🐠 Best 5 Gallon Aquarium Filter Reviews in 2021

The search for the best 5 gallon aquarium filter has many different options, but not all of them are created equal. A good filter will keep your tank clean and healthy by removing fish waste, uneaten food, and other debris. The following list features five of the top-rated filters on Amazon that work well in a small or medium sized tank: Fluval C2 Canister Filter, AquaClear Power Filter System w/ BioMax Filtration Cartridge, Tetra Whisper 10i Aquarium Air Pump Filter with Removable Media Bag (150gph), Micron Filters 3 Pack Replacement Charcoal Pad (Fluvsher), Marineland Penguin 100 W Hang-On Tank Filter.

What is The Best 5 Gallon Aquarium Filter

 Fluval C2 Canister Filter Check Price on Amazon
 Tetra Whisper Internal Filter Check Price on Amazon
 AZOO Mignon Filter 60 Check Price on Amazon
 Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter Check Price on Amazon
 Marina Power Filter Check Price on Amazon
 AquaClear Hagen Power Filter Check Price on Amazon
 Aquapapa Corner Filter Check Price on Amazon
 Penn-Plax Cascade 20 Power Filter Check Price on Amazon
 Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter Check Price on Amazon
 Marina I25 Internal Filter Check Price on Amazon
 Hikari Bacto-Surge High Density Foam Filter Check Price on Amazon

Best 5 Gallon Aquarium Filter Revied Buyers Guide

Fluval C2 Canister Filter

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The Fluval C2 canister filter provides 5 worth of performance in a compact and economical design. At the heart of this power filter is a durable, self-priming intake tube with double screened precoat that removes large debris before they run downstream. Foam media slides right out for quick cleaning by hand or with one of our convenient foam washers.

The mechanical stage in the Fluval C2 has activated carbon to remove toxins from your water supply but it’s also removable if you want to use BioChem Stars instead for nitrate control without removing too many impurities. There are two easy-to-remove fine filters that remove even microscopic particles so that your aquarium always looks its best when viewed through glass.

The Fluval C2 Canister Filter is professional grade and trusted for ponds up to 60 gallons. It has a top quality, double-coated foam media that won’t interfere with the biofilter’s ability to become established and catch debris.

The biological stage features Bio-Screen pad, which blocks debris and provides plenty of surface area for beneficial bacteria growth. Biological Trickle Chamber supercharged with Fluval C Nodes that give biologics their food source for nitrification when loaded slows down but increases nitrates production – while keeping water pristine on return!

Tetra Whisper Internal Filter

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Tetra Whisper Internal Filter is the ideal filter for a 4 gallon aquarium. It offers powerful cleaning and two different filters for space-saving power! Ultra-activated carbon removes odors, discoloration, and bacteria to leave your water looking crystal clear. In addition, Tetra Whisper operates without noise or electricity so you can enjoy peace of mind while catching up on some rest. With Tetra Whisper at work in your tank, you’ll never worry about dirty water again!

Your tank is too valuable to be simply sitting in the most visible spot in your house, dreading that moment someone will inevitably knock it over. With Tetra Whisper Internal Filter specially designed just for you, its sleek and discreet design means it can be hidden behind your dΓ©cor or tucked away on a wall somewhere. Plus, save money by buying all you need at once because this convenient pack includes the filter cartridge as well as everything else!

The Tetra Whisper Internal Filter is perfect for aquariums of any size. 27 gallons per hour and can be adjusted to the highest or lowest water levels, picking up debris and fish waste while also removing odors and discoloration.

AZOO Mignon Filter 60

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Find the perfect balance with AZOO Mignon Filters. The compact design saves space and is easy to transport, but still keeps your tank clean from impurities and excess waste. With a quiet motor that operates at 55dB, you can fill up your favorite water bottle or cook in peace–without disturbing everyone else! All parts are quickly removable for cleaning; just pop off the top cover with one hand to switch filters or remove any other part of the unit you need access to.

Maintaining your water system is incredibly easy with just five simple steps: rinse off old scale particles in scalding hot water; fill the tank; pour out any standing water (use clean distilled vinegar); wait at least 10 minutes if using a sediment pre-filter* (30 minute delay if not using other filtration methods)

Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter

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Fit for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums, Aqueon’s Quietflow E Internal Power Filter is perfect for low-noise enthusiasts. Highly effective in creating a clean and healthy environment for your aquatic pets to live in, this filter also employs an easy-to-install kit that will fit inside any fish tank or similarly shaped container up to 39 gallons.

