10 Best Goldfish Filters (Reviewed and Rated in 2021)

There are a variety of goldfish filters available in the market that are great for your aquarium but you have to get the most suitable one for your goldfish. For first-timers in fish keeping, I am sure you are quite confused by the many available options and the significance of a filter. To ensure that your pet fish thrive and are healthy in the aquarium, getting the best goldfish filters can be important.

Goldfish are among the best and easiest pets that you can keep for kids or your pleasure also they are great for people who tend to travel often since they do not have to feed daily. Their low maintenance needs make it the best fit for pet keeping but one essential need is a filter system. A great filter will reduce the times you perform water changes and it increases your stocking capacity. 

A decent filter keeps your goldfish tank gleaming and safe for your pet fish to move around and enjoy a healthy life inside there. The filter keeps the water neat and contaminant-free making it economical for you and safe for your fish.

Here is a review of what I considered the top ten best goldfish filters in the market that will work for you as the reader. They vary in shape, size, cost, and benefits giving you quite a big range to choose from. Take a look at their reviews.

If you prefer a great hang on back (HOB) filter, then the Marina Power Filter should be at the top of your goldfish filter list. With its compact and slim design, it gives you aesthetic and practical benefits. It does not take up a lot of space in contrast to the other standard sized filters and gives your tank a classy look.

What I like

It is easy to set up and amazingly there is no priming needed. It is easy for you to keep your little goldfish since it is easy to clean and maintain. It contains two filter cartridges, the Bio-carb and the Bio-clear with a highly porous ceramic filter medium that gives you a healthy aquarium by optimizing biological filtration.

What I don’t like

Some of the drawbacks of this goldfish filter are that it only provides the biological filtration and not mechanical filtration. It comes with a plastic piece covered by a sponge that might easily detach and this plastic piece could endanger your fish. There is also the intake tube that is placed near the outflow and in case the tube happens to come into contact with the outflow it causes some slight noise that is not healthy for your fish.

  • Maintenance and cleaning are easy.
  • You can easily customize the filter.
  • Great filtration ability, it can filter a twenty-gallon tank.
  • Self-priming design.
  • Made with an easy to modify flow control.
  • The intake tube is close to the outflow.

For a filter that can combine both features of a canister filter with the ease of a hang on back filter the Fluval c power filter is great for you. This filter gives you a stress free environment for your fish with its ability to work towards maintaining refreshing clear water. The filter is of benefit when it comes to protecting your aquatic species and giving better absorption of nutrients.

What I like

This filter provides extensive mechanical, biological and chemical filtration using a five-step cleaning process. Two mechanical stages, one chemical stage, and two biological stages to give you the best outcome of clear, clean and healthy water for your fish. When it comes to its cleaning system it is well equipped with a cleaning indicator to rinse the polyfoam. Wet or dry trickle chamber optimizes the exchange of oxygen and it helps in the removal of nitrate.

What I don’t like

On the other hand, the dual-sided foam pad even with its great performance when it comes to trapping particles it has to be replaced every few months. This is because it holds a large number of particles and cannot keep them for too long.

  • Best filtration with excellent water flow.
  • Easy to clean bio-media.
  • The five-stage filtration does a great job of cleaning the water.
  • Cleaning and switching out media is made easy with the modular media compartments.
  • It comes with compartments that are large and easy to access.
  • The spout that trickles water over the bio-media is vulnerable to clogging.

The Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter is a great choice for places where you want something quiet in your space. This filter gives you everything a canister filter should give you and at the same time being inexpensive making it a perfect fit for your budget.  The cascade canister filter can be used for both freshwater and marine aquatic environments.

What I like

It is easy to maneuver in even the tightest of aquarium cabinets with a flow valve that rotates at a full 360 degrees. It has a floss pad that can remove fine particulate matter and the activated carbon media removes toxins and impurities from water. It promotes bacterial growth with the coarse sponge that makes for an abundant surface area that provides biological filtration.

What I don’t like

The motor is not powerful compared to other goldfish filters. It is made with poor quality plastic that is fragile and does not last for long.

