5 Best Filter for Axolotls – Complete Buying Guide

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When setting up a tank for axolotls, one of the primary concerns should be the filtration. Whether you decide to go without a filter or with one is your choice, but know that without a filter you will have to do much more work for maintaining the tank.

However, it is certainly recommended to have a filter for your axolotl aquarium. But knowing what filter to choose is not easy, especially when it comes to axolotl. The decision will be dependent on several factors that can decide the type of filter you will be buying.

For example, you will have to make your decision based on the size of the tank, the number of animals you have in the aquarium, the type of axolotl, the vegetation in the tank, and the overall set up of the aquarium.

A good filter should ideally have an adjustable flow rate, which lets you control the output of the filter. Also, know that axolotls can produce quite a lot of waste, so it might make sense to have a slightly more powerful filter installed; it should certainly be able to cover the waste that axolotls produce.

Ammonia poisoning is a common problem for axolotls, and you can avoid that with a good filter that has a good enough biological filter.

In addition to having a good filter, you will obviously need to do a lot of maintenance work to keep the water as good as possible. Bad water conditions can lead to various axolotl diseases. Let’s take a look at the best filters for axolotls.

Best Filter for Axolotl Tank

Below you can find the review and the pros and cons of some of the best filters which I recommend for axolotls:

1. AquaClear Fish Tank Filter

One of the best choices is actually quite a simple one: you can go for this AquaClear fish tank filter, which will allow you to set up and use the filter almost instantly.

You can choose various tank sizes, depending on your needs:

  • 5-20 gallons
  • 10-30 gallons
  • 20-50 gallons
  • 40-70 gallons
  • 60-110 gallons

This is a hang-on filter with an adjustable flow rate. That is perfect for axolotls, as they don’t want to have exceptionally strong flow rates. If you reduce the flow rate, the water filtration quality is still at the same level, as the filter will process the water multiple times to bring the best filtration quality possible. It is called the re-filtration system.

The filter offers a three-stage filtration: mechanical, chemical and biological. This is very important, as the filter needs to bring out the larger mechanical pieces as well as the hidden chemicals that pollute the water, which can be just as harmful to your animals in the tank.

You will have to replace the inserts for the filter, though. The AquaClear foam insert should be replaced every two months, or when you start to see signs of the ineffectiveness of the filter. The activated carbon filter should be replaced even more often – every month. As for the BioMax filter that provides biological filtration, it should be replaced every three months.

The great thing about this filter is that you will also get a lifetime warranty. To sum up, this filter is a very simple, and very effective filter for its size. It doesn’t come without drawbacks, such as regular filter changes and perhaps insufficient power for some consumers.


  • Very easy to use and set up
  • Adjustable flow rate allows the filter to work at the same efficiency at all flow rates
  • Three-stage filtration
  • Lifetime warranty.


  • Not as powerful for larger tanks, but this might be perfect for axolotls


2. Fluval C Power Filter

Fluval C power filter is a very powerful filter that will help you keep the water as clear as possible for your axolotls. It features a 5-stage filtration for the best results: 2 mechanical filters, 1 chemical, and 2 biological filters.

For the mechanical filtration, there are poly/foam pads that will trap the biggest particles from the water as effectively as possible. The first pad will catch the larger particles, while the second will remove the finer ones.

Then, we have an activated carbon insert to provide chemical filtration. This insert has 100% premium research grade carbon, which will clear the undesirable impurities in the water, such as discolorations and some chemicals and bacteria connected to it.

Lastly, the water will go through the biological filters. The first biological filter is the bio-screen filter which will remove all the harmful bacteria and chemicals from the water. Then, the water will move to the Biological C-nodes, where ammonia and nitrites will be finally removed, and the growth of beneficial bacteria will be encouraged.

