Best Filter For 100 Gallon Aquarium in 2021

An aquarium is a fish second World aside from the ocean. It is, therefore, your responsibility to give them a safe and healthy environment. For them to stay healthy you have to feed them and clean up their messes and that of your aquatic plants. The messes can range from dirt, excess food and also algae growth.

To purify and keep your aquarium clean you will need a canister filter to do the job.100-gallon a 100-gallon aquarium, then you will need to find the best 100-gallon aquarium. Luckily, you are in the right place and I will review 10 of the best to help you get what you need.

10 Best Filters for 100 Gallon Aquarium Reviews

The following are amazing filters that will work well for 100 gallon aquariums. Check their individual reviews so that you can find the right one.

If you are looking for a professional-grade filter, then the Hydor professional external canister filter might be the one you need. It can pump up to 345 gallons per hour. The filter is very easy to use regardless of its professional design. At a push of the button on the filter head, the integrated priming system will easily begin to work.

Moreover, the filter chamber is large enough to ensure water is filtered for biological, chemical or mechanical impurities to leave crystal clear clean water.

What I like

Operations you will get no noise from the motor. Furthermore, the ceramic shafts that feature on the motor guarantee longer life. I also love the strategic location of the priming system button. The professional design which is easy to use and also the telescopic intake tubes are also impressive features.

What I don’t like

What I didn’t like the most is that the replacement parts are very expensive. Also, this filter will not come with activated carbon.

This filter will easily handle your 100-gallon aquarium effortlessly. It is also suitable for aquariums from 90 to 150 gallons. Furthermore, the telescopic intake allows you to select the level you would want the filter to take water from.

  • It has shut off valves and safety locks
  • It doesn't make noise during operations
  • Features an energy-efficient pump
  • It is fully adjustable
  • Also features quick-release hose tail taps
  • The replacement parts are pricey
  • It won't come with activated carbon

Are you looking for a corner filter to act as a supplemental filter for your 100-gallon aquarium? If yes then Lee’s triple flow corner filter might be just what you need. It is a great filter for 100-gallon aquariums and its straight forward design makes it a good choice for beginners.

It features 3 intake vents which can easily be attached to any type of air pump your own. It is a small lightweight filter which can be used on those isolation aquariums and those that have breeding fish. Additionally, this corner future will work well for goldfish or axolotl tanks. The simple design makes set up very easy and it won’t take up lots of space.

What I like

I like the portable design of this corner filter. It won’t take up lots of space and it is very easy to set up. I also like that you can choose your own filter media and it will work well with most of the fish species. The three intake vents that are compatible with any air pump are also a great feature.

What I don’t like

Most of its features are perfect the only downside I saw is that the air stone included is too lightweight.

You can use it for chemical, biological or even mechanical filtration. Regardless of the filtration Media, you choose it will do the job.

  • This filter has a simple design easy to set up
  • It also comes with three intake vents
  • It works well with breeding fish tanks and most fish species
  • With it, you can easily choose your own filtration Media
  • Small and lightweight meaning it won't take up most of your space
  • The air stone included is very lightweight

In need of the best filter 100-gallon aquarium that comes at a reasonable price? Polar Aurora free media external canister filter might be what you need. It comes with a flow rate of 370 gallons per hour perfect for 100-gallon tanks. You don’t have to blow away your smaller fish as it features an adjustable spray bar which allows you to end and also in any direction.

It’s 9 watt UV sterilizer is specially made to help you control unnecessary bacteria as well as algae accumulation. This the canister filter also features three-stage filtering processes to enable thorough aquarium cleaning to leave a crystal clear clean water.

What I like

The three Media trays that allow one to add activated carbons and bio-balls for excellent filtration. I also liked that self-priming pump which eliminates manual siphoning. The adjustable spray bar, as well as the high flow rate, are an added advantage.

What I don’t like

While it has a good flow rate ideal for 100-gallon tanks, it cannot be adjustable. You won’t have complete control over the flow rate.

The self-priming pump will do away with manual siphoning. Additionally, the three Media trays will allow you to add more filtration Media of your choice.

  • 9 watt UV sterilizer
  • 3 flexible Media trays
  • High flow rate
  • The high flow rate cannot be adjusted

The Fluval external filter comes with a sound dampening feature that reduces noise from this filter. The sound from it is 15% less compared to its competition. It features a flow rate of 340 gallons per hour which will make the water in your aquarium crystal clear. It works well in 100-gallon tanks and a hydraulic motor will ensure that the rate of filtration is increased while decreasing its maintenance.

Moreover, it has a clog proof intake which keeps away dirt and debris particles from entering the filter. It is also easy to use and the overall construction is made of durable material.

