Axolotls are unique and fascinating aquatic pets that require special care to thrive in their home environment. An essential component of this care is the selection of a suitable filter for their tank. The right filter will help keep the water clean and ensure a healthy environment for the axolotl to grow and live happily.

A crucial aspect to consider when selecting a filter for an axolotl tank is the flow rate, as axolotls prefer calm waters with minimal current. High water flow may stress these creatures and negatively affect their health. Additionally, the filter must successfully eliminate waste and unwanted particles while establishing a stable biological balance.

axolotl tank filter

Another important factor to consider when purchasing a filter for an axolotl tank is the type of filter. Canister filters, sponge filters, and hang-on-back filters are the most common options. Canister filters are typically the most efficient, but can produce a strong water flow, so it is important to have adjustable flow rates. Sponge filters offer gentle water flow and are suitable for smaller tanks, but may not be as effective at removing fine particles. Hang-on-back filters are a versatile option, offering a range of flow rates and filtration capabilities.

Considering these critical factors will assist you in making the best choice for creating a healthy environment for your axolotl. Our team has conducted comprehensive research and testing to provide recommendations for the top filters that deliver optimal results for an axolotl tank.

Top 7 Best Filters For Axolotl Tank

We have researched and compiled a list of the best filters for axolotl tanks to ensure the optimal living environment for your aquatic pet.

1. Fluval 107 Performance Canister Filter

Fluval 107 Performance Canister Filter

The Fluval 107 Performance Canister Filter is a reliable and efficient choice for Axolotl tanks up to 30 gallons.


  • Powerful pump performance
  • Energy-efficient
  • Ultra-quiet operation


  • Two hoses are required for installation
  • May produce some micro bubbles initially
  • Price is on the higher side compared to some alternatives

The Fluval 107 Performance Canister Filter is an excellent piece of equipment that we’ve had the pleasure of using in our smaller Axolotl tanks. One of the most striking features of this filter is its eTEC (Efficient Technology) construction, which delivers powerful pump performance while remaining energy-efficient and ultra-quiet. This is especially important for those who want to maintain a serene environment around their tank, without the constant hum of a noisy filter.

Installation of the Fluval 107 is relatively simple, although it does require two hoses to connect. However, this is a minor inconvenience when compared to the trouble an underperforming filter can cause. Once set up, the maintenance for this filter is very user-friendly, giving easy access to clean and replace filter media when needed.

One notable issue we encountered initially was the production of micro bubbles by the filter. However, this issue resolved itself over time, and the overall performance of the filter remained unaffected. Although the price of the Fluval 107 is a bit higher compared to some alternative filters, we believe the benefits are worth the investment. The quiet operation and powerful performance make this filter a top choice for maintaining a healthy and clean Axolotl tank.

In conclusion, we highly recommend the Fluval 107 Performance Canister Filter for those looking to invest in a reliable, efficient, and quiet filter for their Axolotl tank. Its benefits far outweigh any minor drawbacks, and with proper maintenance, this filter will be a valuable addition to your tank setup.

2. Eheim Pro 4+ 600 Filter up to 160g

Eheim Pro 4+ 600 Filter

The Eheim Pro 4+ 600 Filter truly stands out for its quality and functionality, ideal for axolotl tanks up to 160 gallons.


  • High-quality German manufacturing
  • Suitable for aquariums between 30-160 gallons
  • Comes complete with filter pads, media, and installation equipment


  • More difficult to prime than other filters
  • May not match flow rate of some other filters
  • Fragile parts and thinner plastic material

The Eheim Pro 4+ 600 Filter is designed with pets and their use as a priority, making it a great choice for keeping the water in your axolotl tank clean and healthy. Its German manufacturing ensures that the product is reliable, durable, and efficient.

One thing we noticed during our time with the Eheim Pro 4+ 600 is how well it performs in comparison to other aquarium filters. While the flow rate may not be as high as some filters such as the Fluval FX4, it is still impressive given the ease of cleaning and quiet operation. This filter also does a great job of serving as the primary biofiltration unit, working well in conjunction with other filters like the Fluval FX6.

Although the Eheim Pro 4+ has many advantages, it is not without its drawbacks. The priming process can be quite challenging and may require strength and perseverance. However, once this task is complete, the filter works efficiently and produces minimal noise. The plastic material of the filter may also be a little thinner than what you might find in other comparable filters, which could be a concern regarding durability.

