6 Best Sponge Filter for 10 Gallon Tank (2021 Reviews & Guide)

Keeping fish around your house or office is great. They add spice to any place you put them in. It is not attractive, however, if the tank you keep them in is dirty. Anything that holds any kind of life needs to be cleaned, and fish tanks are no exception. This review is going to help you find the best filters to keep your tank clean and neat, not to mention it is healthy for the fish. Fish need a healthy environment for them to thrive and reproduce. It also creates a happy environment for you and your fish. The filters are going to be for 10-gallon aquariums. So without further ado, let’s look into the best sponge filters for a 10-gallon tank.

We should all look out for the environment, and this filter caters to precisely that. This filter is made of food-grade materials and is eco-friendly. It offers you a great and quiet way to clean and oxygenate your tank. You can use this filter individually or together with other filters.

What I like

The filter has a dual ten-layer ribbed sponge for mechanical filtration, which provides a home for colonies of useful bacteria for biological filtration. The bacteria also allow the filter to work faster. The sponges also aerate the water. The filter also has two suction cups that can be affixed to the back or side of your tank, giving you a choice of where to mount it.

What I don’t like

The suction cups do not have a lot of suction. This means that the filter detaches itself from time to time. It isn’t a big problem since it doesn’t stop working, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

You should always squeeze the filter in tank water for at least 5 minutes to make it easy to digest and form colonies of bacteria. It is also essential to use only aquarium tank water when washing the sponge, not tap or hot water. It is recommended to replace it after 6-8 months for health purposes.

  • Can be used as both a primary or secondary filter
  • Easy to clean
  • Works silently
  • Easy to setup
  • Uses both biological and mechanical filtration
  • The suction cups can detach
  • Might not be strong enough as a primary filter

If you are looking for a filter and you are on a budget, the XY-2831 is the best one for you. Don’t let the price fool you because this filter packs quite a punch. It is versatile in its use in that it both filters and aerates your tank.

What I like

The first thing I liked about this filter is the very affordable price. The price allows you to get what your tank and your fish needs without creating a massive dent in your pocket. Another thing is the dual filtration, mechanical and biological, that this tank provides. The filter also provides an ideal location for bacterial growth.

What I don’t like

With this filter, like the previous one, the suction cup fails to deliver. It detaches and leaves the filter floating in the tank.

To preserve beneficial bacteria, wash the sponge in aquarium water. Using hot water or tap water harms all the bacteria. It will also throw your fish out of balance if you return it because they will have to adapt to another environment from time to time, making them restless and uncomfortable.

  • Very affordable price
  • Easy to install
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance
  • Provides both biological and mechanical filtration
  • Ideal for bacterial colonization
  • The suction cup needs improvement

Let’s just get this out of the way; this filter might be a little big. However, don’t let that bother you. A 10-gallon aquarium works great with this tank. If you still have any doubts, be comforted that the filter can be used as both a pre-filter for a Hang-on-Back. You can also hide it behind some plants to hide it to disguise the size.

What I like

This sponge, as you can see on the title, is a biochemical filter. It provides you with both mechanical and biological filtration, leaving your screen clean and providing useful bacteria for your fish ensuring they remain healthy. You can use the sponge for both filtration and aeration, so now you don’t only get a filter at an affordable price, but you also get one that has dual filtration and provides aeration; quite a bargain if you ask me.

What I don’t like

The filter’s tube is at the top of the tank, so there might be a few bubbles entering the water.

  • Affordable price
  • Cleans quickly and efficiently
  • Has a weighted base
  • Has a dual filtration system
  • Provides both aeration and filtration
  • Might be too big for your tank
  • Allows entry for some bubbles

Are you looking for an easy to clean filter that does its work efficiently? Well, look no further than the Jardin aquarium air pump. The pump has a one-way valve that ensures your water stays clean in any circumstance. It also has a biochemical filter that leaves the water healthy and provides excellent water quality, making it a healthy environment for your fish

What I like

The fact that the filter is easy to clean is a plus. You just simply rinse it under cool running water and squeeze the sponge to remove air bubbles. A bonus is that the filter comes with a tube that you can attach an air pump to in case you need it.

