The Top Ten Aquarium Filters for 2017 (Guide and Reviews)

best-aquarium-filter-review-guideWhether you’re a marine biologist, a fan of aquatic wildlife, or just interested in owning some pet fish, you might have an interest in purchasing an aquarium. Aquariums come in all different shapes and sizes, and make great homes for fish, turtles, and other species of aquatic animals. But part of owning an aquarium is keeping that aquarium clean. And the best and easiest way to keep an aquarium clean is by using an aquarium filter.

Aquarium filters are capable of filtering out waste and other residue so that aquariums can stay clean and habitable. If you’re going to own an aquarium, you should also own an aquarium filter.

Compare: The 10 Top Aquarium Filters of 2017

What is an Aquarium Filter?

An aquarium filter is a device that attaches to your aquarium in order to keep its water clean and healthy at all times. There are many different types of aquarium filters, all differing in the way they operate and work within the aquarium ecosystem.

Types of aquarium filters include air-driven internal filters, undergravel filters, internal power filters, power filters, canister filters, and wet/dry filters. They offer up to three different types of filtration, including mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.

What are the Benefits of an Aquarium Filter?

While you can clean an aquarium by emptying out all of its water and giving it a manual scrub-down, aquarium filters ensure that your aquarium will stay clean at all times with no effort from you. Not only will this save you time and effort, it will also allow your fish to go undisturbed.

Transferring fish from an aquarium to another storage case can be a very trying task. If you have a great number of fish and other wildlife, it can be a near impossible task. An aquarium filter is by far the easiest and most convenient way to keep your aquarium clean.

Who are the Contenders for Best Aquarium Filter?

Fluval Fx6 Aquarium Canister Filter – A canister-style filter, this Fluval aquarium filter is capable of accommodating aquariums up to 400 gallons. Designed to work with both freshwater and saltwater aquariums, you’d be hardpressed to find an aquarium that it isn’t compatible with. Ridiculously easy to install, you simply add water, plug it in, and let it work its magic.

AE SHOP Aquarium external hang on Filter – An external, hang-on filter, this AE SHOP aquarium filter is capable of moving 120 gallons of water per hour. Capable of physical, biological and chemical filtration, it works at maximum efficiency to ensure that water is filtered smoothly and consistently at all times. With a laminated design, it ensures that nitrifying bacteria are able to cultivate and consistently keep your water clean.

XY-2822 Air Pump Double Sponge Water Filter – Equipped with sponge filters, this XINYOU aquarium filter provides both mechanical and biological filtration. Designed to accommodate tanks up to 20 gallons, it’s a great choice for buyers with average size aquariums. An all-purpose filter, it is capable of pre-filtering as well as filtering for breeding and for secondary uses.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Aquarium Filter

Aquarium filters come in all different shapes, sizes, and types. While every different type of filter offers its very own benefits and advantages, there are some filters which are more appropriate for specific types of tanks and aquariums. Canister filters, for instance, are most appropriate for tanks spanning over 200 gallons. Most importantly, you need to make sure that the filter you’re choosing is of high enough quality to accommodate your particular tank. Once you’ve done this, there are a few other things you must consider. These things consist of the filter’s filtration type, its overall construction, its water compatibility, and its ease of use.

Filtration Type

There are a variety of different aquarium filter types, from sponge filters, to undergravel filters, to canister filters, and more. While there’s not enough room to talk about every filter in detail, you should study up on your filters to get an idea as to which one would be most appropriate for your tank.

Construction

Aquarium filters are built and constructed in a number of different ways. While most filters are made out of plastic and metal materials, they all possess a slightly different construction. You might find one that possesses an elaborate series of shelves, and another that possesses a fairly simple sponge design. It’s important to know exactly what you’re getting from each particular design.

Water Compatibility

Though there are some aquarium filters that accommodate both freshwater and saltwater, there are others that accommodate only one type of water. Make sure to read your desired filter’s fine print before making a final purchase.

Ease of Use

While some aquarium filters take a lot of time to set up and maintain, others are easy as turning on and connecting to your aquarium’s water. If you would like to do some regular, manual maintenance of your tank, you would be best served by finding an aquarium filter that is easy to use and install.

Filtration Type

Fluval Fx6 Aquarium Canister Filter

A canister filter, the Fluval Fx6 accommodates aquarium up to 400 gallons in size. With Smart Pump Technology, it is designed to filter water only at given times, working as efficiently and fluidly as possible.

AE SHOP Aquarium external hang on Filter

As far as filtration type goes, this AE Shop aquarium filter is completely different than the Fluval Fx6 in our top 3. A shelf, hang-on filter, it filtrates aquarium water by putting it through two different filtering processes. These processes include physical filtration, and biological filtration.

XY-2822 Air Pump Double Sponge Water Filter

An air pump double sponge filter, this XINYOU aquarium filter is capable of both mechanical and biological filtration. Because of its small size, it poses no risk of trapping or endangering your wildlife, keeping their ecosystem as undisturbed as possible.

Construction

Fluval Fx6 Aquarium Canister Filter

Measuring in at just 21 inches tall, and constructed of tough plastic, the Fluval Fx6 fits in any medium to large size fish tank. Equipped with a long filter hose, it cleans and maintains water at a constant clip, requiring little to no manual maintenance.

