Top 8 Aquarium Filters of 2020 – #5 is Most Economical

14 min


Aquarium Filter – Buying Guide, Reviews and Analysis

In order to guarantee a healthy and safe environment for your pets and plants in your aquarium, you must have a good filtering system installed so that you can trap the contaminating particles in the water before it returns to the tank. A good option is the model Hydor C01103, an external filter with a large capacity, so you can install it in tanks of different sizes. The second alternative could be All Ponds Solutions CUV-207. This model has an integrated ultraviolet light with which you can eliminate bacteria, algae build-up and any other microorganisms that could endanger the health of your fish.

Comparison table

 

The good stuff

The Bad

Conclusion

Offers

Top 8 Aquarium Filters – 2020 Opinions

Aquarium filters are necessary to ensure an environment with the right parameters and hygiene to guarantee the good health of your fish and in this list you will find some striking options with an attractive quality/price ratio:

External aquarium filter

1. Hydor 104I-HY/C01103 Prime 10 External Filter

Among filtering systems, the Hydor model stands out for its capacity, which allows it to work with tanks of between 10 and 250 liters, so that you have freedom when choosing where to install it.

On the other hand, this external aquarium filter also has a powerful motor, as it can move a maximum of 650 litres of water per hour, so that the environment inside the tank remains oxygenated and with a constant flow of purified water for your plants and fish.

In addition, as it is external, the filter has a practical design in which a rubber base stands out to prevent it from moving out of place due to moisture or engine vibration. It measures 17.4 x 19.8 x 30.1 centimetres and weighs 308 grams, so that you can handle it comfortably when installing it.

This model could be the best aquarium filter of the moment and here we present its pros and cons:

Pros

Capacity: It has a wide and powerful capacity to be able to work with different size aquariums and offer an optimal performance within its parameters.

Filter: The filtering material for the system is already included with the purchase of the equipment so you do not need to spend additional money.

Quiet: It is quieter than other models thanks to the rubber shock-absorbing base.

Installation: Your installation in the aquarium will be simple and uncomplicated, as it is practically ready to use.

Cons

Diffuser: No diffuser nozzle to enjoy bubble production, which could make it versatile.

Buy at Amazon – Price ($44.5)

Aquarium UV filter

2. All Pond Solutions CUV-207 UV Light Sterilizing Filter

All Ponds Solutions offers an aquarium UV filter that can be installed directly on the wall if desired, as it comes with a mounting kit and screws. So you can secure the system to a reliable surface.

It measures 23.8 x 9 x 7.6 centimetres and weighs 998 grams. It is compact in size so it does not take up much space and can be easily maintained.

In addition, opinions agree that it could be the best aquarium filter, since it has an integrated ultraviolet light bulb with which you can purify the water that passes through the system and thus return it safely to your fish and plants.

As for its capacity, the equipment has an engine with which it can work in tanks of a maximum of 4,000 liters of water, as indicated by its manufacturer.

All Ponds Solutions is perhaps the best brand of aquarium filters and now you will know the advantages and disadvantages of this model:

Pros

Drop: The water outlet offers a soft drop in jet for your aquarium at the time of circulating the liquid, contributing to oxygenation.

Compatibility: Can be installed in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums without any problems.

Accessories: With its acquisition you will get without additional cost a quartz tube and the UV light bulb, so you can use it as soon as you take it out of the package.

Mounting: A mounting kit is included so you can easily mount it on the wall near the aquarium.

Cons

Manual: One of its disadvantages is that the instruction manual is in English, which could complicate its use.

Buy at Amazon – Price ($37)

Internal aquarium filter

3. Tetra In Plus 300

If you need an internal aquarium filter, this model of Tetra In Plus might interest you. It is a practical size device with modest capacity for small and medium sized aquariums.

It measures 10.2 x 8.8 x 19.6 centimetres and weighs 200 grams, so it will be easy to find the right corner where you can install it without disturbing your pets.

In addition, the aquarium filter has integrated suction cups that will allow you to place it directly on the glass of any of the sides of the tank, avoiding you having to modify the structure.

Regarding its capacity, this model is designed to work with tanks that have between 10 liters and 40 liters of water, since it has a power of 5 watts. On the other hand, it should be noted that the system uses a biological filtering sponge in conjunction with active carbon to purify the water and trap all the agents that are harmful to the health of your fish.

If you haven’t yet been able to decide which aquarium filter to buy, we advise you to evaluate what the Tetra In Plus team has to offer:

Pros

Design: This filter has a practical, compact and easy to use design so that you can install it without any problems.

