Filter for Small Fish Tank Reviews

Best Filter for Small Fish Tank

When you get yourself a small fish tank, one thing you got to do is also get an effective filter for the tank.

There are many myths related to water filtration in the fish tank and giving them a look could help you better understand why you need one today.

Salt keeps your fish healthy

This is one thing that is entirely strange. Fresh water has to stay fresh, so adding salt to it totally doesn’t make any sense at all.

The myth is probably caused by the fact that some diseases may be treated by raising the salinity of the water. However, it’s also false for the fresh water fish.

Air pump is fundamental

Some installed filters and noted that maybe adding an air pump is going to improve the filtration altogether. Most fish tanks don’t have any aeration and it’s a misconception to believe aren’t going to have enough oxygen if no air pump is installed.

Any fish tank needs carbon

Not only carbon isn’t essential in aquarium filtration, but there are also situations when carbon could actually lead to serious problems.

You should always remove carbon from the tank before adding medication or liquid plant foods in the tank. Carbon from a filter should also be changed from time to time.

All fish tank need algae eaters

One may think that there is a miracle for keeping the tank clean all the time. Adding some “scavenger” fish is a solution, according to some, but, truth be told, it has nothing to do with the real life.

Constant cleaning and a good filter is going to get you there instead.

A small tank is great for beginners

As a matter of fact, small fish tanks are high maintenance and prone to various problems. They are, in fact, a better choice for the more experienced aquarium keepers that know a lot about taking care of a tank.

If you’re a beginner, a 15-30 gallons’ tank is always the better choice.

A high Ammonia level to cycle is also important

Ammonia is displacing dissolved oxygen from the water, so the higher its level, the more difficult for the biological filter to cycle.

What you should be doing instead is to have small water changes as your tank is cycling.


There are many myths related to water filtration for your fish tank and, no matter what you hear, having a good filter and cleaning it from time to time is the most important thing to do for keeping your fish happy and healthy.

TOP 5 Best Filter for Small Fish Tank Reviews

1). Fish Aquarium Mini Cylinder

If you’re going shopping with just a few bucks, you can still get a good and dependable filter. It’s the case of the XINYOU XY-2835 Fish Aquarium Mini Cylinder Soft Sponge Water Filter that is both cheap and effective and does a neat job for keeping a small fish tank crystal clear.

Small and easy to install, the filter isn’t obtrusive at all and it’s very easy to hide in your tank. The filter provides biochemical filtration, keeping the water clear and your fish healthy. It’s good for oxygenating the water too and filter is very efficient.

Not only the setup is easy, but also the cleaning. Simply rinsing and squeezing it under some water is going to do it. Keep in mind to use water from the tank and never tap water as you don’t want to destroy the “good” bacteria.

It has a good build and has a durability feel to it. The bottom has weight so you don’t have to worry about the filter tipping over as it stays well in place.

Some recommend using the filter with an air pump, for better performance.


  • The filter is small and easy to hide
  • It has a good weight and stays in place
  • It provides biochemical filtration
  • It oxygenates well the water


  • It has a chemical smell to it right out of the box
  • Some installed a regulator valve for less current

Nevertheless, the filter isn’t just a good deal, but also a dependable and easy to use and clean option for many.


2). Whisper In-Tank Filter

For those of you who want a good and cheap filter, but the sponge filter isn’t their favorite choice, another option to try is the Whisper In-Tank Filter 3i for 1 – 3 gallon aquariums.

Especially designed for the smaller tanks, up to 3 gallons, the filter needs Small Whisper Bio-Bag cartridges and it keeps your small tank nice and clear.

The filter is able to provide 3-stage filtration so it sustains chemical, biological and mechanical filtration altogether.

Using air bubbles to move water up the airlift tube, all the way through the filter cartridge, the filter is great for the small fish and breeding fish as well.

We also like that the filter is easy to adjust to high or low levels thanks to its mounting clamps.

The filter has a slim design so it leaves plenty of empty space in your tank. The pump works well and the filter moves a lot of water, without creating a strong current. This is why it’s so efficient for bettas.

For better results, it’s wise to mount the filter on the inside of the tank and not on the outside. You want to place the tank flush against the wall.

Compact, tiny and efficient, the filter is worth to try whenever in need.


