The Best Filters for 30 Gallon Aquarium to Keep Your Fish Healthy

Purchasing the best filter for 30 gallon aquarium is very challenging, especially if you are a complete novice. With the market being saturated with competitive brands that aim to please hobbyists, the chances of finding the right one for your own tank are very slim. However, if you are armed with the right information pertaining to the brand that you are eyeing, you will get a good chance of purchasing the right filter for your aquarium.

The buying process for a 30-gallon aquarium filter isn’t a straightforward one. You’ll have to weigh various seemingly similar products against one another before making a decision. So I thought it’d be wise to provide a head start by looking at a few of these considerations:

  • Size: 30-gallon fish tank filters won’t come in a single shape or size. So you’ll need to consider how much space you want this new filter to take up in the tank. Once you decide, finding a filter to fill it won’t be challenging.
  • Maintenance: Every single aquarium filter for 30-gallon tank aquariums will have a different maintenance process. So it’s crucial to find one you’re comfortable regularly doing. Otherwise, maintaining your filter will be an unpleasant process.
  • Type of Filter: These devices are available in various styles, including canisters, HOBs, and under-the-gravel filters. Buyers must research each type, so choosing one based on their preferences becomes effortless.

With this, I present these reviews about the top 29/30/40 gallon aquarium filters that will help you decide which one to use for your tank.

Best Overall

AquaClear A600

✔ Multi-stage filtration process
✔ Energy-efficient pump
✔ Simple to adjust water flow


Premium Choice


Tetra Whisper in-Tank Filter

✔ Quiet
✔ Easy cleaning
✔ Large Bio-Bag filter cartridge


Editor’s Choice


MarineLand Canister Filter

✔ 360GPH flow rate
✔ 4 media trays
✔ Operates quietly


Top-Rated Filter for 30 Gallon Aquarium Reviews 2023

1. AquaClear A600 Fish Tank Filter

The AquaClear A600 Fish Tank Filter is an easy one to love for any 30-gallon tank owner. Its incredible multi-stage filtration process alone should excite buyers. After all, it offers a superior water quality that I haven’t often found with other power filters.

This product features biological, chemical, and carbon filter media. So it’s versatile enough to attack and eliminate almost any issue that may taint a tank’s water. Due to this, my tank’s water has never been better suited to fit my fish’s needs.

Meanwhile, I was impressed with its effortless installation and maintenance processes. I had no trouble setting up the filter in my freshwater and saltwater tanks. From there, maintaining the filter and refilling its media have been a breeze.

This filter for 30-gallon saltwater tank/freshwater aquariums is also simple to adjust. It comes with a flow control feature, which makes maneuvering the water flow effortless. Honestly, it’s so much easier than what my prior 30-gallon canister filter required.

One last notable highlight is its energy-efficient pump that keeps its power consumption low. As a result, it’s managed to keep my electricity bill much lower than my previous filter. I can’t thank AquaClear enough for this excellent outcome.

My only complaint with this 30-gallon fish tank filter pump is its noise level. It was louder than my previous options, which was disappointing. I wasn’t the only one to notice, as some other customers have also pointed it out.

  • Superior water quality with a multi-stage filtration process
  • Versatile construction utilizes biological, chemical, and carbon filter media
  • Effortless installation and maintenance processes for fresh/salt tanks
  • Simple to adjust water flow with a flow control feature
  • Energy-efficient pump offers low-power consumption
  • Noisier than other options

Overall, I didn’t find the noise level to be a deal-breaker. It’s more of a nuisance that became a non-issue once I got used to this 30-gallon saltwater filter/freshwater filter. Plus, the other beneficial features make dealing with this minor issue more than worth it for me.

2. Tetra Whisper in-Tank Filter


If you are looking for a reliable and highly flexible filter for your aquarium or terrarium, the product that you should consider should be Tetra Whisper in-Tank Filter. This particular filter delivers a top-notch performance that you would rarely see with other competing products these days.

What I like about this filter is the way it can be installed with either hangers or suction cups. With this, I won’t have to use special tools or accessories to install it properly. Another positive feature of this product is the ease of cleaning. It only takes me 5 minutes to clean the filters or replace the cartridge.