Installation: It has suction cups so that you can mount it without the need for tools and in just a few seconds.

Filtration: It filters the water using biological sponge and active carbon, so a good performance is guaranteed.

Nozzle: The water outlet nozzle can be rotated 180º so that you can direct its fall wherever you prefer.

Cons

Maintenance: This model may require more frequent maintenance than other models.

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Buy at Amazon – Price ($9.99)

Aquarium backpack filter

4. AquaClear A6000

A600 could be one of the best aquarium filters of 2020, as it uses three stages to ensure that the water circulating inside your aquarium is purified.

Specifically, the first stage is called mechanical filtration, designed to trap particles and solid waste, followed by chemical filtration, through which bad odors and impurities present in the water are absorbed by food and animal waste. The last stage is biological filtration designed to reduce the levels of ammonia and nitrites in the water, thus regularizing its hardness to improve its conditions.

In addition, this backpack aquarium filter has a practical design that exploits the potential of the system. Its dimensions are 14.5 x 10 x 15 centimetres and it weighs 680 grams, being able to work in tanks of up to 114 litres with a flow of 190 litres per hour.

To be able to determine the best aquarium filter, it is important to know it thoroughly and here you have more details about this product:

Pros

Filtration: There are three stages of filtration for your aquarium water, each with a specific action for purification.

Installation: It can be placed directly on the edge of the tank, being easy to install.

Flow: The engine offers a flow of 190 liters per hour, which will keep the water circulating and oxygenated.

Use: The components and capacity of this equipment make it suitable for fresh and salt water aquariums.

Cons

Noise: Since the waterfall is cascading, this can produce disturbing noises for some users.

Buy at Amazon – Price ($26.71)

Filter for 20-litre aquarium

5. WilTec SunSun HBL-302 Pendant Filter

If you need a 20-litre aquarium filter, WilTec has an alternative that may be just right for you. The model HBL-302 of the SunSun line is designed for tanks of up to 25 liters capacity, being suitable for small size aquariums.

It has an integrated 3W motor with which it can move up to 350 litres of water per hour and thanks to its backpack design, the water output will be in a gentle waterfall mode so as not to disturb your fish.

On the other hand, its size is practical with dimensions of 14.4 x 11.4 x 4.1 centimeters and a weight of approximately 400 grams so that you can easily place it on the edge of your tank. For its part, the pump is 4.7 x 5 x 3.5 centimetres in size, being discreet and silent. In addition, the power cable is 1.3 meters long, so you have freedom to choose where you want to put it.

For some, this might be the best value aquarium filter, which is why we advise you to consider it:

Pros

Regulator: You can regulate the power of water circulation from a minimum of 20 liters per hour to a maximum of 350 liters per hour.

Filtration: It uses two carbon filter cartridges that will trap impurities and bad odours in your aquarium water.

Maintenance: Maintenance is simple, as its parts can be dismantled without the need for tools.

Compatibility: You can install this filter in fresh or salt water without any problem.

Cons

Sponge: If you wish to use the sponge as a filtering agent, you must purchase it separately.

Buy at Amazon – Price ($5.82)

Eheim Aquarium Filter

6. Eheim Pickup 160 Internal Filter

The Pickup 160 is an Eheim aquarium filter that stands out because it is delivered ready for use, with the filter system and its components pre-installed, as well as a pair of suction cups for easy adhesion to the aquarium glass.

It has a practical and comfortable design with dimensions of 7 x 8 x 22 centimetres to take up little space inside your tank and not affect the harmony of your pets and plants. It is also said that the engine is quite quiet and does not affect or disturb at all, even if it is kept running at night.

On the other hand, it is easy to maintain, since the design of the housing allows you to disassemble it with your hands, to remove the accumulated dirt and wash the sponges. This will ensure a flow without loss of power, as well as more noticeable performance and better health for your fish.

Eheim offers you an eye-catching option that also has very useful functions for the care of your aquarium:

Pros

Design: It is a filter of discreet and compact design that you will be able to locate without problems inside your tank for the treatment of the water.

Capacity: It is recommended for aquariums of between 60 and 160 litres capacity for a water flow of between 220 and 500 litres per hour.

Suction cups: It has suction cups to adhere to the surface of the tank safely.

Silent: The low noise level produced by the filter when it is on has been highlighted, so it does not cause any discomfort.

Cons

Plug: Note that it comes with an English plug and in order to use the continental, you must remove the screw from the base.

Buy at Amazon – Price ($24.99)

Filter for 100-litre aquarium

7. WilTec SunSun HBL-802 Trailer Hanging Filter

The model HBL-802 of the SunSun line corresponds to an aquarium filter of 100 liters that has a 6W engine with which it can circulate a maximum of 500 liters of water per hour, being very practical for the daily maintenance of your aquarium.

