Editor's Choice - Our Favorite Box Aquarium Filters

1. AA Aquarium Green Killing Machine 9 Watt | Internal UV Sterilizer System with Power Head | Kills Alg...

User Ratings: 76 7

AA Aquarium AAUV9W First Impressions

"All around great product."

I also like the fact that it is relatively low profile and discreet looking. The Aqua Clear is on the left and the Aqueon is on the right. Get it and take heed to what I wrote. They can be very noisy at the impeller, which sometimes quiets in time, but may not. I have contacted customer service to see if I can get a replacement unit. With the 350's inexpensive price point, you can’t go wrong with this powerful filter. I will pick 3-4 of these at one time over a single system any day.

  • AA Aquarium Green Killing Machine 9 Watt | Internal UV Sterilizer System with Power Head | Kills Algae, Bacteria, and Waterborne Pathogens | Easy, Submersible Installation
  • Say GOODBYE to GREEN and HELLO to CLEAN. AA Aquarium’s Green Killing Machine eliminates cloudiness, algae & bacteria to give your fish the crystal clear water they need for perfect health!
  • The #1 UV in the US – over ½ Million sold. Patented technology that no one else has and the ONLY UL Safety Tested internal UV kit – Be safe with your tank and fish!
  • Patented Sealed UV BULB - you never touch glass! Chambered bulb assembly for high water dwell time and outstanding efficacy! No gloves-No mess-EZ bulb changes!
  • NO TOOLS REQUIRED! 10 minute installation - Follow simple steps to get clear water in days. No Guessing – Control Box LED tells you when to change bulbs!
  • 3 Year Warranty on Pump; 4 pcs sponge pre-filter; Pump rated 220L/Hour. Perfect for aquariums up to 50 Gallons (210 L). UL/cUL Listed
  • Manufacture: AA AQUARIUM
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 3.7 x 11 inches; 2 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The AA Aquarium AAUV9W
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

AA Aquarium AAUV9W Final Thoughts

"Huge capacity."

With the 350's inexpensive price point, you can’t go wrong with this powerful filter. I can take apart a car engine and put it back together. The instructions are a bit to much for me. This filter really does a good job. I still have my original wheels on the year old 350 with no issues whatsoever. This is a well designed unit and a lot of bang for the buck. One thing I think is worth mentioning is the need to prime the filter.

Overall Score
4.4


(2330 Points)

Peoples Choice - Other Highly Rated Box Aquarium Filters

2. Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filter 75

User Ratings: 60 11

Aqueon 100106079 First Impressions

"In one day crystal clear."

My baby turtle even loves it so much he won't let go. I wasn't able to fill my tank fully because there was little to no surface agitation. I've been researching so many things on how to take care of them. This filter really does a good job. Controlling the flow rate doesn't require modifying the filter. The Marineland penguin 350 is a great filter. Clean the foam insert apparently it pulled a lot of dirt and needs cleaned.

  • Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filter 75
  • Certified flow rates that assure proper water circulation for improved fish health
  • High flow rates for optimal dissolved oxygen content to promote healthier, more active fish
  • Provides mechanical, chemical, biological and optional, additional specialty pad filtration
  • Self-priming filter pump will auto-start initially or restart if power is interrupted and restored
  • Internal pump design helps dampen noise and eliminate leaks with self-priming feature
  • LED indicator light flashes when water cannot pass through the cartridge, generally indicating it's time to change the cartridge
  • Uses Two Large Aqueon Replacement Cartridges and Size 20/75 Specialty Filter Pad
  • LED indicator light flashes when it's time to change the cartridge
  • Manufacture: Aqueon
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 8.4 x 6.6 inches; 3.8 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Aqueon 100106079
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Aqueon 100106079 Final Thoughts

"A very obvious waterfall."

This new AQ50 filter has loose bio-media, i. This filter really does a good job. One thing I think is worth mentioning is the need to prime the filter. They are easily found from mom-n-pop pet stores to large chain stores. Overall I would recommend this item. I have 4 other AquaClear filters and like them. It's easy to clean and we all know about easy.

Overall Score
4.1


(887 Points)

3. boxtech Aquarium Hang On Filter - Power Waterfall Suspension Oxygen Pump - Submersible Hanging Activ...

User Ratings: 52 14

boxtech 4346783286 First Impressions

"It's priced awesome!"

I had to cut the hood to make it work. It wasn't producing much surface agitation. Therefore, you wouldnt have 2 filters running. The filter stopped working all of a sudden. Overall I would recommend this item. Oscars are very messy fish, especially during feeding. I have 4 other AquaClear filters and like them.

