Far and wide, fish are wonderful pets; even so, they are not the neatest creatures on earth. As a fish keeper, you must be aware of the fact that when fish excrete inside the tank, everything would be left hovering around the aquarium. Hence, if you wish to keep your tank tidy and ensure that the tank water is healthy for your pet fish, the best internal aquarium filter is a must-buy.
Truth is, when you are knowledgeable about the species that would dwell inside your fish tank, it would be a lot easier to base your decision of internal filter on those particular requirements. The delighting news is that there are a number of internal filters that are capable of providing supreme performance.
What’s more, aquarium filters come in different shapes as well as sizes and these are perceived as the distillation of any fish tank. Buy the suitable filter and your finned buddies would be delighted and in good condition. Purchase the wrong one and you would end up seeing your pet fish floating and lifeless at the surface.
Essentially, with a plenty of models sold on the market at present, picking the most appropriate option could be tricky. Worry no more for this article has filtered out only the most functional, reliable and superior quality models that you can check out.
Table of Contents
- Best Internal Aquarium Filter Reviews of 2021
- 1. Penn Plax Cascade 600 Submersible Aquarium Filter
- 2. Fluval Underwater Filter
- 3. MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter
- 4. Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter with BioScrubber
- 5. Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter
- 6. PENN PLAX Cascade 170 Submersible Aquarium
- 7. NO.17 Submersible Aquarium Internal Filter
- 8. COODIA Internal Green Water Killer Filter
- 9. Penn Plax Cascade 300 Submersible Aquarium Filter
- 10. Hygger 110GPH 7W Quiet Small Aquarium Filter
- What to Look for When Buying an Internal Aquarium Filter
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Internal Aquarium Filter Reviews of 2021
1. Penn Plax Cascade 600 Submersible Aquarium Filter
It is crucial to invest in the best submersible aquarium filter if you wish to keep your finned friends healthy and safe thriving inside the tank. This product is a little pricey as compared to other options but it is something that you could count on.
This internal filter is made with activated carbon cartridge that works excellently in getting rid of toxic chemicals, discoloration, pollutants, foul odors and other sorts of hazardous dirt particles. You can totally immerse it in water and it is reliable in silently delivering 175 GPH of lucid water for both saltwater and freshwater tank containing twenty by up to fifty gallons.
However, there are two minor gripes that you need to unveil if you plan to get this in-tank filter and these are the difficult to change carbon and the sponge filters that calls for frequent replacement.
2. Fluval Underwater Filter
This underwater fish tank filter is highly recommended as a stand-alone or supplemental filter. And, this makes a great pick for setups where external filtration is impossible. It is not intricate to arrange since it is designed with compact size. It is built with three-way flow control that comes with modifiable output. It is a perfect choice for twenty by up to forty gallon tanks.
The water could be returned to the aquarium by means of the built-in spray bar. This filter would work best for tiny fish tank or turtle tanks and it is affixed to the tank with the aid of a suctioned bracket which implies that there is no need to lift the suction each time.
On the other hand, please note that this in-tank filter may not function properly for rated fish tank sizes and it would be a little complex to adjust the rate of flow. These are just two of the flaws that need to be taken into account before getting one.
3. MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter
This in-tank aquarium filter is a great deal because it is sturdy, comes with generous amount of processing power and can function superbly for large-sized tanks. It is dependable when it comes to polishing tank water, and the best of all it is made with huge media capacity that users can customized.
Aside from these, this internal filter’s water polishing option is especially constructed to help clear away fine waste so you and your fish tank dwellers could enjoy clear and clean tank water. This is capable of filtering 290 GPH making it perfect device for large-sized tanks.
Still and all, a few of the downsides that are linked with this internal filter for fish tank are its not having compact or small size and it isn’t the ideal pick if you prefer a filter that’s capable of operating silently.
4. Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter with BioScrubber
It is engrossing to note that internal filters for fish tanks are not that costly to pay for. For a fact, even if these are made by famous brands, they are sold affordably for aquarium keepers. Just like this internal filter by Tetra, it is specifically manufactured for tanks containing 40 gallons of water. Without question, this is ideal pick for terrariums too.
What is more, this is another option among aquarium keepers who wish to sustain the safety and cleanliness inside the aquarium. It could help you become worry-free as it can filter the water more effectively. This is a good partner to consider if you hope to maintain healthy and happy aquatic pets in the tank.
Nonetheless, this internal filter may call for regular cleaning if you wish to keep the tank water clean and clear. And, it tends to stop functioning adeptly over time. These are a couple of demerits that you must not ignore if you are thinking of purchasing this product.
5. Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter
This fully submersible aquarium filter is straightforward to position in a horizontal or vertical placement. You could also instantly modify the height and direction of water return. If you are serious in providing the best possible haven for your pet fish, this would be a very wonderful investment that you wouldn’t be upset about.
Surprisingly, you can rotate the head of this filter in order for the water to stream out at distinct angle. This makes use of two big-sized cartridges and comes with a flow rate of 155 gallons per hour. The activated carbon is especially designed to help expel toxins, discoloration and bad smell inside the aquarium.
Howbeit, it is important to be mindful of the fact that this internal filter seems not that durable for it to last for many years of usage and if you are currently keeping heavily-stocked tank, this is not the ideal alternative to purchase.
6. PENN PLAX Cascade 170 Submersible Aquarium
Are you in search of functional, affordable and serviceable underwater filter for aquarium? Then, you don’t need to research further because the right solution for you is finally here.
This product could silently deliver a total of 45 GPH of super clean and clear water for your small-sized terrarium or tank containing ten gallons of water. Its activated carbon cartridge eradicates poisonous toxins, odors, chemicals, different kinds of polluters and water discoloration. And, most importantly, the internal sponge is meant to encourage the emergence of good bacteria inside the tank.
A few drawbacks to take notice of include this internal filter’s very strong flow rate for betta fish and the flow control is incapable of making much adjustment.
7. NO.17 Submersible Aquarium Internal Filter
This internal fish tank filter is the type of device that is dependable enough in terms of creating a contaminant-free and safe shelter for your most precious pet fish. This comes with multiple filter media that is particularly intended for filtration purposes. With it, you can have the peace of mind that your aquatic friends can enjoy residing in a fresh, clean and safe environment.
Indeed, this is furnishes with a water pump that is built to offer more reliability and ensure noise-free operation. A key is provided for users to modify the flow rate. It’s a risk-free investment because you are supported by a warranty.
For all that, a few of the frailties that must be surveyed prior to making the final buying decision are this in-tank filter’s not suitability for small aquariums and it especially requires more suction cups because bigger aquatic pets could maneuver it around quite easily.
8. COODIA Internal Green Water Killer Filter
If you go for a submersible fish tank filter that can be ideal to utilize in both marine and freshwater environments, then this model can work like a charm. This could already successfully filter a tank that contains 150 gallons and once bought it already includes 5W UV light and 5W water pump that works just as advertised.
Not to mention, this device works without any annoying sound unless you switch the bubbles on. You would notice that the bubbles produce more noise as compared to the air stone. The light bar is superb at radiating the entire fish tank beautifully.
Take into consideration that this in-tank filter does not come with instructions and as compared to other versions, it is slightly heavy and must be fully immersed. These are a few of the lapses that you should be aware of before purchasing this model.
9. Penn Plax Cascade 300 Submersible Aquarium Filter
This submersible filter for aquarium is absolutely a practical option for both saltwater and freshwater applications. It offers generous amount of space where users could put loose the filter media of their preference. This makes it effortless to add additional aeration since it is built with water output return spout.
This equipment is completely submersible and capable of delivering a total of 70 GPH of very lucid and safe tank water where your pet fish could flourish. It is manufactured with activated carbon cartridge that helps get rid of various kinds of pollutants, chemicals and odor that may endanger the lives of your aquarium dwellers.
Please be guided that this in-tank filter comes with suction cups that are not durable so they are incapable of executing what they are exactly designed for and it also tends to generate some vibrations that could disrupt your pet fish.
10. Hygger 110GPH 7W Quiet Small Aquarium Filter
This product can be considered as one of the best internal filters sold on the market nowadays. It is adept at delivering a total of 110 GPH of water in a quiet mode for two by up to ten gallon aquarium. It does not necessitate any extra circulation pump or tubing as it comes with pre-load filter media that you could instantly set up.
This equipment is equipped with two sections spray bars that are furnished with modifiable flow knob that enables users to fairly disburse water and aerate tank water. This filter also helps minimize filtration at the period of feeding times and you can adjust the flow of water if you are keeping shrimps or betta. This is user-friendly as it ensures a kind of installation process that you can accomplish in a snap.
This in-tank filter is a little overpriced unlike other options in the same category and it would have been better if the carbon chamber were a little bigger.
What to Look for When Buying an Internal Aquarium Filter
Due to the fact that in-tank filters are submerged in water, it is highly advised to be extra cautious when you are investing in one. Some of the buying factors that must be looked into include the following:
- Is it partially or completely submersible?
