Best Aquarium Filters 2023 – Buyer’s Guide

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If you have an aquarium at home, you have to make sure that the water in your fish tank is always clean. However, it is not as simple as you imagine. So, what should be done to maintain freshness in the tank? Whether it can be done yourself easily? Absolutely not! You need the best aquarium filter applied.

Well, to realize it, you need to use a tank filtration system. Fish tank filter comes in various models, and you have to choose it not only based on the model but also the capacity of your aquarium.

That is why on this page I have created a list of the best aquarium filters 2023. After researching online and spending hours time in an aquarium filtration system, I have shortlisted the top filter which you can buy right now.

An ideal aquarium is with 75 to 100-gallon capacity. So, in this page, we will review the most recommended options for aquarium filter were suitable for tank more than 75-gallon aquarium.

Best Aquarium Filters in 2023

best aquarium filters

Surely, these water filters intended for an aquarist who has aquarium tank more than 75-gallon, but it is possible to work also for the less than or medium tanks.

Below is the table which shows the top-rated aquarium filter today and we believe it may be still as Top 10 aquarium filter in 2023. Each and every filter is chosen by our specialist reviewers.

Equipment NameCapacityWeightPrice
AquaClear 110 60 - 100 gallons 4.5 pounds CHECK ON AMAZON
Penn Plax Cascade 1000
(Editor’s Choice)
Up to 100 gallons 12 pounds CHECK ON AMAZON
Penn Plax Cascade 1500 Up to 200 gallons 15 pounds CHECK ON AMAZON
Fluval 306
(Editor’s Choice)
Up to 70 gallons 9.2 pounds CHECK ON AMAZON
EHEIM Classic 320 2215 Up to 90 gallons 11 pounds CHECK ON AMAZON
Aquatop CF400UV Up to 125 gallons 13.5 pounds CHECK ON AMAZON
Marineland Emperor 400 Up to 80 gallons 4.6 pounds CHECK ON AMAZON
Fluval G3 40 to 80 US gallons 18.8 pounds CHECK ON AMAZON
API Filstar XP-M Up to 75 gallons 13 pounds CHECK ON AMAZON
Fluval FX6 Up to 400 gallons 19.9 pounds CHECK ON AMAZON

Well, now without wasting any further time, let’s jump on to our top best aquarium filter list.

1. AquaClear 110 – Best HOB aquarium filter

AquaClear Filter View on Amazon

This AquaClear Filter can be considered as one of the best options of tank filtration. There are many benefits that you will get if you choose this best filter. One of them is the simple and easy installation. So, you can install it quickly. Even though this filter is the best for the size of 100 gallons, it is also good for use in 75-gallon aquarium. So, this HOB filter can be the best option for you to consider.

One of the best features offered is the refiltration system. It is a system that functions to filtration the water in the aquarium you have. Because of this system, the quality of water in your aquarium using this best filter will be better. In fact, it offers good contact time with a filtration medium. The energy efficient pump also makes the cost you spend lower. Compared to the other filters, it has a larger volume. This product offers filtration volume that is seven times bigger than the other filters. That is why it will be much more efficient and can be considered as the best aquarium filtration system.

AquaClear 110 also comes with AquaClear foam, Cycle Guard, and BioMax features. Besides, Activated Carbon also belongs to the features applied to this filter. All the function features above are for better water quality as well as continuous biological filtration. You should not hesitate about its quality because this best power filters in the market guaranteed for two years. It shows that this product has an excellent quality. Therefore, it is a good idea if you choose it as your aquarium filtration.

  • Powerful filter, It moves a lot of water than Marineland HOB. it is ideal for tanks that need a high turnover rate.
  • Reliable filter and durability. Never had a problem related directly to the filter.
  • Very easy to maintain.
  • The motor is removable this makes for easy cleaning.
  • You can use any media filter you can fit in this filter.
  • Almost quiet, no audible pump noise.
  • This filter medium needs to be cleaned often (depending on what you use the filter medium for).
  • Clogs to slow flow.

2. Penn-Plax Cascade 1000 – Powerful Canister Filter

Cascade 1000 canister filter View on Amazon

Similar to the first option, it can also be considered as the best filtration system. Based on the design, it is very ideal. It also looks attractive. However, the durability becomes the plus point of this equipment. In fact, it is made from strong materials especially on the tip-proof base. It is also easy to install. So, you can install it quickly based on the guidance book included. Besides simple to install, Cascade 1000 canister easy to use because it applies quick & easy push-button self-primer.