Another thing that makes me really happy is how quiet this 40 gallon fish tank filter is. The other filters that I have encountered thus far produce a certain amount of noise which can become annoying over time. I have never experienced total silence whenever I’m plugging in a filter for the first time. This one, however, provides the comfort that a hobbyist needs in their aquarium. Because of its completely quiet operation, I have placed my 40 gallon tank in my home office.

One thing that I truly regret about getting this filter for our aquarium is having to explain to my seven-year-old daughter how her Betta fish get sucked into the filter. She thought at first that I flushed her fish away in the bathroom. But after showing her the wildly vibrating filter, she found out her precious fish there, barely clinging to life.

  • Quiet
  • Can be installed with either a hanger or two suction cups
  • Easy cleaning
  • Can be used with aquariums up to 40 gallons
  • Uses a large Bio-Bag filter cartridge
  • Small fish can be easily get sucked inside the filter
With all the information discussed above, I can honestly say that this power filter delivers a top-notch performance. It operates quietly and is very easy to clean. What is amazing is its flexibility; it can be used with up to 40-gallon aquariums. Finally, you can let the filter do its job for a long time because it uses a large Bio-Bag filter cartridge.

3. MarineLand Magniflow Canister Filter


Are you tired of replacing your in-tank filters due to water leakages? The MarineLand Magniflow Canister Filter for Aquariums is one of the best products in the market that is absolutely watertight. If you are shopping for a reliable filter, you definitely need to include this in your shopping list.

There are many things to love about this particular filter. First of which is the watertight seal. Most 40 gallon aquarium filter brands may say that their products are watertight, but in reality, they are not. I am glad to report that no leaks have been found anywhere in the unit, especially near the electronics part.

Another commendable feature of this filter is the adjustable 360 GPH flow rate. I can feed my fish without any fuss because I can easily adjust the flow rate to a manageable level. With this, I can prevent the food from getting filtered away before the fish even get the chance to eat them. In addition, If I think that the fish are not getting enough oxygen, I can bring the flow rate back to a higher level to induce more air.

I love the Black Diamond carbon. The water is always pure and odorless no matter the occasion. With this, I can be sure that no impurities will stay on the water that could adversely affect the health of my fish.

While I certainly love this product, there are moments when I want to stop using it. When I was replacing the media trays, the rubber gasket disintegrated in my fingers. Aside from being easy to get misplaced due to its small size, its quality is a little bit suspicious. I had to remove the whole unit from the aquarium and let the fish without a filter for an hour as I was trying to find a replacement for the gasket.

  • Completely watertight seal
  • Has an adjustable 360GPH flow rate
  • Has a Filter Foam that screens debris and unwanted particles
  • Has a Black Diamond carbon which removes odor, impurities, and stains
  • 4 media trays mean superior flexibility for media choices
  • Operates quietly
  • Can be used up to 55-gallon aquariums
  • The rubber gasket is flimsy
After listing all of this product’s important points above, I can confidently state that the MarineLand Magniflow Canister Filter for Aquariums is indeed an awesome product. It is watertight, so less worry about the electronics getting soaked unnecessarily. It has a reliable Filter foam that collects unwanted debris. The Black Diamond carbon is also commendable, as it eliminates odor and stains in the water.

4. Aqueon QuietFlow Aquarium Filters


Maintaining a large tank requires a good filter that will do the job around the clock. If you are searching for a reliable product that will make sure that the water in your aquarium is clean and your fish is healthy at all times, then the Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO might be the one that you are looking for.

I have enjoyed many features of this particular filter which made me believe this is the best 40 gallon aquarium filter there is. First is its LED indicator. I like how it informs me of the time that I need to replace the cartridges. With the warning coming from the LED, I can quickly eliminate the possible sources of contamination that could harm the fish inside my tank.

Another thing that really made me happy is the fact that this filter is self-priming. It always puts a smile on my face whenever I think about the amount of time that I can save just by cleaning it. Moreover, I noticed that it starts automatically after a sudden power interruption. This is very good especially if I’m out and there was a sudden power outage. The filter will restart itself and the fish will have a good time.

The three-stage filtration system is also very impressive. With this product, I am confident that there are no stray particles floating around thanks to its mechanical filtration. There are no harmful chemicals that might poison the fish and stain the water thanks to its stupendous chemical filtration. Finally, harmful organisms such as bad bacteria are out thanks to their dependable biological filtration.

