Editor's Choice - Our Favorite UV Aquarium Filters

1. Fluval External Filter

User Ratings: 74 9

Fluval A217 First Impressions

"My fault not theirs."

There is a sound from the water shooting into the tank! I put it together, reading instructions of course. It was perfectly quiet without any extra effort on my part. Of course the sound all depends on how much water is in the aquarium. I can hear it 3 rooms away grinding away. Also price was very reasonable and shipping was fast. I plan to cycle this new AC 50 on a separate tank and then xfer it to the 20 gallon.

  • Fluval External Filter
  • Multi stage filtration for healthy fresh & saltwater aquariums
  • Suitable for aquariums up to 100 gallons. Flow Rate: 1450 LPH (383 US GPH)
  • Sound dampening impeller design for a quieter operation. The Fluval 406 Canister Filter has a unique square shaped canister design that holds 35 to 50 percent more water than round canister filters of similar size allowing better water flow through a complex cleansing path that maximizes contact with the filtration media
  • Equipped with a clog proof intake strainer and a dual layer foam screen. To prevent water from dripping onto the receptacle or plug,a “drip loop” should be arranged by the user in the cord connecting appliance to a receptacle
  • Built with a patented Aqua stop Valve, multiple filtration baskets, and rim connector assemblies; 3 year warranty.Media Capacity: 8.5 L
  • Manufacture: Fluval
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 14.5 x 17.8 inches; 10 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Fluval A217
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Fluval A217 Final Thoughts

"SAME THING!"

In the afternoon the noises started again. A canister or in tank filter is ten times more work and messy. I was worried about some of the negative reviews. I've looked at so many filters and reviews. The Marineland penguin 350 is a great filter. SO I decided to order this for my 29 gallon tank. I attempted to clean and lube the impeller, but to no avail.

Overall Score
4.4


(2951 Points)

Peoples Choice - Other Highly Rated UV Aquarium Filters

2. 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)

3. Fluval High Performance Aquarium Filter

User Ratings: 86 5

Fluval A219 First Impressions

"I was to tire to fix it."

This one is working perfectly good FOR RIGHT NOW. Now I'm having the same issue with the Aqua Clear 50. This filter comes with a sponge, activated carbon, and bio material in a mesh bag. Lightly clean the silver roller pins on the ends. BUT after some YouTube research I was able to fix the noise issue. The lever on the bottom helps even the filter out. This one is working perfectly good FOR RIGHT NOW.

  • Fluval High Performance Aquarium Filter
  • Multi-Stage Filter that produces healthy aquarium water, freshwater or marine aquariums
  • Features Smart Pump Technology for optimal filter performance, efficiency and management
  • Self-starting filter-just add water and plug in. Head height (maximum): 3. 3 m (10. 8 feet)
  • For aquariums up to 400 gallons
  • Multi-stage filter pumps out an astounding 925 gallons (3500 L) of water per hour
  • Smart Pump – advanced microchip technology continuously monitors and optimizes pump performance
  • Self-starting – just add water, plug in and Smart Pump will take over. Trapped air auto-evacuated every 12 hours to ensure maximum efficiency
  • Easy water changes eliminate need to lift heavy buckets. Simply attach hosing to output (Kit sold separately) and Smart Pump does the rest
  • Manufacture: Fluval
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 20 inches; 19.9 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Fluval A219
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Fluval A219 Final Thoughts

"Came on time."

I eyedball everything and put it together with a look back at instructions. Overall, I'm very happy with this filter. The first night I had the pump going it started making a screeching sound. SO, I sat down and read EVERY little thing in rhe instructions. It's only rated at 25 gph less, but holds considerably less media. I liked the clean lined look and the pull out basket. I ordered 4 of these, for different tanks of course.

Overall Score
4.7


(1919 Points)

4. Sunsun HW-304B 525 GPH 5-Stage External Canister Filter with 9-watt UV Sterilizer

User Ratings: 67 11

SUN 07102 First Impressions

"Like brand new."