Many people are interested in this canister because of the flow rate cut off valves. This feature can adjust the water flow when you filter the water in your aquarium. With the better water flow, the water quality will also be better, and it is safe for your fish in the aquarium. Penn Plax Cascade 1000 can pump 265 gallons per hour and suitably used for up to 100-gallon tank capacity. Then, it also offers independent 360 degrees of rotating valve caps. Considering what it offers, this aquarium canister filter is recommended so much for you. That is why you should prioritize buying this.

  • A simple setup, you don’t have to do much work, just read the instructions
  • It applies quick & easy push-button self-primer.
  • The filter system is built with a robust construction to help keep the product working for a long time.
  • Has included a free filter media with each canister bought
  • Good value, the price is very low compared to another canister.
  • Quiet.
  • The media trays are fairly small. Really, the hardest part is putting the hose to fit.
  • I think that requires a little more of power when in operation.

3. Penn Plax Cascade 1500 – Best for more than 75-gallon aquarium

cascade 1500 View on Amazon

Cascade 1500 filtration can be a good option for aquarium more than 75 gallons even this canister filter can handle aquariums up to 200 gallons. It has an attractive design and is portable so that you can use it anywhere. To help the user use this canister filter a quick and easy push button primer apply on Cascade 1500. Besides that, it also offers two independent 360 degrees of rotating taps that make it more efficient when filling water onto the fish tank. Therefore, you can supply water on the aquarium more quickly. Considering the offers above, it is reasonable that it belongs to the best canister filter that is available in the market today.

One of the most benefits that you can get if your filter aquarium using this equipment is that you can apply multi-stage filtration. You have to thanks to the big capacity of stackable media trays. This feature is useful to apply the multi-stage system. Therefore, the quality of the water will be better. So, the water in the aquarium will always be good. As a result, your fish will always live healthily. Because of that, it belongs to the most recommended fish tank filters that you need to consider to buy.

In addition, it is also featured with flow rate shut off valves. It becomes another best feature it offers. It makes many people more interested in this external filter. This feature is very beneficial because it functions to adjust the water flow so that the water flow will be better. It also makes you easier to maintenance this filtration. So, you can clean and maintain it regularly and this fish tank filtration will be much more durable. Many people have bought this, and they are satisfied. Therefore, this features that makes Penn Plax Cascade 1500 the Best used for you who have an aquarium with more than 70-gallon capacity.

  • The spray bar keeps the surface of the water very mixed up and they are totally quiet.
  • A ton of room to always keep extra media for whatever reasons.
  • Good value, affordable price compare to Fluval or another branch.
  • The media trays are relatively small, and sometimes hoses have to be cut to fit.
  • They give you a ton of hose.

4. Fluval 306 – Quiter fish tank filter

Fluval 306 View on Amazon

If you are looking for a smaller fish tank, this can be a good idea. Even though it looks small, this equipment has a great enough capacity. So, it is suitable for you who have an aquarium with up to 75 gallons of capacity. Anyway, it is very portable, and it is easy to bring anywhere. Related to the design this aquarium filtration comes with sound dampening quite impeller design. This design functions to minimize the sound so that it has the quieter operation when you use it.

This external filtration can be considered as the best filter because it offers multi-stage syatem and makes you get many benefits. It gives you more options whether you will use healthy fresh water to be filtered on your aquarium or healthy saltwater. It depends on the kind of your fish. This water filtration also equipped with a dual-layer foam screen for the safety and better look. In addition, it also comes with a clog-proof intake strainer to keep and make sure that the water is really clean.

Fluval 306 canister filter works great and has excellent flow, also built with an Aquastop valve that is patent. Of course, it is very useful. It also comes with multiple filtration baskets. These baskets will keep the multi-filtration system work well and rim connector assemblies to maintain the intake and output hoses in place in your aquarium. Overall, the features make this equipment meet your need so that it is perfect for you. It can be considered as the one of the best aquarium filter available in the market today because it has guaranteed for three years. Therefore, the quality is undoubted.

