BestForPets is reader-supported. Your purchases via our links may earn us an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Our Affiliate Disclaimer

9 Best Budget Friendly Goldfish Tank Filters – Reviews & Top Picks

Goldfish are aquarium dwellers that are notorious for being messy that produce a significant amount of waste. Poor water quality is a major cause of disease and mortality in goldfish, so keeping the water clean is an essential part of goldfish management.

Water filtration systems are one of the best methods to ensure that your water is safe to drink. The good news is that even if your finances are low, you can still get a great goldfish tank filtration system.

For goldfish tank owners looking for a budget-friendly filtration system, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has recommended the best budget-friendly goldfish tank filters for you.

The Buyer's Manual

What to Consider When Buying a Goldfish Aquarium Filter


For a goldfish tank, size is one of the most important aspects. Goldfish filtration should not be scaled back to fit a smaller tank; if your tank is 40 gallons, your filter should also be 40 gallons. You won’t overfill your tank, but you may easily underfill it.

Stock in the tank

Your tank’s water quality is the most important factor to consider when purchasing a filter. One goldfish need far less filtration than ten goldfish in any tank, regardless of its size or the number of goldfish.

There are a number of other critters that may increase the amount of filtration you’ll need in your tank: plecos and mystery snails are two examples of heavy bioload animals; tiny fish and dwarf shrimp are examples of low bioload animals.

Availability of Room

Take into account the quantity of room you have both inside and outside of your tank. Do you have a desktop tank or a centerpiece for your living room?

Canister filters don’t take up as much interior room as internal filters, but they do necessitate floor or under-tank space. Some rimless tanks aren’t sturdy enough to handle a HOB filter, and HOB filters require rim space.

Are There Any Filter Options?

  • Filters with a “hang-on-back” (HOB) design have an intake tube that extends into the tank, and the filter’s main body hooks over the tank’s edge. HOB filters are the most widely used and widely available filter. However, they are not always the most appealing alternative.
  • Internal filters work in a similar fashion to HOB filters, however they are mounted to the side of the tank under the waterline.. Tanks larger than 50 gallons may not benefit from these filters, although they can be an effective complement to larger ones. They are capable of operating independently in micro to medium-sized aquariums.
  • A canister filter is a type of filter that sits on the floor near the tank or on a shelf or in a cabinet and is thought to be more strong and effective than other types of filters. Unlike a HOB filter, these filters have an input that extends into the water but the remainder of the filter is completely exterior. A series of hoses takes water from the tank, through the canister’s filter medium, and back into the tank.
  • Sponge filters should not be used alone in goldfish aquariums. Its primary purpose is to enhance the surface area for beneficial microorganisms. They only perform biological filtration, drawing relatively little waste from the water column. When used with another filtration system, sponge filters are a fantastic addition to goldfish aquariums.


There are many cheap goldfish aquarium filters that BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hasn’t even mentioned here, but below are the best budget-friendly goldfish tank filters. If you want an easy-to-use, efficient and effective power filter, then the Marineland BIO-Wheel Emperor Aquatic Source Filter is the answer for you.

The Aquatop Hang-On Back Sterilizer Aquarium UV Source Filter, with its four-stage filtration and UV sterilization but high price, is the premium choice, while the Tetra Whisper Aquarium Internal Source Filter is the price. final value. multi.

Keeping your filtration system within budget is as simple as choosing filters with the right warranty and the ability to customize filter media. Your filter will last longer if you take care of it properly, including regular cleaning and maintenance.


Oceanic Aquarium Power Filter by Bio-Wheel Empire by Marineland

  • At three GPH, Marineland BIO-Wheel Emperor filters In-Tank
  • Filtration: 450 gallons
  • The HOB kind of filter
  • Cost: $$

When it comes to a goldfish tank filter, the greatest overall value for money is the Marineland BIO-Wheel Emperor Aquarium Power Filter. Tanks up to 90 gallons can benefit from this filter’s 450 GPH filtration capacity, which makes it an excellent choice for goldfish ponds, particularly those between 40 and 50 gallons in size.

A revolutionary BIO-Wheel enables for optimal colonization of helpful bacteria in the three-stage filtration of this hang-on back filter. Dual impellers provide for optimum efficiency and power in this design. To accommodate tanks of varying sizes, the intake tube may be extended to fit.

The BIO-Wheel can only be changed with other Marineland BIO-Wheels, however the filter cartridges may be replaced with your choice filter media. There must be 3-4 inches of space between the tank and the wall for this big HOB filter.


  • Filtration using three stages
  • Filters 450 gallons per hour.
  • Tanks up to 90 gallons can use this product.
  • The BIO-Wheel promotes the most beneficial development of bacteria possible.
  • The use of two impellers ensures maximum efficiency.
  • Intake tube that may be extended
  • You have the option of changing the media in your filter cartridges.


  • It is only possible to replace a BIO-Wheel with another BIO-Wheel.
  • Up to 4 inches of space between tank and wall required for use of Aquarium Power
  • Best of the Best

This internal aquarium power filter from Tetra is the best deal available.