It’s simple to set up and comes with everything you’ll need from the suction cups to hang it on the glass of your choice all the way down to its cartridge filter pads which are made out of chemical resistant materials designed not only to last a long time but ensure you can keep your tank full of swimmable water lovers even when you’re away from home!

The Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter is a great option for freshwater aquariums! Its internal design helps remove odors and color from the water so you can see your aquatic friends better. The filter cartridge included produces highly effective chemical filtration with just two cartridges, while also helping to keep the whole system clean. Replace every 4 weeks on average, which is much easier than most filters out there because of its unique size!

Marina Power Filter

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The Marina power filter is the solution to all of your fish tank problems! It’s designed with an adjustable flow control system that adjusts the water flow and output, making it perfect for small tanks. The Marina can be set up in minutes with a quick installation process that has one end conveniently connected to the side of your aquarium.

No need for complicated setup or worrying about waterproofing – this power filter is self-priming so you don’t have to worry about buying expensive pump systems and installing additional tubing. With its easy maintenance design, you’ll never want to go back to using old fashioned pumps again!

The Marina Power Filter removes debris and reduces waste buildup, improves water clarity and prolongs the life of your tank. Featuring self-priming technology, easy to read flow control knob for custom adjustments, and a concealed motor for smooth operation, this filter is designed with experts in mind.

AquaClear Hagen Power Filter

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Help clear your aquarium water with this AquaClear Hagen Power Filter A powerful filtration system that offers eight times more contact time than traditional filters, the AquaClear filter lasts much longer and is easy to clean. Just fill it up with cleaning cartridges appropriate for your fish type, set them in place inside the filter compartment, plug it in to enjoy cleaner water. And be sure you’re keeping your new filter running smoothly with frequent check-ups! Now easier than ever!

AquaClear Hagen Power Filter for pet owners with aquariums up to 20 gallons. This filter is equipped with AquaClear Foam, Activated Carbon Filter and BioMax Set and Cycle Guard which provides optimal mechanical, chemical, and biological filtrations. Lifetime warranty; ideal for aquariums of all sizes.

Meet AquaClear, the Hagen Power Filter. It provides your aquarium with up to 7 times more nutrient-rich water than similar filters, and comes equipped with a 3-stage filtration system that’s better Quality protects your tank from algae outbreaks, water stains, and bacteria growth. Lifetime Warranty means happier fish and you.

Aquapapa Corner Filter

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You know that feeling when you notice your fish tank is starting to turn … gross? You’re not alone. With fish tanks, it can be tough to maintain high quality water with so many variables waiting in the wings to wreck havoc on your well-being and happiness. Maybe it’s time for a change. Introducing Aquapapa Corner Filter!

This tidy corner filter system integrates multi-layer foam sponge filters for hard cleaning action of physical and biochemical filtration levels β€” perfect for breeding smaller aquariums as much as scrubbing larger ones. Gently remove waste toxins from living ecosystems with no added pressure or sound thanks to advanced air intake systems, then make sure those happy little critters feel motivated with cleaner water all day long.

This product is a complete, low-maintenance filter that’s incredibly easy to assemble and maintain. Aquapapa Corner Filter makes the process of setting up an aquarium quick and simple. Fish owners just have to put in their gravel and other components, hook up the filter with an air pump, tubing, and water intake hose – it doesn’t get any easier than this.

The best part about our small corner filter is that there’s nothing else to buy! It contains all your necessities for filtering out dirt from aquarium water: a ceramic rostrum for trapping big particles; a sponge for trapping smaller ones; natural stones to give aquatic plants filtration space; along with plastic fins for gradual diffusion of water flow.

Penn-Plax Cascade 20 Power Filter

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Penn-Plax Cascade 20 Power Filter is lightweight and features a hanging design for easy installation on the tank. A quiet yet powerful pump pushes water at up to 20 gallons per hour (GPH). The adjustable flow knob allows for increased or decreased water flow at will, which is extremely helpful during feeding times, or use it as needed.

The flow meter allows you to increase or decrease the water level at your convenience, which is especially great for feeding times. Furthermore, this product has simple yet attractive qualities with adjustable tube lengths from 5″ (min) and 6 Β½ ” (max). You’re making a wise decision in choosing our Cascade 20 Mini Power Filter!