  • Quality materials used and built solid.
  • There is no much trouble faced by the users while installing it; the instruction manual solves it.
  • Quiet operation. There is no noise produced to annoy the users.
  • Supports with three stage filtration system.
  • The bio-foam ensures better quality filtration.
  • Media included: 1 coarse sponge + 3 media baskets.
  • The AquaStop valve works great for reducing flow and makes the cleaning process easier.
  • The output nozzle is very basic as suggested by the users.
  • Some users have faced trouble, the built of the filter is not strong enough after six months of usage.

5. EHEIM Classic 320-2215

Eheim classic 2215 View on Amazon

This aquarium filtration can consider as the most recommended option because of some exciting features it offers. One of them is the Permo-elastic silicon of fixed sealing ring that applied on the pump head of the filtration. It functions to ease you to close it after cleaning. It also adds the safety. So, it is very important. Besides that, EHEIM Classic 2215 suitable for aquarium up to 90 gallons, is also completed with filtration sponges that keep the quality of the water. Then, you should also have to benefit from loose filter media for the better filtration system. Therefore, it is reasonable to be considered as the best filter for aquarium.

To support their performance, EHEIM Classic it accessorized with some unique accessories. For example is spray bar, hose and also comes with inlet pipe. And there are still many installation accessories that you can use. Prioritizing to used and quality, this filtration comes with filter media. The filtration media applied are EHEIM and Substrate Pro. Valves are also available on this fish tank canister. Because of those complete accessories and features, you should consider prioritizing to buy this high-quality aquarium filtration.

  • The filter is very silent.
  • Simple design and easy to use with Permo-elastic silicon sealing ring on the pump to keep the pump head in position after cleaning.
  • Equipped with filter sponges and it’s Comes complete with filter media for your aquarium needs.
  • A bit more expensive that the rest of canister filters out in the market.

6. Aquatop CF-400UV – Powerful filter with UV sterilizer

Aquatop Cf400uv Canister Filter View on Amazon

The great canister filter to be added to the top 10 list aquarium filter. Of course, talking about the kinds of the pros and the feature of the product is important before you decide it as your personal filter. The Aquatop CF-400UV has included a built-in 9 Watt UV sterilizer to help kill algae and bacteria, also to provide the crystal-clear water. It will be great to increase the quality of the water in your aquarium. That which makes Cf400uv included into the list of the best aquarium filter.

Also, the cf400uv has applied the 3+1 stage filtration system, which will be nice to provide the clean water in your aquarium.

This filter is also powerful in its performance. In this case, the manufacturer says that in filtering, this product can filter up to 370 gals per hour. The owner does not need to worry because this canister will be safe to be used in the tank up to 125-gallon in capacity. It means that it may cover some kinds of the aquarium in your home.

  • Overall design is compact
  • 3+1 stage filtration system
  • Inexpensive and affordable as advance canister filter
  • Complete with UV sterilizer
  • Very quietly
  • Self-priming push button pump
  • Easy cleaning features
  • No handles on the canister
  • Standard quality material
  • Poor manual instruction

7. Marineland Emperor 400 – Durable and efficient filter

emperor 400 View on Amazon

You can also consider buying this Emperor 400 aquarium filtration where suitable for 75 t0 80-gallon capacity. Besides the affordable price, it also durable and efficient filter because of the performance, quality, and features owned. Emperor 400 has certified with 400 GPH of flow rate. This flow rate is ideal for an aquarium filter especially for an aquarium with about 80 gallons of capacity. To filtration your fish tank aquarium, it applies 2 Rite-Size E filter cartridges. With this kind of filter cartridge, it has twice the capacity. This can make it more efficient.

Based on its design, this fish tank filter is very portable. Besides the attractive look, it is also light in weight. Then, it also has a solid construction so that you should not worry about the durability. Still related to its design, it applies revolutionary of 2 pump design. It purposes for unmatchable flow so that the water flow will be okay. This feature is also very useful for the filtration itself. Considering all these filtration offers, everyone will agree that Emperor 400 can granted as one of the most advised options.