  • boxtech Aquarium Hang On Filter - Power Waterfall Suspension Oxygen Pump - Submersible Hanging Activated Carbon Biochemical Wall Mounted Fish Tank Filtration Water
  • 3 in 1 Multi-function filter: Aquarium filter has the function for filtration,oxygen aeration and clearing oil-film, a variety functions provide by ultra-thin design filter, perfect for your fish tank.
  • Low noise: Filter motor running will not bring noise, will not affect the life and mood.
  • Adjustable flow valve: The water flow is adjustable, dissolved oxygen for creature growing.Suitable water flow, fit for fish bowl and grass cylinder,so it satisfy your various demand.
  • Hanging on filter with filter plate design:can increased filter strage space,also clean up aquarium fish feces, create a clean environment for your lovely fish.
  • Safe material: The fish tank filter made of ABS plastic,strong, quiet and durable
  • Prevent clogging of the pumping port
  • Removable cleaning
  • Prevent small fish from being sucked away
  • Manufacture: Boxtech
  • Product Dimensions: 4.72 x 4.72 x 3.54 inches; 9.59 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The boxtech 4346783286
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

boxtech 4346783286 Final Thoughts

"I bought an FX6 in 2013."

You can't really tell though, and the filter is working great. They can be very noisy at the impeller, which sometimes quiets in time, but may not. I use Marinelands refillable cartridge for extra carbon on the extra slots. I have 4 other AquaClear filters and like them. SO, I sat down and read EVERY little thing in rhe instructions. This lives up to the praise that people give it. They were great to deal with and the new filter is working great!

Overall Score
3.8


(836 Points)

4. 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)

Honorable Mentions - More Top Selling Box Aquarium Filters

5. Hydor Professional External Canister Filter – Aquarium External Filter – Telescopic Intake Tubes...

User Ratings: 63 13

Hydor C02401 First Impressions

"All around great product."

I attempted to clean and lube the impeller, but to no avail. This is a well designed unit and a lot of bang for the buck. It's only rated at 25 gph less, but holds considerably less media. However, lately I've purchased the Aqua Clear 70 and 50. It's only rated at 25 gph less, but holds considerably less media. Really happy with the money I was able to save. I liked the clean lined look and the pull out basket.

  • Hydor Professional External Canister Filter – Aquarium External Filter – Telescopic Intake Tubes, Easy Priming – EcoSystem in a Box – Biological, Mechanical, Chemical Filtration – 450 to 320 gph
  • COMPLETE ECOSYSTEM IN A BOX: This external filter for generation aquariums offers maximum performance and high filtration standards, not to mention an entire eco-system in a box
  • PREMIUM VERSATILITY: This professional external canister filter for aquariums features a priming pump that offers the versatility you need. The unit is ideal for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums
  • SIMPLE TO USE: The long-life ceramic shaft, large filter volume and safety locks make this professional external canister filter easy to use as a beginner or a long-term hobbyist. The space-saving unit is perfect for small and large aquariums
  • FILTER OPTIONS: Choose from professional external canister filters that operate with gallon ranges from 20 to 150. The filter circulation stems from 160 to 290 gallons, depending upon the model you choose
  • SPECIALIZED SERVICE: With more than 30 years of experience offering high-quality products for the passionate marine aquarist, Hydor is dedicated to manufacturing unique and innovative items in the field of aquarium technology
  • External filter for the modern aquarium.
  • An intelligent design conceived to make the most of the space beneath the aquarium, the filter offers maximum performance and extraordinary versatility.
  • Easy to use thanks to the priming pump, the Hydor Professional filter is useful for all aquariology enthusiasts.
  • Manufacture: Hydor
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 8.5 x 22 inches; 16 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Hydor C02401
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Hydor C02401 Final Thoughts

"It's priced awesome!"

This is a good choice if you're tired of cleaning your turtle tank all the time. They are easily found from mom-n-pop pet stores to large chain stores. I have had no issues with it being to loud. I will pick 3-4 of these at one time over a single system any day. Clean the foam insert apparently it pulled a lot of dirt and needs cleaned. Fill it up with water before you plug it in. It's only rated at 25 gph less, but holds considerably less media.

Overall Score
4.1


(520 Points)

6. hygger Sponge Filter, Aquarium Filter Double Sponge Replaceable Media with 4 Biochemical Sponges and...

User Ratings: 65 6

hygger First Impressions

"- Plug it into power."

I've looked at so many filters and reviews. Firstly, I'd recommend taking the motor apart and putting it back together. I've looked at so many filters and reviews. DO NOT CLEAN OR WASH the paper wheel itself. I used to work as a marine biologist for a major state aquarium. I was new to the hobby and didn't realize that Tetras were inferior filters. Firstly, I'd recommend taking the motor apart and putting it back together.

