Friday, December 15, 2023

Quietest Fish Tank Filters – Buyer’s Guide

Are there the quitest fish tank filters available, and if not, what is the quietest aquarium filter available? “Why do I need a quiet aquarium filter in the first place?” There! Before you ask us this question, we put the question up there.

A distracting rattling and buzzing sound in the background may ruin your aquarium experience, especially if it’s near your bedroom or home office. A loud mechanical filter is generally to blame. Given that we’re talking about a fish tank, this is a valid point. Discover the quietest fish tank filters on the market today by reading our guide below.

Which Type of Filter Should You Get for Your Tank

You’ll discover aquarium filters in a variety of forms, sizes, and functions. So, when looking for quiet fish tank/aquarium filters, it’s important to understand the various types so that you can make better decisions.

1. Air Drive Filter The air-driven filters are the first type you’ll come across. These babies are powered by the air pumped into your aquarium by the air pump. Air filters are tough, but they’re tiny. The craftsmanship is excellent. These filters are generally mounted on a panel in one of the aquarium’s corners.
2. Power/Hangback Filter People will almost always find them as part of a kit. These systems use a water pump and a lift tube to bring water in and then discharge it via a spillway. Power filters are also silent. The volume of sound produced by your aquarium is determined by its size.
3. Canister Filter Do you want a sleek and contemporary fish tank filter? Canister filters are available to help you. These items are small. Because of its size, it is simple to install within the tank. These devices are “Very Quiet,” if we may say so. Take note of what we’re saying. Filter media is used in their operation. The more filter media your machine can store, the bigger it is. The more filtering functions it can provide.
4. Overhead Filter Let us describe the most typical sort of filter you’ll encounter. It’s the water filtration equipment for aquariums known as “Overhead.” From the rear, these dangle on top of your aquarium. Water splashes in the tank as a result of these things. As a result, you can hear some sound. When it comes to noiselessness, we’d put them in the lower-middle category.
5. Undergravel Filter These are useful if you don’t want people or fish to see the filtration system. They do, in fact, sit beneath the aquarium gravel and are rather quiet. There are, however, disadvantages to this. Ultimately, the type of filter you should purchase will depend on how quiet you like them to be, check how many decibel levels they can reduce. The filter type you should choose should also depend on what you need for your aquarium.

Video: How to Operate a Fish Tank Filter

How many Gallons of Water Does the Filter Need to Cover

Your aquarium filter might be above water or below water, depending on the type of filter you have. Internal filters must be completely submerged in order to function properly. They function best when they’re close to the substrate, but if the air pump is separate, it’s generally outside the fish tank. As a result, most sponge filters have suction cups to assist in positioning the device in the proper area of your aquarium.

Hang-on units, unlike internal filters, should be placed above the water level because gravity is used to return water to the aquarium, so the device must be placed higher to function properly. The perforated mat must be entirely submerged and filled with gravel in undergravel filters, however the air pump must be located outside the aquarium and linked to the mat through a tube. Finally, because it is designed to rest outside the tank, a canister filter cannot be submerged.

Corner filters and undergravel filters, on the other hand, are very beneficial when your aquarium needs more agitation since they are submerged and so generate a current inside the tank, which helps circulate oxygen all around. Internal filters are still best for smaller aquariums. For larger aquariums, you need at the very least to buy a canister filter or a hang-on-back device. Aerate bigger fish tanks with an air pump.

What Is the Best Size for a Filter  - Large, Medium, or Small

These filters come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types. But don’t just click the buy button because you’re captivated by the features and advantages. Examine the amount and capacity of your aquarium’s water supply. Then, based on that size, choose the best quiet aquarium filter for you. Purchasing a filter that delivers clean water to a 50-gallon tank, for instance, is excessive if you possess a fish tank that can contain 10 gallons of water.

Not to mention that it won’t look nice! Similarly, purchasing a tiny device for a big tank might result in murky water in certain areas of the tank. Isn’t it something we don’t want? So, you must determine if the device is appropriate for your tank. Try out the aquarium filter size calculator on

Should You Buy an Internal or External Filtration System

It is essential to choose a filter for a tank. People typically don’t care and select any type of filter, and filter performance is often compromised due to a variety of factors, including tank size, planted or non-planted, size and type of residents, decorations, gravels, and more. Here are some pros and cons of internal and external filtration systems.

