Top 8 Best Filters For Goldfish in 2019

In this article we will look at the best filters for goldfish. Filtration is an important aspect of maintaining any aquarium’s health and appearance. A single goldfish needs an aquarium of at least 30 gallons and a pair should have at least a 50 gallon tank to thrive in adulthood. For that reason, all of these filters will be suitable for medium to large tanks using 50 gallons as a minimum filtration capacity.





Our rating


Filters 119 - 264 GPH

5 stages of filtration​


Flow rate of 400GPH

2-pump design for unmatchable flow and filtration​


5 - 110 GPH


30 - 100 GPH


Suitable for aquariums  25 - 100 Gal


Suitable for aquariums  10 - 20 Gal


Suitable for 50 - 175  Gal


Suitable for aquariums  up to 75 Gal

Why Use Filtration For Goldfish?

The very popular goldfish comes in many beautiful varieties and colors. They are often sold as small juveniles but can grow to be upwards of 12 inches in length given the proper amount of space. Their size requires them to be kept in a medium to large aquarium. Small goldfish bowls requiring daily water changes will only work well while the fish are very small. They will not thrive in these conditions as they try to grow. Keeping goldfish in small bowls or tanks is a sure recipe for disaster and your fish will probably not survive for long.

If you plan on keeping multiple goldfish you should be prepared to use an aquarium of at least 50 gallons. A tank this size needs a substantial filter system to maintain water quality. The best systems will provide mechanical and biological filtration as well as performing the function of adjusting the tank’s chemistry to provide the healthiest environment possible for your goldfish. Filtration is one of the key ingredients in maintaining a healthy aquatic environment.

Types Of Filters

There are many types of aquarium filters on the market. All require some kind of maintenance to keep them in proper running condition. Some have reusable sponges and cartridges that can need periodic cleaning while other systems have disposable filter cartridges that simply need to be replaced as their performance degrades.

Aquarium filters usually come rated for a specific tank size. Since goldfish do produce a large amount of waste material you should consider purchasing a filter designed for an aquarium that is larger than the one where it will actually be used. I would suggest that a filter designed for a 75 to 100 gallon tank would work very well for a 50 or 55 gallon goldfish tank. If you are planning on keeping fancy goldfish you also want a filter that allows control of the return water flow. These fish do better with a gentle water flow so make sure the filter you choose has that option. Many canister filters have a spray bar option that will diffuse the return flow and create a perfect environment for your goldfish.

The previously mention canister filters are one of the best choices for a goldfish tank. The other good option is a hang on the back (HOB) type filter. Both have some general pros and cons. Canister filters require maintenance less often and their filter media is usually reusable. They require less space behind your tank as the canister is housed below and only tubes need to get behind the tank. Canister filters offer high filtration capacity and a single unit can handle a large aquarium. Return water flow can be controlled to achieve different flow patterns in your tank. These benefits are somewhat offset by the fact that canister filters are more complicated to clean when needed.

The HOB filters offer easier maintenance at a price. They are easy to set up as long as you have enough room behind your tank. They are initially less expensive than a canister filter but a monetary consideration is that the filter media is in many cases disposable and is an on-going expense. An HOB system uses a waterfall type water return system that cannot be modified as nicely as that of a canister filter. These filters are usually not enough to take care of large tanks when used singly, but I have successfully used two at a time on my larger aquariums.

Some Of The Best Filters For Goldfish

Here are some of the best filters you can purchase for your goldfish tank.

1. Fluval C4 Power Filter

The Fluval C4 Power Filter is an HOB type filter that would work well on goldfish tanks up to 50 gallons. It provides extensive mechanical, biological and chemical filtration through a 5 step process that leads to clear and healthy aquarium water. A nice feature of this filter is that it uses a patented refiltration system that allows you to slow down the water output to protect delicate plants and fish. Its modular design allows you to perform maintenance in stages, replacing or cleaning only one type of media at a time. This filter combines some of the best features of a canister filter with the ease of use of an HOB. It is designed to allow customization of the filter media if so desired, to say replace carbon with another biological filtration pad. The filter also has a telescoping intake tube to allow water to be drawn from different depths of your tank. A nice choice in an HOB filter.

This is another excellent HOB power filter that will do well in a 50 to 55 gallon goldfish tank. Its design gives the filter up to twice the mechanical filtration capacity of other HOB filters or the addition of additional chemical filtration cartridges. Biological filtration is handled by its patented Bio-Wheel technology. Spray bars are used to drive the water into the top of the bio-wheel getting maximum aeration along with the biological filtration. It is easy to clean and install as seen in these videos found at the Mainland website.

AquaClear manufactures these power filters in varying sizes with the 110 V model a prefect match for a 50 to 55 gallon goldfish tank. This filter provides complete mechanical, biological and chemical filtration through a multi stage filtration system. It is quiet and has a large filtration volume that allows for superior contact time with the filter media. A unique waterfall system gently and silently returns the filtered water to your aquarium. It also has a flow control feature that enables you to change the water flow rate to suit your needs. As with most HOB filters it is easy to set up and its media baskets make for painless maintenance. Additional media to perform custom chemical filtration can be added to the media baskets, and you can use your own bulk materials in nylon bags instead of being tied to a manufacturer’s replacements.

Those aquarists wanting to go with a canister filter won’t go wrong with this filter. As with all canister filters it does great job of mechanical, biological and chemical filtration. It accomplishes this by using stacked filter trays that force the water to go through instead of around the layers of filter media. It comes with a quick prime button to assist with restarts and promises quick spill-free maintenance. The top of the unit is easy to remove for access to the media baskets.It is easy to set up though care must be taken to follow the instruction in regard to the O-rings to avoid leakage. This is a quiet filter that will do well for a 55 gallon goldfish tank.

Fluval makes a great canister filter in addition to the HOB filter reviewed above. It performs complete 3 stage filtration through the use of layers of various filter media that can be customized for your tank’s requirements. Employing a sound dampening impeller design leads to quiet operation. Its square design allows for more water to be exposed to the filtration elements than other manufacturers round design. Fluval has re-engineered their priming system which makes the filter easy to start. Its aqua stop valve assembly makes it easy to remove hoses for simple and drip free maintenance. The 406 is the right size filter for a 50-55 gallon goldfish tank and you will be pleased with the results.

6. Hikari Bacto-Surge High Density

If you have fish that lives comfortably in low flow water or tiny ones that might get sucked into regular filters, then this is what you should get. Unlike other cleaners, it is not as expensive so for those with a tight budget. This product would not hurt your wallet as much; and as a bonus, it provides no noise. If you are worried about going through the trouble of cleaning, it is surprising to know that it is actually easy to clean due to its soft sponge material.

What I really like about this filter is that despite its size, it’s still able to look excellent inside of smaller aquariums. Goldfish filter set up is not even an issue because it is quick and simple. You do not need to go through complicated processes. With its low flow, it is the best filter, especially for 10 to 20-gallon goldfish tanks.

Great for small fish or fish that requires low flowing water
High-quality foam allows efficient filtration
Not as expensive as other filters
With the air-duct built inside you wouldn’t need to put in an air-line extension

Tt doesn't allow or have room for any type of air stone
The base is weighted, but it wasn't enough to keep it from floating up. 

7. Penn Plax Cascade 600 Submersible Aquarium Filter

For those people who have tanks that are above 50 gallons, this filter is the best canister filter for goldfish tank and would be the right choice. After all, with how it’s able to take in 175 gallons of water per hour, the state of cleanliness within your tank will remain for weeks and even months. With that amount of water filtered in just one hour, it is indeed a powerful filter. However, no need to worry about the goldfish filter being too strong or the distribution of water since it has a spray bar option that will aerate your tank no problem.

If you have a lot of goldfish that is bound to get your tank dirty very fast or turtles, then this filter will be able to handle the strain of the entire gunk. It’s quick, it’s strong, and it’s easy.

Wouldn't need to get an air stone since it's hushed
It’s built so that it would be easy to take apart
It's very sturdy even though it's made out of plastic
It comes with a pump head that allows you to adjust the direction of the water flow

The top part of the filter may be difficult to separate
It is a very powerful filter so it wouldn’t be recommended for smaller tanks with even smaller fishes.

8. SeaChem – Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter

This filter has many different options that you can use to adjust according to the type of tank that you have, and it even has an automatic maintenance alert mechanism for when you need to clean the filter. With that, you would not have to keep checking at different time intervals just to see if it is already due. It’s the kind of filter that can allow you to control the intake with three points, where you can also turn it completely off so you can use it in shallow tanks without any worries.

With the 3 point option for the intake, you can have better circulation for your goldfishes within the tank, and that's really something your fishes will enjoy. Also, it even leaves a significant amount of space. So much that it enables you to put in other filtrations.

It alerts you when the filter already needs to be cleaned
Tanks with shallow water can use this filter as well
It has options regarding filter setups that you can choose from
You can adjust the flow of its water

It's dangerous for small fry since the intake screen's openings are large
It’s a little loud.

What is the Best Filter For Your Goldfish

All of the filters reviewed above are excellent and will do a fine job of maintaining your goldfish aquarium as long as you properly size them. As stated earlier, for large tanks you may want to use multiple versions of the same filter to achieve the best results. You can choose to go with an HOB or canister filter to suit your preference.

With that said I would recommend the Fluval C4 Power Filter if I were looking for a filter for my goldfish. The excellent 3 stage filtration combined with the ease of use and maintenance makes this a winner for me. The fact that this filter lets you control the water flow to protect delicate fancy goldfish make this a great choice for any aquarist who keeps goldfish.

What Is The Best Aquarium Gravel Cleaner For Your Tank?

In this article we will take a look at some of the best aquarium gravel cleaners available. Regularly cleaning your gravel can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of your tank and the health of its inhabitants. We will discuss why it is important to clean your gravel and then review several different options you can choose from when purchasing an aquarium gravel cleaner.

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2.8 x 1.5 x 24 inches

Battery operated up to 4 hours

Fully submersible up to 3 feet


Expandable from 8 to 16 inches

Good for siphoning nano tanks


3.3 x 6.3 x 18 inches

Good for  small to medium sized aquarium


Cobalt Aquatics Power Gravel Cleaner

8.2 x 5.8 x 9.8 inches

1 micron sock polishes water crystal clear


2.1 x 6.5 x 15.5 inches

Self starting siphon

Wide mouth nozzle


16 x 20.3 x 3.7 inches

Good  choice for larger tanks

Hoses are available 25 and 50 foot lengths​


15 x 15 x 2 inches

Perfect choice for larger tanks

No buckets, no siphons, no mess, no tank tear downs


SunGrow Aquarium Cleaning Pump Kit

Quick setup
BPA free
Easy to use


18 x 8 x 2 in

Self-priming pump,
Suitable for  15-30 gallons tank


17 x 4.5 x 1.6 in


2.5 x 0.82 x 10.4 in

multiple vacuum sizes available

Why Should I Clean My Gravel?

Your aquarium’s gravel can be seen as similar to the floor of your home but with some major differences. The gravel in your tank collects debris in the same way that your floors collect dirt, dust and other materials that needs to be periodically removed. In the case of your home, the cleaning performed is primarily to maintain a room’s appearance. While your tank’s appearance is certainly a factor to consider when cleaning its gravel, there are more important reasons to keep your tank clean. The resident fish and plants need to be taken into account and keeping the substrate clean can have a major impact on the health and vitality of these organisms.

The gravel in your aquarium will be the foundation on which your aquascape is created. You want it to look good but you also want it to maintain good aquarium health. Fish waste, uneaten food and decaying plant matter can all collect on the gravel’s surface. This leads to unsightly deposits that need to be removed. Since there is always some space between the individual pieces of gravel, some of these unwanted materials can find their way deep into the gravel bed. As they decay these materials can generate ammonia and other gases toxic to your fish, leading to increased disease and fish loss. The decaying debris can also wreak havoc on your tank’s PH causing problems for your fish and plants. Regularly cleaning your gravel can minimize these problems and lead to a beautiful and healthy aquarium.

You always have the option of transferring your fish to temporary quarters and completely breaking down your tank to give it a thorough cleaning. This entails having a second tank ready and a lot of manual labor as you remove all the substrate. It will also put your fish through some unnecessary stress. A good gravel cleaner will allow you to take care of your gravel without these extra concerns.

What Is A Gravel Cleaner?

Simply put, a gravel cleaner is a tool that assists you in cleaning your tank’s gravel. As we have seen this is an important aspect of aquarium maintenance. Once you have decided against removing all of the fish there are two distinct methods to choose from when cleaning your gravel. You can do it without removing any of your aquarium’s water or your gravel can be cleaned at the same time you perform a water change. A variety of tools are available for both scenarios.

If you desire to clean your gravel without removing any water there are several battery powered aquarium vacuums that will do a fine job of cleaning your gravel. Water will be siphoned into the vacuum tube and then passed through a filter bag which will trap the debris. The water returns to your aquarium after this filtration occurs so there is no water loss during cleaning. Using this kind of tool lets you clean your gravel at any time and not need to coordinate to coincide with a water change. This is a major point in favor of this style gravel cleaner. A potential drawback is that extremely small particles will not be captured in the filter bag and are then returned into your aquarium suspended in the aquarium’s water. The use of these vacuums will never replace the benefits of a good water change and they are best used to keep things clean between those changes.

Regular water changes are essential to a healthy aquarium. Gravel cleaning is vital as well. There are numerous siphon style gravel cleaners that allow you to perform both functions at the same time. The majority of these tools require that you also have a bucket ready for the water you are removing. If doing a large water change you may need to start and stop several times in order to remove the proper amount of water which may involve re-priming the siphon. There are some systems that will enable you to hook up your gravel cleaner directly to your sink negating the need for a bucket. You can reverse the flow on these units and use them to add water to your aquarium when you are finished cleaning.

