Editor's Choice - Our Favorite API Aquarium Filters

1. API NITRA-ZORB SIZE 6 Aquarium Canister Filter Filtration Pouch 1-Count Bag, Model:110A

User Ratings: 70 5

API 110A First Impressions

"Just buy it!"

There must be a huge batch of these units at Amazon right now that are bad. This is a good choice if you're tired of cleaning your turtle tank all the time. It's only rated at 25 gph less, but holds considerably less media. I'd highly recommend not replacing the bio material& sponge, ever. I ordered 4 of these, for different tanks of course. , that's what makes this so funny. Firstly, I'd recommend taking the motor apart and putting it back together.

  • API NITRA-ZORB SIZE 6 Aquarium Canister Filter Filtration Pouch 1-Count Bag, Model:110A
  • Contains one (1) API NITRA-ZORB SIZE 6 Aquarium Canister Filter Filtration Pouch 1-Count Bag
  • Removes toxins that can be harmful to fish and lead to algae growth.
  • Removes ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate from aquarium water.
  • Easy-to-use pre-dosed pouch fits most canister filters on the market, for use in freshwater aquariums
  • Use when starting a new aquarium and when ammonia or nitrite is detected, replace every 2 months.
  • Manufacture: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 9.5 inches; 8.2 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The API 110A
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

API 110A Final Thoughts

"Just a tip!"

It was perfectly quiet without any extra effort on my part. I'm a mechanical engineer and understand design. Now I'm having the same issue with the Aqua Clear 50. I AM IMPRESSED THAT IT WORKS AS IT ACTUALLY SHOULD! With the 350's inexpensive price point, you can’t go wrong with this powerful filter. You'll want to pull that water from the bottom. My old pump was not working very well so I had to make a major clean up.

Overall Score
4.4


(1052 Points)

Peoples Choice - Other Highly Rated API Aquarium Filters

2. API Filstar XP

User Ratings: 58 15

API 720 First Impressions

"I should loosen it up."

, that's what makes this so funny. I ordered 4 of these, for different tanks of course. The filter arrived within 2 days and was the exact same as Petsmart's. However, lately I've purchased the Aqua Clear 70 and 50. I put it together, reading instructions of course. I have the topfin 29 gallon tank and used the HOB filter it came with. I used a small pair of pliers and carefully got the pebbles out.

  • API Filstar XP
  • Contains one (1) API FILSTAR XP FILTER SIZE S Aquarium Canister Filter 1-Count Box
  • Provides powerful filtration for perfectly balanced and crystal clear aquarium water.
  • Very easy to use and maintain; allows for centralized control of all the functions of the filtration system.
  • Quick disconnect, leak free, fast cleaning, and self-priming.
  • Allows the use of various filtration media available in the API range, and meets your specific freshwater and saltwater requirements.
  • Manufacture: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 13.5 x 12.75 inches; 10.7 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The API 720
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

API 720 Final Thoughts

"SO THEREFORE."

I can hear it 3 rooms away grinding away. I used a small pair of pliers and carefully got the pebbles out. My tank was a mess when I got this pump. This is a well designed unit and a lot of bang for the buck. Get it and take heed to what I wrote. This filter has is a very simple and efficient design. I use Marinelands refillable cartridge for extra carbon on the extra slots.

Overall Score
3.9


(766 Points)

3. API FILSTAR XP Canister Filter Spare Parts Such as Canister Clips, Quick Disconnect, Gasket, impelle...

User Ratings: 74 7

API 720D First Impressions

"In one day crystal clear."

The bacteria eats the nitrates in the water to help keep it clean. I DONT KNOW WHY MANY THINK THIS IS A NOISY FILTER. This filter has is a very simple and efficient design. Overall I would recommend this item. Basically, make sure everything that is suppose to spin, does so smoothly. You CAN rinse the old ones in an emergency. I was worried that it might be too much for my aquarium or that it would be loud.

  • API FILSTAR XP Canister Filter Spare Parts Such as Canister Clips, Quick Disconnect, Gasket, impellers and More
  • Contains one (1) API FILSTAR XP QUICK DISCONNECT Aquarium Canister Filter Spare Part 1-Count
  • Replacement quick disconnect for API FILSTAR XP S, M, L, XL (or RENA FILSTAR xP1, xP2, xP3, and xP4) canister filters
  • Includes one quick disconnect with O rings.
  • Manufacture: Mars Fishcare Inc.
  • Product Dimensions: 8.13 x 2.25 x 8 inches; 2.4 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The API 720D
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

API 720D Final Thoughts

"Like brand new."

The filter stopped working all of a sudden. I plan to cycle this new AC 50 on a separate tank and then xfer it to the 20 gallon. I attempted to clean and lube the impeller, but to no avail. Overall, I like the 350's slim back design, and be able to add up to 4 cartridges. It wasn't producing much surface agitation. It wasn't producing much surface agitation. So, easy is good, both for us and our fish.

