10 Best Filters for a 55 Gallon Fish Tank (2021 Reviews and Guide)

If you need to keep your fish in safe and healthy water, you need to have a filter. Finding the right product is not always easy. This is why we did extensive research and discussed the best  filters for a 55-gallon fish tank you can get in the market. The filter systems are of high quality, thus no doubt while purchasing. On top of that, they are so affordable as compared to similar models in the market.

When it comes to their functionality, we can’t afford to negotiate on that. Most of them are suitable for both fresh and marine water. On top of that, they feature three filtration methods for maximum water filtration. For more information, check the reviews and guide below.

Best Filters for a 55-Gallon Fish Tank Reviews

Fish tank come in various sizes. If you want to get an effective filtration system in the aquarium, it is important to consider quality filters that match the size of the aquarium. Here are top reviews of filters that are suitable for 55 gallon aquarium.

Are you looking for the best 55 gallons for your fish tank? If yes, then here comes one of the best models. The Aqua clear is a fully certified filter system to be used in all aquatic animals.  The products of high quality and has a high level of filtration as well as purification. Aqua Clear is a versatile HOB filter that is ready in the market. 

The best thing with the filter is that it works well with models of the aquarium Media. The model is suitable for a 55-gallon fish tank. On top of that, it can suit any aquarium tank between 10 to 100 gallons. It features an adjustable water flow rate, which allows for control of the water rate. This is an extensive filter system that can provide up to seven times volume as compared to the standard filter.

What I like

The re-filtration system in the filter gives the system an additional advantage from its competitors. The re-filtration system allows the water to flow multiple times before reaching the fish.  Aqua clear filter is a more reliable filter as compared to other models in the market. On top of that, it’s an energy saver machine, thus reduces the cost of electricity. This filter is ideal for both large and small fish tanks. Also, Aqua Clear system features activated carbon and the cycle Gaud. These are essential features in the biological filtration stages. They assist in the reduction of harmful and toxic chemicals

What I don’t like

Even if the machine is of high quality and suitable for most of the aquarium fish tank, it has some negativity. First, it’s so disappointing how the system managers its power outages. Most of them hang on the back, puts into consideration the power outages, which are not the case with Aqua clear filter. Second, although the machine is an energy saver, the motor can quickly burn out.

Aqua clear HOB filter provides three filtration methods. The mechanical, biological, and chemical filtrations are standard methods. The presence of the beneficial bacteria is intellect as it helps in the filtration purpose. Beneficial bacteria are responsible for the removal of toxic ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate to ensure healthy aquarium water. The mechanical filtration is accountable for the capturing of both small and large debris. Unlike other standard models, Aqua clear it’s easy to install and operate.

  • Quick and straightforward to install
  • Equipped with a re-filtration system for effective filtration
  • It's available in different sizes
  • Features adjustable water flow rate for easy customization.
  • It’s not suitable for hot water
  • Aqua clear filter don’t consider the power outages

Read full review of AquaClear Power Filter

When it comes to quality and performance, MarineLand is the best choice in the market. On top of that, the system is suitable for both freshwater and marine water. Marineland is affordable and features a heavy construction for durability. The model features a canister lid fitted, which ensures maximum water seal, which is not a standard feature with most of the regular models. 

The removable top part makes it easy to clean, thus easy to maintain. Also, the polished pads are essential for the removal of tiny debris and other similar pollutants. Even though the system is suitable for 55gallon can also do well with tank ranging 30 to 100 gallons.

What I like

The MarineLand magnum polishing internal canister filter features some great features. The flat bottom is responsible for ensuring the maximum stability of the system. This is a stylish and compact machine that suits most of the tanks. Its amazing and slim design makes it suit different models of tank, including the rounded one. The removable lid is the other fantastic feature of the system. It helps in easy and quick access to the filter basket for easy and effective cleaning.

What I don’t like

Despite the fact the machine it’s powerful, the motor it’s a bit noisy. It’s so annoying to have such kind of device in your fish tank.  Besides being noisy, it lacks a ventilation slot, which is so crucial in the filter system. On top of that, its nature makes the machine expensive and challenging to maintain.