Overall, we believe the Eheim Pro 4+ 600 Filter offers a reliable, efficient, and high-quality filtration solution for axolotl tanks up to 160 gallons. Despite its cons, its performance, ease of cleaning, and quiet operation make it well worth considering for your axolotl tank needs.

3. Penn-Plax Cascade All-in-One Canister Filter

Penn-Plax Cascade All-in-One Aquarium Canister Filter

We recommend the Penn-Plax Cascade All-in-One Canister Filter for its efficient filtration, customizable media baskets, and suitability for aquariums up to 30 gallons.


  • Efficient and quiet water filtration
  • Customizable filter media
  • Suitable for aquariums up to 30 gallons and turtle habitats


  • May require frequent maintenance
  • Bulky design
  • Priming can be tricky for beginners

We recently used the Penn-Plax Cascade All-in-One Canister Filter for our 30-gallon fish tank and found it to be a solid and efficient filter. The water in our tank stayed crystal clear, and the filter operated quietly, making for a peaceful environment.

The filter includes two poly fiber floss pads, one coarse bio-sponge, and one bag of activated carbon, which effectively optimized the colonization of anaerobic bacteria while trapping floating particulate matter and removing harmful chemicals. The customizable media baskets provided the flexibility to adjust the filtration to our specific needs.

However, we did notice that the filter required more frequent maintenance than some other filters we have used in the past. Additionally, the bulky design may not fit easily into all aquarium cabinets, and priming the filter may be a bit tricky for beginner aquarists.

Overall, the Penn-Plax Cascade All-in-One Canister Filter is a great choice for those looking to maintain a clean and healthy environment in their small to medium-sized aquariums or turtle habitats. Despite some minor drawbacks, its performance and customizable features make it a highly recommended filter.

4. AquaClear 30 Power Filter

AquaClear 30 Power Filter

We highly recommend the AquaClear 30 Power Filter for 10- to 30-gallon aquariums, as it delivers optimal filtration and energy efficiency.


  • Superior contact time with filter media
  • Energy-efficient pump lowers operating costs
  • Large filtration volume compared to other filters


  • May not self-prime when power is out
  • Noisy for some users
  • Included filter media may not be sufficient

The AquaClear 30 Power Filter is an excellent choice for keeping the water in your axolotl tank clean and clear. This aquarium filtration system boasts optimal mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration, ensuring that your axolotl has a healthy environment to thrive in. We appreciate that this filter features a large filtration volume, making it up to 7 times larger than comparable fish tank filters.

This filter system is quite easy to install, and we recommend cleaning the filter every two weeks for maximum operation and efficiency. It comes equipped with AquaClear Foam, Activated Carbon Filter, and BioMax, along with the Cycle Guard for superior water quality. The energy-efficient pump also helps keep the operating costs low, which is a significant plus for long-term use.

However, there are a few drawbacks to the AquaClear 30 Power Filter. We had some issues with the filter not self-priming after a power outage, which could be problematic for outdoor setups in areas prone to power loss. The noise level is noticeable in some cases, which may not be ideal for everyone. Finally, the included filter media might not be sufficient for every situation, so you may need to purchase additional media for better performance.

Overall, the AquaClear 30 Power Filter is a reliable and efficient filtration system for axolotl tanks. Its superior filtration capabilities and energy efficiency make it a top choice for maintaining a healthy aquatic environment. Some minor drawbacks, like noise and self-priming issues, can be worked around, and overall, we find this filter to be a great investment for axolotl tank owners.

5. MarineLand Magniflow Canister Filter

Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter

Highly recommended for axolotl owners seeking a reliable and efficient filter for their aquatic environment.


  • Efficient 3-stage filtration system
  • Suitable for both freshwater and saltwater tanks
  • Easy setup and maintenance


  • Might be noisy for some users
  • Quality issues with intake and output parts
  • Difficulty finding replacement parts

After using the MarineLand Magniflow Canister Filter on our axolotl tank, we appreciate its effective 3-stage filtration that ensures a clean and healthy environment for the aquatic creatures. The filter is versatile enough to be used in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums, making it a great choice for a variety of tank setups.

