Editor's Choice - Our Favorite 200 Gallon Aquarium Filters

1. Polar Aurora Free Media 4-Stage External Canister Filter with 9-watt Light, 525 GPH with Free Media

User Ratings: 73 7

Polar Aurora First Impressions

"Came on time."

I used to work as a marine biologist for a major state aquarium. That water got so dirty we had to keep changing it every 2 or 3 days. I can take apart a car engine and put it back together. I had to lower the surface by 3 inches to get sufficient agitation. The first night I had the pump going it started making a screeching sound. My tank was a mess when I got this pump. I have contacted customer service to see if I can get a replacement unit.

  • Polar Aurora Free Media 4-Stage External Canister Filter with 9-watt Light, 525 GPH with Free Media
  • Good for up to 200 gallon fish tanks. Maximum flow rate of 525GPH from built in pump
  • 4 media trays capable of handling your choice of filtration media; Comes with an adjustable spray bar. This is a helpful feature if you want to adjust the output flow from the filter
  • Convenient self-priming pump that eliminates the need for manual siphoning; Single valve disconnect & priming pump ease routine maintenance
  • Built in 9 Watt Light for promoting clear water. With free media.
  • The four flexible media trays allow you to add other filtration media such as SunSun's activated carbons, ceramic rings or bio-balls to achieve excellent mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.
  • 4 stages of filtration
  • 9w UV powered
  • 110-120V 50-60Hz
  • Manufacture: Polar Aurora
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 19 inches; 19.6 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Polar Aurora
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='5']
  • Quality [star rating='5']
  • Value For Money [star rating='3.9']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.6']

Polar Aurora Final Thoughts

"All around great product."

The current is strong but you can adjust it with the midsection lever. I use Marinelands refillable cartridge for extra carbon on the extra slots. MAKE SURE YOU PUT WATER IN THE BACK OF THE FILTER! The first night I had the pump going it started making a screeching sound. I also don't like how short the intake tube is. Once it loses its charge, you'll need to replace it. I thought that U had put it together wrong so I took it all apart and started over.

Overall Score
4.4

[star rating="4.4"]
(676 Points)

Peoples Choice - Other Highly Rated 200 Gallon Aquarium Filters

2. Polar Aurora Free Media 265GPH / 370GPH / 525GPH External Aquarium Filter with Builtin Pump Kit Cani...

User Ratings: 69 5

Polar Aurora First Impressions

"A very obvious waterfall."

The filter stopped working all of a sudden. Early on it seems to be working as advertised. Following morning it was running quietly. Replace activated carbon every 6-8 months ish. I checked and cleaned it and still just as loud. I had to lower the surface by 3 inches to get sufficient agitation. There must be a huge batch of these units at Amazon right now that are bad.

  • Polar Aurora Free Media 265GPH / 370GPH / 525GPH External Aquarium Filter with Builtin Pump Kit Canister
  • Good for up to 200 gallon fish tanks.Maximum flow rate of 525GPH from built in pump
  • 4 media trays capable of handling your choice of filtration media; Comes with an adjustable spray bar. This is a helpful feature if you want to adjust the output flow from the filter
  • Convenient self-priming pump that eliminates the need for manual siphoning; Single valve disconnect & priming pump ease routine maintenance
  • Built in 9 Watt Light for controlling algae spores/bacteria and promoting clear water
  • The four flexible media trays allow you to add other filtration media such as SunSun's activated carbons, ceramic rings or bio-balls to achieve excellent mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.
  • 4 stages of filtration
  • 9w powered
  • 110-120V 50-60Hz
  • Manufacture: Polar Aurora
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Polar Aurora
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='4.8']
  • Quality [star rating='5']
  • Value For Money [star rating='3.9']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.3']

Polar Aurora Final Thoughts

"This is not."

Months later, this filter is still working great on my 29 gal set up. I had to lower the surface by 3 inches to get sufficient agitation. My baby turtle even loves it so much he won't let go. This new AQ50 filter has loose bio-media, i. My tank was a mess when I got this pump. I bought a top fin 55 gallon aquarium on sale. It's easy to clean and we all know about easy.

Overall Score
4.4

[star rating="4.4"]
(671 Points)

3. Aqueon QuietFlow Canister Filter 55-100 Gallons

User Ratings: 68 6

Aqueon 100532120 First Impressions

"Best to you all!"

