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6 Best Filters for Axolotl Tanks in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove

axolotl_Tinwe, Pixabay

If you recently purchased an axolotl, or if you are thinking about bringing one home, you probably know that an essential step to getting your home ready for one of these salamanders is preparing its tank. One of the most important things you need to do is purchase a filter for your axolotl’s tank to make sure the tank water stays clean. The specific filter you buy depends on many factors, including the size of your tank, the filtration speed, and even your experience and comfort level working with certain types of filters. In these reviews, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each type of filter to help you decide which is right for you and your needs.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Penn-Plax Cascade Canister Filter for Large Aquariums and Fish Tanks Penn-Plax Cascade Canister Filter for Large Aquariums and Fish Tanks
  • Filter is very quiet
  • Includes spray bar
  • Best overall filter
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Aquaclear Fish Tank Filter, 20 to 50 Gallons Aquaclear Fish Tank Filter, 20 to 50 Gallons
  • Adjustable flow rate
  • Easy to clean
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter For Aquariums Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter For Aquariums
  • Four stages of filtration
  • Very quiet
  • Fluval 107 Performance Canister Filter for Aquariums Fluval 107 Performance Canister Filter for Aquariums
  • Energy efficient
  • East to clean
  • Polar Aurora External Aquarium Canister Polar Aurora External Aquarium Canister
  • Good for larger tanks
  • Very quiet
  • The 6 Best Filters for Axolotl Tanks – Reviews & Top Picks for 2021

    1. Penn-Plax Cascade Canister Filter for Large Aquariums and Fish Tanks – Best Overall

    Cascade Canister Filter_Amazon

    • Gallons Per Hour (GPH): 265
    • Ideal Tank Size: Up to 100 gallons
    • Spray Bar Included: Yes
    • Dimensions: 11.5” x 17” x 10”

    The Penn-Plax Cascade Canister Filter is our top pick for Axolotl tank filters because of the versatility offered by this brand. We have showcased the Cascade 1000 here, but there are four other models you can choose from that work with a wide variety of tanks. This particular model works with tanks up to 100 gallons, but Penn-Plax makes filters that work with tanks up to 200 gallons large. Another great feature of this filter is that it comes with a spray bar, which is great for promoting water movement and oxygenating your axolotl’s water. Overall, customers feel that this filter is easy to clean and operate, making it a great option for people who have never had an aquarium or used a filter before.

    Pros
    • Filter is very quiet
    • Includes spray bar
    • Good for larger tanks
    • Best overall filter
    Cons
    • Relatively large amount of water bypass

    2. Aquaclear Fish Tank Filter, 20 to 50 Gallons – Best Value

    AquaClear, Fish Tank Filter_Amazon

    • Gallons Per Hour (GPH): 200
    • Ideal Tank Size: 20-50 gallons
    • Spray Bar Included: No
    • Dimensions: 4” x 9” x 8”

    This filter is much less expensive than other options on this list, but that doesn’t mean it is less effective. This is a hang on back (HOB) filter, which means exactly what you think: it hangs on the outside of the aquarium. This type of filter has a few benefits: firstly, it’s great for beginners because it is easy to use and requires less maintenance than other types of filters. Secondly, it’s usually more cost-effective than other types of filters. This HOB filter may not perform as well as a canister filter would, but for the price, the Aquaclear Fish Tank Filter does an excellent job. If you are still concerned about performance, the guaranteed lifetime warranty should put your mind at ease about taking a chance on this filter.

    Pros
    • Adjustable flow rate
    • Easy to clean
    • Best filter for your money
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Great for beginners
    Cons
    • Can be loud

    3. Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter For Aquariums – Premium Choice

    Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter_Amazon

    • Gallons Per Hour (GPH): 220-360
    • Ideal Tank Size: 30-100 gallons
    • Spray Bar Included: No
    • Dimensions: Small size – 12.2” x 9.17” x 13.62”; Medium size – 2” x 9.17” x 15.5”; Large size – 14” x 11.02” x 18”

    If money is no object, you may want to consider splurging on the Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter. This filter comes in three different sizes for tanks that range from 30 to 100 gallons large. This filter is extremely quiet, which means it won’t bother you as it works. The Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter also features not three, but four stages of filtration, meaning your Axolotl’s water will be as clean as possible if you use this filter. Like some other canister filters, the Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter comes with many different parts that can make it somewhat difficult to install.

    Pros
    • Four stages of filtration
    • Very quiet
    Cons
    • Some customers reported having problems with leaks
    • Not available for tanks larger than 100 gallons

    4. Fluval 107 Performance Canister Filter for Aquariums

    Fluval 07 Series Performance Canister Filter_Amazon

    • Gallons Per Hour (GPH): 95
    • Ideal Tank Size: 20 gallons
    • Spray Bar Included: No
    • Dimensions: 9.5” x 7” x 19.3”

    The Fluval 07 series features a design that was created to make the filter quieter and more energy-efficient than previous iterations. According to Fluval, the 107 model uses just 10 watts of electricity, which is about equivalent to one LED light bulb. Customers note that the canister is so quiet they don’t even realize it is on. One drawback to this canister filter is that it does not come with a spray bar; although this filter is already pricey, we recommend purchasing the spray bar as well if you are planning to buy one of these filters.