Developed for your aquarium, the Penn-Plax Cascade 20 Power Filter comes equipped with two durable and efficient cartridge filters. The one on top includes Activated Carbon, which traps floating particulate matter, removes harmful chemicals and toxins from the water, clears up discolorations, reduces foul odors in the water due to ammonia or other waste materials.

On bottom is poly fiber floss that traps small particles of debris before they reach your filter sponge and can potentially clog pores; this filter also greatly enhances clarity of your aquarium by removing algae spores that often cloud clear waters. This handy starter kit comes with everything you need including media cartridges to get off to a great start!

Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter

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The Aqueon Quietflow filter is a fully submersible, adjustable aquarium power filter. This product eliminates your fish’s stress and keeps them healthy by removing pollutants such as nitrates, odors and discoloration that can occur with untamed water. This three-stage filtration system also removes particles and debris while helping reduce the amount of harmful ammonia in your tank. New pets or experts alike will love this reliable, dependable filtering device that brings peace of mind to a new hobby or an old favorite pastime!

No one likes being woken up in the middle of the night by annoying noise. The Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter is just as powerful and reliable as a traditional power filter, but it works so quietly you won’t have to worry about going deaf from white noise.

It’s easy to set up, maintain, and even adjust how high or low you want your water filter return nozzle thanks to its adjustable height. This means no more trying to decipher which way the flow will go when installing your new filter! Experience what clean water feels like with an Aqueon Quietflow right away.

Marina I25 Internal Filter

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Internal filters produce powerful currents without noise. They are very effective at removing odor and pollutants in aquariums up to 6.6 gallons, the Marina I25 provides a top-quality filter for your aquarium. It comes complete with one power cartridge that enables you to have fresh water constantly flowing through your tank by simply inserting it into an access point on the back of the unit.

Careful when replacing filters using this system because they are self-contained and therefore not designed for replacement or maintenance when used as directed which means no messy spills!

The Marina I25 is a clip on internal filter that accomodates aquariums up to 6.6 gallons and filters out unwanted odors in your tank- whether they be from live plants or just old fish waste. Take a look at the pieces of this filter that make it worth every penny! The quick disconnect feature allows you to remove the power cartridge without taking apart any hoses, valves, or head impeller which saves you time and keeps your hands clean. Plus, with 100% media capacity for filtration both water flow rate and pressure are kept high for optimal performance!

Hikari Bacto-Surge High Density Foam Filter

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The Bacto-Surge sponge is designed to maximize the effectiveness of your filter. With a highly porous material and increased surface area, our product outperforms the competition while also providing easy cleaning for you! Don’t settle with imitation filters that only last a few weeks – invest in this long lasting Sponge that will clean your fish tank effectively and efficiently.

When you need to power through anything, the Hikari Bacto-Surge High Density Foam Filter is a great option. The sponge will max out bacteria and keep your tank’s ecosystem balanced; it’ll be easy to clean too! Rest assured knowing that as long as this product has been in place, no toxins are making their way into your living room paradise. Let us make sure turning on the lights won’t mean finding critters in your fish tank tonight.

Hikari Bacto-Surge High Density Foam Filter Works Well For Use In Freshwater And Marine Applications. With a Highly Porous Sponge, it Maximizes bacterial Action and Increases Surface Area for Maximum Bacteria Colonization. The Soft Sponge Material Offers Easy Cleaning and is Designed for Longer Life to Provide The Best Performance Throughout Years of Use.

How to Buy a 5 Gallon Aquarium Filter? Buyers Guide.

Have you struggled to find suitable fish tank filter for your 5 gallon tank ? With no luck at all in the pet store? Maybe there is no aquarium filters for sale at the time or too complicated filter with unnecessary functions which will increase your electricity bill. And if you have found one, it is not cheap!

Flow Rate:

It is a measure of how much water your filter can process per hour. When you do the mental calculation, you want to make sure that the fish tank can run for at least 8 hours before changing the water. If your aquarium has too low flow rate, it will pollute the water because there is no way for water to circulate around the tank. You will not only need to change your aquarium water more often, but also needs to clean the fish tank regularly because of overgrown algae.

Ease Of Maintenance:

AquaClear 20 is the easiest to maintain. If you are good with your hands, you can perform almost all maintenance works by your self. The most difficult of them all would be external canister filter because it requires a bit hard plumbing work for you to install it on the tank. It means that if something goes wrong, it will leave you in a huge trouble because the only person who can fix or repair it is a plumber which will cost more money and time. Besides, internal filter is also not that simple to maintain for some people who are afraid of using their hands to put an extra effort into maintaining the fish tank.