AE SHOP Aquarium external hang on Filter

Made out of plastic and metal materials, this AE Shop aquarium filter measures in at 1.3 feet x 0.4 feet, and can be extended to 1.8 feet x 0.4 feet. Due to its laminate design, it helps to build nitrifying bacteria cultures which assist in the process of biological filtration.

XY-2822 Air Pump Double Sponge Water Filter

Equipped with two sponges which allow for the cultivation of nitrifying bacteria, this XINYOU aquarium filter also sports a small air pump. Made out of plastic, it is a simple, yet effective filter for tanks up to 20 gallons.

Water Compatibility

Fluval Fx6 Aquarium Canister Filter

As far as water compatibility goes, the Fluval Fx6 is compatible with both freshwater and saltwater. Whether you’re a marine biologist, or just an aquatic wildlife connoisseur, this filter is designed to accommodate you.

AE SHOP Aquarium external hang on Filter

Unlike this Fluval Fx6, this AE Shop aquarium filter is only compatible with freshwater. Truthfully, it’s not quite large enough to accommodate typical saltwater tanks anyway. This makes it ideal for aquatic wildlife connoisseurs as well as casual aquarium owners.

XY-2822 Air Pump Double Sponge Water Filter

Like the AE Shop aquarium filter in our top 3, this XINYOU aquarium filter is designed to accommodate only freshwater aquariums. Ideally, it would be used in small to medium size tanks, making it great for casual aquarium owners.

Ease of Use

Fluval Fx6 Aquarium Canister Filter

To put it simply, the Fluval Fx6 is as easy to use as any aquarium filter currently on the market. To get it started you simply plug it in, wait a minute for aquarium water to fill it, wait 2 minutes for excess air to exit it, and let it work its magic. Due to this filter’s ability to filter high volumes of water, you will rarely ever have to clean your tank manually.

AE SHOP Aquarium external hang on Filter

Unfortunately, in order to get this aquarium filter working correctly, you also need to purchase an independent pump. However, once this pump has been installed, the filter essentially maintains the tank all on its own. A regular manual cleaning might still be a good idea though.

XY-2822 Air Pump Double Sponge Water Filter

As far as ease of use goes, this XINYOU aquarium filter is fairly simple. All you need is a spare airline. Connect the filter’s air pump to this airline and let it do its thing. It’s really as simple as that.

Conclusion: Our Aquarium Filter Reviews

XY-2822 Air Pump Double Sponge Water Filter – Best Cheap

large-xy-2822-air-pump-double-sponge-water-filterWhile it’s not made for large fish tanks, this XINYOU aquarium filter is a great filter at a very affordable price. Providing both biological and chemical filtration, it will keep your fish and other wildlife safe at all times. Capable of accommodating tanks up to 20 gallons, it provides the ideal location for bacterial colonization. If you’ve got a small to medium-size fish tank and you’re looking for an aquarium filter at an affordable price, you should definitely give this a look.

Pros:

  • Provides both biological and chemical filtration
  • Doesn’t trap small fish
  • Can be used for pre-filtration, breeding filtration, and secondary filtration

Cons:

  • Doesn’t accommodate large tanks

AE SHOP Aquarium external hang on Filter – Best for the Money

large-ae-shop-aquarium-canister-fish-tank-filterThough it’s not the best aquarium filter on the market, this AE Shop aquarium filter is a great buy for a reasonable price. Capable of moving up to 120 gallons of water at a time, it works as consistently and as smoothly as any filter you’re going to find. While it provides excellent mechanical and chemical filtration, its laminate design also accommodates superb biological filtration. If you’re looking for the best aquarium filter at a reasonable price, you need to consider this one.

Pros:

  • Provides mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration
  • Pumps up to 120 gallons of water at once
  • Smooth and consistent filtration capabilities

Cons:

  • Only accommodates fresh water

Fluval Fx6 Aquarium Canister Filter – Best Overall

large-fluval-fx6-aquarium-canister-filterThough it’s certainly up for debate, in our opinion, this is the best aquarium filter on the market today. A canister filter made to accommodate tanks up to 400 gallons, this Fluval aquarium filter is as powerful a filter as you’re going to find. Ridiculously easy to use, you simply add water, plug it in, and let it do all of the work for you. If you’re looking for the best aquarium filter around, look no further than the Fluval Fx6 Aquarium Canister Filter.

Pros:

  • As powerful as any aquarium filter you’re going to find
  • Ridiculously easy to use
  • Works with both freshwater and saltwater aquariums

Cons:

  • Takes up quite a bit of space

All in All

Owning an aquarium can be a fun, interesting, and exciting endeavour. However, it also comes with its share of responsibility. To ensure the health of your wildlife, you must keep their habitat clean at all times. The easiest way to do this is with an aquarium filter.

High-powered filters like the Fluval Fx6 Aquarium Canister Filter will keep you fish tank clean at all times with no serious effort exerted by you. As an aquarium owner, you have a responsibility to keep your fish safe and healthy. Do this by purchasing a high-quality aquarium filter.

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