Water filtration is paramount for any successful aquarium hobby. For a pristine easy to maintain axolotl tank, you may need to consider investing in a water filter. However, choosing the best filter for axolotl tank can be tasking especially for beginner hobbyists.
Cute as they may be, axolotls can be messy eater depending on their diet. Additionally, they scatter their poop all over the tank. And as such, If not removed they can scoop it up and eat it. YUCK!!!
Without a filter, you would need to siphon the debris daily to keep the tank looking pristine which can be tasking. Additionally, Axolotls depend on the quality of water for their biological processes. This is the reason why you need to invest in the best filter for axolotl tank.
Here is our top pick of best water filters in the market suitable for axolotl tank.
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Comparison table of top water filters for axolotl tank
|Water filter||Image||Filtration process||Tank capacity|
|Hygger aquarium double sponge filter||Biological|
|Dual S -10 - 40 gallon|
Dual M - 15-55 gallom
|Lefunpets biochemical sponge filter||Biological|
|30 - 80 gallons|
|Hang on back filters|
|AquaClear Fish Tank Filter||Biological |
|10 gallon - AquaClear powerhead 10|
5 - 20 gallon - AquaClear 20 Power Filter
10 - 30 gallon - AquaClear 30 Power Filter
20 - 50 gallon - AquaClear 50 Power Filter
40 - 70 gallon - AquaClear 70 Power Filter
60 - 110 gallon - AquaClear 110 Power Filter
|Marineland Penguin Bio wheel filter||Biological |
|Up-to 10 gallons - penguin 75|
10 - 20 gallons - penguin 100
20 - 30 gallons - penguin 150
30 - 50 gallons - penguin 200
50 - 75 gallons - penguin 350
|Fluval C power filter||Biological|
|C2 - 10-30 gallons|
C3 - 20-50 gall0ns
C4 - 40-70 gallons
|Fluval all-new 07 series||Biological|
|Fluval 107 - 10-30 gallons|
Fluval 207 - 20-45 gallons
Fluval 307 - 40-70 gallons
Fluval 407 - 50-100 gallons
|Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter||Biological|
|30 gallons - Magniflow 160|
55 gallons - Magniflow 200
100 gallons - Magniflow 360
If you are looking for a budget friendly, simple yet effective water filter, we recommend the Hygger Aquarium double filter. This filter is not only affordable but is also guaranteed to save you energy.
Choose the Aqua Clear fish tank filter if you are looking for a versatile filter made from a reputable brand. This filter is 7 times more effective than other filters its size and is designed to meet all your axolotls water needs.
But if you are looking for the best value for your money, you can never go wrong with the Fluval all-new 07 series. It is powerful, quiet and made by the best brand in the market.
Choosing the best filter especially for fragile Axolotls is not easy. There are several factors you need to consider.
- Size of your tank
- Number of animals in the tank
- The flow rate of the filter
- Reputable brands
- Your budget
A good water filter should ideally have an adjustable flow rate. Axolotls are native to calm lake waters, as such, they easily get stressed by high water currents. Additionally, they produce a lot of waste. Therefore, they need a filter strong enough to keep the waste in check.
Review of best water filters for axolotl tank
There are the 3 types of water filters that are commonly used.
- Sponge filters
- Hang on back filters (HOB)
- Canister filters
Sponge water filters for axolotl tank (Budget friendly)
Sponge filters work by drawing water through a sponge removing impurities and solid waste. They are cheap thus budget friendly. They are simple to clean and maintain.
Sponge filters are powered by an air pump thus allowing air flow and circulation. A single air pump can power multiple sponge filters saving on power.
Here is a review of 2 of the best sponge filters used in axolotl tanks.
Additionally, it combines biological filtration, oxygenation and mechanical filtration. It also ensures water flow and keeps the aquarium clean for your axolotl.
Furthermore, the hygger sponge filter is small in size. It thus saves on space.
Lastly, it can be used for up to a 40 gallon tank. (You would however require 2 for a bigger tank)
- 1 double sponge filter with 2 containers
- 1 bag of ceramic media balls
- 2 strong suction cups
- 2 spare sponges packed in the containers
- All the parts of the hygger sponge filter are detachable and easy to reassemble together
- The 2 strong suction cups can attach anywhere on the tank and keeps the pump in place
- The fine material of the sponges provides more surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow in.
- The water outlet can be extended and rotated to your desired position.
- You can use any other type of media in the filter containers.
- For a large tank (above 40 gallons) you would need two filters.
- Does not remove large particles from the tank, may require manual cleaning of the tank for larger particles.
Do not wash the sponge with tap water, instead use aquarium water. When cleaning start with one sponge then the next sponge after a week. If you have to replace the sponges due to wear replace them at intervals and not together.
First, it allows for biological filtration of your axolotls tank without noise. Additionally this filter produces minimal currents while in operation. As such, this filter therefore avoids the stress caused on your axolotl by other filters.
Secondly, this filter is cylindrical in shape and has 6 vertical grooves. The grooves trap debris without sucking up your axolotl. This sponge filter therefore allows for mechanical filtration of your axolotl tank safely.