What I don’t approve of about this product is how the impeller suddenly rattles from time to time. Although it is quiet most of the time, I get annoyed when it rattles for no reason at all. The only positive outlook I can get from this is when my cats are jumping on top of the tank. They all go away when the filter vibrates all of a sudden. While it may seem amusing, I still want to get rid of the unwanted noise.

  • Self-priming
  • Starts automatically after a sudden power interruption
  • Has an LED indicator which tells you when to replace the filters
  • Has a three-stage filtration system
  • Has an adjustable flow rate
  • Uses large Aqueon cartridges
  • Has a good internal design which prevents leaks and eliminate noise
  • Sometimes the impeller suddenly rattles
All in all, I can say without hesitation that Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO is a remarkable product. It is self-priming, has a reliable three-stage filtration system, and is designed to prevent leaks and muffle most of the noise coming from the machine. What’s most amazing is the LED indicator that tells you to replace the cartridge. With this, you won’t have to manually see the condition of the filters to determine whether or not it needs replacement. Finally, it automatically restarts after a sudden power outage. Through this wonderful feature, your fish will always be in excellent condition even if you are not around to restart the filter yourself.

5. Tetra Whisper Multi-Stage Power Filter

Tetra Whisper EX Silent Multi Stage Power Filter

If you are looking for a reliable product that can help you maintain a large aquarium, the Tetra Whisper EX Silent Multi-Stage Power Filter is definitely the one you should use. This product has an intuitive filtration system that will monitor the condition of the water without costing you a single effort.

There are so many things that I appreciate about this product. First of which is the flow rate. The water outflow is smooth but it promotes oxygenation. The suction power is powerful but gentle enough to prevent the fish from getting sucked inside the filter. With completely adjustable 245 GPH, I’m sure my fish will thrive inside my precious aquarium for a very long time.

I also like the Timestrips. With this, I can quickly tell if I need to replace the old and dirty filters with new ones. Once I saw that the cartridge had turned red from its original white color, I knew that I had to change it.

If I’m allowed to raise some issues about this product, it is the loud and annoying vibration. I thought that cleaning it up would eliminate the vibration. However, after plugging it back, the vibration only got worse. I tried to bring up the issue with the manufacturer but as of writing, they still haven’t replied.

  • Can be used with 45 gallon aquariums
  • Has an intuitive filtration system
  • Each package comes with a free Timestrip
  • After plugging it for some time, it emits a loud vibrating noise
Considering all of the points I have said above, I can confidently conclude that the Tetra Whisper EX Silent Multi-Stage Power Filter is a remarkable product. It has an intuitive filtration system that informs you of the cartridges’ condition without exerting too much effort. Also, it comes with a free Timestrip, so you don’t have to spend an extra dollar. This filter is so flexible, it can be used with up to 40 gallons of the aquarium. With this, you don’t need to worry about purchasing a specific filter for your tank; plug it in and let it do its work.

6. Aquatic Life 115 Skimmer/Filter


Good thing the reviews convinced me to buy this Mini Internal Protein Skimmer and Filter by Aquatic Life. I am telling you, it’s worth your saved-up bucks!

It is made with quality materials and has dimensions 10-5/8 in., height of 4.5 in. weight of 3.5†depth. With this size, it should fit 29, 30, or 40 gallon aquariums. But to be sure, measure your intended filter area to determine if the skimmer will fit into the filter box. The Aquatic Life Mini-Skimmer’s compact size also makes it ideal for mini-reef aquariums.

There is increased air-to-water contact and facilitation to produce a lot of microbubbles, which can benefit the aquatic environment in our aquarium. The filter system includes skimmers for the effective removal of organic wastes in any aquarium up to 30-gallon capacity. The filter-skimmer tandem effectively collects a large amount of scum, dirt, and toxins.

I love that it is quite noise-free as well since the placement inside the aquarium provides minimum noise for noiseless operation. The design is modern and well thought of. I can see clearly through the filter and skimmer. Unlike other aquarium filters I tried, I don’t have to guess when it needs cleaning.