What I don’t like

The filter might be too strong if you have small fish like bettas. It produces a lot of bubbles that create turbulence, not suitable if you have a small tank.

  • Easy to clean
  • Biochemical filtration
  • Comes with a tube to fit an air pump
  • Has a one-way no-return valve for cleaner water
  • Produces a lot of bubbles

Three filters in one. This is the deal you get with the Tetra whisper power filter. It uses Bio-Bag filter cartridges that remove waste particles in the aquarium. The cartridges also remove discoloration and bad odors thanks to activated carbon. The filter also has Bio-Foam, which provides your aquarium with biological filtration.

What I like

The odor absorption feature is one of the features I liked. The filter has ultra-activated carbon that removes both bad odors and discoloration from the water, leaving it clean and odorless. It also uses Integrated Stay Clean technology to reduce buildup on glass. The technology binds small dirt particles for easier filtration.

What I don’t like

Now, this is a feature that pissed me off; the filter poses a huge problem when it comes to turning it back on after cleaning. This makes me reluctant to change the water and is something that needs improvement.

  • 3-stage filtration
  • Odor absorption features
  • Dual-sided mesh filters that catch debris
  • Quiet and reliable operation
  • Integrated Stay Clean technology that reduces buildup
  • Difficult to restart after cleaning

Every tank needs useful bacteria to clean it, and it is the responsibility of the filter to deliver them. The XY-2821 does precisely that. It provides aerobic bacteria that reduce ammonia, nitrites, and deposits in the tank. The filter also promotes oxygenation, which in turn moves plants or anemones.

What I like

An attractive feature of this filter is the biological filtration that it provides. The filtration stabilizes the water quality in the tank, making it a suitable environment for your fish. The filter also works noiselessly and increases the oxygen solubility of the water. Although the tank doesn’t have an airline, it has an output tube that can fit most pumps and other filters in case you need to add something.

What I don’t like

This is, no doubt, an excellent filter. It has one shortcoming, however, and that is the fact that the sponge needs changing a lot, especially after cleaning it a few times.

  • Provides biological filtration
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance
  • Noiseless operation
  • Increases oxygen solubility
  • Removes nitrates and surface deposits
  • The sponge needs regular changing

Buying Guide

After making the decision to buy a filter for your aquarium and looking through the different types of aquariums, the next step to make is to look at the things you should know before buying the sponge filter. These are some of the things you should look at before making the right decision when buying sponge filters for 10 gallon tanks.


The size of the aquarium you have will determine the size of the filter to buy. A large tank will require a larger sponge, while a smaller tank will require a smaller filter. Getting the right size of filter will determine the efficiency of the filter. A small filter won’t work efficiently in a large tank because it would not have the correct strength to power the aquarium. This review has covered some of the best sponge filters you can get for a 10-gallon aquarium.


Different filters have different prices. Sponge filters are not any different. The filter you will buy will depend on the size of your budget. You can get a standard filter with a smaller amount of money, and this would be nice if that is what you are going for. If you are looking for a filter with more features, you might have to dive more into your pocket. A filter without extra features is cheaper than one with accessories. In general, sponge filters are affordable, and you can get one that won’t hurt you financially.

Advance Features

To remain relevant, some brands have added additional features like an air pump. These features help make it easy for you, especially if you are a beginner. This is because you won’t have to go around finding additional features. These will be more expensive than others, but they will come in handy and make it easier for you to take care of the tank and your fish.

