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10 Best Under Gravel Water Filters And Their Reviews For 2021

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Tim Rhodes

Pet enthusiasts have always preferred under gravel water filters because of their eco-friendly and cost-effective nature. 

Why use chemical filters when you can provide a lovely home as close to the natural habitat of our water friends as possible? 

So, what exactly is an under gravel water filter? 

It’s a rectangular plate made of plastic or steel having gravel that sits on top.

It uses a water pump that forces water down the gravel using it as the purifying material for biological filtration.

The best thing about these filters is that they enable the beneficial bacteria in the tank to stick to gravel.

They form colonies on it rather than floating around in the water.

Being strained out by other filters which have made them the most sought-after filter products in the market.

They also have the added benefit of being easy to set up, economic, and space-saving.

Finding a good under gravel water filter can be tricky, but no need to worry because we are here to help you choose the one that is best for your needs.

Here are our top 10 picks.

1. PENN PLAX Premium Under Gravel Filter System

Under Gravel Filter System
Suitable for aquariums ranging in size from 5 to 55 gallons.

This Penn Plax Premium under gravel filter comes with jumbo 1″ lift tubes, filt-a-carb cartridges, rust-free plastic plates that securely lock together and high pore stones.

The jumbo 1″ lift tubes are very effective because they provide the best surface area for filtration.

They are fully adjustable according to the custom filtration needs of your aquarium.

One of the major problems in UGFs is the lack of chemical filtration.

Penn Plax solves that issue by providing 2 free filt-a-carb filters which when used provide crystal clear water in your aquarium for 6-8 weeks.

It’s completely invisible from outside the aquarium hereby it doesn’t affect the aesthetic nature of your tank.

Its plates are made of completely crack-resistant strong plastic that if installed properly can last years.

One plus point of Penn Plax UGF is that you don’t have to buy gravel separately which can be quite expensive.

It comes with marble gravel that’s clean, aesthetic, and adds the x-factor to your aquarium.

It’s available in various price and size ranges thus the options are endless.

This UGF is easy to assemble.

It has a wide range in tank sizes and has a cost-friendly nature which makes it the best under gravel filter option on the market.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Comes with added components
  • Chemical filtration included
  • Easy to assemble


2. LEE’S 40/55 Premium Under Gravel Filter

Premium Under Gravel Filter
This under gravel water filter has a multilayer plate design built with split and cracks resistant special quality plastic.

This makes it the best option for holding up the huge weight of the water column and gravel in bigger tanks.

The package ships with two bottom plastic plates, four clear plastic riser tubes, and the gravel that sits on the plastic plates.

The riser tubes can be fitted with powerheads, or aerators, or canister filter inlets or even all of these at once providing strong and powerful biological filtration.

This filter is made to be fit into a 48″ tank with a water capacity of 55-60 gallons.

It holds the weight of about 70-80 pounds grave.

This makes it the best water filter for large tanks and aquariums.

It can be used in the tank with fish of all ages.

Although it can be used for both saltwater and freshwater tanks, aquarists prefer it to be used in large saltwater tanks because of the added strength of the plates.

It comes with four active carbon cartridges for the tanks where chemical filtration is essential.

This makes it the best product to serve both biological and chemical filtration in a very adequate cost range. 

It comes with an instruction manual on how to install and can be easily put together within 15 minutes making it the top choice among beginner fish parents everywhere. 

Pros & Benefits:

  • Made of long-lasting crack resistant plastic 
  • Comes with riser tubes and 4 carbon cartridges
  • Easy to assemble and user friendly


3. AQUARIUM EQUIP Under Gravel Filtration Bottom Circular Bar

Under Gravel Filtration Bottom Circular Bar
If you’re looking for a truly hidden under gravel filter to add more to the natural aesthetics of your aquarium or water tank, this filter is the perfect solution for you.

It is suitable to be used in tanks with a range of up to 55 gallons of water making it one of the best products for large aquariums.

Aquarists have been using it equally in both seawater and freshwater tanks because it has an efficiency level of maintaining the water crystal clear and clean.

Another advantage of this filter is its ability to use both sand and the coarse thick gravel as the filter substrates.

The circular tubing system used in this filter improves water temperature by keeping the water always circulating and running through the tubes and the tank.

This filter cleans the water while simultaneously cultivating the good bacteria above the gravel.

This helps in keeping a clean yet healthy environment inside the tank for our fish buddies to have a more natural habitat. 