Overall Score
4.4


(758 Points)

4. Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters

User Ratings: 68 9

Aqueon 100113236 First Impressions

"Seriously."

I wasn't able to fill my tank fully because there was little to no surface agitation. Not sure what I'll do with the more complex design. My fish are definitely happier and my water is crystal clear. Once I found that, the world was right again. You'll want to pull that water from the bottom. My tank is nice and clear and my fish are much happier. Of course the sound all depends on how much water is in the aquarium.

  • Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters
  • Provides mechanical, chemical, biological filtration plus additional assistance with the Aqueon specialty filter pads
  • Self-priming – starts up automatically after cleaning or power interruptions.
  • Certified flow rates that assure proper water circulation for improved fish health
  • LED indicator light flashes when it’s time to replace clogged cartridges by monitoring actual water levels.
  • Internal pump design helps dampen noise and eliminate leaks
  • LED indicator light flashes when it's time to change the cartridge
  • Filter pump is self-priming, just plug and play out of the box; filter will auto-restart if power is interrupted and restored
  • Provides mechanical, chemical, biological, and additional specialty pad filtration
  • Manufacture: Central Garden & Pet
  • Product Dimensions: 14.25 x 9.25 x 7 inches; 3.8 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Aqueon 100113236
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Aqueon 100113236 Final Thoughts

"My fault not theirs."

One thing I think is worth mentioning is the need to prime the filter. Therefore, you wouldnt have 2 filters running. Firstly, I'd recommend taking the motor apart and putting it back together. So, easy is good, both for us and our fish. Overall I would recommend this item. I recently upgraded from a 10 gallon aquarium to a 29 gallon. Basically, make sure everything that is suppose to spin, does so smoothly.

Overall Score
4.3


(479 Points)

5. Intsun Aquarium Filter, Aquarium Sponge Filter Moving Bed Media Filter Fluidised Bed Filter for Fish...

User Ratings: 62 15

Intsun First Impressions

"I only used one."

In the afternoon the noises started again. My old pump was not working very well so I had to make a major clean up. LOW and BEHOLD, LMAO, I missed where you had to put water in the back of the filter. I used to have a 37 gallon eclipse aquarium. With the 350's inexpensive price point, you can’t go wrong with this powerful filter. Unlike my old HOB filter, it doesn't sound like a leaky toilet. MAKE SURE YOU PUT WATER IN THE BACK OF THE FILTER!

  • Intsun Aquarium Filter, Aquarium Sponge Filter Moving Bed Media Filter Fluidised Bed Filter for Fish Tanks
  • 【Multi-filtration functions】Imitating the riverbed in nature, the sandstone rolls with the flow of water on the riverbed, and the nitrifying bacteria breed in one generation and one generation, which plays a role in purifying the water.
  • 【V-1 filter media】 various microorganisms and nitrifying bacteria can be attached to the surface. through continuous tumbling, the filter media collide with each other to let the dead bacteria fall off, and the new bacteria adhere to it, which plays a role in self-repair and regeneration of the filter material. No need to replace the filter material during usage period
  • 【Fits fish tank size: 20 to 40 gallon】Easy to set up: simply install an airline tube into the unit and turn on the air pump,comes with 4 suction cups,can be easily installed anywhere of the aquarium; suitable for shrimp tank, betta tank, breeding tank, fry tank, goldfish, discus, guppies, baby fish or other fish.
  • 【Easy to use】 Using an air hose, connect one end to you air pump and the other end to this filter. The water flow exit tube on the sponge filter is adjustable so you can change direction and height of the water flow
  • 【Removable Fine Sponges 】you can easy to take down the 2 sponges from the filter to clean or replace it, the 2 sponges are fine 60ppi not coarse, which means more surface area for beneficial bacteri to live on. Don't use tap water to clean it, just rinse or squeeze the sponges by using the aquarium water
  • Manufacture: INTSUN
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Intsun
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Intsun Final Thoughts

"Water crystal clear."

So, easy is good, both for us and our fish. The filter stopped working all of a sudden. Once I found that, the world was right again. I've looked at so many filters and reviews. This filter really does a good job. Once I found that, the world was right again. The ability to regulate the flow solves the loud waterfall problem.

Overall Score
4.2


(15 Points)

6. hygger 110GPH 7W Aquarium Power Filter Pump, Water Flow Adjustable, for 2-8 Gallon Fish Tank

User Ratings: 68

hygger First Impressions

"And it is so quiet."