The drawback to siphon style gravel cleaners is that you will always be removing water. This may limit the amount of cleaning you can do as you will not want to take out more water than recommended for your tank in a regular water change. You can get around this issue by cleaning a portion of your tank with each water change until you get it all and then repeating in sequence. A decisive advantage of cleaning your gravel in this manner is that all decaying debris no matter how small will be captured in the siphon and removed from your tank.

So then on one hand we have ease of use with perhaps a little less thorough water cleanliness and a lot less work. The alternative gives us better gravel cleaning capabilities but does entail some thought regarding water changes and perhaps the addition of a bucket. You can decide which is best for your needs. We will look at a few different offerings currently on the market.

Some Of The Best Gravel Cleaners

Here are some of the best choices you will find when looking for an aquarium gravel cleaner. 

1. SunGrow Aquarium Cleaning Pump Kit

The SunGrow Aquarium Cleaning Pump Kit is one of the easiest ways to keep your aquarium clean. Say goodbye to scooping up your aquarium’s dirty water. Perfect for both salt and freshwater tanks, this hand controlled pump will help keep your aquarium’s sand or gravel clean and your fish healthy.


  • Quick setup
  • BPA free, Easy to use
  • No spill design
  • Pet friendly
  • Hand controlled for cleaning accuracy
  • Works on both freshwater and saltwater aquariums
  • Suitable for gravel and sand aquariums


  • Cleaning hose length is shorter than other cleaners
  • Hand pump takes several pumps to get suction started

Ideal for a 10-gallon aquarium or smaller, the SunGrow Aquarium Cleaning Pump Kit will be more than enough pump to keep your gravel tank clean, as well as switch out water during water changes. The easy to use design, partnered with the hand-controlled pump, give you the precision you require to keep the bottom of your aquarium clean.

The pump sets up in less than 2 minutes, and once you start the suctioning, all you need to do is leave the nozzle in the tank. The no-spill system will keep the surrounding area clean, along with your aquarium. Once your aquarium is clean, the portable design allows you to easily store the pump practically anywhere. You can’t argue with a clean aquarium and easy storage!

2. Dora’s Corner Store 2x10 Inch Vacuum Water Siphon with Self Starter Gravel Cleaner

The Dora Corner Store 2.10 Inch Vacuum Water Siphon is a great option for any aquarium containing gravel. It’s long 2.10” cylinder suction tube, partnered with the extra long 56” flexible drainage hose, make this one of the most durable aquarium vacuums on the market. What makes it even better is that it is 100% BPA free, which means that any plants or fish you may have in your aquarium are going to be safe during the entire vacuuming process.

The self-priming vacuum makes water changes and aquarium cleanings as easy as can be. Being designed for aquariums between 15 and 30 gallons, you will be able to evacuate any debris from the gravel, as well as keep your tank clean through regular water changes.


  • 100% BPA free
  • Long 56” flexible drainage hose
  • Self-priming pump
  • Suitable for aquariums between 15-30 gallons
  • Great for tanks with gravel
  • Designed with high-quality plastic for maximum durability
  • Made in the USA


  • Can take a couple of minutes to get the suction started
  • The vacuum cylinder needs to be continuously moved to maintain suction
  • Will not work well on tanks larger than 30 gallons

The Dora Corner Store 2.10 Inch Vacuum Water Siphon is an overall good vacuum if you have an aquarium of 30 gallons or less. The gravel filtration system helps to keep the bottom of your tank clean, while eliminating dirty water at the same time. If you are looking for a pump to get your mid-size aquarium-cleaning job done, this is an excellent choice!

3. Genuine TERA PUMP Aquarium Cleaner

The TERA PUMP Aquarium Cleaner is a gravel or sand tank cleaner that comes with an extra long nozzle. On top of that, the additional water flow controller makes for easy cleaning and water drainage from your tank. Being one of the more commonly counterfeited aquarium vacuum pumps, the TERA PUMP has proven itself over and over again.

With two different types of vacuum nozzles included, the shorter one works better for draining your aquarium, while the longer nozzle is perfect for cleaning the leftover fish food and droppings in the fine gravel at the bottom. The TERA PUMP allows you to remove any waste that may be present within your aquarium, while replacing the dirty water at the same time. And with it’s unique design, you can rest assured that your plants and fish will not be harmed while the pump is in use.


  • Unique design allows for removal of waste and replacing of water simultaneously
  • Can be used with aquarium life still in tank
  • Pump filter discharges sand and dirt along with dirty water
  • Two separate nozzles depending on your cleaning goals


  • There are counterfeit TERA PUMP vacuums on the market
  • Can be difficult to reach the gravel at the very bottom of the tank
  • Vacuum tube length is on the shorter side

If you have a small to mid-size aquarium, the Genuine TERA PUMP Aquarium Cleaner has the power and features to get your tank clean, and your water switched out. While not necessarily equipped to handle sand, if you have a gravel based aquarium, this is one of the better vacuums available on the market.

4. Marina Easy Clean Gravel Cleaner

The Marina Easy Clean Gravel Cleaner is just that. It is an aquarium cleaner that has specifically designed to clean deep down into your gravel aquarium. With powerful suction and vacuum sizes ranging from mini, all the way to large, no matter what size your gravel bottomed aquarium is, the Marina Easy Clean Gravel Cleaner has you covered.


  • Multiple vacuum sizes available fit multiple aquarium sizes
  • Specially designed gravel guard assures all gravel will remain in the tank
  • Is quick to start without any hassles
  • Includes a kink-free suction hose


  • Not ideal for tanks with sand
  • Can become clogged
  • Not the most efficient at draining out dirty water

5. EHEIM Quick Vac Pro Automatic Gravel Cleaner And Sludge Extractor

The Eheim Quick Vac Pro is a battery operated aquarium vacuum. It enables you to clean your gravel without regard to water changes. It is safe for use in fresh or saltwater tanks that are a minimum of 12 inches deep.

Rather than using a filter bag, this vacuum employs a filter compartment inside the unit that is designed to be removed and cleaned between uses. Eheim promises up to 4 hour battery life under continuous use and is guaranteed for two years. Batteries are include with your purchase. 

The Quick Vac Pro will clean the gravel without disturbing your gravel too much. This vacuum is not recommended for very fine gravel or sand as it can potentially get into the motor and harm the unit.

6. Pet TOM Aquarium Maintenance Mr. Cleaner

Koller Craft manufactures a line of aquarium products named Pet TOM. Included in these products is another battery powered aquarium vacuum called Mr. Cleaner. It is powered by two “C” size batteries which are not included. This vacuum uses a removable filter bag that should be cleaned thoroughly between uses. Some users have had issues with the suction provided by the unit but an ingenious aquarist has posted this video which will help address the problem. This is an inexpensive unit that is not really appropriate for larger tanks but will work well for nano and other small tanks. A difference between this and the above-mentioned Eheim is that this unit is not meant to be totally submerged. It is expandable from 8 to 16 inches to allow for better functionality in a variety of sized tanks.

7. Fluval Edge Gravel Cleaner

This gravel cleaner by Fluval is designed to work with their Edge line of aquariums. It is also perfect for any small to medium sized aquarium. A bucket is needed as this tool removes water from your tank while cleaning the gravel. It features an easy-start valve that lets you get the water flowing with an easy up and down motion inside the tank. The Edge Gravel Cleaner comes with two cleaning attachments. There is a gravel head to allow for deep cleaning. A slimmer nozzle will let you get to hard to reach areas of your tank and can be helpful when cleaning around plants or decorations. Gravel is prevented from clogging the tube by a gravel guard.

8. Cobalt Aquatics Power Gravel Cleaner

This unit is more expensive than your other options but does a very good job of keeping your gravel clean. It is essentially a hang on the back power filter with the addition of a gravel cleaning tube. Available in two sizes to suit the depth of your tank, this unique design features a reusable filter cartridge. Each filter comes with two siphon tubes that can be adjusted and allows this unit to be used on essentially any size aquarium. An intake screen keeps the gravel where it belongs and not in the filter. Just hang this unit on your aquarium and you can clean your gravel at any time.

Unfortunately, the Cobalt Aquatics Power Gravel Cleaner out of stock now. Instead, you should consider Dora's Corner Store Gravel Cleaner. This Gravel Cleaner is suitable 10 - 30 gal tanks. It's not only easy to vacuum & clean tanks with or without gravel but also very durable. Dora's Corner Store Gravel Cleaner made of quality plastic and made in USA PA free.

9. Lee’s Ultra GravelVac

This is a basic siphon type gravel cleaner that has some features that make it stand out from the crowd. It features a wide nozzle which lets you clean more of your tank at a time. Hose clips are included which securely attach the hose to your aquarium and bucket eliminating those nasty spills. A self starting siphon gets the water moving easily and this tool does a great job of separating debris from your gravel and removing it from your tank. It is available in many sizes to suit any tank.

10. Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer

Though sold as a water changer this device by Aqueon is also a great gravel cleaner. The need for a bucket is eliminated as the unit comes equipped with adapters for your sink. Dirty water is pulled from the tank and emptied directly into the sink. You can easily reverse the flow and refill your tank through the same hoses. This can be very helpful for larger tanks that would require multiple buckets to empty and many gallons to refill. Hoses are available in 25 and 50 foot lengths which should ample to reach your tank.

11. Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System

The Python is another system designed to both clean your gravel and refill your aquarium. It operates in a similar fashion to the Aqueon Water Changer in that it hooks up directly to your sink and makes carrying those heavy buckets across the room a thing of the past. A 25 foot hose is included and extensions can be obtained in 10 and 20 foot increments to enable you to use this system on any tank in your house. The faucet adapter is made of brass so will never rust or break. The Python is ideal for large tanks and will make those water changes much more easy to tolerate.

What Is The Best Aquarium Gravel Cleaner For Your Tank?

Gravel cleaning should be a regular part of your aquarium maintenance schedule. As we have seen there are a number of options available to you in performing this important task. Your decision on which type of unit to buy may be determined by the size and location of your aquarium. Small aquariums can be handled with cleaners designed to be used with or without the inclusion of a water change. Larger aquariums can be spot cleaned with a battery vacuum. If you are planning to do large scale cleaning combined with a water change then you probably want to go with a product that combines the two functions.

That being said I would recommend the Eheim Quick Vac Pro for small tanks and spot cleaning. Personally I prefer to remove water as I clean the gravel to obtain the cleanest water and gravel that I can get. For larger tanks the Python system is an excellent choice. I have used this unit on 55 and 75 gallon tanks and it has worked as advertised making gravel cleaning and water changes easy to perform.

  • List Element
  • List Element

Top 5 Best Canister Filters For Your Aquarium in 2019 Market

You have an aquarium and you plan on getting a filter, a canister filter to be exact. A canister filter is just one of the different types of aquarium filters available. The canister filter helps maintain your aquarium’s healthy environment when the water that flows into it through an intake pipe passes through the filtering material inside the canister and is then pumped back to the aquarium through a return pipe.

In A Nutshell: Top 5 Canister Filters in 2019

Importance of Aquarium Filter

A filter plays an important role to an aquarium’s upkeep. Its purpose is to clean the water of the aquarium of toxic elements that causes harmful buildup of ammonia and nitrates which may come from different sources. Nitrates are harmless in small amounts, but if left unfiltered or unmanaged, you will be risking the health of your fishes.

Your fish or other aquarium inhabitants such as turtles constantly excrete wastes. Uneaten food, decaying organic matter, dead plants, and other external particles contribute to tank pollution and deterioration of the water quality. These toxic elements can be removed by an aquarium filter. It also provides aeration. Overall, an aquarium filter such as the canister filter provides lasting, positive, and essential benefits for your tank inhabitant’s health.

There are different types of aquarium filters available, these are the Wet/dry filter, Undergravel filter, Internal filter, Power filter, and the Canister filter. These filters employ three filtration method which are the biological filtration, mechanical filtration, and chemical filtration.

Biological filtration takes place when bacteria in the tank breaks down the dangerous ammonia and converting them to nitrites which is then converted to the less toxic nitrates. Mechanical filtration involves the physical removal of harmful and toxic materials. The other filtration method, the chemical filtration, uses a filter media such as activated carbon to remove pollutants and harmful wastes.

The Canister Filter: How It Works

The canister filter is one of the more popular types of aquarium filters. The filter media is kept inside a canister where water from your aquarium is being pushed in and out via an electric pump. This process removes the wastes, debris, and contaminants from the water.

A standard canister filter offers the option of customizing your filter media that you put on its basket, cartridge, or media bag. There are different kinds of filter media that suits the specific cleaning needs of your aquarium. There are biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration available. These can then be placed inside the slots of your canister filter.

Benefits Of Using A Canister Filter

Canister filters are ideal for medium to large-sized tanks and they can provide high-volume filtration. Canister filters are sealed, so they can have higher flow rates and more filtration stages compared to other types of filters. It also saves internal space and can be disconnected from the tank for cleaning and maintenance without causing disturbance to the tank’s occupants. It runs quietly and has an increased biological filtration.

A canister filter gives you the option of flexibility when it comes to choosing your filter materials that is best for your aquarium. Usually canister filters offer 2 to 4 filter slots or compartments.

The disadvantages of using canister filters are that their prices can cost you more money when purchasing. It is also larger than an HOB power filter. But aside from those, a canister filter is a good choice.

