Best Filter For 10-Gallon Planted Tank of 2021: Top 6 Picks

Last update: 2021-10-14

Maintaining good water conditions for your fish is extremely important but not easy at all. Even if your tank capacity is just 10-gallon or less, you still need the right equipment to keep the water in the tank clean. If you don’t know what filter you should buy, this post will help you choose the best filter for 10-gallon planted tanks.

Here are the best filters for 10-gallon planted tank you can buy in 2021:

  • Best Overall: Aqua Clear-Fish Tank Filter
  • Best For Ammonia And Nitrite Removal: Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter
  • Best For Beginners: MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter
  • Best For Betta Fish Tank: Marina Power Filter
  • Best For Turtle Aquarium: DaToo Aquarium Power Filter
  • Quiet: Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter
6 Best Filters For 10-Gallon Planted Tank
Best Overall
Aqua Clear-Fish Tank Filter
    Best For Ammonia And Nitrite Removal
    Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter
      Best For Beginners
      MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter
        Best For Betta Fish Tank
        Marina Power Filter
          Best For Turtle Aquarium
          DaToo Aquarium Power Filter
            Quiet
            Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter

              Best Overall: Aqua Clear-Fish Tank Filter

              Aqua Clear-Fish Tank Filter
              Aqua Clear-Fish Tank Filter
              9.4Outstanding
              Pros
              • Reliable – made by a renowned brand
              • Able to match with any media type - large open media basket design
              • Not rise up too much like other filters - low-profile construction
              • Easy to clean – removable pump
              Cons
              • One of the most expensive HOB filters available
              • Need to be primed, especially after extended power outages.
              • Make an annoying vibration noise

              The Aqua Clear - Fish Tank Filter is our best overall option for 2020 after trying piles of products. We love it because it is made by a very renowned brand. And if something is unfortunately broken, you can easily order spare parts to replace, which is much cheaper than buying a whole new one.

              About the water filtering experience, we’re pleased that it keeps freshwater tropical in our planted tanks that whole time.

              The biggest selling point is it matches with any media types you have without using expensive and less effective cartridge type things to run it. That is a big thank you to the large open media basket design. Besides, the low-profile construction offers a clean, discreet looking.

              Another thing we appreciate is that you can remove the pump from its filter housing and clean its impellers. Very easy to maintain!

              Aqua Clear-Fish Tank Filter Specifications

              Weight

              1.4 Pounds

              Dimension

              4.5 x 7 x 6.5 inches

              Flow Rate

              50 gallon/hour

              Highlight Features

              a large open media basket design

              low-profile construction

              removable pump

              Verdict

              Overall, if you’re looking for a dependable filter that has a low-profile design, can fit any media type, and is low-maintenance, this is the best overall performer.

              Best For Ammonia And Nitrite Removal: Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter

              Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter
              Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter
              9Outstanding
              Pros
              • Remove ammonia and nitrite efficiently - external Bio-Falls wet/dry biological booster + internal sponge
              • Clean water phenomenally well - activated carbon cartridge + poly-fiber floss cartridge
              • User-friendly - feature an adjustable flow control knob, a self-priming intake tube, and a leveling device
              Cons
              • Require cleaning it weekly
              • It has no double filter + the carbon sponge

              If you’re seeking the best 10-gal planted tank filter for ammonia and nitrite removal, you need the Penn Plax Cascade.

              The reason is it has an external Bio-Falls wet/dry biological booster to provide anaerobic bacteria – a kind of beneficial bacteria that helps eliminate nitrite and ammonia efficiently. Additionally, it features an internal sponge to optimize the colonization of this bacteria.

              Penn also adds to this filter two functional types of cartridge.

              The activated carbon cartridge to clean contaminants from the water, such as discoloration, odors, toxins, and harmful chemicals. And the poly-fiber floss cartridge to capture floating particulate matter.

              Regardless, it has many practical add-ons for extra ease of use. Such as an adjustable flow control knob to feed your pet fish easily, a self-priming intake tube, and a leveling device.

              Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter Specifications

              Weight

              1.75 Pounds

              Dimension

              6.5 x 6 x 5 inches

              Flow Rate

              100 gallons per hour

              Highlight Features

              external Bio-Falls wet/dry biological booster + internal sponge

              activated carbon cartridge + poly-fiber floss cartridge

              feature an adjustable flow control knob, a self-priming intake tube, and a leveling device

              Verdict

              While there’re a lot of good things to talk about this filter, we find its ammonia and nitrite removal capabilities to be superior to other counterparts here. So for this specific use, it is the best pick.

