Menu Close

Best Quietest Aquarium Filters 2020 – Full Reviews and Where To Buy Them

Best Quietest Aquarium Filters

Preview
Marina S10 Power Filter
Aqueon QuietFlow E Internal Power Filter Extra Small - 3 Gallon
AquaClear Fish Tank Filter, Aquarium Filter for 60- to 110-Gallon Aquariums, 110v, A620A1
Polar Aurora Free Media 4-Stage External Canister Filter with 9-watt Light, 525 GPH with Free Media
Best Choice
MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter
Product
Marina S10 Power Filter
Aqueon QuietFlow E Internal Power Filter Extra Small – 3 Gallon
AquaClear Fish Tank Filter, Aquarium Filter for 60- to 110-Gallon Aquariums, 110v, A620A1
Polar Aurora Free Media 4-Stage External Canister Filter with 9-watt Light, 525 GPH with Free Media
MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter
Prime Benefits
Preview
Marina S10 Power Filter
Product
Marina S10 Power Filter
Prime Benefits
Details
Preview
Aqueon QuietFlow E Internal Power Filter Extra Small - 3 Gallon
Product
Aqueon QuietFlow E Internal Power Filter Extra Small – 3 Gallon
Prime Benefits
Details
Preview
AquaClear Fish Tank Filter, Aquarium Filter for 60- to 110-Gallon Aquariums, 110v, A620A1
Product
AquaClear Fish Tank Filter, Aquarium Filter for 60- to 110-Gallon Aquariums, 110v, A620A1
Prime Benefits
Details
Preview
Polar Aurora Free Media 4-Stage External Canister Filter with 9-watt Light, 525 GPH with Free Media
Product
Polar Aurora Free Media 4-Stage External Canister Filter with 9-watt Light, 525 GPH with Free Media
Prime Benefits
Details
Best Choice
Preview
MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter
Product
MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter
Prime Benefits
Details

If you aren’t familiar with the right filters, an aquarium filtration system can be noisy. There are many silent aquarium filters on the market that are either external and internal. Depending on your preferences, it is easy to find a quiet tank filter with the filtering process that you want. Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the quietest filter for your aquarium.

Considerations When Choosing a Quiet Aquarium Filter

Filtering Process

There are three types of filtering processes to choose from and each of them has a specific task. With the mechanical filtration system, you will have the debris removed from your tank. This type of system handles all of the fish waste that is produced, and they are convenient for those that have large fish that create a lot of large waste that messes up your aquarium.

Chemical filtration systems are awesome at countering water discoloration and removing bad odors that are commonly seen in aquariums over time. And a biological filtration system is a great feature if you have fish that defecate a lot. This type of filtration system helps to keep your fish and tank environment clean.
If you have all three issues in your tank, your best bet is to get a filter that comes with multiple trays. Often these trays will support several filter media that can take out foul material and waste inside your aquarium.

Aquarium Size

Since aquarium sizes, and shapes, you need to find a quiet fish filter that supports that size. If you have a 10-gallon tank, getting a filter that cleans water for a 50-gallon tank is too much, and it will be too large. 

Or, if you buy a device that is too small for your large tank, your aquarium will still look dirty. Always check and make sure that the unit that you are buying works with the size tank that you currently have.

Auarium Size

Type of Filter

There are several types of filters to choose from depending on your wants. Each of these filter types has its own advantages and disadvantages. A power filter will give you a bigger size, but it’s not as quiet as you may want. A canister filter is pretty quiet and doesn’t need a lot of maintenance, but they tend to be expensive.

An overhead filter will need more space on the top of your tank for set up, but they are also the quietest of all your options. Depending on the type of filter you choose, also check into what refills and other accessories that filter will need. Plus, check online reviews to find out about the maintenance required for that unit.

Maintenence & Care

Maintaining your filter is super important if you want to support the life of your fish. You want something that is easy to maintain because it will allow you to keep your filter longer and save you money. A little bit of preparation and care goes a long way when keep those fishes clean.

You don’t want to be stuck with and keeping a filter that takes a long time to keep clean and scrub.

Look into the differences between them, such as the ability to change media, cartridge replaceability, and even how easy it is to rinse out the filter. All of these factors play a huge part not only in the cleanliness of the tank, but also your sanity. 

Price

Price is a huge determinant and a factor when it comes to your choices. Often times people can only afford a lower priced option. But, in general, most filters that have higher prices will often perform better and leave you with less of a hassle. 

This does not mean that a lower priced option won’t get the job don well, but you will be compromising on a little bit of quality. This simply means that your cleaning routine may have to be incorporated more often. 

