Editor's Choice - Our Favorite Zilla Aquarium Filters

1. Zilla Internal Filter for Aquactic Reptiles, 40 Gals

User Ratings: 70 6

Zilla 100528849 First Impressions

"This thing is a beast."

It was perfectly quiet without any extra effort on my part. They can be very noisy at the impeller, which sometimes quiets in time, but may not. That water got so dirty we had to keep changing it every 2 or 3 days. The current is strong but you can adjust it with the midsection lever. I stopped the pump and I pulled it apart. I wasn't able to fill my tank fully because there was little to no surface agitation. I can hear it 3 rooms away grinding away.

  • Zilla Internal Filter for Aquactic Reptiles, 40 Gals
  • For aquatic turtle terrariums up to 40 gallons
  • It works hard to keep terrariums clean
  • Includes suction cups and hanging clips that make installation quick and easy
  • A protective grate is in place to prevent the your Turtle from accidentally entering the filter
  • Each filter comes with a replaceable carbon cartridge that removes odor, waste, and debris from water
  • Medium carbon cartridge included
  • Protective grate prevents animal from entering the filter
  • Patented power filtration
  • Manufacture: Central Garden & Pet
  • Item Weight: 2.79 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 6 x 11.25 inches
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Zilla 100528849
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='3.5']
  • Quality [star rating='3.8']
  • Value For Money [star rating='3.8']
  • Affordability [star rating='5']

Zilla 100528849 Final Thoughts

"Just a tip!"

I want to answer some of the complaints I've read. I'm a mechanical engineer and understand design. Once it loses its charge, you'll need to replace it. This one is working perfectly good FOR RIGHT NOW. Doing research I learned that if I add more filter media, the noise will subside. I took it apart reassemble it and it's not pumping in the water. It's easy to clean and we all know about easy.

Overall Score
4.4

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

2. Mini External Canister Filter Table Top Nano Fresh/Salt Aquarium SUNSUN 602B

User Ratings: 45

Fibre shop First Impressions

"Will UPDATE!"

That water got so dirty we had to keep changing it every 2 or 3 days. Of course the sound all depends on how much water is in the aquarium. My tank is nice and clear and my fish are much happier. I've been researching so many things on how to take care of them. First they are simple and designed to pump and filter aquarium water. The Marineland penguin 350 is a great filter. This is a good choice if you're tired of cleaning your turtle tank all the time.

  • Mini External Canister Filter Table Top Nano Fresh/Salt Aquarium SUNSUN 602B
  • Max Flow Rate: 105 GPH (400L/h)
  • Flow control valve to let you decide best flow rate
  • Hose size: 1/2" Max-H: 2.8 feet Power: 6W
  • 110-120V 50-60Hz Free filter media included.
  • Max Tank Size: 30 Gallon Recommend Tank Size: 10-25 Gallon
  • Manufacture: Imported
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Fibre shop
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='3.8']
  • Quality [star rating='3.4']
  • Value For Money [star rating='3.9']
  • Affordability [star rating='3.4']

Fibre shop Final Thoughts

"Please read!"

The instructions are a bit to much for me. BUT after some YouTube research I was able to fix the noise issue. Clean the foam insert apparently it pulled a lot of dirt and needs cleaned. My tank is nice and clear and my fish are much happier. Overall, I like the 350's slim back design, and be able to add up to 4 cartridges. Works like a dream and can't even hear it! The Aqua Clear is on the left and the Aqueon is on the right.

Overall Score
3.8

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

3. 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 [star rating='4.8']
  • Quality [star rating='4.9']
  • Value For Money [star rating='5']
  • Affordability [star rating='5']

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

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

4. Aquapapa Bio Sponge Filter for Betta Fry Aquarium Fish Tank Up to 60 Gal, 3-Pack (L)

User Ratings: 83 2

Aquapapa FBA_XY-380-3PC -#4 First Impressions

"All around great product."

I also like the fact that it is relatively low profile and discreet looking. You'll want to pull that water from the bottom. Following morning it was running quietly. My baby turtle even loves it so much he won't let go. It's easy to clean and we all know about easy. If that does not work, look into silicone grease so you can lube the impeller. The current is strong but you can adjust it with the midsection lever.