Check It Out: How To Choose A Canister Filter

Canister filters are one of the popular types of aquarium filters, however, not every product is similar when it comes to the features included. If your new to aquarium care, doing your research will certainly help. You can greatly improve the cleanliness and quality of your water if you get one. But before that, here are some things that we would like you to consider when choosing the right canister filter for your tank:

  • Aquarium inhabitants – Its compatibility with your tank’s inhabitants since smaller fishes can be sucked inside a canister filter.
  • Aquarium water type – It should be compatible for your tank’s water type, either it is of freshwater or saltwater.
  • Flow rate - May be in LPH or GPH.
  • Capacity – Choose a filter that targets at least targets twice the volume than your actual tank size.
  • Media - Check for the different types of filter media that can be inserted.
  • Pump Output - Given in Watt.
  • Working voltage – Check for the compatibility with your area’s supply voltage.
  • Priming Option – Check for the canister filter’s priming option, ideally it should be self-priming.
  • Availability of spares – Replacement for spares should ideally be available and inexpensive.
  • Maintenance – Check for the difficulty level of the canister filter’s maintenance and serving process.
  • Warranty on product – Choose a canister filter that comes with a product warranty for security in case you’ll encounter problems with it.

Before we show you our list of our top 5 canister filters, check out this video to guide you in choosing the right canister filter for your aquarium needs.

Check It Out: Top 5 Canister Filters

Jebao 4-Stage Aquarium Canister Filter 320 Gph

This canister filter from Jebao has advanced and high-performance features that help ensure high water quality plus quick and easy routine filter maintenance. You don’t have to worry if this canister filter is compatible with your aquarium tank because it is ideal for an aquarium fish tank for both freshwater & saltwater types. It also works well for aquatic turtle tanks.

This product offers an enhanced aquarium filtration with its large-capacity 4-stage filtration (4-basket) system and a single press option to primer. Its revolutionary canister filters boast greater media-storing capacity so aquarium water comes into contact with more filter media during the initial pass. The dimensions of the filter (with valve attached) are 8.1" x 8.1" x 18". Its voltage is 110-120v 60 Hz and comes with a 2-prong US plug. The max flow rate is 320 gallons per hour. Its filtering capacity is up to 8.1 liters. This canister filter is recommended for tanks with the size of 60-100 gallons. The media kits included are carbon, bio ball, ring and blue pad.


  • Easy to install.
  • No leaks from the filter.
  • Great filter pumping mechanism.
  • Great one pump prime option.


  • Makes buzzing sounds.
  • Low quality-looking build materials.

Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

The Hydor Professional External Canister filter is introduced with an intelligent and space saving design. This filter offers maximum performance and extraordinary versatility. It has an extra-large priming button that makes this product easy to use. Hydor Professional Canister Filter is useful for all aquariology enthusiasts.

It comes complete with all media needed, with the exception of carbon which is sold separately. The features include a telescopic intake tube and your option of an adjustable angle flow return or expandable spray bar.

This product is designed for 60-100 gallon tanks. It has no water by-pass, water is forced through the media baskets thanks to its flush design. It includes ball-valve connections for simple flow adjustments and easy flow shut off and removal for filter maintenance. The product does not create any noise or vibration. The filter circulation is 240 gallons per hour. The pump’s output is 280 gallons per hour. The max head is 5.91 ft. while its power consumption is 22W. The filter volume is up to 7.0 qtr.This product is designed for 60-100 gallon tanks. It has no water by-pass, water is forced through the media baskets thanks to its flush design. It includes ball-valve connections for simple flow adjustments and easy flow shut off and removal for filter maintenance. The product does not create any noise or vibration. The filter circulation is 240 gallons per hour. The pump’s output is 280 gallons per hour. The max head is 5.91 ft. while its power consumption is 22W. The filter volume is up to 7.0 qtr.​


  • Separate intake and output water flow control.
  • 5 media baskets.
  • Runs quietly.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Visually appealing look.
  • No debris bypass.
  • Produces crystal clear water.


  • Difficulty when servicing.
  • Difficulty in maintenance.

EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter With Media

The EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter with Media has a tried and tested technology and high level of efficiency even for larger systems. The mechanical-biological purification is achieved in a single process with constant water circulation and simultaneous oxygen enrichment. The 2211 model is compact in size and comes complete with a stand.

This product has a permo-elastic silicon sealing ring fixed on the pump head for easy and safe closing after cleaning. It is equipped with filter sponges and/or loose filter media and comes with accessories such as spray bar, inlet pipe, hose and installation accessories. It also comes complete with filter media (EHEIM Mech & Substrat Pro) and valves.


  • No water splash after water level drops.
  • Runs quietly.
  • Easy to prime.
  • Intake can be lower into the tank.
  • Cleans thoroughly.
  • Easy cleaning and filter media changing.
  • Easy maintenance.
  • High-quality build materials.
  • Low power consumption.


  • Difficult to follow instructions.
  • Time-consuming priming.
  • Air getting stuck in the filter.

Fluval External Filter

The Fluval External Canister Filter aquarium boasts a new and more powerful motor that adds extra convenience. Each Fluval Multi-Stage 06 Series Filter adds even more user-friendly features to ensure aquarium filtration is even easier to set up, customize, and maintain.

It provides filtration for aquariums up to 400 Liters (100 U.S. gallons) with a flow rate of 1450 L/H (383 US gallon per hour).

Each filter holds 35-50% more volume than round canisters of similar size and directs filtration through a complex flow path to maximize contact with the filtration media. It features the patented Aqua-Stop Valve which permits hose disconnects and easy-open, one-motion lock clamps makes routine cleaning and maintenance easy, multiple filtration baskets, and rim connector assemblies to keep the intake and output hoses in place on your aquarium. Multiple filtration baskets are already packed with the necessary media for mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration. Four distinct sizes - each with increasing flow rates and filter capacities - to suit any small to mid-sized home or commercial aquarium.

Other features of this canister filter are The Aqua-Stop Valve, multiple and removable media baskets, adjustable flow rates, instant-prime system, single-motion lift-lock clamps, clog-proof intake strainer, dual-layer foam screen and a quick start guide. This product comes with a 3-year warranty.​


  • Space saving design.
  • Easy to install and assemble.
  • Simple locking and unlocking mechanism.
  • Runs very quietly.
  • Very strong suction cups.
  • Adjustable input output heights.
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance.


  • Complicated instructions.
  • Ribbed tubing.
  • Impeller loses parts easily.
  • Large build.
  • Leakage problem after power outage.

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

The Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter offers a heavy-duty and multi-stage external filtration for your fresh or salt water aquarium. This canister filter can handle aquariums up to 65 gallons efficiently providing up to 185 gallons per hour of flow. This filter is easy to install and comes with all the necessary accessories.

It has a quick push-button primer, two independent directional 360-degree rotational, flow-rate control valves and swimming pool-style hose clamps. The sturdy rubber mounted tip-proof rubber base keeps the unit in place. Each pump comes with large filter trays, start-up filter media & input/output tubing. An air-tight seal assures proper flow rate while maintaining ultra-quiet operation. The easy-lift clamps make it simple to release the vacuum and remove the top for changing media or other maintenance. Directional returns help to suspend waste matter so it can be taken in by the filter.


  • Large filter trays for any filter media.
  • Easy set up.
  • Produces great water quality.
  • Excellent flow rate.
  • Strong and secure hose connections.
  • Adjustable flow rate. Runs quietly.


  • Fragile-looking build.
  • Difficulty in priming.
  • Bypass issues.
  • Poor instructions.
  • Issues with the spray bar.
  • Difficulty in cleaning.

Choosing the best canister filter for your tank can be such a task. We hope that we were able to help you with our list of the top 5 canister filters. Out of the list, we highly recommend the EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter with Media. It’s quality and features makes it appealing to us. The easy servicing and maintenance process made it possible to be our top choice. But regardless if you agree with us or not, we hope that you find the best canister filer to keep your tank thriving and healthy.

Otherwise, you can check 2 detail reviews of Fluval 306 and Fluval 406​ filter.

The Good And Bad Of 5 Best – Rated Nano Aquariums in 2019

What Are Nano Aquariums?

Aquariums come in different shapes and sizes.

Some of the bigger ones can be found in public, like the aquariums you might have visited with your family when you were a kid. Such aquariums can contain fish of all kinds. There are small and medium-sized ones, and those that were probably much larger than yourself as a child.

Medium or large aquariums are common in some people’s homes, or even as decoration in hotels and restaurants.

But what about small ones?

While fish bowls may be more popular in media, there is actually a more sustainable way of keeping your fish. It’s call the nano aquarium or nano reef tank. It can contain from 2 to 40 gallons of water, and is usually compact enough to be placed on your desk.

W. In fact, it might even be quite challenging for you.

Before you go and get one for yourself, however, take a look at some of the pros and cons of a nano reef tank.





Our rating


Included tank, top, light filter, and filter pump, wet/dry biological filtration, compact, LED light bar


Included white/blue LED, 3-stage hidden back panel filtration,  flow filter pump, hinged light, sliding glass canopy


bent glass and frameless design for best viewing

Included Glass tank, hang on water filter, thermometer, and fish net


Includes foam block, activated carbon and BioMax bio rings, 31 LED Lighting System


Included a Marina Slim S10 clip-on filter with quick-change filter cartridges , a net, fish food, a water conditioner

What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Nano Aquarium?


a. It’s More Affordable

Since it’s smaller than the average aquarium, it’s also cheaper to set up. For beginners who may just be trying things out, it may be more appealing to invest a small amount, in case you would end up not pursuing the hobby.

There will also be less equipment . A nano aquarium would have no need for a sump, which means you wouldn’t have to worry about plumbing.

Another item that will cost less is the lighting. In medium or large aquariums, the lighting is one of the most expensive pieces of equipment. The longer your tank, the more lighting you might need to usealso impacts your electricity bill.

But with a nano reef tank, the lighting you need would not be as plenty compared to a regular aquarium. There are also nano aquarium kits that already come with lighting, which is good enough for soft corals or rock setups with fish.

b. It Has Good Mobility

Imagine if you had to move to another house complicated would that be to transfer a 50-inch aquarium?

One of the perks in getting a nano reef tank is the fact that it’s easier to transfer from one place to another, will also be safe to place upstairs. With larger tanks, you would need to consider the structural support of your house and ensure that the weight can be supported upstairs.


a. A Nano Reef Tank Might Be More Suitable For Experienced Hobbyists

Due to its lesser water volume, a nano aquarium may have less stability in salinity and nutrients. Changes in water quality and chemistry can occur faster than it does in a bigger tank.

To keep the salinity parameters in good level, you may have to top it off with freshwater every other day. It sounds tedious, but there are aquariums that have an automatic top-off system installed.

Because of the stability issues, you would also have to change the water at least once a week. Monitoring the tank would have to be more frequent as well for you to be able to provide a remedy if ever the stability issues cause problems.

If you live in a tropical country, or somewhere that has a warmer climate, this may also cause more evaporation to occur. To avoid this, it would be ideal to keep the nano reef tank in a cooler room that has consistent temperature.

b. You Have Limited Options For Fish

Because we’re dealing with limited space, it’s a given that the amount of fish you can keep in your nano aquarium is limited too.

There are plenty of suitable saltwater and freshwater fish for nano reef tanks so you will have a lot of choices. To decide on which ones to keep, you consider the following:

  • Their size.
  • Their temperament.
  • Their compatibility with each other and with your reef.

Choose fish or invertebrates that don’t grow too big. You might also have to do some research on these creatures’ habits. If you decide to keep invertebrates such as shrimps, and one of your fish happens to enjoy preying on them, it’s definitely not the ideal ones.

Peaceful and calm aquatic life is more suitable for a nano aquarium. If they are not compatible with your corals, this could also lead to damage within the tank.

If you are new to the hobby, the cons may sound daunting. However, it can also be great to start with something advanced as you will acquire skills that will help you in this hobby in the long run.

If you’re a seasoned pro, you’re probably feeling challenged now and thinking of the ideal nano aquarium for you. No worries, we have a list coming up.

What are the best nano aquariums in the market?

Here are some of the top-rated nano reef tanks for you to choose from.

Coralife Biocube

Coralife Biocube

This nano aquarium can contain 23.5 gallons and has dimensions of 20 x 20.75 x 18.75. It weighs 54 pounds and is made of glass.

The entire package consists of the tank, top cover, light filter, fan, and filter pump. It’s one of the kits that already include lighting, so there won’t be any need for you to buy additional lights.


  • It is a kit, and contains the needed equipment.
  • Easy to set up and maintain.
  • The corners are rounded so injuries can be prevented.
  • Modern-looking cube shape.
  • Includes blue lighting that can make your aquarium look more like the ocean.
  • Comes with one-year warranty


  • Quite expensive, but you can consider the fact that it’s a set and it already includes most of the equipment; it also has a higher capacity of 23.5 gallons, which may explain the price.
  • The fan inside the lid can be quite noisy, so it might not be ideal to place the item in a bedroom or office.

Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit

Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit

With a 5-gallon capacity, this nano reef tank is sized at 16.8 inches high, 11.8 inches long, and 11.8 inches wide. It weighs 12 pounds.

It comes with an advanced three-stage back panel filtration with an adjustable flow filter pump. This feature is hidden on the back of the tank, so that it does not obscure the aesthetics.

The aquarium also comes with bright blue and white LED lights that includes daylight and moonlight settings.

It includes a hinged light and a sliding glass canopy for easy access.


  • As a kit, it includes all the equipment needed.
  • Most of it are hidden in the back, so there is less noise and no bulky top.
  • Since it has a smaller capacity, it is also more affordable.
  • Blue and white LED lights and daylight/moonlight options that can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your nano reef tank.
  • Has rounded edges to prevent injuries.
  • Comes with a two-year warranty.


