Finding an aquarium filter that gets the job done yet doesn’t cost a fortune is easier said than done. In this article, we discuss five of the top aquarium filters that cost less than $30. So, let’s get to it.
Aquarium Filters Under $30 Reviews
Penn-Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter
This small yet efficient aquarium filter hangs on the back of your tank, allowing you to save internal real estate within the aquarium.
Moreover, it’s very compact in general, so it doesn’t take up much space on the outside either. What’s also important to note is that the setup is straightforward and takes just a few minutes.
In addition, this model can handle up to 80 gallons of water per hour, and it has an adjustable flow rate. Technically speaking, it’s for 10-gallon tanks, but depending on the flow rate and how heavily stocked your tank is, you could probably push this and use it on a 20-gallon tank.
Also, this is a multi-stage filtration unit that uses all three major types of aquarium filtration media, and it has a self-leveling system.
NICREW Aquarium Internal Filter
This is an excellent option if you are looking for a small, compact, and affordable internal aquarium filter. However, this unit is designed for 10-gallon tanks, so it should be able to handle up to 40 gallons of water per hour to keep your tank clean and crystal clear.
We like the adjustable flow rate, but moreover, it’s very easy to access for simple and fast maintenance. In addition, it comes with the three types of filtration media you need to get started.
You might also appreciate how this unit will produce relatively large air bubbles to help aerate and oxygenate the water. Yet, it also comes with an adjustable air regulator so you can create a very gentle flow of water that makes it safe for relatively delicate fish.
TARARIUM Internal Aquarium Filter
This is a relatively large and powerful filtration unit, as well as being highly affordable. The internal aquarium filter can be used for aquariums between 40 and 150 gallons and can handle around 300 gallons of water per hour.
We think this filter is ideal for tanks up to 100 gallons based on the flow rate and how heavily your tank is stocked. You might appreciate that it comes with a special hose designed to produce large amounts of oxygen for the water.
However, this is primarily a mechanical filter with two filter sponges, performing double mechanical filtration. Although some beneficial bacteria may build up on those sponges, this is technically not a biological or chemical filter. With that being said, it is very easy to maintain.
PULACO Ultra Quiet Aquarium Hang on Filter
If you’re looking for a small yet efficient aquarium filter, this is a good option. In addition, this is a hang-on back filter, so it won’t take up much real estate inside of the tank.
This, too, is primarily a mechanical filter, and it comes with a filtration sponge, but it doesn’t perform any biological or chemical filtration.
You might appreciate there’s an adjustable water flow that can filter up to 66 gallons per hour, making it ideal for tanks up to 10 gallons in size. In addition, it is easy to maintain and barely takes any work at all to keep it running due to the design. It might be an elementary mechanical filter, but it gets the job done.
Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter
This is a small filter designed for small tanks that has a small price. This model is intended for 10-gallon tanks, although there is also a model for a 3-gallon tank and two larger sizes. In addition, this filter is relatively quiet, so it won’t disturb you or the fish.
In addition, this is a hang-on back filter, so it does save a lot of space, and it is also straightforward to maintain because of the lid on top. This is perhaps one of the most user-friendly filtration units. It has an auto-start pump that does not require any priming, thus making setup a little easier.
Moreover, although it is small and affordable, it features the three major types of aquarium water filtration; mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration, and all filter media is included.
After reviewing these five low-cost aquarium filters, we think the best has to be the Penn-Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter. It provides you with all of the filtration capabilities you need to keep your tank clean and your fish healthy.
Aquarist & Writer 22+ Years