You should know the difference between partially and completely submersible in-tank filter. The former is incapable of going on the underneath section of the aquarium except if it is a depthless turtle tank. On the other hand, the latter is capable of going anywhere. And, it must be covered with water. For this reason, it is crucial that you pick the form of filter that best fits your aquarium.
- Does it call for high or minimum maintenance?
It is indispensable to tidy and re-stock the in-tank filter to allow it to keep functioning accordingly. Pick the type of filter that is not that intricate to clean and maintain.
- What about its rate of flow?
Hinging on the size of the aquarium that you are keeping, you would especially require a specific rate of flow. Bigger-sized tanks require more powerful rates of flow; on the other hand, small-sized tanks could manage with lesser rates of flow. While it is no doubt that it is complicated to look after an aquarium, it is still probable if you purchase a filter that is rated for much bigger aquariums.
Generally speaking, the filter’s rate of flow should be three by up to four times the number of gallons in the aquarium. The rates of flow are gauged in GPH. Basically, this implies that all the water in tank could go through the filter at a minimum of three times per hour.
- The style of filter.
In-tank filters do not work or look the same way. There are some versions that are designed to be stuck onto the aquarium glass close by the above portion of the water. Meanwhile, others could be positioned in a horizontal mode on the underneath section of the aquarium. Be sure to look for a style or shape that you prefer for your aquarium, big or small.
- What type of filter media?
Filters that come in small sizes might restrict the forms of media that you could put inside the filter. For sure, you opt for a filter that could execute biological, chemical and mechanical filtration. It matters to note that even tiny aquariums could take advantage of this combination.
Not to mention, many in-tank filters exploit cartridge filter media. While it is true that cartridges are quite convenient to utilize, they restrict what you could utilize and how much of each form of media you could have. See to it that the ready for use cartridges are capable of covering your requirements if the filter makes use of cartridges.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is an internal aquarium filter? How does it work?
An internal aquarium filter refers to a type of equipment that must be completely positioned and immersed inside an aquarium. An internal filter for fish tank is quite distinct from an external filter since the latter must be stored in closets or hang on the rear section of an aquarium.
When setting up an internal filter, this must be positioned inside the tank enabling you to put the fish tank up against a wall. This device is generally practical to utilize for smaller aquariums; however, it could also aid with dead spots in bigger aquariums. Alternatively, it could be utilized to aid with extra filtration due to a superior Bio-load.
Generally speaking, internal filters for aquariums are plain sailing to install; they operate without much irking noise and are small in size. In the same way, they could ensure outstanding and reliable filtration yet these are priced less expensively.
Meanwhile, in-tank filters are specifically crafted to be positioned inside the tank, usually in one of the back corners. In addition to this, they should stay completely immersed in the tank water. Many of them come with outlet that would be positioned just underneath the surface of the water.
The filter takes in the water in the nearby bottom and after that it pumps the water by means of the filter media that’s situated within the filter unit. Afterward, the air bubbles form the much required motion in the water that enables it to refine the liquid all through the entire aquarium.
What are the different types of internal aquarium filters?
Internal filters are manufactured in a number of distinct styles and are plainly situated in the fish tank by being mounted to one of the edges with suction cups or placed on the substrate. They come in different forms such as sponge versions and corner box filters.
These are designed with U-shaped tube that is meant to pull water with the aid of a sponge-like object that comes with huge surface area. To enable the air to flow without any trouble, a separate air pump is especially required.
It is worth mentioning that the sponge material does a superb job when it comes to biological and mechanical filtration. Biological filtration is made possible by the good bacteria thriving on the sponge while the mechanical filtration emerges as the sponge captures dirt particles trapped in the water that’s running through it.
Please take note that the biological as well as mechanical effectiveness is restricted and this is mainly because of the lesser volume of water and amount of oxygen that is taken through the filter.
Moreover, this form of filtration is quite straightforward to sustain and is not costly. It is a must to rinse the sponge filter using the water removed from the fish tank on a weekly basis to get rid of organic matter prior it starts to disintegrate. It is crucial to utilize fish tank water when tidying these filters in order not to harm the good bacteria that are advantageous for biological filtration.
Corner Box Filters
These are commonly formed to perfectly suit into the corner section of the fish tank. They are plainly a box that comes with slots on the underneath and top section so as to enable water to run through it. These are positioned on the gravel, then the air is pumped into the underneath portion of the filter from a faraway air pump. After that, the air takes the water through the filter from the underneath section and leaves the filter above.