MarineLand features several filtration stages like chemical, mechanical, and biological filtration. The filter system has a superior quick prime button for a self-priming startup. The release valve is available in a design to ensure a ready block shut down of the machine. The valve is essential in ensuring no direct contact of the aquarium water with the motor case.

  • Features a polishing filter pads for active debris removal
  • Designed with a removable canister lid to easy access to the filter basket.
  • Provides a large surface area for the growth of beneficial bacteria
  • The filter has the biofilter balls
  • Essential for removal of dirt and debris
  • After the long operation the motor it's noisy
  • It’s expensive to purchase and maintain the Marine-Land filter

Here comes another fantastic and high-quality type of 55-gallon filter. The tetra whisper is affordable but features superior features and specifications. The tetra whisper EX machine suits 55 gallons perfectly. On top of that, it’s also intellect for tank between 45 to 70 gallons. 

The tetra whisper filter uses a large whisper carbon filter. The activated carbon filters are so ideal for the filtration process. They help in ensuring a toxic-free and ammonia and nitrate water is available for the fish. Unlike most of the regular filters, tetra whisper its easy to install as it comes while fully connected.

What I like

Unlike most of the filters in the market, tetra whisper directs water directly through multiple densities of floss. So, the system removes all the large as well as small particles. The activated carbon present is essential for the removal of odor, discoloration, and other pollutants. On the other side, the Bio-Scrubber eliminates nitrites and ammonia that are harmful to the fish.

What I don’t like

Even though the filter features multi-stages filtrations, the system it’s not ideal for saltwater. On top of that, tetra whisper requires a lot of care for maximum filtration. Its also discouraging that the carbon filters require replacement after a short period

Tetra whisper machine uses the power filter media, but it works well with other filter media. It comes with a fitted cartridge carrier that prevents direct contact of your hand and the media filter. Therefore your hands are remaining clean and free from unwanted drips. Tetra whisper power filter comes with times-trips that alert you when the carbon filter needs replacement. The cartridge changes from white to red thus, you can quickly notice once the filter needs exchange.

  • Equipped with a series of filtration stages for optimum filtration
  • Tetra whisper can eliminate odor, discoloration, and other toxic substances
  • Features an automatic alert for carbon replacement
  • Includes filter cartridge carrier to keep your hands safe
  • The system consists of a Bio-scrubber
  • The carbon filters are expensive to manage
  • It requires a lot of care while handling
  • Not ideal for saltwater

When it comes to the best types filter for 55 gallons, the polar aurora is the best choice in the current market. Even though it’s ideal for 55gallons, it works well with gallons up to 75 gallons. On top of that, sun-sun parts can be easily applied for maximum filtration. The polar free media filter has a water flow rate of 264GPH and features a powerful pump of 18W.  

Polar aurora filter also has a long hose cable of up to 4.6ft.  Unlike most of the traditional models, polar features a convenient self-priming pump. The self-priming pump is essential for eliminates the essence for manual siphoning. In addition to that, the self-priming pump is easy to maintain as compared to similar models in the market.

What I like

The unique three superior flexible media trays give you a chance to add other filtration media such as activated carbon, sun-sun, ceramic rings, or bio-balls. They are essential in improving the mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.  The mechanical filtration helps in the removal of debris, fish oil, and other floating materials. The others are responsible for the reduction of toxic chemicals. They also ensure free ammonia and nitrite water is available for your fish.

What I don’t like

Despite that, the machine is very powerful; the pump consumes a lot of power. On top of that, the color of the filter it’s a bit annoying. The white color makes it a challenge for the aquatic fish. Not just that, but the polar machine requires a lot of care and a high maintenance level for proper filtration and purification.

This model uses a high water pump from an adequately powered pump to ensure plenty of water flow through the dense media. The powerful pump is capable of drawing water from an under-gravel filter and run the aquarium water into the canister filter. Also, polar models feature pre-filtration systems that ensure multiple filtrations. Therefore you are guaranteed healthy and clean water for your fish.