Internal Filtration

Internal filtration is smaller and more suited to aquariums with less fish. Internal filtration has a low operating cost. They are also reasonably priced. They can effectively remove dirt, and sponge filters are particularly useful in fry tanks since fry may consume leftover food stuck to the sponge. Internal filters fill the aquarium with a lot of debris. You may need to change the entire media at times, resulting in a new cycle. So, Internal filtering might be a little tricky to keep up with.

External Filtration

Because external filtrations are placed outside of the aquarium, they require less maintenance and contain more material that does not require as much cleaning. External filtration comes with a wide range of media options. They are situated outside the aquarium since they take up space and do not look attractive in the aquarium. Because external filtrations are more complex, they are more costly than internal filters. External filters are typically rather large. External filter media and sponges are costly.

Finally, the filtration system you choose will be determined by your budget, experience, and the type of fish you want to keep. You can’t filter too much, therefore the greater the filter, the better. External filtrations are more expensive to purchase and install, but they provide the greatest results for your fish. An inbuilt power filtration will suffice for tiny nano tanks.

Some Other Features That Are Important When Buying a Fish Tank Filter

1. Examine the Filter Mechanism for Controlling Water Flow

Make sure you have complete control over your filter when purchasing one for your fish tank. This includes the option to adjust the rate at which the water flows out of the filter. This is useful when dealing with aquariums of varying sizes within a gallon range. It’s also useful to have a variety of fish. Some fish are accustomed to water flowing at a specific pace.

To thrive, goldfish, betta fish, and guppies require various habitats and water speeds. You can’t do it without good water management. Make sure you have a flow control device, such as a regulator or a switch. When you reduce the speed of some filters, the filtering power suffers. Only a few models retain it at the same level when the flow speed is reduced.

2. Choose the Latter and You Will Be Stress-Free

Look for a self-priming feature. Make no mistake: this is a critical feature to have in the machine. Air will not be able to clog the tubes and hinder the flow of water out of the filter as a result of this. This function is useful in places where there are frequent power outages or voltage fluctuations. When there is a power outage, advanced models have a switch or two that causes the engine to suck the air out. People will not notice a reduction in performance when it resumes. Related: Explaining Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC)

3. Noise Prevention

Filters are powered by motors. It’s quite natural for them to vibrate and produce noises. When you say, “quietest aquarium filters,” I’m referring to equipment that has good sound insulation. Some filters include two covers to protect the filter while it is in use. These coverings help to reduce noise and vibration to some extent.

In addition, you have input strainers that reduce the sound of water moving through the filters. Canister filters, on the other hand, are made of sturdy materials. The filter chambers’ strength and isolation decrease the noise, providing a peaceful environment for your fish. Related: Noise Pollution

Video: How To Pick The BEST AQUARIUM FILTER For Your Fish Tank!


How do I reduce the noise in my fish tank filter?

The most important piece of advice for maintaining a silent filter is to keep your fish tank full. If you have softer water at home, you may do it at your normal water change or whenever you need it. As long as the water level is where it should be, most filters are pretty quiet.
This problem is the most common reason for a loud filter. However, in certain cases, it’s a losing war, and you’ll need to find a quieter filter to maintain your peace of mind.

Why is my fish tank filter so loud?

Aquarium filters come in a variety of forms, sizes, and power ratings. When it comes to aquarium noise, the filter is usually not to blame. The air pump is usually the source of the problem, but if the filter isn’t working correctly, it might make a lot of noise. Anything within the filter can get filthy, broken, or out of place, causing the filter to produce more noise than usual.

Can I turn my fish tank filter off at night?

Turning off your aquarium filter every night is not a smart idea. The filter is critical to the health of your tank, and turning it off for long periods of time might cause difficulties.
Second, your filter contributes to the aeration of the water. Not just for the fish, but also for the microorganisms in your tank, oxygen is critical. They would perish if they didn’t have it.

How long can you leave a fish tank filter off?

In any aquarium filter, for that matter, should not be turned off for longer than half a day unless there is a power outage. It should ideally be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

So, What Are the Quietest Fish Tank Filters?