  • Stages of Filtration: 3 GPH 10-20 gallon, 20-40 gallon tank sizes may be accommodated with this filter.
  • The filter type is internal.
  • Cost: $

Since it is inexpensive and utilizes a three-stage filtration system, the Tetra Whisper Internal Aquarium Power Filter is the finest value for money goldfish tank filter. The BioScrubbers in this filter provide a large surface area for the colonization of beneficial microorganisms. BioScrubbers are a one-time purchase and never require replacing.

The 10-20 gallon and 20-40 gallon tank sizes of this filter are available. In the case of a goldfish tank, a larger filter may be necessary. 125 GPH is processed by the smaller filter, whereas 175 GPH is processed by the bigger filter. The big Whisper Bio-Bag cartridges are used in both sizes.

The suction cups that hold this filter in place may come free if the tank is disturbed. It’s not exactly “whisper” quiet, and some people may find it too loud.


  • The best deal available.
  • Filtration using three stages
  • Filters with a flow rate of 125/176 GPH
  • Tanks up to 40 gallons can use this product.
  • To maximize the development of beneficial bacteria, use BioScrubbers.
  • Mesh media bags, the most common type of cartridge replacement, can be used.
  • BioScrubbers never require replacement


  • Can be readily dislodged from the surface
  • Some may find it unbearably loud.

Aquarium Canister Filter by Penn-Plax

  • Stages of Filtration: 3 GPH 115, 185, 315, 350 were filtered.
  • 30 gallons, 65 gallons, 150 gallons, and 200 gallons of storage space are all available.
  • A canister filter is used.
  • Cost: $$$

If you want a heavy-duty canister filter that won’t break the bank, the Penn-Plax Cascade Aquarium Canister Filter is a great option. It comes with all the pipes and equipment needed for installation and is available in four sizes for tanks up to 200 gallons.

The big filter trays of this filter make it easy to customize the filter media and provide plenty of room for a significant amount of media. It’s straightforward to set up and maintain since it features a push-button primer, valve taps that rotate 360 degrees, and flow control valves. Three-stage filtration and a rubber base make this filtration system safe to use.

If you’re new to canister filters, this filter may be difficult to set up because it doesn’t come with detailed instructions. This filter may become quite noisy if the impeller has to be replaced soon. This filter’s rubber feet are readily removable and easily misplaced.


  • Filtration using three stages
  • Up to 200-gallon tanks are suitable.
  • 350 GPH Filtration Capability
  • It’s possible to store more media and customize the filter with larger media trays.
  • This package contains everything you’ll need to complete the installation.
  • A rubber base and a push-button primer are included.


  • Instructions are lacking in detail.
  • In time, the impeller may get louder.
  • Rubber soles may be readily removed.

Aquarium Fish Tank Filter: Seachem Tidal 75-gallon

  • Four GPH Filtration Stages Filtered: 350
  • Size of the tank: 75 gallons
  • The HOB kind of filter
  • Cost: $$

Proteins and oils may be removed from fish tank water with the Seachem Tidal 75-Gallon Aquarium Fish Tank Filter’s three stages of filtration and surface skimming. With a filtering capacity of 350 GPH, it can handle tanks as large as 75 gallons. It contains a flow-adjustment knob so that you may change the filter material in the media basket and get the flow you desire.

The filter’s design allows water to bypass some of the filter media if it becomes clogged, thus it’s critical to check that the filter media isn’t clogging in order to keep the filter working properly. This HOB filter requires a 3.5-inch gap between the tank and the wall to fit.


  • Filtration in four stages
  • Comes with an adjustable flow knob and a surface-skimmer.
  • Tanks up to 75 gallons can use this product.
  • Up to 350 GPH of powerful filtration.
  • Filter media baskets that may be customized


  • Some filter media may be bypassed by water.
  • A 3.5-inch gap between the tank and the wall is required.

Power Filter 5-20 Gallons AquaClear

  • Stages of Filtration: 3 GPH 100 gallons have been purified; tank capacity is 20 gallons.
  • The HOB kind of filter
  • Cost: $$

The AquaClear Power Filter 5-20 Gallons, a three-stage filtration solution for smaller goldfish tanks, is a good choice. Nano goldfish tanks under 10 gallons benefit the most from this filter, even though it is designed for larger aquariums.

There is less room between the tank and the wall with this HOB filter than with most other models. It has a filter media basket that is easily accessible and a flow control knob. It is possible to recirculate at least half of the water inside of the filter many times with the water flow set to the lowest possible level.

Because it only handles 100 gallons per hour, this filter is on the low end. A clogged filter media may prevent water from passing through the filter media and returning to the tank as intended.


  • Filtration using three stages
  • One of the best micro tanks out there
  • Access to the filter media basket is a breeze.
  • In comparison to other HOB filters, this one has a smaller space between the wall and tank.
  • Recirculation is possible thanks to the flow rate being fully programmable.


  • Suitable for tanks of up to 10 gallons
  • It can only process 100 gallons of blood per hour.
  • Some filter media may be bypassed by water.

Author Image

Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler


Rated 0 out of 5
0 out of 5 stars (based on 0 reviews)
Very good0%

There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.

Related articles