It’s true that there are many filters available on the market all with varying levels of reliability, longevity and effectiveness and basically you get what you pay for. There are plenty of budget filters available with some success stories but I would not be tempted to go for the cheap route when it comes to buying a filter as it is essentially the lifeline of your aquarium. A good filter may set you back a few pounds more but in the long run it will be worth it. There are other accessories and equipment that you can easily save money on but the filter should be looked at as a long term investment.
External filters are great for medium to larger aquariums and provide powerful filtration with bigger media baskets to remain effective for a larger volume of water, however, some of the smaller models can also be used in small aquariums. Internal filters are generally less powerful and are great for the smaller aquarium however they can take up a lot of space in the tank and become unsightly. There are compact internal filters which solve that issue but lack the same power and efficiency. Below are some of the best brands and models available on the market and you will see that they don’t cost a fortune unless you have a massive tank in which case you are probably happy to pay the price! By clicking on each filter model you will be redirected to the purchase page on Amazon where you can see the full specifications of each model and the price.
Fluval by Hagen:
I am personally a big fan of Fluval products and not just the filters. From experience their filters have been by far the most reliable and with proper maintenance you will get years out of them! Not only that by going for a popular brand should anything go wrong and you need parts or replacements you can easily find them on the market. Fluval filters cost more than most of the other brands I have seen but they receive a lot of positive reviews for their performance and reliability so personally the slight gap in price is worth it. Even their smaller internal filters suitable for the smaller aquarium are powerful and have multiple trays for media. Fluval external filters have an adjustable water flow rate so they can even be used in the smaller aquariums. Below is a list of Fluval filters currently available on the market.
External Fluval filters:
- Fluval 106 External Filter – Smallest external filter in the Fluval range, suitable for aquariums up to 100L
- Fluval 206 External Filter – Suitable for aquariums up to 200L
- Fluval 306 External Filter – Suitable for aquariums up to 300L
- Fluval 406 External Filter – Suitable for aquariums up to 400L
- Fluval FX4 External Filter – New to the market and extremely powerful, suitable for aquariums up to 1000L
- Fluval FX6 External Filter – Even more powerful than the FX4 and suitable for the larger aquariums of up to 1500L
Internal Fluval Filters:
- Fluval U1 Internal Filter – Smallest internal filter in the Fluval range, suitable for aquariums up to 55L
- Fluval U2 Internal Filter – Suitable for aquariums up to 110L
- Fluval U3 Internal Filter – Suitable for aquariums up to 150L
- Fluval U4 Internal Filter – Largest internal filter in the Fluval range, suitable for aquariums up to 240L
Another good brand of filter available on the market. Tetra make both internal and external filters but have a smaller range of filters compared to Fluval they are generally cheaper in price. Tetra filters offer power saving technology which is great for the environment and for your electricity bills, like other canister (external) filters the Tetra range has a number of trays suitable for various types of media. Internal filters while they do have media they are naturally smaller and thus not as effective as external filters especially when it comes to larger aquariums. Below is a list of Tetra filters currently available on the market.
External Tetra Filters:
- Tetra EX600 Plus External Filter – Suitable for aquariums up to 120L
- Tetra EX800 Plus External Filter – Suitable for aquariums up t0 300L
- Tetra EX1200 Plus External Filter – Suitable for aquariums up to 500L
Internal Tetra Filters:
- Tetra IN400 Plus Internal Filter – Suitable for aquariums up to 60L
- Tetra IN600 Plus Internal Filter – Suitable for aquariums up to 100L
- Tetra IN800 Plus Internal Filter – Suitable for aquariums up to 150L
- Tetra IN1000 Plus Internal Filter – Suitable for aquariums up to 200L
Click here to find out about filter maintenance and cleaning.