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Best Internal Aquarium Filters: Our Top Picks 2024

Some of the best filtration units for your aquarium are internal filters, and that’s exactly what I’m about to help you find. Let’s get to it and take a look at the top five best internal aquarium filters.

Best Internal Aquarium Filters

5 Best Internal Aquarium Filters: Reviews

I have five amazing internal aquarium filters for you to take a look at, so let’s do that right now.

1. NICREW Aquarium Internal Filter: Our Top Pick! 

NICREW Aquarium Internal Filter, Submersible Power Filter with Multiple Function...
  • Provides effective and thorough biological and chemical filtration, creating superior aquarium water...
  • Activated carbon and fine filter foam trap debris and fish waste, absorb odors

Here we have a triple function internal aquarium filter. It features fine filter foam that helps get rid of debris and eliminate solid waste for mechanical filtration.

It also features activated carbon for chemical filtration, which removes odors, colors, and other contaminants. The bio-foam then allows for the growth of beneficial bacteria, therefore allowing for biological filtration.

What also stands out are the abundant air bubbles that are created by this filter, therefore helping to aerate and oxygenate the water. It also helps produce a bit of water flow.

You might like this filter because it is extremely easy to assemble, it comes with the primary filtration media included, and it comes with four suction cups for easy mounting inside of the tank.

Keep in mind that this particular model is designed for aquariums between 5 and 10 gallons, as it can process up to 53 gallons per hour. However, there are also models for tanks as small as five gallons, and for tanks as large as 40 gallons.


  • Ideal for small tanks
  • Produces waterflow and aeration
  • All three major forms of water filtration
  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to mount


  • Can be a bit loud

If you are looking for a small end affordable filter for tanks up to 10 gallons, then this is a great model to consider.

2. AquaMiracle Aquarium Filter 3-Stage in-Tank Filter

AquaMiracle Aquarium Filter 3-Stage in-Tank Filter Internal Fish Tank Filter...
  • PERFORMANCE – Max. Flow 130GPH (500L/H), Max lift 2.5ft (0.76m), Power 3.5W. This fish filter is...
  • SAFETY – The aquarium filter is fully submersible with epoxy sealed motor. Each fish tank filter...

The AquarMiracle is designed for fish tanks ranging from 10 up to 40 gallons, as it can handle up to 130 gallons of water per hour. There are however also smaller options available, for tanks as small as 15 gallons, and larger options for tanks as large as 100 gallons.

This is a fully submersible fish tank filter that has a totally epoxy sealed motor, so it should be totally safe for your fish and aquarium plants.

What you might like is that this unit helps to oxygenate and aerate the water by producing a lot of air bubbles. Thanks to this, it also produces a bit of water flow in your tank, to prevent stagnant areas from occurring.

This filter engages in three stage filtration, which effectively allows for the watch to be filtered five times over.

The first stage features a coarse sponge which performs mechanical and biological filtration, the second stage is a carbonized sponge for chemical filtration, and the third stage is a fine sponge which helps to polish the water and perform both mechanical and biological filtration.

The fact that the unit is very easy to assemble and that the media simply stacks on top of each other is also a big bonus. Simply place the filter inside of your tank where you see fit, and attach it using the included suction cups.


  • Easy mounting and assembly
  • Easy to maintain
  • Filter media is included
  • All three filtration types
  • Comes in various sizes


  • Somewhat limited durability

If you need crystal-clean and clear water, this is probably one of the best filters to go for.

3. TEPU Submersible Aquarium Filter

TEPU Submersible Aquarium Filter for 40-150 Gallon, 300GPH Large Aquarium...
  • Quiet Design: The use of internal noise-reducing high-efficiency design, so that the use of the...
  • Multifunctional Application Scenarios:The aquarium filters four-in-one multi-functional structure,...

Here we have a relatively sleek and slim internal filter that is rated for relatively large tanks, but features a design that should not take up too much space.

The important thing to remember is that this particular unit is designed for aquariums between 40 and 150 gallons, with a maximum flow rate of 300 gallons per hour.

Something that stands out about this filter is that it is designed to be very quiet. It functions very well without producing much noise, and it also serves to produce a lot of water flow, aeration, and oxygenation.

