5 Best Filter for 15 Gallon Fish Tank

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As we all know, water is the only habitat for fish. For pet fish, pure water must be provided in the aquariums. Water has many types and forms with different levels of impurities and minerals.

Since faucet water isn’t 100% clear, at least you need to provide a filter in the tank.

Best Filters for 15-Gallon Aquariums

Do you want to know the best filters and what they exactly do? Stick around and get to know five of the best filters for 15-gallon tanks.

1. AquaClear Power Filter

It is one of the most famous, trust-worthy filters ever made. It is a hangover filter, designed to minimize the usual needed space for canister filters.

The AquaClear power filter works with various rates of water flow. This means that it’s able to increase or decrease the time of eater contact.

This is a distinctive and unique feature of the filter system that sets it on another level from many other filters. By all means, the filtration process is very efficient.

The system has more than enough time to get rid of any undesired impurities, and provide a lovely environment for your fish.

The re-filtration system in the AquaClear power filter permits the control of stream flow rate. It stretches the contact of the filter surface with water.

In addition, it makes sure that the flow and pressure of water are safe for all the living organisms in the tank. Some fish are only safe to live in shallow water, where the water pressure isn’t very high.

If the flow pressure in the tank is too strong, those fish wouldn’t be able to handle it and will eventually die.

Another impressive feature of the AquaClear power filter is the BioMax filter. This biological filter senses the missing elementary bacteria in the water and works on providing all the beneficial ones. Thus, a safer and healthier ecosystem is available for your fish in the tank.

The assembly and installation process are a no brainer. When you open up the package, you’ll find components, such as the filter case, a sponge, carbon filters and a BioMax filter.

Also, you will find a very easy and specified instruction manual that provides every detailed information that you’ll need. Follow the instructions and connect the pieces together.

The instruction manual also provides information regarding precautions and maintenance. After finishing up the assembly, just hang the filter and run it to check that it’s working perfectly. The filter weighs 1.4 pounds and comes with a two-year warranty.


  • The AquaClear power filter does not require much room for it to be installed.
  • The filtration process is very thorough and detailed, thanks to the re-filtration system.
  • The presence of beneficial bacteria, ensuring a better life for your fish.
  • It is cost effective. It provides excellent services and comes at a cheap price.
  • The assembly and installation are very easy.


  • The AquaClear power filter is not compact, like many other filters.
  • Some models may give a slightly noisy vibration sound when it first starts working.


2. NO.17 Submersible Aquarium Internal Filter

This filter operates with a power of 8 watts, allowing an adjustable water rate that can go up to 200 GPH. The NO.17 submersible internal filter comes with two nozzles which available for cleaning the tank.

The impressive thing about this filter is the multi-filtration system. Water is recycled many times to ensure the disposal of any unwanted materials, and guarantee a clean, healthy environment for your fish.

What some people might find displeasing is that the company gives a warranty that lasts for about six months. The filter is compact and comes in a package that weighs 14.4 ounces.


  • The NO.17 submersible aquarium internal filter works in silence. It doesn’t cause displeasing noises.
  • Due to its compact size, it is very easy to clean.
  • It has a good amount of suction power due to high power.
  • Produced water is very clear, thanks to the multi-filtration system.


  • Not enough warranty from the company.
  • There aren’t enough suction cups.


3. Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter with BioScrubber

It is perfectly clear in the product’s name that the Tetra in-tank filter operates quietly. The filter is placed inside of the aquarium, allowing the option of placing the tank flush against the wall.

It is a very powerful filter that works with tanks which has a capacity up to 40 gallons. The efficiency of the filtration system along the various water capacities is a unique feature that attracts people.

 The filter comes with a pre-assembled large Bio-Bag filter cartridge. Its function is to get rid of the harmful bacteria and preserve the beneficial bacteria. This helps in keeping the tank a healthy environment for its living organisms.

The installation process is very easy. Everything is explained well in the instruction manual. The filter weighs 1.5 pounds.


  • It can keep up to 40 gallons. Not a lot of filters have the power to do this.
  • It is very cheap, which makes it the perfect fit for many people.
  • Easy installation.
  • Cleaning the filter is very easy.
  • The motor is present inside the water, so it doesn’t make a sound.


