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The 9 Best Goldfish Filters For Your Tank

Choosing the right goldfish filter is crucial to the health of your fish and the pleasure you get from keeping them.

It is the foundation of a safe habitat for your goldfish in the aquarium.

And let's be honest here:

Even a mediocre filter can reduce the frequency of water changes and save some of your time, but a truly excellent filter will accomplish both that and more.

It's something everyone will love, isn't it?

As a result of research into the merits of each design and extensive testing by many manufacturers, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has compiled a list of the best goldfish filters for your tank, covering a wide range of sizes, shapes, and sizes. form and price.

Well then, stop it. Start it.

The Ultimate Buyer's Guide to Filters for Your Fish Aquarium

A filter is essential for aquariums because.

People who don’t know better could assume that fish don’t need a filter since they can breathe air at the surface of the water.

Despite this, you should still get an aquarium filter for your betta’s tank because they serve many other purposes besides adding oxygen to the water. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to get one, consider these advantages:

  • Fish can live in water with low oxygen levels, but they do better in water with a higher concentration of oxygen.
  • Filters in aquariums may help clean the water by removing waste products from the fish and any remaining food.
  • Chemical filtration filters can remove ammonia and nitrates from the water, among other dangerous substances.
  • For better water quality and a more stable ecology, look for a model that incorporates biological filtration.
  • Due to the fact that male fish must be maintained separately from females, tiny aquariums without filtration are commonly used to house them.
  • To a large extent, the health and longevity of fish may be improved by keeping them in an aquarium that has filtration.

Which Filters Work Best, And Why?

Now that you know why a filter is necessary for your betta, let’s have a look at some of the most common kinds.

Because bettas are sensitive to water movement, a low-flow setting is a must.

Filtration by use of Sponge

These filters are among the simplest and most conventional available. Explain how sponge filters function. Sponge filters are both biological and mechanical, since water is forced through the sponge by air bubbles rising through it.

Due of their lack of strength, they have largely been relegated to the fry and hospital tanks.

However, because air pumps drive sponge filters, you may easily reduce the flow rate to keep your betta fish content.

Filters for High-Order Bode Plots

High-powered Hang-on-Back (HOB) filters employ a pump to circulate water through filtering material (the media used varies by model) before releasing it back into the tank via the return line.

Because of their powerful output flow, many HOBs are inappropriate for betta fish unless they are modified. Nonetheless, there are versions in which the flow rate may be reduced to a trickle without compromising performance.

However, HOBs are commonplace due to the fact that betta tanks are often tiny and they free up space within the aquarium for the residents.

 Filtration Systems using a Canister

Canister filters, like HOBs, work by forcing water through many layers of filtering material. They’re incredibly efficient, but the normal tank might not be able to handle them. If you’re set on a canister design, be sure you can reduce the output to a trickle.

Affiliation:Gravel-Filter Subheading

Water is sucked down beneath the substrate and up through it using a plate and many uptake tubes seen in under gravel filters.

There is no chemical filtration in a UGF, therefore tanks utilizing them can have high levels of nitrates and ammonia. However, the substrate itself works as a filter medium, which is why they are so attractive.

Powerheads on the uptake tubes of certain under-gravel types create a current that is too powerful for fish to swim against.

Reducing Current: A Note

Ideally, you’d get a filter designed for betta fish that doesn’t generate a strong water flow.

However, there are a few things you may do to lessen the current if you discover that the model you selected generates more water flow than you anticipated.

A flow baffle is anything that may be safely used to divert or diffuse the flow of the output or return pipe. Water can be deflected with the use of mesh screens or (empty) soap dishes.

Pantyhose, which many keepers fasten over the water intake pipe to protect the fish’s fins and slow the flow of water through the filter, is another common practice.

In order to diffuse the water and create a tranquil environment for their fish, some individuals prefer to construct a screen out of real plants or appropriate tank decorations in front of the output flow.

Where to Find the Finest Filters and Why?

What features should a good aquarium filter have? Some of the most important characteristics are those listed above.