It is a pendant type for easy installation and offers a water flow adjustment system that will regulate both suction and output to suit the size of your tank.

In terms of design, the filter measures 13.5 x 27 x 28 centimetres and weighs 1.7 kilograms. It is made of strong plastic and will be able to withstand knocks or scratches to keep it looking like new for longer.

Another advantage is that the filtering system is already ready to use, avoiding you having to invest money in biological components after purchasing the filter.

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Analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each model will help you make a better purchasing decision. Now, take a look at the ones on the WilTec filter:

Pros

Personalization: You can, in addition to the filtering agents included, integrate others of your preference, such as zeolite or filter rings.

Compatibility: You won’t have performance problems no matter if you install it in fresh or salt water tanks.

Maintenance: Unlike others, this one does not require such regular maintenance, as a full month can pass without it.

Silent: It is silent despite its ability to not cause discomfort at home.

Cons

Weight: It is a bit heavy compared to others, so we advise you to install it carefully.

Buy at Amazon – Price ($15.96)

Biological filter for aquariums

8. Sera 8471 High Performance Self Cleaning Biological Filter Media

If you are interested in a biological filter for aquariums of the cheapest kind, the Sera brand could have a product that will be useful to complement your ecosystem.

The 8471 package contains a total of 145 grams of biological filter rings that you can place inside your aquarium filter to improve its performance and also create the ideal conditions for the growth of beneficial bacteria for the ecosystem. These bacteria will be able to degrade organic substances, such as waste and food residues.

The filter rings have a diameter of 1.5 centimetres each, so you should first consider the size of your filter tank before buying them. They have a three-dimensional porous surface that will serve as a host for bacteria colonies and are self-cleaning, so you can reduce the regularity of the maintenance process of your aquarium.

Being one of the cheapest options, this could be a good choice in aquarium filters if you don’t want to spend too much:

Pros

Structure: The rings provide tunnels and pores for the formation of biofilms necessary for the development of bacteria.

Degradation: The degradation effects also affect the dead bacteria to avoid the clogging of the pores.

Use: To use them, you only have to fill your filter with the rings, turn it on and that’s it, the biostart system will start working immediately.

Flow rate: When using these rings, the water flow will not be affected due to the type of structure.

Cons

Filter: Please note that this product does not include the aquarium filter, but is a filtering component.

Buy at Amazon – Price ($12.95)

Aquarium accessories

Aquarium Filter Sponge

Naisicatar SamGreatWorld Aquarium Filter Sponge

The aquarium filter sponge should be replaced when it has reached the point of not doing the job properly or being too dirty and that is when products like Naisicatar are more than useful.

The sponge has dimensions of 50 x 50 x 2.5 centimetres, which you can cut out according to your taste and needs, depending on the filtering system or where you want to put the sponge.

In addition to this, it should be noted that the sponge material offers permeability and the right density to allow the growth of benign bacteria for biological filtration of the water, offering a healthier and safer environment for your fish.

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Buying Guide

If you are looking for a comparison of aquarium filters, you will notice that there are some crucial aspects to be studied before choosing which one to buy. In this guide to buying the best aquarium filter you will be able to know which are the best so that you can invest in the most suitable one for your tank.

Filter type

If you are looking for an economic model, the first thing you will probably need to check is the type of filter, as there are different systems depending on their installation and components.

Basically, you can choose from four types of filter: internal, external, sponge and box. Generally, the most popular are the first two due to their easy installation and overall performance.

In addition, the market for internal and external filters for aquariums is quite wide, offering models of different capacities so that you can acquire the one that performs best according to the size of your tank or the amount of water it has.

In the case of the internal models, these are usually simple to install and only need to be connected to an outlet to start filtering the water, at the same time causing it to circulate inside the tank. The same could be said of the external units, only that these usually offer, in addition, a waterfall to cause a relaxing effect.

Structural design

Another aspect that can influence its performance and also how much a certain model costs is its structural design. Depending on the capacity of the filter, its size can be affected, so you should consider the size of your aquarium before choosing it. This way you will avoid taking up too much space inside your aquarium and disturbing your fish.

On the other hand, the design also determines how the filter can be installed, either on the inside under water, over the edge or even embedded in the nearby wall. This is important, because if you do not have the necessary space, this could affect its operation or also make it impossible.

In addition to this, considering the type of water outlet would not be out of place, as a fall that is too high or noisy could become annoying for both the animals and you.