What I like

The user-friendly design which is ideal for beginners as well. The minimum noise it produces during operation and the wonderful flow rate ideal for proper water filtration. I also like the Aqua stop valve which can eliminate possibilities of leeks plus the clog proof intake which stops dirt and debris particles from entering the filter.

What I don’t like

As good as it is the filter doesn’t have a spray bar. Also, there were issues with the impellers after a while.

  • 3-year warranty
  • Quiet operations
  • Affective priming system
  • User-friendly design
  • Great flow rate
  • Doesn't have a spray bar
  • Impeller issues after a while

What’s so special about this model? Well, if you are looking for the best filter for 100-gallon aquariums that is perfect for saltwater and also freshwater then this model is the one you need. It comes with a flow rate of 360 gallons per hour. It is also capable of making multi-stage Filtration in both salt and freshwater tanks quickly and easily. It has other two sizes of 160 gph and 220 gph perfect for 30-55 gallon tanks.

What I like

I liked the three-stage filtration which allows water to pass through Media layers for cleaner water. Also, it is ideal for use in both salt and freshwater. It has extra features that allow quick and easy maintenance of the filter.

What I don’t like

It is a little noisy during operations. Also, the seams on the plastic unit are to be handled with caution as they can cause an air leak. I also didn’t like that it has no UV filtering.

  • 3-stage filtration
  • Easy maintenance
  • 360 gallon per hour flow rate
  • It has no UV filtering
  • It is too loud

This model is among the best you’ll find on the market. It has got a unique design that is made to ensure maximum filter function for clean aquarium water. This design is like no other and it is exclusively owned by AE-Shop. Set up is easy and it will only take up 5 minutes of your time.

When you want to clean the filter, you will simply have to open the box and then change the filter material as you wish. It will also save you time as you will need one minute to add water when it evaporates.

What I like

It can pump out between 740 to 1100 gallons of water per hour. Also, the setup only takes 5 minutes which is convenient for aquarium owners. I also liked that maintenance is simple and very quick.

What I don’t like

The most annoying thing with this filter is constant leaks. It will require you to either replace the tubes or make sure you do some tinkering for you to avoid this issue

  • It has a strong filtration system
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Has a unique design
  • Constant leaks
  • It doesn't come with a filter media

The Fluval fx4 filter represents an innovative new canister filter design like no other. It features Media baskets on top of each other with each different from the other. It has got 5 filtration stages where water will flow in a sequential process through each stage. Fluval fx4 comes with a filter media that is ready to use.

Need more? Then how about the automatic evacuation of trapped air? You will not have to hustle evacuating trapped air manually with this filter.

What I like

I like the self-priming feature as well as the smart pump that provide convenience in aquarium owner would want. The compact unique design with the stackable Media baskets. I also liked its auto evacuation of trapped air which can save a lot of time.

What I don’t like

It’s on the expensive side. A lot of aquarium owners especially beginners won’t be able to afford it.

  • Comes included with a filter media
  • High flow rate
  • Features a smart pump and self-priming system
  • Compact design
  • It is expensive

Paula aurora filter model has four Media filtration stages which also include the mechanical, biological and chemical filtration. The stages and show that the water goes through different filtration phases to guarantee clean water. It features a 9 watt UV sterilizer bulb that will eliminate bacteria and algae accumulation in the aquarium.

The self-priming feature on this canister filter only means that you won’t have to manually siphon the water. This model features an o-ring which will reduce the chances of the filter leaking.

What I like

It makes you feel at peace with the quiet operations. It is also a great canister filter for beginners which is easy to set up and use. You won’t be having any bacteria and algae problems thanks to the UV sterilizer.

What I don’t like

Although it has an o-ring to keep it from leaks it still wasn’t enough to keep water away from the UV sterilizer. This issue isn’t common but some users experienced it.

  • It has four Media filtration stages
  • It is inexpensive
  • You won't have algae and bacteria accumulation
  • UV sterilizer bulb
  • Easy to use and set up
  • Has issues with leaking

This Penn Plax filter model has got some of the best floor valves which will rotate at an angle of 360° to easily manoeuvre tighter aquariums. It is durable and a great filter to be used externally. It comes with a flow rate of 265 gallons per hour. Also, it comes included with a spray bar which improves water aeration as well as circulation.

What I like

The multi filtration stages that get all the dirt out of the water. It is also a durable filter with some high-quality parts. I also liked that it features a spray bar and a self-priming system.

What I don’t like

It tends to take up a lot of power compared to other models. I also didn’t like that priming it at first is a little difficult.

