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 [star rating='3.6']
  • Quality [star rating='3.6']
  • Value For Money [star rating='3.4']
  • Affordability [star rating='3.6']

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

[star rating="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 [star rating='3.6']
  • Quality [star rating='3.3']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.9']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.4']

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

[star rating="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 [star rating='5']
  • Quality [star rating='3.7']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.4']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.9']

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

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

4. Flexzion Aquarium Internal Filter Submersible 3-in-1 Multi-Function Mini Pump for Fish Tank with Adj...

User Ratings: 48 14

Flexzion First Impressions

"I should loosen it up."

I'm a mechanical engineer and understand design. I AM IMPRESSED THAT IT WORKS AS IT ACTUALLY SHOULD! In the afternoon the noises started again. One thing I think is worth mentioning is the need to prime the filter. Lift the sticking wheel outuse a Q-tip to clean the slots where the wheel rests. Lightly clean the silver roller pins on the ends. I'm currently in the process of receiving another replacement on that model.

  • Flexzion Aquarium Internal Filter Submersible 3-in-1 Multi-Function Mini Pump for Fish Tank with Adjustable Flow Rate + Spray Bar + Pipe
  • Fits tank size up to 20 gallon
  • Compact power filter with adjustable flow rate
  • Integrated spray bar creates an even flow of water
  • Direct flow diffuser for greater surface agitation
  • Suitable for both freshwater, saltwater and pond use
  • Manufacture: Flexzion
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 4 x 3 inches; 9.17 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Flexzion
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='4.6']
  • Quality [star rating='4.6']
  • Value For Money [star rating='3.3']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.3']

Flexzion Final Thoughts

"It was an Awesome filter!"

I used to have a 37 gallon eclipse aquarium. I have always used Marineland filters and been happy with them and their quality. Lightly clean the silver roller pins on the ends. My old pump was not working very well so I had to make a major clean up. I want to answer some of the complaints I've read. The Marineland penguin 350 is a great filter. It sounds like a Big Air pump buzzing.

Overall Score
3.8

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

5. hygger Adjustable 158GPH 12W Aquarium Filter with 3 Stages Filtration, Hang On Power Filter for Fish...

User Ratings: 61 9

hygger First Impressions

"This thing is super loud!"

Months later, this filter is still working great on my 29 gal set up. I'd highly recommend not replacing the bio material& sponge, ever. Worst case is that the motor could burn out. They were great to deal with and the new filter is working great! Your fish and you will be much happier and stun everyone else. As for performance, I couldn't ask for a better filter. First they are simple and designed to pump and filter aquarium water.

  • hygger Adjustable 158GPH 12W Aquarium Filter with 3 Stages Filtration, Hang On Power Filter for Fish Tank 5-30 Gallon, Cord 5.9ft
  • 【Efficient 3-Stage Filtration】12W external power filter, AC 110-120V/60HZ. With 3 stages of filtration system, combines mechanical, chemical, as well as biological filtration effects, high filtration effects to keep fish tank water crystal clean. A separate filter basket containing 3 layers of filter media: sponge insert, activated carbon pellets, black bio balls
  • 【Water Flow Adjustable】the max water flow rate of the bio aquarium filter is 158GPH, there is a knob at the top of the filter and will outside the cover, you can easy to rotate the knob to control the water flow according to your needs. A must have bio filter for 3 to 50 gallon small fish tank
  • 【Ultra Quiet Aquarium Filter】 the built-in water pump of the filter works quietly, and the filter comes with a cover, will cut off most sounds. The waterfall design enables filtered water back to the tank silently, you can only hear the water sounds when it's working, the sound is less than 40dB, will not disturb the fish in the aquarium tank and your sleep
  • 【Fits for Most Fish Tank Thickness】easy to install and use, the filter case is at the back of the filter, outside of the fish tank. Can hang it on to most square fish tanks, it comes with a separate fix knob to make the clip of the filter to fit different thickness of fish tank wall
  • 【With a Floating Skimmer】 there is a floating skimmer put on the telescopic water intake tube, it will be floating up when sinks into water, visible impurities floating on the water will go into the skimmer house when the filter pump is running
  • Manufacture: hygger
  • Editor's Impressions Of The hygger
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='3.5']
  • Quality [star rating='4.4']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.9']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.8']

hygger Final Thoughts

"I bought this filter."