We found the setup of this filter to be fast and hassle-free, with a water-tight canister lid that lifts easily for removal. The valve block provides a quick-release feature to shut down water flow, effectively separating from housing for spill-free maintenance. This makes the routine upkeep of the filter much more convenient for us.

However, there are a few drawbacks we encountered while using the MarineLand Magniflow Canister Filter. Although it worked efficiently, the noise level might be bothersome for some. Additionally, the intake and output parts of the filter appeared to be of a cheaper quality than the rest of the unit, raising potential concerns about durability. Lastly, we had difficulty finding replacement parts, which can be frustrating if anything breaks or goes missing.

Despite these drawbacks, we believe the MarineLand Magniflow Canister Filter is a worthwhile investment for axolotl owners looking to maintain a clean and healthy living environment for their pets. Its efficient filtration, versatility, and easy setup and maintenance make it a solid choice.

6. Polar Aurora 3-Stage External Aquarium Filter 265GPH

Polar Aurora 3-Stage External Aquarium Filter

This filter clears water in axolotl tanks up to 75 gallons efficiently and is easy to maintain.


  • Efficient 3-stage filtration for enhanced water quality
  • Adjustable spray bar for output flow control
  • Easy-to-use self-priming pump


  • SunSun parts required for optimization
  • Difficult to prime in low-positioned tanks
  • Incompatible fittings between hoses and unit

We’ve had the pleasure of using the Polar Aurora 3-Stage External Aquarium Filter 265GPH in our axolotl tank setup. Its three-stage filtration process ensures excellent mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration. After setting it up, our axolotl’s tank became crystal clear in no time.

One feature we found particularly useful is the adjustable spray bar, allowing us to control the output flow based on our tank’s specific needs. The self-priming pump also made it extremely convenient to start, as it eliminates the need for manual siphoning. However, we noticed that some SunSun parts (such as an impeller) are needed to further optimize the filter’s efficiency.

While the Polar Aurora filter has made a significant difference in our tank’s water clarity, it is worth mentioning that priming the filter can be challenging if the tank is placed on the floor. We recommend raising the tank or finding an alternative solution for easier priming.

Lastly, the hose fittings on the filter can be slightly incompatible, requiring a bit of adjustment and effort to achieve a tight connection. Despite this minor inconvenience, we think the Polar Aurora 3-Stage External Aquarium Filter 265GPH is an excellent choice for maintaining pristine water quality in your axolotl tanks up to 75 gallons.

7. Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

A great filter choice for Axolotl tank enthusiasts looking for an all-in-one solution combining high-performance filtration and ease of use.


  • Versatile design for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums
  • Easy to use with safety locks and simple filtering options
  • Space-saving design great for various aquarium sizes


  • Transparent tubing can display algae buildup
  • Unit can be fussy during restarts
  • Fragile locking mechanism design

We found the Hydor Professional External Canister Filter to be an excellent all-in-one filter solution for axolotl tanks. Whether you have a saltwater or freshwater aquarium, this filter offers an eco-system in a box with high filtration standards. The priming pump is built to last, with a long-life ceramic shaft and a large filter volume ensuring easy maintenance and reliable operation.

The space-saving design of this external canister filter is a bonus for aquarium owners working with limited space. The filter system is easy to use for both beginners and experienced hobbyists, making it a popular choice in the market.

However, we did notice a few drawbacks related to the design. The transparent tubing can easily show algae buildup, which might not be aesthetically appealing to some users. Additionally, the unit can sometimes be fussy during restarts, requiring a bit of attention to get it running smoothly. Lastly, the locking mechanism’s design appears fragile, which may raise concerns for long-term durability.

Regardless of these minor issues, the Hydor Professional External Canister Filter offers a simple, reliable, and space-saving filtration system suitable for your axolotl tank. The filter is an excellent investment, ensuring a healthy ecosystem for your aquarium’s inhabitants.

Best Filter For Axolotl Tank: Buying Guide

When choosing the best filter for an Axolotl tank, there are several factors to consider. In this guide, we will discuss the key features to look for when making your decision.

Tank Size

Your filter should be rated appropriately for the volume of your tank. A good rule of thumb is to opt for a filter that’s rated for the size of your tank or slightly larger. For instance, for a 20-gallon tank, it’s prudent to choose a filter rated for 20-30 gallons. This ensures that the filter can handle the bioload and efficiently remove wastes from the water.