Furthermore, it can be used equally effectively with various filters such as powerhead filters, air filters, sponge filters.

Rain bars making it one of the most diverse filters with a wide range of choices available.

It comes with easy to assemble instructions making it user friendly especially for beginners.

One of the rare benefits this filter offers through its circular tubing is the presence of more surface area making the process of filtration less time consuming and more efficient.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Very discreet filter 
  • Circular tubing good for temperature regulation and faster filtration
  • Can be used with a powerhead, airhead, sponge filter, and rain bar


4. XMHF Aquarium/ Fish Tank Under Gravel Water Filter

Fish Tank Under Gravel Water Filter
The XMHF filter comes with a very attractive and compact layout with pieces smoothly buckled together.

This makes your tank look pricey and crystal clear at the same time.

The filter board of this tank consists of 7 layers which are made by the assembly of 28 small pieces.

This certain feature makes it capable of double filtration, keeping the water extra clear and clean.

The fact that its assembly takes connecting various parts makes it capable of being put in many different ways.

This provides a wide size range of 5-90 gallons according to the number of pieces used.

It’s made of special quality crack or split resistant plastic which is easier to clean because its parts can be taken apart quickly.

The under gravel water filter arrives with 28 pieces of UGF boards, uprise tubes, air hose line, and an air stone for a custom-made assembly based on your tank size.

It can be used with a powerhead or an air pump or attached to the inlet of a canister filter. 

You don’t have to worry whether your filter will fit in your aquarium or not because the XHML comes with a vast range in sizes.

You can decide yourself by the number of pieces you want to attach.

It doesn’t come with a chemical filter so it’ll be a perfect choice if you’re using a chemical filter as your primary option.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Compact and attractive layout
  • Comes with 28 part UG filter, uprise tubes, an air hose line, and air stones 
  • A vast range of sizes possible


5. AQUARIUM EQUIP ISTA Under Gravel Filter

ISTA Under Gravel Filter
The Aquarium Equip ISTA is a relatively simple UGF set-up made of two 12 inch durable plastic plates that are crack and split resistant.

A clear plastic uprise tube is connected to every plate which increases the water flow and the length of the tube can be adjusted according to the height of the fish tank.

The tube can be used with a powerhead, air pump, filter pump, or even hang-on-back style filters for better temperature regulation.

The gravel bed used to be settled on top of the filter provides an excellent multiplying site for the good bacteria because of its enhanced surface area.

This filter helps circulate the water under the gravel layer providing quick water filtration and keeping the water crystal clear. 

It’s a very good option for those looking for a more quiet water cleaning solution because of its very calm and low noise working technique.

It’s very affordable for the tank size it offers and works well in both freshwater and saltwater environments.

With its size parameters of11.8″ x 5.9″, it’s best suited for smaller low activity aquariums with a water capacity of 5 to 5.5 gallons.

Gravel is the only filter media that can be used with this filter.

It supports no chemical filtration so it’s the best option for those looking to use under gravel water filters as their secondary option.

It’s a very affordable and efficient option if you’re looking for Undergravel Water Filters for a small tank.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Very affordable
  • Adjustable uprise tube
  • Very easy to assemble and use


6. UXCELL 28-PIECE PLASTIC Aquarium Under Gravel Filter

Aquarium Under Gravel Filter
This Uxcell UGF comes with a very petite tightly packed framework which when assembled creates a very fool-proof and efficient filter system.

The filter plates of this tank consist of 7 layers which are made by the assembly of 28 small pieces.

This certain feature makes it capable of double filtration, keeping the water crystal clear and aerated.

Because its assembly takes connecting various parts that makes it capable of being put together in many different shapes.

This provides a wide size range of 5-90 gallons according to the number of pieces used.

It is made of special quality crack or split resistant plastic which is easier to clean because its parts can be taken apart quickly and then be put back together in no time.

With Uxcell filter, you don’t have to worry whether your filter will fit in your aquarium or not.

It comes with a vast range in size which you can decide yourself by the number of pieces you want to attach.

The product ships with 28 pieces of UGF boards, an uprise tube, an air hose line, and an air stone for a custom-made assembly based on your tank size.

It doesn’t come with a chemical filter so it’ll be a perfect choice if you’re using a chemical filter as your primary option.

