Updated: May 26, 2021 - By: - Categories: Equipment

Are you looking for an aquarium filter for your 30-gallon fish tank? Aquarium filters are an extremely important component of any healthy aquarium that you need for maintaining good water quality and happy fish. Here you can find many great options from many types of filters to choose from with all the information you need to make an informed decision before purchasing.

Best filters for 29-30 gallon fish tanks

Model Our rating Type Flow rate Ideal for Media
Aqua Clear 30 power fish tank filter editor's ratingAqua Clear 30 power fish tank filter Hang-On-Back 150 GPH, adjustable 10-30 gallons Foam, Activated Carbon, and BioMax
Fluval 207 Perfomance Canister Filter editor's ratingFluval 207 Perfomance Canister Filter canister filter 121 Gal/h (460 L/h) 20-45 Gal (60-220 L) bio-foams, ceramic rings, activated carbon
Aqua-Tech Power Aquarium Filter editor's ratingAqua-Tech Power Aquarium Filter Hang-On-Back 20-40 gallons coarse floss, carbon cartridge, bio grid
Fluval U3 Underwater Filter editor's ratingFluval U3 Underwater Filter internal filter 155 GPH, adjustable 20-40 Gal 2 foam pads, 2 poly/carbon cartridges, and 65 grams BioMax
Hygger Double Sponge aquarium filter editor's ratingHygger Double Sponge aquarium filter sponge filter air pump powered (buy separately) 10-40 Gal 2 spare sponges, 1 bag of ceramic balls
Marineland Penguin PRO Power Filter editor's ratingMarineland Penguin PRO Power Filter Hang-On-Back 275 GPH, adjustable up to 50 Gal Marine Land rite-size C filter cartridge
OASE Indoor Aquatics Filtosmart Thermo 100 editor's ratingOASE Indoor Aquatics Filtosmart Thermo 100 canister filter 160 GPH up to 30 Gal sponges, ceramic rings
Penn Plax Cascade 500 Canister Filter editor's ratingPenn Plax Cascade 500 Canister Filter canister filter 115 GPH up to 30 Gal floss pad, coarse sponge
Seachem Tidal 35 gallon power filter editor's ratingSeachem Tidal 35 gallon power filter Hang-On-Back 130 GPH up to 35 Gal foam, Matrix™ bio-media

29-30 gallon aquarium filter reviews

Aqua Clear 30 power fish tank filter

Ease of maintenance and installation were clearly priorities when designing this excellent hang-on-back style filter. With a calculated water flow of 150 gallons per hour, this filter provides the ideal filtration volume for 30-gallon aquariums to maintain excellent water quality.

The flow rate of this filter is fully adjustable for fishkeepers who prefer a slower current in their 30-gallon aquariums. This gives the aquarist more control of the water flow dynamics in their tanks and is helpful when keeping weaker swimming fish species. Another very important feature of this filter is its ability to effectively oxygenate the water in your aquarium when running by breaking the water surface to create more water surface-to-air contact.

Aquaclear 30 installationAquaclear 30 installation

The 3 most important types of filtration for excellent water quality are mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. The Aquaclear 30 covers all 3 of these and is designed to keep the water in your aquarium in contact with filter media for longer, creating better results than competitors.

AquaClear 30 multistage filtrationAquaClear 30 multistage filtration

The filtration media designed to be used with this filter include a foam insert for mechanical filtration. This insert physically filters out solid waste particles in the water while providing the perfect environment for beneficial bacteria to live and grow in too.

Along with this foam insert, a further filter media known as Bio Max is provided which consists of ceramic rings with an extensive pore system. These pores create the perfect environment for beneficial bacteria colonies which provide further biological filtration. Finally, research-grade activated carbon inserts remove impurities and odors from the water in a process known as chemical filtration.

Fluval 207 Performance Canister Filter

Fluval canister filters are European designed to provide world-renowned aquarium filtration products. The Fluval 207 Performance Canister Filter is part of the latest generation range that is now 25% more energy-efficient while being as reliable and powerful as always.

In fact, these filters use so little power that they are comparable with the energy use of a single 10 watt LED bulb.

