10 Best Filter For 5 Gallon Fish Tank – (2021 Review & Guide)

Fish lovers know how outstanding a fish is and how challenging it is to rear. However, with the best filter for 5 gallon fish tank, it’s a straightforward process. That is why we have provided you with top reviews of quality filters that are suitable for 5 gallon fish tanks. Because finding the best filter involves several steps, we have provided a clear difference between one filter with the other. Getting the right filter keeps your aquarium water clean and free from toxic chemicals.

In the article, you are not just going to read the best models in the market, but it also provides a clear guide on choosing the best filter.  For more information keep reading to know more about these filters.

The reviewed products are the best in 2020 that you can aim to get. These are unique and high-quality filters for 5gallon with excellent features and work effectively. For more details check the review below.

Whisper in-tank filter is of high quality and readily available filter in the current market. The whisper filter is cheap and durable. The filter is the best choice you can make if you need a 5-gallon filter. Even though the system is mainly for a 10-gallon fish tank, it’s also ideal for a 5 gallon. It is large enough thus suit the majority of the fish tanks. Its lower part it’s submerged in the water, therefore it’s quiet as compared to the rest of the machines.

Lastly, biological filtration is essential in the removal of nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia. So, your betta fish or any other fish species use a clean and crystal clear aquarium.

What I like

Whisper filter is a cheap and durable system that suits most of the aquarium. The other important thing with the whisper machine is that it works effectively with different filter Medias. On top of that, the system is easy to install in the tank.

What I don’t like

They are plenty of versatility when it comes to replacing the media. The filter Media are also expensive when it comes to changing and requires frequent cleaning for maximum filtration.

Whisper system comes equipped with three filtration stages. The first stage it’s mechanical filtration. It’s a dense mesh to enable it easier to catch and trap large particles of floating debris, fish oil, and waste. Activated carbon it’s also present in the system. The second stage is the chemical filtration that puts into the use of the activated carbon. Chemical filtration ensures the water is free from harmful chemicals and other toxic contaminants.

  • Easy installation as no complicated tools are necessary
  • Whisper filter its cheap than its competitors
  • Provides a crystal clear water for the aquarium
  • Less noisy thus ideal for home’s aquariums
  • Capable of filtering ammonia and nitrate
  • The filter size it’s too huge for small tanks
  • A lot of versatility in changing the filter media

Although the system is mainly ideal for tanks up to 10 gallons. That doesn’t mean it can’t suit a 5-gallon fish tank.  A marina power filter is a perfect choice for small gallons up to 5 gallons. However, you need to note that the machine doesn’t have one huge flaw. The marina system works well with the power filter. 

Power filters are easy to maintain and replace as compared to other media like canister and so on.  The adjustable water flow gives the system an additional advantage. So even though, the system is for 10 gallons, the adjustable flow rate makes it the best choice for 5 gallons.

What I like

It’s efficient and perfect filters that take less space on the outer part of the aquarium. It’s so encouraging how you can put an aquarium near to a wall and still use the marina power filter.  The marina power is uniquely modeled and designed with a slim and compact design. Its stylish design makes the machine easy to use in tight gaps. A highly ceramic is used due to its excellent performance in biological filtration.

What I don’t like

The disappointing thing with this system is that it is noisy. As the motor is not fully submerged into the aquarium water, it produces a lot of noise after a long operation. The motor also vibrates too fast thus producing a lot of noise.

Marina power filter has a strainer sponge located at the end of the intake tube. Strainer sponge is essential for preventing the intake from ruining your betta fish’s fins or just sucking up small tank mates. Instead of keeping on inserting filter media, you need to insert a marina’s filter cartridge for minimum maintenance.  While the filter cartridge is too good, unfortunately, they lack customization. But that doesn’t prevent you from adding another filter; you have the option and chance of using any filter cartridge.

  • Marina power filter startup automatically
  • Easy to maintain and install the machine
  • Features a slim and unique design
  • Equipped with an adjustable flow rate
  • Has a small filtration capacity and less versatile
  • Its cartridges are much expensive to replace

Zoo Med Nano features an external canister that is so efficient when it comes to filtration capacity.  It is ideal for providing and ensuring an absolute spotless tank due to a high filtration rate. The zoo canister filter is easy to modify in terms of filter media. Unlike other ordinary machines, Zoo puts into consideration the space consumption. Its slim and unique design makes it easy to install the system on the sides of your tank. Just insert two nonintuitive tubes into your tank. One of the tubes acts as intake whiles the other as output.

