The Best Filters for Goldfish to Reduce Odor and Pollutants

If it is your first time keeping a fish, then perhaps you are slightly baffled about the best filter for goldfish to buy and which ones to refrain from. In addition to this, you might be pondering the importance of having a filter for your fish tank. The truth is, investing in superb quality filters is quite a necessity. If you want your pet fish and other marine creatures to thrive in your aquarium, then it matters to have a good one installed in your fish tank.

To boot, ensuring that your goldfish tank is gleaming and safe for your pet fish to roam and swim around is one of the most outstanding approaches to guarantee that they will enjoy a healthy life even when they are inside the tank. Indeed, keeping the water, they reside in neat and free of any contaminants is a practical alternative to spending lavishly on vet visits and pricey medicine to help your fish recover.

Choosing the correct filter for your goldfish tank doesn’t need to be complicated. It’s just a simple matter of knowing all impactful considerations, and the entire process becomes easy. Here’s a quick look at a few to give you a head start:

  • Tank Size: Your tank’s size will be a significant factor in choosing a filter. It must match up with what your preferred option is rated to handle. So ensure you have your tank’s gallon capacity on hand when searching for a suitable filter.
  • Filter Type: Filters for goldfish tanks usually fall into one of three kinds, canister filters, power filters, or sponge filters. In most cases, sponge or power options are our best bet with these types of fish.
  • Cost: Goldfish filters are available at a wide range of prices. So I’ve always recommended that buyers build a budget based on their wanted features. It’ll help make the entire process more manageable.

Let us explore the top-rated goldfish filters reviewed in this post and make sure to keep the shopping guides in mind before you spend anything for a filter. Read the other substantial information tackled in this article to ensure a happy and healthy tank for your fish.

Best Overall


MarineLand Penguin Power Filter

✔ Designed with solid built
✔ Suitable and conveniently-sized cartridges
✔ Guarantees low flow rate of 200 GPH


Premium Choice


Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter

✔ Tiny filter cartridges
✔ Designed with ultra-activated carbon
✔ Unique space-saving design


Editor’s Choice

Fluval C4 Power Filter

✔ Simple to assemble
✔ The compact design
✔ Quick and easy cleaning


Top-Rated Filter for Goldfish Reviews of 2023

1. MarineLand Penguin 200 Power Filter


You can try this filter if you want to install a top-quality filter for a goldfish tank. This is built with 3-stage chemical, mechanical and biological aquarium filtration. It ensures low rate of flow of 200 gallons per hour which makes it practical to utilize for fish tanks containing up to 50 gallons of water.

Take note that this makes use of Rite-size C filter cartridge. The cartridges are ready for utilization with each filter. In order to ensure that the filter is installed accordingly, see that it complies with the product manual. Alternatively, you can watch an instructional video or refer to the installation manual before using it.

For all that, you need to be aware that this filter tends to generate disturbing rattling sounds in the long run and there is a potentiality for the water to pop or spit at the surface constantly; this sends quite tiny water droplets into the air. Thankfully, to solve these issues, all you need to do is to inspect the propeller and clean it carefully. In case the noise is still there even after cleaning the propeller, you may contact their customer service support for some solutions.

  • Capable of delivering 3-phase chemical, mechanical and biological aquarium filtration
  • Guarantees low flow rate of 200 GPH
  • Comes with suitable and conveniently-sized cartridges
  • Designed with solid built and is spacious enough
  • Highly recommended for fish tanks that contain by up to 50 gallons of water
  • Tends to produce very loud rattling noise
  • Water consistently pops or spits
Laid on the line, this filter seems to be one of the most versatile options that you can purchase. It is made with primary and secondary slots. This can be utilized for nano-reef systems or goldfish. While there are water splashing and rattling noise issues that are generally complained by users, these issues can actually be resolved by cleaning the propeller and making sure that it is not filled with gunk. Thus, if you are on a budget and you don't want to spend more on a canister filter, then this can work most suitable for you.

2. Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter


Buying a fish filter for goldfish can be confusing sometimes given the limitless options that you can come across. But, if you prefer 2 filters in 1 design, this is the most excellent bet.

