Submersible filters or internal aquarium filters are one of the more popular types of aquarium filters available for aquarium owners. They have a very compact form factor, they make little noise, they don’t need active cooling, and they filter water faster than some external filters. In this article, we will go over some of the best internal aquarium filter available on the market. With so many options on the market, we have streamlined our search and limited it to just fifteen great filters.
Note when selecting the Internal Aquarium Filter
Internal filters might go inside the tank instead of hanging on the side. They come with three-stage filtration, cartridges, flow control, and other nifty features.
Three-stage Filtration System
The three-stage filtration refers to three levels of filtering applied by filter manufacturers to clean out the aquarium filter during each filtering cycle. The three stages are;
This refers to removing the debris, dirt, and fecal matter produced by the fishes or you during feeding sessions. The filter runs the water through mechanical filtration, and everything remotely solid is not allowed to flow through.
This deals with removing the discoloration and odor present in the tank water after accumulated use. The chemical process uses a similar filtration system as mechanical; only it clears the water instead of removing debris.
This level of filtration specifically targets nitrates, and ammonia and tries to convert it to nitrite. This level of filtration is also responsible for cultivating healthy bacteria.
Depending on the size of your aquarium or preferred body of water, you will need varying sizes of water filters. Most aquarium users have average-sized tanks- 50 gallons of water. So, most of the filters on our list can handle at least 50 gallons of water. Some will handle much more.
Cleaning Your Filter
Cleaning your filter is an unavoidable part of its routine upkeep. The first and most essential rule to maintaining a healthy tank is to always use aquarium water to kill. Using tap water will compromise the ecosystem and bacteria already cultivated in the tank. Such a sudden change can affect and even kill your fishes.
Top 15 Best Internal Aquarium Filters
These are fifteen of the most impressive aquarium filters on the market. Each of them has unique features and varying capacities that make them all perfect for your tank.
MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter
The MarineLand Magnum Canister filter is a submerged fast-acting filter that automatically powers on without priming. It features versatile filtration with two refillable carbon chambers. It’s suitable for aquariums with over 90 gallons of water, and it filters about 290 gallons of water per hour.
It uses advanced water filtration technology based on high-quality micron cartridges. This adds another layer of clarity and purity to the water. It comes with a spare magnum polishing canister filer to get you through your first few filtering cycles.
Cascade Plax 610 Cascade Corner
The Cascade Plax 610 is a fully submersible noiseless filter that filters about 160 gallons of water per hour. It comes with an innovative spray bar that helps with the distribution of healthy filtered water throughout the entire tank. It is easy to set up in and use during the filtration process.
This water works great for both marine and freshwater aquariums, and it handles up to 50 gallons of water. It comes with three-stage filtration that promises clean filtration and proper aeration both above and beneath the surface. It is great for both terrariums and aquariums.
Tetra Whisper Power Filter for Aquariums
The Tetra whisper is a mechanical filter that uses dual-sided mesh technology to systematically clean tanks from waste and pollution in tanks. Despite operating with distinct mechanical features, it is relatively quiet. And it uses the tried and true 3-stage filtration process.
Its biological filtration feature creates a distinct environment where aerobic bacteria can thrive. The bacteria will help eliminate ammonia and nitrates. This filter can effortlessly filter up to 60 gallons of tank water, depending on the model you get. It filters up to 240 gallons of water per hour, and it comes with a two-year limited warranty.
Hygger Sponge Filter Aquarium Filter
The Hygger sponge filter is a three-stage submersible filter that removes particles, coloration, ammonia and nitrates. It comes in various sizes, and its largest size can filter tanks with about 55 gallons of water and comes with a compact form factor, and it can filter more than 100 gallons of water per hour.
The Hygger with a spare filter box and sponge kit that covers your fish’s need daily, it’s completely noiseless, and it comes with a suction cup for the tank wall. It also features an air hose that allows you to accurately control the water flow of the filter.
Xpertmatic Submersible Aquarium Filter with Water pump
The Xpertmatic is a fully submersible aquarium filter with a powerful water pump and three-stage filtration. It produces less than 35db of sound during filtration, and it works well in shallow and larger tanks.
The Xpertmatic comes with a suction cup that allows you to attach it to the side of your tank. It can filter up to 264 gallons of water per hour. It works fine in both freshwater and saltwater tanks. You can also attach it to fountains, or smaller bodies of water. It has a compact form factor and it’s easy to swap out filters or bio-bags.
Hydra 50 Internal Filter for 125-200 gallons
The Hydra 50 internal filter is a quiet, compact power filter for large aquariums or fountains. It features groundbreaking hydro-Pure technology that controls the growth and removal of ammonia and nitrate in the tank. It’s made from environmentally-friendly plastics and can filter up to 800 liters of water every hour.
It is easy to deconstruct and clean. And it comes with a relatively quiet motor. It is incredibly energy efficient, and it has a power valve that controls the output of the filter. The filters are surprisingly easy to swap out and is runs on very little power.