  • The internal sponge helps in maximizing the settlement of good aerobic bacteria.
  • Elimination of harmful bacteria and chemicals using the activated carbon cartridge.
  • It comes with a poly-fiber floss cartridge that traps floating particles.
  • Easy to adjust the flow knob.
  • Push-button primer for easy and fast startup.
  • The filter often overflows to the suction side.
  • Poor quality motor

This power filter is well known for its clip-on aquarium power filter, smart engineering, and dependability in the industry. This top-class filter gives you peak filtration with its amazingly expanded biological factors. These factors give you the enthusiasm to set up and maintain attractive, safe and healthy aquariums. The Aqua Clear Fish Tank Filter can best be used for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums

What I like

You can adjust the water flow to a certain volume or type hereby providing flexibility in instances where fish require more or less water movement and also while feeding. With the reduced flow, the patented refiltration system circulates water through the filter media to maximize filtration performance. It also has a three-stage filtration system that ensures constant biological filtration keeps going.

What I don’t like

The intake tube is not made of great quality and you have to keep on replacing it after a while. You can also use foam by placing it inside the tube just to keep it at per with the rest of the tank filter.

  • Installation and maintenance are quick, easy and convenient.
  • Maximum filtration efficiency offered by the media basket.
  • It runs quietly.
  • This power filter has a greater filtration volume.
  • Adjustments are required to make the intake tube longer lasting.

Read full review of Aqua Clear Fish Tank Filter

Most people think of Undergravel filters as outdated but in all honesty that is not the case. If set up in the right manner and following instructions this filter is of the best service you can find when it comes to filtering your goldfish aquarium. For this Undergravel filter, you do not use the pea-sized gravel which is harmful to your fish instead there are varieties to choose from. You can use the hydroton, nitrate-reducing filter media or small pebbles. All these optional media do not support nitrate reduction.

What I like

You can attach a prefilter to the powerhead to prevent waste from getting into the filter bed which is poisonous for your fish. You can also connect the pump outlet tube to your riser tube with reverse and get yourself a safe and fully effective aquarium filter. The under gravel filters do not interfere with any of your tank aesthetics making this a great filter consideration.

What I don’t like

The only shortcoming with this filter is its tubing, which can more often than not be shorter than expected. It is therefore recommended that you lookout for the right sizing tubing for your tank.

  • It has low current providing your fish with the best environment.
  • Great bacterial growth provided by the large surface area offered.
  • Odor removal with two carbon filter cartridges.
  • Easy maintenance and effortless setup.
  • Short tubing.

If you are on the hunt for a fairly big aquarium you will most likely look at the Marineland Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter as a top choice. This internal filter is made for larger tanks and provides the best filtration. It is a quite neat filter and it is one of the best internal filters to get even with a few drawbacks you cannot ignore its great features.

What I like

It gives you an option to choose from either the continuous three-stage filtration system or the high-efficiency micron water polishing. This filtration system ensures the removal of solid debris, ammonia, nitrates, colors, odors, and any other toxic elements. Filtration system offers a processing power of 290 gallons of water per hour making it a great option for large aquariums. The internal submersible filter is self-priming taking away the stress of doing manual priming.

What I don’t like

For the filtration system, the included media is not the best for use in your tank but it still gets the job done for you. There is also the issue with the amount of space it takes up since it is an internal filter it tends to occupy a lot more space in your tank than other filters.

  • Plenty of customizable media capacity.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • Self-priming submersible filter.
  • Great three-stage filtration system.
  • It has a lot of processing power
  • It cannot be used in small aquariums.
  • Quite noisy.

To give your tank a simple filter set up and great biological filtration this is the exact filter you are looking to buy. The compact wet and dry filters fit perfectly into sumps without taking up too much space. With its biological filtration system, it keeps away ammonia and nitrates that are toxic.

What I like

A complete biological filtration system is made up of the overflow box, bio balls, drip tray cover, egg crate, filter pad, return valve, vinyl tubing, bulkhead, and a flex hose. The advanced u-tube style that compact overflow boxes have been made to perfectly fit between your tank and the wall. This helps in maximizing the space you use in your aquarium setup.

