When it comes to creating a beautiful aquarium, filtration is one of the most important factors in establishing long term success. Any aquarium can look beautiful on day one of the setup but, as that brand new tank look wears off, aquarium hobbyists will need to rely on their filtration to keep their system looking clean and healthy. Aquarium filters come in many varieties including ones that hang on the back of the aquarium, canister filters that are plumbed externally, as well as multi-filters that can perform a variety of tasks in the filtration process. Building an aquarium with an excellent mode of filtration will allow hobbyists to have the perfect foundation to create a successful saltwater, freshwater, planted, or reef aquarium.
While the look of these products may differ, the ways in which they operate are ultimately the same. Aquarium filters are designed to remove harmful elements from the water, create continuous water flow, and polish the water to keep it clean and clear. Within this list, we will break down some of our best aquarium filter options including a great hang on back, the perfect canister filter, an ideal choice for a nano tank, and a great option for a multi-filter.
Best Hang-on-Back Filter: Seachem Laboratories Tidal Power Filters
High quality and well thought out products are what you have come to expect from Seachem and their Tidal Power Filters are no exception. These filters come in four sizes and can be used on aquariums up to 110 gallons. One of the best features on this filter is the oversized filtration capacity that allows you to add any of Seachem’s media to the back of the unit. Another excellent feature is the leveling and flow regulation that allows for the customization of the filter based on the particular tank it is filtering. Finally, the maintenance monitor will alert you when the media inside needs to either be cleaned or replaced. These premium features are tough to come by on any of the other hang on back options which is why we have selected it as one of the best aquarium filters on the market.
Best Canister Filter: Eheim Classic External Canister Filters
Eheim has been producing these canister filters for decades and their build quality, pricepoint, and customer support have allowed them to remain among the top aquarium manufacturers for just as long. These filters come in a variety of sizes to fit your aquarium. Each filter will include a set of media to filter and polish your water. The build on this product has been refined with quick disconnect plumbing to the point now where it is very easy to take apart the filter for a quick cleaning. While Eheim filters may lack some of the special features that you can find on more modern and expensive filters, they are a proven option that is built to last. This makes the Eheim Classic External our choice for the best aquarium filter in the canister category.
Best Filter for Nano Tanks: Dymax Slim Flo SF Hang On Tank Filters
Nano aquarium filtration is just as crucial to the aquarium’s success as it is on a larger system. That is why Dymax’s Slim Flo SF models are our choice for the best aquarium filter for a nano tank. This filter is offered in three different sizes that are capable of operating on tanks between one and twenty-four gallons. The low profile on these filters won’t make them stick out on even some of the smallest nano tanks. One of the best features on this filter is how quiet the pump is. This is crucial, especially in nano tanks where they can often be in a bedroom or living room where noise would not go unnoticed. The replacement pads are easy to remove and replace and they will ensure that your water is polished and clean. The simplicity and low profile on these products make them one of the best aquarium filters for a nano system.
Best All in One Filter: AquaMaxx HF-M Hang-On-Back Multi Filter
In recent years we have seen some filter options that perform more than just simple water filtration and polishing. The AquaMaxx HF-M Multi Filter is not your standard hang on back filter as it comes with a built in protein skimmer, probe holder, tubing holder, and media cartridge. All of these included bells and whistles come together to make a superb all in one filtration unit that can perform on aquariums between 20 and 60 gallons. This filter guides the water through three different stages beginning with the protein skimmer section where waste is removed from the water. Then, the water enters a filtration section where it is polished and biological bacteria is stored. Finally, the water enters the third and final chamber where even more filter media can be customized to suit your system. All of these premium features packed into this single filter provide your tank with a comprehensive saltwater filtration process that cannot be topped without the use of an external sump.
With a heavy focus on filtration, your aquarium will be set up for success. These options will give an idea as to what we think are some of the best aquarium filters on the market. Most of these filters come in different sizes and selecting one that is in the correct range for your aquarium will be crucial to maximize the ability of the filter to properly clean your water. While filtration may not be one of the most exciting and innovative categories of products in the hobby, it is still arguably the most important and we at Marine Depot are here to help you get it right. Please feel free to reach out to our customer care team with any questions you may have or, if you are looking for a personalized recommendation.