What I like

The canister filter is well known for its filtration efficiency, thus no often cleaning of the machine. While using this filter, a 5-gallon tank can last for two weeks without necessary cleaning it. When it comes to the filter, cleaning is incredibly straightforward.

What I don’t like

Even though the system features two output methods, it lacks an adjustable water flow rate.  In case you need to reduce the flow rate, then manual methods it’s the only option.

Zoo Med Neno canister filter features two different output design. For small fish, the sprayer methods become the best choice while for large aquatic animals, nozzle design it’s the perfect option. The spray method is excellent in reducing the water flow rate while improving surface agitation. The system has three filtration stages which ensure clean and nontoxic water is present throughout.

  • The machine is extremely quiet
  • Spray bars are capable of aerating your tank
  • Incredibly easy to install the canister filter
  • Equipped with both nozzle and spray outputs
  • Designed with a slim and compact design
  • The system is a bit expensive
  • Lacks an adjustable water flow rate

Tetra whisper is the other great filter for 5-gallon fish tank. With this high quality and durable filter, your fish can’t thrive.  The tetra whisper system is available in various sizes thus suits different water tanks. For maximum and effective filtration as well as purification of the aquarium, the device has three unique filtration stages. The mechanical filtration it’s usually responsible for the removal of debris and other physical contaminants.

What I like

An outstanding feature with the tetra whisper machine is the time strip technology. It is responsible for alerting the user when its time for cleaning or replacing the filter. The timing strip changes from white to red immediately once the cartridge requires quick care. Tetra whisper can be used out of the package and it’s easy to set up. As the name suggests, the devices work out quietly creating an eco-friendly environment for the fish.

What I don’t like

Unfortunately, the tetra whisper filters leak after continuous use. The filter easily develops some leaks if not well taken care of. The increased amount of holes in the filters causes a decree in the water flow rate.

Activated carbon is present for excellent chemical filtration. In these stages, all harmful chemicals and toxic substances are incredibly filtered. Lastly, it’s the biological stages that ensure no presence of ammonia or nitrate is present in the water. The tetra whisper filters are so cheap as compared to similar models in the market. Also, they are easy to clean and replace the filter media.

  • Presence of return flow valve enhance air circulation
  • Designed with a time strip for perfect monitoring.
  • Less noisy as the motor is fully submerged in water
  • Easy to install and operate the system
  • Has a high filtration rate
  • Expensive to replace and maintain the filter
  • The size of the filter is too huge

Aqueon’s internal filter is reasonably priced. However, its lower price doesn’t stop it from being the amazing filter for a 5-gallon fish tank. The system comes in s classic black coloring which allows it to suit in most tank décor. Nevertheless, like most of the standard internal filters, the Aqueon internal filter it’s noticeable. To easy gentle water flow for a 5 gallon, turn the flow down to produce slow water flow.  The extendable and rotatable outflow tube allows the output tube to provide a variety of streams for effective fish swimming.

What I like

It’s likable when it comes to maintaining the model.  Like most of the traditional filters, this model is set up in a friendly state which makes it easy to access the filter. The filter is also easy to clean and rinse due to its quick accessibility.

What I don’t like

The filter media requires immediate change after purchase. It’s so annoying to replace the filters without using them. This means that the filters that are originally made for the system are not of good quality.

The filter is extremely quiet as the motor is submerged in the water. This helps in creating a friendly condition for aquatic animals. On top of that, the system features an adjustable water flow rate. This attribute makes the device ideal for all species and sizes of fish.

  • Equipped with an adjustable water flow rate
  • The motor vibrates slowly thus been noisy free
  • Quick and easy to install the system
  • Operating the device is also straightforward.
  • Available in various sizes and models
  • Its filter requires immediate change after purchase
  • Not ideal for trimmed top tanks

AZOO is Ideal for Nano aquariums due to its unique and compact design. AZOO aquarium Mignon filter is easy to install on the edges of any tank despite the shape. It is easy to operate the system than its competitors. Even though the filter is mainly designed for a 3-gallon fish tank, it perfectly handles a 5-gallon tank. 