This in-tank filter is silent as long as your fish tank has water high up until where it is directed to be. It is plain sailing to maintain, the rate of flow is perfect for the size of the tank and there is ample space inside for additional filtration media in case you decide to add more. It is suggested to run a sponge filter together with this one for bigger tanks to boost biological filtration and eliminate finer particulates.

What sets this filter apart from other similar options is that adding extra media provides surface area for good bacteria to thrive, and compels the rising air to alter directions, so this reduces the flow gradually. Over and above, the internal 27 GPH pump cycles a 4-gallon tank beyond six times per hour.

Howbeit, two of the irregularities that must be examined prior to buying this filter are its potentiality to generate distinctive humming noise which is contrary to what was advertised. Indeed, it seems cheaply made so it can't be for long-term use.

  • Tiny filter cartridges can be immediately adjusted to low or high water levels
  • Designed with ultra-activated carbon that eliminates discoloration and foul smell
  • Manufactured with unique space-saving design
  • Comes complete with everything you need for setup
  • Cartridge floss captured fish waste and other residues
  • Tends to produce very strange humming noise
  • Seems not made to last for a long time
Right to it, judging on the cost and benefits of these filters, these are highly recommended. They are manufactured using durable and moderately flexible plastic which is quite advantageous because they are not prone to get instantly damaged once accidentally dropped on the floor. And, the components of Whisper or Tetra filters are a lot easier to find almost everywhere. You can witness for yourself that the outcomes are as sterling as any other filter you have ever utilized regardless of the price.

3. Fluval C4 Power Filter

The Fluval C4 Power Filter is an easy pick for any top goldfish water filter list. After all, its effective 5-stage filtration system ensures any fish lives a luxurious lifestyle. I couldn’t believe its impact on my tank’s water when first installing it. Honestly, I’ve never seen my goldfish’s water so clean!

Speaking of the installation, it couldn’t have been smoother. Fluval provided excellent directions to ensure even a clumsy person like myself had no trouble. I had the entire filter up and running in a matter of minutes.

I was also thrilled with this filter’s small compact construction. It makes hiding the filter behind a tank much easier than with other options. I could even see it being effortless to hide alongside a 20 gallon goldfish tank or a 30-gallon goldfish tank.

Furthermore, the cleaning/maintenance process was quick and painless. Fluval incorporated an ingenious slide-out function to ensure it was an absolute breeze. It was even easier than using a sponge filter for goldfish in my small tanks.

This model is versatile with its potential applications, as well. Buyers can use it in any tank up to 70 gallons without a single issue. It’s easy to see why this model is such a popular filter on Reddit and other similar sites.

My only complaint with this product is the noise level. Sadly, I found it a bit louder than my prior goldfish filter pump setup. So buyers must consider this aspect before putting it in their cart.

  • Keeps water clean and clear with an effective 5-stage filtration system
  • Simple to assemble with instructions
  • The compact design doesn’t take up much space.
  • Quick and easy cleaning with slide-out function
  • Usable on tanks up to 70 gallons
  • Noisier than other options

All in all, I learned to live with the noise level issue rather quickly. I simply moved the tank out of my bedroom to ensure my sleeping wasn’t interrupted. Once I did, this filter became an absolute delight to have for my fish tank.

4. Tetra Whisper Power Filter

Tetra Whisper Power Filter

Setting up a goldfish tank with a filter does not need to be cumbersome. If you pick the right filter, you can rest assured that your goldfish won't be harmed. As you might already know, Tetra is one of the most credible brands when it comes to marine products, and this filter model is one of their top-tier products.

This filter utilizes medium bio-bag cartridges. Please be guided that it is necessary to replace cartridges in order to keep the filter operating superbly. If you are presently keeping a smaller fish tank that handles by up to ten gallons of water, then this is your best bet. You'll love its 3-stage filtration as this works to help keep the tank water filth-free and healthier for your goldfish to thrive in.