Capacity and power

The capacity and power of the aquarium filter you are interested in is also of vital importance so that you can make the most of your investment.

When analyzing the different options that the market offers you in this category, first you must know the size of your aquarium, as well as the amount of water it holds. This should be based on the capacity of the filter to circulate the water depending on the number of litres per hour.

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As recommended, when you choose a filter, it should exceed the water circulation by at least three times the amount stored in the tank to ensure proper oxygenation and purification of the liquid.

Filter components

The following feature focuses on the components of the device’s filtering system. As you know, you can choose between different filter agents for your aquarium based on the type of water, preferred parameters or also type of living organism in the ecosystem.

Fortunately, there are aquarium filters that can work with different agents at the same time, so you can attack the harmful elements in the water without neglecting any.

You could even purchase models that employ several filtering stages depending on the type of waste. This will ensure that you offer your fish and plants a healthy environment in which to grow and develop.

Maintenance and care

Finally, the important feature to consider when reviewing aquarium filter models is the maintenance and care required by the system.

This usually depends on both the type of filtering agent and the capacity of the equipment. In general, the smaller the filter, the more regularly it should be cleaned, as it collects dirt more easily.

On the other hand, when checking this aspect, you must not forget that, in order to clean a filter properly, you must be able to remove the waste accumulated in all the tubes and corners, which is why we advise you to choose a model that can be easily dismantled. This will help you finish the job in less time, with less effort and more ease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How to use an aquarium filter?

Before installing your new aquarium filter, you should first know what type it is, as this influences its location requirements. There are basically three types of filter system: internal, external, sponge and box, although the latter are hardly used in modern aquariums any more.

Depending on their type, you will have to find the right position inside or outside the aquarium to prevent your fish from being adversely affected by their presence. Make sure the water pressure is adequate and the flow rate is not too high, as this could hurt your pets or the aquarium plants themselves.

Also, taking into account the type of filter, you should apply the required cleaning and maintenance treatment, either by washing it frequently, changing the filtering agents or replacing essential components.

Q2: How to make a home aquarium filter?

If you want to make a simple indoor filter for your aquarium, you will first need to buy a pump with enough power to suck in and out the water and adapt it to work in conjunction with a sponge as a filtration system.

The first thing you should do is get a plastic tube that is the right size to insert around the suction nozzle. With a screwdriver you can open holes around the tube up to the height where it will be inserted into the sponge, as this will allow you to suck the water more easily.

Now, connect the hose with the sponge to your pump and place it on one side of your underwater aquarium using the suction cups.

Q3: Does the aquarium filter have to be working all the time?

Yes, as indicated by experts, the aquarium filter should remain on as long as possible, since there are aerobic bacteria that perish when the flow of oxygen is cut off in the water, which can negatively affect the health of your fish and plants.

Q4: What is the purpose of the carbon in the aquarium filter?

The active carbon found in some aquarium water filter systems is primarily intended to act as a safety sponge capable of trapping all harmful particles and chemicals produced within the aquarium by waste and food debris.

Specifically, activated carbon can absorb heavy chemicals such as metals, medicine or toxins that may be in the water, helping to maintain safe purity and acidity levels.

Q5: How many litres per hour should an aquarium filter move?

According to the recommendations of some users and aquarium experts, it is recommended that the filter you place in your tank should be capable of moving approximately three to five times all the water in the aquarium per hour. This guarantees a correct oxygenation to keep the indoor ecological system balanced.

Q6: How do I position the inlet and outlet of the aquarium filter?

Usually, aquarium filters include these parts with their purchase, so you do not have to buy them separately and to be able to locate them correctly, you only have to identify which part goes where, place them at both the inlet and outlet of the filter and proceed to test their operation.

Some advise placing the water outlet near the heater if you have one in your aquarium, to maintain a constant temperature in the circulating water.

Q7: Which is better, a biological or UV aquarium filter?

Biological filters are those created within the aquarium itself, i.e. they are part of the ecosystem and are practically self-sufficient, preventing you from having to constantly clean or change parts.

However, UV aquarium filters are designed for specific uses, as this type of light is able to kill bacteria colonies, treat diseases, purify the water, etc.

Therefore, you must first determine how you will use the filter in order to choose the most suitable one for you and your type of aquarium.

Q8: How do I clean the aquarium filter?

This will depend on the system you have installed. In case you are dealing with an internal filter, it is advisable to do so at least once every two weeks. Be sure to disconnect it from the power supply before handling it to avoid accidents. Remove all parts and clean each one thoroughly with running water and a brush. This way you can easily remove any algae or dirt build-up before putting it back in place.