I will pick 3-4 of these at one time over a single system any day. However, lately I've purchased the Aqua Clear 70 and 50. Typically just below the flat part of the outlets. I own 3 of these and besides my canister they are my favorite filters. Early on it seems to be working as advertised. So, easy is good, both for us and our fish. This new AQ50 filter has loose bio-media, i.

  • Aqueon QuietFlow Canister Filter 55-100 Gallons
  • Experience a unique hang-on-the-back water polishing unit that makes maintenance quick and easy, simply replace the cartridge
  • Includes quick disconnect valves, pump locking heads, water intake/output connections, hoses, water polishing unit with cartridge and media: activated carbon, coarse foam, bio-balls, bio-ceramic rings
  • Multiple water return options for optimal versatility to best suite a variety of aquarium habitats; spray bar, water director and water polishing unit
  • Multi-stage filtration that includes biological, chemical and mechanical
  • Fits up to 75 gallon aquariums
  • Experience a unique hang-on-the-back water polishing unit that makes maintenance quick and easy, simply replace the cartridge
  • Chose between a more traditional water return in a spray bar or water director
  • Included: Quick Disconnect Valves Pump Locking Heads Water Intake/Output Connections Hoses Media: Activated Carbon, Coarse Foam, Bio-Balls, Bio-Ceramic Rings Water Polishing Unit with Cartridge
  • Manufacture: Central Garden & Pet
  • Item Weight: 14.9 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 8.25 x 8.25 x 17.5 inches
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Aqueon 100532120
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='4.2']
  • Quality [star rating='3.7']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.2']
  • Affordability [star rating='5']

Aqueon 100532120 Final Thoughts

"It's heavy and awkward."

I use Marinelands refillable cartridge for extra carbon on the extra slots. They can be very noisy at the impeller, which sometimes quiets in time, but may not. SO, I sat down and read EVERY little thing in rhe instructions. Firstly, I'd recommend taking the motor apart and putting it back together. I returned the Aqua Clear 70 and promptly received a replacement. DO NOT CLEAN OR WASH the paper wheel itself. My baby turtle even loves it so much he won't let go.

Overall Score
4.4

[star rating="4.4"]
(89 Points)

4. Zoo Med Turtle Clean External Canister Filter, 50-Gallon

User Ratings: 56 25

Zoo Med TC50 First Impressions

"Very pleased!"

The instructions are a bit to much for me. I contacted Marineland about my issue and they promptly sent me a new one right away! My baby turtle even loves it so much he won't let go. My fish are definitely happier and my water is crystal clear. The bacteria eats the nitrates in the water to help keep it clean. What I don't like is how much smaller it is than the Aqueon. My baby turtle even loves it so much he won't let go.

  • Zoo Med Turtle Clean External Canister Filter, 50-Gallon
  • External canister filter with slimline design for tight spaces
  • 200 gallon per hour rating, ideal for turtle habitats up to 50 gallons in size
  • The included spray bar increases oxygenation to help support your turtles' health
  • Double filtering system with both carbon and ceramic filters and internal biological recirculation
  • Combines mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration to give your pets the cleanest, healthiest habitat
  • Manufacture: Zoo Med
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.5 x 14.5 inches; 1.2 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Zoo Med TC50
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='3']
  • Quality [star rating='4.5']
  • Value For Money [star rating='2.9']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.4']

Zoo Med TC50 Final Thoughts

"This is not."

Of course the sound all depends on how much water is in the aquarium. First they are simple and designed to pump and filter aquarium water. My tank was a mess when I got this pump. Never ever ever use it past a year. Replace activated carbon every 6-8 months ish. I plan to cycle this new AC 50 on a separate tank and then xfer it to the 20 gallon. Clean the foam insert apparently it pulled a lot of dirt and needs cleaned.

Overall Score
3.7

[star rating="3.7"]
(86 Points)

Honorable Mentions - More Top Selling 200 Gallon Aquarium Filters

5. of OCEAN FREE Hydra 50 Internal Filter for 500-800 L (125-200 Gallon) Aquarium

User Ratings: 57 21

Ocean Free IF104 First Impressions

"I like the design."

You'll want to pull that water from the bottom. I will pick 3-4 of these at one time over a single system any day. Overall, I'm very happy with this filter. I plan to cycle this new AC 50 on a separate tank and then xfer it to the 20 gallon. This filter comes with a sponge, activated carbon, and bio material in a mesh bag. Oscars are very messy fish, especially during feeding. Therefore, you wouldnt have 2 filters running.