This filter comes with a sponge, activated carbon, and bio material in a mesh bag. SO, I sat down and read EVERY little thing in rhe instructions. Once it loses its charge, you'll need to replace it. I've been researching so many things on how to take care of them. Fill up the media slot with water until it's full. I have had no issues with it being to loud. I have always used Marineland filters and been happy with them and their quality.

Overall Score
4.3

[star rating="4.3"]
(16 Points)

6. Lifegard Aquatics R800207 Full-View 7 Gallon Aquarium with Built-in Back Filter

User Ratings: 54 26

Lifegard Aquatics R800207 First Impressions

"Very pleased!"

I also like the fact that it is relatively low profile and discreet looking. I also don't like how short the intake tube is. In the afternoon the noises started again. Once it loses its charge, you'll need to replace it. Fill up the media slot with water until it's full. I've looked at so many filters and reviews. Really happy with the money I was able to save.

  • Lifegard Aquatics R800207 Full-View 7 Gallon Aquarium with Built-in Back Filter
  • The low voltage thermostat maintains water at 78°F without any adjustment required
  • Brand of Lifeguard
  • Manufactured in China
  • Item Package Weight: 18.0
  • Manufacture: Lifegard Aquatics
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 16 x 11 inches; 16 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Lifegard Aquatics R800207
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='3.3']
  • Quality [star rating='2.9']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.1']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.5']

Lifegard Aquatics R800207 Final Thoughts

"Canisters don't."

The filter stopped working all of a sudden. It's easy to clean and we all know about easy. I AM IMPRESSED THAT IT WORKS AS IT ACTUALLY SHOULD! That water got so dirty we had to keep changing it every 2 or 3 days. This filter has is a very simple and efficient design. Doing research I learned that if I add more filter media, the noise will subside. MAKE SURE YOU PUT WATER IN THE BACK OF THE FILTER!

Overall Score
3.5

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

7. LiquaGen - 6 Stage Heavy Duty - 0 PPM Reverse Osmosis/Deionization Aquarium Reef Water Filter System...

LiquaGen 617629986655 First Impressions

"Since then no problems."

I decided to go with this filter since I had a positive experience previously. Never ever ever use it past a year. They were great to deal with and the new filter is working great! I was new to the hobby and didn't realize that Tetras were inferior filters. My tank is nice and clear and my fish are much happier. I decided to go with this filter since I had a positive experience previously. Basically, make sure everything that is suppose to spin, does so smoothly.

  • LiquaGen - 6 Stage Heavy Duty - 0 PPM Reverse Osmosis/Deionization Aquarium Reef Water Filter System, 150 GPD
  • This product is great for aquariums, laboratory testing, and other applications where ultra-pure water is necessary. 1 year Satisfaction Guarantee, w/ life time support by water technology experts based in California. We pressure test EVERY system before it is shipped ensuring the highest standard of quality.
  • Long lasting filters (standard 10 inch filters) w/ high quality connect fittings | Super easy & convenient installation.
  • Pre- Assembled system for easy installation. Guaranteed 0 ppm water. Installation takes approximately 5 minutes!
  • Manual Flush Valve makes this system superior to any other RO/DI system in the market by increasing the life of the unit, reducing possible leaks, and saves you valuable time when flushing the system every few months.
  • High Rejection Reverse Osmosis (RO) Membrane. Film by GE USA 2 year manufacturer warranty; Lifetime customer support
  • Manufacture: LiquaGen Water Technology
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 7 x 16 inches; 21 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The LiquaGen 617629986655
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='5']
  • Quality [star rating='4.1']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.8']
  • Affordability [star rating='5']

LiquaGen 617629986655 Final Thoughts

"The product itself."

I have contacted customer service to see if I can get a replacement unit. I will pick 3-4 of these at one time over a single system any day. In the afternoon the noises started again. This filter has is a very simple and efficient design. All in all, I highly recommend this filter and I'm a extremely happy customer! Therefore, you wouldnt have 2 filters running. Overall, I like the 350's slim back design, and be able to add up to 4 cartridges.

Overall Score
5.0

[star rating="5"]
(4 Points)

8. Penn-Plax 325 Cascade Corner Filter

User Ratings: 61 10

Penn-Plax 07192 First Impressions

"Not my case!"

I wasn't able to fill my tank fully because there was little to no surface agitation. All in all, I highly recommend this filter and I'm a extremely happy customer! They are easily found from mom-n-pop pet stores to large chain stores. Fill it up with water before you plug it in. I have always used Marineland filters and been happy with them and their quality. I took it apart reassemble it and it's not pumping in the water. My old pump was not working very well so I had to make a major clean up.