Sun 13W UV Sterilizer Adjustable Pump Filter
The Sun 13W UV filter is a power-efficient filtering marvel that can handle a 150-gallon tank with just an 8-watt water pump. Typically, its recommended for a 40-75-gallon tank, but it can take something a bit larger.
Various models of this pump come with an adjustable nozzle that allows you to increase or decrease the flow or clean rate of the filter. It has the standard three-stage filtration system, and it comes with the added feature of complete sterilization in preparation for cleaning.
MarineLand Penguin 350 Bio-Wheel Power Filter
The MarineLand Penguin power filter is a unique filter that runs on a biological filtration system that eliminates impurities and coloration from the aquarium. Like most aquariums on the market, it uses multi-stage filtration. It works just fine in both freshwater and saltwater environments.
Depending on what size of filter you decide to buy, the water capacity could range from 20 gallons to 70-gallon tanks. This model features an impressive conversation rate that ensures that at least 350 gallons of water gets filtered every hour.
Fluval Underwater Filter
The Fluval underwater filter is a freshwater and saltwater aquarium filter with three-stage filtration and a maximum capacity of about 75 gallons. It is incredibly silent and efficient. And it filters debris and provides stellar biological filtration.
It comes with 3-way flow control that allows various levels of control over the filter output. It also comes with two foam pads, carbon cartridges, and about 40 grams of bio-max. This way, you will have everything you need for the first few weeks of use. It can covert more than 100 gallons of water every hour, and can be installed both vertically and horizontally depending on the depth of the tank you choose to use.
Sicce Shark Internal Aquarium Filter
The Sicce Shark is a compact internal filter that uses the proprietary Venturi system that improves oxygen distribution during filtering. It uses the popular three-step filtration process that safeguards the health of your fish. Speaking of the health of your fish, it also comes with a customizable intake valve that allows you to prevent your fish from getting into your filter.
It features a sleek and elegant body that is both convenient and versatile. It can filter over 200 gallons of water per hour, and it can handle tanks that are at least 50 gallons of water.
Amdeal Water pump Aquarium 400GPH submersible water filter
The Amdeal water pump is a high-performance water pump/filter for all types of freshwater and saltwater tanks. It was built from eco-friendly ABS plastic with resin. It provides precise control over the water valve, speed, and water flow. It’s nearly noiseless, and it uses a low impact 15-watt engine. It comes with large suction cups that allow you to attach them to tanks, fountains, etc.
Zilla Internal Filter for Aquatic Reptiles
The Zilla internal filter for aquatic reptiles is the perfect filter for your medium-sized aquarium/terrarium. It can handle up to 40 gallons of water, and it has the standard three-stage filtration clean up and purify both aquariums and terrariums too.
The Zilla comes with suction cups to help you attach it to the tank wall. It also comes with protective grates that allow you to prevent your reptiles and fish from getting into the filter. It’s great for both salt and freshwater aquariums.
NO. 17 Submersible Aquarium Internal Filter
The NO. 17 submersible is a heavy-duty, low-power aquarium filter capable of filtering over 400 gallons of water per hour. It’s practically noiseless, and it comes with a key that allows you to adjust the flow of the water.
It has two nozzles that you can periodically clean, and it comes with an extensive three-stage filtration process. It comes with an impressive 180-day warranty that covers all sorts of common problems and maintenance problems. This aquarium filter is perfect for numerous aquarium sizes. You can use it with your 50-gallon tanks.
Whisper In-Tank Filter with Bio-Scrubber
The whisper submersible filter is a noiseless all-in-one pump and water filter for aquariums. It comes with an internal clip that allows you to mount it on the side of your tank. It has with a two-layer mesh that adds another layer of protection to the mechanical filtration system.
This powerful filter can clean more than 120 gallons of water per hour during use. It is convenient to use, and it comes with interchangeable cartridges and bio-bags. It also comes with a quick flush feature that allows you to completely clean out the entire filter with a single button.
Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power filter
The Aqueon is a lot more impressive than your typical internal aquarium filter available on the market. Despite its compact size, it can handle small to medium-sized tanks with ease. It is fully submersible, and it features three-stage filtration that removes particles, debris, toxins, odor, and discoloration.
Aqueon uses a patented BioGrid technology to remove toxins like ammonia and nitrates from the tank. This tank is completely noiseless, and it is allergen-free. It is easy to set up, use and is great for both salt and freshwater aquariums.
Internal filters are a lot different from hanging filters or external filters set up next to an aquarium. They offer more versatility, and their uses are not often limited to just a single type of tank. In this post, we covered some of the best internal aquarium filters on the market, highlighting a few options that truly offered more than they retail for. Dealing with internal filters tends to be more manageable than external filters. Periodic cleaning and flow management can sometimes make them a bit more difficult to handle. We recommend always choosing models with variable flow control. Perfect flow control could save the life of your fish.