5 Best Filters for Axolotl That Are Safe, Reliable, and Effective in Keeping Water Clean (Fall 2022)

We picked five filters that proved to be efficient for an axolotl tank of any size and offer two to three stages of filtration.
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Last updatedLast updated: August 27, 2022
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Axolotls may be cute, but their cuteness needs a lot of maintenance. For them to remain healthy and survive with you comes at some delicate price.

In this review, we will walk you through the best filters for axolotl. You need to be careful and very selective when you want to get a filter because axolotls are quite delicate creatures.

We reviewed each filter for best in their respective categories. We looked at the filter type and included canister filters on our list, which proved to be the most effective for axolotl. We also considered the aquarium capacity the filters can handle, the type of filtration, and and the flow rate, which all determine how effective the filters are in cleaning water and keeping your axolotls safe at the same time.

Top 5 Filters for Axolotl Review 2022

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1
Editor’s Choice

AquaClear Fish Tank Filter

Features
  • Filter type: external canister
  • Aquarium capacity: 10–30 gal. (5–20 gal.; 20–50 gal.; 40–70 gal.; 60–110 gal. also available)
  • Filtration: mechanical, chemical, biological
  • Flow rate: up to 150 gph (10–30 gal. option)
  • Dimensions: 18 4.5 x 8.2 x 6.7 in (10–30 gal. option)

More features: energy efficient pump; comes with foam, carbon filters and bio-media; lifetime warranty

We reviewed and nominated the AquaClear Fish Tank Filter as the editor’s choice because it is the best all-around. It has a little of everything you can find in other filters, and it is good at everything. It is almost impossible not to notice, so it stood out for us when we reviewed this tank. The particular model we reviewed is meant for a 10- to 30-gallon tank, but there are options available for smaller and larger tanks as well.

For those looking for something that prioritizes efficiency without excessive energy cost, you should look at this option. Apart from the fact that it is easy to set up, it covers your biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration, depending on the one you prefer for your axolotl tank. It has a very large media volume and water to filter contact time. Due to the filter’s design, you will be able to house a higher media volume significantly higher than most of the other options. It makes this a good choice for both large and small tanks. Another great feature we liked about this filter is that it is good for both fresh and saltwater. Since axolotl requires brackish water, a mix of both kinds of water, it remains a good choice.

What are its best features?

  • Very large media volume and water to filter contact time
  • Filters in three stages
  • Good for both fresh and saltwater
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

What could be improved?

  • When we reviewed the product, we noticed a couple of vibration sounds. While this looks like a normal operation, it could be annoying if you use it in a quiet environment
  • The water flow rate could improve too
RELATED: 10 Best Filters for 30-Gallon Aquarium: Perfect Capacity for Medium-Sized Tanks! (Fall 2022)
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9.4
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9.5
2
Best for Large Tanks

Eheim Pro 4+ 600 Filter

Features
  • Filter type: external canister
  • Aquarium capacity: 65–158 gal.
  • Filtration: mechanical, biological
  • Flow rate: 277 gph
  • Dimensions: 17.8 x 9.4 x 9.6 in

More features: comes with filter pads and media; made in Germany

We selected the Eheim Pro 4+ 600 Filter for best for large tanks, and we believe the reason is quite obvious. This effective filter can go as high as 160 US gallons; that is large, isn’t it? The flow rate is also impressive at 277 gallons per hour. The filter comes with everything you’ll need to install it and use right out the box, i.e. filter pads and all the media.

If you didn’t know, this version is a plus version, making it a significantly upgraded version. Let’s look at some of the upgrades we noticed in this brand. Rather than Eheim green, all equipment is now black. This black design makes the tubing and equipment more concealed in your tank. Also, there is a new Xtender control function. This function helps you increase the flow rate; this feature especially comes in handy when the filter media blocks. Finally, this version has a new media design. They come in a shape and design that ensures no escape for the smallest of particles.

What are our favorite features?

  • Big size and efficiency
  • Comes with square canisters, which gives it a lot of stability
  • Low energy consumption for a filter with a high flow rate.

What could be better?