However, a couple of the weak points that you will need to deal with if you purchase this filter include it’s being a little intricate to get started back up whenever you execute a water change. And, it operates quietly at first but it seems to generate some audible noise in the long run. You can give this product a try if these issues are not that disturbing for you.

  • Makes use of medium bio-bag cartridges
  • Practical to utilize for smaller fish tanks by up to ten gallons
  • Guarantees silent mode of operation
  • Especially designed with 3-stage filtration feature
  • Filtration and suctions work exceptionally
  • A little tough to get start back up after water change
  • Not that quiet in the long run
In a nutshell, this filter is straightforward to assemble so even if you are a novice, you won't have troubles setting it up. And, even though the filter appears larger, the majority of the filter hangs at the rear on the exterior section of the aquarium, and it scantily makes use of any space inside the fish tank at all. Also, due to its unique design, this filter could instantly be positioned in any five by up to ten gallon aquarium and it could easily fit around the design of the lid without any issue. As for the price, this is ideal for anyone who is short on budget.

5. Penn Plax Cascade Aquarium Filter


Your pet fish will definitely thrive if you are able to get the best filter for goldfish. Just like this filter from Penn Plax, this is a great value for the money since it is deemed one of the top-tier deals worth considering.

This is a prominent choice in that it is built with an internal sponge that is meant to help maximize the settlement of good bacteria. And, its activated carbon cartridge is designed to eradicate fatal toxins, various sorts of chemicals, foul smells, discoloration and other pollutants from your fish tank.

The flow knob enables easy adjustments specifically in minimizing filtration during feeding periods or as necessary. Other than that, this tank filter is ideal for saltwater and freshwater uses. This filter is not tricky to install and the price is not so expensive especially for those who do not have more money to spend on a high-quality filter.

Even so, you need to carefully inspect this filter prior to setting it up. The motor is known to be fragile as it does not last long. Also, the filter has the potentiality to overflow on the suction side.

  • Polyfiber floss cartridge catches floating particles
  • Capable of silently delivering 20 gallons per hour of clean water for saltwater or freshwater fish tank that can handle 7 gallons
  • Internal sponge helps maximize settlement of good aerobic bacteria
  • Designed with easy to adjust flow knob
  • Activated carbon cartridge eliminates harmful toxins, discoloration, chemicals and other pollutants
  • Appears to be made with poor quality motor
  • Filter overflows on the suction side
On the button, this product does A1 job of modifying the flow and it comes with ample amount of space where you can add your own filter media. As for the price tag, this is a great alternative and you can be guaranteed that you won't waste any single cent on it. It is uncomplicated to set up and only requires swapping filter cartridges. This hang-on-back filter can operate without producing irking noise and can be the right solution to address and solve tank water issues right away.

6. Marina Power Filter


If you find searching for filter media for goldfish quite exhausting, then you may put an end to your long search now and allow this product to disclose how practical it can be for your tank's filtration needs.

This filter is perfect for a smaller fish tank. And, having it installed in your aquarium means there is no need to worry about leaks. The easy to modify flow is literally practical, on minimal settings, you can barely hear the waterfall sound and it won't in any way disturb your pet fish. On the other hand, maximum flow forms a very awesome waterfall effect.

Interestingly, there is a nice current in the tank; however, it is mild enough that your shrimp, froggies and betta are not irked at all. For sure, you will enjoy viewing the water. Also, you'll like the generous amount of space if you prefer to customize your filter media with three instantly accessed linked chambers.

All the same, this filter comes with an intake tube that is positioned quite near the outflow, so if the tube happens to touch the outflow, this will bring about a slightly irking noise. Plus, it has the tendency to pose some dangers mainly because the plastic piece that is covered by the sponge detaches and could endanger your fish.

  • Can filter fish tanks that contain by up to twenty gallons
  • Manufactured with easy to modify flow control
  • Easy to customize
  • Designed to be self-priming
  • Cleaning and maintain it is a breeze
  • Intake tube is quite close to the outflow
  • May pose some potential risks
In summary, this filter will help you set aside some money in the long run. It comes with a a slim design; it is ideal for easy customization and is built to increase or decrease the GPH by moving the plastic intake pipe to the right or left. Further, this is basically noise-free while operating since the pump itself is submersed in water. As for the money, this is a worthwhile investment; it is efficient and can be precisely what you're searching for a filter.

7. Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter


There are a number of admirable features to adore regarding this filter. This is one of the reasons why many fish tank owners pick this product. Since a functional and reliable filtration system is our top priority when shopping, this filter won't disappoint us in that aspect. Unquestionably, once you have this installed in your aquarium, you can rest assured that your fish tank will have contaminant-free water all the time.

Withal, this is a great choice for beginners who do not prefer intricate installation process. You can set this filter up by merely utilizing hanging clips or suction cups so it won't even consume more of your time. And, even if there is a power outage, there is no need to worry for this filter is built with an auto-start pump that does not require priming. It starts automatically once power is restored.

This small goldfish tank with a filter comes with a carbon cartridge specifically designed for chemical filtration. This is meant to clear away discoloration and terrible odor in tank water.

Not the less, this filter's cover does not stay quite well and in terms of adjusting the flow of water, doing so appears to be impossible since the filter only comes with one level. Some days you necessitate more circulation while other days you don't.

  • Built with auto-start pump that does not necessitate priming
  • Installation can be done in a snap
  • Cleans and filter water in a more efficient mode
  • Easy to find and comes with reasonable price tag
  • Carbon cartridge aids get rid of discoloration and bad odor from water
  • Adjusting water flow seems impossible
  • Cover does not stay on quite well
By and large, it is an ideal filter for a 2.5 gallon tank or bigger. The flow is just fine as it does not in any manner disturb the water that much. When it comes to clearing and filtering the water from pollutants and other dirt, this works exceptionally too. The auto-start pump starts in an automatic mode if power is interrupted and restored. You won't have trouble setting this filter up because you only need to utilize hanging clips or suction cups to install it.

8. Penn Plax Fishbowl Filter Kit


Do goldfish need a filter in their tank? Well, the answer to this question is absolutely yes. If you want your pet fish to extend its lifespan, then you've got to purchase a stellar filter that could perfectly execute the job.

The air pump is noise-free, truth is, and the bubbles create more audible noise as compared to the pump. Moreover, the small bubbles rise up the hard tube and then go through the filter and carbon and out the top, finally it pulls the water to get filtered and be freed of any filth. The adjustment valve works fine since you can control the bubbles. Meanwhile, the ring base is easy to adjust making it easy to fit a smaller fish tank or a fish bowl.

Sold at a cheap selling cost, this comes with a lift tube, replacement filter cartridge, and air stone. The filter plate is quite smooth sailing to adjust too. Don't you think this is a cost-effective choice that won't fail you?

Notwithstanding, this filter has the potentiality to gush stream boluses of air on the tank's bottom and then release this in a huge belch so your pet fish is disturbed. And, it also comes with a little large air stone. These are a couple of the glitches that you have to inspect if you are looking to invest in this product.

  • Manufactured with easy-to-modify filter plate
  • Comes with air stone once unpackaged
  • Can fit any round or drum fishbowl that comes with 4†opening
  • Good value for the money
  • Includes replacement filter cartridge and lift tube
  • Tends to stream boluses of air that annoys betta fish
  • Comes with slightly big air stone
All in all, there are only a few tiny yet dependable filters available on the market these days and luckily this filter fits well in tiny fish tanks and fish bowls. Once you have this filter assembled in your mini aquarium, your tank remains clean for roughly a week between cleanings- this is what actually makes it a practical choice and a good investment to consider. This is ideal for those who are searching for an affordable yet functional and useful filter that won't harm your fish tank inhabitants.

9. Marina I25 Internal Filter


Are you shopping for a gilt-edge aquarium filter for goldfish? Then, you can check this product out. If you prefer a filter that is convenient to use and manufactured with a smart design, looking for other options is no longer necessary.

Many fish tank owners pick this product because it does a good job of eliminating foul smells and contaminants in tank water. And, if you intend to place it in your work area or bedroom, this won't disturb you since it operates silently. You can clip it on and once unboxed, it already includes one power cartridge.