You can get the filter in three sizes: C2, C3, C4. All of these provide filtration for different sizes, although the C4 is the most powerful one. It is a clip-on filter, meaning that the installation and the maintenance will be pretty simple. The polyfoam will need to be rinsed from time to time, while other filters will need replacement.

This filter also has the re-filtration system, allowing you to adjust the flow rate without compromising on the performance. The only thing you will need to provide is regular maintenance and replacement of the filters.


  • 5-stage filtration including two mechanical, a chemical, and two biological filter media
  • Very easy to use and set up
  • Effective for tanks of 40-70 gallons.
  • Re-filtration system with adjustable flow rate.


  • Replacing filter pads can be expensive in the long run
  • It can be noisy


3. Fluval 307 Performance Canister Filter

Fluval is known for providing quality when it comes to aquarium products. Among them are also filters. This is a canister filter that is meant to bring a high level of performance for the best possible quality of water.

Canister filters are slightly more powerful than hang-on filters; this one has the capability to filter 550-1450l of water per hour (145-383 gallons). The best thing about it is that it will operate very silently.

But at the same time as providing a high level of output, you will also get a very efficient filter when it comes to energy consumption. While the 307 model will be slightly more energy demanding than the 107 and 207 models, you will still get a very good level of performance for energy consumption.

Of course, you’ll also be able to control the output of the filter. You can adjust the flow rate to the levels that you want. Changing filters and opening up the canister is simple with a clicking mechanism. You will have to change filters once in a while, but that is the case with almost all filters.

It represents a relatively robust, energy-efficient option for your home, and it will also operate very quietly. The canister filter has a mechanism that will operate very quietly, which is perfect for those who want to keep the noise levels down.

But, for this type of performance, you will have to be prepared to spend slightly more. But note that you will get practically the complete performance out there, especially if your tank requires a lot of filtering.


  • Very powerful
  • Energy-efficient
  • Quiet operation
  • Adjustable water flow


  • The price is relatively high compared to other filter


4. Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter

The Marineland Magniflow canister filter features a three-stage filtration to ensure the highest possible level of water quality. It comes in three different sizes: for up to 30 gallons, for up to 55 gallons, and for up to 100 gallons.

Marineland is a very reliable brand for making filters and products for aquariums. This canister is easy to remove, and the filters must be replaced from time to time. The canister is watertight, and the lid will come off easily for cleaning the filter easily and replacing the filters.

The water first goes through the mechanical, chemical, and biological filter. The rite-size cartridges remove the bigger particles in the water; these cartridges need to be replaced from time to time; perhaps the only downside to using these filters is that they will collect dirt pretty quickly.

This particular version of the filter is appropriate for aquariums of up to 55 gallons, meaning that it will process about 220 gallons per hour. It is also slightly more affordable than other canister filters, but it doesn’t mean that it is less effective.

There is also a 3-year warranty included in the package. Another positive of this filter is that it will work relatively quietly. For the money you pay for the filter, this is a great option to consider.


  • Reliable filtration for up to 55 gallons of water.
  • 3-stage filtration
  • Quiet and powerful filtration.
  • Great value for money.
  • 3-year warranty.


  • The polish filter pads need to be replaced frequently (or avoid using them)


5. Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

Lastly, we have the Hydor external canister filter. This is perhaps the most versatile choice on the list. It is relatively simple to use, suitable for many sizes of aquariums, and very effective at cleaning the water.

To start with, we must take a look at the size options of this filter: there are 5 choices when it comes to the size.

  • 150 for 20-40 gallons of water
  • 250 for 40-75 gallons of water
  • 350 for 60-100 gallons of water
  • 450 for 75-125 gallons
  • 600 for 90-150 gallons.

So, the choice is all yours, but if you are keeping only one axolotl in your tank, then the 150 option is likely the best option for you. In the package, you will get telescope intake tubes, safety locks, and a system that is easy to prime.

