Easy to set up, maintain, and clean
Has an adjustable spray bar
Includes a built-in UV light
Comes with a dual filter chamber
There’s no backflush
Easy to set up and maintain
Good for saltwater and freshwater
Has 360-degree rotation flow valve
Includes everything for easy setup
When it comes to searching for a filter for your aquarium, there are many things to consider and research. Not all filters are made the same or similar to one another. They come in many different shapes and sizes and will do various tasks for your fish tank. That’s why we’ve taken the time to look at the best fish tank filters to save you some research.
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At first glance, fish filters look like they’re rotating the water back into the aquarium, and that’s it. However, there’s a lot more to it. When looking for the right fish tank filter for your aquarium, you need to look at the filter type, the filtration process it goes through, and your aquarium’s sizing.
There are many different kinds of fish tank filters, such as power filters, canisters, under gravel filters, sponge filters, and more. They can also be external or internal filters depending on your needs for your aquarium.
These kinds of filters are most likely the ones you see most often in aquariums when you’re at someone else’s house. A power filter can go through multiple filtration steps such as chemical, biological, and mechanical so that your tank gets what it needs to keep the water and your fish healthy. This filter type typically clips onto the edge of your fish tank and hangs outside for easy access for simple setup, maintenance, and cleaning. They come in various sizes depending on how large or small your aquarium is.
Canister filters are more powerful than power filters. They’re in a cylinder shape, which is how they get their name. These are relatively bulky, but they can easily be hidden behind or underneath your aquarium so that it looks like there’s no filter attached at all. Some people prefer this so that their overall aquarium looks neater. On the other hand, some canister filters might sit inside the aquarium either on the side or at the bottom. There’s a lot more upkeep with canister filters, but they perform biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration and sometimes water polishing and oxygenation.
There are a few different filtration processes that happen to keep your aquarium’s water looking clear and clean, as well as keeping your fish happy and healthy. Fish produce ammonia, which is a toxin that needs to be removed from your tank’s water. Biological filtration will do just that through the use of the nitrogen cycle. It will turn the harmful ammonia into good nitrites. Chemical filtration will eliminate any other harmful toxins in the water that isn’t safe, such as metals and other materials, primarily if you use tap water to fill your aquarium. Mechanical filtration will visibly clean the water and purify it from debris such as food waste or leftover food that can quickly dirty the tank water.
Finally, when it comes to searching for the right filters for your fish tank, you need to choose a filter that will filter through the size of your aquarium. No matter what type of filter you decide to buy, it will tell you how powerful it is and what it can handle. These filters will say they’re good for aquariums “up to 100 gallons,” for example. If you have a tank that’s 50 gallons, you need a filter that will handle at least 50 gallons of water.
Most filters will come with instructions on how to clean your filter. Every type of filter is different and will require another way of cleaning it. However, these filters usually come with cartridges that you can place inside to help with the filtration process. This is something that you can clean and, eventually, replace once it gets too dirty to clean anymore. One thing to note is that you can rinse these cartridges. It is recommended not to rinse them in tap water to add some harmful toxins back into the tank. Instead, you can rinse it in the bucket of dirty water during your siphoning. This will clean it but keep the bacteria on the cartridge.
Your filter should remain on at all times. Your aquarium needs continuous filtration, and running your filter at all times is the best way to do that. Before adding any fish to your tank, it’s a good idea to run your filter for at least 24 hours so that some good bacteria can build up throughout the filter and the tank’s water for your new friends. Sometimes, your filter may turn off if there’s something wrong with it, or maybe it will seem like it’s not working because it’s clogged. This means you need to clean or figure out how to fix the problem. Worse comes to worst; you may need to buy a new one. However, filters are pretty sturdy and will last you a few years. If the power goes out in your home and the filter doesn’t work for a few hours, it’ll be okay. However, it should always be running.
This answer is dependent on a few things. This is one reason why looking at the size of your aquarium and choosing an appropriate filter matter. If your aquarium has a filter that’s powerful enough for 100-gallons, but you only have a 30-gallon tank, then it may be too much for your fish. The strong current could harm your fish and, depending on the type of your fish (how big they are), it could kill them. Regardless of how strong of a filter you have, it’s always a good idea to diversify your aquarium with plenty of decor and plants so that your fish have plenty of hiding spaces. Some species like to hide because they may be shy, while others might be scared, or it could be a sign that the current is too strong for them. If this often happens with your fish, check your filter and make sure the current is just right. Alternatively, smaller fish can get sucked up into the tube through the filter. Filters have a grate at the bottom to ensure that this doesn’t happen, but some power filters don’t have this. If you have small fish or even fry inside your tank, keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t stray too close to the filter. On the other hand, you can make a make-shift grate yourself to make sure this won’t happen.
The short answer is no. All fish need a filter to thrive inside their aquariums. They will survive for some time, but you’ll need to do extra water changes and cleaning. The tank’s overall maintenance will be more in-depth and more often rather than if you had a filter to take care of your fish. Filters go through many different filtration processes. These processes will ensure that you fish and the water remain clean, clear, and healthy. Fish naturally produce toxins that are harmful to them, and, over time, fish waste and leftover food will visibly dirty the tank. Algae will grow on the decor, plants, and the sides as well. A proper filter will ensure that your fish and the tank stay healthy, and the water will be clear. Plus, you’ll only need to clean the filter once in a while instead of deep-cleaning the entire tank more often.
If you have an external canister filter, then the output should be at least 1.5 to 2 inches deep into the water. This will submerge it enough to siphon through the water it needs to filter through the filter and back into the tank. For the most part, the size of the filter will let you know. For example, if you have a power filter that clips onto the edge of your tank, then it will sit nicely on the aquarium without you needing to adjust it. On the other hand, some filters are entirely submerged inside the tank’s water. Internal filters such as sponge filters, under gravel filters, and even some canister filters will cling to the side or rest on the bottom of your tank. It will depend on the type of filter you buy and how you want the current for your fish to flow.
When cleaning your filter, be sure to avoid any cleaning chemicals and hot water not to kill any good bacteria.
A fish filter is equivalent to an air purifier for humans.
Choosing the right fish tank filter for your aquarium doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There’s a lot to think about, but there are many great options for your fish friends.