Best Filter for 100 Gallon Aquarium: Top Rated Picks (2024)

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Last Updated: July 11, 2022 by Flora Gibbins

Truth is, a dirty aquarium doesn’t look good in whatever way you look at it, especially if it’s a gigantic one. To maintain excellent water quality, you will need a fish tank filter.  

But here’s the catch:

Finding the best filter for 100-gallon aquarium can be a painstaking task, considering the plethora of options you’ll have to sift through. 

After carefully analyzing what’s available in the market, we recommend the Fluval 407 Performance Canister filter because of its high efficiency and low maintenance.

Top 5 Of The Best Filter for 100 Gallon Fish Tank Reviewed

1. Fluval 407 Performance Canister Filter – Best Overall

Fluval 407 Performance Canister Filter

Fluval’s latest generation filters are more efficient than the previous models, with energy consumption of only 23 watts and reduced noise by 25%. Although pricey, the Fluval 407 is a reliable canister filter that will save you money in the long run. 

You get a quiet filter that has a 700 GPH flow rate. While this may seem like too much for a 100-gallon fish tank, you’d agree that more filtration is better than less. 

It has four large filter media chambers with space to add extra filter media. This filter also has new ergonomic AquaStop valves, preventing hoses from abruptly disconnecting during maintenance. 

The single-action dual locking clamps and priming handle have also been upgraded for better cleaning.


  • Reduced noise
  • High-quality product
  • 3 stage filtration
  • Spacious filter media chambers
  • Efficient


  • Maintenance can be a little complex 
  • Accessories are not the best quality


If you are looking for quality and efficiency and own a large fish tank, the Fluval 407 is a great choice. Personally, I’d say it’s exceptionally made with a design meant to make it long-lasting.


2. AquaClear 110 Power Fish Tank Filter – Best Budget Buy

AquaClear 110 Power Fish Tank Filter

The  AquaClear 110 Power Fish Tank Filter is a hang-on type perfect for a 60-110-gallon tank. You get yourself a high-quality filter with 500 GPH water flow. It’s also seven times larger than traditional filters in the same category, accommodating a huge amount of filtration media.

Let’s talk about the weight- the filter only weighs 4.5 pounds, so it won’t damage the tank. While installing this hang-on back filter, you may not have to dedicate much space inside or outside the aquarium. Hanging this filter shouldn’t be a complicated setup. 

You can add filter media if you wish to, and cleaning or replacing parts isn’t difficult. Your fish will enjoy a healthy living environment in no time. You can reduce the water flow rate by 50% for better filtering. Surprisingly, this doesn’t cause a reduction in impellers or motors. 

Ultimately, you get proper filtration using much less energy.


  • Easy installation of the filter
  • Noiseless operation
  • You get to use a filter media of your choice
  • Comes with BioMax ceramic rings for biological filtration


  • Priming the models is done manually


Suppose you are on a budget but want an efficient while effective filter, the AquaClear 110 should be your go-to. Plus, it’s a hang-on back filter, meaning you’ll only need a little space. It’s one of the best hang-on filters with superior filtering and doesn’t make any splashing noises. 


3. Penn Plax Cascade 1000 – Best for Saltwater and Freshwater Aquariums

Penn Plax Cascade 1000

This is a high-performance aquarium filter model perfect for 100-gallon tanks. Thanks to the multi-stage external system, the filter is ideal for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums. Its flow rate is 265 GPH with valves that rotate 360 degrees, so you can adjust angle and flow.

Penn Plax Cascade 1000 boasts of long service life and rugged performance to handle a 100-gallon tank. Also in place are three large media baskets that you can fill with a combination of bio-sponge, pro-carb, bio-floss, and bio rings. 

Fishkeepers who prefer customized filtration can still select their preferred filtration media. 

It’s among the best filters for 100-gallon aquariums, equipped with an in-built spray bar and self-priming system.

The spray bar gives a spread-out return of water flow rate, which improves water oxygenation. You can start filtering your aquarium in 30 minutes because it has all the features and accessories like start-up filters, input and output tubing, and an easy-to-use button for priming. 


  • Has a reasonable flow rate of 265 GPH
  • You can use your customized filter media
  • Large capacity media baskets
  • You can remove floating impurities
  • High-quality build


  • Doesn’t come with an instruction manual


If you are looking for a durable product capable of filtering your aquarium’s water while still adjusting the flow rate, the Cascade 1000 is your best bet. It’s also an easy-to-install filter.


4. Marineland Magniflow – Easiest to Maintain

Marineland Magniflow

The Marineland Magniflow canister is a fast maintenance filter for both freshwater and saltwater. It has a flow rate of 360 GPH which means it’s best used with a second media. The polisher quickly removes contaminants and debris through a multi-stage filtration process – water passes through three filtration media. 