  • Features 3 media trays for handling other filtration media
  • The polar filter system is compelling
  • Features a self-priming pump
  • Includes adjustable spray bar for easy adjustment
  • Its features a high water pressure system
  • It's not ideal for marine-water or saltwater.
  • The system is confusing to maintain

Here comes another significant and high-quality amazing filter for a 55gallon fish tank. The filter system is affordable and ready in the market.  Marineland penguin offers up to three stages of filtration. They include mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration methods. The mechanical filtration is essential for the removal of floating debris and other contaminants. 

Also, the Marineland comes with a readily fixed Rite size cartridge prepared for use. Unlike the standard ones, MarineLand is easy to assemble as no complicated tools are necessary for the installation process. The chemical filtration is responsible for the removal of odor and discoloration to ensure clean and healthy aquarium water. For biological filtration, BIO-wheel is present to improve the process. They are essential for the reduction of harmful ammonia and nitrate.

What I like

The presence of the BIO wheel in the biological filtration gives the filter machine an additional advantage. The impeccably equipped cartridge present in the hang on the back is so important. On top of that, the fantastic thing about the machine is the ability to work on marine-water and freshwater. 

MarineLand features a fully certified water circulation rate of 350GPH, thus ideal for most of the fish tank. Even though the MarineLand penguin is intellect for 55gallon, it can work on a 70-gallon tank. The overall performance of the machine it’s encouraging as it provides clean and harmful free aquarium water.

What I don’t like

Nevertheless, the MarineLand it’s not the best choice for the goldfish. Even if the machine works well on both fresh and saltwater, it’s not suitable for a substantial fish tank. However, the filter id intellect for other aquatic animals likes the mudfish, Betta fish, and so on. The main reason why it’s not the perfect choice for goldfish it’s the fact that its filtration capacity reduces with time.

It’s so encouraging on how the machine operates. Marineland filter features two-piece vented covers that help in the filter cartridge easy access. The two-piece of vented helps to ensure that the system works quietly. When it comes to its water circulation capacity, MarineLand has no competitor. The intake tube features an adjustable mid-level intake that helps to improve the water flow rate.

  • Suitable for both marine water and freshwater
  • It's more reliable than a similar model
  • Marineland penguin it's easy to install
  • Features a water circulation capability
  • Designed with two-piece vented for air circulation
  • The cartridges are a bit expensive to replace
  • Not the best choice for Betta Fish

Aqueon is another fantastic and high-quality filter that is affordable. The filter system is ideal for fish tanks of 55gallons.  However, that not a restriction as to the system. It’s suitable for 10 to 55 gallons. Aqueon quiet-flow LED power filter features a certified water flow rate. The adjustable flow rate allows proper water circulation to enhance fish health. 

Self-priming of the system is the other remarkable feature of the machine.  It starts up automatically in case the cleaning or power interruption occurs. This self-priming makes the machine easy to use as compared to the traditional models in the market. The best thing with the system is that it uses a medium Aqueon cartridge.

What I like

The ability of the system to provide multi-stages of filtration gives the filter an additional advantage. It provides up to three unique filtration methods: mechanical, chemical, and biological methods. The filtration process gets a boost from the included filter pads. The Aqueon filter is capable of removing all floating dries and toxic chemicals present in the raw water.

What I don’t like

Although the system is an energy saver, it’s so slow when compared to other models in the market. On top of that, the motor it’s a bit noisy after a lengthy operation. The aqueous power filter is not suitable for salt or marine water. Last but not least, the system is not ideal for large aquariums.

Medium Aqueon cartridges are high when it comes to the filtration process. On top of that, the LED indicator light helps in the monitoring process of the system. The LED light correctly flash in case the cartridge blocks. It’s also essential in monitoring the water level present in the tank. The slim and compact design makes it easy to handle while installing.

  • It starts up automatically after power or cleaning interference
  • Capable of providing chemical, chemical, and biofiltration
  • Provides proper water circulation
  • Features an LED light indicator
  • The internal pump is essential for eliminating leakage cases
  • It’s not suitable for large fish tanks
  • It’s a bit expensive

SunSun HW 304B is the ideal filter for both fresh and saltwater. It’s also great for small and large aquariums of up to 150 gallons. sunSun is capable of providing up to 525 gallons of water per hour. The four flexible media tray provides space for the addition of extra media filters such as activated carbon, SunSun, bio-ball, ceramic rings, and so on. 

