What Are The Best Filters For Goldfish?

In this article we will look at the best filters for goldfish. Filtration is an important aspect of maintaining any aquarium’s health and appearance. A single goldfish needs an aquarium of at least 30 gallons and a pair should have at least a 50 gallon tank to thrive in adulthood. For that reason, all of these filters will be suitable for medium to large tanks using 50 gallons as a minimum filtration capacity.

No.

Product

Image

Feature

Our rating

#1

Fluval C4 Power Filter

Filters 119 - 264 GPH

5 stages of filtration​

#2

Marineland Emperor 400 Pro Series Bio-Wheel Power Filter

Flow rate of 400GPH

2-pump design for unmatchable flow and filtration​

#3

AquaClear Power Filter - 110 V

5 - 110 GPH

#4

Marineland Magniflow Canister

30 - 100 GPH

#5

Fluval External Filter

Suitable for aquariums  25 - 100 Gal

Why Use Filtration For Goldfish?

The very popular goldfish comes in many beautiful varieties and colors. They are often sold as small juveniles but can grow to be upwards of 12 inches in length given the proper amount of space. Their size requires them to be kept in a medium to large aquarium. Small goldfish bowls requiring daily water changes will only work well while the fish are very small. They will not thrive in these conditions as they try to grow. Keeping goldfish in small bowls or tanks is a sure recipe for disaster and your fish will probably not survive for long.

If you plan on keeping multiple goldfish you should be prepared to use an aquarium of at least 50 gallons. A tank this size needs a substantial filter system to maintain water quality. The best systems will provide mechanical and biological filtration as well as performing the function of adjusting the tank’s chemistry to provide the healthiest environment possible for your goldfish. Filtration is one of the key ingredients in maintaining a healthy aquatic environment.

Types Of Filters

There are many types of aquarium filters on the market. All require some kind of maintenance to keep them in proper running condition. Some have reusable sponges and cartridges that can need periodic cleaning while other systems have disposable filter cartridges that simply need to be replaced as their performance degrades.

Aquarium filters usually come rated for a specific tank size. Since goldfish do produce a large amount of waste material you should consider purchasing a filter designed for an aquarium that is larger than the one where it will actually be used. I would suggest that a filter designed for a 75 to 100 gallon tank would work very well for a 50 or 55 gallon goldfish tank. If you are planning on keeping fancy goldfish you also want a filter that allows control of the return water flow. These fish do better with a gentle water flow so make sure the filter you choose has that option. Many canister filters have a spray bar option that will diffuse the return flow and create a perfect environment for your goldfish.

The previously mention canister filters are one of the best choices for a goldfish tank. The other good option is a hang on the back (HOB) type filter. Both have some general pros and cons. Canister filters require maintenance less often and their filter media is usually reusable. They require less space behind your tank as the canister is housed below and only tubes need to get behind the tank. Canister filters offer high filtration capacity and a single unit can handle a large aquarium. Return water flow can be controlled to achieve different flow patterns in your tank. These benefits are somewhat offset by the fact that canister filters are more complicated to clean when needed.

The HOB filters offer easier maintenance at a price. They are easy to set up as long as you have enough room behind your tank. They are initially less expensive than a canister filter but a monetary consideration is that the filter media is in many cases disposable and is an on-going expense. An HOB system uses a waterfall type water return system that cannot be modified as nicely as that of a canister filter. These filters are usually not enough to take care of large tanks when used singly, but I have successfully used two at a time on my larger aquariums.

Some Of The Best Filters For Goldfish

Here are some of the best filters you can purchase for your goldfish tank.

1. Fluval C4 Power Filter

The Fluval C4 Power Filter is an HOB type filter that would work well on goldfish tanks up to 50 gallons. It provides extensive mechanical, biological and chemical filtration through a 5 step process that leads to clear and healthy aquarium water. A nice feature of this filter is that it uses a patented refiltration system that allows you to slow down the water output to protect delicate plants and fish. Its modular design allows you to perform maintenance in stages, replacing or cleaning only one type of media at a time. This filter combines some of the best features of a canister filter with the ease of use of an HOB. It is designed to allow customization of the filter media if so desired, to say replace carbon with another biological filtration pad. The filter also has a telescoping intake tube to allow water to be drawn from different depths of your tank. A nice choice in an HOB filter.