This filter offers you the option between fastening it through suction cups and clipping it on the edge of the fish tank. Since a lot of tank lids do not work for clipping stuff on edge, being able to utilize suction cups is quite advantageous. Unlike other options, the cartridges are not messy and difficult to replace. Assembling it is a piece of cake even for first-timers.

On the other hand, this small filter does not have something on top of it which makes the filter pads exposed. Aside from this, there are only a few options for filter cartridges. These are just a few minus points you can find if you choose this filter.

  • Ensures noise-free operation
  • Designed to be clipped on for fish tanks
  • Effective at getting rid of pollutants and foul smell
  • Promises trouble-free cartridge replacement
  • Already includes 1 power cartridge once purchased
  • Filter pads are exposed
  • Only limited options for filter cartridges
Overall, this is perhaps one of the top-drawer filters that you can ever buy for a small aquarium. It is quiet too and can make consistent, bubbly and soft sounds that won't cause any disruption even when you are busy doing your work in the bedroom or workplace. Besides, it is reliable in terms of keeping the water neat and properly aerated all the time. And, replacing the cartridges is not troublesome at all. If you prefer a gentle, consistent and mild flow and a filter that is sold at a very pocket-friendly price tag, this is unrivaled.

Outdated Products

MarineLand Penguin 350 BIO-Wheel Power Filter (Outdated)


With this product's less expensive price point, you won't fail with this powerful filter. The motor is noise-free so long as the filter functions properly. And, the only observable noises are very mild hums coming from the motor and the sound of pouring water. In line with this, there is a great space in front of the carbon cartridges that is ideal for slight customization.

Furthermore, this filter is well-made and comes with all the things that are particularly required to get started. If you want, this can also be expanded with media cartridges that could hold loose carbon type media besides the floss filters or the space could be utilized for other purposes.

Be reminded that so long as the level of water is kept within an inch of the top of the aquarium, the filter remains silent after the wheels absorb the water. Otherwise, it is slightly loud from the water flow.

Regardless, this filter is not the right pick for fish tanks with tiny sand or gravel as this causes annoying sounds. And, due to high gallons per hour that cascades from above, there are countless of microbubbles that are irking to glance at.

  • Practical option for all fish tanks that contain by up to 70 gallons
  • Can be effectively utilized for both saltwater and freshwater tanks
  • Built with solid and reliable 3-phase BIO-wheel filter
  • Offers 3-stage chemical, mechanical as well as biological fish tank filtration
  • Can guarantee flow rate of 350 gallons per hour
  • Not ideal for aquariums with very tiny sand or gravel
  • Tends to produce a lot of micro bubbles that could be disturbing to look at
On target, this product offers you the capability to make use of a total of four cartridges at once. For sure, your pet fish will be delighted and your tank water will be cleaned and filtered from any filth and contaminants that could make your fish ill or die. You will also adore its slim design. You may consider using the refillable cartridge by Marineland for additional carbon on the additional slots. Also, the BIO-wheel functions quite auspiciously at the time you obtain established bacteria settlement thriving on them.

Bestgle Mini Filter Goldfish Bowl (Outdated)


There is no need to further your search about fish tank filters for goldfish because this model can work like a charm. It is easy to use and is especially built with a three-phase filtration system that ensures the tank water is clean and safe enough for your pet fish to dwell in.

It especially requires to be linked with an air tube and air pump but these are not included in the package once bought. This filter is not messy to tidy up and its bubble stone is meant to blow fresh air that will result to contaminant-free tank water. It is an awesome filter that is capable of creating a clean and risk-free environment for your pet fish. The air pump is linked to an air outlet, directly into the aquarium to utilize.

The quartz sand is meant to impede plenty of particulates in the water, the activated carbon makes the tank water become clearer and the cotton filter is designed to help take in huge amounts of residual materials. Furthermore, the bubble stone blows fresh air that would allow pollutant-free water and guarantees that fish can thrive in the safe and sound haven that will allow them to grow healthily.

Nevertheless, this filter is not as small as expected and it is actually a little big for bowls. Also, the white filter mesh material appears delicate and easily damaged; hence, it must be handled with extra caution.