For small or housing fry fish, it’s recommended to use the pre-filter included in the package.  AZOO is the intellect machine for small aquatics as you can adjust the suction/flow rate to a low rate.  The flow rate knob located at the top of the unit is essential for ensuring gentle water

What I like

AZOO Mignon filter 60 is extremely easy to install and set up the system. As the device uses sponges, issues of debris, fish oil and water removal are well-catered care. Sponge filters provide a large surface area for the growth of beneficial bacteria. Beneficial bacteria are ideal when it comes to biological filtration.

What I don’t like

The filter is only ideal for freshwater but in intellect for saltwater. AZOO filter is not so much reliable as compared to other models. This model doesn’t put into consideration the power outages. It’s so discouraging how the pump manages its power outages.

An outstanding benefit of buying this machine is that it doesn’t require an external pump. AZOO sponge filter features a built-in pump.  For maximum filtration, you can use two sponge filters which are still included in the kit. The sponge filters are important when it comes to the mechanical and biological filtration methods.

  • Great for mechanical and biological filtration
  • Features adjustable water flow
  • Keeps valuable bacteria at the optimal state
  • Features a slim and compact design
  • Easy to maintain the sponge filters
  • The sponge filters get dirty quickly
  • Not suitable for saltwater or hot water

Aquapapa corner filter it’s a slim and compact filter that is affordable and readily in the current market. Unlike most of the filters, Aquapapa filters its perfect for all shapes of the fish tank. it offers multi-filtration stages to ensure optimum purification. It is capable of providing mechanical, chemical and biological filtration.  A top layer made of a quality white filter pad is present for mechanical filtration. Mechanical filtration helps in the reduction of debris, floating particles, heavy stones, and similar pollutants.

What I like

The sponge filter makes the system the best choice for aquarium present with small fry and fish. The reason is that they are quiet and risks of sucking the small is an outdated situation. The filter is capable of removing ammonia and toxic nitrate to enhance the quality of the aquarium water.

What I don’t like

The sponge filters require an air pump to improve its efficiency. The worse thing is that the manufacturer doesn’t include the air pump thus you need to purchase it.

  • Features a sponge filter that is perfect for mechanical filtration
  • The filter is easy to maintain
  • Easy to set up and operate
  • Less expensive than similar models
  • Equipped with high-quality ceramic rings
  • It lacks the adjustable water flow rate
  • The sponge filters get dirty easily

To aquarium passionate, Penn Plax filter is the best choice you can make if you need a quality filter for 5-gallon fish tank. Penn Plax offers plenty of room for accessing the fitters makes it easy to clean the filters. The best thing with this model is that its intellect for both fresh and saltwater. Penn Plax is capable of oxygenating the aquarium for healthy fish growth. On top of that, the Penn Plax system operates quietly creating an eco-friendly environment for your fish. Its filters are affordable and easy to replace.

What I like

Penn Plax has both internal and external filter for ensuring maximum filtration. The external filter is essential for enhancing the supply of beneficial bacteria that it’s critical when it comes to biological filtration. On the other hand, the internal filter is a sponge in nature to improve the pioneering of functional bacterial.

What I don’t like

Although it’s a bit silent, it is noisy after a long operation. Once the filter blocks, it extremely vibrates producing a lot of noise. Besides that some models, allows the aquarium water to dodge into the filter cartridge.

  • It improves the reduction of toxic chemicals
  • Ideal for both salt and freshwater
  • It’s a bit quiet unless when blocked
  • It aerates the tank efficiently when filtering
  • Easy to maintain and clean the filters
  • Not suitable for biological filtration
  • The filters are a bit expensive to replace

Aqua clear is one of the best high quality and durable filters that you can get in the current market. It is ideal for a 5-gallon fish tank. Not just that, but the system suitable aquarium up to 100 gallons. Aqua clear filter operates under three unique filtration stages. 

The mechanical stages it’s usually the first stages and involves the removal of floating debris Fish oil and water and other pollutants. The chemical filtration stages put in to use the activated carbon. It’s ideal when it comes to the removal of toxic and harmful chemicals and contaminants in the water. The biological stage us the last filtration and helps in the removal of ammonia and nitrate.

What I like

If you need a manageable filter system, then the only choice you have it’s the Aqua clear. It is a reliable and quality filter that is easy to install. Aqua clear filter is intellect for both small and large fish tanks. The presence of media pieces helps in making the machine noise-free.

What I don’t like

Despite the fact that the system is of high quality it’s a bit expensive. Besides that, it doesn’t put into consideration the power outage. It’s so annoying how the system manages the power outage.