It has big filter media baskets that allow you to add extra media to set up a new aquarium to jumpstart the cycling process. This also has a self-priming button that fills water into the filter chamber by just turning on the button. 

The Magniflow is not too loud while in operation, which is good. If you already own an aquarium stand with a cabinet, you can place the canister inside the cabinet to further cut down on the noise. However, it isn’t made of durable material, which can cause air and water leakage.

For fish lovers keen on aesthetics and convenience when cleaning, the Marineland Magniflow serves that.


  • Boasts of a massive water flow rate
  • Has an ultra-modern 3 stage filtration system
  • Easy maintenance
  • Noise is reduced during operation


  • It’s made of flimsy material visible with the plastic inlet and outlet tubes
  • May be challenging for beginners


This is a versatile filter for fresh and saltwater aquariums with enough power for perfect filtration. You get a filter with easy maintenance and noiseless operation. 


5. Aqueon Quietflow Canister Filter- Best Filtration Media

Aqueon Quietflow Canister Filte

The Aqueon Quietflow Canister Filter has a flow rate of 400 Gph, meaning it fits aquariums up to 155 gallons. I find its versatility fulfilling since you can use it in freshwater and saltwater fish tanks.  

The canister comes preloaded with three filter media to conduct chemical, biological, and mechanical filtration at a go. So, regarding water quality and removal of harmful toxins, you’re sorted. Included are also extra filtration media.

If you’re like me, who doesn’t like spending ages on maintenance, you’d want to settle for a filter with a hang on the back.

Instead of dismantling the entire canister housing, you just need to change the carbon cartridge.


  • Quiet
  • Adaptable
  • Effective in achieving crystal clear water
  • Seamless maintenance


  • Cleaning the hose pipes is time-consuming


The Aqueon Quietflow comes on top for fish keepers who are meticulous about water purity. Considering the perks listed above, this filter is a wise buy.


Factors to Consider When Buying A 100 Gallon Fish Tank

So far, I have listed the best five filters for 100-gallon fish tanks. I’ll now share with you some valuable tips to help you in the purchasing process.

1. Flow 

It would be best to have a powerful flow rate for a large aquarium that can accommodate 100 gallons of water. You need to choose a filter with a sufficient flow limit, or else you may be forced to supplant 20% of the water at least twice a month. 

A filter with a flow rate of at least 300 GPH should be able to filter your 100-gallon tank three times in an hour. Faster flow also helps with faster air circulation. Most importantly, you need to know how to regulate the water flow rate in the aquarium to keep your aquatic species in a pretty good habitable space. 

2. Size of the Filter

Size matters when choosing the best filter for a 100 gallon fish tank. Since that’s what you’re looking for, you need a large filter with enough power. If you don’t wish to use the larger canisters, hang-on options take relatively smaller spaces.

3. Filter Media Type

If you have a 100 gallon tank, you want to get a filter that provides all types of filtration like chemical, biological and physical. Some filters allow you to introduce an extra filter, but others will limit you. I advise you to choose a filter that lets you choose your customized filter media. 

Fun Fact: You have to understand the basics of aquarium filters before maxing it out! Remember that water pressure is always greater than surface pressure. We don’t want you to drown in too much technical stuff, though. Instead, we suggest that you learn how to reduce flow of aquarium filter to lessen the stress on your pet fish and better aerate your aquarium — big or small alike!


Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should I Use a Filter?

In general, a filter ensures the water is clean and the fish are healthy and happy. Without a good one, you will be forced to frequently change the water, which will definitely be stressful to you and your fish. 

How Do I Perform Proper Maintenance on My Filter?

While most quality filters don’t require high maintenance, you may still need to do it once in a while. You can begin by opening part by part while following the instruction manual to clean it. Check whether you need to replace the filter media or not. 

How Often Should My Filter Run?

Filters are designed to run constantly except during maintenance or emergencies. Switch it off during maintenance for safety reasons. 

The beneficial bacteria living within the filter media require a constant oxygen flow for survival. Switching off the filter for too long may kill them.

The Bottom Line

Based on this review, I believe the Fluval 407 Canister Filter comes on top. It’s best for fish lovers who want quality, efficiency, and a noiseless filter. This aquarium filter is more efficient than similar models, easy to install, and you don’t need any tools as long as you follow the instructions manual. 

If you’re looking for the best value product that is inexpensive, easy to use, noiseless, and moves a lot of water at a go, then pick the AquaClear 110 Power Fish Tank Filter.

We hope this review of the best filter for a 100 gallon fish tank will help you pick the most suitable filter for your aquarium!

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