  • Because the filter and other equipment are hidden in the back, it may be more difficult to clean.
  • Not suitable for fish that are smaller than one inch in length, as they can get sucked into the filter compartment

Penn Plax Vertex Aquarium Kit

Penn Plax Vertex Aquarium Kit

This 2.7-gallon capacity nano aquarium kit includes a hang-on water filter, an LCD stick-on thermometer, and a fish net. It is also recommended to beginner hobbyists.

It weighs 6.9 pounds and measures 10 inches high by 8 inches wide and 9 inches long. Its glass is 1/8 inch thick, which makes it pretty durable despite its small size. It also has a frameless design, which allows you to view your fish and plants with no obstructions.


  • Due to its small capacity, it is also affordable and suitable for spaces such as office desks.
  • It comes with a thermometer, filter, and a fish net.
  • The filter is quiet and has an adjustable flow rate.
  • The tank also has rounded corners.
  • Comes with a warranty, but the duration is unknown.


  • Does not come with lightings so you would have to buy your own separately.

Fluval Spec III Aquarium Kit

Fluval Spec III Aquarium Kit

This etched-glass tank with aluminum trim comes in two colors: black and white. You have the option of choosing the color you prefer, although the black one is more expensive by $4.

It weighs at 10.1 pounds, and is 8.7 inches by 10.8 inches and 11.8 inches.

The package includes 31 LED lights, an adjustable pump, a filter, a foam block, activated carbon, and BioMax bio rings.


  • It’s specifically made for office desks and countertops, so if that’s where you want to place your nano aquarium, this tank is a good choice.
  • Comes in two colors.
  • Includes all of the things you need for setup, including lighting.
  • The pump and filtration system are on the back, and does not make much noise.
  • Comes with a warranty, but the duration is unknown.


  • Even when set to the lowest setting, the filtration may be too strong for some types of fish, so depending on the fish you keep, you may need to modify the filtration system.

Marina LED Aquarium Kit

Marina LED Aquarium Kit

This nano reef tank comes in three sizes: 5 gallon, 10 gallon, and 20 gallon.

It includes a Marina clip-on filter with quick-change cartridges, long-lasting LED lights with natural daylight effect, and all of the equipment needed for set up, such as the pump and filter.

The package also comes with a net, fish food, a water conditioner that makes tap water safe for fish, and a supplement that helps create a healthy and well-balanced environment for your fish.


  • Includes everything you need, plus extra items such as the fish food, water conditioner, and supplement.
  • Rprice, considering everything that comes with it.
  • Comes in multiple sizes so you have options to choose from.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Filtration system does not make much noise.
  • Comes with a warranty, but the duration is unknown.


  • The corners of the tank are silicon that glues the glass together, instead of rounded glass—this gives less visibility.

What’s the verdict?

Of course, it ultimately depends on your needs.

Take into consideration the type and amount of fish you’d like to keep. If you want a bigger environment, then you might want the 20-gallon models.

If you prefer just a little decorations on your desk or countertop, however, then you might want to go for the 2 to 5-gallon ones.

We find all of these tanks to be pretty awesome, but Marina LED Aquarium Kit takes the cake.

It really does include everything you need and more. We were completely won over by the extra items such as fish food, water conditioner and supplements.

These items would not only be helpful to seasoned hobbyists, but they would greatly help beginners as well.

Not to mention, you get all that at a good price.

The Marina LED Aquarium Kit also comes in three sizes, which makes it a great choice, regardless of how much fish and plants you plan to keep.

In the end, whichever aquarium you choose will surely be good for you and your fish.

Tell us your pick in the comments section below!

Best Pond Filter – A Guide to a Cleaner Pond, with Reviews

best pond filter

The best way to make your pond clean and make it stay that way is a filtration system. Now, which pond filter do you exactly need is based on the type of the pond itself. To know exactly which filter system do you need and which one is the best pond filter at the moment, check out the tips and info below.
There are a few basic things that you need to understand before we get into details. So let’s get started immediately.

Why are pond filters necessary?

best pond filter

Their sole purpose is to bring balance and clean the pond’s ecosystem. It gets rid of sewage, biological waste, and dirt. All these impurities are constantly coming back to the pond which can harm its ecosystem, and in the end the fish as well.
The pond filter system pulls out all the impurities by filtering the dirty water and making it clean and safe for the fish.
There are different types of pond filter, and you should know their traits to determine which one is the best pick for your pond.

Types of pond filters

Types of pond filters
  • In-pond filter. This type of filter is the best to filter for a small pond, it is attached to the pump, and it may require a bio-chamber for cleaning.
  • Skimmer filter. This filter is able to catch large dirt, it draws the pond water and catches large pieces of waste. It is suitable for small and larger ponds.
  • Pressure filter. This filter is mechanical, and it draws the water through the sponge, which traps the dirt and other impurities. It is an above ground pond filter which can also be placed below the waterline, and it is great for large ponds.
  • UV Sterilizer. Technically, it’s a clarifier, not a filter. It kills the microorganisms by changing their cellular structure. Its victims are viruses, bacteria, fungi, and algae. To really keep the pond clean best pond UV sterilizer should be added.
  • Waterfall filter. This filter uses balls and ceramic beads for filtering. It’s placed over the water, and it’s suitable for medium and larger ponds.

Pond filter benefits

best Pond filter benefits
  • It clears the water. Clearing the water is its basic and most important purpose of them all. Clean and healthy environment means clean and healthy fish.
  • It brings the balance to the pond. It maintains the bacterial balance in the pond’s ecosystem which is not achievable without it.
  • Extra features. There are some filters that have a great design, and they even serve as a decoration for the pond as well. They are available in the form of a fountain, a waterfall, etc.

Types of pond filters based on their placement

pond filters based on their placement

There are two types of pond filters based on their placement, submersible and external.
External filters are placed above, and submersible filters are placed below the waterline.
The advantage of submersible filters is that they can be hidden and they can fit perfectly in the decoration of the pond, but they do require more maintenance.
The best external pond filter is very easy to maintain, and it’s very reachable, but since it’s above the ground, it can’t be hidden well as much as the submersible ones.

The volume of the filter

volume of the filter

The first thing you should check is the volume of the filter based on the size of your pond, and the number of fish in it. More fish means more bacteria, and more bacteria require more cleaning. You have to know the size of your pond, so you can check the volume of the filter and make sure that it’s capable of cleaning the pond of that size.

Type of filtration

Type of filtration

There are 3 types of filtration.

  • Biological
  • Mechanical
  • Chemical

Most filters are biological and mechanical, while some newer versions can be the combination of these two types. You can find these features if you find the best all in one pond filter.
Mechanical systems are great for small and large pieces of dirt. The biological one maintains a good balance of the pond’s ecosystem, making it a healthy environment for the fish.
You won’t need a chemical filtration system unless your pond is chemically polluted. Then the only way to clean it is by the chemical filtration system.

Why does a filtration system need UV light?

filtration system need UV light

UV light in the intake is for one purpose only – to bring all the algae together, so they make large pieces. This way it’s very easy for a mechanical filter to clear them out. If you want your pond to be algae free, make sure the filtration system has best pond UV light possible.

Pond filter reviews

Check out some of the recommendations which contain best large pond filter, best pond filter for koi, best UV sterilizer for koi ponds and more. Amongst these picks, you are probably going to find what you are looking for and speed up your search incomparably.

1. TetraPond Bio-Active

While not the company that is focused on gardening, TetraPond produces products mainly focused on fish. They were the fish food company, and they are responsible for most innovations in the fish food industry today.
Later on, the company focused on three markets: ponds, reptiles, and fish. And since that moment they brought a lot of products for maintaining the ponds.
The Bio-Active filter is a great piece of engineering. It’s a mechanical filter that combines the filters with the bio-active mixture. The mixture contains bacteria and microorganisms that turn the pollutants into nitrates that feed the plants in the pond.
After it cleans the dirt and removes the chemical pollutants, it sterilizes algae by using the UV light. Then it collects the algae and flushes them out.
It does require some additional components to work as it should. This piece doesn’t come with a pump. While that is not something odd, it can be an issue with this particular filter, because it has very high flow rate. It requires a really powerful pump to work properly.

  • It has the highest flow rate of all filters.
  • It’s effective in large ponds.
  • It comes with a UV clarifier.
  • Very quality built.
  • Very easy to install and set up.
  • Cleans all the dirt in the pond and feeds the pond’s vegetation.


  • It requires a powerful pump, which is not included.
  • The flush port needs an additional filter.
  • It requires water refilling.

OASE Filtral UVC 700

This brand is one of the few that specializes in products of this type. They make great filters and pumps. And they are focusing mostly on the water, so the water will be clean, but they do not focus on the wellbeing of the fish.
This doesn’t mean that they are not suitable for fish ponds, it only means that they are more focused on the pond itself than on the animals that live in it. That being said, this model is a great all-in-one filter that comes at a good price point.
It’s probably the cheapest all-in-one system available. But, it does have some limitations. It’s suitable best for small ponds, it’s one of the smallest filters, and it cannot handle large ponds. While it comes with the pump included, it is a pretty weak pump with a low flow rate.
It has the “waterfall” feature, which doesn’t perform like it’s being imagined. The best part of the waterfall feature is that it oxygenates the water. If you have a fairly small pond and you want to have all the parts you need at once, this little package should do the trick.

  • It comes with the pump included.
  • It has a UV clarifier.
  • It’s very affordable considering the whole package.
  • It oxygenates the water it filters.


  • It can handle only small ponds.
  • It has a low flow rate.
  • While it has the “waterfall” setting, it’s not powerful enough to do it.

OASE BioSmart 

Another OASE filter, but this time for ponds of medium size with an average fish amount. It has a multi-stage mechanical and biological filtration. It has a series of filter foams in its compact package, and with them, it creates the environment full of good bacteria.
It also feeds the vegetation in the pond by converting the harmful nitrites and ammonia to nitrates. It has a built-in cleaning mechanism and its own temperature gauge. With the surface area filter of this size, it has great biofiltration capability. It’s best to use it in small and medium ponds with small and average fish population.
It’s very easy to use, and it has a cleaning indicator. It doesn’t come with a pump, and it can handle the ponds of up to 10,000 gallons of water. BioSmart can be a great choice for people that want the filtering system that is easy to use and has a lot of features.

  • It can handle small, medium and possibly large ponds as well.
  • It has an automatic cleaning system.
  • Very easy to use.
  • It has a water temperature gauge.
  • It has a sludge drain feature.


  • The outtake is kind of flimsy
  • It doesn’t come with the connections for the outflow; you have to get your own.

Best Choice Products 4000

Best choice products, yes it’s a real brand name, is a slightly young brand which started its business by selling cheap pool tables. You can figure it out based on the name of the company itself that they do not specialize in anything really. Instead, they produce a lot of different products for different markets.
With that in mind, it’s surprising that their pond filter has such good performance. Since water gardens and fish require expert knowledge to achieve a good pond ecosystem. It is pretty effective, and it’s the best koi pond filter on the list, considering its cleaning capacity and flow rate.
But, you can clearly spot the difference between this filter and the others, and this is where the lack of specialization shows the most.
But, it’s one of the fastest cleaning filters out there. And it can handle the ponds that are 2m deep, with no problems. Although it’s not known for its poor quality, it doesn’t always work at its peak performance. And the maintenance is not that convenient.
The backflushing feature it has is nothing special, and it doesn’t do the job that great. In order to really clean the filters as they should be cleaned, the unit has to be disassembled.

  • It has a great flow rate, one of the best in the market.
  • It features a UV clarifier.
  • It’s pretty affordable.
  • It can handle ponds that are 2m deep, which makes it great filter for Koi ponds.


  • Cleaning it is not an easy or fast process.
  • Flush port need an additional line.
  • The electronic parts are not the best ones around.

Pond Boss FM002P

This filter comes with a whole kit, and it’s an all-in-one kind of filter. While being one of the complete filters out there, it’s also very eco-friendly and energy efficient. If you consider that it comes with a filter, pump, and the nozzle, you come to the conclusion that it saves you a lot of money.
It’s suitable for ponds that are less than 500 gallons. It’s a very quiet filter that saves energy and cares about the environment. It saves you the money when you buy it, because it comes with all the parts needed, and it saves the money in the future because it doesn’t use a lot of electricity. And it’s very affordable in the first place.
It’s very easy to set up and maintain. And it offers you the ability to connect additional parts and decorations, along with the fountain feature.

  • The fountain feature looks and sounds great and it aerates the water.
  • The value for the price is unmatched.
  • It does a good job of cleaning the water.
  • Very energy efficient, and a great money saver overall.
  • Eco-friendly.

The base is pretty light, and you will need to come up with a way to keep it down.

TetraPond GreenFree UV Clarifier

This one is specialized for algae elimination. If you want your pond to be absolutely algae free, this is their certain doom. It uses UV light that eliminates the algae and their reproductive capability. It then clumps the dead algae and pumps it out further to the filtration system.
In just five days the pond will be algae free, and it will stay that way as long as this clarifier takes care of it. It is very easy to install and to hide. It’s a durable clarifier that can handle the ponds up to 8800 gallons.
Although it’s only an addition to the filtering system, it can really enhance the system’s capabilities. If your pond filtering system doesn’t have the UV clarifier, then this one might be your best choice. Give it a few days, and your pond water will be clearer than ever.
But, you can witness its full potential on low flow rates, and this is a letdown, but for some pond owners it might be just what they need.

  • It’s an affordable UV clarifier.
  • It easy to use and set up.
  • It eliminates all the algae in a matter of five days.
  • It handles the ponds up to 8800 gallons.
  • It’s very durable.