Noise

Since a filter is a motor-driven machine, it isn’t uncommon for it to make sounds and vibrate. So, what you are really looking for is a filtration system that has good protection against sound.
Some filters will come with covers that protect the filter as it works, but they also dampen the vibrations and noise to some degree. Intake strainers also help to lessen the sound of water that is moving through the filter while a canister filter uses its strong build design to isolate champers and dampens any noise.

Self-Priming

Self-priming is a very important feature in your filtration system. With this feature, air will not jam inside the tubes or stop water on its way out. It also comes in handy if you live in an area that has voltage inconsistencies or power outages. With an advanced model, you will also see a couple of switches that allow the motor to suck the air out when there is a power failure. And when it starts again, you won’t notice a drop in its performance level.

Water Flow Control

The mechanism you need total control with a filtration system.

This allows you to control the speed your water is flowing out of the filter. It also allows you to deal with different aquariums in a specific gallon range.

It’s also helpful to have if own several types of fish. Some fish require water flowing at a specific speed like guppies, betta fish, and goldfish. For these types of fish to thrive, you need to ensure proper water control. Having a switch or regulator will help to control the flow.

Best Quiet Aquarium Filter Reviews

1. Marina Power Filter

Marina S10 Power Filter
  • Power filter for aquariums up to 10 gallons
  • Self priming

With a narrow and unique design, the Marina Slim S10 Power Filter is great looking and practical. Taking up far less space than a typical filter, the Slim S10 also gives your aquarium an elegant look. It is equipped with flow control that is adjustable allowing you to set the water flow level to your preferences.

With easy setup and installation, the Slim S10 doesn’t need priming. This is purely a plug and go device. You also get handy, easy, and fast maintenance with this filter that comes with a bio-arb filter and a bio-clear filter.

You get the same power that you would expect from a large aquarium but in a small device. With the ability to filter 20 gallons of water, it takes up very little space and gives you a flow rate of up to 92 GPH. The motor is placed under the water to dampen the noise and vibrations.

Pros

Cons

2. Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter

Aqueon QuietFlow E Internal Power Filter Extra Small – 3 Gallon
  • Efficiently cleans and filters water
  • Auto-start pump requires no priming, automatically restarts if power is interrupted and restored

The efficient and affordable Aqueon QuietFlow Power Filter is easy to use and install. It comes with a self-priming feature as well as hanging clips that can be used in either framed or frameless aquariums. All Aqueon QuietFlow filters come with an Aqueon replaceable cartridge and use both mechanical and biological filtration.

The motor on the Aqueon is not submerged, but sits two inches above the waterline, but the noise from the unit is still muffled well making it a super quiet product. You can choose an Aqueon option that works on 10-, 20- and 40-gallon tanks giving you a wide range of options. It also primes by itself, so that is one less thing to worry about.

If there is a power outage, the Aqueon will restart by itself by cleaning air out of its tube. This kit is low maintenance and has no issues with consistency. It also features a carbon cartridge that is great for chemical filtration getting rid of any discoloration from your fish tank. Plus, you don’t have to worry about bad odors as it gets rid of them too.

Pros

Cons

3. AquaClear Power Filter – 110 V

Sale
AquaClear Fish Tank Filter, Aquarium Filter for 60- to 110-Gallon Aquariums, 110v, A620A1
  • Aquarium filtration system that offers superior contact time with filter media and energy efficient pump lowers operating costs
  • Quick and easy installation, we recommend that you clean aquarium filter every 2 weeks for maximum operation and efficiency

Offering a versatile hang-on feature, the AquaClear Power Filter system includes five models with different flow rates that fit the most popular aquarium sizes. With the unique design of the filter, you will see up to 6 times more media volume along with the longest water to media contact time available on the market. With the flow control on the AquaClear, you can reduce the flow by up to 50% and not harm the impeller or filter motor.

Included in the AquaClear filter media system are the innovative and patented re-circulation grid and multi-filter media stacking. Allowing water to pass through filter media several times, the re-circulation grid allows superior contact time, which can significantly contribute to water quality. This patented system also doesn’t compromise filtration efficiency filtering out more impurities for a healthier and cleaner tank.

Providing both biological and mechanical filtration, the AquaClear Power Filters also uses the

Cycle Guard System including the BioMax Ceramic media insert. This insert provides three different filter media guaranteeing that all filtration requirements are fulfilled. It also will ensure continuous biological filtration by replacing one insert at a time.

Perfect for aquariums with delicate fish, this is also a super quiet filter system. Outside of a little low humming, the AquaClear filter doesn’t rattle like other filters. Throughout its three-stage filtration process, it works flawlessly and quietly.

