Best Filter For Axolotl – 2023 Reviews

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The best filter for the axolotl tank should have a quiet yet powerful filtering action. Axolotls generate a lot of waste, so the tank should have a filter based on its size or capacity.

The ideal tank size for one axolotl is about 15 to 20 gallons and for two, ideally, you should use at least 50 gallon tanks. The larger the tank, the better it is for your pet.

These days, there are many brands of 10, 20, 50, and even 100 gallon axolotl tank filters available out there. The sheer choice can make it difficult for many new hobbyists looking for the right filter for their aquariums. After all, you need not get too strong a filter for your small tank.

In this guide, we will discuss 5 top-rated water filters for your Axolotl. These are based on real reviews so you can rest assured that the filter is just right and ‘not too strong’ for your axolotl/s. In addition, we will cover the exact filter requirements for your axolotl tanks as well.

Best Filter for Axolotl Tanks – 2021 Top 5 Picks

1. Our Editor’s Pick: Penn-Plax Cascade 500 Filter for Tanks 30 to 200 gallons

Penn-Plax aquarium filters are available in varying sizes for tanks measuring 30 to 200 gallons. For a 30-gallon tank, you can choose the Penn-Plax Cascade 500 filter working at 115 gph.

These small-sized aquarium filters are compact and can fit in easily in any cabinet. Its state-of-the-art 360 degree valves also rotate for easy maneuvering.

The best feature of the Penn Plax Cascade is the ease of priming – it comes with buttons that allow you to easily prime the filter.

You also get accessories like spray bar, tubing, filter media, and directional spout which make the setup of the filter very easy.

Penn Plax Cascade filters also come with large media baskets so you can customize your filtration needs the way you want.

  • Easy to set up and clean
  • Value for money
  • Compact
  • slightly noisy

2. Best Budget: AquaClear Power Filter Clip-On Aquarium Filter for 20-50 Gallon Tanks

Axolotls do well in tanks of 20-50 gallon sizes and the AquaClear filter is perfect for these. You will never worry ‘is my filter too strong for my fish?’ with the AquaClear.

This economical filter has several amazing features:

Firstly, it comes with CycleGuard BioMax protection which prevents beneficial bacterial from being filtered out.

Secondly, the filter’s patented re-filtration system gives your axolotl fresh, crystal clear water every time.

Third and most importantly, it has a multi-stage filtration that includes Biomax ceramic rings that encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria. A carbon layer absorbs odors and removes discolorations and impurities. The foam layer catches and eliminates larger impurities.

Last but not the least: AquaClear filter also boasts filtration volume 7 times greater than filters of similar size and capacity.

  • Quick easy installation

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Large media box
  • No bypass issue – water flows from bottom up for effective filtration.
  • Noisy

3. Best Silent Operation: Aqueon Quietflow® Canister Filter

Most aquarium filters have the drawback of being too noisy. With the Aqueon Quietflow, you won’t have to worry about this issue.

The canister filter comes in various sizes so you can choose one from 50 gallon to 150 gallon tanks. It features multi-stage filtration and allows easy access for hassle-free cleaning.

QuietFlow® canister filter also comes preloaded with biological, chemical, and mechanical media for removing all kinds of impurities and toxins from the water.

  • Silent operation
  • Instantly clears up murky water
  • Easy to install
  • Value for money

  • Tricky to clean hose lines.
  • Some leaks reported.

4. Best Efficiency: Fluval 07 Series Filter

Fluval filters include everything that is needed for an efficient filtration system for your aquarium.

It is a powerful filter that consumes little energy. The filter features an ergonomic design with raised lip that not only improves the efficiency of the filter but also allows smoother operation.

The filter’s single-lock motor features easy-locking clamps for quick release and attachment. You can easily lift out the filter media (foam, chemical, and mechanical) to remove trapped toxins and impurities. This facilitates very easy maintenance and weekly cleanup.

Fluval filter has many features that ensure a quiet operation too including sound-dampening shaft support points and diamond polished aluminum shaft that ensures 50% smoother operation.

