Best Filter For Axolotl Tank: Top 5 | Aquascape Addiction

Best Filter For Axolotl Tank: Top 5

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We have narrowed it down to these 5 as being the best filters for Axolotl tanks, here is why and what you need to look out for.

Best Filter For Axolotl Tank: Top 5

The first thing you want to think about before getting a filter for your axolotl tank has to do with tank size. Axolotls do need decent filtration, so if you will need a filter that can handle around twice the amount of water in the tank per hour.

When it comes down to it, you are better off getting something too big than too small. These guys like their water to be really clean so it’s important to get the best filter for your axolotl tank possible (the Fluval Canister is our top pick).

Fluval External Our top pick 9.4/10
Fluval U2 Great filtration capacity & space friendly 8.5/10
Eheim Classic Easy to set up 7.8/10

You need something fairly heavy duty that can handle the job well and we have narrowed it down to these 5 particular filters.

What Filter Should I get For My Axolotl Tank?

In terms of filter types, there are of course power filters, HOB filters, canister filters, undergravel filters, and more. You might be wondering what the best kind of filter is for an axolotl tank.

In our opinion, canister filters are hands down the best. They are excellent in terms of high capacity, they usually allow for media to be customized, and they don’t take up any space within the tank.

5 Best Filters For Axolotl Tanks

We have narrowed it down to these 5 that we personally feel are some of the best for Axolotl tanks;

1. Fluval External Filter

If you have an axolotl tank with very limited interior space, the Fluval External Filter makes for a good option no doubt. This is a canister filter, an external one, so it takes up a good deal of space outside of the tank, but not inside of the tank. On a side note, the sound dampening impeller which is used here is nice because it helps cut down on noise.

This is a nice multi-stage filtration system, one that engages in all 3 major types of filtration including mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. It comes with multiple media baskets, which is nice because for one it has a lot of room for various types of media, and second, this is nice because it allows you to really customize the media which you have in the Fluval External Filter.

This filter comes with a clog proof intake strainer to stop large bits from getting into the filter. It helps to prevent clogging. It also features an Aquastop valve so you can turn it on or off at a moment’s notice.

This particular model has a very high filtration capacity and can easily handle tanks up to 25 gallons in size. However, do keep in mind that this thing also comes in larger versions too. It is a canister filter, so it’s not the easiest to maintain or set up, but other than that, it’s a fine option to keep in mind.


  • All 3 types of filtration.
  • Highly customizable.
  • Great capacity.
  • Does not take up interior tank space.
  • Quiet.


  • Needs a good deal of space outside the tank.
  • Takes some effort to set up and maintain.

You can check the current price on Amazon here

2. Fluval U2

If you are focused mainly on mechanical and biological filtration, the Fluval U2 is a nice option to go with. Now, it does come with 3 stages of filtration, but the first two stages are both mechanical, and the third stage is biological. However, when it comes to chemical filtration, you are out of luck with the Fluval U2.

Do keep in mind that this particular model is intended for aquariums up to 30 gallons in size, and it can handle roughly 3 times as much water per hour. It does have great filtration capacity. This much is definitely true. This filter does have an adjustable output, plus a 3 way control valve as well, not to mention that it is also designed to be fairly quiet.

Now, this is a good option to go with if you have no room for an external filter, and yes, this is a submersible filter, but do keep in mind that it will take up a good deal of room inside of your tank.

It’s not exactly the most space friendly option out there, nor the most durable for that matter. This is a good supplemental filter, but not the best option if you also need good chemical filtration.


  • Efficient.
  • Space friendly.
  • Quiet.
  • Easy to maintain.


  • Takes up a fair amount of space in the tank.
  • No chemical filtration.
  • Not the most durable.

You can check the current price on Amazon here

3. EHEIM Classic Canister Filter

Going back to canister filters, the EHEIM Classic is a good option to go with if you need an efficient and easy to use filtration system. Of course, this is an external canister filter, so it will not eat up valuable real estate within the tank, but keep in mind that it does need a good deal of room outside of the tank.

This filter is very easy to setup and really does not require much effort, but do also keep in mind that it will need a fair amount of maintenance to stay in working condition.