  • of OCEAN FREE Hydra 50 Internal Filter for 500-800 L (125-200 Gallon) Aquarium
  • Manufacture: Qian Hu
  • Product Dimensions: 4.84 x 3.27 x 11.57 inches; 2.43 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Ocean Free IF104
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='4.7']
  • Quality [star rating='3.1']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.8']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.8']

Ocean Free IF104 Final Thoughts

"Great price."

I returned the Aqua Clear 70 and promptly received a replacement. It's only rated at 25 gph less, but holds considerably less media. I put it together, reading instructions of course. Really happy with the money I was able to save. I wasn't able to fill my tank fully because there was little to no surface agitation. Once it loses its charge, you'll need to replace it. I used to have a 37 gallon eclipse aquarium.

Overall Score
3.9

[star rating="3.9"]
(7 Points)

6. Sicce Whale Canister Filter, for Freshwater and Saltwater Applications, Designed for External use.

User Ratings: 41 30

Sicce First Impressions

"Really like the filter."

I have had no issues with it being to loud. Really happy with the money I was able to save. I wasn't able to fill my tank fully because there was little to no surface agitation. I'm currently in the process of receiving another replacement on that model. The Marineland penguin 350 is a great filter. Also price was very reasonable and shipping was fast. LOW and BEHOLD, LMAO, I missed where you had to put water in the back of the filter.

  • Sicce Whale Canister Filter, for Freshwater and Saltwater Applications, Designed for External use.
  • 3 Year Manufacture Warranty
  • Dimensions (LxWxH) - 7.9" x 7.9" x 16"
  • Unique Self priming system which can be hung directly on the tank. This priming system can be used to prime also other external filters.
  • Quick Disconnect System: the filter body can be disconnected simply by closing the valves on the IN and OUT hoses.
  • Floating filter baskets with for easy removal and replacement of the filter media.
  • Manufacture: Sicce
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Sicce
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='3.8']
  • Quality [star rating='2.5']
  • Value For Money [star rating='3.1']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.3']

Sicce Final Thoughts

"Try it you wont be sorry."

DO NOT CLEAN OR WASH the paper wheel itself. The Aqua Clear is on the left and the Aqueon is on the right. This is a well designed unit and a lot of bang for the buck. I decided to go with this filter since I had a positive experience previously. Unlike my old HOB filter, it doesn't sound like a leaky toilet. Of course the sound all depends on how much water is in the aquarium. The bacteria eats the nitrates in the water to help keep it clean.

Overall Score
3.5

[star rating="3.5"]
(4 Points)

7. AQUATICLIFE 115 Mini Internal Protein Skimmer/Filter for Saltwater Aquariums, 30 Gallon, Perfect for...

User Ratings: 50 15

AQUATICLIFE 510114 First Impressions

"Great price."

As for performance, I couldn't ask for a better filter. I returned the Aqua Clear 70 and promptly received a replacement. Lightly clean the silver roller pins on the ends. I've think I've had had six of them. I also like the fact that it is relatively low profile and discreet looking. Typically just below the flat part of the outlets. I can hear it 3 rooms away grinding away.

  • AQUATICLIFE 115 Mini Internal Protein Skimmer/Filter for Saltwater Aquariums, 30 Gallon, Perfect for Small, Nano Tanks
  • Compact size makes this skimmer ideal for mini-reef aquariums up to 30 gallons
  • Allows for placement inside the aquarium or in the filtration compartment with ultra-quiet operation
  • Proven needle-wheel impeller design increases the air-to-water contact
  • Quick-lock design makes it easy to open housing for cleaning, and the built-in channel conceals the grounded power cord
  • Includes an adjustable bracket that fits standard aquarium frames and suction cups for optional mounting inside the aquarium
  • Compact size makes this skimmer ideal for mini-reef aquariums
  • Placement inside aquarium provides quiet operation
  • Proven needle-wheel impeller increases air-to-water contact
  • Manufacture: Aquatic Life LLC
  • Product Dimensions: 3.25 x 3.5 x 10.63 inches; 1.55 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The AQUATICLIFE 510114
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='3.3']
  • Quality [star rating='3.6']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.6']
  • Affordability [star rating='3.8']

AQUATICLIFE 510114 Final Thoughts

"I only used one."

This filter really does a good job. Not sure what I'll do with the more complex design. My baby turtle even loves it so much he won't let go. I was new to the hobby and didn't realize that Tetras were inferior filters. I also don't like how short the intake tube is. I also like the fact that it is relatively low profile and discreet looking. It started out silent for about 30 mins and then it got super loud.