  • It is durable
  • Three filtration stages
  • Features are spray bar
  • Comes with a self-priming system
  • Priming it, in the beginning, is hard
  • It needs a lot of power

Lastly on my list is the sunsun hw-303b canister filter which comes with an amazing flow rate of 370 gallons per hour. It will effortlessly handle your 100-gallon aquarium thanks to some of its other unique features. This model comes with a self-priming pump and with a simple push of a button will eliminate the need for manual siphoning of water.

Additionally it comes with four filtration stages with a flexible filtering system to give your fish that clean and healthy environment they need. Along with the filter, you’ll get other accessories such as hoses as well as filter pads to get you started.

What I like

This filter comes at a reasonable price and it is a good choice for beginners. It is also easy to use and set up. Another thing I like is that it comes with extra features to give your fish that healthy and clean environment they deserve.

What I don’t like

Cleaning this canister filter at first was an issue as some parts are hard to reach when opening it up. However, when you master their locations it becomes easy.

  • It is inexpensive
  • Comes with accessories to get you started
  • It also has three Media trays
  • Has a great flow rate
  • Cleaning it at first is hard

Things to Consider

Before you buy a filter for a 100 gallon aquarium, have in mind the following tips. They will help you land on the best product.

Check the flow rate

Different aquarium filters have varying water flow rates. Some have high flow rates while others have a low water flow rate. Are you asking yourself which is the perfect flow rate for a 100-gallon aquarium? It is important to choose a filter with a water flow rate that suits such an aquarium size. Trust me, failure to do this, you will end up getting disappointments. Large aquarium like the 100 gallons requires a higher flow rate. 

If the flow rate is not perfect for the aquarium, you will need to frequently replace the water in the aquarium. This should not be the case if you already have a filter. Take an example of 300 gallons for every hour flow rate. An aquarium filter with such a flow rate is capable of filtering thrice the quantity of a 100-gallons aquarium. 

That will be perfect for your aquarium. If you don’t feel like cleaning the aquarium every time, a high flow rate filter is a wise option. It will ensure that water is consistently pumped.

Consider the type of filter

Hang on back, sponge, canister, internal, and under gravel are all filter types that are useful in different aquariums. Which type is the best for a 100 gallons aquarium? The canister aquarium filters are the perfect choice for such an aquarium. A larger aquarium will require a more powerful filter than a small-size aquarium. 

Canister filter has enough power to handle a 100 gallons aquarium. A powerful filter will be capable of reducing all dirt and harmful toxins that aquarium water contains. 100-gallon aquarium being a large-size it is capable of holding a larger size filter. Canister filters are large filters that are kept outside the tank. 

What this type of filter has are intake and outlet tubes. Water gets to a pressurized chamber through the inlet tube. Here, the water goes directly inside filtration media layers enhancing perfect filtration.

Canister filters are the best for 100-gallon aquariums since they don’t force water around the filtration media which can hinder effective filtration. Especially because here a large amount of water needs filtration. Can you imagine how troublesome it can be priming the filter yourself? The good news is that most canister filters are self-priming. 

This is incredible since you don’t have to pump the water manually. Just sit back, relax and let the filter do its thing. Canister filters have no competition when it comes to 100-gallon aquariums. Canister for large aquariums is the real deal.

Check on the filter media type

Different kinds of filters accessible in the market today, use different types of filter media. Some filter media can’t just perform effectively on large aquariums like the 100 gallons aquarium. The different types of filter media that are available include ceramic rings, bio-balls, and carbon cartridges. Most filters use the carbon cartridges filter media.

For a 100 gallons aquarium, the carbon cartridges media can also never fail. These filter media minimize chloramines, odor, taste, color, and chlorine.  With carbon cartridges for your 100 gallons aquarium, you can say goodbye to the bad smell that water in the aquarium contains. It will also handle waste and dust in the water

Is A Bigger Aquarium Filter Better?

It all depends on your aquarium. In case you have a big aquarium, it is best but if you have a small aquarium, it is the worst option. The size of the filter to use depends on the size of your aquarium. Buying a bigger filter for your small aquarium will not solve your problems. Most manufacturers usually indicate the size of the aquarium to use in that particular filter model. 

You don’t need to stress so much on this. You will realize that when you get to the market, you will easily select the perfect size for your aquarium since everything is in the product’s instructions. 

Over filtration will never happen. Bigger filters associated with a high water flow rate. The flow rate is ideal for a large aquarium since a large amount of water need filtration. You may also find that large aquarium owners have stubborn fish in them. The high water flow cannot affect such fish. 

Most small aquariums consist of delicate and sensitive fish. What can imagine if you expose them to a high flow rate? There will be discomfort and in some cases death. That’s why you need a small filter to provide a smooth and gentle water flow rate.