Additionally, this filter is air powered. It therefore saves on energy unlike other types of filters.
Lastly, all the parts of this sponge filter are detachable. It is therefore easy to clean this filter. Simply detach all the parts and wash them with the tank water.
- Made of soft sponge material
- Can be used on a tank of up to 80 gallon capacity
- Air powered
- Cylindrical in shape with 6 vertical grooves
- Easy to operate
- Easy to clean
- Produces minimal currents hence does not cause stress on axolotls
- It is big for a display tank
Clean with tank water, do not use tap water.
Hang on back water filters for axolotl tank (Versatile and reliable)
Hang on back filters are filters that are hung on the back of the tank.
How do they work?
Water from the tank is drawn into the filter via a nozzle. The water then passes through the filter system. It is filtered then goes back into the tank through a chute creating a waterfall. This allows for circulation and oxygenation of the water.
Some hang on back filters have a regulatory mechanism to regulate the water flow.
Hang on back filters are however noisy.
They are designed for use in small and medium sized tanks which make them ideal for axolotl tanks.
Here is a review of 3 of our favorite hang on back filters.
The aqua clear fish tank filter is superior as it allows up to 7 times filtration volume compared to other filters and saves on power through energy efficient pump.
Additionally, it is versatile and designed to meet multiple user needs.
Furthermore, you can choose from 6 different sizes depending on your tank size including;
- 10 gallon – AquaClear powerhead 10
- 5 – 20 gallon – AquaClear 20 Power Filter
- 10 – 30 gallon – AquaClear 30 Power Filter
- 20 – 50 gallon – AquaClear 50 Power Filter
- 40 – 70 gallon – AquaClear 70 Power Filter
- 60 – 110 gallon – AquaClear 110 Power Filter
Additionally, this filter has a multistage filtration system that allows for mechanical, chemical and biological filtration of water. The system creates large surface area for growth of beneficial bacteria. This ensures optimal biological filtration at all times.
Lastly, this filter has a patented re-filtration system. The system allows you to control the water flow making it suitable for axolotls.
- Comes equipped with Aqua Clear Foam, Activated Carbon and BioMax and Cycle Guard for continuous biological filtration and superior water quality.
- Available in 5 different sizes
- Energy efficient pump to lower operation cost
- Quick and easy installation
- Allows for large filtration volume, up to 7 times unlike other filters
- Adjustable flow rate
- Up to 5 sizes to choose from
- Design keeps biological filtration at optimum
- Makes grinding noise when working
- Needs to be cleaned regularly and if not careful one may break the filter.
The penguin bio-wheel power filter allows for effective 3 stage mechanical, chemical and biological aquatic filtration.
Additionally, you can choose from 5 different sizes based on your aquarium size. Such as
- Up-to 10 gallons – penguin 75
- 10 – 20 gallons – penguin 100
- 20 – 30 gallons – penguin 150
- 30 – 50 gallons – penguin 200
- 50 – 75 gallons – penguin 350
No matter what size you choose this model will effectively keep your axolotl tank clean.
Furthermore, the patented BIO-wheel allows for effective biological filtration eliminating the toxic ammonia and nitrite from your axolotl’s water.
Lastly, it comes with an adjustable mid intake strainer allowing you to control the water flow rate making it suitable for axolotl tank.
This filter is perfect because even a beginner hobbyist can handle it well. Simply assemble the filter as in manual. Hang it on the tank and prime it with tank water then plug it on and it is set and running.
- Adjustable mid-level intake strainer
- Patented BIO- wheel technology for biological filtration
- Each penguin power filter comes with 1 MarineLand rite size filter cartridge
- It comes with 2 piece noise reducing vented covers
- Comes in 5 sizes
- Easy to set up and maintain
- Allows for 3 stage mechanical, chemical and biological filtration
- Comes in 5 sizes for you to choose from
- You can easily adjust the water flow
- The Bio-wheel allows for effective biological filtration
- You can replace the cartridges easily.
- The motor has minimal noise but the water can be very noisy
- The impellers break easily but can be replaced
- Makes bubbling noise when the water level is low
- The cartridge filter needs to be replaced every month
Fluval C works through a 5 stage filtration system to ensure high quality water for your axolotl.
- 2 stage mechanical filtration provided by the poly/foam pads which trap large and fine particles or debris
- 1 stage chemical filtration provided by the activated carbon insert
- 2 stage biological filtration provided by a bio-screen and C- nodes that provide sufficient surface for growth of beneficial bacteria.
This filter has a patented re-filtration system. This allows you to control the water flow without affecting the filtration process. When you slow the flow rate the water is passed through the system multiple times.
Additionally, you can choose from 3 different sizes depending on the capacity of your axolotl tank. All sizes provide for the 5 stage filtration system. They include;
- C2 – 10 to 30 gallons
- C3 – 20 to 50 gallons
- C4 – 40 to 70 gallons
The Fluval C is easy to set up and requires minimal maintenance once installed. Clean the impeller cover once a year as recommended.