It requires a low flow rate to show its full potential

Jebao Pu-36

This system is better than the previous one, and if you ever need an upgrade – here it is! It’s a UV filter that kills a lot of viruses, bacteria, algae, fungi, and protozoa. It’s great for pond usage, and it can be also used in fresh and saltwater. It has a highly effective UV lamp that disrupts the DNA of all the organisms that your ponds shouldn’t be home to.
It’s easy to use it and attach it to the existing pond filter system, and it can be positioned vertically and horizontally. Which gives you a lot of options in concealing. To keep the population of the malicious organisms in your pond at its bare minimum, add this piece to your system and leave worries behind.
You might, however, encounter some issues if you need to replace the UV bulbs, it can be quite tricky. And it might require some longer time to clean the large ponds.

  • It features a strong UV light for its price.
  • Works awesome in small and medium ponds.
  • It’s very easy to install it, and it can be installed in a lot of ways.
  • Absolutely destroys all unwanted microorganisms.


  • It’s tricky to replace the bulbs.
  • It can be used for large ponds, but it will require a lot more time to do the job.

Fish Mate 1000PUV 

If you own a small pond, and you want to keep it completely clean at all times, this might be the best filter for such pond. It handles up to 1000 gallons of water, and it has a combination of biological filtration and UV light to eliminate the algae.
It’s very easy to install it, and it’s great that it can be placed below and above the waterline. The maintenance is also a piece of cake. Once you install it, give it around seven days, and your pond will be crystal clear. Concealing it will also not going to be a problem at all.
You might, however, encounter some leakage issues. It’s not the norm, but it tends to happen. You might modify it to prevent leakage from happening.

  • Super easy to install and conceal.
  • Creates a crystal clear pond ecosystem within a week.
  • Very easy to maintain.
  • Perfect filter for small ponds.

You might experience some leakage.

TetraPond Filtration Fountain Kit

Aesthetics are important when it comes to ponds, let’s not forget about that. So why not get a filter that is a great addition to the looks of the pond as well? This kit is ready to be used as a filtering system and a fountain. It’s also capable of producing three patterns: bell pattern, spray and frothy pattern.
The fountain heads can be adjusted. It’s a submersible filter that keeps the pond clean, creates a fountain and reduces the chance of clogging at the same time. It comes with the pump included and all fittings and tubing it needs. The pump can drive 325 gallons of water per hour.
While it has all these awesome features, it’s best to use it for small ponds up to 500 gallons. Add a UV clarifier, and you will have a complete package for your little pond to be clear all the time.

  • It comes with the pump included.
  • It’s very easy to clean.
  • It’s a complete kit to make the pond water clean, and you get the fountain as well.
  • It has a variable pattern for the fountain.

Assembling it can be a bit tricky.

Jebao CF-10

If you’re looking for an external pond filter champion – look no further, because here it is. Especially if you have a natural pond. It has a lot of features, and it's very user-friendly. It’s a combo of mechanical and biological filters, and it can handle the ponds up to 1000 gallons.
The two foam discs in the mechanical part of the filter collect the dirt and help the good bacteria grow to break down the pollutants. The biological part keeps the good bacteria, and it converts the nitrite to nitrates that feed the pond's vegetation.
It also has a UV lamp that will kill all the algae and bring them together for easy removal. It keeps the water that passes through it very close to the UV lamp, which significantly improves the lamp’s effectiveness. It doesn’t come with a pump, and it should be paired with a pump that has a flow of 850-1320 gallons per hour.
Jebao CF-10 is one of the most quality options of pond filters out there, and if you really want to invest into the wellbeing of the fish residing in the pond, it might be your best choice.

  • Great value for the price.
  • Very simple to use and set up.
  • It has all necessary filters to keep the pond clean and free of bad microorganisms.
  • Very effective UV system.

The build quality is not that amazing.

In conclusion

Considering the type of the pond you own, you can choose the best pond filter that will suit your and your pond’s ecosystem needs. Out of all the examples and recommendations presented, Jebao CF-10 is certainly one of the best ones out there, since it has all the filtering options you can get. The only thing that is missing is the pump, which is usual amongst these products.
If you require a submersible filter system, then your choice should be something else. Nevertheless, all of these examples on the list are selected to satisfy everyone’s special needs.

Top 5 Best Reverse Osmosis Systems For Your Aquarium

A reverse osmosis (RO) unit might be an overwhelming aquarium equipment, but once you get to know its functions and its benefits, you might be considering to get one. A reverse osmosis (RO) unit comes in handy when you want to have clean, safe, pure and high-quality water for your aquarium. This article will discuss the basic things that you need to know about reverse osmosis systems and show our top picks for the best units out there.

Quick Look: Top Rated Aquarium Reverse Osmosis Systems

What Is The Reverse Osmosis Process?

Using untreated tap water for your aquarium can do harm to its inhabitants. You may not see it, but there are certain bacteria, minerals and chemicals that are present in your tap water, which risks the health of your aquarium inhabitants. It contains various contaminants and impurities such as chlorine, nitrate, phosphate, copper, and other heavy metal chemicals. These contaminants and impurities make it possible for algae to grow at a harmful and aggressive rate. To counter this, applying an efficient filtration is not a bad choice.

The reverse osmosis process in an RO system occurs when water is drawn through a semi-permeable membrane, which makes use of membranes made from Thin Film Composite (TFC) materials. That removes up to 99% of impurities from tap water and produces water that is free from contaminants. Installing a reverse osmosis system for your aquarium will purify your water directly from your water source. A 4-stage RO/DI unit with a deionization (DI) cartridge can produce top quality water.

What Are The Benefits Of Having A Reverse Osmosis System For An Aquarium?

A reverse osmosis system or reverse osmosis unit (RO) can typically have a minimum of three and a maximum of 5 stages of filtration. This ensures water that is produced after the filtration stages is safe and pure. It is capable of separating dissolved organic molecules, metal ions, and other extremely fine particles with a particle size up to 0.001 microns, from water. But that’s not all that there is to it. There are also several benefits that you can get from installing a reverse osmosis system.

  • It is cost-effective compared to buying purified water regularly from your fish store for your aquarium.
  • It prevents excessive algae growth which is caused by the presence of nitrate and phosphate.
  • It is suitable for freshwater aquariums since it maintains the pH level of plants.
  • It is ideal for saltwater aquariums which require purified water.
  • It is ideal for reef aquariums since it manages and treats nitrate levels.
  • It requires little maintenance.

The RO unit caters to both freshwater and marine aquariums. Using an RO unit in a freshwater tank will provide water without General Hardness (GH) or Carbonate Hardness (KH) which is good for plants and soft-water fish. On the other hand, using of an RO unit for reef and marine aquariums removes impurities such as phosphate, nitrate, and silicates that can affect the health of corals and the tanks inhabitants.

What Are The Things To Consider When Getting A Reverse Osmosis System?

RO units are beneficial to your aquarium. But before planning on getting a reverse osmosis system for your aquarium, there are a couple of things that we would like to point out for you to consider.

  • Pure RO water can cause drastic pH changes which can be lethal for freshwater aquarium inhabitants. You can choose the best pH meter for your fish tank here.
  • Pure RO water can cause harmful conditions for being too sterilized if not chemically altered to fit the aquarium inhabitant’s need.
  • Pure RO water must be added with the necessary minerals before it can be added to certain types of aquariums. Several ways of doing this is adding tap water, water conditioner, and other liquids that would suit your aquarium needs.

Reverse osmosis systems don’t come cheap. Choose the one that is right for your tank since most reverse osmosis systems may cost you several hundred dollars. However, the cost will be worth it once you see the improvement of your tank’s water quality.

You also have to consider the replacement of certain parts, most especially the membranes that usually suffer from wear and tear. You should also prepare to utilize the waste water since RO units produce large amounts of this. Wastewater contains all of the filtered minerals and nutrients which may be harmful for your tank inhabitants but great for watering your plants.

What Are The Components Of A Standard Reverse Osmosis Unit?

A reverse osmosis (RO) unit is comprised of several key components with different functions. Being familiar with each of them is a good step before getting one. The components of a reverse osmosis unit are the following:

  1. Membrane – The membrane is semi-permeable and strains all the impurities and contaminants from tap water, allowing only the filtered water to pass through.
  2. Flow Restrictor – This manages and allows pressure buildup in the unit.
  3. Flush Valve – The flush valve washes the deposits from the membrane.
  4. Pre-filters – This part removes the components of tap water that can cause damage to the membrane.
  5. Waste Water Outlet – Water that contains high levels of chemicals from the filtered water flows here.
  6. Product Water Outlet – Contaminant-free water with a total dissolved solids (TDS) with a level of 10ppm or below flows here.

If you want to know more about the reverse osmosis system, here is a video that you can watch.

A Review Of The Top 5 Best Reverse Osmosis Systems For Your Aquarium

You’re now set to choosing the best reverse osmosis system for your aquarium. There may be a lot of products being offered out there, but our review can help you narrow down your search. Take a look at our recommendations below.

LiquaGen 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis/Deionization (RO/DI)

LiquaGen 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis/Deionization (RO/DI)

This product from LiquaGen is a versatile reverse osmosis filter. It is great for aquariums but it also its other uses, as long as high-quality purified water is needed, then this product will do the job.

This product is ideal to first-time RO/DI users for its simple design. You don’t have to worry about the installation process since it is already a pre-assembled. It guarantees a TDS level of 0 ppm. It features a membrane capacity of 50 gallons per day (GPD) which is already a good number. If you worry about the warranty, this product comes with a manufacturer warranty good for 1-year. However, the auto shut off valve and the check valve are not included unless requested.


  • Immediately produces the right pH for fishes after use.
  • Comes with maintenance accessories.
  • Good filtration performance.
  • Easy to set up.


  • Bulky built.

SpectraPure MaxCap RO/DI System

SpectraPure MaxCap RO/DI System

This product may seem pricey compared to its other counterparts. However, the SpectraPure Maxcap RO/DI System assures its buyers that it will deliver. It has a capacity 90 gallons per day (GPD).

The membrane features a 99% high-rejection thin-film composite. Water conservation is also a key selling point of this product since it has a 2:1 waste ratio. It produces 50% less waste water and is equipped with an automatic in-line shutoff valve. It also has a manual flush valve. It has a no-rust mounting bracket. It has an in-line ball valve that enables manual system shut off and a float valve that can be used during unattended operation. The filter housings with a housing wrench enclosed are made of clear materials and a . As an additional perk, this product also comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.


  • Easy to set up.
  • Fast water production.
  • Reduces waste water efficiently.
  • Made of quality parts.


  • Not enough tubing included.
  • Costly spare parts.

AquaFX Barracuda RO/DI Aquarium Filter

AquaFX Barracuda RO/DI Aquarium Filter

The AquaFX Barracuda (RO/DI) aquarium filter is a product that has a lot to offer. It is priced reasonably and has the following features, a membrane with high flow and high rejection rate, a 1-micron sediment filter with high efficiency, a chlorine guzzler carbon block filter, and a resin cartridge.

It also has a pressure gauge of 160 PSI so that you can read the pressure coming from your water supply. The metal bracket is made of solid aluminum preventing it from rusting, which ensures the product’s durability . It also has a clear filter cartridge housing so that you can check on it if it needs to be replaced. For convenience, quick connect fittings and a filter wrench come along with the product.


  • Doesn’t have leaks.
  • Works great on making your own saltwater.
  • Good filtration performance.
  • Easy to install.


  • Produces large amount of waste water.
  • Slow water production rate.

Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis Systems

Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis Systems

The Aquatic Life RO Buddie has a compact design. It is also not that expensive compared to the other RO units in this list. It has a capacity of 50 gallons per day (GPD) up to 100 gallons per day (GPD).

It boasts of a 3-stage reverse osmosis system that uses a Thin-Film Composite (TFC) membrane. Producing quality water is achievable with this RO unit. It also uses cartridges which are not hard to replace. Other features of this product include a faucet adapter, quick connections for easy removal and replacement of cartridges, mounting brackets to hold the unit securely so that you won’t have to worry about its placement, and a membrane housing wrench for easy cap removal.


  • Requires less pressure to operate.
  • Great membrane.
  • Portable and compact build.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Works great getting TDS to 0 ppm.


  • Produces more waste water.

Aquatic Life 4-Stage 100 GPD Junior Reverse Osmosis Filter System

Aquatic Life 4-Stage 100 GPD Junior Reverse Osmosis Filter System

The RO Junior packs a lot of features. It can provide up to 100 gallons per day (GPD) of filtered reverse osmosis water. It has a manual flush valve for an increase and extended membrane life.

Checking the cartridge if it needs replacement is hassle-free with this product since it has a clear micron cartridge housing. It is equipped with an auto shut-off valve that stops incoming water supply after turning off the outflow. This feature is great for those who are cautious when it comes to wasting water. It comes with wrenches so that you can access the cartridge and membrane housings with ease. Also included are the garden hose adapter, 0.25 inch press fit connectors, a 0-160 PSI gauge for pressure reading, a built-in wall mount bracket, and a tubing for the plumbing set up. This product comes with a 1-year limited warranty upon purchase.


  • Great at conserving waste water.
  • Easy to install.
  • Well-built.


  • Leaking around the joints.
  • Slow performance.

Installing a reverse osmosis system for your aquarium can remove impurities from tap water and produces contaminant-free water. Purifying your water directly from your water source can be a big deal to your fish’ health. From all the products that we have reviewed, the top pick for this reverse osmosis system roundup is the SpectraPure MaxCap RO/DI System because of its easy set up. Its waste water reduction is an added bonus to its great performance. The quality parts of this product also make it durable.