Read full review of AquaClear – Fish Tank Filter

  • Features adjustable water flow rate.
  • Easy to set up and operate
  • Keeps beneficial bacteria at an optimal level
  • Ideal for fresh and saltwater
  • Easy to customize the filtration system
  • Expensive to maintain the cartridge filters
  • The sponge filters get dirty easily.

When it comes to quality, Hikari Bacto-surge is the best in the current market. Hikari is ideal for both freshwater and saltwater which is not the case with other brands. This is high quality and amazing filter that is easy to maintain. Hikari high-density foam filter is easy to install in any system and no complicated steps are involved. It is an air-driven sponge filter that provides optimal filtration techniques. In involves mechanical, biological and chemical filtration methods. Hikari is capable of removing debris and other related contaminants

What I like

It is a cheap sponge filter that is available in the market. The filter suits most of the filter system. This filter is easy to clean and manage due to its spongy nature. Its lightweight nature contributes a lot to the filtration process.

What I don’t like

The spongy nature of the foam filter reduces the level of filtration. On top of that, the filter can easily tear and wear than the standard filters. Besides that the filter media it’s not the right choice for large systems.

  • It’s easy to fix the filter
  • Made of high quality and density sponge
  • Features a highly porous sponge
  • It’s cheap to manage the filter
  • Provide effective mechanical and biological filtration methods
  • The filter is not durable like the normal filter media
  • Not intellect for huge systems.

What types of filters are ideal for small aquariums?

Generally speaking the HOB (hang on the back filter are the ideal filter for a small aquarium. They provide plenty of space in your fish tank while being less cheap than the rest. However, pick a filter according to your budget and plans. Other great filters are:

  1. Canister filter – they provide a lot of space in them meaning you can easily include other filters for maximum filtration. The downside of canister filters is that they are more expensive and require a lot of maintenance.
  2. Under-gravel filters – under-gravel filters are not as common as the rest but that doesn’t mean that they are not great. They are better as compared to media filters in the market.
  3. Internal filters – they use a tube which is situated outside the fish tank to suck water through a sponge for trapping debris.

Buying Guide

What do you look for in a filter for a 5gallon fish tank?

As well as knowing different models and brands, it’s ideal to consider factors that determine the quality of a certain filter from the other. A quality filter should have the following features:

Adjustable water flow rate

Fish most of the time requires a gentle and smooth stream for easy swimming. So, when choosing a certain filter, ensure it features a low flow rate or adjustable flow rate. Small and delicate fish also require medium streams. Some of the filters are adjustable manually while other features adjustable knob.

Size of the filter

Large filter doesn’t mean that they are powerful while small filter system doesn’t mean the filter isn’t powerful. The best filter should be of medium size to make it easy to place the system on the edge of the tank. No need to purchase a huge filter that is of poor quality yet we have a quality slim and compact filter.

Filtration stages

Quality and amazing filter system should have three filtration stages. The stages are: mechanical, biological and chemical. The mechanical stage is responsible for the removal of debris and other similar pollutants. Chemical filtration mostly features activated carbon for the removal of toxic chemicals and substances. While the biological filtration helps in the reduction of ammonia and nitrate.

Level of noise 

The last thing but not the least is the amount of noise produced. The best filter for a 5-gallon fish tank should be noise-free. It’s annoying to have a motor that produces a lot of noise throughout.  Note that filter with motor submerged in the water is less noisy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which is the perfect site to keep my filter?

A. Most of the filters are not so heavy which means that they require less space. The best place to locate them is on the edge of the fish tank. However, the brand, model, shape, and weight of the filter will determine the ideal place to keep the filters.

Q. Are all filters suitable for marine water tanks?

A. NO. It will depend on the model and the brand as well. We have specific filters that are designed for freshwater only while other for saltwater. The saltwater filters are so few thus you need to be keen while purchasing a saltwater filter.

Q. Which is the best filter for gallon fish tank?

A. We have a variety of good filters in the market that works well with a gallon fish tank. The choice depends on your budget and the brand you need. On my side, I usually prefer the Aqua clear fish tank filter.

Final Verdict

It’s elementary to manage fish if you don’t have the right filter in your aquarium.  To provide an eco-friendly environment for your fish, you need the best filter. Therefore you need to think about how to get the best filter for gallon fish tank. In the review, we have provided the best top filters you get to choose from.

Different models and brands are available in the current market but not all are worth to be used. Having reviewed the best filter, you should be able to make a standard choice on the best filter for your aquarium.

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