Editor's Choice - Our Favorite Zoo Med Aquarium Filters

1. Zoo Med Turtle Clean External Canister Filter, 50-Gallon

User Ratings: 56 25

Zoo Med TC50 First Impressions

"Very pleased!"

The instructions are a bit to much for me. I contacted Marineland about my issue and they promptly sent me a new one right away! My baby turtle even loves it so much he won't let go. My fish are definitely happier and my water is crystal clear. The bacteria eats the nitrates in the water to help keep it clean. What I don't like is how much smaller it is than the Aqueon. My baby turtle even loves it so much he won't let go.

  • Zoo Med Turtle Clean External Canister Filter, 50-Gallon
  • External canister filter with slimline design for tight spaces
  • 200 gallon per hour rating, ideal for turtle habitats up to 50 gallons in size
  • The included spray bar increases oxygenation to help support your turtles' health
  • Double filtering system with both carbon and ceramic filters and internal biological recirculation
  • Combines mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration to give your pets the cleanest, healthiest habitat
  • Manufacture: Zoo Med
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.5 x 14.5 inches; 1.2 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Zoo Med TC50
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Zoo Med TC50 Final Thoughts

"This is not."

Of course the sound all depends on how much water is in the aquarium. First they are simple and designed to pump and filter aquarium water. My tank was a mess when I got this pump. Never ever ever use it past a year. Replace activated carbon every 6-8 months ish. I plan to cycle this new AC 50 on a separate tank and then xfer it to the 20 gallon. Clean the foam insert apparently it pulled a lot of dirt and needs cleaned.

Overall Score
3.7


(86 Points)

2. Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter

User Ratings: 60 10

Aqueon 100106991 First Impressions

"Huge capacity."

I AM IMPRESSED THAT IT WORKS AS IT ACTUALLY SHOULD! The first night I had the pump going it started making a screeching sound. You do have to unplug it for those two jobs. Once I found that, the world was right again. I had to lower the surface by 3 inches to get sufficient agitation. I was worried about some of the negative reviews. One thing I think is worth mentioning is the need to prime the filter.

  • Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter
  • Economical vertical-oriented internal filter that efficiently cleans and filters aquarium water
  • Provides chemical, biological and mechanical filtration
  • Auto-start pump requires no priming, automatically restarts if power is interrupted and restored
  • Easy to install using suction cups and/or hanging clips
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Manufacture: Central Garden & Pet
  • Product Dimensions: 2.25 x 4.5 x 6.5 inches; 12 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Aqueon 100106991
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Aqueon 100106991 Final Thoughts

"It just starts right up."

Clean the foam insert apparently it pulled a lot of dirt and needs cleaned. I was using a Tetra in-tank filter previously. I have contacted customer service to see if I can get a replacement unit. You do have to unplug it for those two jobs. So, easy is good, both for us and our fish. I'd highly recommend not replacing the bio material& sponge, ever. A canister or in tank filter is ten times more work and messy.

Overall Score
4.1


(3252 Points)

3. 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)

4. AquaFX Barracuda RO/DI Aquarium Filter, 100 GPD

User Ratings: 77 7

AquaFX The leaders in reverse osmosis. 610074278870 First Impressions

"A little goes a long way."

This new AQ50 filter has loose bio-media, i. I can take apart a car engine and put it back together. However, lately I've purchased the Aqua Clear 70 and 50. You CAN rinse the old ones in an emergency. I checked and cleaned it and still just as loud. Your fish and you will be much happier and stun everyone else. It was perfectly quiet without any extra effort on my part.

  • AquaFX Barracuda RO/DI Aquarium Filter, 100 GPD
  • The 4 stage Barracuda comes with a 2-micron chlorine guzzler carbon block filter
  • The system features a high flow and high rejection TFC membrane
  • A pressure gauge is included to allow users of unsafe ranges
  • 1/4" Hose Bib Adapter (Unless another supply type is chosen)
  • Manufacture: AquaFX
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 18 x 8 inches; 12 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The AquaFX The leaders in reverse osmosis. 610074278870
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

AquaFX The leaders in reverse osmosis. 610074278870 Final Thoughts

"SAME THING!"