The compliant media helps in improving mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. It features a 9 watt UV sterilizer that helps in eliminating algae and bacteria. The UV sterilizer assists in promoting crystal clear aquarium water

What I like

The filter is powerful enough to accommodate large fish tanks of about 150 gallons. Also, the certified water flow rate makes the machine the right choice in the market. Besides that, the built-in 9 watt UV sterilizer it’s imperative. It helps in eliminating and controlling algae spores and bacteria.

What I don’t like

Even if the filter system it’s of high quality and robust, its cost is weird.  The high price makes the system difficult to manage due to expensive spare parts like the cartridge filter. Also, the white color of the machine its ideal for most of the fish tanks.

The self-priming pump is the other great feature of the filter. The self-priming pump eliminates the need for manual siphoning, which is common among most of the filters. The cylindrical design of the filter makes it suit most of the fish tank. Due to the removal upper part, the filter basket is too easy to clean up and replace if in need.

  • Ideal for large tanks of up to 150 gallons
  • Features a high water flow rate of 525 GPH
  • Suitable for preventing bacteria and algae spores
  • Ideal for promoting clear crystal water
  • It's expensive to maintain the cartridge filter
  • The system lack ventilation slot

Do you have any aquatic animal in your home? If yes, then here comes the best filter in the market. Tetra 25921 tetra fauna is the best choice for all marine reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Despite all that fantastic benefit, the system is affordable and features a sturdy construction for durability. 

For the perfect environment of your aquatic animals, consider getting this type of filter for 55 gallons. Tetra 2591 it’s also ideal for fish tanks between 20 to 55 gallons. The tetra power filter it’s easy to set up as no complicated tools are necessary. On top of that, its realistic for riverbed and waterfall basking area.

What I like

The ability of the filter to maintain a diverse group of animals it’s a great feature.  On top of that, the system is ideal for most of the fish tank designs, which are not the case with most of the traditional models. Nevertheless, the tetra filter system is affordable and features sturdy construction.

What I don’t like

Even if the system is powerful, it’s not the best choice for saltwater. It is not capable of withstanding the harsh condition in the saltwater. Also, it lacks extra media filters, which are common in most of the ordinary filters.

The reptoFilter whisper technology present ensures proper filtration. The tetra machine uses three different filtration mechanisms to ensure maximum purification of aquarium water. Mechanical, chemical, and biological filtrations are the conventional methods used. The mechanical filtration is responsible for the removal of physical pollutants. It helps in eliminating debris, fish waste, and oil.

  • They require little attention
  • Suitable for all the aquatic animals
  • Involves three stages of whisper filtration
  • It’s easy to install and operate the system
  • Essential for removal of toxic chemicals
  • Not the best choice for saltwater
  • The tetra filter it’s not great for large fish tanks

Lee’s premium under-gravel filter features a multi-level design that is constructed from quality plastic. It is responsible for resisting cracking and splitting. On top of that, the system is affordable, and it’s more potent that some costly filters. The compact and slim design of Lee’s 40/50 premium filter makes it the best choice for any fish tank shape.

What I like

The large plate sizes minimize the number of plates required. The small design of the system makes it easy to handle. The filtration process gets a boost from the included filter pads. The lee’s premium filter is capable of removing all floating dries and toxic chemicals present in the raw water.

What I don’t like

Despite the fact the machine it’s powerful, the motor it’s a bit noisy. It’s so annoying to have such kind of device in your fish tank.  Besides being noisy, it lacks a ventilation slot, which is so critical in the filter system. On top of that, its nature makes the machine expensive and challenging to maintain.

Lee’s 40/50premium under-gravel filter features an extra strength of the UCF plates. The plates give the filter addition strength of withstanding harsh conditions in the saltwater. Also, the system is suitable for freshwater and marine water. Lee’s 40/50 premium under-gravel filter is easy to install as compared to other models.

