7 Best Filters for Goldfish Tanks of 2024 (Review and Guide)

Goldfish are fantastic pets. These sea creatures are tiny, cute, friendly, and cost almost nothing to keep both economically and physically. They don’t require routine walks, fancy dressing, or lots of attention.

Goldfishes are low-cost maintenance and not dangerous to children. Despite all the fantastic qualities goldfish have, they require a basic need that is mainly overlooked—a goldfish tank filter.

Like every other pet, goldfish produces waste and must be appropriately managed to avoid an outburst of diseases that might lead to sickness or loss of life. To prevent either of these, you need a tank filter with the best filtration system for your goldfish.

A goldfish aquarium can only serve little of the needs of your goldfish.

Best Goldfish Filter Table

MarineLand Penguin Power FilterMarineLand Penguin Power Filter
  • Bio-Wheel technology delivers a three stage mechanical, chemical, and biological aquarium filtration
  • Certified flow rate of 75 GPH (gallons per hour), perfect for aquariums up to 10 gallons
  • The penguin power filter requires virtually no set-up, making it perfect for any fish lover
  • Convenient penguin rite size "a" cartridge comes ready to use with each filter
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Hygger Aquarium Double Sponge FilterHygger Aquarium Double Sponge Filter
  • 【Multi-filtration functions】this sponge aquarium filter combines bio-filtration, oxygenation and physical filtration in one and also makes small water flow, which can ensure the excellence of the water quality. Helps your small fish or shrimp to live a happy, healthy life
  • 【Filter Demension】plus the sponge filter with media balls takes up no more room. Small filter is 6" in width and 9" to 13." in height, the sponge inside circle diameter is 0.39 inch, suggest for 10 to 40 gallon fish tank. Medium filter is 6.3" in width and 9' to 13 in height, the sponge inside circle diameter is 0.59 inch, suggest for 15 to 55 gallon fish tank. For larger tank you may need 2 of this filter
  • 【Package Includes】1 double sponge filter with 2 containers +1 bag of ceramic media balls + 2 pare sponges(packed in the 2 containers). This aquarium filter must be used with an air pupm and a standard size 4mm air hose, please note pump and air hose are not included. Please choose a powerful enough air pump according to your fish tank size for this filter
  • 【Detachable Fine Sponges 】you can easy to take down the 2 sponges from the filter to clean or replace it, the 2 sponges are fine 60ppi not coarse, which means more surface area for beneficial little creatures to live on. Don't use tap water to clean it, just rinse or squeeze the sponges by using the aquarium water
  • 【Easy to use】all the parts of this filter are detachable, you can easily to assemble them together, with 2 strong suction cups you can stick the filter firmly to any tank position under water, withouting floating. The water oulet tube can be extended and rotated, you can adjust the outlet to above or below the waterline
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Penn Plax Under Gravel Filter SystemPenn Plax Under Gravel Filter System
  • Undergravel filter system includes 4 filter plates (each measuring 11.5" X 11.5") with extra large 1 inch adjustable lift tubes.
  • Filter is suitable for most 40 and 50 gallon aquariums. Clips to hold each section securely together are included.
  • 2 carbon filter cartridges remove odors, and water discoloration by trapping the pollutants in the pores of the carbon.
  • This undergravel filter hides from view for maximum aesthetics. Safe for use in both freshwater and saltwater tanks.
  • Effortless setup and easy maintenance make this premium undergravel filter a must have for all home aquariums.  Simply place filter plates at the bottom of the tank and cover with gravel.
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Marina Power FiltersMarina Power Filters
  • Power filter for aquariums up to 10 gallons
  • Self priming
  • Easy to maintain
  • Adjustable flow control
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Fluval 107 Performance Canister FiltersFluval 107 Performance Canister Filters
  • Ergonomic design and raised lip for smoother operation
  • Single action dual locking clamps for quick release & attachment
  • New center handle allows Main media stack to be removed
  • Redesigned system – requires less pumps to engage
  • The all-new 07 series marks the 7th incarnation in nearly 4 decades of fluval’s top selling canister Filter family Worldwide. Not only does the latest generation incorporate the power and reliability you’ve come to expect from the leader in aquatic filtration, but it also features several new performance upgrades that make it up to 25% quieter and more robust, energy-efficient, flexible and easier to use than ever before
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Hikari Bacto-Surge High-Density Foam FilterHikari Bacto-Surge High-Density Foam Filter
  • Works Well For Use In Freshwater Or Marine Applications
  • Highly Porous Sponge Maximizes Bacterial Action
  • Increased Surface Area Offers Maximum Bacteria Colonization
  • Soft Sponge Material Offers Easy Cleaning
  • Sponge Designed For Longer Life
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Lee's Premium Undergravel FilterLee's Premium Undergravel Filter
  • The larger plate sizes reduce the number of plates required
  • The added strength of the UGF plates makes this filter most preferred by saltwater aquarists
  • Size: 10-inch by 20-inch
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Top Filters for Goldfish Tanks