  • Highly recommended for tiny fish tank
  • Executes a superb job of keeping the fish bowl clean
  • No sweat to clean and spit
  • Manufactured with triple filtration system
  • Functional, noise-free and durable
  • White filter mesh material is quite frail and delicate
  • Not as small as advertised
Conclusively, this filter works as a very efficient filter system. And, it is reliable in that it helps keep the goldfish bowl free of any pollutants and it seems durable, can deliver silent operation mode and is functional unlike other similar products out there. Its three-phase filtration system consists of activated carbon, quartz sand and cotton filters. Take note that this is manufactured for small fish tanks only.

What To Look For When Buying A Filter For Goldfish

aquarium filter for goldfish

When it comes to selecting a filter for your goldfish tank, the following factors must be seriously considered:

The size of your goldfish tank. Take note that the size of your tank is gauged by the number of gallons of water that it can hold. If this amount was not considered when getting a filter, your tank won't get tidied accordingly, and your fish could be at risk.

The kinds of aquarium filters for a goldfish. You can come across a number of distinct types of fish tank filters such as canister filters, power filters and sponge filters.

  • The canister filter makes use of electricity and also uses a water bar for it to disperse the outflow of contaminant-free water along the bar. This is ideal for planted and saltwater tanks.
  • Power filter uses electricity for it to pull the water through the distinct forms of filtration cartridges. They are referred to as hang-on-back filters since these are generally hang on the side of the fish tank.
  • Sponge filter is typically utilized in breeding tanks and is operated by an air pump that compels the water through a sponge-like object. This enables good bacteria to thrive and encourage healthy water.

Flow rate of water. Bear in mind that this is linked to the aquarium's size. Hence, if you own an aquarium that contains 30 gallons of water, a filter is capable of turning over for approximately 5 times that amount, or 150 gallons, per hour.

Essentially, a nice flow rate of water can guarantee that your aquarium is getting cleaned at a pace that is not too swift or not too slow.

The filtration technology system. As for filtration system, there are three kinds of them.

  • Biological filtration. This takes place when distinct bacteria are diffused with the aid of beneficial bacteria. This filter encourages beneficial bacteria to thrive and halts the emergence of dangerous types.
  • Chemical filtration. This pertains to when hazardous chemicals pass through the filter. In addition to this, this filter has been particularly built to lure those types of molecules and eliminate them from the water.
  • Mechanical filtration. This is when the water is compelled into a filter that is made to capture any filth or debris during the transfer.

Fundamentally, these filtration approaches are specifically required for a healthy fish tank. Thus, investing in a premium quality filter that comes with equipment for all three is the most practical and outstanding option.

Other Important Factors to Consider

best goldfish tank filter

What is a goldfish tank filter? How does it work?

A goldfish tank filter is perceived as a very valuable piece of equipment for a goldfish aquarium. This operates by tidying up the tank water and clearing any sorts of particulates and residues.

Aside from these, a goldfish tank filter works to shelter beneficial bacteria that are quite useful for breaking down hazardous chemicals like nitrites and ammonia which are fatal to various sorts of fish.

A bigger filter is highly recommended since it would have a larger capacity to harbor beneficial bacteria and this could result in less filter cleaning, fewer water replacements as well as cleaner and safer tank water.

What are the different types of goldfish filters?

The Different Types of Filters for Goldfish

  • Canister Filter

This only requires less maintenance and its filter media is commonly designed to be reusable. It only needs less space at the rear section of the aquarium since it is housed underneath and only tubes necessitate getting behind the aquarium.

By the same token, this provides superior filtration capacity and one unit could manage a bigger tank. The return water flow could be regulated to accomplish distinct patterns of flow in your aquarium. Note that canister filters are slightly more intricate to tidy up when necessary.

  • Hang-On-Back or Power Filter

This type is more plain sailing to maintain, easy to install so long as you have adequate space behind your aquarium. It is less pricey but its filter media needs to be replaced which can be an additional cost in the long run.