The rate of production is rather slow. As we’ve already mentioned, betta fish don’t do well in environments with a lot of current. Select a device that generates no current by having a low (or modifiable) output rate.

Your selected model should be efficient, but that goes without saying. If it doesn’t maintain potable water quality, it’s not doing its function.

The malfunctioning or unreliability of your filter is the last thing you need. Choose one from a reputable manufacturer whose products are renowned to last.

Conveniently simple to employ. Something is wrong if you require a Ph.D. in engineering to operate the aquarium filter you’ve picked. Pick one that doesn’t require much effort to get up and running.

A voice in the media. In order to make your life simpler, each type of filter media should be easily accessible and changeable without affecting the others. If the filter you want to use requires special cartridges, be sure you can easily find them.

Appropriate for the dimensions of your fish tank. When shopping for a filter, it’s important to keep in mind that different models are designed for different sized aquariums.


You should make sure that the filtration system you put in your aquarium fits your needs, the needs of the fish you keep, and the needs of the aquarium itself.

Filter systems are stronger, more expensive, or more obvious than those that are more secretive, less effective, or unsafe for fish.

Placing the fish first has always been and will continue to be BetsForPets’ number one recommendation BestForPets (bestforpets.org).

Want the best for your pet? This is our best performing canister filter by Fluval.

In the end, you will save time and effort by maintaining a clean, well-filtered aquarium that has the best goldfish filters for your tank for your goldfish.


Performance Canister Filter by Fluval

  • All the way up to 30 gallons
  • Volume: 20-45 Gallon
  • Quantity: 40-70 gallons
  • Quantity: 40-125 gallons

If you have a large tank with plenty of fish, a canister filter is the way to go. Water is pushed down from the tank and flushed through the filter before being pumped back up into the tank, hence the filters must be placed below the level of the tank.

This design allows the filter to be concealed, so it won’t detract from the overall appearance of the tank.

In order to effectively remove big particles from the water, a sponge filter should be placed on the intake of your Fluval Performance canister filter.

This prevents tank inhabitants, such as fry, from being pulled into the filter when it’s time to clean. Comparable to HOB filters, this one does mechanical, chemical, and biological filtering. Since it is so big, this filter may be loaded with bioballs or ceramic rings that foster the development of beneficial microorganisms.

The new and improved Performance canister filter from Fluval is 25% quieter than its predecessor and will not disturb your fish with its constant humming.

Even though hand pumping is necessary to get this filter going for the first time, after it’s up and running, it shouldn’t need to be touched again until the filter is switched off. The energy expenses are minimally affected by the use of the Fluval Performance filter.


  • Excellent solution for bloated fish ponds
  • Is discrete enough to be stored away
  • Filtration in three stages
  • There is a wide range of options for filter media.
  • Compared to its predecessors, this model is 25% quieter.
  • Saves energy
  • Up to 125 gallons can be stored in any of the four sizes.


  • Be lower than the tank’s rim.
  • Pumping by hand for initial pressure
  • The filter input can be used to catch small animals like shrimplets and fry.


The Power Filter from MarineLand, the Penguin 100

  • As much as 10 gallons
  • 10-20 gallons
  • 30-50 gallon range
  • The maximum capacity is 75 gallons.

The HOB filter from MarineLand is the Penguin. This particular filter hangs from the tank’s rear, making it unobtrusive and taking up minimal room.

The noise level of these filters varies, however this one operates with just a faint hum throughout operation. It’s multi-purpose design allows the tank to be filtered mechanically, biologically, and chemically.

This implies that water is drawn from the tank and transported to a separate chamber, where it is filtered using a series of filters before being returned to the tank.

Mechanical filtration occurs when water is filtered by floss filter medium. As a last step in the chemical filtering process, it is passed via activated carbon within the filter cartridge. The ammonia and nitrate that are present in the water are removed by the activated carbon.

The innovative BIO-wheel of the MarineLand Penguin is where the beneficial bacteria that are vital to maintaining clean and healthy aquariums are housed. Because of its increased surface area, the BIO-wheel promotes the development of beneficial microorganisms.