How about you? Do you agree with our top pick?

5 Best Heaters For Your Aquarium

Is an aquarium heater important? If you have tropical or marine inhabitants in your aquarium, then the answer is yes. The aquarium heater warms up the tank’s water temperature according to what your fishes require which is usually around 78 degrees up to 82 degrees. It’s necessary to get one so that your fish will thrive healthily in your tank.

This article will help you learn more about heaters and discover some of the best aquarium heaters available.

Quick Look: Top Rated Aquarium Heaters

Fishes That Need Heaters

If you want to forego aquarium heaters, you should think twice if you have the following fishes:

Angelfish, Bala shark, Banjo Catfish, Barbs Betta fish, Black shark, Bloodfin, Cichlids, Danio, Discus, Rainbowfish, and Tetra fish.

Generally, tropical fishes cannot withstand cold temperatures as this can lead to the deterioration of their health, even premature death. Unlike non-tropical fishes which can survive even at the lowest temperature , tropical fishes are extremely sensitive to the cold.

Different Types Of Aquarium Heater

An aquarium heater is not limited to one type only. They come in different shapes and sizes. Knowing what they are and what they do can help you to choose the best aquarium heater for your tank inhabitants. There are the different types of aquarium heaters that you should probably know:

Internal Heaters

The heating element is inside the fish tank. Here are some varieties of internal heaters:

  1. Submersible - the submersible type of aquarium heater warms up the tank efficiently. It lies below your tank’s water level and must be kept submerged or else it can be damaged. It can be positioned either horizontally or vertically inside the tank. The clips and suction cup holds the heater in place. Usually, the submersible heater is placed just below the filters output.
  2. Hanging – from the name itself, this type of heater is typically hanged off the top edge of the tank, secured at the back. Its temperature controls can be accessed to the portion that is laid outside of the tank. The hanging heater must be placed below the surface of the water to prevent being damaged.
  3. Substrate – compared to the submersible and hanging heaters, this particular type is not commonly used by aquarists but ideal for planted tanks. The substrate heater, in the form of an insulated coil wire, is buried under the aquarium gravel or substrate and emits heat that warms up the water.

External Heaters:

The heating element is outside the fish tank. Here are some varieties of external heaters:

  1. In-line – before the water from the filter hits the tank, it is already warmed by an in-line heater. This particular type of external heater is attached to a section of the external plumbing that pumps water to the filter and heats it as it goes through.
  2. In-filter – there are some aquarium filters that offer the inclusion of built-in heaters. As the water passes through the filter, the built-in heater inside it also radiates heat. The water goes back to the tank clean and heated.
  3. In-sump – this type of aquarium heater can be found in the sump of a trickle filter.

These types of heaters typically have the standard parts such as the envelope which keeps the internal components from getting wet, the heating element which is a piece of resistance wire that is energized via the electric supply, and the temperature adjustment button.

Heater Installation and Use

Here are some quick tips on the installation and use of your aquarium heater:

  • Most of the internal heaters come with suction cups. Use them to place your heater on the side of your aquarium tank.
  • If your heater does not come with a temperature gauge, we suggest that you get one. This can help you in monitoring the temperature and the environment of your tank.
  • Use the thermostat to switch the heater on and off as necessary.
  • When using an internal heater, always keep the water level higher than the heater to prevent heater failure.
  • Let the aquarium water heat up first. Give it at least an hour before you start adding fishes and turn the heater on. This will prevent the glass from breaking due to temperature difference.

Choosing an Aquarium Heater

There are some guidelines that you need to know before buying an aquarium heater. When you choose a heater, choose one that is compatible or well-suited with your tank. A drop in the water temperature can be dangerous to your fish especially if you own tropical ones. To maintain the right temperature of your tank, remember that the heater size matters.

This rule should always be applied when you scout for aquarium heaters: you must have three to five watts per gallon for every 10° Fahrenheit above room temperature in order to thoroughly heat the tank and maintain that temperature. If you need more heating source, we recommend that you use several heaters instead of getting strong and large ones.

If you want to know more, here is a video about choosing the right aquarium heater for you tank size.

Top 5 Best Aquarium Heaters

A variety of aquarium heaters can be found and bought nowadays. You spend money on this important piece of aquarium equipment for the well-being of your aquarium inhabitants. However, it should be money spent wisely. You must have the best because your fish deserve all the proper care that they can get. Here are just some of the best aquarium heaters that we could find.

Zacro AH064 Submersible Aquarium Heater

Zacro AH064 Submersible Aquarium Heater

The Zacro submersible 300-watt aquarium heater is fully submersible and is made of glass. It is ideal for aquariums that are 53 up to 99 gallons in volume. It has a visible temperature setting that can be easily set and adjusted.

It allows you to calibrate the temperature ranging from 65 up to 93 Fahrenheit or 20 up to 34 centigrade degrees. It is made from waterproof materials and features double insulation. This aquarium heater assures prospective buyers of its durability because the product is made from insulated glass of high quality. You don’t have to worry about scalding when using this heater since it has a dependable protective container. This aquarium heater has an operation with a heating cycle of five to ten minutes before it stops and starts again after the interval period.


  • Easy to set up and install.
  • Fully submersible.
  • Suction cups keep the thermometer & heater stable.
  • Cycles properly and slowly up to the desired temperature.
  • Made of high quality glass.
  • Water temperature can be kept at a set temperature.
  • Comes with an extra LCD digital thermometer for ensured temperature accuracy.


  • It randomly turns on and off when it wants.
  • Issues with maintaining the set water temperature.

Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater

Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater

The Cobalt Aquatics NEO-Therm heater can be fully submerged on different types of aquariums such as freshwater and saltwater tanks and terrariums. This modern, sleek, stylishly designed electronic heater that works on 25 watts, features an easy and simple way to set the control system with its one touch button.

The design is not the only selling point of this aquarium heater. It is durable and shatterproof. Its cutting-edge electronic thermostat is very accurate. Its LED feature can display both the set temperature and tank temperature at the same time. It allows you to change the temperature range to 66 degrees Fahrenheit up to 96 degrees Fahrenheit. This product assures optimum safety and reliability to its users through its integrated thermal protection circuitry. This is a good feature since it turns off the heater before it can overheat.


  • Thin, sleek, and flat design that takes up less space.
  • Well-designed bracket system with 2 suction cups.
  • Easy to read LED display.
  • Easy temperature setting with a press of a button.
  • Maintains tank water temperature regardless of room temperature.
  • Easy to install.


  • Temperature fluctuation issues in cold regions.
  • Changing the temperature can be difficult.
  • Suction cups failure after a few months of use.

Aqueon 50W Pro Heater

Aqueon 50W Pro Heater

The Aqueon 50W Pro heater is a well-performing heater. Just like the previous heaters, this one is also fully submersible and compatible with fresh or saltwater aquariums.

It offers most of the necessary things that you would want your heater to have. Its electronic thermostat is accurate when it comes to temperature setting. The ceramic build is both reliable and durable. It is shatterproof and nearly indestructible thanks to the good quality of the materials it is made of. It is also an uncomplicated piece of equipment to use.


  • Good heat distribution.
  • Visually pleasing design.
  • Can be mounted horizontally.
  • Accurate thermostat.
  • Fully submersible.
  • Durable ceramic build.
  • Comes with a six-foot cord.
  • Maintains temperature level well.


  • Issues with temperature dial accuracy.
  • Weak suction cups.

Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater

Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater

The Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater is perhaps the most affordable aquarium heater from this list. This product is fully submersible and can be installed vertically or horizontally inside your tank.

Its small size makes it easy to conceal behind plants, rocks, or other aquarium decorations. It has a variety of features including its red(when heating) and green(when on standby) indicator lights to signal the heating status. This heater is ideal for aquariums between 2 to 10 gallons of water. Ideally it should be used for tanks with hood or a glass canopy in order to contain the heat inside the aquarium. The low voltage thermostat maintains water at 78 degrees Fahrenheit requiring any adjustment to it. A precautionary addition to the heater is that it automatically shuts off whenever overheating is detected.


  • Affordable price.
  • Regulates tank temperature well.
  • Runs quietly.
  • Convenient red and green light temperature indicators.
  • Small and compact build.
  • Maintains a consistent temperature.


  • Temperature cannot be changed or set.

Hydor In-Line External Heater - Original ETH

Hydor In-Line External Heater - Original ETH

The Hydor In-Line External ETH Heater introduces a different way of performing heating tasks with its patented PTC heating technology. Instead of being submerged underwater, this heater is placed outside of the aquarium.

This external heater is suitable for marine and tropical aquariums. It has a safety feature that self-limits the heating element to prevent any risk of overheating. This heater is designed to be used on return lines coming from canister filters or sumps. It has a highly accurate electronic temperature control and temperature setting. It is easy to use and effectively prevents variations in temperature.


  • Well-constructed build.
  • Maintains consistent temperature.
  • Saves tank space.
  • Heats tank evenly.
  • No leaks.
  • Easy set up.


  • Noticeable temperature spikes.
  • Issues with built-in thermostat failing.

Aquarium heaters are important. It is an aquarium equipment that you must get, especially if you have tropical fishes. Temperature changes day and night. You can’t always be sure that the temperature of your tank’s water consistently stays at a safe level for your fish. Getting an aquarium heater can be a great investment if you are not willing to risk the health of your fish.

So, from the list of the best aquarium heaters above, we recommend the Aqueon 50W Pro Heater. Its price is budget friendly and the cons far outweigh the pros. You can check the other aquarium heaters from the list if you don’t agree with our choice.

Another reviews that you need to read:

5 Top-Rated Aquarium Thermometers For Different Needs

It has been proven that aquariums are actually beneficial for our health.

Just being able to observe the marine creatures residing within an aquarium causes drop in heart rate and lower blood pressure.

Keeping an aquarium inside your home, instead of having to visit the public aquariums, can increase the benefits as you can observe your fish and plants daily.

These benefits can increase significantly if you have an aquarium inside your home, because you can observe your fish and plants daily.

But maintaining an aquarium isn’t all that easy. 

While your fish and plants provide you the relaxation you need, you also have to give them care and ensure that they are in good .

A step you might need to take is getting an aquarium thermometer.

What Are Benefits Of Having An Aquarium Thermometer?

One of the most vital things in keeping aquatic creatures is knowing the water temperature they need to survive, which has to remain , and the only way for you to observe and maintain it properly is installing a thermometer.

Some thermometers can even provide an alert feature that sets off an alarm whenever the water temperature changes from the ideal range (we’ll get to this later on).

Knowing your aquarium’s water temperature allows you to monitor your fish and plants properly. It helps you be more aware of the changes in the temperature that may affect the health of aquatic life.

Most thermometers are also inexpensive, however, this may vary depending on the types of thermometer that you want to get.

There are primarily three types of aquarium thermometers.

LCD Stick-On Thermometers

This type of thermometer comes in the form of a vertical or horizontal strip that you can stick on the outside wall of the aquarium.

The advantage of getting this type of thermometer is that they’re easy to use and are pretty much unbreakable. They can show you either Celsius or Fahrenheit readings (or both!) and you have the option of placing them on an area that will not obstruct your aquarium’s aesthetics.

One of the downsides of using this, however, is that readings can be inaccurate due to the thermometer being placed outside of the aquarium. The room temperature may also affect the thermometer, so it would be advisable to stick the strip on an area away from direct sources of heat or cold, such as sunlight and air conditioner.

It is also recommended to avoid placing the thermometer below gravel level as the reading may not be as accurate as well.

The most ideal way of using the LCD thermometer is when it’s viewed straight on, as this is how it can read temperature best. This type of thermometer can be hard to read in low light and it does not come with an alert feature.

Standing Or Floating Thermometers

This is the type of thermometer that needs to be submerged in the water.

There are various styles of floating or standing thermometers as well—there is the one that can be stuck to the inner walls of the tank using a suction cup; magnetic one that can be held by a magnet on the outside; those that are hanging by a clip; that can simply free float in the water; and , that weighted down to sink and stand on the bottom of the aquarium.

Regardless of the style of the thermometer, this type can accurately read water temperature as it is submerged. The room or air temperature has no effect on it.

There are disadvantages this type (of thermometer), however. One is the fact that it can be difficult to read—not only because it’s submerged, but also because the scale often has smaller numbers compared to other thermometers.

Another downside is that most of these thermometers are made of glass, which means it is breakable. If your fish moves around a lot, it might not be advisable to use a free floating glass thermometer.

On a good note, there are models that are made of plastic or stainless steel, which are both more durable than glass.

Similar to the stick-on thermometer, this type also does not have any alert features. However, this makes them inexpensive, which may be good if you’re on a tight budget.

While you can choose the style that you prefer, the best way to use a floating or standing thermometer is by sticking them to the inner tank using a suction cup. This way, the device will not get in the way of your fish, plants and ornaments. You also avoid the risk of infecting the water if ever the glass-type thermometer breaks.

Digital Thermometer

These thermometers come with a probe that is placed inside the tank and is connected to a digital display outside. There are models that have a cord physically connecting the probe and the display, while there are also wireless types.

Most of these thermometers are battery-operated, however, some high-end models also come with a plug that you can connect to your wall sockets or to an extension cord.

Some of the pricier models come with an alert feature that will blare an alarm when the temperature rises or falls from the desired range.

Because the probe is dipped into the water, the temperature reading is just as accurate as the floating type. It is also easy to read, similar to the LCD stick-on type, as the display is placed outside the aquarium.

The only drawback for this type is that it’s generally more expensive. Since it’s either battery-operated or plugged, continuous use also means additional expenses.