Filter Media:

When it comes to filter media, there are 3 main types that you can choose. They are Activated Carbon, Sponge and Cartridge Filter Media. As for me, I am always a sucker for wet/dry filter because they provide so much filtration process in just one single step such as ammonia conversion, nitrite conversion, nitrate conversion and de-nitrification. Besides, it can also help to grow beneficial bacteria on the tank that improve your water quality together with activated carbon media which remove harmful chemicals in the fish tank.


This is very important factor for me. When you purchase anything, we always want something with good quality and cheap price. No one want to get ripped off because of the crap products. I would rather pay more for a 5 gallon fish tank filter that has been shipped from overseas than buying an inferior quality product which will cost me two or three times in future repair works.

The Brand:

We always hope that the brand we choose will be reputable. When we purchase any stuff, it is like a gamble. What we want is to make sure that the brand has positive review or at least offer some warranty time so that in case something goes wrong within the warranty time, you can always get a replacement from them without additional cost.


The size of your filter is not as important as the other factors. Your choice should be based on the quantity of fish you want to put in your aquarium. If you have only 1 or 2 fishes, then it will not make much difference if you use a filter with internal, external or wet/dry (w/d) filtration. But if you have more than 8 fishes, then it will be better to use a filter with w/d filtration. At least that it will make sure the ammonia and nitrate level of your fish tank will not rise up too high because of too many fishes in small area (the bigger the area of your tank, the less fishes you can put in).

What Type of Filter to Choose for Small Aquarium?

There are basically 3 different types of filters which you can choose to put in your small aquarium. They are hang-on-back filter, sponge filter and internal filter.

Hang On Back or Hang on Filter:

This is one of the simplest and cheapest filters that you can install in your 5 gallon fish tank. It is also quite easy to maintain which made it one of the most common filter media that you can find in any fish tank. The only thing I dislike about hang on back filters would be the noise produced by the water pump motor. If you are living in an apartment, this might not be a good choice for you unless you live on the first floor or have a fish room. If that case, you can always add sound absorbing material to it to reduce the noise produced by the pump motor. You can also use cheep aquarium air stone and silicone tube to replace your water pump if you are planning to install this filter in your 5 gallon fish tank.

Sponge Filters:

These are not the most popular filter media that you can find in every fish tank. However, it is pretty decent when you want to put only a few fishes in your 5 gallon fish tank. There is nothing special about this sponge filter although I am quite curious with its flow rate capacity. I guess this is the only filter media that can produce more flow rate than hang on back filters. If you look at it closely, its cross section is like a divider which can generate water current in either direction. I am not sure how to simulate this flow pattern if I want to use something else other than sponge in my filter box.

Canister Filters:

This is the most common type of filter that you can find in your local pet shop or on online fish store. It usually comes with an additional media on top of the primary filter and it works best for aquarium smaller than 30 gallons. The only reason why I would recommend this filter for your 5 gallon aquarium would be the quality and amount of media that you can use in it. Most of them are packed with many different types of media so that you do not have to buy anything else if you want something different or more powerful filtration capacity. Although they can produce very good water flow, the noise produced by them can be pretty annoying if you are not using it in the fish room. The only way to reduce its noise is to buy those with the outlet hose and make sure that the pump motor will always remain inside your aquarium.

Undergravel Filter:

This is a very unique type of filtration medium because it is below your aquarium gravel. If you are planning to use this kind of filter, then make sure that you do not have any fish with the barbels. Barbels is the fleshy membrane on the side of a fish’s mouth which catches food. Using an undergravel filter will require you to move your gravel every time you have to clean your aquarium. This is not an easy task if you are planning to move around a lot of gravel. I would not recommend this type of filter unless you have some special reason why you want to use it for your 5 gallon fish tank.

Internal Filters:

There are so many brands that produce internal filters but the most popular are Tetra and Marineland. It is basically a box that will hang on top of your aquarium which require you to use the siphon to suck water from the tank so that it can flush out all dirt inside your filter media before its resucess back into your fish tank. I would not recommend this filter because of the long term maintenance that you need to do with it. So, unless you want something different other than hang on back filters and canister filters, I would avoid buying one of these.

How Do You Reduce The Flow On A Filter?