What I don’t like

The only drawback of this filter is the top of the unit that easily separates and you have to get a new one or do the sealing by yourself. It leaks quite often although in small amounts.

  • Acts as both a wet and dry filter.
  • Takes up little space in the sumps.
  • You can use it for both freshwater and saltwater tanks.
  • The top unit separates easily.
  • It requires resealing.

Are you looking forward to getting an aquarium with the best aquarium showcase that uses a filter that does not block your view? Then get yourself the MarineLand Emperor Bio-Wheel Power Filter that has a revolutionary design. With its advanced filtration design, the filter ensures your aquarium is crystal clear. Its flow, two pump design, and filtration power are exemplary in comparison to other filters in its level.

What I like

The right size filter cartridges provide you with the mechanical and chemical filtration that your aquarium requires. The filtration helps in screening out debris, removing odors, discoloration and getting rid of impurities. There is also the three-stage bio-wheel filter that can be of use in either the freshwater aquariums or saltwater aquariums. It filters water almost twice the filter cartridge capacity of other brands for better filtration.

What I don’t like

The motor is noisy and not the best for spaces like the office or your bedroom. This is however easy to fix as long as the parts are not damaged. The noise may be due to salt build-up making it a little noisy, you, therefore, need to clean away the salt build-up and the motor will run smoothly and quietly.

  • Gives a complete three-stage filtration system for both freshwater and saltwater tanks.
  • Features a dual-impeller contributing to a healthier environment for fish.
  • The filter cartridge traps toxins and debris to give your fish the best environment.
  • It offers almost twice the filter cartridge capacity.
  • Patented bio-wheel design giving you the wet and dry biological filtration
  • The motor is a bit noisy.

If you are after a gilt-edged aquarium filter for your pet goldfish the Marina I25 Internal filter will work to satisfy your interests. This filter is made with a smart design and is convenient for your uses. The filter is great at helping you keep a clean and healthy environment where your goldfish get the chance to grow and thrive.

What I like

The filter gives you a peaceful environment with the motor running quietly since its motor is submerged in water. Even with the filter being compact it is very powerful and clips easily to your goldfish aquariums or any other aquarium. It comes with two chambers that work to keep your goldfish aquarium clean and safe for pet fish. The initial one has zeolite media that removes toxic ammonia from water and the second chamber has carbon that removes pollutants and odors from your water.

What I don’t like

Lack of a top on this internal filter leaves the filter pads exposed making this unsafe for your pet fish.

  • Noise free-running motor.
  • Easily clipped on for fish tanks.
  • Stress free cartridge replacement.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Gets rid of pollutants effectively.
  • Filter cartridges have very limited options.

This corner sponge filter is especially efficient when you do not require a filter with an extremely strong current for your tiny goldfish. The sponge filter also works where you have young pet fish and a safe and gentle filtration is required. It is also used to jump-start a new aquarium tank. This filter is one of the easiest to clean where you simply rinse and squeeze the sponge in the used tank water.

What I like

The sponge filter is designed in a rib shape. This rib shape design allows the filter to trap unnecessary fine particles and floating debris. It also increases oxygen and gives an ideal environment for the growth of beneficial nitrifying bacteria. With a four-layer corner sponge, your fish get the best mechanical and biological filtration keeping your tank crystal clear.

What I don’t like

The greatest negative factor when it comes to the use of these corner sponge filters is the complete lack of chemical filtration. They only provide you with biological and mechanical filtration, which is very useful, since they have no means to include chemical media.

  • Easy to clean.
  • Setting up is easy as long as you follow instructions.
  • The corner sponge does not take up too much space.
  • Traps excess food and allows shrimps to pick them at a later period.
  • Motor operates silently.
  • Lack of chemical filtration media.

Buying Guide

Before you buy a goldfish filter, the following are some important considerations that you should know.

Type of filter

With the market offering all these different brands you have to be definite with the filter type you prefer to get. The different filters have different features that meet your different needs.