The most recommended way to use this type of thermometer is to stick the digital display on the outer tank using a suction cup, while the probe is submerged in the water. This way, you can easily view the temperature and the thermometer would not be moved around unnecessarily.

So How Do You Choose a Thermometer?

You have to weigh the pros and cons of each type against your own situation.

If the room where your aquarium is located generally does not change in temperature (e.g. no aircon or vents, thick curtains that prevent sunlight from coming in), then the LCD stick-on may be a good choice.

However, if you’re on a tight budget and your room temperature sometimes goes from warm to cool, it might be a better choice to go for a floating or standing type.

If you have the budget and you want both the accuracy and convenience, the digital type might be the perfect choice.

Another thing to consider is the type of fish residing in your aquarium. Some thermometers have a limited temperature range. For example, most floating and LCD stick-on thermometers can only read from 0 to 40 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, many digital thermometers are capable of reading from -50 up to +70 degrees Celsius. That’s an enormous difference, and it may or may not matter depending on what kind of fish you keep.

Additionally, if you’re a buyer who likes the assurance of having a warranty, this is another factor to think about as well. Many of the thermometers on the cheaper side do not come with warranties.

The amount of cleaning and maintenance you’re willing to do matters as well. If you would prefer not having to clean your thermometer regularly, the LCD stick-on type or the digital type may be more suitable for you.

If you don’t mind cleaning regularly, and would like to save more money, the floating thermometer may be ideal.

5 Top-rated Aquarium Thermometers Reviews

To help you choose, we’ve listed up 5 top-rated aquarium thermometers. All three types—floating or standing, LCD stick-on, and digital—can be seen on this list.

SODIAL(R) New Fish Tank Thermometer

SODIAL(R) New Fish Tank Thermometer

A floating type thermometer that features a suction cup for easy installation. It’s made of glass, and features a green indicator for easier reading.

Since it’s one of the submersible types, it provides an accurate reading of the water temperature.


  • Affordable.
  • Provides accurate temperature reading.
  • Comes with suction cup, hence, easy to install.
  • Has a green indicator for easier reading.
  • Shows both Fahrenheit and Celsius readings.


  • Made of glass and is breakable.
  • Glass type thermometers are also more prone to algae and would need to be cleaned regularly.
  • A limited range of 0 to 40 degrees Celsius.
  • Does not come with alert feature.
  • No warranty.

LCR Hallcrest A-1005 Liquid Crystal Vertical Aquarium Thermometer

LCR Hallcrest A-1005 Liquid Crystal Vertical Aquarium Thermometer

This LCD stick-on thermometer is a vertical model, featuring large numbers that are easy-to-read even from afar.

It is easily installed due to its adhesive back—you just have to stick it on the outer glass. It also shows different colors for more convenient readings.


  • Affordable.
  • Easy to install.
  • No need to clean regularly as it’s supposed to be placed on the outside of the tank.
  • Shows large numbers that allows you to see the readings even from afar.
  • Can provide accurate readings if room temperature is kept consistent.


  • Can provide inaccurate readings if the room temperature changes every now and then.
  • Shows only Fahrenheit readings.
  • Limited range of 66 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Does not come with alert feature.
  • No warranty.

Zacro LCD Digital Aquarium Thermometer

Zacro LCD Digital Aquarium Thermometer

A best-selling digital thermometer that comes with a suction cup, allowing for easier installation. It also has an easy-to-read LCD screen that provides temperature readings to within 0.1 degree.

The probe is connected physically to the thermometer.

The wide temperature range makes this a good choice for those who keep tropical, coldwater, and other types of fish in separate aquariums. LR44 Batteries are also included in the package.


  • Affordable, even though it’s a digital type.
  • Wide range of -50 to +70 degrees Celsius.
  • Can show both Celsius and Fahrenheit readings.
  • Comes with a battery.
  • Easy to install due to suction cup.
  • Has a 24-month warranty.


  • Does not come with alert feature.
  • Pricier compared to the LCD stick-on and floating types.

TAAM Rio Aquarium And Pond Floating Thermometer

TAAM Rio Aquarium And Pond Floating Thermometer

This floating thermometer can be used not only for an aquarium, but also for a pond. It is made of durable plastic that can withstand impacts and can display temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.

It also comes with a 34-inch rope to easily secure it, should you decide to use it on a pond.

Since it is a floating thermometer, it will have more accurate readings compared to the LCD stick-on.


  • More durable compared to its glass counterparts.
  • Can show readings in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.
  • Can be used for both aquariums and ponds.
  • Shows accurate temperature readings because it is submerged in the water.
  • Comes with warranty.


  • Might look big and unsightly on an aquarium.
  • Price is higher than others on this list, despite being a floating thermometer.
  • Limited range of 0 to 50 degrees Celsius.
  • Would also require regular cleaning due to algae.

RISEPRO 2-Pack Digital Water Thermometer

RISEPRO 2-Pack Digital Water Thermometer

The RISEPRO Digital Water Thermometer comes in a pack of two, and it’s surprisingly affordable.

It comes with suction cups that are easy to install and has a wide temperature range of -50 to +70 degrees Celsius. Like most digital thermometers, it is battery-operated and comes with four LR44 batteries, two of which are spare.

It is also packaged nicely in a box that provides instructions.


  • Very affordable – you get two thermometers.
  • Provides extra batteries.
  • Can display temperature both in Celsius and in Fahrenheit.
  • Wide temperature range, which makes it good for any type of aquarium.
  • Suction cups for easy installation.


  • Does not come with warranty.
  • No alert and alarm feature.
  • While affordable, it’s still pricier compared to the LCD stick-on and floating types.

What’s The Verdict?

If you’re finding it hard to decide, our best pick would be the best-selling Zacro LCD Digital Aquarium Thermometer.

It was a close call between the two digital thermometers. After all, the RISEPRO 2-Pack Digital Water Thermometer will give you not one, but TWO thermometers, and extra batteries!

However, the Zacro Thermometer won us over due to its 24-month warranty.

Because of its wide range, it can be used for any type of aquarium, offering flexibility that the LCD stick-on and floating types cannot provide. It’s affordable too!

Regardless, all of these aquarium thermometers are great on their own. They are suitable to the needs of various people…or in this case, fish and plants. You just have to weigh the pros and cons and see which product fits your situation more.

What is your pick?

Another aquarium equipment reviews:

What’s The Best PH Meter For You: Top 5 Reviews

Being able to test hydrogen-ion activity in various products which contain water-based solutions requires accuracy, which is why finding the best pH meter is crucial. PH meters have lots of applications from checking quality control to laboratory processes.

Testing the acidity levels of food and water is probably the most vital uses of pH meters. Practically speaking, you can buy a meter for your own personal use at home or for broader uses such as in research facilities or production companies.

Though there are many products out there, they all vary in features and each has their own benefits and disadvantages. To be able to help you out, we have compiled the information you need in selecting your pH Meters as well as a list of the Top 5 Best pH Meters in 2018.

What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Using PH Meters?

No matter where you would need to use a pH meter, whether in an industrial setting or a clinical setting, knowing all the benefits would help you use them better. Who knows, you may find other uses for pH meters aside from what you already know! So read on and find out the benefits:


Rather than using old fashioned test strips or even having to carry out a titration experiment, using a pH meter to measure the acidity of a given solution is much easier. Having to determine the correct color from test strips and titrations is not really accurate since people may have different perceptions of color. With a pH meter, all you have to do is press a few buttons to control the device and it gives immediate, more precise results.

Purse And Pocket Size

The use of pH meters is truly beneficial as they are usually portable and easy to carry. No matter the meter is placed indoors or outdoors. The good thing is that it is highly portable. What better, that you don't even have to plug it into a socket when you're outdoors or in the field. It happens so as some pH meters are actually battery-operated.

User-Friendly Calibration

Most, if not all, pH meters come with calibration controls, which you will be able to calibrate yourself by following the directions in the manual. Correct calibration is essential in obtaining accurate results, especially if you are doing research or performing an experiment. Regularly calibrated and maintained pH meters will surely last for years to come and save you a lot of money!

Other Benefits also include precision and reliability, objectivity and accessibility of the product.

So What Should You Look For When Finding The Best PH Meter?

Benchtop PH Meters - Standard Vs Extended

Benchtop pH meters are very useful. These versatile versions even have the choice to add on different accessories such as printers and probe arms. The most accurate and multifaceted meters are the benchtop models.

A standard range benchtop meter covers most procedures which involve water-based solutions as it measures the standard pH scale of 0 to 14. An extended range benchtop meter, on the other hand, are used in procedures which need a base acid that falls outside the standard pH scale of 0 to 14.


  • A pH resolution of 0.001 is best for exceedingly sensitive lab applications.
  • A pH resolution of 0.01 or 0.1 can be used in standard lab applications.


When purchasing a pH meter, you must consider its durability. It should be able to withstand the elements, especially if you are to use it outdoors or in the field. It should be impervious to dirt, water and harsh chemicals, which it may come into contact with. For meters which will be used with high temperatures, check that it won't break even at a temperature of at least 71 degrees Celsius.

Automatic Temperature Compensation

Readings may be influenced by the temperature in which they are used. Consider buying a meter with an automatic temperature compensation as this additional feature is very helpful for samples which have a high temperature and no time to be cooled down before being tested.

Without this feature, you may only test samples at room temperature or make use of a temperature compensation chart in order to get the correct reading.

The Modern Touch

It would be very useful to find a meter that connects to a computer, especially when you frequently check many samples at once. Having it connect to a computer, whether using a cable or via bluetooth, will allow you to record the readings and save the important data you need.

Other Important Things To Consider

Level Of Accuracy And Consistency

Since pH meters have different uses, the levels of accuracy vary as well. For instance, measuring the acidity of different foods makes your choice of meter different as well.

You'll need a meter with an accuracy of 0.01 to 0.02 units, especially when the sugar-to-acid ratio is relevant. Incorrect readings may run the risk of permitting foods with dangerously high pH levels to reach the consumers.

For the use of meters in scientific experimentation and research, meters should be accurate within 0.002 pH units. Your pH meters should also consistently produce the same reading every time it is used. If different readings show up, then that means it is not reliable.

Ease Of Operation

Knowing how to calibrate your meter depending on your needs is essential. Accuracy can only be met when your device is correctly calibrated. Go for meters which have at least a 2-point calibration as there are 3 standard solutions for you to calibrate, pH 4, pH 7 and pH 10.

The appropriate style of electrode is also important for you to consider since it again depends on your testing needs. The ease of using your device is highly dependent on this factor. Some pH meters come with many types of electrodes, while others require you to purchase them separately.

Choose the ones with the appropriate electrodes, for example, if your solution is thick, some electrodes may get clogged, then your electrodes may get damaged and your device will be of no use.

Your Budget

Since there are many options to choose from, you have the choice to find the one that suits your budget best. Additional features may mean additional costs. Simpler meters which may cost less still have good basic features, as long as it serves the purpose you need it for.

The Reviews Of The 5 Best PH Meters

Now that you have brushed up on your guidelines for choosing the best pH meter, you need to see and read about different products that are actually on the market. Always keep in mind the different considerations before making your choice. Take note of the purpose for buying a meter as well as the features you may need.



Mettler Toledo's pH meters are the most precise, accurate devices which are easy to use and effortless to maintain! It is best for a wide array of applications and measurements. The innovative design of these products are ensure durability and flexibility for your needs.

These pH meters are sure to stand the test of time as well as different elements and substances they may come into contact with, while still giving precise results. They are used mainly for significant research and development processes as well as for checking quality control.


  • Versatility in function in terms of Process Applications and Laboratory Applications.
  • Wide variety of devices which can be used to keep an eye on and manage industrial processes.
  • Easy to use while still remaining elaborate and flexible.


  • May not be used to test acidity of different food.
  • The laboratory devices are not portable in size.

Orion™ Versa Star Pro™ pH Benchtop Meter

Orion™ Versa Star Pro™ pH Benchtop Meter

Be assured of precision, high performance and undeniable flexibility with the Thermo Scientific™ Orion™ Versa Star Pro™ Benchtop Meter with pH Module. Encounter even the most difficult applications for pH, mV OPR and temperature with this device.

Test results and measurements are shown on the striking color display. The four meter channels are totally customizable and have interchangeable modules.

You will be able to perform up to six point calibrations and record up to 2000 data point sets with a time or date stamp on them. You may also transfer the calibration and data records to a computer or printer!


  • Includes an electrode stand to easily place the sensors in the samples for testing.
  • Includes many accessories such as universal power adaptor, computer interface cable, meter test certificate, etc. 
  • Portable due to its size.
  • Has alarms which notifies you when a set offset value, high/low limit value, and calibration time.
  • Has a Calibration Log which stores up to 30 latest calibrations made.
  • Offers a system access feature that is intended to make sure of data reliability by not allowing unwanted access to different meter functions such as date/time setting, data log and calibration log.


  • May only be used for scientific applications.

Jellas Pocket Size PH Meter / PH Tester / Mini Water Quality Tester For Household Drinking Water, Hydroponics, Aquariums, Swimming Pools, PH 0-14.0 Measuring Range, 0.1PH Resolution (Yellow)

This portable pH meter is small and easy to bring everywhere. Despite its size, it is durable. Because of its size and strength, it is best to use either at home or even at research facilities. It can be used to test the acidity of swimming pools, food and winemaking as well as for bottling tasks. This meter gives precise and accurate results and is very easy to use. It is able to calculate up to a pH range of 0-14.

Simply immersing in the substance which needs to be tested allows the device to quickly measure the pH level when it is activated. It then gives the pH reading on the LCD screen. Easy and precise!