Also, this utilized a waterfall form of water return system that could not be adjusted as easily. It is not ideal for larger aquariums if only one filter is installed.

  • Sponge Filter

This is exactly what the name conveys, a sponge wherein the fish tank water is drawn. It is the type of filter that offers mechanical filtration and at the time the sponge has been prepared and bacterial settlement thrives, it offers biological filtration too. This comes in distinct sizes, shapes and pore sizes.

Why do you need a filter for goldfish?

While goldfish can thrive without a filter in a tank, it is still best to set up a good filter in your goldfish tank because goldfish produce toxins that instantly amass in the fish tank and could lead to all forms of major troubles.

The main purpose of a goldfish tank filter is to be able to provide multifaceted methods of eliminating dangerous toxins and keeping your pet fish safe with the aid of the consolidation of biological, mechanical and chemical filtration. Take into account that the kind of goldfish filter you pick could either make or break the success of your goldfish aquarium keeping.

This piece of equipment is beneficial in that it is the primary equipment that helps stabilize the entire environment in a goldfish tank. Hence, this does a vital role in keeping your goldfish safe and healthy all the time.

In substance, a good quality filter can tremendously minimize the number of water changes you need to perform and from there you could optimize your stocking capacity.

Frequently Asked Questions


Do goldfish love strong water currents?

Most people assume goldfish can thrive in any situation. But this isn’t the case, as goldfish often struggle in enclosures with strong water currents. For instance, the stronger current will make it difficult for them to swim and cause them stress.

As a result, it’s a much better idea to buy slow-moving goldfish tanks with filters. These enclosures are a more suitable environment for a goldfish to thrive. They certainly have been a godsend for me.

How strong should a filter be for goldfish?

Flow rate is how manufacturers measure the strength of your aquarium’s filter. In the case of goldfish, they’ll need a filter with at least a flow rate five times your tank’s capacity. So a 50 gallon goldfish tank would need a flow rate of 250 GPH (gallons per hour).

But honestly, this number is the minimum. For safety reasons, I suggest a little higher to about ten times your tank’s capacity. It’s what most experts consider the most proper goldfish filter setup.

How often should you change goldfish water with a filter?

I’d recommend changing a small percentage of your tank’s water weekly. It could be around 25% or 30%, but it needs to be done to provide the best environment possible. It’s also vital to only do entire water changes if absolutely necessary.

These massive water changes will only stress your fish. Plus, it’ll remove all the good bacteria built up inside your tank’s ecosystem. So it could cause serious health concerns or even kill your fish.

How long can goldfish live without changing water?

I’d imagine a goldfish can live a few months without changing its water. Of course, it’s only possible if your tank is well-maintained with a solid filter. Goldfish can’t survive more than a week in terrible conditions.

So even though these fish are adaptable, goldfish tanks need a filter if you intend to leave them alone for three weeks or more. If they don’t, you should change their water more frequently. It just isn’t worth the hassle or your fish’s overall health to not set up a filtration system.

What are the most trusted goldfish tank filter brands?

Without fail, investing in premium quality filters for your fish tank can bring huge difference in the way your aquarium inhabitants thrive. As a fish tank owners, it is our sole responsibility to keep our fish safe and sound at all times. And, to do so, it matters to ensure that the tank water is kept clean and free of any contaminants that may put their life at risk.

Thus, this conveys how crucial it is to select the most trusted and most trustworthy brands that can deliver maximum and reliable filtration performance. When it comes to the right filters for aquariums, the following brands won't leave you feeling disappointed:

  • Tetra
  • Marineland
  • Penn Plax
  • Aqueon
  • Marina

If you're going to observe deeply, these brands are quite well-known in many marine products. And, majority of aquarium owners and aquarium experts rely on these brands for different marine needs.

Are sponge filters good for goldfish?

Yes. Sponge filters are actually practical choice for goldfish tanks because they do not devour young fish or the live food they are being fed.

How long can goldfish live without a filter?

A goldfish is capable of living in a fish bowl that has no filter installed in it; however, good quality of life should not be expected. For fact, a goldfish tank that comes without a filter arrangement may shorten the fish's life. So, aquarium experts highly advise that keeping your goldfish in a bowl should be avoided and keep them in a filtered and larger tank.