Pros

Cons

4. Polar Aurora 4-stage External Canister Filter with 9-watt Uv Sterilizer

Polar Aurora Free Media 4-Stage External Canister Filter with 9-watt Light, 525 GPH with Free Media
  • Good for up to 200 gallon fish tanks. Maximum flow rate of 525GPH from built in pump
  • 4 media trays capable of handling your choice of filtration media; Comes with an adjustable spray bar. This is a helpful feature if you want to adjust the output flow from the filter

With large capacity, three-stage canisters, the Polar Auror Sterilizer enhances aquarium filtration. These revolutionary canister filters come with a media-storing capacity allowing aquarium water to go through more filter media during its initial pass. With high-performance and advanced features, it helps to guarantee high water quality and also gives you easy and simple maintenance.

Easily removing debris and organic film, the Polar Aurora Sterilizer is easy to clean and remove. This is a super quiet machine that can achieve a water flow rate of 525 GPH. Using up to four media trays with each canister, you get different filtering media in all three. You can also customize this filter system to give you biological, chemical, and mechanical filtration.

Inherently quiet, the Polar Aurora Sterilizer features thick walls that muffle sound and keep it quiet from the outside. It also comes with a UV sterilizer inside the filter that kills any exposed algae and bacteria. The filter is also tightly installed using an O-ring on the top sealing in the opening and preventing water from leaking.

Pros

Cons

5. MarineLand Penguin Power Filter w/Multi-Stage Filtration

MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter
  • WITH ROTATING BIO-WHEEL: Patented Bio-Wheel technology provides excellent wet/dry biological filtration.
  • MULTI-STAGE FILTRATION: Delivers mechanical, chemical and biological aquarium filtration to maintain a clean aquatic environment.

Providing an easy, three-stage biological, chemical, and mechanical filtration system, the MarineLand Penguin BIO-Wheel Power Filter uses handy Penguin Rite-Size Filter Cartridges that come ready to use. Removing odors, discoloration, and waste, each filter system uses Black Diamond Premium Activated Carbon for the most efficiency. While the patented Bio-Wheel provides biological filtration to remove nitrite and toxic ammonia.

With a certified water flow rate, this powerful filtration system is also very quiet. It can move up to 350 gallons per hour and is made for an aquarium that holds up to 75 gallons of water. Using two vented covers, the filter reduces vibrations and prevents any noise, plus they do not use a mid-level intake strainer reducing noise even further.

Each of the Penguin Cartridges uses activated carbon that acts faster than a typical cartridge. They are also very low on maintenance too.

Pros

Cons

Essential Knowledge about Filters For Fish Tanks

Many different fish tanks with filters have a lot of different features and different levels of popularity depending on the type. Any newbie can certainly get lost in the sea of filters out there. Doing research is essential to the process of buying one at the right cost and with the right features. 

If you are just starting out, there is an excellent community of people who enjoy the hobby. A lot of people will share their experiences when buying products for their prized fish. 

How To Select a Quiet Fish Tank Filter

Any person who has had a fish in their possession before knows that it is not easy to keep them alive if they don’t have the proper guidance of care. Different types environments have been created to mimic the real life situations that fish have lived in for centuries. This is why it’s important to have a good place for your fish to rest and hang out. 

It is absolutely essential to have a filter that gives the proper environment for your size of fish and your aquarium. For example, you have to make sure to have the freshwater clean. If you have a saltwater, the same applies to where the debris and dirt can be removed with ease. 

If you have your pet in water that isn’t clean, or gets stagnant over time, it is not a good situation. A lot of really terrible things get built up and it starts to wear and tear on the health of everyone who is inside. This even can damage the integrity of the mechanics of your filtration system. 

Instead of having to get rid of the water and completely refill your aquaria, be sure to replace and throw out your old filters. This will keep everything in a much better condition long term.

Types of Filtration You Should Know About

If you’ve noticed so far, there are only 3 different types of filtration that exist. Each has it’s own advantages and disadvantages depending on. the type that you prefer. However, you should only use these 3 types when you are using a fish tank. Any other alternatives would cause problems with your pets. So, we’ll go over the 3 types so. that you know exactly what works well for each situation so you can make an informed decision.

Biological Filtration

This is in essence the type of thing that happens when microorganisms will start to separate into a less dangerous chemical. Specifically this means that whatever harmful chemicals you have will be transformed into compound nitrate as quickly as possible and as much as possible. 

For this type of filtration, it’s essential to get an oxygen heavy environment. This is a must because it helps the transformation from harmful compounds into helpful and less harmful ones. 

With this type, it’s easy to have if it’s just a few fish. Often times, if you have a small population, this works just fine for filtering and keeping the aquarium clean. You could consider this type the natural type, which is why it may only work. fora few fish in the tank. 