  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to clean
  • Low noise

  • Difficult to pick and move this filter – no handles provided.
  • Comes with corrugated tubing that reduces flow by almost 30%. Many users changed this to smooth, 5/8th inch tubing for improved flow.

5. Best Flexible Axolotl Tank Filter: Polar Aurora 3-Stage Filter for 75 Gallon Tank

Polar Aurora 3 stage external canister filter has a rate of 265 gph with pumping power of 18W and ideal for 75-gallon tanks.

It uses high pressure to draw the water through multiple media. The best part is the flexibility of the Polar Aurora canister filter – it lets you use your own chemical/mechanical/biological media so you can remove all of the toxins and impurities from your pet’s tank.

Another great feature of the Polar Aurora filter is that it eliminates the need for manual siphoning and is completely self-priming.

The compact filter measures just 16 x 10 x 10 inches and can fit in any aquarium cabinet without occupying too much room.

  • Flexible filter lets you use your media
  • Includes everything to get you started
  • Silent operation
  • Easy to clean

  • A few users reported leaks.

How to Select the Best Axolotl Tank Filter?

There are several factors to consider when selecting the tank filter for your axolotl tank:

Type of filter and filtering layers/media

Filters are of different types: submersible, hanging, and canister.

The reason why we have selected canister filters for axolotl tanks is because only this type of filtration includes three media types for a thorough filtering action: mechanical, chemical, and biological. They are ideal for turtle and freshwater tanks since their intake is powerful and pushes the water upward from the bottom media to the top for highly accurate filtering action.

Canister filters do not work for saltwater filtering.

  • Mechanical filtering action – This removes all the waste and debris from the tank water
  • Chemical filtration – This ensures that the water’s chemical composition does not change owing to the chemical changes caused by waste generated by the axolotl.
  • Biological media – This layer adds beneficial bacteria to the water to help your pets thrive.

Size and capacity

When selecting the size of your filter a good thumb rule to follow is: select filter having a flow rate (a value in GPH or gallons per hour) that is at least 5 to 6 times the total volume of the tank.

So, if your tank size is 20 gallon, choose a filter with GPH rating of 120-150 gph.


Do choose a filter that lets you add your own/separately purchased media. Many brands of filters only require specific media which can be very limiting and sometimes expensive as well.

Easy to clean

You have to regularly clean your filter so please ensure that the filter you choose has an easy to remove media and also offers hassle-free cleaning.

FAQs on Best Axolotl Tank Filters

Why are canister-filters the best choice for axolotl tanks?

Experts advise the use of external canister filters for axolotls since these fish do not like distinct flow of water. Canister filter also allow mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration.

Can axolotls live without filter?

Yes, many hobbyists do not use filters for their axolotl tanks. However, if you choose this route, please keep the water very clean and also add lot of live plants to filter out the waste. The main thing is to avoid formation of ammonia and nitrites which can be harmful to your fish.

Do axolotls need air pumps?

If you choose to have a filter for your axolotl tank, then you don’t need a separate air pump as the filter will provide oxygenation and bubble formation. The filter will provide oxygen to your pets and you don’t need to invest in separate air pump or bubbler.

How long can axolotls go without filter?

If your filter has stopped working or you are waiting for a replacement, you can rest assured that your axolotls can survive for 24-36 hours without one. There is very little likelihood that the water will develop ammonia or nitrite levels that are dangerous for your pets.

Can axolotls survive on tap water?

If you plan to use tap water for your axolotls, please have it pre-treated with some conditioning products that remove harmful chemicals like chlorine from tap water. This is also the reason why the tank needs a filter with regular water changes to keep your axolotls thriving.


The best axolotl tank filter is ideally a canister-type filter that offers mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration. It should have a gph rating/flow rate 5 times that of the total volume of your axolotl tank. The higher the better.

We recommend the Penn Plax filter which comes in different flow rates suitable for 30 to 200 gallon aquariums. It also comes with all the accessories you need for setting it up. Penn Plax filters are also compact and not too noisy – making it a good choice for your cute fish!

Do check out our other recommendations as well.

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