I only experienced a clogging once, so it’s not much of an issue after a year. Regular cleaning should just be done. Also, the reservoir was extremely difficult to remove and reattach without dislodging the skimmer from the mount.

  • Effective filter-skimmer system
  • Quality and durable materials
  • Easy to set-up
  • Good price
  • May clog after prolonged use
  • Difficulty in removing and reattaching the reservoir
For a pretty good price, this product delivers quality cleaning all in a compact package. It makes me happy to see my fish freely swimming in clean water. Just make sure to check it regularly to prevent clogging.

7. Aqueon Quietflow Power Filter


Ever wanted the best for your friend fish? How about a relaxing and worry-free pet care experience? Well, we are very lucky to have Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter!

I got mine with a 30-gallon capacity. But there are available units that deliver for 10, 15, or 40 gallons. The input and flow rates are adjustable. I was able to change the direction and height of the water return to cater to my fish’s needs.

For either aquarium or terrarium, the 3.8 in. x 1.8 in. x 10 in. unit can fully submerge in a vertical or horizontal position. My filter looks like a submarine positioned midway. The Aqueon Replacement Internal Filter keeps the water clean and clear. There’s a dense foam produced with bubbles to lift particles and debris. The activated carbon gets the toxins, odors, and discoloration away. BioGrid eliminates ammonia and nitrates.

What separates this filter system from others is its self-priming ability. The directional return pipe enables mounting upward or sideways. Hassle-free installation, right?

Easy cleaning is an understatement. I only scrub off dirt from the filter twice or thrice every two months. It’s almost a year, and I haven’t replaced any part. If you have a larger aquarium, I heard that the AT40 unit works best with 155 GPH for a 40-gallon tank. The flow rate is 155 GPH.

Also, Quietflow truly is a quiet flow. Because of the filter’s soothing sound, my house turned into a spa-like place. It’s relaxing and never annoying.

It’s a bit pricier as compared to other models and brands. But with all this filter’s benefits, the price is just right.

  • Efficient 3-stage cleaning
  • For aquarium or terrarium
  • With lifetime warranty
  • Expensive
If you want quality for a reasonable price, then don’t dare think twice about buying this — it’s simply the best filter for 29 gallon aquarium! With its efficient 3-stage cleaning, it can save you from buying cheaper filters over and over again. Even with its price, since it has a lifetime warranty, it’s definitely value for money.

8. Tetra Whisper Power Filter


Whether you are a seasoned hobbyist or just a complete beginner, you definitely need a reliable in-tank filter to keep your fish (or any aquatic pet) healthy. If you want to see your pets thriving, the best product you need to use in your aquariums is Tetra Whisper Power Filter for Aquariums.

What I really like about this particular filter is its flexibility. I like the way it can be used in smaller tanks. If you are a beginning hobbyist and you are operating under a limited budget, this filter will definitely do more than wonders.

The three-stage filtration system of this 29 gallon aquarium filter definitely keeps the water pristine and clean at all times. Through its superb mechanical filtration, I am always confident that no unwanted particles are floating around such as leftover food or stray objects from the outside. On the other hand, there are no harmful chemicals that could compromise the quality of water because of the reliable chemical filtration. Finally, biological filtration keeps harmful bacteria and fungi out of the tank at all times.

The flow rate is completely adjustable and I find it very advantageous. Whenever I’m feeding my fish, I always adjust the flow rate as slowly as possible to prevent fish food from getting sucked inside the filter. But when the fish are done, I can bring it back to the regular 180 to 210 GPH to provide the fish with a good amount of oxygen.

I don’t appreciate how this product gets a little noisy from time to time. Whenever I’m relaxing beside the aquarium, I always find myself startled by the sudden wild vibration coming from the filter. Whenever this happens, I realign the tubes and make sure that they are intact. Once I’m done, the filter will become silent once more.

  • Can be used with smaller tanks
  • Has a three-stage filtration system
  • Has an adjustable flow rate
  • Uses a large Bio-Bag cartridge
  • It can get noisy sometimes
Considering all of the important information I have stated above, I can say that this particular filter is magnificent. Its three-stage filtration system is superb as well as its adjustable flow rate. The fact that this filter is flexible makes it very ideal not only for seasoned hobbyists but also for complete novices.