  • Outstanding Biomedia Capacity as HOB filter.
  • Large Biowheels with two media containers. You can fill these containers with some similar (smaller sized) biomedia to extend the bio-capacity.
  • Great and suitable to be used in tanks up to 80 gallons.
  • A high-end capacity filter at a reasonable cost.
  • Impressive Flow Rate of 400-GPH, only the AquaClear 110 surpasses it.
  • Runs fairly silently.
  • The filter needs to be primed manually.
  • The motor runs a little bit noisy than comparable units.

8. Fluval G3 – Advanced Filtration System

Fluval G3 View on Amazon

It will also be a good idea if you consider buying this fish tank filtration. Even though it is expensive enough, it belongs to the most sophisticated and modern aquarium filtration system today. That is why there it becomes a good idea for you who prioritize the quality. This aquarium filter comes with a powerful filtration system. Fluval G3 becomes the key to giving the best performance. The G3 system is also good to use in not only fresh water but also on the marine tanks. So, whatever the kind of water on your aquarium, you can use it to Advanced filtration system.

As one of the most recommended options for cleaning water in an aquarium, it is not only good in quality and performance, but it is also easy to use. It applies one button of self-priming tech to ease you to use this fish tank aquarium filtration and easy to maintain so that you can keep it durable longer. Filtering aquarium water using this equipment also allows you to view the water temperature, conductivity, and flow rate too. So, you can control it all well. Because of that, you should not hesitate to buy and use this filtration for home aquarium water filtration.

The G3 also equipped with a sophisticated system named silicon gasket that provides superior sealing. This feature is also helpful to get the better long term reliability. Considering the capacity, Fluval G3 is the best used for an aquarium with around 70 gallons of capacity although the standard specification this supplies suitable for tanks up to 80 gallons. For the filtering speed, this machine can handle filtration up to 185 gallons for an hour. Of course, it belongs to the good performance that it offers.

  • The advance filtration system I have seen before.
  • Easy to use with powerful button self-priming technology.
  • Easy access and ability with HydroTech an intelligent monitoring system.
  • Powered by three-component drive system.
  • Easy primer, there’s never a need for manual siphoning.
  • Lever canister clamps for provide a strong and secure seal.
  • Looks stylish with digital monitor system.
  • The filter media is a little small for this unit, so you may need to clean it more often than the G6
  • There are some users have faced trouble with flow rate.

9. API Filstar XP-M

API Filstar XP-m View on Amazon

If you are looking for a powerful fish tank filtration, this can be a good idea for your choice. Some people are amazed by its performance. In fact, it comes with the powerful engine to provide the best performance. Besides that, it is also easy to use so that you can use it to filtration your aquarium water freely anytime. Then, you can also maintain it well because it is too easy to clean. So, the durability will be longer.

One of the best features offered by this aquarium filtration is self-priming. This feature is very useful to perform the best filtration. You should be impressive with its silent system because you can operate it with no sound. So, you will not make noises around your home when your filtration aquarium is working. Therefore, anytime is the right time to perform filtering. Considering all the benefits offered, it is reasonable that this API Filstar XP-M is considered as the best fish tank filter. Therefore, you should prioritize buying it.

  • Suitable for a tank up to 75 gallons.
  • Powerful and easy to use with Self-priming; will start easily.
  • It comes with efficient media and 3-stage filtration.
  • Self-locking water shutoff system; prevents flow when maintenance.
  • One of the most reliable canister filters.
  • Uses API BIO-CHEM ZORB can remove compounds better than carbon alone.
  • API BIO-CHEM STARS will absorb four times more bacteria than other filters.
  • The canister takes some time to put together; you need to follow the directions closely.

10. Fluval FX6 – The best filter for large tank

Fluval FX6 Large Canister View on Amazon

If you have a large aquarium, then you need big filtration to clean and cover your tank. The best choice for the right filtration system for a large aquarium is the Fluval FX6. This FX Series is the product which most people recommend for bigger aquarium when it comes with the great filter.

The design of this filter is quite bulky, which is really heavy to be carried around. The large dimension that may cause trouble when you put it inside your aquarium, but an extremely good size too because the power which produced is quite excellent with power under 50 watts. It is suitable for up to 1500 L (400 US Gal) for fresh or salt water aquariums. Fluval Fx6 comes with new filter media and carbon, unlike Fluval fx5 part. See the difference between Fluval FX5 and FX6 here.