- Power filter with 5 stage filtration system
- Equipped with poly / foam pads, activated carbon, Bio- screen and C – nodes
- Patented re-filtration system to control water flow
- Comes in 3 different sizes for you to choose from
- Easy to set up and maintain
- 5 stage filtration system allowing high quality water
- 2 stage biological filtration eliminates toxic compounds
- Requires low maintenance
- It can get noisy
- The foam pads need to be replaced every 4-6 weeks and the activated charcoal every 2-3 weeks
- The crevices in the impeller make it hard to clean
Canister water filters for axolotl tank (Powerful)
Unlike sponge and HOB filters, canister filters come with superior mechanical, chemical and biological filtration capabilities.
Canister filters have high flow rates that ensure the quality of water. They allow you to use any media on them and are easy to install and clean.
You can easily adjust their flow rates making them favorable for axolotl tanks. They are quite which is a plus that makes most people love them.
Although they are powerful and highly effective they tend to be pricey.
Here are unbiased reviews of 2 of our top pick canister filters that you can use for your axolotl tank.
I have written a separate review of best canister filter under $100 that you may be interested in.
The Fluval all-new 07 series canister filters provides for powerful and reliable aquatic filtration. They allow for mechanical, chemical and biological filtration keeping your axolotls tanks pristine.
Additionally, depending on the model the 07 filter generates between 145 – 383 US gallons/hour of constant water pumping power.
Yet, although big on power, the 07 filters consume less energy.
Furthermore, you can pick from 4 sizes depending on your tank size. Such as the
- 10 – 30 gallons – Fluval 107
- 20 – 45 gallons – Fluval 207
- 40 – 70 gallons – Fluval 307
- 50 – 100 gallons – Fluval 407
This model minimizes vibrations when in operation which makes it good to use in axolotl’s tank.
- Powerful canister filter
- Provides for continuous powerful water flow
- Near silent operation
- Comes in four sizes you can select from
- Does not take up tank space
- Allows for mechanical, chemical and biological filtration
- Saves on energy consumption
- Requires minimal maintenance
- Requires a lot of effort to set up
The MarineLand magniflow canister filter allows for 3 stage filtration providing favorable aquatic environment for your axolotl.
- Polishing filter pads provides for mechanical filtration removing fine debris.
- Bio-filter balls and ceramic rings provide a large surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow on providing for biological filtration
- Black diamond carbon provides for chemical filtration by removing odor, discoloration and water impurities.
Additionally, this model has a water tight seal. To clean the canister, simply take off the lid.
Furthermore, you can pick from 3 different sizes depending on your axolotl tank capacity.
- 30 gallons – Magniflow 160
- 55 gallons – Magniflow 200
- 100 gallons – Magniflow 360
- Water tight seal that is easily detachable
- Allows for 3 stage filtration system
- Comes with bio-filter balls, ceramic rings, black diamond carbon and polishing filter pads
- Available in 3 sizes
- Comes with a fast prime button
- It is leak proof
- The lid can easily to removed to clean the canister
- It allows for a 3 stage filtration keeping the water clean and looking pristine
- It is easy to set up
- It can take in air bubbles which makes it not function well
- It has a tendency to leak after some months of use.
How do water filters work?
Water passes through a water filter. The water filter removes particles present in the water in a process known as water filtration.
There are 3 mechanisms through which water filtration works.
- Mechanical filtration – Machinery removes solid waste particles such as dirt and debris (axolotl waste and uneaten food particles) from water.
- Biological filtration – Beneficial bacteria breaks down unwanted contaminants such as ammonia or nitrites into less toxic compounds. The beneficial bacteria grows in media such as bio rings. This method of filtration is important for all axolotl tanks.
- Chemical filtration – Chemical additives remove dissolved wastes from water. Common chemical additives used include activated charcoal and purigen.
Water filters clean the water leaving the aquarium looking pristine. Clean water provides a good water environment for your axolotl to live in.
You may also be interested in learning how canister filters work.
FAQs on filters for axolotls
Do you need a filter for axolotls?
Axolotls are messy feeders depending on what they eat. Additionally, they produce a lot waste which they deposit all over the tank.
If the waste is not removed, the axolotl may scoop and eat it. Furthermore the waste may undergo changes fouling the water. Axolotls depend on water quality for their biological processes.
Axolotls waste builds up very fast and cleaning almost every day can be tiresome and one may tend to relax. Unless you are willing to clean the water every day to ensure water quality then you need to invest in the best filter for axolotl tank.
Are sponge filters good for axolotls?
Sponge water filters are popular with most axolotl owners. There are many reasons that make them favorable.
Firstly, they are cheap and save on power as many sponge filters can use one air pump.
Secondly, they are easy to install and maintain. Furthermore cleaning them is easy.
Additionally, they allow for optimum biological filtration and oxygenation of the tank. Biological filtration is the most important in an axolotl tank. Furthermore they also accommodate some mechanical filtration.
Sponge filters are therefore good for axolotls. We recommend investing in a good sponge filter such as the Hygger Aquarium double sponge filter.