Likewise, these are manufactured to execute all 3 forms of filtration; regardless, the effectiveness of all forms of filtration is restricted because of less water flow level and less oxygen content. Activated carbon for chemical filtration and sheets of floss for mechanical filtration are the common media utilized in this form of filter even though it could be customized with any kind of chemical or mechanical materials. Note that it is the bacteria thriving on the filter media that administer the biological filtration.
It is imperative to clean or replace the filter on a periodic basis relying on the fish tank load. Besides, proper care must be taken not to destruct the good bacteria situated in the mechanical filter media. Basically, it could be achieved by thoroughly rinsing the media in the fish tank water that is eliminated at the period of routine water replacement. Keep in mind that merely changing half of that media would protect the bacteria seriously required for the biological filtration.
It is essential to understand that both forms of internal filters come with restricted usage as they are efficient in small-sized fish tanks that shelter a few occupants. Common uses or these filters are in hospital or breeding aquariums. And, since there are no maneuvering parts in the fish tank when utilizing this kind of filter, tiny reared or newly bred fry could not be taken into the filter, which leads in reduced fatality rates.
On the other hand, for hospital tanks, the floss or sponge material could be installed into the primary fish tank for a certain days in order to become conquered with good bacteria before being utilized in the hospital tank. At that period, your ill aquatic pet could get accustomed to the hospital tank to enable effective treatment without the need to cycle the tank. This would aid ward off fish stress.
Why do you need an internal filter? (Benefits)
Internal filters for aquariums are ideal choice for those who prefer filters that go easy on their wallet. These are less pricey and lightweight as compared to other available overpriced and heavy canister filter alternatives. These are fundamentally a power head that comes with a filter of differing capacity affixed.
Some of the perks of investing in an appropriate and premium quality internal filter for fish tanks consist of:
- Internal filters execute reliable and practical function in terms of improving the circulation of water. These are commonly exceptional biological and mechanical filters even though generally speaking they do not come with huge capacity.
- This type of equipment is a first-rate compliment to nearly any kind of filter particularly fluidized ones. The reason for this is because they can ensure cross circulation.
- Rather than being stored in a closet or hanging on the rear section of the aquarium, the position of an internal filter for fish tank enables fish keepers to place their fish tank against a wall.
- Such devices are deemed as incredible secondary or third filter in bigger-sized tanks. In line with this, they are considered primary filter for small-sized fish tanks containing below sixty gallons of water.
- These are no sweat to set up at all. They do not produce any annoying sound when operating as compared to other types of filters that could stress or scare away your finned buddy.
- You can position them in a horizontal mode in a tiny volume of water. For a fact, this is what makes them ideal option for turtle, frog, vivariums and terrariums.
It is worth noting that one of the biggest perks of owning internal filters for aquariums is being worry-free. This is because you can rest assure that whatever happens, your fish tank would not get drained. In like manner, they commonly come with an airline that is capable of taking in air from above in order to intersperse into the water. This way, there is no need to operate a separate air pump.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted internal fish tank filter brands?
If you want to make your search less burdensome, it would be of big help if you try to research about the most trusted aquarium internal filter brands first. As you know, when you buy from credible and first-class brands, you can be guaranteed that you are making a good investment.
As a fish keeper, it is your responsibility to provide a clean, safe and healthy shelter for your aquatic friends, so it is just right that you pick the right internal filter that is capable and powerful enough to execute its job. This way, you can ensure that your fish are in good hands all the time.
The following brands can be your best and safest choices when it comes to internal filters for different types of aquariums:
- Penn Plax
How to set up and use?
Fish tanks are known to be closed marine environments. That said, it is critical to invest in appropriate filter system to ensure that the fish tank would be a safe, clean and healthy hub for your aquatic pets. Setting up a filter starts with the assembly procedure. It is a must to make certain that the filter is correctly put together prior to the installation process starts. When buying filters, the manufacturer generally sends the product with some components separated for more convenience during shipment.
First and foremost, it is important to strictly adhere to the directions included with your filter. As you might already know, the most component of the filters might call for straightforward assembly process. Be sure to clean the filter components thoroughly prior to immersing it in the water. Also, take in mind that operating a filter without water would burn through the engine, for this reason; you’ve got to ensure that the pump is well-prepared.
Here is the complete guideline for the internal aquarium filter installation process:
The installation procedure of internal aquarium filter definitely necessitates some amount of time. Thus, prior to shopping proper and before picking the internal filter, it helps to ask for some recommendations first from the seller, check the pros and cons of the product and from there you can pick the filter that you think and feel is right for your requirements.