Overall Score
3.8

[star rating="3.8"]
(675 Points)

8. Polar Aurora 3 Stage 100 Gallon Aquarium Fish Tank Canister Filter + 9W UV Sterilizer 370 GPH

User Ratings: 72 10

Polar Aurora First Impressions

"This is the one."

I decided to go with this filter since I had a positive experience previously. There is a sound from the water shooting into the tank! Early on it seems to be working as advertised. I had to lower the surface by 3 inches to get sufficient agitation. The filter arrived within 2 days and was the exact same as Petsmart's. I've been researching so many things on how to take care of them. Oscars are very messy fish, especially during feeding.

  • Polar Aurora 3 Stage 100 Gallon Aquarium Fish Tank Canister Filter + 9W UV Sterilizer 370 GPH
  • good
  • high quality
  • With free media
  • DIMENSION: 10 X 10 X 17 inches, Max Flow Rate: 370 GPH (1400L/h)
  • 3-stage
  • Manufacture: Polar Aurora
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Polar Aurora
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='3.5']
  • Quality [star rating='5']
  • Value For Money [star rating='5']
  • Affordability [star rating='4']

Polar Aurora Final Thoughts

"Will UPDATE!"

I was worried that it might be too much for my aquarium or that it would be loud. I want to answer some of the complaints I've read. SO, I sat down and read EVERY little thing in rhe instructions. A canister or in tank filter is ten times more work and messy. I had to lower the surface by 3 inches to get sufficient agitation. Once it loses its charge, you'll need to replace it. My baby turtle even loves it so much he won't let go.

Overall Score
4.2

[star rating="4.2"]
(64 Points)

9. Tetra ReptoFilter Filter Cartridges, Medium, 3-Pack, fit the ReptoFilter 90GPH

User Ratings: 84 2

Tetra First Impressions

"Since then no problems."

MAKE SURE YOU PUT WATER IN THE BACK OF THE FILTER! The lever on the bottom helps even the filter out. I own 3 of these and besides my canister they are my favorite filters. I checked and cleaned it and still just as loud. There must be a huge batch of these units at Amazon right now that are bad. I had originally got one for my 75 Gallon tank housing an Oscar. Lift the sticking wheel outuse a Q-tip to clean the slots where the wheel rests.

  • Tetra ReptoFilter Filter Cartridges, Medium, 3-Pack, fit the ReptoFilter 90GPH
  • Manufacture: Tetra
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Tetra
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='5']
  • Quality [star rating='5']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.2']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.8']

Tetra Final Thoughts

"5 minutes."

They were great to deal with and the new filter is working great! Works like a dream and can't even hear it! I recently upgraded from a 10 gallon aquarium to a 29 gallon. I have 4 other AquaClear filters and like them. Worst case is that the motor could burn out. So, easy is good, both for us and our fish. The lever on the bottom helps even the filter out.

Overall Score
4.7

[star rating="4.7"]
(198 Points)

10. Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter

User Ratings: 56 12

Aqueon 100106970 First Impressions

"Best to you all!"

You can't really tell though, and the filter is working great. Really happy with the money I was able to save. I also don't like how short the intake tube is. I contacted Marineland about my issue and they promptly sent me a new one right away! I returned the Aqua Clear 70 and promptly received a replacement. This lives up to the praise that people give it. I ordered 4 of these, for different tanks of course.

  • Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter
  • Fully submersible in vertical or horizontal position
  • Adjustable return flow rate
  • Direction and height of water return is also adjustable
  • Three stage filtration: dense foam for particles and debris, activated carbon for toxins, odors and discoloration and patented BioGrid for ammonia and nitrates
  • Uses Aqueon Replacement Internal Filter Cartridges
  • Adjustable direction and height of return
  • AT10 is recommended for 10 gallon tanks, flow rate is 57 GPH and uses 1 small replacement cartridge
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Manufacture: Central Garden & Pet
  • Product Dimensions: 2.75 x 1.5 x 5.38 inches; 9.6 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Aqueon 100106970
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='4.4']
  • Quality [star rating='3.5']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.3']
  • Affordability [star rating='3']

Aqueon 100106970 Final Thoughts

"So far so good!"

Following morning it was running quietly. The Marineland penguin 350 is a great filter. I was new to the hobby and didn't realize that Tetras were inferior filters. What I don't like is how much smaller it is than the Aqueon. This is not my first experience with a marineland filter. I want to answer some of the complaints I've read. BUT after some YouTube research I was able to fix the noise issue.

Overall Score
4.0

[star rating="4"]
(995 Points)

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