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The best filter for 55 gallon aquarium is necessary to keep the tank clean and healthy. You may already own an aquarium, but may still have not purchased a filter. However, we’ll tell you why a filter is essential. The filter catches all the trash that gathers via the intake tube. This is a type of mechanical filtration, and many filters use a pad, or a sponge to block the litter from getting back into the tank.
Also, this equipment is required for the chemical filtration of certain substances, for example; activated carbon enters the tank to manage chemical wastes generated by the fish. Cartridges and inserts manage the chemical filtration in the filter. The filter is also responsible for biological filtration. This filtration happens when natural bacteria accumulate in the tank, and the filter removes ammonia and other such deleterious chemicals.
How Does A Filter Work?
This guide mainly focuses on the best filter for 55 gallon aquarium, but before we move on to reviewing the top 10 models, it is essential to know how a filter works. This external aquarium filtration system can be permanently placed in an aquarium cabinet, where it won’t detract the tank’s image.
This filter is powered by an impeller which withdraws tank’s water via a tube, makes it pass through different sections of filter media, enclosed in several chambers inside a canister.
Then it discharges the water back into the tank using another tube. There are three significant filtrations that the filter takes care of, and we will be elaborating upon them;
1. Mechanical Filtration
It is the primary form of filtration and implicates the physical ejection of solid waste substances from the water. This is fulfilled by using a sponge, or a pad which catches the solid waste particles, as the water passes through the filter.
2. Chemical Filtration
It is a process which includes the ejection of dissolved substances, and heavy metals from the aquarium’s water. It is generally achieved by utilizing activated carbon filter media.
3. Biological Filtration
This process involves the removal of Ammonia (NH3) and Nitrite (NO2) from the aquarium’s water. It is necessary to remove these natural chemicals as they can prove to be harmful to your fish.
Canister filters are mostly preferred, and are more popular than other filters because they can fit more filter media, and thus efficiently perform these three kinds of filtrations. But note that canister filters are more costly than other types of filters used for the same tank sizes.
These filters are mostly required for medium to large aquariums (at least 30 gallons or more). These are usually chosen because they offer one of the best filtration systems.
How To Choose The Best Filter For 55 Gallon Fish Tank?
There are a few important things you need to keep in mind before purchasing the best filter for 55 gallon fish tank.
1. The Capacity Of The Tank
The first thing to be sure about, is the capacity of your tank, as the size of the filter depends on that. If you haven’t yet bought a tank, we recommend you to simultaneously look up for a filter which is ideal for the selected tank’s size.
If you buy a smaller sized filter for a tank which is more than 50 gallons, the tank will exert too much pressure on the filter, and will end up malfunctioning. If you get a filter which is larger than the required size, you will be unnecessarily spending your money. That’s why we recommend you to check your tank’s capacity and buy an accurate sized filter.
2. How Much Money Are You Willing To Spend?
The most suitable filter is the one which meets your needs and fits your budget. How much money you are willing to spend is an important factor which will help determine your options. The more you are willing to spend, the more you will receive in terms of performance, quality, and efficiency.
So we suggest you to make a budget and then proceed further. In our list of best filters for 55 gallon aquarium, we have tried covering models of different price ranges, so that everybody can find at least one model which fits their budget as well as requirements.
3. The Type Of Filter You Need
Lastly, there are different kinds of filters which are available on the market today and you need to know which one will suit you best. The most commonly purchased model is the HOB filter (hang on back) as it is easy to install, and maintain. Recently, canister filters have become quite popular in the online world.
Other options include sump filter, under gravel filter, and sponge filter. You need to know the basic differences between these 5 types and then begin shortlisting models.
This section includes a list of top 10 best filters for 55 aquariums. We have reviewed some of the most popular models by checking out the customer reviews and ratings to present an unbiased report. We have highlighted both the pros and cons about each model, so that you get to know in detail about these products before making any decision.
Top 10 Best Filters For 55 Gallon Fish Tank 2019
1. MarineLand Penguin 100 GPH BIO-Wheel Power Filter
You specifically need to use two Rite-Size C” filter cartridges for this model. Its efficiency is undeniable, and it sustains three basic types of filtration; chemical, mechanical, and biological.