  • Aquapapa Bio Sponge Filter for Betta Fry Aquarium Fish Tank Up to 60 Gal, 3-Pack (L)
  • Provide both mechanical and biological filtration.
  • Simply install an airline into the unit and provide both aeration and filtration for your fish. Aerobic bacteria colonize the sponge providing a bacterial substance to facilitate the nitrogen cycle.
  • The sponge traps larger waste particles mechanically cleaning the water without trapping baby fish.
  • Product dimensions: 4.5”D x 8.0”H. They are useful for as breeding filter or as secondary filter. Or they can be used as pre-filtration unit by fitting to an external or a top filter.
  • Package includes: 3 pcs of Sponge filters
  • Manufacture: Aquanemo Global
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Aquapapa FBA_XY-380-3PC -#4
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='5']
  • Quality [star rating='3.8']
  • Value For Money [star rating='3.8']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.2']

Aquapapa FBA_XY-380-3PC -#4 Final Thoughts

"A little goes a long way."

I also like the fact that it is relatively low profile and discreet looking. My old pump was not working very well so I had to make a major clean up. Unlike my old HOB filter, it doesn't sound like a leaky toilet. Months later, this filter is still working great on my 29 gal set up. SO, I sat down and read EVERY little thing in rhe instructions. Months later, this filter is still working great on my 29 gal set up. This is a well designed unit and a lot of bang for the buck.

Overall Score
4.7

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

5. Marine Color Sunsun Aquarium Surface Protein Skimmer 5W JY03 Aquarium Oil Film Processor JY-03 Oil R...

User Ratings: 61 6

Marine Color First Impressions

"Great product."

I returned the Aqua Clear 70 and promptly received a replacement. This lives up to the praise that people give it. I DONT KNOW WHY MANY THINK THIS IS A NOISY FILTER. They can be very noisy at the impeller, which sometimes quiets in time, but may not. I want to answer some of the complaints I've read. Overall I would recommend this item. It wasn't producing much surface agitation.

  • Marine Color Sunsun Aquarium Surface Protein Skimmer 5W JY03 Aquarium Oil Film Processor JY-03 Oil Removal Filter Fish Tank Filter
  • Effective surface skimming.
  • Adjustable flow rate.
  • Easy cleaning.
  • Adjust the water level within 4cm automatically.
  • Small and compact in size.
  • Manufacture: Sunsun
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Marine Color
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='3.9']
  • Quality [star rating='4.3']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.3']
  • Affordability [star rating='3.8']

Marine Color Final Thoughts

"Piece of cake!"

This is a good choice if you're tired of cleaning your turtle tank all the time. It doesn't rise up hugely above the tank like a lot of HOB filters. I had a lot of particles in the water. That water got so dirty we had to keep changing it every 2 or 3 days. I want to answer some of the complaints I've read. There must be a huge batch of these units at Amazon right now that are bad. I use Marinelands refillable cartridge for extra carbon on the extra slots.

Overall Score
4.2

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

6. AquaTop 550 GPH Forza FZ13 UV Canister Filter with 13W Sterilizer

User Ratings: 68 11

AquaTop FZ13 First Impressions

"Kudos to Amazon prime!"

Typically just below the flat part of the outlets. I eyedball everything and put it together with a look back at instructions. What I don't like is how much smaller it is than the Aqueon. I have purchased several Aqua Clear filters over the years. One thing I think is worth mentioning is the need to prime the filter. I used to have a 37 gallon eclipse aquarium. , that's what makes this so funny.

  • AquaTop 550 GPH Forza FZ13 UV Canister Filter with 13W Sterilizer
  • Suitable for tanks ranging from 125-175 gal
  • 550 gals/hr
  • Multi-stage Filtration System w/ UV
  • Prevents algae growth and controls free Floating parasites and disease causing pathogens
  • Manufacture: Aquatop, Inc.
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 12.5 x 12.5 inches; 18 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The AquaTop FZ13
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='3.6']
  • Quality [star rating='3.4']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.9']
  • Affordability [star rating='3.1']

AquaTop FZ13 Final Thoughts

"Peace out Amazonians."

I want to answer some of the complaints I've read. The Marineland penguin 350 is a great filter. They were great to deal with and the new filter is working great! I can hear it 3 rooms away grinding away. I was new to the hobby and didn't realize that Tetras were inferior filters. I want to answer some of the complaints I've read. Really happy with the money I was able to save.

Overall Score
4.1

[star rating="4.1"]
(53 Points)

7. Penn Plax Cascade Pro-Carb Canister Filter for Aquariums, 8 Total Filters (4 packs with 2 filters in...

Penn-Plax First Impressions

"Kudos to Amazon prime!"