  • Measures pH levels rapidly and accurately.
  • Portable due to its size.
  • Digital LCD that shows clear readings of pH levels.
  • Includes some useful additions


  • Glass bulb sensor is too fragile.
  • The device is not waterproof.

Apera Instruments AI209 PH20 Value Waterproof PH Pocket Tester, ±0.1 pH Accuracy, 0-14.0 PH Range, Complete Kit

Apera Instruments AI209 PH20 Value Waterproof pH Pocket Tester, ±0.1 PH Accuracy, 0-14.0 PH Range, Complete Kit

Small but powerful, this pH meter is among one of the most useful and uncomplicated meters in the market. Among its high performance feature is the auto indication of qualities that give stability which makes gathering data simple and easy.

It also has a built-in self-analysis feature that immediately shows an inaccurate adjustment or estimation.

This device also includes the auto alignment with buffering acknowledgement which gives you an opportunity to get the results you need without having to use straps. This device also has an auto temperature remuneration feature to ensure exact temperature recordings. It is basically a complete package with alignment arrangements of pH 4 and pH 7. It also includes four batteries, which will allow you to make use of it for up to 2000 hours. Finally, the glass knob comes with a 6 month guarantee from the makers.


  • There is a 2 year warranty for the entire product.
  • Gives precise pH readings.
  • Portable and sturdy.
  • It's a complete kit which comes with a first-rate product packaging.


  • Complicated calibration.
  • Handling the device requires much care.

HM DIGITAL PH Meter PH-80 Handheld Water Resistant Water Quality Tester Pen With ATC For Hydroponics Gardening Aquariums Reefs Pools Spas Water Treatment Drinking Water

HM DIGITAL PH Meter PH-80 Handheld Water Resistant Water Quality Tester Pen With ATC For Hydroponics Gardening Aquariums Reefs Pools Spas Water Treatment Drinking Water

This versatile device has a broad spectrum of uses in various applications such as in cultivating, testing waters in swimming pools, spas and aquariums as well as drinking water and nourishment ventures. 

This meter is very easy to use. Some of its features include its portable size, which makes it convenient to carry around.

It has an LCD screen which shows the accurate and rapidly showing results and a programmed temperature remuneration so you don't have to figure out the correct results because of the effect of the external temperature.

The one touch programmed alignment is easy to use as well, which makes it simpler and easier to get results. It can be calibrated to pH 4, pH 7 or pH 10 with a pH range of 0-14. The device contains three 1.5 volts catch cell batteries, a top packaging for competence arrangement and a pH 7.0 cushion.


  • Large LCD for easy to read results.
  • Allows you to measure pH levels and temperature too.
  • Water resistant and waterproof.
  • Includes a data hold function, auto switch off function and a low power indicator.


  • A bit more expensive compared to other pH meters.
  • The cap has no seal lock.

Conclusion – Finding The Best PH Meter Is Easy With The Right Information!

The best pH meters come in different shapes, sizes and prices. Again, the first thing you should consider is what you will use your meter for as every pH meter is different. Some meters can only be used to obtain specific results from specific substance while other, more versatile ones can be used for a plethora of substances to get varied results.

Using a pH meter does not require much effort as long as it is calibrated correctly so remember to read the manual well and follow the steps in it. Also, remember to take good care of your meter as they don't come cheap!

After reading this article, you must have got a good understanding about pH meters. Now, its all upto you, depending on your priority only you can decide which one is the best for you. If portability is your concern, HM DIGITAL PH Meter PH-80 should be your first choice. It also has other advanced features apart from being an ideal PH Meter PH-80. On the other side, if you are looking for a handheld pH Meter which comes with 2 years warranty, then Apera Instruments AI209 PH20 Value deserves to be number one product in your list.

Whichever direction you choose to go, make sure that you are happy with your choice. Do your research and find the best product which will fit your needs. Good luck and have fun searching!
If you are traveling a lot, you may need automatic fish feeder for your fish tank!

The Best Protein Skimmer For Your Aquarium

One way of successfully keeping your aquarium clean and your fishes healthy is through the use of a protein skimmer. The protein skimmer complements the aquarium filter in removing harmful waste materials by removing the excess protein in your aquarium. Protein skimming is a tried and tested process, but choosing the right protein skimmer can be a trial and error process. This article will help you in choosing the right protein skimmer

Quick Look: Top Rated Protein Skimmer For Aquariums

Purpose Of A Protein Skimmer

A protein skimmer is an type of aquarium equipment is commonly used or installed in the maintenance of a saltwater aquarium. It is specially designed to be compatible with aquariums with saltwater for the removal of proteins, dissolved organic compounds (DOC), and other harmful substances from the aquarium before being digested by the bacteria. This results in the slowing down of nitrate build-up, extension of water changes intervals, and prevention of algae build-up. Your tank will have more oxygen available to its inhabitants after the protein skimmer removes wastes before it gets consumed in the biological process.

The protein skimmer is essential and effective for a saltwater aquarium but not the same can be said if it is used in aquariums with freshwater. Fresh water doesn't have as much protein compared to saltwater which is why foam build-up isn’t that much. It doesn’t have any negative effects on freshwater fishes or your tank. The protein skimmer just won’t do much to improve the quality of the freshwater aquarium’s water.

In conclusion, protein skimmers are filters generally best suited for saltwater environments. It is important when it comes to setting up and maintaining saltwater aquariums such as the fish only setup, in which the fish only with live rock or (F.O.W.L.R.) or reef tank setups.

The Protein Skimmer And How It Works

If you are still in the guppy stage of being an aquarium owner, you might want to get a good understanding of the protein skimmer. Here are the basic things that you need to know about an aquarium protein skimmer:

  • The protein skimmer is also known as a foam fractionator.
  • A protein skimmer removes harmful organic and inorganic compounds from your aquarium before they decay and become ammonia and nitrate. It also removes dissolved organic compounds.
  • It maintains and corrects nitrate levels.
  • Protein skimmers remove waste from fish, plants, and invertebrates.
  • A typical protein skimmer is cylindrical or conical. It produces fine air bubbles that serves as an adsorbent. These air bubbles attract waste that rise to the top and then forms into foam. The foam that the waste sticks to is collected in the skimmer’s cup and removed.
  • The collected foamy waste is called “skimmate.”
  • The collection cup of the protein skimmer must be cleaned regularly.

Benefits Of Having A Protein Skimmer

As we’ve mentioned earlier, protein skimmers can be a great help in keeping your aquarium healthy and clean. However, there are still more benefits that you can get with an aquarium protein skimmer. These are:

  • It lowers the nitrate level of your tank by preventing excessive nitrate buildup.
  • It is ideal for reef aquariums since it helps lower the nitrate level which results in healthy corals.
  • It removes biological toxins from the tank.
  • It reduces aggressive algae bloom.
  • It reduces carbon dioxide buildup.
  • It improves and increases the oxygen level of your tank which is great for the health of its inhabitants.

There are plenty of benefits offered by a protein skimmer. You can still have a tank without a protein skimmer but you will have to do frequent partial water changes to avoid algae issues. This will require more effort and time on your part. A Protein skimmer can save you from all that tedious work.

Types Of Protein Skimmers

Protein skimmers come in different shapres and size, but a standard one has at least three components:

  1. The skimmer body.
  2. The air source and foam separation area.
  3. The collection cup.

Skimmers are classified according to their design and how they operate. These classifications are the following:

  1. Co-counter flow systems – air is introduced at the bottom of the skimmer body and comes in contact with the water as it rises towards the collection cup.
  2. Counter-current system – air is forced into the system under pressure and moves against the flow of the water before rising towards the collection cup. The different variations are the pin-wheel, needle-wheel, and the mesh-wheel.
  3. Venturi - a venturi valve which is situated in the intake tube is used to mix in air with the water.
  4. Needle Wheel – a spoked wheel is used which spins and chops up the incoming waterand produce fine bubbles.
  5. Spray Induction – a spray nozzle creates fine bubbles as the water is forced into it.
  6. Downdraft and Beckett – it mixes air and water to create bubbles.

The two most common types of protein skimmers are the Hang On Back (HOB) skimmer, which doesn’t take up any tank space and can be hidden behind the tank with a background, and the In Sump skimmer, which can be placed in your tank.

To learn more about protein skimmers, here is a video you can watch below:

Top Rated Protein Skimmers

Choosing the best protein skimmer for your aquarium can be a grueling task. There a lot of manufacturers who offer products packed with all kinds of promises. Our review can help you pick the protein skimmer that works best for your tank. We have rounded up the top 5 protein skimmers available in the market along with their pros and cons. Check out our list:

Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Skimmer

Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Skimmer

The Bubble-Magus BM-Curve 5 protein skimmer offers advanced features. Installation is easy with this product due to its compact design. It boasts of an internal pump that can perform its functions with efficiency. This protein skimmer is compatible with tanks up to 140 gallons. 

Other features of this product are its needle wheel pump that produces just the right amount and size of air bubbles, a bubble plate that reduces turbulence created in the reaction chamber, a skimmer body that is curved which allows the foam to smoothly rise to the collection cup, and an air silencer that keeps the skimmer running quietly. Cleaning and performing maintenance on it will be an easy task since it has a quick-release collection cup and a collection cup drain.


  • Easy to setup.
  • Pulls skimmate almost immediately. Visible results follow within a day.
  • Good build quality.
  • Fits well in the sump.
  • Runs quietly.
  • Includes a drain plug that helps with easy draining while the sump continues to run.


  • Can be sensitive to depth changes.

Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB Protein Skimmer

Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB Protein Skimmer

The Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB Protein Skimmer is a hang-on back skimmers. If you want to save tank space, then this one is for you. It is capable of filtering aquariums up to 105 gallons. 

The pump is easy to install and also easy to operate since you just need to mount it inside your aquarium. It is equipped with an efficient pinwheel pump. The surface skimmer is also adjustable. This product is made of high-quality acrylic material. This product gets the job done by producing an ideal mix of water and air for superior waste removal.


  • Immediately starts cleaning the tank after installation.
  • Great for saltwater aquariums.
  • Delivers good results and crystal clear water.
  • Works in sump or hang on.
  • Runs quietly.


  • Adjusting can be difficult.
  • Requires adjustment as the water volume decreases with evaporation or increases with water changes.
  • Bulky build.
  • Produces leaks.
  • Collection cup can be hard to clean.

SCA-302 180 Gallon Protein Skimmer (In Sump)

SCA-302 180 Gallon Protein Skimmer (In Sump)

The SCA-302 180 Gallon Protein Skimmer is best suited for saltwater aquarium tanks up to 180 gallons which makes it ideal for large tanks. Its removable cup makes cleaning simple and easy. It features a powerful needle impeller pump.

This product is compact in size and has a compact design so it doesn’t take up much space. You won’t be having problems with compatibility since it fits most sump. Another good thing about this product is that it also comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty on the skimmer body while it has 90 days limited warranty on the pump.


  • Easy to calibrate.
  • Immediately starts skimming after installation and pulling thick skimmate efficiently.
  • Creates very fine bubbles.
  • Creates a wall of white foamy micro bubbles throughout the skimmer.
  • Has a good and compact design Runs quietly.


  • Inlet to the silencer’s is not of high quality materials.
  • Collection cup is tight-fit and hard to remove for cleaning.
  • Water level adjuster is not user-friendly.
  • Skimmer drain hose is short and replacement can be hard to find.

SC Aquariums SCA-301 Protein Skimmer

SC Aquariums SCA-301 Protein Skimmer

The SCA-301 protein skimmer by SC Aquariums is designed to work for saltwater tanks up to 65 gallons. It has a sleek and compact design which is good for aquariums that lack additional space for equipment.

It includes a collection cup that comes with a drain tube, an air silencer for smooth and quiet operation, and a removable cup for convenient cleaning and maintenance. Its pump is powerful enough to perform its functions. This product comes with a limited manufacture warranty that is good for 1 year.


  • Works great on smaller tanks.
  • Easy to clean collection cup. 
  • Simple design and compact.
  • Good performance for its price.
  • Runs quietly.


  • Issue with pump rattling and needing replacement.
  • Sensitive when setting.
  • Excessive production of microbubbles.

AquaMaxx HOB-1 Hang-On-Back Protein Skimmer

AquaMaxx HOB-1 Hang-On-Back Protein Skimmer

The AquaMaxx HOB-1 Hang on Back Protein Skimmer is another hang-on back protein skimmer that features a collection cup that is a responsive and submersible pump that is powerful enough to cater to tanks up to 50 to 75 gallons.

If you have a nano tank or any saltwater aquarium that is smaller in size, you can get this protein skimmer since it has a thin design. This protein skimmer effectively creates a mix of small air bubbles and turbulent water movement to enable protein, waste, and other materials into go to the collection cup. Maintenance and cleaning doesn’t require tedious work since it is equipped with a removable collection cup. The skimmate can also go to a separate container since it has a drain for fitting. This product runs with reduced noise.


  • Easy to assemble.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Water level stays constant in skimmer regardless of tank water level.
  • Runs quietly.
  • Produces bubbles and thick skimmate immediately.
  • Doesn’t require constant adjustment.
  • Noticeable difference in water quality immediately.


  • Continues production of large amounts of microbubbles, however, microbubble stopper is not included and sold separately.
  • Issues with mounting brackets snapping.

From the list of the top-rated protein skimmers in the market, we recommend the Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Skimmer for its high-quality materials and great performance. Its features are easy to understand and use. It’s a good protein skimmer and is very funtional Protein skimmers are important for reef and marine aquariums. However, some aquarium owners neglect this important step.. Corals, reefs, marine and freshwater fishe will benefit from having a protein skimmer. Check out the right protein skimmer for you and get a clean, healthy, and beautiful aquarium.
You also need to read our review about best ph meter.