Best Aquarium Filters Under $100

the best aquarium filters under 100

Why do you need an aquarium filter? One of the most important factors in maintaining your aquarium is the filtration system. How else will your fish thrive inside their aquarium when the water is murky and full of harmful substances like ammonia,nitrate and nitrite? Whether it’s a freshwater or marine aquarium, filters are critical. Their main function is to remove chemical waste products from the water. This way the fish inside the aquarium can live without getting sick or even dying as a result of polluted water. Filtration is absolutely essential in aquarium maintenance.

There are hundreds of aquarium filters available for you to choose from! Different types and prices. You can get an external or internal filtration system. If you own large messy fish like the Flowerhorn, you will need to over meet the requirements suggested by the manufacturer for your filtration to be effective . Filters can easily get expensive. If you don’t want to flush a lot of cash down the drain, and you want to be a methodical and smart fish keeper instead, there are filters that offer what you need at a good price. You shouldn’t compromise the health of your fish for a couple bucks.No need to worry though, there are budget hacks for aquarium filtration.

First, let’s define types of filtration for those who are new to the aquarium hobby. The objective of chemical filtration is to remove impurities in the water with the use of carbon or zeolite. On the other hand, mechanical filtration works by trapping the waste particles and eventually removing them from the tank. And biological filtration utilizes bacteria to break down ammonia and nitrites which affect the alkaline and acidity of the water. Generally, fish require a certain temperature, acidity, and flow of the water. Filtration assists in all this by allowing the owner to control its levels.

After scouring the internet for some of the best filters that cost under $100, here’s the list:

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

Penn Plax Canister Filter best aquarium filters


The Penn Plax Cascade 1000 Canister Aquarium Filter is designed for heavy filtration, and to deliver mechanical, chemical as well as biological filtration. It is perfect for aquariums which can accommodate up to 100 gallons and pumps 265 gallons per hour (GPH).

Important features and benefits:

  • Comes with easy push button for self-primer.
  • Designed with independent 360 degree rotating valve caps.
  • Made with a sturdy base that won’t easily tip.
  • Includes flow rate cut-off valves in order to adjust the flow of the water.

What we like about this aquarium filter:

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It comes with a coarse sponge that allows for helpful bacteria to grow. These bacteria will eventually help with biological filtration by removing waste due to excess food and reducing ammonia and nitrites which are harmful to the fish.

SunSun HW-302 3-Stage External Canister Filter, 264 GPH

sun sun canister filter the best aquarium filters

The SunSun HW-302 3-Stage External Canister Filter, 264 GPH is a pro kit that includes Canister Filter, three White Filter Pads, one Blue Coarse Pad, three Media Baskets, 1lb of Premium Filter Carbon, 1lb of Ceramic Rings and a set of Bio Balls. It works best for a tank that can accommodate up to 75 gallons.

Important features and benefits:

  • Comes with HW-302 canister filter which allows convenient self-priming pump without needing manual siphoning.
  • Includes an adjustable spray bar that can help with the adjustment of the output flow.
  • Can be easily set up.

What we like about this aquarium filter:

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Quiet like the bottom of the ocean. Perfect for your Flowerhorns that thrive in relatively calmer waters. This aquarium filter will definitely keep your fish happy.

EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter with Media

ehiem classic canister filter the best aquarium filters

The EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter with Media is made with Permo-elastic silicon sealing ring that helps secure the pump head for safe closing especially after cleaning. It comes with accessories such as spray bar, inlet pipe, hose and installation accessories.

Important features and benefits:

  • Prepared with filter sponges and/or loose filter media
  • Comes with filter media (EHEIM Mech and Substrate Pro) and valves

What we love about this aquarium filter:

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EHEIM is a trusted brand when it comes to aquarium filtration. If you like classic and tested technology, you’d definitely want to choose this filter. It provides mechanical and biological filtration for both small and large systems!

Marineland C220 Canister Filter

marineland c220 canister filter best aquarium filters


The Marineland C220 Canister Filter is efficient and convenient to use. It offers external filtration, in different stages. Water is drawn into the canister and is cleaned with full-contact filtration and then the water is returned to your tank without risk of negative effects to your fish’ health.

Important features and benefits:

  • Provides three stage complete filtration.
  • Includes Media, Filter Floss Pad, Filter Foam, Carbon Filter Bag and Bio-Filter Balls.
  • Equipped with Valve block for quick release and hose attachment.
  • Designed with a lid that contains fit-lock clamps.
  • Suitable for freshwater or marine aquariums.

What we love about this aquarium filter:

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The sleek black design that goes well any aquarium. This aquarium filter is not just functional but also complements the tank.


AquaClear Power Filter – 110 V

AquaClear 110 filter the best aquarium filters

The AquaClear Power Filter – 110 V is the last on this list, but definitely not the least. This versatile hang on system is quick and easy to install. It provides both mechanical and biological filtration for an aquarium with 110 gallons. The contents of this kit include Filter Cover, Filter Case, Filter Basket, Leveling Device, Motor, Intake “U” Tube, Extension Tube, Foam, Activated Carbon, BioMax, Locking Clipand Mesh Bag.

Important features and benefits:

  • Helps remove debris.
  • Assists in maintaining optimal water distribution patterns.
  • Comes with foam that contains porous structure that is ideal for beneficial bacteria to thrive.
  • Contains 100% premium research grade carbon.

What we love about this aquarium filter:

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The AquaClear Power Filter – 110 V is cost efficient! This re filtration system offers superior contact time with filter media and the energy efficient pump, resulting to less operating costs.

The Final Verdict

In conclusion there are hundreds of other aquarium filters out there. The products we selected for this list are  suitable for large aquariums, to help your fish thrive in their environment. Perhaps, the most important tip in buying aquarium filtration is, no matter how expensive or high quality the product is,USE IT PROPERLY because if not set up properly, filters will not be effective. After choosing the ideal aquarium filter, read the manual for more information about maintenance.