You might want to keep your eyes open for the following devices when shopping for the best filters for your goldfish. Your decision will ultimately impact the health and life of your fish.

Here’s our list and review for the best filters for goldfish tanks of 2024. We hope you find one just right for your aqua pet.

1. MarineLand Penguin Power Filter

This fantastic MarineLand fish tank filter is suitable for aquarium holding up to 10gallons of water and has a strong water flow rate of up to 75 gallons per hour.

This filter features a unique bio-wheel technology that provides chemical filtration, mechanical filtration, and biological filtration. It can efficiently eradicate discolorations and odor in your water, creating a better environment for your fishes due to its faster-acting black diamond premium activated carbon.

The MarineLand Penguin Filter comes with three easy-to-use filtration systems and convenient filter cartridges ready to use with each filter without the hassle of air pumps, valves, or tubing. It requires no setup, making it easy for installation and perfect for an aquarium hobbyist.


  • It comes in a compact size and doesn’t take up much space in the aquarium.
  • It is suitable for fresh water and saltwater aquariums.
  • This device has a patented BIO-wheel, which houses beneficial bacteria needed to keep tanks clean and healthy and allows beneficial bacteria to grow.
  • The suction produced by this device is gentle and should not be harmful to the goldfish.
  • Each filter contains new faster-acting Black Diamond Premium Activated Carbon for maximum efficiency.
  • It has three filtration media.
  • It spins gently and doesn’t produce noise.


  • This device can get noisy after 6 months.
  • It comes with hard-to-understand instructions.
  • It doesn’t feature a flow-rate adjuster.

2. Hygger Aquarium Double Sponge Filter

The Hygger Aquarium Double or Dual Sponge filter is highly recommended if you want to keep your tank clean and healthy for your fishes. This dual sponge aquarium filter features multi-filtration functions. It uses bio-filtration, oxygenation, and physical filtration to ensure your aquarium is healthy and conducive for your aquatic life.

This filter is suitable for small, medium, and large tank use. It should be noted that it is advisable to get 2 filters for larger aquariums. It has two sponges that water passes through, and they come in compact designs.

Sponge filters can be a great addition to other types of filters. It catches large debris, ensuring small fry and sick or weakened fish do not get sucked into the filter. Also, the sponges can be easily removed for maintenance but must be rinsed using water from your aquarium and not tap water. This dual tank is a good option for quarantine and nursery tanks.


  • It’s healthy tank bacteria recycle to make the water in goldfish aquariums clearer and of good quality.
  • Its dual sponges ensure small fry, shrimplets, and sick or weakened fish do not get sucked into the filter. 
  • Suitable for both fresh and saltwater tanks.
  • It can be run by most air pumps (larger than 4W).
  • Filter parts are detachable and easy to install.
  • It features a high flow rate and 2 strong suction cups to keep the filter in place.
  • It has 2 filter media containers.


  • It provides only two filtration media.
  • It takes up to a month or two to grow beneficial bacteria.
  • It does not come with a pump and an air hose.

3. Penn Plax Premium Under Gravel Filter System

Penn-Plax under gravel aquarium is suitable for a 40-50 gallons fish tank and is one of the best goldfish filters. It provides your aquarium with crystal clear filtered water with its strong flow rate and heavy-duty filter plates locked together for maximum stability. Its jumbo 1″ adjustable lift tubes and high pore air stones provide efficient and powerful filtration.