The filter stopped working all of a sudden. This filter has is a very simple and efficient design. I took it apart reassemble it and it's not pumping in the water. Overall, I'm very happy with this filter. I attempted to clean and lube the impeller, but to no avail. I will never buy any other HOB no matter what deal they might be offering. Fill up the media slot with water until it's full.

  • Penn Plax Cascade Pro-Carb Canister Filter for Aquariums, 8 Total Filters (4 packs with 2 filters in each pack)
  • 8 Total Filters (4 packs with 2 filters in each pack)
  • Convenient, ready-to-use filter bags for use with your Cascade cannister filter
  • Contains carbon & ammonia removing zeolite crystals
  • Filter media fully enclosed in a disposable nylon-mesh bag
  • Manufacture: Penn Plax
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5 x 2.5 inches; 1.2 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Penn-Plax
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='4.3']
  • Quality [star rating='4.5']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.8']
  • Affordability [star rating='5']

Penn-Plax Final Thoughts

"I'd recommend it."

Overall, I like the 350's slim back design, and be able to add up to 4 cartridges. There is a sound from the water shooting into the tank! I was worried that it might be too much for my aquarium or that it would be loud. They were great to deal with and the new filter is working great! I checked and cleaned it and still just as loud. Now I'm having the same issue with the Aqua Clear 50. What I don't like is how much smaller it is than the Aqueon.

Overall Score
5.0

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

8. 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)

9. Hagen 15-Pack Marina Slim Aquarium Water Filter with Zeolite Plus Ceramic Cartridge

User Ratings: 77 2

Hagen 33194 First Impressions

"This is not."

The bacteria eats the nitrates in the water to help keep it clean. Lift the sticking wheel outuse a Q-tip to clean the slots where the wheel rests. As for performance, I couldn't ask for a better filter. Firstly, I'd recommend taking the motor apart and putting it back together. Fill it up with water before you plug it in. This one is working perfectly good FOR RIGHT NOW. I will never buy any other HOB no matter what deal they might be offering.

  • Hagen 15-Pack Marina Slim Aquarium Water Filter with Zeolite Plus Ceramic Cartridge
  • 15 Count Bio Clear Cartridges for Slim Filters
  • Best for goldfish and ideal for start-up fish tanks
  • Zeolite effectively adsorbs toxic ammonia and reduces stress on fish
  • Ceramitek, a highly porous ceramic biological filter medium, optimizes biological filtration
  • Genuine replacement filter cartridges for all 3 Marina Slim Aquarium Filter Models (S10, S15, S20)
  • Manufacture: Monster Pets
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 2 x 10 inches; 12 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Hagen 33194
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='4.1']
  • Quality [star rating='5']
  • Value For Money [star rating='5']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.4']

Hagen 33194 Final Thoughts

"SO THEREFORE."

I also don't like how short the intake tube is. It's easy to clean and we all know about easy. Not sure what I'll do with the more complex design. It doesn't rise up hugely above the tank like a lot of HOB filters. I also don't like how short the intake tube is. You'll want to pull that water from the bottom. I had a lot of particles in the water.

Overall Score
4.7

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

10. REEF Red Sea SPEC Carbon - Aquarium Filter Media

User Ratings: 83 4

Reef 37420 First Impressions

"Best to you all!"

Worst case is that the motor could burn out. I use Marinelands refillable cartridge for extra carbon on the extra slots. I contacted Marineland about my issue and they promptly sent me a new one right away! There is a sound from the water shooting into the tank! One thing I think is worth mentioning is the need to prime the filter. The instructions are a bit to much for me. It sounds like a Big Air pump buzzing.

  • REEF Red Sea SPEC Carbon - Aquarium Filter Media
  • Rapid removal of organic pollutants
  • High total adsorption capacity
  • Ultra-low phosphate output, ultra-low ash content
  • Suitable for marine & freshwater
  • Filter bag included.
  • Age range description: All Stages
  • Manufacture: Red Sea
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 3 inches; 1.5 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Reef 37420
  • Filter Effectiveness [star rating='3.7']
  • Quality [star rating='4.5']
  • Value For Money [star rating='5']
  • Affordability [star rating='5']

Reef 37420 Final Thoughts

"Piece of cake!"

I ordered 4 of these, for different tanks of course. Fill up the media slot with water until it's full. I checked and cleaned it and still just as loud. MAKE SURE YOU PUT WATER IN THE BACK OF THE FILTER! I returned the Aqua Clear 70 and promptly received a replacement. My tank was a mess when I got this pump. Overall, I like the 350's slim back design, and be able to add up to 4 cartridges.

Overall Score
4.7

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

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