Let’s take a look at three different approaches to shrimp tank filtration. Depending on the size and design of the tank you own, you can use this guide to help you select the best filter for your shrimp tank. You can choose from Hang On Back, Internal Canister and Sponge filters. These three filter designs have been proven to work and provide the maximum filtration power to keep those shrimp tanks clean. We took a close look at some of the most popular features as well as some gotcha stuff, like huge intake holes that suck up your shrimp! Hope you enjoy this guide and let us know what you think!
TLDR; Of the three types of filters available, Hang On Back, Internal Canister and Sponge Filter, we have provided the best of each. Further down in this article we break down each type and provide further top options for shrimp tank filtration. But if you are short on time, the three filters listed below are the best of the best when it comes to shrimp tanks.
HOB or Hang On Back filters have been on the market for a while. HOB’s have changed over the years to provide options for filter media, heating and flow rates. All of these play a critical role when it comes to shrimp tanks. Also, depending on your spacing needs, HOB’s solve the keeping things out of your tank and off the floor problem.
Super quiet and effecient HOB can move water at 20 gallons per hour for tanks up to 7 gallons. Works with both freshwater and saltwater tanks. Designed with an adjustable flow knob for increase or decrease of water flow rate. Flow knobs are very important, especially around feeding times. The uptake tube is designed to reach up to 6-1/2" max but can be shorten to 5".
Tiny but powerful, containing a filter motor that is capable of moving 20 gallons of water per hour. Small enough to fit on your nano tank, strong enough to keep it clean.
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Tetra is a reputable company who has been around a long time. They have designed a small efficient multi-stage filter that hangs neatly on the back of your tank. Designed for use on tanks up to 20 gallons. One really cool feature about this HOB is the Timestrip technology. The Timestrip is a visual indicator that changes from white to red indicating that it is time to change the carbon cartridge. The carbon removes harmful toxins and chemicals from the aquarium water. A secondary filter cartridge remove large debris from the water, helping keep you tank clean.
Powerful motor moves 110 gallons of water per hour. Strong enough for tank sizes up to 20 gallons.
If you have a problem with too much algae growth on your tank, the Aquatop PF40-UV is the perfect HOB filter for you. Inside is a powerful 7 watt UV bulb that zaps and destroys algae before it blooms and takes over your tank. Free floating parasites? Yep, the Aquatop PF40-UV takes care of that too. Standard dual mechanical and chemical filtration via removable cartridges takes care of the expected work. It's the ultra-violet light that kills all those microscopic dangers that puts this HOB over the top. Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater tanks up to 40 gallons in size. With a motor powerful enough to move 128 gallons per hour, this HOB also comes with an adjustable flow rate for feeding times. If you have a slightly larger tank, take a good look and consider buying the Aquatop PF40-UV.
Comes with a UV light built in to kill floating parasites and prevent unsightly algae bloom. Not many, if any HOB's come with a built in UV light, awesome feature!
If you are looking for the ultimate polishing filter, then the canister filter is the way to go. They can be neatly tucked away under a cabinet. Several components such as a UV sterilizer and heater modules can be daisy chained with hoses to provide further water filtration and temperature control. Canister filters are a bit bigger and require some space and it may not make sense if you have a nano tank. But for larger shrimp tanks, the canister filter can be a great option to keep your water super clean.
Compact and rated for tanks up to 15 gallons, the Fluval U1 powerful all in one filter. Completely submersible, the internal chamber will handle mechanical, biological and chemical filtration with ease. Features a three-way flow control to adjust the current. Easily mounts to the inside of your shrimp tank. Filter media is easily accessible via a flip top. If you are looking for an all in one small but powerful filter, the Fluval U1 is the filter for you.
Small foot print with a motor rated at moving up to 65 gallons of water per hour. Easily keep tanks up to 15 gallons clean and polished.
Tetra has designed a clip on internal filter that handles filtration with ease. Using their M medium bags, both mechanical and chemical filtration is handled with fiber and active carbon. A secondary slide out is designed as a biological component. Called Bio-Scrubbers, they work to build beneficial bacteria to keep your tank clean. About as tall as a pen, you can secure this filter using the provided clip and suction cups. Tetra is a trusted brand and has designed a great filter that will work on tanks up to 10 gallons.
Using the standard Tetra M medium bags for mechanical and chemical filtration. Tetra also designed biological filtration into this filter with their Bio-Scrubbers.
Aqueon offers an internal power filter that provides chemical, biological and mechanical filtration. With an auto-start pump not requiring priming that will auto start if the power should become interrupted. Easy to install using the provided clips and suction cups. Rated for tanks up to 10 gallons with a flow rate of 60 gallons per hour.
Triple action filtration with mechanical, biological and chemical at work. Moving up to 60 gallons per hour, designed for tanks up to 10 gallons.
Old but tried and true, the sponge filter has been around a long time. Very simple in it’s design and implementation. If you are on a budget, the sponge filter maybe the way to go. Generally a sponge filter is driven by an external air pump. The agitation creates a flow that draws water through the sponge and out the top of the filter. The second benefit of the sponge filter is the aeration for the water caused by bubble surface agitation.
Short on space and on a budget? hygger has the perfect sponge filter for you. Designed for the nano tanks up to 5 gallons, this little powerhouse will work hard to keep your tank clean. The sponge can easily be removed for routine cleaning. Used with a small air pump, you can hookup an air hose and have this sponge filter running with minimal effort. Sponge filters are great at removing debris from the water column and act as a biological filter, with beneficial bacteria building up in the sponge pours. Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, if you are tight on space, this is the filter for you.
Fits in the palm of your hand, but yet powerful enough to keep your shrimp tank super clean.
Let's double up on the sponge filters and add both chemical and biological filtration. This double sponge filter is small in size but adjustable to from the minium height of approximately 7 inches to 11 inches. A couple of great features set this sponge filter apart. First is the lime green sponges, great color to detect when its time to give those sponges a nice cleaning. Secondly are the two chambers just under the sponges. In the picture above, bio-balls fill the chamber to provide biological filtration. But you can always fill one with bio-balls and the second with carbon to remove harmful toxins from the tank water. Easily hooks up to an air pump for instant and great sponge filter action. Looking for something different and awesome in your shrimp tank? Then the UPETTOOLS double sponge filter with media chambers is perfect for you.
Great way to maximize filtration in a small package. Fill one chamber with bio balls and the other with carbon. Keep your water ultra-clean with a small footprint.
At just over a three quarters of an inch thick, this flat filter takes space saving to another level. Technically not a "sponge" filter, using fiber as a the mechanical filter, the pouch flat filter comes with activated carbon to remove harmful toxins from the water. Comes with both suction cups and a wall hook making it more convenient to hang on the edge of the tank. Just hook up your air filter and your filter is ready to keep your tank clean.
Measuring in at just over three quarters of an inch thick, this super slim filter saves space and easily mounts on the side of your tank.