This filter is practically its own ecosystem in a box. It makes a lot of sense for aquariums where the filtering needs are quite high, and it will handle even the highest of loads. One of the biggest pros of the filter is just how silently it can operate; that is important, especially if you will be keeping your axolotl aquarium near or in your bedroom.

It has an adjustable flow rate that will let you specify the water flow of the filter. You might find that the filter will be too powerful for the axolotls at the start. The good thing is that you can tone the volume down easily with a few simple tweaks.


  • Very powerful filtration
  • Many filter sizes to choose from
  • Very silent operation, perfect for bedrooms
  • Easy setup and low-cost maintenance


  • It is an expensive filter


Do Axolotls Need a Filter?

I would definitely recommend you to have a filter for your axolotls. A good filter will keep the water clean, get rid of harmful chemicals, bacteria, and ammonia, and keep the water fresh for longer periods. Still, some owners opt to have axolotl aquariums even without a filter.

Sure, that can be a cost-free method of having a tank with axolotls, but you will make some important sacrifices. Firstly, you will miss out on the awesome filtration capabilities of some of these filters. Secondly, that would mean that you would need to spend far more time with maintenance and replacing the water almost on a daily basis. And thirdly, you risk the health of your axolotls in the tank.

Many of these filters have relatively good build quality, so it means that they will last you for years. The only thing you will need to do is to change the cartridges or the internal filters to ensure the filter works efficiently.

Having a filter in your axolotl tank is recommended. Just like any other sea creatures that you might own, these beautiful amphibians. Another thing that makes them more sensitive to ammonia is their highly-permeable skins, which means that they will absorb ammonia and nitrites over a greater surface area than some other sea creatures, for example fishes.

This is where a good filter will come in very handy. Sure, you can change the water on your own, but you would still have the problem of ammonia and nitrites to deal with.

How to Choose a Filter for Axolotl?

Choosing the right filter for your axolotls is important, but you have to know the main criteria for choosing one. Here are the most important considerations when choosing a filter for axolotls.

  • It needs to have an adjustable flow rate. Yes, this is perhaps the most important thing to consider when choosing a filter. Axolotls can be sensitive to higher water flow levels, and the stress levels can skyrocket if the water flows too quickly.
  • It should have the ability to process high volumes of water. Axolotls can produce a lot of waste, and that can be even increased if you have other animals with it, or plants.
  • Powerful biological filtration. As we already said, axolotls can be very sensitive to ammonia and nitrites, and can develop diseases if there is too much of either in the water. The filter should be able to clean the ammonia and other harmful chemicals efficiently.
  • A good sponge filter is also vital for blocking any larger particles from the water. That goes without saying, but larger particles in the water can also increase stress levels of the axolotls.

How Often to Clean Axolotl Filter?

Cleaning your filter from time to time is important, as it can get clogged and it may collect a lot of debris and particles, as well as invisible materials. That can cause the filter to work less efficiently, and consequently, the water quality will be much worse.

What you can do is clean the filter and the debris that has collected in it every two to four weeks. This will ensure that the filter will work to its full capacity.

Another important thing is that you must replace the filters from time to time. Some filters will tell you when to do it, while with others, you will have to figure it out yourself. This includes regular inspections and check-ups of the filters.

Do Axolotls Like Strong Water Flow?

No, axolotls won’t enjoy in an aquarium where the water current from the filter is strong. They are not that powerful swimmers, so they might get carried away by the water. They prefer a tranquil environment with not too much water movement.

This is why it is so important to have a filter with an adjustable flow rate. If the water current from the filter is too strong, the axolotl in the tank will be prone to higher stress levels and diseases. Perhaps you won’t know where the disease is coming from; in many cases, it is the result of having a too powerful water flow coming from the filter.


Axolotls, like all creatures, like to live in a clean environment. That is why having a good filtration in place is crucial. Some owners like to clean the water themselves; however, for ensuring that your axolotls are happy and healthy, you won’t go wrong with a powerful filter.

Updated: September 5, 2022

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