  • You will need to get the filter out of the tank to clean it. There’s a chance that the water can have harmful bacteria for the skin.
  • It is entirely made of polyester, so it may not have a long lifespan.


4. MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Filter

It is one of the most popular filters. In general, the public heavily use the MarineLand products.

It is a very powerful filter that operates with a power that can reach 290 GPH and works perfectly fine with larger tanks.

This three-stage filtration canister guarantees the removal of undesired solids, harmful biological matter (either bacteria or wasted), and toxins.

The three filters are: a Rite-Size floss sleeve, Bio Spira, and Black Diamond Carbon. It also comes with a dual-chamber container to help you customize the media.

The canister is submersible. One of the good things about it is that this relieves you from any manual priming. Also, cleaning the canister is very easy. You just have to remove the upper lid and start cleaning.

As for the setting, you have to keep in mind that this is a canister (filtration unit), so it should take some space.

In addition, it is heavy, when comparing it to other filters. It weighs almost 3 pounds. The additional weight is also because the internal parts of the canister are made of hard materials. Therefore, this increases the filter’s durability. 


  • The MarineLand canister filter is very powerful and works efficiently even for larger tanks.
  • It is self-priming, which saves you a lot of effort.
  • The presence of customizable media capacity.
  • It is one of the rare filtration systems that contains all the three essential filters.


  • It is not compact. It needs considerable space for its installation inside the tank.
  • The canister sometimes produces vibration noises.
  • It is very heavy and big for small tanks.


5. Penn Plax Aquarium Cascade Canister Filter

The Penn Plax filter is another canister filter, just like the MarineLand filters. What’s unbelievable is its superior power. Some models can produce up to 350 GPH. This particular model works efficiently to produce 115 GPH.

It works perfectly well with large tanks. The circulation within the canister is very simple, so that water can be filtered in the shortest time possible.

Just like any canister, the Penn Plax canister filter comes with a three-stage filter. The three filters get rid of solid wastes, harmful bacteria, toxins and bad odor.

The filter comes in a package that weighs almost 9 pounds. The canister is made of a hard type of plastic to deliver high durability.


  • The Penn Plax filter comes with high quality tubing and connectors.
  • It is self-priming, which saves you a lot of effort.
  • The circulation inside the canister is simple, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the filter.
  • The presence of 360-degree rotating valve taps, to gain better control of water flow.
  • It has larger media baskets than other canisters.


  • The setting up process is really tricky, especially because the user manual doesn’t explain much.
  • The filter consumes a lot of power.
  • It’s not cost effective.
  • The cleaning process is not as easy as in some other filters.


How to Choose the Right Filter for Your Aquarium?

Now then, after you’ve had a good idea about some filters, how can you make the decision? Choosing the fitting tank can be a challenge if you are a newbie in raising fish.

There are lots of brands and lots of models. Their names do not matter as much as what the filters can offer you.

One piece of advice for you is to always oversize your filter. This means that you should buy a filter that is powerful enough to work efficiently with tanks which are larger than yours.

Also, know the types of fish you wish to have and their nature. If some prefer shallow water and some prefer deep water, get a filter with good water flow controller.

It’s a bad move to purchase a mediocre filter, and tell yourself that the tank’s water doesn’t need good filtration. Filtration is the most important thing for a tank, in order to prevent the death of fish.

How to Stock a 15-gallon Fish Tank?

You may be wondering how many fish you should put in the tank, and what are the fish types that can live in this environment. The 15-gallon fish tank is relatively a small sized tank. The tank is safe for hosting about 10-20 small fish, at first.

This is a perfect move if you’re a rookie. You can observe the fish and learn what to do day by day. However, you should consider the growth rate and the aggressive nature of your fish.

As for what fish to put in the tank, you can raise many different small fish in it. There are community fish, such as Platy, Tetra, Rasbora, Guppies and shrimps. Also, there are schooling fish, like small Tetra and Corydora catfish.

The Gourami and Dwarf Cichlid are the biggest fish that can grow in the 15-gallon tank. The Betta is are a very aggressive species, so know that things are about to get heavy if you purchase them.


In the end, we hope that this article was helpful and fruitful. We also hope that you’ve gathered many information about the filters and pet fish that are suitable for the 15-gallon tank.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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