Fluval performance canister filter energy efficiencyFluval performance canister filter energy efficiency

This model is designed for use with 20-45 gallon aquariums, making this an ideal choice for 30-gallon setups. The canister includes dual media baskets that are very easy to remove for cleaning and refilling with filtration media. You don’t have to drain the canister itself to access these baskets meaning less mess and less stress. The unit is also easily primed with the improved push-button primer, so you don’t have to siphon manually.

Fluval 207 canister filter maintenanceFluval 207 canister filter maintenance

This filter comes equipped with 3 varieties of bio-foam, activated carbon, quick clear, and Biomax ceramic rings for a total of 6 different types of media. This filter has a maximum water column height of 1.45m and comes with 9.8ft of high-quality ribbed hose, so you can install the filter well out of sight. This is a great canister filter for 30-gallon aquariums that are correctly stocked.

Aqua-Tech Power Aquarium Filter

This hang-on-back style filter provides advanced 3 stage filtration with coarse floss to remove large waste particles, carbon filtration to remove odors and impurities, and the Bio-tech Biogrid which never needs replacing and houses beneficial bacteria that remove toxic ammonia and nitrites from tour aquarium water.

The Biogrid media is specially designed to prevent clogging. This model uses the reliable AQUA-tech EZ-change #3 filter which is simply replaced each month.

Fluval U3 Underwater Filter

The Fluval U3 underwater is ideal for maintaining excellent water quality in 30-gallon aquariums of either fresh or saltwater. This filter can be orientated either vertically or horizontally within your tank depending on your preference and the layout of your aquarium. The filter cartridge is easy to access and replace using the well-designed flip-top lid.

This sleekly designed filter has 3 output areas, so you can select and adjust the way the water flows in your tank. The Fluval U3 provides excellent biological, chemical and mechanical filtration by using a combination of filtration media including Biomax, poly/carbon cartridge traps, and foam.

Hygger Double Sponge aquarium filter

The air-powered Hygger Double Sponge aquarium filter provides excellent mechanical and biological filtration while oxygenating the water and creating a gentle flow. This filter has 2 large sponges which provide excellent mechanical filtration by trapping solid waste particles suspended in the water. These sponges also provide the perfect environment for beneficial bacteria to live and perform biological filtration. Another effective filter media included with this filter are the bio-ceramic balls which create another great environment for beneficial bacteria.

These bio-ceramic balls fit into compartments below the sponges, but you are free to fill them with an alternative media of your choice if you prefer more customized filtration. This is an internal filter that is secured to the inside of your aquarium using the 2 supplied suction cups. In order to run this filter, you will need a small air pump and a length of airline tubing which are both sold separately.

Marineland Penguin PRO Power Filter

The Marineland Penguin Pro Power Filter is designed to offer great filtration, without making a lot of noise. To achieve this, the design incorporates a submerged, self-priming motor with a dampener. The decoupled motor and securely fitting lid are also well designed to ensure that running sound levels stay below 40dB. This filter uses Bio-wheel technology for increased wet/dry biological filtration.

Marine Penguine PRO installationMarine Penguine PRO installation

This filter model uses the trusted Marineland rite-size C filter cartridge with a specially designed ribbed back which provides great biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration. The user also has the option of using a second filter cartridge at the same time to double the filtration capacity. Using two cartridges and replacing just one at a time is a great way to preserve colonies of beneficial bacteria.

Marineland filter benefitsMarineland filter benefits

This filter doesn’t only work well in fresh and saltwater aquariums, it has sleek and stylish good looks too. In addition to mechanical and biological filtration provided by the filter cartridges, the activated carbon works to ensure chemical filtration as well.

OASE Indoor Aquatics Filtosmart Thermo 100

Features an integrated heater. This reduces the amount of hardware you need to buy and maintain, and because the unit is housed externally, less space is taken up inside your aquarium. The heater and water flow are fully and easily adjustable and can be set to create the perfect conditions for your livestock.

This filter makes use of 2 stage filtration. For the effective mechanical removal of larger waste particles suspended in the water, large sponges are provided. Biological filtration to remove harmful ammonia and nitrites from your aquarium is also facilitated by these sponges as well as the ceramic rings. These external filters are energy efficient and have a maximum lift of 4.6ft (1.4m). The unit is suitable for use in both marine and freshwater aquariums.