This filter has is a very simple and efficient design. This new AQ50 filter has loose bio-media, i. However, lately I've purchased the Aqua Clear 70 and 50. Really happy with the money I was able to save. It started out silent for about 30 mins and then it got super loud. I thought that U had put it together wrong so I took it all apart and started over. I had a lot of particles in the water.

  • hygger 110GPH 7W Aquarium Power Filter Pump, Water Flow Adjustable, for 2-8 Gallon Fish Tank
  • Ultra quiet and energy saving 7W 110GPH internal power filter. US plug, 110-120V/60Hz
  • Can be used for low water filtration, support vertically or horizontally installation.
  • Easy to install and use, water flow is adjustable, with 2 rain shower tubes.
  • Two stages filtration provides crystal clear water for your aquarium.
  • Dimension: 6.8 inch in height, 2.4 inch in length, 1.6 inch in width.
  • Manufacture: hygger
  • Editor's Impressions Of The hygger
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

hygger Final Thoughts

"IMPORTANT!"

I had to lower the surface by 3 inches to get sufficient agitation. Overall I would recommend this item. Unlike my old HOB filter, it doesn't sound like a leaky toilet. In the afternoon the noises started again. This is a well designed unit and a lot of bang for the buck. I was worried that it might be too much for my aquarium or that it would be loud. LOW and BEHOLD, LMAO, I missed where you had to put water in the back of the filter.

Overall Score
4.7


(7 Points)

7. 5W 400L/H Turtle Fish Tank Filter, Quiet Flow Bio Filtration Low Level Waterfall Filter for Aquarium...

User Ratings: 57 6

Guinio First Impressions

"I only used one."

I had a lot of particles in the water. All in all, I highly recommend this filter and I'm a extremely happy customer! Never ever ever use it past a year. I was using a Tetra in-tank filter previously. I DONT KNOW WHY MANY THINK THIS IS A NOISY FILTER. Your fish and you will be much happier and stun everyone else. I was also having oxygen issues because of this.

  • 5W 400L/H Turtle Fish Tank Filter, Quiet Flow Bio Filtration Low Level Waterfall Filter for Aquariums Fish Tank Turtle, 105 GPH
  • Turtle filter function: efficiently clean and filter water, help water circulation, help clean water, provide healthy water for your aquarium.
  • Scope of application: suitable for most reptiles, amphibians, frogs, small fish, etc. Suitable for any aquarium fish tank no more than 20 L(5 gallons).
  • Easy installation: The water filter can be hung on the aquarium or easily fixed with a suction cup. Waterfall-type water circulation, smooth water flow increases the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water tank.
  • Scope of application: The 5w turtle filter suitable for most reptiles, amphibians, frogs, small fish, etc. Suitable for any aquarium fish tank no more than 20 L(5 gallons).
  • Silent design: safe, energy-saving and environmentally friendly, reliable and durable filters will not produce too much noise, providing you with a quiet environment.
  • Manufacture: Guinio
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Guinio
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Guinio Final Thoughts

"I bought an FX5 in 2011."

What I don't like is how much smaller it is than the Aqueon. I attempted to clean and lube the impeller, but to no avail. If that does not work, look into silicone grease so you can lube the impeller. I will never buy any other HOB no matter what deal they might be offering. I stopped the pump and I pulled it apart. This filter has is a very simple and efficient design. Also the maker should review the pump design.

Overall Score
4.1


(23 Points)

8. Powkoo Aquarium Filter Sponge Filter Media Fish Tank Shrimp Betta Fry Bio Filter with 2 Media Chambe...

User Ratings: 60 7

Powkoo First Impressions

"Disappointing."

I can hear it 3 rooms away grinding away. SO, I sat down and read EVERY little thing in rhe instructions. I will never buy any other HOB no matter what deal they might be offering. It doesn't rise up hugely above the tank like a lot of HOB filters. I've think I've had had six of them. I'm currently in the process of receiving another replacement on that model. I ordered 4 of these, for different tanks of course.

  • Powkoo Aquarium Filter Sponge Filter Media Fish Tank Shrimp Betta Fry Bio Filter with 2 Media Chambers
  • Sponge filters provide both mechanical and biological filtration - traps floating debris and protect your baby fish from being sucked up into the filter, aerobic bacteria colonize the sponge providing a bacterial substance to facilitate the nitrogen cycle
  • Double 7-layer ribbing shape sponges design, it quickly established a bio-filter and extra oxygen, high density porous 60ppi fine sponges means more surface area for beneficial bacterial to colonize and faster cycling, keep your fish tank crystal clear and clean
  • It has two media chambers with ceramic bio filter media inside of each, will help to remove harmful substance and increase oxygen level in your tank, you can replace the filter media to enhance water quality.
  • Easy to set up: simply install an airline into the unit and turn on the air pump, great way to clean and oxygenate your tanks; Easy to clean: simply squeeze the sponges in tank water.
  • 【Fits fish tank size: 10 to 60 gallon】Easy to use: comes with 2 suction cups, can be installed anywhere and can be easily hidden on the back wall of the aquarium; suitable for shrimp tank, betta tank, breeder tanks, goldfish, discus, guppies, fry, baby fish or other fish.
  • Manufacture: Powkoo
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Powkoo
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Powkoo Final Thoughts

"It's priced awesome!"