It even has a special function that allows it to make waves. It can even be used to pump water out of your tank for those times when you have to perform water changes.

This filter comes with what is known as a biochemical filtration sponge. In simplest terms, this is a three in one piece of filtration media that helps to trap food residue and fish feces, it houses beneficial bacteria to get rid of ammonia, and it performs chemical filtration as well.


  • Ideal for fairly large tanks
  • Doesn’t make much noise
  • Good for water flow and aeration
  • Can be used for water changes
  • All three major forms of filtration
  • Fantastic price


  • Not the longest lasting motor

If an efficient filter that also doubles as a water pump is something you need, then this is a fantastic option to look at.

4. MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter

MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter, For aquariums Up To 97...
  • INTERNAL CANISTER FILTER: Submerged motor for quick and easy startup.
  • VERSATILE FILTRATION: Two refillable chambers house carbon or customizable filter media.

This is a very interesting filter, as it combines the benefits of canister filters with internal filters. The big bonus here is that this unit features a submerged motor, unlike other canister filters, therefore allowing for very easy operation.

What’s neat is that this filter allows for high efficiency water polishing thanks to the included Micron filter cartridge. This is combined with two refillable chambers that you can fill with whatever filtration media you see fit.

Effectively, this allows you to customize the filtration capabilities of this unit, and ultimately allows you to perform all three major types of water filtration as needed. The fact that both media chambers are very large is a big bonus.

Keep in mind that this fish tank filter is designed for fairly large aquariums, up to 97 gallons. It is designed to process up to 297 gallons of water per hour, which should be more than enough for any tank of that size. 

Mounting the unit is also quite easy, as it comes with triple suction cups, so you can easily attach it to the side of your aquarium.


  • Very efficient
  • Polishes water
  • Customizable media design
  • Very easy to maintain and clean
  • Decent price
  • Ideal for fairly large tanks


  • A bit bulky

If you like the combined functionality of an internal filter and a canister filter, then this unit might be right for you.

5. Fluval U3 Underwater Filter

Fluval U3 Underwater Filter – Designed for Freshwater and Saltwater Aquariums,...
  • Use as a primary filter for smaller aquariums, or supplementary filter for larger aquariums
  • Sleek design with easy grip water control panel and redesigned media cartridge to trap more debris

This is an internal filter design for tanks up to 40 gallons in size, and it can process up to 155 gallons per hour. This means it should be able to process the water in a 40 gallon tank at least three times per hour, if not four times.

This is a three stage filtration unit that engages in all three major types of water filtration. Thanks to the special design of it, this filter is able to engage in mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. The initial media also comes included with your purchase.

Everything comes in the form of a simple media cartridge, so maintenance is made extremely easy. Each type of media comes in the form of a single cartridge, which helps make life quite a bit easier.

What’s nice is that using the included suction cups, you just attach it right to the inside of your tank, and it can be mounted either vertically or horizontally. It also happens to be quite the durable unit, although it’s not overly quiet.


  • Durable design
  • Efficient filtration
  • Sleek and slim
  • Easy to maintain
  • All three major types of filtration
  • Great price


  • A bit noisy

If you’re looking for something powerful and efficient, this is it.

Internal Aquarium Filters Buyers Guide: What to Look Out For

I’ll finish things off for today by providing you with some tips when purchasing an internal aquarium filter.

Size Rating

Always pay attention to the size rating. If you have a 20-gallon tank, get the filter rated for such. Don’t get a filter that is rated for much smaller or much larger tanks. A filter rated for smaller tanks won’t work well enough, and one rated for a larger tank will likely be overkill and far too expensive.

Flow Rate

Always pay attention to the flow rate as well. A decent aquarium filter should be able to process the total quantity of water in the tank at least three times per hour. This means that a filter rated for a 20 gallon tank should be able to process at least 60 gallons per hour.

Filtration Type

One of the most important aspects of any filter is that it engages in all three major types of water filtration. This includes mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. This will allow for the removal of fish waste, uneaten food, decaying plant matter, ammonia, nitrates, odors, colors, heavy metals, and more.

Beautiful planted tropical freshwater aquarium with fishes. Aquascape

Size and Shape

One of the downsides of internal filters is that they take up space inside of the tank. Therefore, if you can get a model that is slim and sleek, you’re on the right track.