It can also be adjusted up or down for a custom fit and comes with a free set of Penn-PlaxFilt-a-Carb filter cartridges. These carbon filter cartridges eliminate odors and discoloration in your aquarium water. This cartridge that provides for clearer water can last for up to 8 weeks.   


  • Easy installation with trouble-free setup and operations.
  • Includes filter plates, air stones, adjustable lift.
  • It comes with tubes and a filter cartridge.
  • Provides powerful chemical and biological filtration systems.
  • Available for 5, 10, 15/20H, 20L/29, 40 / 55 gallon tank.
  • It requires low maintenance.


  • It provides only two types of filtration media.
  • Available tubing is short.

4. Marina Power Filter

The Marina Power Filter is suitable for aquariums holding up to 10-gallons of water. It is excellent for space conservation as it comes with a compact and slim design that is aesthetically pleasing. The filter comes with an adjustable flow control allowing users to adjust the water flow level in their tanks.

The power filter has two cartridges, the 1 Bio-Carb and 1 Bio-Clear, that have Ceramitek, a highly porous ceramic that regulates biological filtration. It is tranquil during operations and comes with a two-year guarantee on all parts.


  • It comes with Self-priming.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Adjustable flow control for goldfish tanks in need of low flow rate.


  • It is suitable for aquariums holding up to 10 gallons.
  • It provides only biological filtration.

5. Fluval 107 Performance Canister Filter

This is a powerful canister filter that is highly recommended for keeping your aquarium clean. It is made of plastic and is designed to operate in both salt and fresh water environs. It provides constant pressure for exceptional filtration with near-silent pump performance and functions best with a sponge filter.

This canister filter features dual locking clamps for easy installation and removal, and its ergonomic design allows for an efficient operation.


  • Single action dual locking clamps for quick release & attachment.
  • Works for both fresh and saltwater.
  • This canister filter provides three filtration systems.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • Low energy costs.


  • This canister filter is not quiet.
  • It does not come with a spray bar.

6. Hikari Bacto-Surge High-Density Foam Filter

The Hikaru Bacto-Surge, Density Foam Filter is easy to clean, use and comes with excellent suction power. This filter works well in both fresh and saltwater applications with its highly porous sponge that reduces bacterial action. It provides biological filtration and breaks down organic waste to keep your tank healthy and clean.

The Hikari Bacto-Surge High-Density Foam is one of the best filters for goldfish available.


  • Easy cleaning and maintenance.
  • Long life span.
  • Increased surface area prevents and reduces breeding bacteria.


  • Big and obstructive.
  • This filter can easily float if you don’t take preventive steps.

7. Lee’s Premium Undergravel Filter

This is a fantastic choice for a goldfish aquarium. This filter that weighs one pound is equipped to provide surface area for beneficial bacteria and filter waste. Lee’s Premium Undergravel Filters have a multi-level plate design made of remarkable quality plastic that resists splitting or cracking.


  • Ability to reverse and control the water flow.
  • Allows for the addition of a pre-filter sponge to catch large debris.
  • Capable of turning your water crystal clear within a day.
  • This filter is highly durable.


  • They are small and can only cater to small-sized aquariums.
  • It is not easy to assemble.

Do All Goldfish Need filters?

Yes, they all do. For your goldfish to thrive, you must be ready to take the necessary steps apart from just feeding it. You can’t constantly monitor the aquarium water state or change it as frequently as aquarium filters can. A lack of good filtered water can endanger the health of your goldfish.

Although minimal in cost and maintenance, goldfish still require a filter tank to manage their temperature, filter their water, take out waste, protect them from diseases and help them live long and healthy lives.

What Do Fish Tank Filters Do?

A tank filter helps to clear out waste in an aquarium. Goldfish produce waste that tampers with the water flow and produces bacteria harmful to their health. Even excess goldfish food left in aquariums can create ammonia which is detrimental to your goldfish and can lead to your goldfish turning black.

The quality of water in a goldfish habitat is essential as it can determine the little creature’s life span. Lack of proper water changes and poor water quality is the cause of death for many goldfish. Filters help remove waste, harmful bacteria, and ammonia from your tank, creating a healthy environment for your fishes.  