Flow Rate

Axolotls thrive in calm waters. High currents can stress them and potentially harm their delicate external gills. When selecting a filter, look for models that offer adjustable flow rates. If a filter inherently produces a gentle flow, that’s even better. It’s essential to monitor the current’s strength, ensuring it’s not too strong for your axolotl.

Filtration Stages

Most filters offer a combination of three filtration stages:

  • Mechanical Filtration: This involves removing solid particles from the water, such as uneaten food and waste.
  • Biological Filtration: Beneficial bacteria colonize specific media and help convert harmful ammonia and nitrites into less harmful nitrates. It’s a vital aspect of maintaining a healthy tank environment.
  • Chemical Filtration: This typically uses activated carbon or other media to remove impurities and discolorations from the water. While beneficial, it might not be essential for axolotls unless specific water quality issues arise.


Filters require regular maintenance to remain effective. Consider how often the filter needs cleaning and how easy it is to access and replace its components. Some filters have media that lasts longer than others, reducing the frequency of replacements. Also, check the availability of replacement parts, especially if you opt for a less common brand.

Noise Level

Not all filters operate at the same noise level. Especially if your tank is in a shared or quiet space, you’ll want a filter that runs silently. Check reviews and specifications to gauge the expected noise level of a filter.

Safety Features

Safety is paramount when introducing any equipment to an axolotl tank. Filters with intake guards or sponge covers can prevent curious axolotls from getting too close and potentially getting injured. Ensure that the filter design minimizes risks for your amphibian friends.

Filter Placement

There are various filter designs, each with its placement:

  • Hang-On-Back (HOB): These filters are attached to the back of the tank. They’re usually easy to maintain but can produce a stronger current.
  • Internal or Sponge Filters: Positioned inside the tank, these filters produce a gentle flow, making them a favorite among axolotl keepers.
  • Canister Filters: These are external units connected to the tank via hoses. They’re powerful and suitable for larger tanks but can be pricier and require more space.


Investing in a durable filter can save you money and effort in the long run. Look for filters constructed from quality materials. Reading user reviews can also provide insights into the filter’s long-term performance and reliability.

Price & Brand Reputation

While it’s tempting to go for cheaper options, it’s sometimes worth investing a bit more in a reputable brand known for its quality, efficiency, and customer support. Ensure that the price aligns with the filter’s features and the brand’s reputation in the market.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can confidently choose the best filter for your Axolotl tank, ensuring a clean and healthy environment for your aquatic pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of filter is most suitable for axolotl tanks?

Our recommendation for axolotl tanks would be a HOB or Canister filter. HOB filters are gentle on axolotls and provide sufficient biological filtration while maintaining low water flow. This is important because axolotls prefer calmer waters. On the other hand canisters are the best performers. But you need to ensure that the flow rate is adjustable.

Are hang-on-back filters good for axolotls?

Yes, Hang-on-back filters are a good option for axolotl tanks but they can create strong water currents, which may stress your axolotls. However, with proper adjustments and a reduced water flow, they can be used.

Do axolotls require a canister filter or a sponge filter?

Both canister and sponge filters can be suitable for axolotl tanks. However, we recommend using a sponge filter for baby or juvenile axolotls. Sponge filters create a gentle, low water flow that axolotls prefer while providing adequate biological filtration. If a canister filter is used, it must be adjusted to ensure low water flow.

What should be the filtration capacity for a 4 feet axolotl aquarium?

For a 4 feet axolotl aquarium, we recommend selecting a filter with a capacity that can cover at least twice the aquarium’s volume. For example, if the aquarium holds 60 gallons, choose a filter with a minimum of 120 gallons per hour (gph) capacity. This ensures proper water circulation and filtration.

How often should an axolotl tank filter be changed?

We advise checking the filter media every 2-4 weeks and replacing it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. However, do not change all the filter media at once, as this can disrupt the beneficial bacteria needed for biological filtration. Change only a portion of the media at a time to maintain stability in your tank.

Do axolotls need a carbon filter in their tank?

Axolotls do not strictly need a carbon filter, but using one can help keep the water clear and remove any unwanted substances. A combination of mechanical, chemical (such as carbon), and biological filtration is ideal for maintaining a healthy, stable axolotl tank environment.

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