Mechanical Filtration

This is the process of getting rid of all the dirty things in your tank by sucking them in manually. The straining method is fairly simple. Water will flow through the strainer or filter and a lot of the waste, or fecal matter will go along with it and get stuck in the filter, which is exactly what it is supposed to do. Once the filter gets completely full, that is the point in time when it will need to be changed.

This particular method doesn’t last forever because it will need to be changed out, but it is very effective and the most brutal when it comes to the process. 

Often, if you don’t want to replace this type and spend more money, you can clean it out no problem. Replacement happens usually when the device just stops functioning and loses it’s ability. to discharge whatever it has collected. 

Chemical Filtration

This method uses all sorts of different compounds that interact with the waste and turns those dirty things into clean my means of chemistry.

The most used compounds are carbons and saps. These different compounds will bind to the waste and start a process that makes them clean.

FAQ

I just installed it, but it’s humming loudly… What do I do?

Almost 100% of the time, when you first install a filter, it’s very loud. The thing is, it just needs to settle. Unless it’s installed incorrectly, do not worry about it. Give it a few more days or even weeks and if it’s still producing the same amount of noise, re-install it and be careful to ensure that it’s installed correctly. 

How often should the filter be changed?

Most of the time, you should be able to change it every 1 to 2 months without any problems whatsoever. But, depending on how much nastiness is being produced in your tank, you can often eyeball when to do this. If you have a lot of junk building up and it starts to look dirty quickly, you can adjust the time of changing the filter more often.

This also applies if you don’t have a lot of dirty build up. You may be able to get away with changing it less often. Just make sure your fish have a clean environment at all times. 

Should I get A Self-Priming Feature?

This is one of the most important features when it comes to selecting a filter as part of your entire setup. Because of this, there is no way that air can jab in the tubes and obstruct water from getting in the way. 

This is great in case of some sort of power outage or any type of voltage change. This is a sure fire safety feature that will keep your fish and aquarium from injury. 

How do I guarantee noise protection?

Since most filters are operated by a motor, it’s really easy to get one that makes a lot. of noise and vibrates. This is the exact thing we want to address and protect ourselves against. We want to protect ourselves from the noisy nature of these devices. 

The way to protect against this is to select one that has covers and guards that are conducive to muffling or making and deadening the noise that the device produces. 

If you look at the canister filters and isolated chamber filters, these types can give you a very good protection against what would result in very loud noises. 

Essentially it comes down to the quality of product that you are getting. This is why we suggest the MarineLand filter that we’ve been talking about. 

A Huge Tip

A big tip that we have for people if they are looking at a new system that will be quiet is to look at the return policy of whoever you are buying form. Often, Amazon.com has a stellar return policy. 

The reason you want to do this is because it will allow you to test out and try the device to make sure that it conforms to the soundproof standards that we’ve talked about throughout the article. This way, you can see for yourself if you buy a filtration system that it is indeed as quiet as someone claims it is or should be. There is nothing better than hearing for yourself if you have a winner on your hands when it comes to noise.

Be sure to check the terms of service with Amazon.com and with the merchant that you are buying from. Often times the merchant may have a different policy or serve you different than Amazon. You don’t want to make the merchant mad and you want to be a good customer. This way, if you ever have needs in the future for your fish, they will be happy to help you if you need anything. 

The winner of the most quiet aquarium filter roundup is the MarineLand Penguin Power Filter w/Multi-Stage Filtration. With an easy, three-stage biological, chemical, and mechanical filtration system, this filter removes odors, discoloration, and waste, each filter system using a Black Diamond Premium Activated Carbon. It also features a patented Bio-Wheel to provide biological filtration to remove nitrite and toxic ammonia.

Using a certified water flow rate, this powerful filtration system is also very quiet while moving up to 350 gallons per hour. It uses two vented covers that help to reduce vibrations and noise. It also doesn’t use a mid-level intake strainer to reduce noise even further. The definite winner of the quiet aquarium filter roundup is the MarineLand Penguin Power Filter w/Multi-Stage Filtration hands down.

The biggest part about being happy with the MarineLand system is the sound. The motor is so quiet that it is hardly noticed at all, even when there is nothing going on. We want to have a good experience for people when choosing the right one, so we are very happy selecting this product for people to use on their fish tanks. There are many other factors when it comes to the right filter for your fish, but if you can make this one work, it’s highly recommended. 

All around, this company creates the best systems that we’ve seen in a long time. Their quality and parts they use in their products are second to none. Our recommendation will probably remain for a very long time because of this companies reputation. The essentials that you need in a filtration system and a quiet one at that, are covered in a big way by the MarineLand Filters.


Another great feature of this one is that it’s not that expensive. You can be someone who is new to having fish as pets and still experience a great amount of quality along with a great price when purchasing this filtration system. If you are just getting started this is a perfect way to go that won’t completely destroy your wallet.