The 15 Best Saltwater Aquarium Filter 2022: Reviews & Buying Guide

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Best Saltwater Aquarium Filter

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Using a saltwater aquarium may be less difficult if the best filter is chosen. A good system of filtration keeps your aquarium clean, clear, and your fish are not likely to get sick. The best salt aquarium filter should aside filtering your water should provide other essential uses. Some of the uses may include lowering the levels of ammonia and nitrate in your saltwater to keep your inhabitants safe and healthy. There are various types of saltwater aquarium filter, but understanding the concept of filtration, the types: mechanical, chemical, or biological will help you to choose the best ones.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Saltwater Aquarium Filter

Choosing the right saltwater aquarium filter can be hard, especially when there are several options before you. Knowing what each filter does, improves the quality of decisions when choosing a saltwater aquarium filter. Here are factors to consider before getting your saltwater aquarium filter.

Know the Specific Features of Each Filter

The primary essence of filters is to make the water clean, different types do offer various benefits. While mechanical is the best for freshwater, it is not recommended for saltwater aquarium system, as it cannot remove dissolved waste, bacteria or algae. Understand what a sump is and know the pros and cons of using it. With sump, you get a platform for the widest array of equipment. It offers the best saltwater aquarium filtration system though it is expensive. If you need much water volume, using a sump is your best choice. Prepare for some noise, however, and possible external leaks.

Type of Aquarium

Build your own or all in one: Deciding whether to buy an all-in-one set or building you own from scratch depends on your specific needs and budget. If you need some specific designs, you may need to build from scratch. An all-in-one aquarium set looks good if you do not need many customizations.

Glass or Acrylic?  If you will need to move your filter regularly, picking an acrylic as material should be considered as it more lightweight.

Location/size of Aquarium

The location where your aquarium will be can influence the type of filter to go for. If nearby items can get wet or ruined from saltwater, you may go for in-sump equipment with a watertight material. Choosing the wrong location can lead to big difficulties down the road. There are filters that are suitable for large gallons of water, and some are for low volume of water. Irrespective of these, a proper plan should be set before proceeding to buy any saltwater filter. Be sure the filter can serve you well, the size fits well with your budget and location.

Top 15 Best Saltwater Aquarium Filter

A large number of filters have been manufactured, but we have carefully selected some, which we consider the best of the aquarium filter. These filters are safe, provide a clean and healthy environment for your aquatic lives.

Marineland Penguin Power Filter

Marineland has been known for its effectiveness of keeping saltwater aquarium successful.  This saltwater filter requires almost no set up and for this reason, can be used easily even by beginners of saltwater aquarium games. This saltwater filter provides biological filtration through its revolutionary bio-wheel. The presence of a bio wheel in this filter helps to remove toxic ammonia and nitrate from your saltwater aquarium, which is healthy to your fishes. Each filter comes with a Penguin right size cartridge, and this is perfect for all aquariums.

Aquatic Experts Aquarium Filter Pads

The upper layer of this aquarium filter is made up of polyester fibers and the lower layer up of resilient fibers. The fibers found at the top layer are not tightly bound together, rather, they are made loose to make a thick pad while the lower fibers are made to entangle the fibers into a dense layer. Aquarium experts filter pads have a true dual-density layer with the upper layers filtering larger particles while the dense lower layer traps fine particles. The advantage of this filter is that it can be cut into any size and used as a pre-filter and much more.

Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter

The penn plax cascade filter offers the three types of filtratio. It gives your aquarium mechanical, chemical, and biological filtering that ensures the safety of your aquarium inhabitants. This filter has been developed in a way that it can be used in the modern saltwater aquariums. The flow rate and intake tube of this filter are adjustable so they can be set up differently for individual use. With just intuition, the Penn plax cascade aquarium system can be set up easily. The filter is light in weight and one of the quietest filters available to humans.

Sunsun HW-302 External Canister Aquarium filter

The Sunsun canister aquarium filter is good for biological, chemical and mechanical filtration. The importance of this filter is that it can be used for a large number of tanks such as 75 gallons of fish tanks. This product contains hoses, filters pads, and has three flexible filter trays.  The trays are made to help the user add other products that come with the saltwater aquarium filter. Using the tray, you can add bio balls, ceramics, and activated carbons to achieve the three basic types of filtration. To crown it all, the filter has a self-priming pump and hence saves you the stress of manual siphoning.

Midewest Filter Heavy Duty Salt Water Aquarium Filtration Bag

This saltwater aquarium filter is a must-have for all aquarium systems. It is ideal for applications in hot oil due to its polyester content, which does not melt easily. Although these saltwater aquarium filter bags are designed for single-use, they keep all salt and debris away from your water. With this process, they can make your aquarium clean and safe for your inhabitants. The product is proudly made in the US to solve water filtration problems and is known for their leading manufacturing filter bags. The filter bags can also be used in larger filter tanks.

Aqua Clear Fish Tank Filter for Saltwater

When you need a filter that can hold up about 60 to 110 gallons, then you should get yourself the aqua clear fish tank filter. It has a multiple-stage of filtration providing mechanical, chemical and biological filtration systems.  Aqua clear filter has been designed in a unique way to filter water quietly, and the filter can be used in a customized way. This filter is one of the best hang-on filters available to humans, and all the models have been designed carefully to give the best filtering experience. With aqua clear filter, your inhabitant is safe and healthy.

