Whether you’re setting up your first aquarium or upgrading your current one, the best freshwater fish tank filter will make life so much easier for you. Effective, easy to maintain filters can keep your water clean and well balanced which will keep your pets happy. We researched a lot of different brands and top-rated models and found some great filters for tanks of all sizes. First, let’s look at some key features to consider.
Tank Size: It’s really important to use the right size filter for the size of your tank. If it’s not powerful enough, it won’t treat all the water. Too powerful and it’ll blow your fish around and stress them out.
Location: Most of these filters are external. The most popular design hangs off the back of the aquarium with an intake spout that goes down into the water. We did find two great internal filter options which are completely submerged in the tank.
Quiet: All of these filters are relatively quiet. Some make a little extra noise when the water level gets low but that’s easily fixed by performing regular maintenance. Note that internal filters tend to be quieter since they’re completely underwater.
Flow Rate: A good rule of thumb is that the flow rate should be at least 4 times the tank size. That means that the filter is able to cycle the entire tank 4 times every hour.
Dimensions: If you’re looking at an external pump, you’ll need to account for the size of the filter to determine where you can put your tank. For internal filters, this is space that your fish will no longer have available to them.
Warranty: These warranties vary a lot but we are happy to say that each of the products we chose has one. Some of them are covered for 1 to 3 years while there are 3 that come with a lifetime warranty.
Now that you have a better idea of what to look for, let’s move into our fish tank filter review. Here’s how it works. If you’re in a hurry, make sure you take a look at our top and budget picks first. We put them at the top of the list so you can see the range that’s available. Stick around if you can, you never know which of these products will be the one for you. Okay, let’s go!