9. Penn Plax Hang-on Aquarium Filter


There are so many tank filters that are sold in the market today, but there is only one product that can give you total satisfaction. This is the Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter With Quad Filtration System. This filter is so impressive, it will make you use it in all of your tanks.

I like so many things about this particular filter. First of which is the adjustable flow rate. 200 GPH is indeed impressive, especially if you have a large tank. But the mere fact that I can adjust its flow rate really makes me smile. I can decrease it whenever I’m feeding the fish and I can increase it afterward to promote oxygenation.

Another thing that I like about this product is the filtration system. This one actually has an internal sponge that promotes the growth of good bacteria. It also has poly fiber floss that filters unwanted particles in the water. Finally, it has activated carbon which eliminates elements that could lead to discoloration, toxins, and foul smell.

The only thing I won’t find in any similar filter brand today is the self-leveling case. This keeps the filter level at all times. The best about this feature is that I don’t have to do this by myself. I can easily enjoy watching the fish swim around or devote my time to doing something else.

One thing that I don’t like about this filter is how it suddenly leaks even though there is no apparent damage. Even though it runs spectacularly, it still drips a good deal of water. I tried patching it up by pushing a small sponge filter between the blue plastic case and the filter. Sadly, it didn’t do anything. I tried realigning the filters and it worked remarkably.

  • Has an adjustable flow rate of 200 GPH
  • Internal sponge promotes the growth of good bacteria
  • Has a self-leveling case
  • Has poly fiber floss that captures unwanted particles
  • Has activated carbon which prevents odor, stains, and toxins
  • Prone to leakage
In conclusion, I can say that the Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter With Quad Filtration System is a marvelous product. It has an amazing filtration system that not only filters the water and keeps it clean, but also promotes the growth of good organisms that are beneficial to the fish. If you want to keep your fish healthy, this is the kind of filter that you should get for them.

Outdated Products

Zacro Aquarium Filter (Outdated)


Are you looking for a reliable and flexible filter for your aquarium? The Zacro Aquarium Filter provides a performance that you certainly won’t find in other products in the market these days!

In terms of flexibility, this particular filter is certainly unlike any other. I was surprised to learn that this filter can be used for tanks between 20 to 50 gallons. This is very ideal for and beginning hobbyists who only have small tanks to put their fish.

The adjustable water inlet pipe is quite fascinating; I can freely decide how far the pipe should go depending on the depth of the tank. The filter operates quietly, which is very convenient if the tank is placed in the bedroom. Furthermore, it has an adjustable flow rate which is very good, especially if you don’t want the fish food to get sucked before the fish even eat it.

Cleaning this unit is indeed very easy. I remove the filter boxes, rinse it a little, and put it back to its place. Even my four-year-old daughter can perform the cleaning task.

While I really appreciate all of this product’s positive features, I have seen a negative one after two weeks of use. I heard a sudden grinding noise when I was reading a book near the aquarium. I was startled and unplugged the filter to check if a fish was inside. I was shocked when I found out that there was nothing inside but the filters. Although the grinding noise was gone the moment I plugged it back in, it still pops out from time to time.

  • Can be used with 20 to 50 gallon tanks
  • Has an adjustable water inlet pipe
  • Has an adjustable flow rate
  • Operates quietly
  • Removable filter boxes for easy cleaning
  • The filter makes a sudden grinding sound after two weeks
In a nutshell, the Zacro Aquarium Filter is a wonderful product. It is very flexible; the water inlet pipe can be adjusted depending on the size of the tank, and most of all, the motor operates quietly. Cleaning the filter boxes is absolutely a no-brainer because all you have to do is to remove them. This is definitely the best filter for 40 gallon tank for both beginner and seasoned hobbyists.

Aqua-Tech Power Aquarium Filter (Outdated)


I’ve been using Aqua-Tech’s Power Aquarium Filter for a couple of years now, but I still double-check to see if this filter is on. I sometimes don’t feel and hear it working, but it does its job. I just saw the results. It works like a ninja!

There are different sizes available for this filter. I purchased the one that can be used for 20 to 40 gallon aquariums. So far, I haven’t replaced any part yet. I reuse the filters after cleaning. I do this usually once a month.