To cut down the water flow on your filter, you have to make a small hole about 1/8th of an inch. However, if you want to try something different, you can always reroute the output hose from the filter by using silicone tube or twisted air tubing so that it will face another direction as long as it is safe for your fish. I am not sure if it will change anything but sometimes, you have to try new things when you want a higher nitrate test result.

How Much Is Too Much?

It is always advised that you should never use too much media in your filter box because it will cause an increased flow rate which can be dangerous for fish especially if you are using a power head to increase the water circulation in your aquarium. If there is too much dirt accumulated inside your filter media, you will have to replace it sooner than usual and this will be more expensive if you are replacing it frequently.

Adjusting The Flow Pattern

The flow pattern will always change from time to time because some fish prefer slow moving water and other types of fish can be very aggressive swimmer . When you are using a canister filter for your 5 gallon fish tank, you will have to bother changing the pattern of its water flow depending on what kind of fish is inside your aquarium.

To do this, first make sure that you bought one with an output hose and an adjustable nozzle so that it can be turned at any direction before the water flows back to your tank. If you want a more powerful water flow, just attach it to an air pump and run some airline tubing around your aquarium so that its output nozzle can be controlled manually or automatically depending on what kind of fish is in your tank.

Adjust The Flow Control On HOBs

There are several different brands of hang on back filter that uses the adjustable flow control. These filters are a bit tricky to modify because you have to get those hoses off and then you can adjust the nozzle so that it will not create too much pressure inside your aquarium. This is actually quite a pain in the you-know-what especially if you have a female betta fish because she might get spooked by the sudden change of water flow pattern or speed.

How Buyers Rate The Best 5 Gallon Aquarium Filter?

One thing I am sure about this filter is that its not for people who wants to save money with cheap, un-useful features which users can’t even touch with their hands. The price is a little bit more than other types of filters but in my opinion, this filter has a really smart design that you can’t achieve when you are using any other brand of filters for your 5 gallon fish tank. Buyers Guide

Use Flow Diverters:

You can always use flow diverters to prevent water from flowing in a certain direction when you are using an external power head or something similar. There is no need to buy those expensive aquarium equipment which usually costs more than $50. If you want to protect your fish, this is the easiest way for you to divert the flow to another direction without the need to buy a separate external filter box.


If you have an additional reservoir and sump, you can always use recirculation techniques to keep nitrate as low as possible with the help of your best 5 gallon aquarium filter. For this method, you will need a bulkhead connector, some airline tubing or silicon tube and if possible, a heater.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do you need a filter in a 5 gallon tank?

Filters play an important role in our aquarium and it is very helpful when looking for the best way to keep your fish happy, healthy and safe. Even if your tank might be small, there are still benefits to adding this product inside your housing because it can make water circulation better than usual . Aside from that, it will also provide aeration which should help buffer the nitrates level inside your aquarium.

Do I need to do water changes if I have a filter?

Yes but not too much because performing too many water changes may actually kill some algae or beneficial bacteria that naturally cleans up toxins inside your fish tank. It is always good practice to clean your filter by rinsing it with a little freshwater every week or so to keep your tank clean. It is also a good idea to change the cartridge if necessary because they might have been clogged.

How Often Should You Clean A Small Filter?

It is always a good idea to clean your filter regularly especially if you have a bad nitrate test result. You can perform water changes by using buckets because it will keep your 5 gallon fish tank healthy and beautiful.

The only recommended aquarium upgrades that I find necessary are the addition of more filtration, plants and salt (when needed). If you go with more powerful lighting like an LED fixture or power compact, then this may be something to consider. The reason for this is simple – too much light causes algae growth which in turn stresses out fish and other aquatic creatures.

What flow rate do I need?

Flow rate depends on the size of your tank and the fish you have. You will need to buy a filtration system that is capable of keeping up with biological, chemical and mechanical processes while also give adequate space for growth. Every single aspect must be considered when purchasing an aquarium filter because it could mean the difference between life or death in certain situations.


This is Best 5 Gallon Aquarium Filter you should have in your home. With this filter, you can be assured that the water will stay clean and clear for months on end without any additional effort. It also has an easy to maintain design which makes it perfect for anyone who wants their fish tank looking its best while still being able to keep up with maintenance tasks like cleaning or replacing filters. One of the most important features of this model is how quiet it operates so it won’t disrupt your daily routine if placed in a living area near where people spend time during the day. Overall, this is one of our favorite models because Mem Fish know that every pet owner would love what it offers at such an affordable price point!

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