Aquarium Master Aqua Filter Pad for Saltwater

If all you need for your saltwater aquarium is just a filter pad, you should consider the filter pads made by aquarium masters. The filter pads are made in a way that they can be cut to fit and are usually 24 inches by 15 inch. The saltwater aquarium filter has a dual-density with blue and white coloration to represent the different densities. It traps large particles and prevents debris, organic matter, etc. from entering your water system. Another distinct property is this ability of this saltwater filter to polish the water it found itself in and make water flow easy.

Aqueon Quietflow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters

Unlike other filters, which offer just three filtrations,  Aqueon power filters offer five distinct filtration types.  The saltwater filter provides mechanical, chemical, biological filtration like others but also has a specialty filter pad and a filter cartridge. The specialty bead is made to make the water clean, clear, and healthy for your saltwater aquatic lives. Without stress, the filter increases the level of oxygen in water, remove leaks and can start automatically when interrupted. To beautify it all, it has a wet/dry technology, and this is one of the best filters you should consider.

Polar Aurora External Aquarium Filter

Polar aurora is a large capacity aquarium filter for quick maintenance filter, made solely for fish, and not turtles. The components of the filter are separated to prevent water from entering the bucket. The aquarium filter has about four buckets with each bucket having its filter cotton, and this improves the filtering games. Before using the filter, pump hair out of the filter and ensure the glass cover are not broken to prevent leaks. With its O-ring design, leaking of filters, as well as slipping, is avoided. It can be used to eliminate viruses and bacteria as well.

BrightWater Aquarium Filter Rings

The filter is a fine ceramic ring manufactured with high quality. Unlike other bio-media ceramics, brightwater aquarium filter rings do not cause flaking and have low dust. The ceramic filter has a good pore structure that allows water to flow easily. The filter rings have been made under high temperatures and are designed to allow beneficial bacteria to thrive well. As one of the best saltwater aquarium filter, it can be used for both freshwater and saltwater. Therefore, if you keep both systems of the aquarium, these rings are usable as they can help you cut your cost.

Odyssea Clean 100 Surface Skimmer Aquarium Filter

As a dual-purpose aquarium filter which can be used both in saltwater and freshwater systems and can be hung in a slump, we recommend this filter. When in use, the filter sits almost completely at the bottom of your aquarium and gives no noise. The product is designed to make skim dissolve in the aquarium to prevent nutrient and film from building up. This, in turn, will. Improve the quality of water in your aquarium, level up the rate of oxygen exchange, and the way light penetrates.  It is only 110V and one of the bests aquarium filter known.

Aquatic HI Salt-water Filter Socks

With aquatic filter socks, you can achieve clean and safe water for your saltwater inhabitants. The filter works by improving the quality of the saltwater, providing clean water, and minimizing the noise in sumps. It is a good mechanical filtration process and traps all forms of debris present in your water. The filter consists of an 8 by 4-inch ring, which is 14 inches long and a filter sock of 200 microns. The filter socks are strong, sturdy can be cleaned and re-used. The trapped products usually break down to produce unwanted ammonia.

Boxtech Aquarium Filter Media

Biological filter designed these ceramics for marine and freshwater fish tank. The function of this filter media is to degrade harmful substances such as ammonia and nitrates in water to give a healthy aquarium. Boxtech ceramics filter are so strong, and they do not break or decompose when placed inside water for a long period. Its three-dimensional pores provide the best solution against bacteria effect and are far better than other filter substances. The filters are inexpensive. Hence, they can be replaced easily and freely.

Koral Filters Aquarium Filter Pad

The koral filter pad is a safe aquarium filter that is durable and easy to cut into the desired size. It is made up of polyester fibers providing a maximum flow of water. The saltwater aquarium pads are fish and reef aquarium compatible. When using, cut filter pads to fit another filter and place appropriately. Another function of this filter will be collecting beneficial bacteria, debris, and so on, all of which leads to leaving your saltwater aquarium clean and healthy. For proper maintenance, filters may be rinsed once or twice daily to ensure long-lasting usage.

Aquatop PF-25 UV-hang on Filter

The aquatop hang in the filter is a saltwater aquarium filter with UV light. The filter could adjust itself, and the filtration media can be replaced. The saltwater filter can be used in aquariums of up to 25 gallons. It is a good filter for mechanical and chemical filtration using the PF-UV series, and the UV sterilizer helps to eliminate unwanted blooms of algae, which makes the water clear. This, in turn, helps the health of your aquatic lives. With  Aquatop canister hang on filter, you can take your saltwater aquatic system to the highest level.


Saltwater aquarium filters are numerous and become easy to choose when you know what exactly you want. Understanding filtration, types of filters will help you to keep your aquarium clean. When a wrong filter is chosen, your aquatic lives are affected. They may get sick or in worse cases die. These losses can be prevented by merely picking the best filters using some of the guideline’s highlighted above. We hope that with these few points highlighted here, choosing filters should become easier and safe for your fish.