Fish Tank Care Guide

Fish Tank Care Guide - All care guide for fish and fish tank maintenance for hobbyists

Best aquarium filter types (corner, sponge, power, canister filter…)

For choosing the best aquarium filter for your fish, consider a number of factors such as the size of the aquarium and the breed of the fishes. There are a variety of aquarium filters you can choose from.

Corner (box filter) and sponge filter for small fish and Betta

Corner or Box filters, also known as aquarium corner filters, were the first type of aquarium filters made available for small fish tanks. These filters are very affordable. Owners can use a number of filter media to load box filters. A box filter is the best aquarium filter to use for breeding aquariums because the intake flow is not very strong, which is good for tiny fry.

Sponge aquarium filters provide both biological and mechanical filtration. This type is the best aquarium filter for tanks with small fry because the filter media prevents these tiny creatures from being sucked into or through the air pump.


Canister filters for medium to large fish tank

Canister filters, on the other hand, are powerful filters. This is the best aquarium filter type for medium to large aquariums. These filters are placed outside the aquarium tank, typically below the aquarium stand. A canister filter forces aquarium water through its filter media, which makes it ideal for tanks with heavy loads. With the addition of a biowheel, you can increase the capacity of your aquarium filter for biological filtration. Canister filters, however, are difficult to clean and maintain.


Fluval 06 external canister filters are the best canister filters

Power filter – the most popular aquarium filter

Power filters are the most common types of aquarium filters. Installing a power filter is quite simple and it is easy to maintain. These filters can be hung at the back of the tank. Also, since this type already provides both mechanical and chemical filtration, the addition of a biowheel will help provide necessary biological filtration.


Other aquarium filter types

The Under Gravel Filter uses a plate filter placed under the substrate. Aquarium water is pulled down by an air pump through the substrate and takes with it the unwanted particulate matter. The UGF is affordable, easy to set up and relatively maintenance-free.

Trickle filters, which are also called wet/dry filters, are meant to aerate aquarium water. It exposes the water to air by allowing it to trickle over a variety of filter media, including strands, floss or plastic balls. Although these filters clog easily, you can use a mechanical pre-filter to address the problem.

Diatomic filters are a specialized type of aquarium filter. They clean aquarium water by removing fine particles including diatomic algae. Diatomic filters are used for special situations only, which is why some standard filters have diatomic inserts to serve special functions when necessary.

Fluidized bed filters are relatively new but they have proven to be very efficient biological filters. This type of filter utilizes sand as a filter medium. The small particles of the fluidized bed filter provide sufficient surface area for bacteria to create colonies. This is the best aquarium filter for biological filtration and can be used in aquariums of whatever sizes.