  • We believe the plastic design would make it wear out significantly faster
  • The intake tubing length could be longer
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9.4
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9.0
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9.1
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8.9
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3
Best for Deep Cleansing

Penn-Plax Cascade Canister Filter

Features
  • Filter type: external canister
  • Aquarium capacity: up to 30 gal. (larger options available)
  • Filtration: mechanical, chemical, biological
  • Flow rate: 115 gph
  • Dimensions: 11.5 x 9 x 13.5 in

More features: 2 independent valve taps rotating 360°; comes with 2 poly fiber floss pads, a coarse bio-sponge, and a bag of activated carbon

The Penn-Plax Cascade Canister Filter remains our best choice for thorough work. Something seems different about it; the work rate and efficiency are unmatched. The strong motor makes it one of the best in its class. This filter also comes with everything required for mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration, i.e. two poly fiber floss pads; a coarse bio-sponge, and a bag of activated carbon. The flow rate is 115 gallons per minute, which would be enough for a 30-gallon or smaller tank.

This filter is popular for many reasons; it has a decent work rate for its cost. While reviewing this product, we noticed how quiet it is; it is relatively noise-free. The quiet nature of this filter makes it perfect for your office aquarium or anywhere you wouldn’t want any noise or disturbance. We also took note of the operation, and it is quite easy to operate. It comes with adjustable flow rate nozzles, too, and you won’t have a hard time getting how to operate it.

What are our favorite features?

  • Strong motor but very quiet operation
  • Three forms of filtration
  • Flexible flow rate as it comes with adjustable nozzles

What could be better?

  • The filter media trays seem a bit small
  • It takes a fair share of time to set it up fully
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 8960 people in the past 30 days
9.2
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
8.7
Brand Reputation
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9.1
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8.7
9.2
4
Best for Fast and Easy Setup

Marineland ML90749 Magniflow Canister Filter

Features
  • Filter type: external canister
  • Aquarium capacity: up to 30 gal. (larger options available)
  • Filtration: mechanical, chemical, biological
  • Flow rate: 160 gph
  • Dimensions: 12.2 x 9.17 x 13.62 in

More features: quick spill-free maintenance; comes with all filter media required

If you want something that will give you quick setup, easy maintenance, the Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter should be your pick. This product is good for users who won’t have so much time to do regular maintenance on their filters. The size and design make it suitable for large aquariums. You don’t have to worry if it is big or powerful enough to take care of your bigger aquarium; take it from us; it is capable. It also comes with all filter media required for its operation.

This model is getting popular, and we can attribute it to many reasons. The most obvious reason is the minimal maintenance demands; who doesn’t want something that will give them less stress? It is also big, making it very suitable for a large aquarium. We also noticed the primer button, making the product very easy to prime compared to many other counterparts. The product is designed for fast and easy work. The system is flexible and easy for you to clean and maintain. You could also change the media. This product needs the best aquarium filter media to operate optimally.

What stands out?

  • Size and design suitable for large aquariums
  • Doesn't take time to prime because of the primer button
  • Easy maintenance

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Bulky compared to other products
  • The rubber gaskets seem a bit fragile
RELATED: 5 Best Nano Canister Filters – Keep Your Fish Tank Clean and Healthy (Fall 2022)
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 4985 people in the past 30 days
9.0
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
8.9
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
8.7
Features & Benefits
Product Review
8.9
9.0
Features
  • Filter type: external canister
  • Aquarium capacity: up to 75 gal.
  • Filtration: mechanical, chemical, biological
  • Flow rate: 265 gph
  • Dimensions: 16 x 10 x 10 in

More features: ultra-low noise; flexible media trays

If you are looking for a pocket-friend filter that would get the job right, look no further than Polar Aurora 3-Stage External Aquarium Filter. It offers an amazing work rate for a budget price. It gives the best value for money and offers three stages of filtration: mechanical, biological, and chemical. This canister filter would be a perfect pick for aquariums with up to 75-gallon capacity, filtering water at a rate of 265 gallons per hour.