  • The filter is made for tanks up to 3 gallons
  • It sustains 3-stages filtration
  • It’s small and compact, leaving a lot of empty space
  • It’s efficient and easy to use


  • Some think it’s a tad loud
  • The flow rate isn’t adjustable

All in all, the filter is another low-price option that comes with plenty of good things, not only an attractive price tag.


3). Penn Plax Cascade 300-Aquarium Filter

The Penn Plax Cascade 300 Submersible Aquarium Filter is a fully submersible filter that works for fresh and marine tanks, from 1.5 to 10 gallons.

The filter has a flow of 70GPH and is able to sustain biological, physical and chemical filtration. It comes with activated carbon cartridge that eliminates the harmful toxins, chemicals, discoloration and various contaminants.

The internal sponge improves colonization of “good” aerobic bacteria.

The list of features continues with the adjustable pump head that lets you adjust the flow rate and the direction of the water flow. The spray bar helps you distribute evenly the water, improving aeration in the tank. The filter comes with Venturi air tube that helps with water oxygenation.

You may place the filter horizontally, hiding it with no problem. Mounting it is a breeze too as the filter comes with suction cups.

The filter is easy to take apart and to clean as well. The nozzles are interchangeable and the filter is strong, yet not too loud.

The build is good and the filter keeps your small tank nice and clear.


  • The filter sustains biological, physical and chemical filtration
  • It’s easy to install and to use
  • It comes with adjustable flow rate and direction of flow
  • It’s well made and easy to clean


  • Some think it’s a tad loud for its size
  • It’s not the best option for small substrates

All things considered, as it’s easy to use, effective and dependable, the filter is money well spent any given day.


4). Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters

Even though you may think that the Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters may be a bit too much for your small tank, the reality it isn’t and you just need to give it a go for seeing it.

The filter comes with Aqueon specialty filter pads and sustains chemical, mechanical and biological filtration.

Packed with plenty of features, the filter is one of the most popular options out there. The self-priming feature is one of its strengths so you can use it right out of the box. The filter starts on its own and this is good to know in case of power shut down.

The pump is strong and the water flow is good, whereas the water circulation improves the clarity of the water.

The filter features a LED indicator light that tells you when a cartridge should be changed. Additionally, the filter is also able to monitor the water level in your tank.

Many like the filter because it’s easy to install and to take care of. The suction power is good and the filter comes with long intake tube.


  • The filter delivers 3-stage filtration
  • Is comes with self-priming feature
  • It features a LED light that informs you when cartridge needs changing
  • It’s reliable and strong


  • The hooks could be better
  • It’s not the quietest filter out there

Reliable, packed with features and strong, the filter is going to be a good investment for your tank and fish.


5). API Aquaview 360 Aquarium-Internal Filter

If you don’t have the time nor the patience to get a filter and want to do it all the way straight from the beginning, get yourself a small tank that comes with everything you need and a bit more.

The API Aquaview 360 Aquarium Kit with LED Lighting and Internal Filter is a great way to take care of your fish and eliminates the fuss for finding the best accessories for a tank.

The 2-gallon aquarium is compact and has a cylindrical shape, which makes it very easy to place wherever you want in your home. It gives a 360-degree view so you can fully enjoy it from each corner of the room.

The aquarium is energy efficient and comes with plenty of good things. It features 7-color LED lighting (amber, blue, red, white, purple, aqua and green) that illuminates your fish.

You don’t need to worry about filtration as the aquarium comes with a strong internal power filter that keeps the water nice and clean. The filter has a 45GPH flow rate and uses Bio-Chem Zorb 10 filter cartridge that is able for eliminating odors, discoloration and more. The filter is quiet and the current isn’t too strong.

The aquarium is made of crystal clear acrylic that is impact-resistant and safe for your fish. The seamless build minimizes the risk for leaks.

Easy to put together, the aquarium is also easy to take care and to operate. It’s lightweight and kids friendly.

On top of everything else, the aquarium brings a cheerful vibe in any room and comes with everything you need for starting a freshwater aquarium.


  • It’s compact and gives a 360-degree view
  • It’s lightweight and has a seamless build
  • Its filter is efficient and runs quiet
  • It’s impact resistant and kids safe


  • It doesn’t come with a heater
  • Some noted their aquariums not closing tight

All things considered, the aquarium spares you the time and efforts to put together a small fish tank and comes with plenty of good things.

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