I’m so amazed by how good the EZ-Change filtration system is. The first stage screens out the solid particles inside the aquarium. It also makes sure that there is greater contact between the water and the carbon filter. Next, the activated carbon removes odor, discoloration, and other impurities. Lastly, the Bio-Tech Biological Grid® eliminates toxins like ammonia and nitrites. By the way, the hardness of water is also taken care of by this last stage. No need to worry about your fish getting chlorine and such.

Luckily, I haven’t experienced a problem with clogging yet. But should there be any problem, I don’t even have to worry that much because maintenance is simple and easy. Refills are also available if there’s a need for replacement.

I was also surprised that an inexpensive product like this includes a two-year warranty. A secured deal, right?

As it does its magic, it works very quietly. But there were about 4 to 5 episodes of too much vibration in the tank. Those were the only times I heard it work with noise.

  • Three-stage filtration system with no clogging
  • Noise-free
  • Comes with a two-year warranty
  • Inexpensive
  • Few episodes of noisy operation
In conclusion, if you’re starting or looking for a budget filter, try this one! It saves up your bucks while ensuring that your friend’s fishes are happy and healthy with noiseless cleaning. It is one of my top choices and I consider it the best filter for 29 gallon freshwater tank.

What To Look For When Buying A Filter For 30 Gallon Aquarium


For most beginners in the aquarium collecting community, starting out can be hard. These budding enthusiasts soon realize that things are not as simple as it seems and that there are actually a number of important factors that are not to be overlooked. Usage, placing, noise, and maintenance, are just some of the important elements on such a long list.

There are filters explicitly built for certain tank sizes, and this is important to understand for starters. This is so because they are made to utilize and work on the tank sizes they are specified for. They are not too hard or too small in the right tank, which means they would just put out the right amount of power thus focusing on your tank’s maintenance needs.

As a seasoned enthusiast, I have taken it upon myself to create this simple list in order for beginners to have a framework of choosing the right filter for their aquarium, be it the 29 gallon, 30 gallon, or the 40 gallon tank.

The Right Size

One of the most basic factors to consider in buying the right filter for you, considering the size of a filter based on two reasons. The first reason is space. It would be best if you made sure that the filter you choose will be able to do great work based on your aquarium’s size. For example, are you okay with buying a powerful 29 gallon aquarium, although it might be bigger in size? In some instances, the more powerful filters are bulky in size. This might affect the aesthetic settings you may design for your tank. There are milder 29 gallon aquarium filters of course, and they tend to be slimmer in size. Would you be okay with a milder filter that would not take up too much space to affect your aesthetics?

Aside from considering the space for aesthetic purposes, you should also consider the filter’s size for the space they need for utilized filtering. There are some powerful 30 gallon fish tank filters that are to be placed under the gravel in order to maximize their work, while there are also some that are placed on the walls. If you do not want to give up swimming space for your little fish friends, then maybe you could opt for the HOB or hang-on-back type filters.

When choosing a filter, consider its size and the placement and space they will assume once placed on your tank.

The Filter’s Maintenance

The 29 gallon, 30 gallon, and 40 gallon tanks are considered by the community as the range of middle-sized aquarium tanks. Thankfully, that means that although it is quite bigger than the starter tanks of 2.5 gallon up to the 10 or 20-gallon ones, it is still not as complex as the maintenance required for the bigger tanks upwards of it. However, that does not mean that you should skip considering the filter’s required maintenance.

Owners are the ones that are putting in the time, energy, and effort into the maintenance of the filters. One of the first things to look at is your chosen filter’s cartridges. Since your filters will be the ones responsible for cleaning the tank from the inside, then surely it can and will get clogged up from time to time. Make sure to know if your filter’s cartridges are easy to replace or change. That way you can estimate the frequency of times when you should clean them. It is also essential to take note of its durability. Now its durability is reliant on you as much as it relies on its make. Ask about the filter’s make, the materials used in it and the company that makes it. That should give you already tons of insight regarding its quality. With this, you are able to gauge how long it can last without you checking up on it.

The filter’s installation would be necessary to factor in as well, because sometimes we are not able to install the filter properly as instructed (maybe because of a misunderstanding of the instructions or simply making mistakes) and it proves to be damaging to the tanks and our little fish friends inside it. Be sure you are ready to receive and grasp information correctly regarding the installation if it is complex.