What Are The Different Kinds Of Tank Filters To Choose From

Let’s look at 5 main tank filter types

Hang on back filter

Just as the name implies ‘Hang on Back’, this filter is ideal for hanging at the back of a fish tank. Most

People refer to it as HOB. Therefore, don’t get confused when you find me mentioning this abbreviation. These filters are smaller and operate perfectly with smaller aquariums. They operate without producing a lot of noise and vibration.

If you need a gentle water flow rate for your sensitive and delicate fish, the HOB filter is a perfect choice. As in the case with large aquariums, this filter type is not ideal. It is not powerful enough to provide the right flow rate for a large aquarium.

Canister filter

A canister filter is the best you have ever had. Their power allows them to be ideal for bigger aquariums. It will provide the highest water flow rate. You should not place Canister filters inside the aquarium. Instead, place them under beside the fish aquarium. To ensure that your big aquarium is free from waste, harmful toxins and dust, consider using canister aquarium filters. 

They create space for filter media layer due to their big size. This filter type accompanies different types of filter media. Although canister aquarium filters are relatively expensive, their performance is outstanding. Use canister for perfect filtration.

Internal filter

If you are an aquarium owner, you probably have an idea about internal filters. Most people utilize this filter. If you have never heard of it, worry not. We are going to explain everything you need to know about this filter. Most aquarium sets include an internal filter. For some, you need to purchase the filter separately. These filters are affordable. 

However, there is an issue with quality. Some models are of low quality. They can be noisy during operation and at the same time producing vibrations. These internal filters do not include all three filtration procedures. They exclude the biological stage.

Sponge filter

This kind of filter is rarely used big on fish aquariums. Unlike other types that have a motor to power them, this type doesn’t have any engine. What powers them is the atmospheric air. This filter skips the biological stage of filtration. They don’t include this step since the flow rate is very small. 

If you intend to use a filter just for short term purposes, Sponge filters can be a better option. This filter will also work with a very small aquarium size like the 5 gallons. They are nothing more than a sponge. You can get them at a very low price however not inclusive of accessories.

Wet/dry filter

Have you ever heard of stand-alone filters? Well, if you have never, read on and know more. Wet/dry filter is among the stand-alone filter. You need to place the wet/dry filter under your fish aquarium. These filters feature an overflow gadget. The gadget aid the regulation of water flow entering the filtration system.  

Wet/dry filter will ensure that it goes through all filtration stages namely, chemical, biological and mechanical. With such a filtration process, the water inside your aquarium will be free from any toxins. The wet/dry filters need consistent maintenance. The maintenance cost might be high but it is worth the price.


Why is an aquarium filter important?

An aquarium filter is necessary to get rid of any harmful substances in water that may affect the health of aquatic animals. You need to provide a conducive environment inside the aquarium for any aquatic animal. Aquarium filters operate in different stages to remove nitrates, waste, debris, chlorine, and chloramine. The result is a clean aquarium that will ensure that your aquatic animals thrive perfectly. 

What should I consider before buying an aquarium filter?

When you decide to but a filter for your aquarium, your intention is always to get the best that is ideal for your aquarium. It is advisable to look into different models in the market and study their features. The one that outstands all is a perfect choice. However, it is always good to consider the type of filter media, price, and also type of the filter. 

What size of filter should I use?

This situation depends on the size of your aquarium. If you choose the wrong filter size, it may end up not being compatible with your aquarium. A small aquarium will need a small aquarium filter. Small aquariums require a small flow rate which only a small-size filter can provide. The reverse is also corrects

Should I always leave the filter on?

If you need to see an incredible performance, you need to leave the aquarium filter on. Most filters are self-priming therefore no need to do it yourself. In the process where the aquarium water gets into the filter, it comes into contact with functional bacteria. In the process, harmful components are destroyed. When you leave the filter running, the aquarium water will always remain fresh.

Can I use aquarium filter on live aquatic plants?

Yes. An aquarium filter has no harm to the aquatic plants. Besides, a filter creates a good environment for both the fish and the plants. However, it is good to check the flow rate. A higher flow rate filter can tamper with your plants. 

Finding the best aquarium filter is not as easy as you view it. You have to dig deep and get more information about different types available in the market. But we always make things easier for you. Following the instruction on how to choose a filter, you can be sure that you will select the best.

Final Words

Keep your aquarium water fresh through filtration with the best filter for 100 gallon aquariums above. The fish in the aquarium will also enjoy it. It is just a single product that will help you achieve healthy fish that you are always wishing for. Get to the market and purchase the best for your aquarium.

Leave a Comment