Saltwater Aquarium Filtration System

Saltwater Filter System


Do you have a saltwater tank or want to set up a reef aquarium but aren’t sure which filter to use? You’ve come to the right place if that’s the case.

A saltwater aquarium filter keeps the water crystal clean and protects your fish’s health. It removes trash, including leftover food, as well as loose debris. It also aids in the oxygenation of the water by providing a current.

There are a plethora of systems for saltwater aquarium out there and choosing one can seem like a difficult choice. However, you can narrow down your choices by considering the size of your fish tank. We’ve put together some of the most comprehensive evaluations of the best saltwater tank filters we could locate.

Here are some of the best options that can do the job well. Let’s have a look at each in detail:

Our Choice Recommendation: Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter 

Penn-Plax Cascade 300 Power Filter – Hang-On Filter with Quad...


Suitable For: 55 to 100 gallon fish tanks.

The Penn Plax Cascade  filter is one of the best saltwater aquarium systems because of the commendable features it has. This option delivers on your needs by lasting for a long time and keeping the fish tank clean like no other.

This unit can filter up to 300 gallons per hour and makes the water appear crystal clear. Equipped with carbon cartridges that filter out impurities, all sorts of odors and discoloration toxins from the fish tank, this option removes the needs to do anything manually. Once the cartridge is finished, it is also very easy to replace.

To keep the environment clean and healthy, the internal sponge improves the colonization of the beneficial bacteria and helps to eliminate the presence of ammonia and nitrite. The external Biofall Biological booster promotes oxygen exchange for better and healthier aeration throughout the aquarium.

This hang-on unit fits perfectly on your tank while its intake tube is passed into the tank to clean up efficiently. However, being noisy is one flaw that can irritate some people.


  • Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater.
  • This offer motor doesn’t require maintenance.
  • Comes with knobs to adjust the level of filtration of the unit while feeding the fishes.


  • Very loud.

Option #2. Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis Systems 

AQUATICLIFE RO Buddie 3-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration...


Suitable For: 100 gallon fish tanks

The Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis System  comes with various components such as sediment filter, RO membrane, active carbon filter and mixed bed DI-cartridge that make filtration easy and effective.

This is one of the best saltwater aquarium systems because it works in 3 stages and performs reverse osmosis and deionization.

The first stage involves filtering out large particles (sand, dust, rust, rocks) that come from tap water. The second stage involves the RO membrane purifying the water from chlorine and other harmful substances. This option allows only water to pass through and blocks everything else. The third stage is concerned with removing organic and inorganic compounds and completely purifying the water.

The carbon cartridges on this unit work like a charm and are very easy to replace. The system comes with mounting brackets so that you can place it close to your aquarium. The only flaw of this offer is that it is difficult to install and might take some hours to do so but is worth it to spruce up your pets tank.


  • Quality purification of salt water.
  • ​Cost effective.
  • ​Easy cartridges swapping.


  • Leakage issues if system is not fit properly.
  • Time consuming installation.

Option #3. AquaClear Power Filter - 110 V 

AquaClear 110 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for 60- to...


Suitable For: 110 gallons fish tank.

Aquaclear filters  are certainly considered to be popular offers. This choice works silently and performs excellent filtering. This unit is also very durable as compared to other options and are said to run for years without any issues.

Purifying 500 gallons per hour is something not every option can do but the AquaClear Power Filter is made to do it without any trouble. This offer keeps your saltwater fish tanks clear with its trio combo, biological, mechanical and chemical capabilities.

  • The mechanical filtering is concerned with removing the fish waste and uneaten food particles with the help of foam blocks because these waste particles can generate a foul smell and also contaminate the tank by releasing toxins.
  • The chemical filtering makes sure that the water is purified to promote a healthier environment for the fish. This is done by getting rid of bad odor, and toxins found in water
  • The biological filtering promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria which aids in breaking down fish waste into non-toxic nitrate.

These 3 functionalities is what makes this choice so effective. While it seems to be a perfect option, on the downside it comes with a U-shaped tube that can snap after a few months of usage.


  • 3 types of filtering.
  • ​Silent operation.
  • ​Easier to clean.
  • Less power consumption.


  • Foam/Sponge requires replacement once a week when it gets dirty.

Option #4. Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter 

Aquatop 4-Stage Canister Filter with Vortex Prime, 9W UV, 370GPH...


Suitable For: 125 gallons fish tank.

Aquatop canister filters are growing in popularity and customers are becoming more and more influenced with their performance and low maintenance. The reason for their rapid spread is because of their trio mechanism (chemical, biological and mechanical) and the fact that they can be used for a number of fish tanks, namely, saltwater tanks, reef tanks and even turtle tanks, because of their versatile compatibility, they are winning the hearts of fish lovers all around the globe.

This unit from Aquatop  offers impressive flow rate. This offer provides up to 370 – 525 GPH, depending on the model. This means the job is completed in a quicker fashion.

This option system comes equipped with a self prime pump that saves you the hassle of siphoning manually. With this offer, you do not have to worry about algae and bacteria either as this choice comes with a 9 watt UV sterilizer light that kills all types of harmful objects found in the aquarium.

This offer comes with 3 large media parts allowing you to set it according to your own taste. The blue sponge makes sure that mechanical filtration is carried out smoothly and the 3 filtration pads cleans the impurities.

While this option looks perfect on paper, there is a small flaw as well. Many users have reported that air often gets trapped in the canister and needs to be removed before operating it. Other than that it is one of our favorite choices to spruce up your pets tank.


  • This unit is easy to install.
  • ​Comes with a UV sterilizer to eliminate the bacteria and Algae.


  • Sometimes, air gets trapped in the suction area and needs to be removed.


Choosing a reliable offer is important if you want the fish to remain healthy and to spruce up your pets tank. Other than this, a filter is also important for the overall look.

There are tons of options out there, which may cause you to get lost. We recommend that you consider our suggestions and pick one from our spectacular saltwater aquarium systems.

Last update on 2022-11-29 at 07:43 Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE, COMES FROM AMAZON. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED ‘AS IS’ AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

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About The Author

Joseph Bartley
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Joseph Bartley, also known as the WaterFilterFanatic, is a seasoned content writer who specializes in water filtration and water quality topics. On AllAboutWaterFilters, he has written a range of water filtration system reviews, water health and quality articles, swimming pool, hot tub and aquarium filtration guides, DIY methods to assist people clean their drinking water, and much more. Joseph enjoys spending his time working with the #AllAboutWaterFilters Editorial Team to provide some of the best quality water filtration content available on the web.

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