Best Flow Rate
The Cheapest One
The Quietest One
Power filter for aquariums up to 10 gallons. Self priming. Easy to maintain. Adjustable flow control.
Carbon Cartridge included for chemical filtration; removes odors and discoloration from water. Coarse Media Sponge included.
Cascade 1200 (CCF4UL) has 4 media baskets, works at 315 GPH, and is recommended for Aquariums up to 150 gallons. It measures 11.5 x 20.5 x 11 inches.
Three filters in one for cleaner water and healthier fish. Easy to change Bio-Bag filter cartridges. Biological filtration is provided by the Bio-Foam.
Comes complete with filter media (EHEIM Mech & Substrat Pro) and valves.Permo-elastic silicon sealing ring fixed on the pump head.
Best In Design
Power filter for aquariums up to 10 gallons. Self priming. Easy to maintain. Adjustable flow control.
Best In Multiuse
Carbon Cartridge included for chemical filtration; removes odors and discoloration from water. Coarse Media Sponge included.
Best Flow Rate
Cascade 1200 (CCF4UL) has 4 media baskets, works at 315 GPH, and is recommended for Aquariums up to 150 gallons. It measures 11.5 x 20.5 x 11 inches.
The Cheapest One
Three filters in one for cleaner water and healthier fish. Easy to change Bio-Bag filter cartridges. Biological filtration is provided by the Bio-Foam.
The Quietest One
Comes complete with filter media (EHEIM Mech & Substrat Pro) and valves.Permo-elastic silicon sealing ring fixed on the pump head.

1. Marina Aquarium Power – Best In Design

Marina S10 Power Filter
  • Power filter for aquariums up to 10 gallons
  • Self priming
The Marina Power Filter has an attractive appearance and is built by the same engineers that created the Aquaclear line of filters for Hagen, a Canadian pet care business, with this device, you can’t go wrong taking care of your fishes.

Sleek and Effective Design

This tiny, compact HOB filter is intended to not only look nice, but also to deliver unmatched efficiency while taking up the smallest amount of space behind your tank. The innovative design of the filter allows you to get the power of much bigger, multi-stage filter systems while utilizing smaller, more convenient cartridges.

Ultra Quiet

The filter isn’t just quiet. It’s completely deafeningly quiet! The only way to know if the device is working is to watch for ripples on the water’s surface. As a result of the submerged filter design, there is no need to prime the unit, and it is also entirely noiseless. That’s a win-win situation!

The Marina Power Filter consists of two Bio-Clear and two Bio-Carb filter media cartridges. Cermitek ceramic filter media is used in both filters, and it is porous to allow colonies of nitrifying bacteria to grow as large as possible.


Overall, this is a great filter for a 20-gallon tank because it is small and quiet. Simply connect the device and you’re ready to go. Maintenance is simple and straightforward, the water flow is strong, and the unit is reasonably priced (check on

Video: Customized Marina Slim S10 Power Filter

2. Aqueon® QuietFlow Internal Power Filter – Best In Multiuse

2,665 Reviews
Aqueon QuietFlow 10 E Internal Aquarium Fish Tank Power Filter, Small, For...
  • Item dimensions are 4" long x 3.25" wide x 5.75" high
  • Easy to install using suction cups and/or hanging clips
The Quietflow filters from Aqueon (official website) are ideal for use in aquariums and semi-aquatic settings with low water levels. With top-loading filter material that is quick and easy to replace and clean, the devices are meant to be low-maintenance. The Aqueon range, unlike that of other filter manufacturers, caters to people with tiny and micro tanks, although there are also units to fit bigger installations up to 90 gallons.

Infused with Quality Pump

The Quietflow filter draws water via the intake chamber using a high-quality pump that connects to the intake pipe. The pump is extremely quiet in contrast to other similar types, and the inclusion of a diffuser grid further decreases noise levels by muffling the sound from the output waterfall.

Self Priming Filter

You won’t have to waste time priming the pump since the auto-start pump turns on as quickly as you plug it in and turn it on, regardless of whether or not the reservoir is full with water. The device includes a Bio Holster, a changeable carbon filter cartridge, and a water diffuser grid. The carbon filter is rather thick, and the filter material performs admirably in terms of debris removal.


This filter unit is very simple to maintain and clean. The filter must be cleaned at least once a week, and the cartridge should be replaced every three to four weeks. The top of the device has a convenient LED indication that glows when the cartridge needs to be changed. A filter with many uses? Score!

Video: Best Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter Review

3. Penn-Plax Cascade Aquarium Canister Filter – Best Flow Rate

Penn-Plax Cascade All-in-One Aquarium Canister Filter – for Tanks Up to...
  • CASCADE 1200 CANISTER FILTER: Without effort, the Cascade 1200 Canister Filter quietly delivers...
  • STATE OF THE ART FEATURES: In addition to the push button primer that allows for a simple and...
The Penn Plax Cascade Canister filtration system is composed of high-quality plastic and delivers great durability and longevity. Although the instructions given aren’t particularly thorough, setting up the device is very simple. The device should function great if you take the time to adjust all of the cables and rubber tubing.