You can trust this product to eliminate discoloration, litter, foul smells, and waste products. The mechanical filtration takes care of rubbish, and debris by using the patented ribbed back, refining contact of water and carbon.
This filter contains Black Diamond Premium Activated carbon to treat impurities, odors, and discoloration.
Another great thing about this filter is its Bio-wheel which manages its biological filtration. The bio-wheel removes Ammonia and Nitrite to clean the fish tank. The filter also offers a two-piece vented cover to facilitate accessibility to the filter. This feature also helps to lower the noise levels of the filter.
The mid-level intake is easily adjustable, and is easy to attach to the tube responsible for the intake. The water circulation is good and the flow is strong.
Overall, the filter is easy to set up and clean. The only downsides are that once the water begins evaporating, the filter’s noise level increases. Some users have also complained that it clogs easily. Nonetheless, it is a reliable option if you’re looking for something inexpensive and efficient.
2. Aqua Clear – Fish Tank Filter
This filter by Aqua Clear is also a great option if you don’t mind spending a few extra dollars. This product costs double the price of the previously listed model. What makes it the best filter for a 55 gallon fish tank is its speed and efficiency.
It is quick to clear the water in your fish tank due to its bigger size and AquaClear Cycle Guard.
It is also equipped with Activated carbon and BioMax, which ensures continuous biological filtration takes place, maintaining the water nice and clean for a longer time. The hang-on filter is hugely reliable. At least 50% of the water inside the filter gets processed multiple times.
It provides all three basic types of filtration as it is equipped with Cycle Guard Multi-Stage Filtration System. It increases the amount of good bacteria by removing Ammonia and Nitrite.
It is a versatile product which can also be used saltwater filtration. You also don’t need to worry about the noise, as the filter runs very smooth and there is absolutely no rattling. Though a few users online have complained about leakage.
3. SunSun-China HW-304B 5-Stage External Canister Filter with 9-watt UV Sterilizer, 525 GPH
It comes with a built-in 9 Watt UV sterilizer, that removes algae and keeps harmful bacteria under control. It also comes with 4 flexible media trays so you can choose your favorite one.
It is equipped with a self-priming pump, so you don’t have to engage much in siphoning. You can surely use it for a planted fish tank. The filter is strongly built and easy to assemble. It comes with pre-lubricated seals, and top buttons to switch on/off the UV light.
The filter makes absolutely no noise while working. Its trays are cleverly built to allow for easy cleaning without actually removing the whole filter setup.
It sustains chemical, mechanical, plus biological filtration. A few downsides which accompany this model include; plastic is used to build some of its components which decrease its durability and the instructions are poorly explained. However, it is worth to check out because it offers multiple features.
4. Hydor Professional External Canister Filter
This filter offers a complete eco-system by sustaining biological, chemical, and mechanical filtration. It keeps your fish tank clean for longer periods of time. It is very easy to assemble and use this product, as it is equipped with telescopic intake tubes.
These tubes make installation easy. It is basically a canister filter with a flow rate of 280GPH. The flow is decently powerful, and also runs quietly, not causing any vibration while working.
It comes with an additional feature; spray bar and you can easily adjust its speed. It is a durable product which produces no rattling sounds.
The filter baskets flaunt a smart design, so setting the filter media according to your own needs is not difficult. It is compact in size and allows for easy priming. Though some users found it hard to remove its top cover and commented that its instructions are difficult to flow. The price varies depending on the size.
5. Eheim Pro 4+ 600 Filter Up To 160g
Eheim is one of the most renowned brands in this industry and specializes in water filters for fish tanks. This is a sleekly designed filter in black color (this helps to hide it better). But this product is much more than its appearance and classy look. It features complete filter pads, and media and is suitable for a variety of aquariums (ranging from 30 to 160 gallons).
It also features Xtender control function which helps in counteracting the choked filter media and enables longer periods between cleaning. It is a canister filter with a square design which not only provides higher stability, but also greater volume. It is strongly built and feels durable . It offers increased flow capacity; yet it consumes little amount of energy.
The pump output is easily adjustable and its ceramic axle is made of high-quality materials, reducing its noise levels and making it long lasting. It is equipped with a safety hose adaptor which can be removed when the valves are closed. It has a pre-filter which is responsible for trapping the larger dirt particles and is easy to maintain and clean. Additional features include filter baskets and an ‘Easy Clean’ grid.
