aquatic plants, and promote fish swimming exercise, and can prevent the water temperature stratification, and so on, these are the positive effects.

Depending on the direction of water flow, fish tank filter systems filter material settings in the following order:

Water inlet โ†’ (fish tank filter pump) โ†’ physical filtration โ†’ chemical filtration โ†’ biological filtration โ†’ (fish tank filter pump) โ†’ water outlet.

Note: fish tank filter systems must be continuously open 24 hours. Nitrifying bacteria are aerobic bacteria, if under hypoxic state, will quickly die. For non-trickle filter system, if the filtration system is shut down for several hours, it will cause massive death of nitrifying bacteria, and even cause the collapse of biological filtration system. In addition, in the oxygen-free environment, the denitrifying bacteria will release hydrogen sulfide.

Establish and Improve the Fish Tank Filter Systems

Full collection of excreta and food residues is the basic capability of the fish tank filter.

All filters for fish tank need to do first is waste collection. This requires the design of the overflow area is reasonable, and the size of the inlet and outlet pipes need to match well. As long as the water level drop can reach 1-1.5 cm, pumping fish feces is absolutely no problem.

Only rational design flow can brought fish feces to the overflow area. But the strength of the water flow needs appropriately. That is the strength of the water flow can not be too big or too small, when the fish feces was brought to overflow area, the intensity of the water flow is reduced to the minimum. If the flow intensity is relatively large, fish feces and other garbage will float in the water, if the flow intensity is too small, it can not achieve the desired effect. The solution is to choose the right fish tank filter pump and ball valves to control the flow.

Aquarium as home decoration, if the pipeline messy, there is no beauty at all.

Strengthen the ability of physical entrapment is a prerequisite for water quality treatment.
When the fish tank has the ability to collect manure and residual waste, the need to strengthen the physical entrapment to perfect physical filtration capacity. Physical filtration is very important, is the material basis for all other forms of filtration. Energy source of all saprophytic bacteria and nitrifying bacteria were collected by physical filtration.

Rational design of physical filtration systems and match reasonable physical filter media. Practice has proved that white cotton needs to meet certain conditions in order to improve the physical entrapment, if the thickness of the white cotton does not meet the requirements, or the water flow is too strong, the fish droppings might directly through physical filtration area, resulting in physical entrapment failure.

Since the emergence of trickle filtration, more and more aquarium fans fell in love with this powerful water treatment methods. Trickle filtration has the following advantages: full aeration and increase dissolved oxygen, helps improve the fiaquarium filter systems, and carbon dioxide would be easier to escape, which is more suitable for large-scale fish farming. But the disadvantages are also obvious, trickle filters need to set up high in the rear of fish tank, making the lack of aesthetics, and if there is not enough height, it would be difficult to fully play its advantages.

Fish tank filters are designed to create excellent water quality, and reduce the pressure of feeding and management, so the aquarium filter design requires comprehensive consideration.

Biological filtration need to design reasonable.

Under normal circumstances, after using fish tank filter a few months, you need to wash or replace biological filter media, if you do not set up a separate sewage pipe, management will be very troublesome. But the problem is sewage pipe need to occupy space inside the filter tank, which requires the designer to make reasonable arrangements for the pipeline, saving every available space.

Various biological filter chamber need to set the precipitation zone, after a period of use, the product of nitrification and biological filter residue will fill the filter tank, set the precipitation zone is conducive to clean and daily management.

Categories: Fishes

Janny Collins

Hi there! My name is Janny. I am very happy to see you there! I hope this post was useful :)
I am an experienced pet owner and pet care blogger. I have two beautiful pets for today: cat Suisse (11 years old) and dog Jack (6 years old).
I will be happy to share the best of my knowledge with you.

Make your Pet Happy!


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