Strong Filtration Machine

For the price, this is a very strong filtration machine, producing more than enough GPH flow rate for each model size. If you wish to, you may use the accompanying spray bar to promote water aeration and circulation. Essentially, this method will filter your tank incredibly rapidly and efficiently.

Innovative Design

Cleaning this canister filter is simple and breeze because of its design. Remove the intake valve and detach the hose to clean the device. Remove the filter from the mounting and thoroughly clean it in a bucket or sink. If you are stuck, you can refer to the instruction manual that came with the filter and explains how to dismantle it for cleaning.


There’s no need to worry about messy siphoning because the device self-primes with a simple push-down button. You also receive four spray bars that can be connected, as well as all of the hoses and other connecting equipment you’ll need to get the machine up and running. Basically, everything that you will need (check on

Video: Canister filter setup

4. Tetra Whisper Aquarium Power Filter – The Cheapest One

Tetra Whisper Power Filter for Aquariums, 3 Filters in 1, Up to 40-Gallons
  • QUIET & RELIABLE The Tetra Whisper Power Filter uses 3-stage filtration to create clear clean...
  • ABSORBS ODORS Ultra-Activated carbon removes both odor and water discoloration
A Tetra Whisper Power Filter (official website) is a good option if you’re searching for a filter for your first aquarium or if you need a robust filter but don’t have the money. Tetra is a well-known fishkeeping company that has been producing high-quality fish food and aquarium supplies for more than half a century, so you’ll know you’re in good hands.

Two High Quality Carbon Filters

The Tetra Whisper Power Filter includes two huge, proprietary carbon filters for cleaning the water in the tank. The filter also includes two bacteria growth plates so you can monitor the water quality in your tank and keep your fish and plants healthy.
While this Tetra Whisper Power Filter does not offer chemical or biological cleaning, Tetra provides a variety of items to assist you in manually monitoring and cleaning your tank’s water.

Compact and Minimalist

This tiny and compact filter is easy to conceal with plants and props, eliminating the need for a huge, unsightly box at the rear of the fish tank. The Tetra Whisper Power Filter additionally has time strips that indicate when it’s time to replace the cartridges.


Tetra is well-known in the aquarium industry for their high-quality products. It’s no different with the Tetra Whisper Power Filter. This filter is one of the easiest to use and one of the best performers because of its unique carbon filters and straightforward design.

Video: Tetra Whisper PF10 Filter Review

5. Eheim Classic 250 External Aquarium Canister Filter – The Quietest One

EHEIM Classic Canister Filter 2213, Classic 250 - PetOverstock
  • Permo-elastic silicon sealing ring fixed on the pump head for easy and safe closing after...
  • Equipped with filter sponges and/or loose filter media
The EHEIM Classic (official website) is a tried-and-true filter that has sold millions of units over the years, and for good reason. A canister chamber, intake pipe, hoses, spray bar, filter medium, and all necessary installation accessories are included with the device. All of the materials and components are of excellent quality, well-made, and durable construction.

Custom Fitted Filtration

The intake is at the base and the exhaust is at the top of the filter’s basic bucket shape. That means your aquarium’s water has no choice but to flow through the filter medium, even if you haven’t cleaned it in a long time. So, even if the flow rate is lowered, the filter will remain functioning to keep the water in your tank clear.

Sturdy Stainless Steel Clips

The stainless-steel clips that secure the motor unit to the canister are a delightful difference from the cheap plastic clips seen on nearly every other brand. The clips will not snap as a result of this. If they do become out of shape, bending them back with pliers is an easy operation.


Even when two units are functioning at the same time, the device is practically silent, and the power consumption is low. There are more expensive units with more bells and whistles that are possibly more appealing to the sight than the Classic, but when it comes to dependability, efficiency, and quiet running, this one is hard to match.


In Conclusion

There are numerous solutions available for individuals who do not enjoy the hum of water pumps. It’s just a question of finding the proper size and kind of filter for your tank, as well as ensuring it’s not too noisy. So, if you want to enjoy your aquarium without making a noise, try out some of the silent fish tank filters on the list above!

Flick Emil Henricus

I'm a 34-year-old freelance musician and soundproofing specialist, DIY enthusiast, blog author, and Silence Wiki founder originally from the Netherlands. I've been a musician for over 15 years now - playing all sorts of instruments but especially guitar and saxophone. As a soundproofing specialist, I help people with their acoustic needs in order to make them happy! I also enjoy DIY projects around the house or wherever else they are needed - thanks to my wife who always has great ideas!

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