  • hygger Sponge Filter, Aquarium Filter Double Sponge Replaceable Media with 4 Biochemical Sponges and 1 Bag of Filtered Ceramic Balls Ultra Quiet Filter Fish Tank (S/M)
  • 【Biochemical Filtration】 With air pump as the power source, combined with mechanical filtration, the principle of biological filtration utilizes multi-level filtration to culture beneficial nitrifying bacteria, and the sponge can absorb fine particles to achieve the effect of purifying water. The water flow is controlled by the airflow, which is small and slow and does not impact the fish.
  • 【Changeable filter material】Two kinds of replaceable filter materials: sponge + filter box. You can easily remove 2 sponges from the filter for cleaning or replacement, with a total of 4 sponges. It also has a media container with a ceramic filter inside to help eliminate harmful substances and provide additional cleaning power. Other filters can be replaced.
  • 【Easy to use】 Use a 4mm air hose to connect one end to the air pump and the other end to this tank filter. The outlet pipe in the sponge filter can be adjusted so that you can change the direction and height of the water flow (not including the pump and air hose, please choose a powerful pump for this filter according to your tank size).
  • 【Upgrade filter】Aquarium filter can increase the amount of water dissolved, ultra-quiet, not easy to block, can be installed with filter material. Multi-layer design of filter cotton, with a large surface area, full filtration without dead ends. The suction cup is strong and secure. The bottom direction is 360 degrees rotatable.
  • 【Suitable Size】 The medium sponge filter is 6.3 inch width and 9 inch to 13 inch height, the sponge inside circle diameter is 0.59 inch, suggest for 15 to 55 gallon fish tank. For larger tank you may need 2 of this filter. Suitable for shrimp tanks, betta fish tanks, breeding ponds, goldfish, juvenile fish or other fish.
  • Manufacture: hygger
  • Editor's Impressions Of The hygger
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

hygger Final Thoughts

"Seriously."

Clean the foam insert apparently it pulled a lot of dirt and needs cleaned. It's only rated at 25 gph less, but holds considerably less media. As for performance, I couldn't ask for a better filter. I checked and cleaned it and still just as loud. Oscars are very messy fish, especially during feeding. Once I found that, the world was right again. Overall, I'm very happy with this filter.

Overall Score
4.3


(483 Points)

7. 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)

8. XpertMatic DB-368F Quiet 3 Stages 475 GPH Aquarium Filter for Up to 180 Gallon Fish Tank, Submersibl...

User Ratings: 55 10

XpertMatic DB-366 First Impressions

"I love this canister."

I own 3 of these and besides my canister they are my favorite filters. The first night I had the pump going it started making a screeching sound. If that does not work, look into silicone grease so you can lube the impeller. Firstly, I'd recommend taking the motor apart and putting it back together. I've looked at so many filters and reviews. I have always used Marineland filters and been happy with them and their quality. The filter stopped working all of a sudden.

  • XpertMatic DB-368F Quiet 3 Stages 475 GPH Aquarium Filter for Up to 180 Gallon Fish Tank, Submersible Internal Fish Tank Filter with Water Pump, Power Filter for Fish Tank, Aquarium, Pond
  • Ultra Quiet: XpertMatic aquarium internal filter could supply oxygen and create an aquarium water cycle. It provides a healthy living environment for your lovely pets. eg, fish and turtle. Less than 35dB, you can use it in your bedroom aquariums.
  • Leave The Water Crystal Clear: Adopts 3 stages filtration to ensure water clarity. Suitable for marine and freshwater aquariums.
  • Wide Application: Max Flow Rate: 475GPH(1800L/H). Max Lift Height: 4.92ft. Fits for aquariums, fish tanks, and fountains up to 264 gallons no more than 4.92ft height.
  • Easy to Set Up and Clean: The fully submersible filter with suction cups is easy to place inside your fish tank. The transparent filter box is visible that you will know when to clean or replace the filter cartridge.
  • Submersible Water Pump: You can lay down the filter at the bottom of the aquarium and use it as a water pump.
  • Manufacture: XpertMatic
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 2.4 x 13.8 inches; 1.59 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The XpertMatic DB-366
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

XpertMatic DB-366 Final Thoughts

"This is not."

, that's what makes this so funny. Of course the sound all depends on how much water is in the aquarium. Get it and take heed to what I wrote. Overall I would recommend this item. Now I'm having the same issue with the Aqua Clear 50. DO NOT CLEAN OR WASH the paper wheel itself. I used to work as a marine biologist for a major state aquarium.

Overall Score
4.0


(412 Points)

9. YCTECH 10-50 Gallon Aquarium Fish Tank Hang Filter with Surface Skimmer 3 Stage Water Skim Filter Pu...

User Ratings: 52 13

YCTECH First Impressions

"This thing is a beast."