The Type of Sponge Filter

Sponge filters come in different types. They are the easiest to use, clean, and maintain. You can use these filters in conjunction with another filter like a standalone filter, a HOB, or a canister filter. You can also use them as the only filter; this will depend on the size of your tank. You can get a double sponge filter or a single filter. Some are to be used with large or small tanks, or on Betta tanks. The kind of filter to get will depend on the type of aquarium that you are using.

Sponge Capacity

Now that we have dealt with the size of the sponge, we can move on to the sponge’s capacity. A sponge might not have the correct capacity for the amount of water in the aquarium. The sponge filter should be able to handle the amount of dirt the fish produce. The higher the level of water will determine the amount of waste the aquarium can withstand. The sponge you choose should have enough capacity to handle the waste. The higher the capacity, the better, since that way, you can handle more dirt whenever you need it to.

Does a 10 Gallon Tank Need a Filter?

If you clean a surface when it has dirt on it, why shouldn’t you clean an aquarium? An aquarium, no matter the amount of dirt will also need cleaning from time to time. Fish live in water; we all know that, but what people take for granted is the environment they live in.

Fish also need to live in a clean environment too, and they can’t flourish in dirty water. Dirty water can also affect their health, and we don’t want that. You cannot handle the ammonia and dirt in the water on your own, and a sponge filter will take care of that.

Sponge filters use biological filtration to clean the tank. Because of this, they promote the growth of useful bacteria. The bacteria remove harmful nitrites and ammonia in the water, leaving the fish with clean and healthy water. The filters also use mechanical filtration. This kind of filtration sucks away all the dirt, whether seen or unseen.

Some sponge filters are not used for filtration only. They can also be used to aerate the water. They increase the oxygen sustainability of the water, providing an excellent medium for the fish to swim in. This way, the fish not only have clean water, but they also have healthy water, and they can swim around without getting themselves harmed, promoting healthy fish life.

These are some of the reasons you should consider getting a sponge filter for your aquarium. Just make sure the filter you get fits the size of your tank so that it can perform effectively.

Do Sponge Filters Need an Air Pump?

Sponge filters need an air pump, and here’s why. An air pump is used to pull water through a filtration mechanism. The air pump once turned on, draws water, using a lifting method into the filter. This causes air bubbles to rise and float from the pump. The bubbles then lift water out of the tube and return the now clean water into the aquarium.

Some sponge filters come with their air pump, so you won’t need to look for another one. The pump gives the filter enough power to lift the water to the filter for cleaning. Other sponge filters do not come with an air pump, so you will have to go and buy one. This is needed if the filter doesn’t have enough power to lift the water on its own. Some stores sell air pumps that are powerful enough to work with the filter you are using. As always, make sure the air pump matches the size of the filter you have.


Q: What’s the difference between a sponge filter and a power filter?

A: A sponge filter is made of spongy material with an air tube used as the filtering mechanism. It can use both biological and mechanical filtration, but it does not provide any chemical filtration. A power filter, on the other hand, works by drawing water using a lift tube instead of an air tube and uses a spillway to return water into the tank.

Q: What are some of the best brands of sponge filters?

A: There are different sponge filters available, and this might be confusing if you are searching. To make it easier for you, I will mention some of the brands that make the best filters. They include;

  • Uxcell
  • Tetra
  • Hikari 
  • Aqueon, among others.

You will notice some of the brands are featured in this review, and that is how you know that they are some of the best you can find.

Q: How to clean a sponge filter?

A: generally, you should clean a sponge filter every two weeks. You should clean it regularly; however, when the water is dirty. Make sure always to use the tank water to clean the sponge instead of regular tap water. You should also squeeze the sponge once you are done to remove air bubbles and for it to sink.

Final Words

You are now well equipped to go out and get a filter for your aquarium. Sponge filters are the easiest to find and to use. They give both biological and mechanical filtration to remove dirt and solid particles found in water. This review has focused on some of the best sponge filters for 10-gallon tank available. With that being said, you can always find others, but we hope that this review has made it easier for you to decide the type of filter you want to keep your tank clean and your fish happy.

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