A great new benefit of the Fluval FX6 is that it comes packed with a full supply of biological, mechanical and chemical Biomax media. Also, the newer FX6 containing some features changes. One of the new features on the Fluval FX6 are the two indicator dials located on the top of the unit.

  • Ease of setup and maintenance with includes two reminder dials at the top of the canister.
  • Self-priming pump with multi-stage filtration which clears all the waste from the aquarium.
  • High capacity, perfect for tank more than 400 gallons.
  • Separate media trays to according to the needs of the aquarium.
  • Quiet operation when in use.
  • The filter media might cause some trouble if used for an extended period.
  • Corrugated pipes and ribbed hosing can make cleaning a bit more difficult.

Which types of fish tank filter should you choose?

There are many different types available to you when it comes to choosing Aquarium filtration system. Every filter type has its pros and cons, and filters are not all going right for some tank. You should know not only the parameters of your tank but also the needs of the inhabitants of your tank to make the right choice. There are three types of filtering is necessary to the health of any Aquarium:

  • Mechanical
  • Chemical
  • Biological

Before choosing the suitable filter, it is important to understand all three, and how they will benefit for your aquarium.

To choose the best filter system, you should look at two things – The level of filtration your need, and your available budget. It is easy to understand; Larger fish tank requires a better filter system and for lower budget needs cheaper filters.

How do I check if my canister filter is powerful enough?

First clue that a filtration setup is sufficient is that the tank won’t get dirty fast. If it is, then it goes to show that your external filter system finds it a handful and is working too hard in the brink of ineffectiveness and inefficiency.

Depending on the amount of load you have on the tank, you might want to consider having two filters so you get agitation and collection for both ends and zero stagnant dead spots. That way, you’ll have a cleaner aquarium and less debris with every water change, and of course, healthy, happy fishes. You can also get a bigger canister and it won’t hurt to run a medium size HOB as well.

Be conscious with the load you put on the tank though. No matter how great and straight of the art your filtration is, a well-balanced load is still the key to a successful aquarium. Refrain from overcrowding and always put compatible fishes in the same tank.

What To Do When Your Canister Filter Stops Working

It’s frustrating to wake up one day to find your canister filter not working. More frustrating when it stopped working right after you did its regular clean up. After cleaning up, installing back and turning on your canister filter and the motor just pings and the filter doesn’t suck water in, you know something is quite amiss.

Presuming you’ve already checked all hose connections and made no other changes such as changing the filter’s position, the first thing to do is check the impeller compartment if something is stuck in there. If nothing, then try to take the impeller out and clean it again. Double check and make sure the impeller can turn okay. It can also be caused by too much air trapped in the filter so empty out any water and try again.

You may also try these steps: Start by turning on both taps, then pull down the handle to start priming. Slowly push the handle up at once when water starts to rush in. Lastly, turn the power on as soon as the handle fully locks up. If the filter is working, it should be flawless and very quiet.

Last resort is to remove everything – the hoses, the impeller, everything. Run a hose from the tap and blast out the internal areas of the filter body where water flows. You will be surprised at the gunk that flies out.


Fish tank filter is one of the most important mechanisms of your aquarium. If you can’t pick a good filter, you are making a terrible mistake, while placing the health of your fish at risk. Choosing one can be difficult, simply because there are limited options for the different sized fish tank. Choosing a good filter should be chosen wisely and is a major step in ensuring your aquarium safety and your beauty fish healthy. Do not run your filters to do the heavy work.

Large tank for up to 70 gallons, and has no plant life, some fish keepers may be useful. This means you will use two filters instead of one, with a combined water flow rated quite a bit higher than your tank require. This for a measure that is added to ensure clean water.

For most tanks, one filter is a lot. If you stay on top of things you shouldn’t have trouble keeping you safe and healthy Aquarium for your fish. Choosing the best aquarium filter is an important step in that process.

So, is the list above will be as the best aquarium filter 2023? We will see!

3 thoughts on “Best Aquarium Filters 2023 – Buyer’s Guide

  1. Have used Cascade filters for many years (2 – 4 years). They are a great canister filter. The problem is after 2 – 3 years get ready to wake up to a room and basement full of water! THREE of these filters have done the same thing at this age.

    I liked these filters, great flow, minimum maintenance, and I also recommended to my friend to purchase one for her 150-gallon tank.

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