  • Equipped with UGF plates to suit saltwater
  • Features large plates to reduce the need for extra ones
  • It’s easy to install and operate
  • Equipped with a series of filtration stages for optimum filtration
  • It’s expensive to maintain the lee’s 40/50preium filter
  • Not suitable for large fish tanks

When it comes to quality, Seachem’s products have no competitors in the current market. They are affordable but of high quality with durable construction material. On top of that, it features an additional ventilation slot. The aeration slots present in the lid and the outflow are responsible for ensuring maximum air circulation. 

Seachem tidal filters are suitable for a 55gallons fish tank. The included skimmer surface is essential for capturing small and large debris. The skimmer is capable of trapping floating contaminants such as fish oil, algae, and fish waste. The power filter is ideal for both freshwater and saltwater.

What I like

The ability of the power filter to adapt to different aquarium conditions gives the system an additional advantage. The tidal power filter is designed to provide the highest water quality to ensure healthy and crystal clear water. The activated carbon is responsible for chemical filtration. It assists in the filtration of toxic ammonia and nitrate. Lastly, the system is easy to maintain as compared to similar models in the current. The automatic alert attribute achieves easy maintenance.

What I don’t like

Although the machine operates quietly as compared to the rest, it has some negativity. The lower part is submerged in the water; thus it depreciates up quickly as compared to the upper part. On top of that, the filter basket blocks up easily, therefore requires a lot of cleaning and rinsing.  When it comes to its operation, it’s so disappointing how slow the machine works.

The adjustable telescoping intake, intake regulation, and flow regulation make it easy and practical to draw the water from the main tank. The automatic maintenance alert it’s the other great feature of the machine.  It helps to alert you when the filter needs to be cleaned or rinsed. Also, the removal basket makes it easy to clean the filter.

  • Seachem Tidal power filter is less noisy
  • Designed with automatic maintenance alert system
  • Equipped with a removable lid and basket for easy cleaning
  • It's ideal for both marine-water and freshwater
  • Features adjustable telescoping intake, flow rate regulator
  • It’s a bit expensive to purchase the power filters
  • Seachem filter basket requires a thorough cleaning

Things to Consider

Before you buy a 55 gallon fish filter, consider a few important things that will assist you to make the right choice. The following is a simple buying guide that will help you pick the most suitable filter for your 55 gallon aquarium.


Apart from the cost of the filter, the maintenance matters a lot.  The maintenance starts from priming. Priming mainly testes how effective a specific filter can work.  Maintenance can also be in terms of installation. Several collectors have challenges in installing the filter. While purchasing a filter, consider getting the one that it’s easy to install. 

When it comes to filters maintenance, it’s so annoying when it comes to replacing. Therefore it’s ideal you get a filter that it’s easy to maintain to reduce the cost of maintaining.

Filter media

When purchasing any filter, consider getting the one with the recommended filter media.  The best filter is capable of supporting three types of filtration methods. The common ones are chemical, mechanical, and biological filtration methods. The chemical filtration is responsible for the removal of unwanted toxic chemicals in the raw water. While the mechanical filtration ensures all the debris and other floating materials are fully captured. Biological filtration ensures no toxic ammonia or nitrate is present in the water. 


The size if the first factor to put into consideration while purchasing any filter. The size of the filters determines the space it will accommodate in the tank. In case you are not inclined to providing plenty of space for the fish to swim, then we have filter suitable for that. With a 55gallon, having a powerful filter, it’s a great advantage for you. 

Apart from power filters, several collectors also vouch when it comes to the canister filters. Canister filters help to maintain the tank’s pristine condition. They are essential to those you don’t need to cause distraction in the tank’s appearance.


Despite that, the value of the filter may not directly matter, its ideal to consider. No need to purchase an expensive product, yet we have high-quality and power filters.  However, a costly machine is said to be of the best quality. It’s now upon you to determine the best filter for you.

How Many Fish Should Feet In 55 gallon Aquarium?

If you have been struggling in determining the number of fish to keep in your 55gallon, you have to worry no more. The rule of the thumb is commonly used in calculating the total fish to stay in a particular fish tank. It states that in 1 fish per 1 gallon. This means that a 55 gallon can only accommodate 55 inches of species. It’s also ideal for determining the size of your fish to avoid overcrowded fish in one tank.

We still have other factors that can determine the number of fish a particular tank can hold. The factors include the décor and the number of plants available in the aquarium. The shape of the aquarium is the last factor you can put into consideration.