For those looking for a portable, low-cost filter that won’t tear your pockets, you could have a closer look at this one. The ease of use is outstanding; your Polar Aurora 3-Stage External Aquarium Filter would be up and running with very little effort. Getting the controls too is easy because of the simple design. It offers you an amazing value for money with low noise operation. You won’t hear disturbances from this product; it is super quiet when working. So we think it is an amazing pick for both a personal office and home aquarium.

Why did it make our list?

  • Outstanding ease of use
  • Cost and value for money
  • Very quiet operation

What is not ideal about it?

  • Some minor leaks occasionally in the filter
RELATED: 10 Best Aquarium Filters – Provide Proper Cleaning for Your Pets (Fall 2022)

Things to Consider

We described each of our best filters for your axolotl tank, but you may still be confused about which one to use. The filter you choose needs to be based on your personal needs for your tank. A couple of factors may contribute to your choice of the best sponge filter for axolotl.
Our buying guide would give you a detailed view of what you need to make your pick alongside the best canister filters. Let’s get right into it./span>

Do Axolotl Tanks Need a Filter, And Why?

5 Best Filters for Axolotl That Are Safe, Reliable, and Effective in Keeping Water Clean (Fall 2022)

Water filtration is crucial for axolotls, and a quality filter will save you plenty of time on cleaning the tank

Theoretically, you may deduce that axolotl tanks don’t need a filter, but the same does not apply in reality. Axolotl breed in brackish water; if you were to house them without a filter, you would need to change the water frequently, which is not realistic. You can’t keep changing the water every morning and night.

Using a filter will save you the stress of changing your axolotl tank water regularly. It is also healthier for your axolotls.

Why Canister Filters Are Preferable for Axolotls?

If you check through our recommendations, you will notice one common thing to all the best water filters for axolotl. They are all canister filters, and making that choice is not a coincidence. Canister filters may need a little more critical maintenance, but their work rate is unmatched for this case. They are capable of chemical, mechanical and biological filtration.

Canister filters have great biomedia and the perfect water flow rate for axolotls. The biomedia in canister filters provides a healthier environment for your axolotl to thrive.

Other Types of Filters, And Should You Use Them?

There are several other types of filters that many would recommend. A low-grade option is the old school box filters; they are cheap, but this system is far from being good for axolotl. Another popular choice is fluidized bed filters that use biological methods.

Power filters are also popular in aquariums, and they are widely compared with canister filters. They also offer chemical, mechanical, and biological filtration; however, you may not see a gentle flow of water because of the power.

Among the several grades and types of filters we have, the canister remains the most suitable for axolotl tanks. The efficiency, flow rate and everything are perfect for these cute little creatures.

Features to Consider Before You Buy a Filter

There are some considerations you should make before finally settling for your filter. These factors will help you build a personalized requirement; hence you get the perfect one for your tank. So what are these requirements? Let’s consider them:

Volume of Your Axolotls Tank

The volume of your axolotl tank refers to the size of the tank. How big is it? How many gallons of water can it house? This is one of the most important factors while picking a filter. You should not be searching for the best filter for 20-gallon axolotl tank when you have a 50-gallon tank.

If the filter capacity is too small, it won’t be good enough for the whole tank. It may give excessive water pressure if it is too powerful, and axolotls don’t like too much pressure.

A filter like the Polar Aurora can handle up to 75 gallons of aquarium capacity; if you have a 30-gallon aquarium, this product is not suitable for you; you should not search for the best canister filter for a 55-gallon tank. Instead, you should go for a 30-gallon capacity variant like the Marineland Magniflow or Penn-Plax Cascade canister filters.

Also, if you have a bigger aquarium ranging over 70 gallons, you should consider the bigger variants of the AquaClear Fish Tank Filter. It’s that easy; simply get the volume of your aquarium and make sure it is at an optimal level with your filter.

Type of Filtration and Bio-media Capacity

5 Best Filters for Axolotl That Are Safe, Reliable, and Effective in Keeping Water Clean (Fall 2022)

Filters can include up to three levels of filtration, namely, mechanical, chemical, and biological ones

There are three major types of filtration, namely chemical, mechanical and biological filtration. While some filters specialize in specific types, some are capable of the three simultaneously.

