Top 5 Best Planted Aquarium Filters


Planted aquariums are one of the most popular types of aquariums primarily because of their naturalistic appearance. There are many things that people must take into account when owning and maintaining a planted aquarium and we can all agree that filtration is one of the crucial things. With proper filtration, you can expect to improve the beauty and health of your aquarium. On the other hand, improper filtration can slow down the growth of your plants and affect the colors of your fish. That’s why you need to make sure you have one of the best planted aquarium filters available!

These are the main reason why an aquarium enthusiast should pay special attention to the filters used in their planted aquarium. But, the market is flooded with different kinds of filters for planted aquariums making their purchase a little bit difficult. Obviously, there are many filters that are better than the others. By following our tips, you should be able to select the best filter for planted aquariums.

Types of Filters

In order to speed up this process and help you make the right decision when you are looking for a filter for planted aquariums, we have decided to describe the three main types of filters used for this type of aquariums.

First of all, there are canister filters. According to many experts, these are the most popular type of filters for planted aquariums. They are popular because they are not visible and have proven to be very efficient at making the water transparent as possible. The most experienced aquarists usually use this type of filter. There are a few reasons for this practice. For example, a canister filter can be easily customized according to your aquarium’s needs and requirements. In addition, users can also modify the amount of water flow that comes out of the canister filter and set specific directions. On top of that, canister filters allow for quick and easy maintenance.

Another type of filter that you can use in your planted aquarium is internal filters. They are placed directly in the tank and are completely submersed. Although they are not popular as they once were, many people still use them in nano tanks. I only recommend using internal filters in small planted aquariums that don’t exceed twenty gallons. If you do, your tank may end up lacking in filtration and flow.

Lastly, planted aquarium owners use hang on the back filters. With their help, you can expect optimal useful bacteria growth and flow. Their easy installation and flow rate make them perfect for any planted fish tank.

Best Planted Aquarium Filters – Top Picks

1. Aquaclear Power Filter

aquaclear-best-planted-aquarium-filterAquaClear is a crowd favorite in the world of aquariums. It promises great efficiency even for large  aquariums. The simplicity and capabilities leave it unmatched. They also have different sizes, making it a great decision for any planted tank


  • Efficient water filtration
  • Silent activity
  • Easy installation


  • Spacer to adjust angle of the filter falls off easily (Use a pot scrubber as a spacer)

2. Hydor Professional External Canister Filter


Now here’s a great example of a canister filter that will serve your planted aquarium for a long time. One of the things that users like the most about this professional canister filter are the fact that it comes with a unique design that saves a lot of space. This filter provides optimal performance and great versatility. It’s simple to use because of the design and it can be helpful for literally any type of planted aquarium.


  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to install and use
  • A simple priming system


  • Difficult to find replacement parts

3. Fluval C Power Filter


Fluval is a well-known brand among experienced aquascapes. Their C Power Filter is designed to provide water with premium quality. It has a system that delivers five-stage filtration and the results are more than spectacular. The package includes a filter cover, filter case, C-nodes, leveling device, telescopic intake tube, U-tube and many other useful parts.


  • Provides great water flow
  • Special 5-stage filtration system
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to use


  • A bit difficult to clean due to the numerous crevices and crags


When cleaning your filter, make sure to never use tap water. Grab a bucket, empty out some water from the tank, take the filter media out of your filter and give it a good squeeze and pop it back into your filter. Clean filter, happy plants!

The Benefits of a Filter for Planted Aquariums

There are many debates focused on whether a planted aquarium needs filters or not. Just to be clear, it is possible to maintain an aquarium like this without a filter, but using one is highly recommended. It is obvious that there are numerous benefits associated with these relatively simple devices.

First and foremost, having proper circulation in the aquarium is a must both for the plants and for the fish. For example, the gas exchange that is happening at the surface of the aquarium will be virtually impossible without proper circulation. Next, with the help of a filter, aquarium owners can keep the water in the aquarium clean all the time. While it is true that the plants are able to absorb and process some of the waste, it is also true that they cannot help you with the non-organic matter. In addition, it is very likely that the capacity of the plants to process waste is lower compared to the amount of food you use in the planted aquarium.


In conclusion, you can expect to get a huge number of beneficial bacteria through these filters. In the end, a good filter can also provide a chance to use chemicals like carbon easily. It is possible to use a planted aquarium without a filter in case it has many plants and low amount of food placed in it, but the filters are inexpensive and there is no need to take any risks.


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