My tank is nice and clear and my fish are much happier. I had to cut the hood to make it work. I will never buy any other HOB no matter what deal they might be offering. So, easy is good, both for us and our fish. I plan to cycle this new AC 50 on a separate tank and then xfer it to the 20 gallon. It started out silent for about 30 mins and then it got super loud. My baby turtle even loves it so much he won't let go.

  • Sunsun HW-304B 525 GPH 5-Stage External Canister Filter with 9-watt UV Sterilizer
  • Good for up to 150 gallon fish tanks
  • Dimension: 11" L X 11" W X 17" H
  • Flow rate: 525 GPH (2000L/hr.)
  • Built in 9 Watt UV sterilizer for controlling algae spores/bacteria and promoting clear water
  • Manufacture: Monster Pets
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 17 inches; 14 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The SUN 07102
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

SUN 07102 Final Thoughts

"A THUMBS UP."

A canister or in tank filter is ten times more work and messy. LOW and BEHOLD, LMAO, I missed where you had to put water in the back of the filter. I will never buy any other HOB no matter what deal they might be offering. However, lately I've purchased the Aqua Clear 70 and 50. I ordered 4 of these, for different tanks of course. This one is working perfectly good FOR RIGHT NOW. However, lately I've purchased the Aqua Clear 70 and 50.

Overall Score
4.2


(890 Points)

Honorable Mentions - More Top Selling UV Aquarium Filters

5. Sunsun Hw304B 525GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit with 9-watt UV Sterilizer

User Ratings: 72 9

SunSun HW-304BPro First Impressions

"I only used one."

I used to have a 37 gallon eclipse aquarium. My box came in good condition, parts where in tact and new. Therefore, you wouldnt have 2 filters running. I had a lot of particles in the water. In the afternoon the noises started again. I can hear it 3 rooms away grinding away. Really happy with the money I was able to save.

  • Sunsun Hw304B 525GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit with 9-watt UV Sterilizer
  • HW-304B Pro Filtration Kit, Good for up to 150 gallon aquariums
  • Flow rate: 525 GPH (2000L/Hr)
  • Dimension: 11" L X 11" W X 17" H
  • Pro Kit Includes Canister Filter w/9 Watt UV, 4 White Filter Pads, 1 Blue Coarse Pad, 4 Media Baskets
  • Includes 1lb of Premium Filter Carbon, 1lb of Ceramic Rings and 1 Set of Bio Balls
  • Manufacture: SunSun
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 18 inches; 17 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The SunSun HW-304BPro
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

SunSun HW-304BPro Final Thoughts

"I love this canister."

So, easy is good, both for us and our fish. I've looked at so many filters and reviews. I have contacted customer service to see if I can get a replacement unit. I took it apart reassemble it and it's not pumping in the water. Your fish and you will be much happier and stun everyone else. , that's what makes this so funny. The Marineland penguin 350 is a great filter.

Overall Score
4.3


(730 Points)

6. SUNSUN HW-303B Canister Filter with 9-watt UV Sterilizer

User Ratings: 68 9

SunSun HW-303B First Impressions

"This thing is a beast."

The bacteria eats the nitrates in the water to help keep it clean. I had to lower the surface by 3 inches to get sufficient agitation. Lift the sticking wheel outuse a Q-tip to clean the slots where the wheel rests. Just rinse them out once a month, don't throw that beneficial bacteria away. BUT after some YouTube research I was able to fix the noise issue. I wasn't able to fill my tank fully because there was little to no surface agitation. This is a good choice if you're tired of cleaning your turtle tank all the time.

  • SUNSUN HW-303B Canister Filter with 9-watt UV Sterilizer
  • Canister filters for aquariums use high water pressure, from a properly powered pump, to force water through the dense filter media. A pump can draw water from an under-gravel filter, and run it into a canister for double filtration
  • 3 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
  • Built in 9 Watt UV sterilizer to help kill algae spores and bacteria, promoting crystal clear water
  • Convenient self-priming pump that eliminates the need for manual siphoning; Single valve disconnect & priming pump ease routine maintenance
  • Provides quiet, efficient filtration for fresh and saltwater aquariums is great for living rooms, offices or bedrooms
  • Manufacture: Monster Pets
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 16 inches; 10 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The SunSun HW-303B
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

SunSun HW-303B Final Thoughts

"I was to tire to fix it."