What Kind of Filtration Is Best for Goldfish?

Different filters come with varying systems of filtration and various features, all ranging from size to quality. All perform the same function of keeping the goldfish safe, healthy, and comfortable, and they carry this out differently, utilizing their different properties.

Filter types include canister filters, hob (hang-on-back) filter, under gravel filter, external filter, and submersible. Note that the hob and submersible filters are best for small aquariums.

Consider the following when choosing the best filter for goldfish aquariums.

Why Goldfish Need Filters In Their Fish Tanks

A goldfish tank filter will clean out the crud, fish waste, residues that can be harmful to the fish, and excess water to prevent ammonia. They also rid aquariums of deadly chemicals like chlorine, fluoride, nitrates, nitrites, and heavy metals.

A good goldfish tank filter encourages beneficial bacteria to grow in the fish tank, kills harmful bacteria, and secures the goldfish’s health and life.

It’s a physically straining job to clean out the waste and toxins your goldfish produce manually, so that’s where the filter comes in because it isn’t practical for most people to be doing this for their aquariums. It does the stress and stands in the gap between a dirty tank and going crazy with water changes. It has to be filtered and chemical-free.

How To Choose The Best Goldfish Filter for Your Tank

In fish keeping, your choice of a fish tank filter can go a long way to determine your success in keeping healthy fishes and the lifespan of your goldfish.

You can never be too careful with the number of fake tanks around; you must ensure your research is well-grounded, highlighting your goldfish’s basic and peculiar needs that can be taken care of by the filter tank.

They are several things to consider when choosing the best filter for goldfish;

Filter Capacity

Your aquarium size is one of the first things to consider when purchasing a filter for aquariums. It is recommended to keep goldfish in a minimum of 20 gallons and advisable to get a filter for a bigger tank. A filter should be able to cycle through the volume of water in your fish tank 10 times per hour.

High-Quality Materials

Quality filters with reliable materials, including filter media manufactured by a trusted brand name, are your best bet when looking out for aquarium filters. They are easy to maintain and won’t break down as often as the ones made with low-quality materials are sure to.

Filtration Media Type

Filtration system and media is another feature to consider. Goldfish are freshwater fish and do not need all kinds of filter systems. They only require biological filtration and mechanical filtration. The HOB filters or hang on back filter and the submersible filters are advisable for small aquarium owners.

A good filter should accommodate many filter media and enable you to customize the media for your filter.

A decent filter system is better than any inferior quality fish tanks. It will save you some work and drasticallyreduce the number of water changes you need to do. This can maximize your stocking capacity and provide additions like the right substrate and undergravel filters that add extra surfaces for your beneficial bacteria to grow if needed.


Hob filter and canister filters have fewer media and can only operate either two or one filtration system. Although they have an impressive high water volume for common and comet goldfish, fancy goldfish are not so fond of current. High water current weakens them and their immune system, which can lead to diseases.


The reason you’re getting a filter in the first place is to protect your goldfish. Many filters, including canister filters, are designed to require frequent cleaning to stay clear of toxins and debris. But if these are allowed to build up in a filter, it can become incredibly toxic and harmful for your fishes in certain conditions!


Filtration goes beyond eliminating odor or having crystal clear water where your goldfish can thrive in. It is about removing nitrate and ammonia (the leading cause of death of aquarium fish).

Make sure whichever filter you get provides biological filtration, which is important as it encourages the growth of the good bacteria that filter out elements like ammonia.

Despite the ease and comfort having a good filter will afford you, you must also take the responsibility of ensuring they are cleaned regularly and kept neat. This will go a long way in maintaining them and also safeguarding the life of your goldfish.

Top Recommended Brand Names

Before selecting a filter, note that certain manufacturers have been providing some of the best filters for goldfish tanks for decades and are known worldwide for producing efficient and durable aquarium filters.

The Top Recommended Brand Names include:

Final Thoughts on Goldfish Filtration

If you love to keep these beautiful aqua creatures as pets, you must learn how to keep them alive and flourishing in your goldfish tank. Goldfish need an aquarium filter, so don’t put it off any longer. Buy one of the top-rated filters today!


Kelly Stanley