Worst case is that the motor could burn out. This one is working perfectly good FOR RIGHT NOW. There is a sound from the water shooting into the tank! My old pump was not working very well so I had to make a major clean up. Works like a dream and can't even hear it! If that does not work, look into silicone grease so you can lube the impeller. Overall, I'm very happy with this filter.

Overall Score
4.2


(15 Points)

9. SunGrow Small Power Filter for Rimless Tanks, 100-240 V, 3-in-1 Filtration System, Hang On The Back,...

User Ratings: 42 19

SunGrow First Impressions

"This thing is a beast."

It started out silent for about 30 mins and then it got super loud. I stopped the pump and I pulled it apart. I used a small pair of pliers and carefully got the pebbles out. Oscars are very messy fish, especially during feeding. Basically, make sure everything that is suppose to spin, does so smoothly. Fill up the media slot with water until it's full. It sounds like a Big Air pump buzzing.

  • SunGrow Small Power Filter for Rimless Tanks, 100-240 V, 3-in-1 Filtration System, Hang On The Back, High-Performance Cotton Filter, Adjustable Flow Rate Up to 66 GPH, Energy-efficient, 1 Pack
  • ✔IMPROVES WATER QUALITY BY REMOVING WATER IMPURITIES --- Small Power Filter by SunGrow provides excellent chemical, mechanical & biological filtration using multimedia mechanism. It removes decaying organic matter, excess food, unsafe chemicals, free-floating particulate, and fish’s waste products from the water.
  • ✔WITH BIOCHEMICAL COTTON FILTER --- This hang on the back filter has sponge where water passes through its pores and can efficiently trap debris. Aerobic bacteria can also propagate in its pore’s large surface area. As the nitrifying bacteria cultivate, it naturally gives biological filtration in your tank.
  • ✔PROMOTES BETTER WATER CIRCULATION --- This premium quality aquarium accessory prevents the build-up of ammonia and nitrates. It increases oxygen and helps ventilate the water, so your fish can breathe.
  • ✔WITH ADJUSTABLE FLOW RATE --- Can be used for both fresh and sea water, this filter is engineered with flow adjustment function. The maximum flow rate is up to 250 L /H or 66 GPH.
  • ✔ EASY SETUP --- First attach the intake tube and add the filter cartridge. Hang on the back of your rimless aquarium. Open the top lid of the filter to add water so the tubes below can suck in water. Plug it in to enjoy all the convenience and health benefits to your fish.
  • Manufacture: Luffy Pets Collection
  • Editor's Impressions Of The SunGrow
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

SunGrow Final Thoughts

"Just a low hum."

I've think I've had had six of them. I had a lot of particles in the water. However, lately I've purchased the Aqua Clear 70 and 50. I will never buy any other HOB no matter what deal they might be offering. My box came in good condition, parts where in tact and new. Typically just below the flat part of the outlets. I use Marinelands refillable cartridge for extra carbon on the extra slots.

Overall Score
3.4


(43 Points)

10. Brother123shop 9W Sterilizer UV Aquarium Gallon Filter with Pump Submersible 75 Gallon

User Ratings: 67 11

Brother123shop First Impressions

"Huge capacity."

It's easy to clean and we all know about easy. There is a sound from the water shooting into the tank! Typically just below the flat part of the outlets. This is a well designed unit and a lot of bang for the buck. I used to have a 37 gallon eclipse aquarium. That water got so dirty we had to keep changing it every 2 or 3 days. I was new to the hobby and didn't realize that Tetras were inferior filters.

  • Brother123shop 9W Sterilizer UV Aquarium Gallon Filter with Pump Submersible 75 Gallon
  • UV Power: 9 Watts (G23 Base)
  • Pump Power: 8 Watt
  • Max Flow: 211gph
  • Max Tank Size: 75 Gallon
  • 9W UVC Light Bulb Included
  • Manufacture: United State
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Brother123shop
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Brother123shop Final Thoughts

"My fault not theirs."

This is not my first experience with a marineland filter. It sounds like a Big Air pump buzzing. I AM IMPRESSED THAT IT WORKS AS IT ACTUALLY SHOULD! , that's what makes this so funny. Now I'm having the same issue with the Aqua Clear 50. I wasn't able to fill my tank fully because there was little to no surface agitation. Replace activated carbon every 6-8 months ish.

Overall Score
4.2


(48 Points)

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