It does have features which help make it easy to open up and access the inside, as well as to get to the media, so that is ok, but maintenance does have to be performed fairly often. Moreover, the Eheim filter does come with all 3 major types of filtration including mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.

This thing excels greatly at both mechanical and biological filtration, but the chemical filtration capabilities of it leave a bit to be desired. This filter has a flow rate of 40 gallons per hour, so it should do fine for a tank up to about 15 gallons, depending on heavily populated the tank is.

However, keep in mind that you can also select from a 66 gallon per hour or a 92 gallon per hour model as well. This item comes with the media included and all necessary installation parts. On a side note, this thing is fairly loud, and it is also not the most durable option on the market either.


  • All 3 types of filtration.
  • Does not take up space inside of the tank.
  • Quite easy to install and maintain.
  • Fairly efficient.


  • Quite loud.
  • Limited durability.
  • Requires a fair amount of maintenance.

You can check the current price on Amazon here

4. Penn Plax Cascade Canister

Something which you might like about the Penn Plax Cascade is that it comes in many different sizes. The specific one we are looking at here today is meant for aquariums of up to 100 gallons, but there are models available for smaller tanks, as well as ones that can handle aquariums up to 200 gallons.

This thing can handle an amazing amount of water per hour. This one, the one meant for 100 gallon tanks, can process up to 265 gallons per hour, which is insane. Yes, if you need a fast and highly efficient filter for a big tank, this might just be your best option to go with right now. What is also nice about the Penn Plax Cascade is that it comes with 3 very large media baskets which you can customize as you see fit.

The next cool part here is the one touch primer button, so you don’t have to spend forever priming it. Now, this filter is designed to be easy to maintain and to install, and as far as canister filters go, this is definitely true, but keep in mind that it is still a canister filter, so maintaining it is not as easy as say with a power filter.

We do like how this filter is built to be very durable, but it is a loud filter no doubt. It is also large and takes up a good deal of space outside of the tank.


  • Easy to set up – one touch primer.
  • Superior flow rate and efficiency.
  • Highly customizable in terms of media.
  • Very durable.


  • Takes up lots of space outside of the tank.
  • Quite loud.
  • Needs a good deal of maintenance.

You can check the current price on Amazon here

5. SunSun Canister Filter

Ok, this is the final option here our list today, but quite the good one none the less. Something we want to get out of the way here is that if you are concerned about looks, don’t get this thing because it just does not look nice in the least.

Moreover, it is big and bulky. It takes up a lot of space outside of the tank, which can be an issue. Now, although it is bulky and, well, kind of ugly, it is a good filtration unit none the less.

For one, the SunSun Canister Filter is designed to be very easy to use and to set up. As far as canister filters go, installation and maintenance here are both fairly easy and minimal. Moreover, this is a heavy duty filter, one designed for aquariums up to 75 gallons in size, so it should definitely be able to handle your axolotl tank.

It is definitely an efficient and high powered filtration unit, one that comes with 3 media baskets. This means you can easily customize how much and what type of media you want to use. Just in case, the SunSun Canister Filter can be used for both saltwater and freshwater tanks, which is also quite impressive indeed.


  • Efficient & high powered.
  • Customizable media capabilities.
  • Easy to set up and maintain.
  • Good for freshwater and saltwater.
  • Durable.


  • Bulky.
  • Fairly loud.

You can check the current price on Amazon here

Will My Axolotl Be OK Without A Filter?

Most sources will tell you that filtration is not really necessary for axolotls, but that is not really true. Those sources will also tell you that filtration is not necessary as long as you are willing to engage in near daily water changes. Well, nobody has time for a ton of cleaning and water changes, so you may as well just get a good filter.

Sure, chemical filtration is not too important here, but it does help. The most important aspect for axolotl filtration is biological filtration, and to a certain extent, mechanical filtration too.

So, an axolotl might be fine without a filter, and your cake might be fine without icing, but when it comes to what is fine and what is preferable, there is always a big difference. Cakes are better off with icing and axolotls are better off with filters than without.

Related: Axolotl substrate guide and recommendations.


The bottom line is that you should probably get a filtration unit for your axolotl tank, and you may as well get one that will last for at least a few years. In terms of the best option for axolotl tank, we would recommend going with a canister filter if you can.