And when the water slowly circles back into the tank, it swirls softly, making a soothing trickling sound. Although most fish and invertebrates should be safe from the tank’s moderate suction, little fry or shrimplets may get pulled into it without an additional sponge filter.


  • Not very room-hogging in the tank
  • Has a low operating noise level
  • Filtration in three stages
  • Colonies of good bacteria can flourish on the BIO-expansive wheel’s surface.
  • Makes the sound of water rushing, which is quite relaxing.
  • The majority of fish and invertebrates should be safe from consumption.
  • There are four sizes ranging from 15 to 75 gallons.


  • The sound of water running might be annoying to some.
  • The filter input can be used to catch small animals like shrimplets and fry.


The Best Undergravel Filter on the Market, by Lee

  • As much as 10 gallons
  • as much as 29 gallons
  • To a maximum of 65 gallons

The surface area they give for beneficial bacteria and their capacity to filter waste make undergravel filters a viable choice, especially in goldfish tanks.

Undergravel filters can be used with pebbles, bio growing clay pebbles, or even sand; however, gravel should be avoided since it might suffocate goldfish. Using a powerhead pump and an undergravel filter in reverse allows for the installation of a pre-filter sponge, which is ideal for removing larger particles of dirt from the water.


  • Provides a lot of room for helpful microorganisms to colonize.
  • Compatible with a wide range of substrates
  • It’s possible to use a motorized head with it to pick up massive pieces of trash.
  • Choose from three sizes ranging from 35 to 65 gallons.


  • Features only rudimentary mechanical and no chemical filtering
  • For optimal results, combine with another kind of pump or filter.
  • Caution: unsuitable for use with tanks that have no bottom


Two-Sponge Filter from Hygger for Fish Tanks

  • Size:10-40 Gallon
  • Ranges from 15 to 55 gallons

Although effective on their own, sponge filters shine even brighter when combined with those of other sorts.

Sponge filters, which are submerged in the water at the intake, trap big debris and prevent the ingestion of small fish fry, shrimplets, and ill or weak fish.

As a matter of fact, these are a great choice for holding tanks used throughout the quarantine and spawning processes.

The water in the Hygger Double Sponge filter is filtered twice, once by each sponge. Finally, the water is filtered via ceramic balls, where good microorganisms can thrive. Unless supplemented by another form of filter, they are not the ideal choice for big or overstocked tanks.


  • Not harmful to juvenile shrimp or fry.
  • Potentially useful for minimizing floating trash
  • Provides a lot of room for helpful microorganisms to colonize.
  • Best for use in holding and breeding tanks


  • Combining it with another kind of filter maximizes its effectiveness.
  • Disadvantageous for aquariums that are too big or have too many fish.
  • Features only rudimentary mechanical and no chemical filtering
  • Two sizes, maximum 55 gallons each, are offered.


Internal Power Filter by Aqueon for Quiet Flow

Filtration may be done on a biological, chemical, and mechanical level with the Aqueon Quietflow model. It performs a great job of preserving pure water since it offers all three types of filtration.

The fact that the Quietflow has a limited lifetime guarantee demonstrates its high build quality and dependability.

The flow rate, flow direction, and flow height may all be modified to meet the specific requirements of your betta fish.

Which Tank Dimensions Does It Support?

The series includes four sizes that may be used with 10, 15, 30, and 40 gallon aquariums, respectively.

What’s It Like to Use?

While the Aqueon Quietflow requires nothing in the way of setup, it is inconvenient to have to remove the whole thing from the tank and disassemble it in order to swap out the cartridges containing the media.


  • Terrorist-free zone
  • Superior flow regulation with a wide range of settings
  • features chemical, biological, and mechanical filtering


  • Problematic filter media replacement
  • Only Aqueon cartridges are allowed, no outside media.


This is a 110V version of the AquaClear Power Filter

An efficient and simple filter is available here for your betta fish’s needs. AquaClear’s version includes all three types of filtering systems: mechanical, chemical, and biological. 

The refiltration system allows for additional media interaction, increasing the efficiency of the filtration process.