I will never buy any other HOB no matter what deal they might be offering. I used to have a 37 gallon eclipse aquarium. Months later, this filter is still working great on my 29 gal set up. All in all, I highly recommend this filter and I'm a extremely happy customer! Of course the sound all depends on how much water is in the aquarium. I was using a Tetra in-tank filter previously. You can't really tell though, and the filter is working great.

Overall Score
4.5


(132 Points)

5. Lee's 30L Original Undergravel Filter, 12-Inch by 36-Inch

User Ratings: 51 12

Lee's 13230 First Impressions

"Works great."

I will never buy any other HOB no matter what deal they might be offering. Now I'm having the same issue with the Aqua Clear 50. I'd highly recommend not replacing the bio material& sponge, ever. Following morning it was running quietly. I've think I've had had six of them. My fish are definitely happier and my water is crystal clear. I DONT KNOW WHY MANY THINK THIS IS A NOISY FILTER.

  • Lee's 30L Original Undergravel Filter, 12-Inch by 36-Inch
  • Made of special quality plastic which resists splitting and cracking
  • Also has optional flow-thru set-up for use with a power head
  • Size: 12-inch by 36-inch
  • Manufacture: Lee's Pet Products
  • Product Dimensions: 11.75 x 2.5 x 12.5 inches; 2.14 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Lee's 13230
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Lee's 13230 Final Thoughts

"Like brand new."

There is a sound from the water shooting into the tank! That water got so dirty we had to keep changing it every 2 or 3 days. Overall, I'm very happy with this filter. You do have to unplug it for those two jobs. I had a lot of particles in the water. I sent a request for replacement and one came the next day. I had to lower the surface by 3 inches to get sufficient agitation.

Overall Score
4.1


(18 Points)

6. AquaClear Fish Tank Filter, Aquarium Filter for 60- to 110-Gallon Aquariums, 110v, A620A1

User Ratings: 76 8

AquaClear A620A1 First Impressions

"Yeah, no no no!"

There is a sound from the water shooting into the tank! Never ever ever use it past a year. I had originally got one for my 75 Gallon tank housing an Oscar. It started out silent for about 30 mins and then it got super loud. Fill up the media slot with water until it's full. I'm a mechanical engineer and understand design. DO NOT CLEAN OR WASH the paper wheel itself.

  • AquaClear Fish Tank Filter, Aquarium Filter for 60- to 110-Gallon Aquariums, 110v, A620A1
  • Aquarium filtration system that offers superior contact time with filter media and energy efficient pump lowers operating costs
  • Quick and easy installation, we recommend that you clean aquarium filter every two weeks for maximum operation and efficiency
  • Provides optimal mechanical, chemical, and biological filtrations
  • Comes equipped with AquaClear Foam, Activated Carbon Filter and BioMax and Cycle Guard for superior water quality
  • Filtration volume is up to 7 times larger than comparable fish tank filters
  • Lifetime warranty; ideal for aquariums up to 110 gallons
  • When the flow rate is reduced, up to 50% of the water within the filter chamber is processed multiple times. More impurities are filtered out, creating a healthier tank with sparkling clean and clear water.
  • Manufacture: Rolf C. Hagen (USA) Corp.
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 12.5 x 11 inches; 4.52 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The AquaClear A620A1
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

AquaClear A620A1 Final Thoughts

"Definitely a good buy."

Never ever ever use it past a year. I checked and cleaned it and still just as loud. It's only rated at 25 gph less, but holds considerably less media. The lever on the bottom helps even the filter out. With the 350's inexpensive price point, you can’t go wrong with this powerful filter. Fill it up with water before you plug it in. I have 4 other AquaClear filters and like them.

Overall Score
4.5


(1486 Points)

7. AquaTop 295 GPH Forza FZ4 Canister Filter

User Ratings: 58 25

AquaTop FZ4 First Impressions

"A very obvious waterfall."

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! My fish are definitely happier and my water is crystal clear. LOW and BEHOLD, LMAO, I missed where you had to put water in the back of the filter. Months later, this filter is still working great on my 29 gal set up. I bought a top fin 55 gallon aquarium on sale. Marineland bio pumps have been around forever.