              Best For Beginners: MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter

              MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter
              MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter
              8.8Great
              Pros
              • Easy to install
              • Prevent floods efficiently if the filter gets clogged - an overflow channel
              • Run quietly
              Cons
              • No empty media cartridge provided
              • Not come with the wire brush for cleaning

              The MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter might be what you’re after if you are in need of something featuring a straightforward assembly. The filter cartridges on this model are very easy to install. Besides, it has an overflow channel to help prevent floods in case of clogging.

              The translucent design makes it fun to see the bio-wheel spinning beneath the cover.

              Another bonus is you don’t have to bump up the TV volume if using this filter for your indoor planted tank because it operates super-quiet, nearly silent. The only thing you might hear is the soothing waterfall sound.

              MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter Specifications

              Weight

              1.3 Pounds

              Dimension

              5.31 x 5 x 7.56 inches

              Flow Rate

              75 GPH (gallons per hour)

              Highlight Features

              A certified flow rate of 75 GPH

              Bio-Wheel technology

              Verdict

              If being asked about the best 10-gallon planted tank filter for beginners, we will suggest this option with no hesitation.

              Best For Betta Fish Tank: Marina Power Filter

              Marina Power Filter
              Marina Power Filter
              9Outstanding
              Pros
              • Able to adjust the flow rate
              • Splash less into the water – feature a longer return lip
              • Quiet and leakage-free - the sponge on the intake tube and the intake tube with a pump on it
              Cons
              • Not for any media types

              Betta doesn’t like too many movements of water, so finding the right tank filter for them is a bit struggling. For newbies, we greatly suggest the Marina Power Filter.

              With an adjustable flow rate, it reduces the flow of return water so Betta has no problem swimming. It also has a longer than typical return lip, which means it splashes less into the water.

              On the other hand, this filter seems to be extremely quiet, and no leaking. We think it is a big thank you to the sponge on the intake tube and the intake tube with a pump on it.

              Marina Power Filter Specifications

              Weight

              1.23 Pounds

              Dimension

              3.7 x 7.3 x 6.5 inches

              Flow Rate

              55 GPH

              Highlight Features

              the sponge on the intake tube and the intake tube with a pump on it

              feature a longer return lip

              adjustable flow rate

              Verdict

              For anyone looking for a filter for their 10-gallon betta fish planted tank, we will recommend this one.

              Best For Turtle Aquarium: DaToo Aquarium Power Filter

              DaToo Aquarium Power Filter
              DaToo Aquarium Power Filter
              8.4Good
              Pros
              • Able to create a waterfall inside the tank
              • Work great at low water levels
              • Extremely safe for long-term use - Made of BPA-free plastic
              Cons
              • The suction cups do not stick to the glass appropriately

              Designed to work well at low water levels and capably create a waterfall inside a tank, DaToo Aquarium Power Filter is a one-of-a-kind product that is not just ideal for pet fish but also the turtle.

              We also like this filter as it is small to hardly yet very effective.

              You can adjust this according to the amount of water you use. About the maintenance, we find nothing to be difficult or time-consuming here because it’s super-easy to take out or replace.

              The biggest bonus of this filter is it uses 100% BPA-free plastic material, meaning for no toxins produced during long-term use.

              DaToo Aquarium Power Filter Specifications

              Weight

              8.82 Ounces

              Dimension

              6.97 x 4.02 x 2.4 inches

              Flow Rate

              200L/H

              Highlight Features

              Made of BPA-free plastic

              Consume 2KWH of electricity/month

              Feature enhanced filter Cartridge with activated carbon

              Verdict

              Specifically created to work at low water levels, we find the DaToo Aquarium Power Filter to be ideal for turtle aquariums.

              Quiet: Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter

              Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter
              Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter
              8.6Great
              Pros
              • No water noise or splashy water during the use - flow rate is 57 GPH and 1 small replacement cartridge is used
              • Keep the water always clean - Three-stage filtration
              • Full of control and versatile - Adjustable return flow rate & adjustable water return height and direction
              Cons
              • Water flow control is not intuitive
              • 1/4 of the filter media room is occupied by a useless plastic brush

              In this price range, Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter is the best one you can find. Aside from its decent water-filtrating capabilities, its quiet operation (except for the very quiet hum of the pump) is what we like the most.

              Unlike the waterfall style filters, we hear no water noise or splashy water during the use.

              And you don’t need to use a bulky black aquarium hood at all, but just a glass top which looks more aesthetic. The reason is this filter suctions to the inside.

              Fans of this fantastic tank filter also praised for its controllability and versatility of use. According to that, you can freely adjust the height, direction, and flow rate of water turn to match the most perfectly your tank.

              A small bonus is its bright blue sponges used in the filter cartridge, making it easier to notice when to clean them out. Very efficient!

              Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter Specifications

              Weight

              9.6 Ounces

              Dimension

              2.75 x 1.5 x 5.38 inches

              Flow Rate

              57 GPH

              Highlight Features

              flow rate is 57 GPH and 1 small replacement cartridge is used

              Three-stage filtration

              Adjustable return flow rate & adjustable water return height and direction

              Verdict

              At a price point of under $25, Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter is the top-notch option for quiet operation, and more.

              How To Choose The Best Filter For 10-Gallon Planted Tank?

              Type

              When it comes to the type of filter, you have a few options to choose from, all of which clean water through three filtration steps. But other than that, how do they differ?

              Types

              Hang-on-back

              Canister

              Internal

              Features

              The body hangs on the tank’s backside with a tube in the water

              Canister-like shaped

              Installed outside the tank

              Completely submerged in the water

              Filters attached to the tank wall with suction cups

              Pros

              Unobtrusive

              Efficient

              Easy to clean

              Low maintenance

              Effective

              Cheap

              Cons

              High maintenance

              Less efficient

              Hard to clean

              Sometimes requires an air inlet

              Flow rate

              The flow rate for an aquarium filter (gallons per hour, or GPH) indicates how much water pump in the filter can move in one hour. You should choose a filter that has a flow rate of at least 4 times the tank’s capacity. So, for a 10-gallon tank, you need a 40GPH rate. But the higher the rate, the better it is to avoid stagnant areas.

              Biomedia Capacity

              Biomedia is one of the most important things that make a good filter. We recommend you opt for the largest biomedia capacity possible because it will be better for your tank in the long term.

              Filtration Media

              The filtration media is a core part of the filter, so you need to pay attention when choosing it too. Here are the types of filtration media available for you.

              • Mechanical filtration: this type forces the water through a filtration layer that traps debris and particles. It can catch micron-sized particles and needs regular cleaning and changing.
              • Biological filtration: this type of filtration media contains and nurtures a natural beneficial bacteria that break ammonia in fish food and waste into nitrite. Then, another beneficial bacteria will convert this nitrite into nitrate that’s safer for your fish.
              • Chemical filtration: this type helps eliminate or neutralize unwanted or harmful chemicals in the fish tank. It keeps the water clean and makes it easier for light to penetrate.

              Which Brands Make The Best Filter For 10-Gallon Planted Tank?

              Penn-Plax

              This brand has been around for over 50 years, specializing in innovative products for your pets. With a rich history in the industry, it’s well-known for integrity and quality.

              MarineLand

              With this brand, you will find a wide range of filters for all types of tanks and water. It takes pride in these products for their innovation, technology, and reliability.

              Aqueon

              If you are an aquatic hobbyist, this could be your go-to brand. Its products are made to help you take care of your fish with ease.

              FAQs

              Do you need an aquarium filter for a 10-gallon tank??

              Yes, of course. An aquarium filter keeps your tank clean and your fish healthy and happy. So, even if a 10-gallon tank is small, an aquarium filter is a must.

              What size filter do I need for my 10-gallon tank?

              When choosing the filter size, you should actually choose the right flow rate, which must be at least 4 times the capacity of the tank. So, for a 10-gallon tank, you need at least 40 GPH, or a higher rate is even better.

              Can I use a 10-gallon aquarium filter for 5, 20, 30… gallon tank?

              This depends on the flow rate of the filter, but remember one rule: the flow rate must be 4 times or more the capacity of the tank.

              For example, if you use a 40GPH filter for a 10-gallon tank, you can definitely use it for a 5-gallon tank, but not for 20- or 30-gallon tank because it won’t be enough.

              On the other hand, if you use an 80GPH filter for your 10-gallon tank, you can also use it for a 5- or 20-gallon tank, but not a 30-gallon tank.

              How to install an aquarium filter?

              Here’s how to install an aquarium filter:

              • Set up the parts
              • Attach the inflow tube on the interior of the holding tank at the right place
              • Firmly attach the J-tube into the inflow tube
              • Attach the tubing with the cap into the J-tube’s bottom
              • Insert the smaller filter next to the tubing in the holding tank
              • Attach the filter cartridge into the holding tank’s back
              • Fill cold water up to ¾ of the holding tank
              • Attach the holding tank on the back of the aquarium and fill water into the holding tank until the water begins to spill into the aquarium. Plug in the cord of the filter into a socket.

              How to fix a broken in-tank filter?

              If your filter stops working or sucking water, you need to first unplug the filter and check if the motor, the impeller, or the intake tube is clogged. Just find the clog and remove it.

              If the problem’s worse, you should check if the warranty is still valid and have it repaired. You can also buy a repair kit, but fixing it on your own is not recommended.

              Conclusion

              Through this post, we hope that you have figured out what you should do to get the best filter for 10-gallon planted tanks. Remember to choose carefully based on the factors we discussed here to find the perfect filter for your tank.

              Harry Ramos
              Harry Ramos

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