    Pros
    • Energy efficient
    • East to clean
    Cons
    • Spray bar sold separately

    5. Polar Aurora External Aquarium Canister

    Polar Aurora 3-Stage External Aquarium Filter_Amazon

    • Gallons Per Hour (GPH): 265
    • Ideal Tank Size: 75 gallons
    • Spray Bar Included: Yes
    • Dimensions: 10” x 10” x 16”

    The Polar Aurora External Aquarium Canister comes in four different sizes. The largest model can accommodate tanks up to 200 gallons large. It’s more all-inclusive than other filters in that it comes with both a spray bar and the actual filter media. It also comes with an easy-to-use self-priming pump that you can operate simply by pressing a button. Customers note that this filter is fairly difficult to put together, but as long as you put it together correctly, it should work beautifully; this filter is tried and tested by many aquarium owners who approve of its quality.

    Pros
    • Good for larger tanks
    • Very quiet
    Cons
    • Many different parts make set-up difficult

    6. SunSun HW-404B 525 GPH 5-Stage External Canister Filter with 9W UV Sterilizer

    SunSun External Canister Filter_Amazon

    • Gallons Per Hour (GPH): 525
    • Ideal Tank Size: Up to 150 gallons
    • Spray Bar Included: Yes
    • Dimensions: 11” x 11” x 19”

    The SunSun HW-404B filter is another great choice for larger tanks up to 150 gallons. With four stages of filtration, this filter has the ability to keep your axolotl’s water as pure and clean as can be. Its large media baskets mean that you have a lot of flexibility as to what type of media you would like to add to the filter. In addition to its four-stage filtration system, this filter comes with a UV sterilizer that has the ability to kill bacteria that are harmful to your axolotl. Similar to other canister filters, you may not want to purchase this filter if you are brand new to keeping an aquarium; the instructions for setting up this filter are not very clear.

    Pros
    • Good for large tanks
    • Four stages of filtration
    • Spray bar included
    • UV sterilizer
    Cons
    • Instructions not very clear

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    Buyer’s Guide

    What To Look For When Buying an Axolotl Tank

    As axolotls are aquatic animals, you need to purchase a tank that will be adequate for their needs. In this buyer’s guide, we will discuss what to look for when purchasing a tank for your axolotl, including minimum tank size, tank material, and set up.

    Minimum Tank Size

    The tank you purchase for your axolotl should be at least 15 gallons large. Although the axolotl itself only grows to be about 9-12 inches long, they produce a relatively large amount of waste and require a tank with large floor space. These salamanders are also known for sometimes jumping out of their tank, so you need to make sure the lid is secure.

    If you have more than one axolotl, you should plan to purchase a much larger tank. Two axolotls need a tank that is about 55 gallons large.

    Aquarium light_TIPAKORN MAKORNSEN_Shutterstock
    Image Credit: TIPAKORN MAKORNSEN, Shutterstock

    Tank Materials

    When you are looking for your axolotl tank, another consideration you will need to make is the durability of the tank. You should search for glass tanks that are at least a quarter-inch thick in order to make sure that they will be able to withstand the water pressure in the tank and prevent any cracks from forming. This is particularly important if you are buying a larger tank.

    Tank Setup

    In addition to the tank itself, you will need to think about purchasing filters, lights, plants and other decor, and chillers. In some cases, it may be easier to purchase a tank kit that comes with all of these accessories. That way, you don’t need to worry about purchasing the right type of accessories for your tank.

    Things to Consider When Purchasing a Filter

    Axolotl_Poring Studio_Shutterstock
    Image Credit: Poring Studio, Shutterstock

    Once you have your tank, you need to purchase a filter for the tank. As stated, axolotls produce a large amount of waste, so you are doing yourself a favor by purchasing a filter. Otherwise, you will need to change the water out very frequently to make sure your axolotl stays healthy.

    Most of the filters on this list are canister filters because although they are more difficult to maintain than other filters, they are also one of the most efficient types of filters out there. They also frequently come with spray bars, which help improve the oxygenation of your axolotl’s tank.

    Make sure the filtration rate remains relatively slow. If the current is too strong, your axolotl can become stressed. When you are choosing your filter, look at its filtration rate in GPH (gallons per hour). Generally speaking, you should buy a filter whose GPH is about four times your tank’s capacity. If your tank’s capacity is 30 gallons, for example, you should look for a filter with a GPH of 120.

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    Conclusion

    The Penn-Plax Cascade Canister Filter stands out as one of the best options out there given how versatile and easy to operate it is. The Aquaclear Fish Tank was our value choice because, at less than half the price of other filters on our list, it still delivers on performance. As you can see from our reviews, there are many great options available if you are looking for an axolotl tank filter; we hope that you have learned something about axolotl tanks and filters and that you’ve been able to find an option that works for you.


    Featured Image Credit: Tinwe, Pixabay

    Nicole Cosgrove

    Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.