Penn Plax Cascade 500 Canister Filter

The Penn Plax Cascade 500 external canister filter is a great choice for both fresh and saltwater 30 gallon aquariums. The unit comes with 2 large filter media baskets with a floss pad and sponges for effective mechanical filtration. The sponges double as a perfect environment for the development of beneficial bacteria that will remove harmful ammonia and nitrites from the water.

The user is also free to use a combination of filtration media of their own choice for custom filtration. With a maximum flow rate of 115 gallons per hour, this filter is best suited for use in lightly stocked aquariums. The flow rate can however be adjusted to suit your needs and the flow valves can be rotated through 360 degrees.

This canister filter can be primed easily using the built-in priming push button and the water outflow is distributed using a water-oxygenating spray bar.

Seachem Tidal 35 gallon power filter

This is a high-quality filter that is packed full of useful and innovative features. With a fully adjustable flow rate of up to 130 gallons per hour, you can set the filtration and current strength in your aquarium to suit your needs.

This filter has a surface skimming function to remove oils and waste that accumulates on the surface water of your tank, while also taking in water from the bottom of the unit for multi-level filtration. How much of the water intake comes from your aquarium’s water surface compared with the mid-levels is adjustable to your preference and the characteristics of your aquarium.

This filter also features a self-priming pump and an innovative heater-holder, allowing you to clip your heater to the side of the unit for better distribution of heated water throughout your tank. A maintenance alert feature indicates when it’s time to clean out the filter. Matrix filter bio-media is included.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need a filter for my turtle?

Yes, you need a good quality filter for your turtle. Turtles, just like fish, need good filtration to stay healthy. Turtles produce a lot of waste which causes the water in their tanks to foul up quickly if not effectively cleaned with a good quality filter. Because turtles produce so much waste, you are recommended to use a larger filter than you would use for fish in the same size aquarium.

Can I use two filters instead of one?

Yes, in fact, there are many benefits to running more than one filter in your aquarium. As a rule, it is better to have too much filtration than too little. Running a second filter is great in the event of a malfunction with one of your filters and also helps to maintain a healthy population of beneficial bacteria in the tank when replacing the filter media in one of your filters.

How do I clean my filter sponge?

If your filter sponges become clogged with waste over time, you’ll need to give them a rinse and clean to allow water to flow through them again. It is very important to remember that the sponge in your filter is home to huge numbers of tiny bacteria that work very hard to keep your aquarium water clean and safe for your fish.

In order to avoid killing these bacteria while cleaning your sponge, never use soap or even tap water for this job. Instead, be sure to rinse the sponge in water that you’ve taken from your fish tank during a water change.

What flow rate do I need for my 30-gallon aquarium?

Generally speaking, your filter should have an hourly flow rate of at least 4 to 6 times the volume of your aquarium to be effective. Therefore, a flow rate of around 180gph is ideal for this tank size, although a little less or more is acceptable as well. Some fish species are adapted to live in strong currents and will enjoy a good flow rate, while slower-moving fish like puffers and fry are easily stressed in fast-moving water.

In a heavily planted tank, a high flow rate may not be desirable since CO2 is easily lost from the water by surface agitation and many aquarium plants do not enjoy strong currents. These tanks will do best with lower flow rate filters, provided you keep to a turnover of around 120gph. Tanks with higher bioloads and larger fish will benefit from filters with greater turnover rates as there will be more waste to process.

Often it is difficult to keep a low flow rate in smaller home aquariums and you should select a filter with an adjustable flow rate if keeping fish that do not enjoy strong currents.

Final Thoughts

Always buy the best quality aquarium filter that you can afford and make sure that it is sufficiently powerful for the size of your tank. By running a good quality filter and keeping the right number and size of fish in your aquarium, you should have a beautiful, clean and healthy environment that both you and your fish can enjoy for years to come.

Lucas has been keeping successful fish, planted, and reef tanks for many years. He loves to collect aquatic organisms and keep as many aquariums as he can.

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