Which Plants Are The Best For 55-Gallon Tanks?

Java moss

Java moss is a common plant among most of the freshwater aquariums and is likewise a favorite of lovers of shrimp. They are essential for providing an excellent hiding site for the aquatic fish. It is ideally appended to ornaments available in the fish tank, such as driftwood and rocks. Java moss is well-known to float on the surface of the aquarium water. Therefore, it’s recommended to attach it somewhere to prevent it from drifting. 

The plant enjoys marginally dimmed light, and they thrive in the lower light. But you need to be keen if the light it’s too loud. Bright light will automatically stunt the growth of the java moss.

Java fern

This is the other popular type of freshwater plant that you can place in the fish tank. The java fern does well in the shrimp-like the java moss does. The plant grows healthy in the presence of low lights. Also, they do well when their rhizomes are attached to a rock or ornament. In case you have plenty of the java fern, you can cover the room with ornaments. But ensure you don’t want burry the rhizome.

Java fern is clustered, green and works well in a water temperature of about 68°F – 82°F and in low lights. It does well as background decoration and hiding site for the fish. Unlike other plants, the java fern is a live plant that is easy to grow in freshwater. The java fern is less cheap as compared to the rest of the plants. It doesn’t require any liquid fertilizer or substrates that may alter the water PH. 

Crypt wendtii 

These are the other standard and simple plants that you can grow in your 55-gallon tank. They are usually displayed in the pots of the neighborhood fish stores. They have a terrible reputation as they liquefy quickly once added to planted aquariums. The main reason is that crypts are less resistant to minor changes as compared to similar plants.

Unlike other plants, crypts require a higher amount of light and temperature. Crypts provide a great background décor due to their beautiful nature. But upon the addition of a planted aquarium, they look like the plant has dissolved completely.  The decisive advantage of the plant is that it can easily split its rhizomes area within a short period.

Anubias and Anubias nana

Here comes the other group of plants that do well in freshwater. The Anubias and Anubia Nana are too easy to keep in the aquatic site as compared to other plants. It’s mostly sold on drifted or rock in the aquarium stores. Unlike the different types, this plant it’s a bit slow in term of growth. So, it’s ideal to buy a specimen that will fit the size of the aquarium you have.

If you decide to go for this plant, then ensure that you keep the species above the substrate and avoid covering its roots. It requires being in the shady location of the fish tank with an intellect flow to keep algae free from the levels of the plant. The Anubias Nana require little nutrients; therefore, no need for adding fertilizer. It’s more ideal for Nano or smaller aquarium due to its tiny leaves. The worse thing with the plant is that it’s hard to get, and it’s costly. 

How Much Gravel Should I Put In My 55-Gallon Tank?

If you are planning to add substrate or even gravel into your fish tank, then consider putting 40 to 60 lbs of gravel. It’s ideal to have 2 lbs of the gravel per 1 gallon of the aquarium water. Also, the amount depends on the shape of the tank. Lastly, the size of the aquarium may determine the amount of gravel to put in the tank.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What fish can live in a 55-gallon tank?

A: The common fish recommended for 55 gallons is as follows: cory catfish, loaches, plecostomus or common pleco, Gourami, angelfish, Neon tetras, zebra danio and cherry brands. However, we have other species that can suit a 55 gallon apart from the above.

Q: Which are the standard tank filters types?

A: We have several types of tank filters that you use in your filter tanks for maximum filtration. The common ones are sponge filters, canister filters, power filters, under-gravel filters, and internal filters.

Q: What’s the cost of a filter system? 

A: Its quality and specification determine the cost of a particular system. Also, you need to keep in mind that the value of the filter may not directly determine the performance of the filter. We have some quality filters in the market that are so cheap.

Final Verdict

Choosing the best filter for a 55-gallon fish tank, it’s a bit tricky. The reason is that we have plenty of filters available in the current market.  However, you have to worry any more if you have gone through the review. The discussed types of filters are so reliable and so easy to install. On top of that, they are so cheap as compared to the rest of the brands in the market. Get one for your fish, and you will never regret such a wise decision.

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