Basically, a goldfish would perhaps live approximately two by up to three years in a tiny bowl. Meanwhile, if kept in a larger and filtered tank, a goldfish's life may be extended by up to 5 years.

How to set up?

It is crucial to set up a filtration system that comes with a strong rate of flow. Due to the fact that goldfish produce more waste as compared to other types of fish, a strong filtration system is specifically required. A very strong rate of flow is needed as this is the amount of water filtered per hour.

Always get a filtration system that maneuvers at a minimum of 5 and as much as 10 times the volume of your aquarium per hour. With the help of an external system, you can obtain that kind of flow rate.

When setting up your filter and cycling your new tank, the following must be observed:

If you are utilizing any outside filters:

  1. See to it to fill them using a filter cartridge or filter materials.
  2. Properly place them as per the instructions.
  3. Then, it must be filled or primed with water.

On the other hand, if you are utilizing Hang-On-Back filter that comes with a pickup tube, you may execute the following:

  • Stretch the tube as close to the underneath section of the aquarium as possible without being in the gravel. In case the tube is too long, consider cutting it to length and re-affix the intake cage.
  • Afterward, open the filter lid and carefully fill the filter with water to start priming the pump.

How to care & clean?

Goldfish tank filters are more prone to accumulating a lot of waste and particulates because goldfish produce toxins. So, this will require regular cleaning.

In order to keep your goldfish tank filter clean, the following must be done:

If you are using chemical filters:

It is a must to replace the carbon when the goldfish tank water turns dusky, or at least once a month or every two months.

If you are using mechanical filters:

These specifically require more frequent cleaning among the three types of filters. Cleaning them should be at least once or every 4 weeks. Consider scheduling your filter cleanup days so this won't intervene on your regular tank cleaning schedules.

If you are using biological filters:

When you observe that the filter becomes clogged, does not work properly or does not function accordingly, a thorough cleaning must be executed. Meanwhile, more frequent cleanings might be necessary if your goldfish is ill. You may ask fish or pet store staff or a vet for advice in cases like these.

What is the warranty?

As for the warranty of the goldfish filters reviewed in this article, these are risk-free types of investments because they are backed up by warranties. The warranties that these filters are supported by include limited or lifetime warranty offers, while others offer money-back guarantee or replacements of defective items received.

If you want to read more about the warranty details of your chosen filter, you can read more information on the product description. However, if you can't find any information there, you may just contact the manufacturer's customer service support through email, phone call or chat support. All your queries will certainly be answered here.

Where to buy?

Purchasing a premium quality filter for goldfish is not a pain in the neck at all. As a matter of fact, you can easily find them in the nearest pet or fish stores in your current area. While it is true that you can find some top-quality filters from these stores, you cannot expect limitless options if you buy from them. In general, other first-rate filter brands can't be found in local pet or fish stores especially if these are not well-stocked.

Meanwhile, you can shop for them through online too such as on Amazon. On this site, you will be provided with lots of filter options and brands to select from. Filters sold here come in different sizes, forms and designs. There are times when you can also enjoy some freebies, special discounts or promos that are given away if you buy a certain amount.


Finally, after reading the product reviews and vital information discussed in this article, you may feel troubled at the thought of investing in the best filter for goldfish for your aquarium. This is normal, particularly for beginners. You might have realized that it is not easy as it seems because you cannot just get anything that you see at a local fish store or online shopping site.

As what you have learned from this post, there are several options to check out, so to ensure buying the right filter for your tank, you must first weigh the pros and cons. Also, consider the buying guides shared here too, this is for you to be reminded of what factors and features to mull over before taking the plunge. After all, you surely wouldn't want to put the life and health of your goldfish in danger.

The good news is that this article is intended to make your shopping experience less burdensome. Once you find a suitable goldfish filter, you can continuously utilize the same model and brand, and your fish will definitely thank you for that. Bear in mind that the right filter plays a vital role in helping your pet fish live a healthy and happy life in the tank.