And lastly, the priming. Here is a trick every fish tank owner needs to know: most filters need to be primed before using it to its extent. Priming is when you place water on the filter’s pump reservoir until it is full. This is to ensure that there is no air in the filter’s tubing because it will cause your filter to burn out quickly and malfunction. Most filters need to be primed before use. However, today there are a number of self-priming and no-prime filters available in the market for 29 gallon, 30 gallon, and the 40 gallon aquarium tanks.

The Filtering Process

Now comes the complicated part, considering the filtering process. As it is a more complicated factor, I have broken it down to several parts.

  • Amount of Water Processed – It is quite essential to check you filter’s maximum ability in terms of the amount of water it can process during a specific time. Let us say we are to measure it in hours; just how many hours would it take for your filter to process all of the tank’s water? It is essential to know this because different owners spend different amounts of time with the tank’s cleaning and maintenance, and the filter’s process time is to be considered when making cleaning arrangements.
  • Water Quality Maintenance – Does the filter you choose has the power to maintain the amount of water in your tank clean, and for how long? Will it be working overtime to clean the whole tank, or will it only run for a shorter period of time? The 29 gallon tanks and 40 gallon tanks can have the same water processing time for as long as they use the specific filters built for them. And so choose the filters that are made for your tank, and after choosing that, opt for the ones that you think will help you maintain the tank’s water quality as you work with your schedule.
  • Processing Power – Learning about the processing power of your filter is the key to further understanding of the filter’s process time and quality maintenance. It dictates the amount of time and energy owners should spend in cleaning the tanks from the inside.

Two minor things to consider when talking about the filtering process are the options for adjustable flow rate, and the filter’s noise. The best filter for 30 gallon aquarium tanks is nowadays equipped with options for adjustable flow rate, which makes it easier for owners to gauge the amount of time needed when cleaning the tanks as they control the flow of water filtered. And as we all know, some power filters are noisy, while some work with a subtler sound. Before choosing the filter for its power and size, take time to consider the sound it makes if you are sensitive to that area.

These are some of the most basic factors to consider when buying a 29 gallon, 30 gallon, or the 40 gallon tank. Should you look into opting for these aquarium sizes, then be sure to choose the right filter for your tank, and start off in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions


How big of a filter do you need for a 30-gallon fish tank?

It’ll depend on your tank’s setup. For instance, a 30-gallon tank with numerous plants and other decorative items inside may need a much smaller filter. So the owner would choose an option that doesn’t sacrifice significant swimming space like HOBs.

An under-the-gravel filter could be suitable if your tank has more open space. These models are bulkier but often more potent than a traditional HOB option. Plus, they usually last a bit longer with their more sturdy constructions.

You could also opt for a more extreme option by picking an external filter. This choice would maximize your tank’s swimming space. After all, you wouldn’t need to set much room for it like any internal filter for fish tank models.

Can you use a 30-gallon filter on a 20-gallon tank?

Owners can use a filter for 30-gallon fish tank on a 20-gallon aquarium. It’ll have no issues meeting the filtration needs for a 20-gallon tank. I’ve found several people on Reddit who prefer to use higher-rated models in their aquariums.

But you must pay attention to how your fish react to the water current. If they struggle to swim around in the tank, get a new filter immediately. Otherwise, your fish could develop some concerning behaviors and health issues.

How many GPH does a 30-gallon tank need?

You’ll generally want a filter with a GPH flow rate of 4 times your tank’s capacity. So if you need a filter for 30-gallon goldfish aquarium, it’d need to offer 120 GPH at minimum. Otherwise, it won’t provide the necessary filtration for all your aquatic friends.

I should also mention that a filter above 120 GPH is more than acceptable. For instance, I wouldn’t hesitate to use a model like Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter for a second. It has an adjustable flow rate of 200 GPH, which I can easily maneuver to meet my fish’s needs.


Now that you have seen all the important information about the best filter for 30 gallon aquarium, you can now confidently purchase the one that will suit your needs. Always bear in mind, though, that these products have their specific settings and you should read the instructions before plugging it in. This way, you can eliminate any adverse effects on your fish and to yourself in case you have overlooked a certain step in the instructions or if the product that you received has some issues.