5 Best Aquarium Filtration Systems

Updated: Nov. 15, 2023

Your aquatic pets deserve the best, so give them a filtration system that will keep their home clean and fresh.

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Reef Tank Maintenance
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Choosing the Best Aquarium Filtration System

A clean aquarium is an important step to caring for happy, healthy fish. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the right aquarium filtration system, the first and most important being whether or not it’s best for saltwater or freshwater animals. Different types of aquatic animals have varied filtration needs. Ensure you’re choosing one that will work for your pets. Here are some tips to clean aquarium sand.

Once you answer that, take into account how large of a filtration system you’ll need. Any online listing will note how powerful the filter is and how large a tank it will support. Most systems, including the majority of the options in this list, can be purchased in a range of sizes.

Lastly, you’ll want to consider the style you like best. Under gravel filters are popular because they are discrete, while others don’t like the difficult maintenance and cleaning. Other filters, like ones that sit on top of the tank, might be louder and more distracting. That might not bother you if it’s in your living room or a family room, but it could be frustrating if it’s kept in a bedroom. Learn how to raise pH in an aquarium.

With those distinctions in mind, take a look at some of the best aquarium filtration systems available online.

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Tetra Whisper Internal Filter For Aquariums
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Tetra Whisper Internal Filter For Aquariums

There’s a reason “whisper” is in the name of this internal aquarium filter by Tetra. The super quiet filter is easy to conceal and is hardly noticeable thanks to its low noise output. This is one of the best small filters available and starts at an affordable $10.76. The filter system comes in different sizes to support tanks between four and 40 gallons.

One reviewer writes: “I usually don’t review items this quickly but it is SO QUIET compared to our old filter. Seriously, you can barely hear the motor.”

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Marineland Penguin Bio Wheel Power Filter
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MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter

With a price tag under $20, you’re unlikely to find many aquarium systems of the same caliber as the MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter at a better price. Powerful bio-wheel technology eliminates harmful bacteria to keep your aquarium clean and clear. This filter is available in several sizes, so pick the right one for the size of your tank.

“I used to work as a marine biologist for a major state aquarium,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “Marineland bio pumps have been around forever. I have been using them for both salt and freshwater tanks in gallon sizes ranging from 10-200. All have worked flawlessly and I will continue to use them as both primary and secondary systems.”

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Aqueon Quietflow Aquarium Power Filter
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Aqueon QuietFlow Aquarium Power Filter

High flow rates with the Aqueon QuietFlow promote healthier, more active fish. A helpful LED indicator easily alerts you when it’s time to change the unit’s cartridge. While this is one of the more expensive options, it is well worth spending $58 for its high quality.

One Amazon reviewer writes: ” It looks very sleek on the tank and the tube is designed so you just clip it on and it just sits on the bottom, so no fussing with extensions or extra tubes or gates.”

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Aqua Tech Power Filter For Aquariums
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Aqua-Tech Power Filter for Aquariums

Odors, discolorations and impurities are removed swiftly by the filter cartridge in the powerful Aqua-Tech aquarium filter. It is a perfect filter system for aquariums between 30-60 gallons.

One Amazon review writes: “This is a beast for a small tank. It is quiet, reliable and does the job. ”

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Lee’s Premium Under Gravel Filter
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Lee’s Premium Under Gravel Filter

If you think filtration systems, this under gravel filter by Lee’s is the perfect option for your aquarium. The larger under gravel filter plates are favorable for saltwater aquariums.

One Amazon reviewer writes: “Seems like a much better quality, for a better price than what we saw at the pet stores.”

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