It is priced a bit on the higher side and is not ideal for those with a low budget. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you can find better and cheaper options online. Some users have listed that the media gets stuck easily. Nevertheless, it is a dependable and elegant product and worth a look if you do not have any budget issues.
6. Fluval External Filter
This is a best filter for 55 gallon aquarium by Fluval, which offers multi-stage filtration for maintaining a healthy and clean fish tank. It is suitable for use in both freshwater as well as saltwater aquariums.
It is ideal for aquariums sized 70 to 100 gallons. It offers a flow rate of 1450 LPH or 383 GPH. It features sound reducing impeller design for a smoother and quieter operation.
It comes in a distinct square shaped design which can contain 35 to 50 percent more water as compared to round shaped canister filters of the same size. It allows for better water flow via a composite cleansing path that lessens contact with the filtration media.
It features a clog proof intake strainer as well as a double layered foam screen. To save water from trickling into the receptacle or plug, the user needs to arrange a “drip loop” in the cord joining the filter to a repository.
It is made with Aqua stop valve and features several filtration baskets and rim connector assemblies. It comes with a 3 year warranty period. The price can be an issue for some; even then it is a dependable product.
7. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter
This water filter by Penn Plax Cascade is an affordable product which offers high level of flow rate. One of the best features of this aquarium filter is that it can handle an aquarium up to 200 gallons (way more than the capacity of any regular filter).
It contains new black canister housing, tubes, Bio Floss to facilitate biological filtration, Bio foam, ceramic rings, and a huge Magna Sweep algae magnet to eliminate algae and harmful bacteria.
It features large stackable media trays with great capacity for facilitating multi-stage filtration. It comes with a push-button primer which is remarkably easy to use, plus 2 independent 360 degrees revolving taps. Another great feature is that if after some time any of its components gets damaged, you can get replacement of all parts from Penn Plax factories.
8. Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter For Aquariums, Fast Maintenance
This is another product by MarineLand which is as good as Penguin 100 GPH BIO-Wheel Power Filter when it comes to durability and efficiency, but way better when it comes to the variety of features it offers.
It comes with a canister lid which ensures water tight seal. It is easy to remove the lid to access media baskets for cleaning and regular maintenance.
It features a polishing filter pad which acts as a water polisher, eliminating fine dirt and debris. The bio-filter balls and the ceramic rings that it contains offer a large, multilayered surface area for the development of bio spires.
Its Black Diamond Activated carbon eliminates unpleasant odors, impurities, and prevents discoloration. It offers a spill-free set up and its filter foam pads keep away minute dirt particles.
9. KollerCraft Tom RP90 Rapids Pro Filter With UV Sterilizer For Aquariums
The 9th model on our list of best filters for a 55 gallon fish tank is an advanced filtration system suitable for large sized aquariums (up to 90 gallons). It eliminates debris and other impurities to keep the tank neat and clean and its inhabitants healthy.
It is equipped with an 18 Watt UV (ultraviolet) sterilizer which effectively removes algae and other harmful bacteria or parasites which may infect the water.
It offers a great flow rate of 490 GPH (gallons per hour). It is ideal for both freshwater and saltwater fish tanks.
10. Aqueon QuietFlow 155/400 Canister Filter
It offers great value for money as it is designed for both freshwater and saltwater fish tanks. It comes with an additional backwater polishing unit which makes the cleaning process easy and less tedious.
It sustains all three types of filtration; mechanical, biological, and chemical. Thus, it is very effective in removing waste materials and dangerous toxins, keeping your fish tank as healthy as possible.
The whole set includes; fast disconnect valves, pump locking heads, water input and output connections, hoses, backwater polishing unit, cartridges, and 4 different types of filter media.
We hope this list of top 10 best filters for 55 gallon aquarium has helped you get a basic idea about what to look for when buying water filters for fish tanks. You don’t have to stay limited to these models and can browse more to find a model which best suits your needs.
Just keep in mind the important factors listed in the guide and form a budget. Determine which type of filter you require and shortlist models accordingly.
All the best for your purchase, we hope you end up finding the best filter for 55 gallon aquarium for yourself.