2. Marineland Emperor 400 Pro Series Bio-Wheel Power Filter

This is another excellent HOB power filter that will do well in a 50 to 55 gallon goldfish tank. Its design gives the filter up to twice the mechanical filtration capacity of other HOB filters or the addition of additional chemical filtration cartridges. Biological filtration is handled by its patented Bio-Wheel technology. Spray bars are used to drive the water into the top of the bio-wheel getting maximum aeration along with the biological filtration. It is easy to clean and install as seen in these videos found at the Mainland website.

3. AquaClear Power Filter - 110 V

AquaClear manufactures these power filters in varying sizes with the 110 V model a prefect match for a 50 to 55 gallon goldfish tank. This filter provides complete mechanical, biological and chemical filtration through a multi stage filtration system. It is quiet and has a large filtration volume that allows for superior contact time with the filter media. A unique waterfall system gently and silently returns the filtered water to your aquarium. It also has a flow control feature that enables you to change the water flow rate to suit your needs. As with most HOB filters it is easy to set up and its media baskets make for painless maintenance. Additional media to perform custom chemical filtration can be added to the media baskets, and you can use your own bulk materials in nylon bags instead of being tied to a manufacturer’s replacements.

4. Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter

Those aquarists wanting to go with a canister filter won’t go wrong with this filter. As with all canister filters it does great job of mechanical, biological and chemical filtration. It accomplishes this by using stacked filter trays that force the water to go through instead of around the layers of filter media. It comes with a quick prime button to assist with restarts and promises quick spill-free maintenance. The top of the unit is easy to remove for access to the media baskets.It is easy to set up though care must be taken to follow the instruction in regard to the O-rings to avoid leakage. This is a quiet filter that will do well for a 55 gallon goldfish tank.

5. Fluval External Canister Filter 406

Fluval makes a great canister filter in addition to the HOB filter reviewed above. It performs complete 3 stage filtration through the use of layers of various filter media that can be customized for your tank’s requirements. Employing a sound dampening impeller design leads to quiet operation. Its square design allows for more water to be exposed to the filtration elements than other manufacturers round design. Fluval has re-engineered their priming system which makes the filter easy to start. Its aqua stop valve assembly makes it easy to remove hoses for simple and drip free maintenance. The 406 is the right size filter for a 50-55 gallon goldfish tank and you will be pleased with the results.

What is the Best Filter For Your Goldfish

All of the filters reviewed above are excellent and will do a fine job of maintaining your goldfish aquarium as long as you properly size them. As stated earlier, for large tanks you may want to use multiple versions of the same filter to achieve the best results. You can choose to go with an HOB or canister filter to suit your preference.

With that said I would recommend the Fluval C4 Power Filter if I were looking for a filter for my goldfish. The excellent 3 stage filtration combined with the ease of use and maintenance makes this a winner for me. The fact that this filter lets you control the water flow to protect delicate fancy goldfish make this a great choice for any aquarist who keeps goldfish.

About the author

Toby Sanders

With more than 15 years of experience in aquarium sector, i'm totally passionate about creating Aquarist Guide blogspot. I enjoy sharing all of my knowledge to help you guys effectively build your own tank. I believe that when you find the easiest way to raise your lovely fish successfully throughout my blog, you will definitely fall in love with fish keeping more than a popular hobby.

2 comments
Lisa - February, 2018

Hi Toby,
My goldfish have a 40g Whisper HOB filter, and it was great for a while, but I had to rig up some of the tubes when one broke, and now, in my new house, it’s right next to us on the couch and it’s loud. I can’t seem to find anything on decibel ratings for any filters, and the only advice I see is to use a canister one. My HUGE fear is that if the power goes out, I’m afraid having the canister below the water levels in the tank could lead to the water pouring down the hoses and all over my house. Could this happen? And, do you know anywhere I could look for decibel ratings? Right now my tank is running around 60-70 decibels, and that’s just too loud to watch tv next to.

Thank you!!!
Lisa

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Jennifer Wood - May, 2018

This is the great article. Thanks for sharing this.

Jennifer Wood
Founder & Editor
https://Eforpets.Com

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