  • AquaTop 295 GPH Forza FZ4 Canister Filter
  • Multi-stage Filtration System
  • 295 gals/hr.
  • Suitable for tanks ranging from 60-90 gal
  • Prevents algae growth and controls free Floating parasites and disease causing pathogens
  • Manufacture: Aquatop, Inc.
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches; 10 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The AquaTop FZ4
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

AquaTop FZ4 Final Thoughts

"Thats whats☝ up!"

Therefore, you wouldnt have 2 filters running. I've been researching so many things on how to take care of them. Never ever ever use it past a year. I used a small pair of pliers and carefully got the pebbles out. I use Marinelands refillable cartridge for extra carbon on the extra slots. I had originally got one for my 75 Gallon tank housing an Oscar. One thing I think is worth mentioning is the need to prime the filter.

Overall Score
3.8


(6 Points)

8. Supreme Aquarium EZ Clean Replacement Filter Media Cartridges, 2 Pack, #21155 by Danner Manufacturin...

User Ratings: 85

DANNER MANUFACTURING 21155 First Impressions

"Just buy it!"

You can't really tell though, and the filter is working great. 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. The instructions are a bit to much for me. You can't really tell though, and the filter is working great. Oscars are very messy fish, especially during feeding. You can't really tell though, and the filter is working great.

  • Supreme Aquarium EZ Clean Replacement Filter Media Cartridges, 2 Pack, #21155 by Danner Manufacturing
  • For use with all EZ clean Aquarium filters
  • Plastic cartridge included
  • Mechanical, chemical and biological filter media
  • Manufacture: Danner Manufacturing
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches; 3.2 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The DANNER MANUFACTURING 21155
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

DANNER MANUFACTURING 21155 Final Thoughts

"It was an Awesome filter!"

Also price was very reasonable and shipping was fast. I recently upgraded from a 10 gallon aquarium to a 29 gallon. There must be a huge batch of these units at Amazon right now that are bad. They are simply the best design for nitrifying bacteria to grow on. Never ever ever use it past a year. Just rinse them out once a month, don't throw that beneficial bacteria away. I have always used Marineland filters and been happy with them and their quality.

Overall Score
4.6


(8 Points)

9. 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
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

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


(835 Points)

10. Polar Aurora 265GPH / 266GPH / 370GPH / 525GPH External Aquarium Filter with Builtin Pump Kit Canist...

User Ratings: 69 7

Polar Aurora First Impressions

"Works great."

I also like the fact that it is relatively low profile and discreet looking. This is not my first experience with a marineland filter. This lives up to the praise that people give it. The current is strong but you can adjust it with the midsection lever. DO NOT CLEAN OR WASH the paper wheel itself. I AM IMPRESSED THAT IT WORKS AS IT ACTUALLY SHOULD! I eyedball everything and put it together with a look back at instructions.

  • Polar Aurora 265GPH / 266GPH / 370GPH / 525GPH External Aquarium Filter with Builtin Pump Kit Canister (266/370 / 525 GPH with Light)
  • Good for up to 75 gallon fish tanks SunSun parts can be applied Flow rate: 264 GPH (1000L/hr) Pump Power: 18W Hose size: 3/4" Max-H: 4.6 feet
  • 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. No Light!!!
  • Convenient self-priming pump that eliminates the need for manual siphoning; Single valve disconnect & priming pump ease routine maintenance
  • 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
  • The three 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.
  • 3 stages of filtration
  • 110-120V 50-60Hz
  • Max height: 4.6 feet
  • Manufacture: Polar Aurora
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 16 inches; 11.75 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Polar Aurora
  • Filter Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Polar Aurora Final Thoughts

"This thing is super loud!"

They were great to deal with and the new filter is working great! One thing I think is worth mentioning is the need to prime the filter. I have had no issues with it being to loud. The instructions are a bit to much for me. I used a small pair of pliers and carefully got the pebbles out. Your fish and you will be much happier and stun everyone else. What I don't like is how much smaller it is than the Aqueon.

Overall Score
4.4


(679 Points)

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