There is the air-driven internal filters that are best used for compact aquariums and a large variety of different fish tanks. This model is considered small, sturdy and very well built this keeps the tank strong.

The other type is the under gravel filter placed at the bottom of your fish tank under the gravel or fine pebbles. These filters provide biological filtration by moving water through the gravel and helping beneficial bacteria decompose the waste accumulated in the tank.

Finally, there is the wet/dry filter ideal for saltwater tanks that require biological filtration. Its name suggests that it can get exposed to both air and water.

The function performed by the filter

One aspect you should not overlook is the function that the filter performs for your goldfish tank. The filters offer either mechanical, chemical and biological media functions. There are the biological filtration media that helps in eliminating the ammonia that accumulates in the tank. The mechanical filtration removes debris, excess food and dust particles from the tank. Put into consideration the chemical filtration for the safety of the water in your tank.

Size of the aquarium tank

A goldfish tank is measured by the number of gallons of water that it holds in an aquarium tank. Considering the tank is an important factor to align with the tank size. 

Water Flow Rate

Ensure you have the optimal water flow rate for your goldfish. Your filter should be capable of filtering the entire water approximately five times in an hour. Optimal water flow will make sure that your tank is cleaned at the correct speed and without bringing about strong currents that hurt your fish. Bear in mind that the flow rate of water is in relation to the size of the aquarium.

Is a sponge filter good for goldfish?

YES. You need the right product to ensure a clean and well-filtered tank is available for your fish. Then the best product to serve this purpose is the sponge filter. Sponge filters are great for your goldfish in that it makes sure your goldfish is living in clean and bacteria-free water. 

The filters are good for your fish because they only trap the harmful bacteria in the water without trapping your tiny pet goldfish.it allows the growth of beneficial bacteria to take root and it promotes the health of the water in your aquarium. 

The sponge filter is also used as a pre-filter for your goldfish as they start a new life in a new environment that is their tank. The sponge filters do mechanical and biological filtration. Although it is a great aquarium it is recommended for use as an ancillary filter for an aquarium and in breeding tanks as a pre-filter.

Can goldfish live without a filter?

Yes. But this would heavily depend on one factor that you make large water changes every day which I am sure you do not have the time for doing that in your home or office daily. For the sake of your pet fish and your own, you do require to get your goldfish a filter. 

With goldfish producing toxins, they accumulate in the aquarium and this is poisonous to your aquatic species since it causes all types of problems. The filter, in this case, is therefore required to get rid of the harmful toxins in the aquarium. This keeps your goldfish safe using the combination of mechanical, biological filtration and in a few occasions chemical filtration. Even with the fact that goldfish can survive without a filter, the best option is to get a filter to clean out your water without a lot of hassle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long can your goldfish survive without a filter?

A: Considering that you do not necessarily require a filter your fish can live up to four or five years at most without an appropriate filter. Therefore if you are after long term goldfish keeping I recommend you get a filter.

Q: Which are the best goldfish filter brands?

A: None of us would love to waste their money and get their aquarium goldfish tank an unworthy filter. I believe that the brands I have reviewed above are among the best in the industry. We all want a filter brand that delivers a great reliable filtration system and gives you the quality you pay for. 

The brands I have reviewed are most of the well-known in manufacturing great marine equipment without disappointing. Most of the aquarium owners I have come across including myself, they highly regard these brands. Though this should not limit you from venturing into products by other brands as long as they offer great quality.

Q: What does the fish tank filter do?

A: The goldfish tank filters get rid of the fish waste, excess food, deadly chemicals and ammonia that are harmful to your fish. The biological, mechanical and chemical filtration systems get this job done for you ensuring that your filter has left your aquarium water clean and bacteria-free. With the right filter, your goldfish is sure of healthy bacterial growth for its benefits in the aquarium.

Final Verdict

After reading this article and the information provided you can now go out and get your goldfish filter of choice without any worries. Whichever goldfish filter you decide to go for solely depends on the needs of your aquarium as a whole. A great well-fitting goldfish filter matters when it comes to keeping your goldfish safe and happy and it eases the work.

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