I also like the fact that it is relatively low profile and discreet looking. There is a sound from the water shooting into the tank! I have the topfin 29 gallon tank and used the HOB filter it came with. It's only rated at 25 gph less, but holds considerably less media. They were great to deal with and the new filter is working great! As for performance, I couldn't ask for a better filter. They can be very noisy at the impeller, which sometimes quiets in time, but may not.

  • YCTECH 10-50 Gallon Aquarium Fish Tank Hang Filter with Surface Skimmer 3 Stage Water Skim Filter Pump 211 GPH Adjustable Flow Filter
  • ★ Practical: Advanced 3 step filtration Biological and mechanical filtration. Box includes active carbon and bio media Accumulator for oil slick, remove surface films effectively
  • ★ Adjustable: lengthened water inlet pipe, the length adjustable range is between 3-16 inch, which is suitable for aquarium with different heights.and the filter boxes can be taken out separately, which is easier to clean
  • ★ Quiet: You can adjust the amount of water flow at will. With the water outlet design, it is very quiet and won't affect the quality of sleep even if the fish tank is in the bedroom
  • ★Application: Can be used in aquariums, fish tank and turtle tanks for 20-50 gallon filters system
  • ★ Backed by 12 month warranty and 24 hrs professional after-sale service
  • Manufacture: YCTECH
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 4.9 x 4.4 inches; 3.15 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The YCTECH
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

YCTECH Final Thoughts

"And it is so quiet."

The filter arrived within 2 days and was the exact same as Petsmart's. I recently upgraded from a 10 gallon aquarium to a 29 gallon. Overall, I like the 350's slim back design, and be able to add up to 4 cartridges. MAKE SURE YOU PUT WATER IN THE BACK OF THE FILTER! A canister or in tank filter is ten times more work and messy. It wasn't producing much surface agitation. I was also having oxygen issues because of this.

Overall Score
3.8


(156 Points)

10. Aquarium Masters Replacement Aquarium Carbon Filter Cartridge for Whisper Power Filter 10, E, J, Mic...

User Ratings: 63 8

Aquarium Masters Model 10 First Impressions

"Just a tip!"

Oscars are very messy fish, especially during feeding. Clean the foam insert apparently it pulled a lot of dirt and needs cleaned. Following morning it was running quietly. I DONT KNOW WHY MANY THINK THIS IS A NOISY FILTER. The first night I had the pump going it started making a screeching sound. I have always used Marineland filters and been happy with them and their quality. I was new to the hobby and didn't realize that Tetras were inferior filters.

  • Aquarium Masters Replacement Aquarium Carbon Filter Cartridge for Whisper Power Filter 10, E, J, MicroFilter & 10i, The Old Top Fin Power Filter 10 and Old 15 Model 10 & 30!
  • Each box contains 3 cartridges!! Replacement Aquarium Carbon Filter Cartridge for Whisper Power Filter 10, E, J, MicroFilter & 10i, & Old Top Fin Power Filter 10 and Old 15 & Aquarium Masters Model 10 & 30!
  • This replacement filter cartridge is a Multi-Stage disposable cartridge: Stage One is mechanical - Advanced multi-layered polyfiber floss traps micro & macro organic particles and foreign debris. Stage Two -Chemical -Super-Activated carbon granules absorb many disolved containinants, odor, toxins, and discoloration. Stage Three Biological ( Sold separately) - High-flow bio-sponge promotes colonization of beneficial bacteria essential to a healthy aquatic environment.
  • Easy to use & disposable. No mess cartridge handle & single-piece construction keeps hands dry & clean during cartridge changes
  • High-Strength plastice frame for increased cartridge rigidity. Media-Grid ensures distribution of carbon granules throughout the cartridge for maximum filtration & flow
  • Other Aquarium Masters & Blue Spotted items to consider, air line tubing, fish net, submersible heaters, refugiums, nirate pad, ammonia pad, polyfiber pads, power filters, air stones, bio-rings, UV sterilizer, heat pads, & heat lamps
  • Manufacture: Aquarium Masters
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 3 x 1.3 inches; 3.3 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Aquarium Masters Model 10
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Aquarium Masters Model 10 Final Thoughts

"This one does!"

It wasn't producing much surface agitation. I eyedball everything and put it together with a look back at instructions. You CAN rinse the old ones in an emergency. It started out silent for about 30 mins and then it got super loud. Following morning it was running quietly. SO I decided to order this for my 29 gallon tank. LOW and BEHOLD, LMAO, I missed where you had to put water in the back of the filter.

Overall Score
4.2


(133 Points)

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