If you regularly treat your aquarium with chemicals, you should consider a product capable of chemical filtration. However, suppose you don’t think your tanks would have excessive chemicals. In that case, you can go for a brand like the Eheim Pro 4+, capable of only mechanical and biological filtration.

Other products we listed are capable of all three types of filtrations, so if you are still confused, you may want to use other factors like the bio-media capacity.

You need to make sure the capacity is optimal with your tank volume.

Flow Rate

Flow rate is also a very important consideration for whichever product you pick. Although flow rate determines how fast the filtration occurs, you should not aim for a randomly higher number. A good benchmark is to make sure your filter is about six times the volume of your tank.

So if your tank is about 40 gallons, you should aim for at least a 240 gph flow rate. A product like Polar Aurora has a flow rate of 265 gph, which is close; it would be a good option.

Ease of Use and Maintenance

We believe no one wants any product that would be difficult to maintain. Ideally, the more you use your filter, it should get easier to clean because you get better at it. You should aim for a product that presents a very easy way to clean; you don’t want to spend hours trying to tidy up your filter.

The Marineland Magniflow canister filter stands out among the rest as one of the easiest to clean and maintain.

You must also aim for products that are very easy to use. Imagine buying a filter that requires a manual to operate it each time. Aim for brands that have an easy and precise operation, like the AquaClear Fish Tank Filter.

Durability and Warranty

No one wants a non-durable product. Your axolotl filter should not be overly fragile but rather durable. Any unavoidable wear and tear, a warranty should have you covered. The AquaClear Fish Tank Filter comes with a lifetime warranty, so such a product will give you peace of mind.

FAQ

Theoretically, it is proven that axolotls can live without filters in their tanks. However, the catch is that the water must be constantly renewed. Frankly speaking, no one wants to undergo the stress of replacing the water now and then. Axolotls require brackish water, a gentle mix between salt and freshwater. Using the water could be cost-efficient too. The best option to save you from all the stress is getting a filter. Using a filter would reduce the need for you to frequently replace the water as it does a good job of cleansing the water. We saved you the stress of searching by recommending the best aquarium filters for axolotl.

Yes, biological filtration is a must for axolotl tanks if you want them to survive. Axolotls may be small, but they are well-known for producing a lot of waste. Their waste contains ammonia, which is poisonous for them. The higher the ammonia concentration in the tank, the more dangerous it is for them. Of all the three types of filtration, only biological filtration is the most efficient for this poisonous substance. The process breaks down ammonia and other poisonous nitrites into simple compound nitrate, not so poisonous. All aquariums should ideally have frequent biological filtration to protect the creatures that reside in it.

Ideally, you should clean your filter at about three to four weeks intervals. Most users tend to clean theirs once a month. The actual frequency may depend on how dirty your tank is relative to the work rate of your filter. One month is enough if your tank doesn’t get so dirty. However, if you know that your filter does a lot of work, you should try to space it between three weeks. However, if you choose to do it, make sure you clean your filter. It will be healthy for your axolotl, but it also ensures the durability of your filter.

Our Verdict

We are finally drawing the curtains on our product review and buying guide. We had a good time reviewing each product and nominating them for best in each category.

We specifically liked the AquaClear fish tank filter because it had a good touch of everything you could need for your axolotl tank. The size, work rate, efficiency and energy consumption simply stood out.

The Eheim Pro 4+ is not far behind our number one pick as it offers one of the best power with relatively low energy consumption. It also comes with updated designs that ensure no particle escapes its grip.

The Penn-Plax Cascade Canister Filter is also an awesome one that offers great flexibility with its flow rate nozzles. The quietness is unmatched, and there is no better option for your noise-free office aquarium than this one.

However, we do not intend to take away anything from the products on our list. They remain the best filters for axolotl for us, any time, any day.

References

1.
Axolotl - Ambystoma mexicanum Reptile Breed Hypoallergenic, Health and Life Span | PetMD
Learn everything about Axolotl - Ambystoma mexicanum Reptile, including health and care information. All from the real vets at PetMD.
2.
Aquarium Filtration | Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine
Aquarium filtration makes all the difference between healthy fish and poorly-kept fish. Here's what you need to know to keep your tank in shape!
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