After purchasing the filter, unbox the device and make sure to go over the directions carefully. It is indispensable to look for a reasonable place for the filter setup. After that, it is high time to embed the filter cartridge into the internal filter. The filter must be positioned in the tank and from there you may clasp the suction container against the glass.
Furthermore, make certain that the filter is firmly affixed to the glass. The fish tank must be filled with water. Submerge the filter media in water in a manner that the above layer of water is not below ten by up to fifteen mm. the filter must also be positioned on the wall of the fish tank on the hooks.
Carefully check if the tube where the hose is affixed is capable of going to the surface without any problem. Bear in mind that this is especially required to release the waste water.
Do not forget to examine if the filter is completely immersed in the water, and see to it to link the power line to the electrical extension or outlet. Here, you would observe bubbles escaping the filter as they take water through the cartridge.
Then, keep your aquatic pets to your fish tank right after the installation process was successfully accomplished. Fundamentally, it would merely be needed to periodically check the operation of the filter and administer a cleaning procedure to guarantee that your aquatic pet is comfortable.
How to care & clean?
You could administer some quick visual checkups on a daily basis through searching for movement at the water’s surface. Inspect if the aquatic plants are maneuvering in the flow. Alternatively, you can make a brief look at the filter inlet as this could determine if something has got stranded in it, or it could tell if the filter is clogged with dirt particles or algae buildup. It is vital to ensure that all the fittings as well as the pipes are still affixed.
When cleaning internal filters for aquariums, the first thing that must be done is to lift the filter device from the tank and place it in a container. After that, take the filter apart so you could get at the impeller and the media. Tidy the media by means of squeezing and swishing it in some old aquarium water.
Be reminded to utilize a tiny sponge, soft-bristled brush or floss to tidy the filter housing, impeller housing and the impeller. To ensure thorough cleaning, you may utilize a tiny brush to tidy the outlets as well as the inlets.
By the same token, you need to execute some reassembly and replacement work in the fish tank. Check if the in-tank filter operates well as soon as it is powered on. Otherwise, inspect if the outlet and inlet are not obstructed, disassemble it and ensure that everything is positioned accordingly.
Then, try to turn the impeller – do this at least once or twice to check if it is capable of turning without any difficulty. Then, put it all together again and replace in the fish tank and switch the power on again. In the event, it does not function as expected; you may refer to the user manual to learn more about some troubleshooting techniques.
What is the warranty?
If you want to ensure to get a worthwhile purchase, always check if the product you are trying to buy is supported by a warranty especially when shopping online. This is for you to possibly return the product in case there are some defects, issues and component replacements that need to be addressed the soonest possible time.
You can read more details about the product by going over the product’s description or label. If not clearly indicated there, you can contact the manufacturer and ask for some more information about the kind of warranty they offer if you purchase that product.
Warranties serve as your protection whenever you shop especially when you do it on the web.
Where to buy?
If you are planning to buy an excellent quality internal filter for your fish tank, you may begin your hunt in the nearest specialty pet store, fish store or aquarium supply stores in your current location. These are not difficult to find so long as you shop from big and well-stocked shops.
However, one of the most convenient and easiest ways to shop is through Amazon. In this online shopping site, you are guaranteed to come across numerous famous and trustworthy brands where options seem limitless. This is also the place where you could avail of some discounts, special promos and freebies that would certainly make your shopping experience a more enjoyable and worthwhile one.
To sum up, it is your responsibility to feed your fish well and see to it to tidy up the excrement, food waste and other dirt particles that were left behind. As you know, keeping an aquarium is not only about fun but it also takes a bit of work. Hence, in order to get rid of these various sorts of messes inside the fish tank, investing in the best internal aquarium filter must be your top priority.
As what you have learned, there are a number of factors that literally affect how filter would function. Indeed, there are new models being offered on the market every now and then reason why you need to ensure that you pick the appropriate type that performs best for your pet care model. Take note of the design since this would figure out if the model could fit your tank or it could be modified to enable a perfect fit.
In essence, installation process is at times a crucial deciding factor. Unquestionably, it could be tough for new aquarium keepers to operate the internal filter even when there are manuals provided by manufacturers. Bear in mind that if the filter is manufactured to instantly fit on the aquarium, then it should be smooth sailing to put together.
Now that you have learned more about the outstanding aquarium filtration systems, you could select the correct option more easily.