I returned the Aqua Clear 70 and promptly received a replacement. The bacteria eats the nitrates in the water to help keep it clean. Therefore, you wouldnt have 2 filters running. Following morning it was running quietly. All in all, I highly recommend this filter and I'm a extremely happy customer! I'm currently in the process of receiving another replacement on that model. I have always used Marineland filters and been happy with them and their quality.

Overall Score
4.3


(711 Points)

7. 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
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

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


(676 Points)

8. SunSun Hw303B 370GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit with 9-watt UV Sterilizer

User Ratings: 70 8

SunSun HW-303BPro First Impressions

"Just a tip!"

Controlling the flow rate doesn't require modifying the filter. Just rinse them out once a month, don't throw that beneficial bacteria away. Controlling the flow rate doesn't require modifying the filter. I have always used Marineland filters and been happy with them and their quality. It doesn't rise up hugely above the tank like a lot of HOB filters. You'll want to pull that water from the bottom. Marineland bio pumps have been around forever.

  • SunSun Hw303B 370GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit with 9-watt UV Sterilizer
  • HW-303B Pro Filtration Kit, Good for up to 100 gallon aquariums
  • Flow rate: 370 GPH (1400L/Hr)
  • Dimension: 10.5" L X 10.5" W X 16" H
  • Pro Kit Includes Canister Filter w/9 Watt UV, 3 White Filter Pads, 1 Blue Coarse Pad, 3 Media Baskets
  • Includes 1lb of Premium Filter Carbon, 1lb of Ceramic Rings and 1 Set of Bio Balls
  • Manufacture: SunSun
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 20 inches; 16 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The SunSun HW-303BPro
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

SunSun HW-303BPro Final Thoughts

"This is the one."

I was worried about some of the negative reviews. This is a well designed unit and a lot of bang for the buck. Firstly, I'd recommend taking the motor apart and putting it back together. Early on it seems to be working as advertised. I've been researching so many things on how to take care of them. My tank was a mess when I got this pump. Your fish and you will be much happier and stun everyone else.

Overall Score
4.4


(663 Points)

9. 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)

10. SunSun HW-3000 UV 9W 5-Stage External Canister Filter 793gph, White

User Ratings: 66 10

SunSun HW-3000 First Impressions

"5 minutes."

They are easily found from mom-n-pop pet stores to large chain stores. SO I decided to order this for my 29 gallon tank. The first night I had the pump going it started making a screeching sound. You'll want to pull that water from the bottom. I will never buy any other HOB no matter what deal they might be offering. This filter has is a very simple and efficient design. SO, I sat down and read EVERY little thing in rhe instructions.

  • SunSun HW-3000 UV 9W 5-Stage External Canister Filter 793gph, White
  • LCD Display that allows users to adjust the flow rate of the pump and the duration of the UV light
  • Flow rate: up to 793 Gallons per hour (adjustable)
  • 9W UV sterilizer, perfect for maintaining a clean and clear Aquarium
  • Can be used for any freshwater and Saltwater aquariums.Voltage: 220-240V/50Hz
  • Comes with White Filter pads (Filter media sold separately)
  • Manufacture: SunSun
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 13 x 16 inches; 18.95 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The SunSun HW-3000
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

SunSun HW-3000 Final Thoughts

"I was to tire to fix it."

I also don't like how short the intake tube is. My fish are definitely happier and my water is crystal clear. It sounds like a Big Air pump buzzing. However, lately I've purchased the Aqua Clear 70 and 50. I put it together, reading instructions of course. I have had no issues with it being to loud. Unlike my old HOB filter, it doesn't sound like a leaky toilet.

Overall Score
4.2


(418 Points)

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