Although the maximum output rate provides too much water flow for a betta fish, the output may be regulated to a more manageable level.

Users report that this is a high-quality filter that lasts a long time and doesn’t break down easily.

Which Tank Dimensions Does It Support?

This particular type is ideal for betta fish tanks ranging in size from five to twenty gallons in capacity. However, there are possibilities for tanks as large as 110 gallons, as it is available in four different sizes.

What’s It Like to Use?

The AquaClear’s HOB design makes it a breeze to set up. The filter medium can be easily maintained and replaced because it is housed in a separate box outside of the tank.


  • Compatible with seven times as much filter material as competing models
  • There is minimal effort required to alter the flow rate.
  • Allows for Highly Efficient Filtration


  • A less hushed alternative
  • Pre-start/restart manual filling is required.


Penn Plax 5.5 Gallon Aquarium Cfu55Ug Flywheel Filter

This Penn Plax filter is an excellent option if you need an under-gravel filter for a small aquarium. This method can be useful, however the quality of the filtered water will depend on the substrate used.

Some customers have said the water flow is sufficient for a betta tank, while others have said it is inadequate. To keep betta fish healthy, you should use an air pump with as little force as possible.

However, it seems to be a safe and dependable option.

Which Tank Dimensions Does It Support?

This particular variant is restricted to tanks no larger than 5.5 gallons in capacity.

What’s It Like to Use?

All under gravel filters are simple to install when starting with a blank slate for a new aquarium, but adding one to an established tank is quite challenging.

Since they are buried, you must begin with a dry aquarium, lay the plate on the bottom, and then cover it with substrate before adding water.

The substrate in your aquarium may also be used as a filter media, so there’s no need to worry about replacing any material.


  • Almost no upkeep is necessary
  • Silent
  • Inexpensive


  • There is no chemical filtering system in place.
  • Debris on the substrate can be removed by using a vacuum cleaner.
  • Too much water pressure


External Canister Filter, up to 10 Gallons Capacity, Zoo Med Nano 10

The Zoo Med Nano 10 is a compact canister filter that excels in efficiency and effectiveness, and which effectively filters water using mechanical, chemical, and biological means.

This is a fantastic option if you want a product that will last for a long time and won’t break down frequently. While it may have a higher price tag than some other options, it is well worth it.

The production rate is where people’s views begin to diverge. It’s either complete power or nothing, and there’s no between ground.

Users report mixed results, with some saying the water flow is too weak for their betta fish and others saying the opposite—that is, unless they take further precautions.

Which Tank Dimensions Does It Support?

Tanks up to 10 gallons in size can use the Zoo Med Nano 10. For betta tanks under 10 gallons, we wouldn’t suggest it due to the increased water movement, and the inability to control the flow rate.

What’s It Like to Use?

We like that this filter doesn’t need to be submerged in water, making it easier to maintain and clean, and also to swap out the media when it becomes clogged.


  • Offers Reliable Filtration for Any Need, Including Mechanical, Chemical, and Biological
  • Terrorist-free zone
  • Quite simple to employ


  • No rerouting of the flow
  • Not the cheapest choice here


The AZOO Mignon 60 Filter for Fish Tanks

The included material in the AZOO Aquarium Mignon Filter 60 isn’t the most efficient, but by swapping it out with media of your choosing, you may increase efficiency to more than adequate for a small aquarium.

If the water flow is too intense at maximum strength, you may easily reduce it to provide a more tranquil environment for your betta fish.

As a budget option, this filter isn’t the strongest or most dependable on the market, but it’s quite cheap.

Which Tank Dimensions Does It Support?

Unfortunately, many betta keepers will discover that it isn’t effective enough for their aquariums because it’s only designed for tanks up to 3.5 gallons.

What’s It Like to Use?

The AZOO Aquarium Mignon Filter 60 is a HOB, thus its assembly, replacement of media, and cleaning are as simple as they come.


  • Ample room for your preferred filtering materials
  • Keeping running at a very low decibel level
  • Flow rate modulation


  • That’s because the media are useless.
  • Requires refilling by hand after being turned off

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


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