  • Penn-Plax 325 Cascade Corner Filter
  • Space saving corner design
  • Fully submersible filter quietly delivers 85 gallons per hour of crystal clear water for your fresh or marine aquarium up to 10 gallons in size
  • Spray bar option allows you to distribute water evenly helping aerate your tank
  • Can be placed horizontally and is easily hidden
  • Manufacture: Penn Plax
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 2 x 7 inches; 1 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Penn-Plax 07192
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='4.2']
  • Quality [star rating='5']
  • Value For Money [star rating='3.7']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.8']

Penn-Plax 07192 Final Thoughts

"AFTER 3 DAYS."

Works like a dream and can't even hear it! However, lately I've purchased the Aqua Clear 70 and 50. I had a lot of particles in the water. The filter arrived within 2 days and was the exact same as Petsmart's. Unlike my old HOB filter, it doesn't sound like a leaky toilet. Basically, make sure everything that is suppose to spin, does so smoothly. Marineland bio pumps have been around forever.

Overall Score
4.2

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

9. Aqueon Aquarium Filter Kit w/Media (4 Month Supply), Up to 20 Gallons

User Ratings: 81 2

Aqueon 100540434 First Impressions

"My fault not theirs."

SO I decided to order this for my 29 gallon tank. You can't really tell though, and the filter is working great. A canister or in tank filter is ten times more work and messy. So, easy is good, both for us and our fish. This one is working perfectly good FOR RIGHT NOW. It doesn't rise up hugely above the tank like a lot of HOB filters. I want to answer some of the complaints I've read.

  • Aqueon Aquarium Filter Kit w/Media (4 Month Supply), Up to 20 Gallons
  • Value pack includes: Aqueon Quietflow 10 filter, 4 Medium filter cartridges, 5 ammonia pads and water Conditioner sampler
  • Five stage filtration: mechanical, chemical, biological, and an additional specialty pad for the cleanest, clearest, healthiest water
  • Recommended for aquariums up to 20 gallons
  • Self-priming - starts up automatically after cleaning or power interruptions
  • High flow rates ensure a highly dissolved oxygen content or healthier, more active fish
  • Manufacture: Central Garden & Pet
  • Product Dimensions: 8.75 x 6.5 x 8.25 inches; 1.53 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Aqueon 100540434
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='4.1']
  • Quality [star rating='4.8']
  • Value For Money [star rating='3.7']
  • Affordability [star rating='3.6']

Aqueon 100540434 Final Thoughts

"I should loosen it up."

Typically just below the flat part of the outlets. I still have my original wheels on the year old 350 with no issues whatsoever. Now I'm having the same issue with the Aqua Clear 50. I put it together, reading instructions of course. That water got so dirty we had to keep changing it every 2 or 3 days. Following morning it was running quietly. Fill it up with water before you plug it in.

Overall Score
4.6

[star rating="4.6"]
(220 Points)

10. BACTO-SURGE HIGH DENSITY FOAM FILTER (2-Pack)

User Ratings: 81 2

Pay It Forward Pet Supply First Impressions

"Seriously."

I had a lot of particles in the water. Marineland bio pumps have been around forever. I decided to go with this filter since I had a positive experience previously. So, easy is good, both for us and our fish. It was perfectly quiet without any extra effort on my part. I returned the Aqua Clear 70 and promptly received a replacement. , that's what makes this so funny.

  • BACTO-SURGE HIGH DENSITY FOAM FILTER (2-Pack)
  • BACTO-SURGE HIGH DENSITY FOAM FILTER
  • Manufacture: Pay It Forward Pet Supply
  • Part Number: 4334824305
  • Item Weight: 1.39 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 6 inches
  • Size: 2 Pack
  • Color: Original version
  • Batteries Included?: No
  • Batteries Required?: No
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Pay It Forward Pet Supply
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='4.1']
  • Quality [star rating='5']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.1']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.7']

Pay It Forward Pet Supply Final Thoughts

"Please read!"

Clean the foam insert apparently it pulled a lot of dirt and needs cleaned. The current is strong but you can adjust it with the midsection lever. You do have to unplug it for those two jobs. The bacteria eats the nitrates in the water to help keep it clean. I thought that U had put it together wrong so I took it all apart and started over. I used a small pair of pliers and carefully got the pebbles out. What I don't like is how much smaller it is than the Aqueon.

Overall Score
4.7

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

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