It can be used with a powerhead or an air pump or attached to the inlet of a canister filter.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Beautiful design and adjustable size
  • High-quality plastic
  • Best for secondary filtration


7. LEE’S 2½ Original Under Gravel Filter

ORIGINAL Under Gravel Filter
This under gravel water filter has a compact framework built with split and cracks resistant special quality plastic.

This makes it the best option for holding up the weight of water in this particular tank size range.

The package ships with two bottom plastic plates, two clear plastic riser tubes.

The gravel that sits on the plastic plates to assist in the normal biological filtration.

The riser tubes can be fitted with powerheads, or aerators, or canister filter inlet or even all of these at once.

This helps in providing strong and very powerful mechanical filtration.

This filter is made to be fit into a 12″ tank with the water capacity of up to 5 gallons and holding the weight of about 10-15 pounds of gravel.

This makes it the best water filter for small fish tanks.

It can be used in the tank with fish of all ages.

Although it can be used for both saltwater and freshwater tanks, fish keepers prefer to use it in small freshwater fish tanks.

It comes with four active carbon cartridges for the tanks where chemical filtration is essential.

This makes it the best product to serve both biological and chemical filtration in a very adequate cost range. 

It comes with an instruction manual on how to assemble it and can be easily put together within 15 minutes.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Made of long-lasting crack resistant plastic 
  • Comes with riser tubes and 4 carbon cartridges
  • Easy to assemble and user friendly


8. IMAGITARIUM Under Gravel Water Filter

Under Gravel Water Filter
If you’re looking for an under gravel filter you must’ve heard of the name Imagitarium Undergravel Filter.

Well, you don’t have to worry whether this product will be right for you or not, because we are here explaining to you every detail about this filter.

You can see how this one fits best for your fish tank or aquarium.

It is made with pristine quality and durable plastic.

This filter consists of two plastic plates that are buckled together and above them.

Gravel is poured to sit well there and act as a substrate in the biological filtration.

This filter works with or without the carbon cartridges.

You can choose if you want the filter to perform chemical filtration as primary filtration or not according to the circumstances.

The product ships with 2 high-quality plastic plates, 2 uprise tubes, and 2 carbon cartridges making it the complete package ready to be used.

The uprise tubes can be fitted with powerheads, aerators, or canister filter inlets or even any two of them simultaneously depending on the needs of your tank.

It’s known to work both in freshwater and saltwater in a tank of about 10 gallons of water capacity.

One very special quality of this filter is its ability to fit with more than one type of chemical filters. i.e. both the ammonia and carbon replacement filters.

This makes it one of the best chemical UG filters in the market.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Made with a high-quality crack resistant plastic
  • Easy to assemble
  • Includes plastic plates, uprise tubes, and carbon cartridges


9. LEE’S Pet Products Under Gravel Fishbowl Filter

Under Gravel Fishbowl Filter
Undergravel filters that fit the smallest homes, the fishbowls, of our fish friends are very difficult to find because of their lesser use and smaller sizes. 

But with the newest high-quality Lee’s Pet Products Undergravel Fish Bowl Filter, we’ve got you covered.

The calm and peaceful ecosystem is a very special need to be met in the fishbowls so tiny fish can have a homely environment as close to the ocean as possible.

This noise-canceling quiet filter is the best option to go for that.

This filter ships with Carbon cartridges included so there’s no hassle to buy them extra and spend more money when they come with the package already.

You don’t need to buy extra decorations for your fishbowl.

This UG filter has a beautiful green artificial plant attached to it which looks just like the ocean bed plants

This gives your lovely friend’s home a very natural and eco-friendly look.

It ships with two carbon cartridges; one round high quality and very discreetly fitting filter plate, one aesthetically pleasing green plant attached, and one clear plastic uprise tube.

The gravel that sits on top of the filter provides an easy place to lodge for all the beneficial bacteria.

While simultaneously providing filtration hence keeping a very clean and healthy environment for the fish.

The filter arrives with how-to-use instructions.

It can be put together and used instantaneously within 10-15 minutes.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Fits in the small fishbowl
  • Ships with carbon cartridges and plant included
  • Easy to assemble


10. AQUARIUM EQUIP Under Gravel Filter (7.8 x 5.5) For Fish Tank

Under Gravel Filter For Fish Tank
This filter is made with special quality lightweight plastic.

this filter is perfect for use in a small aquarium with the dimensions of 7.8″ x 5.5″ and the water column weight of up to 5 gallons.

It is suitable for use both in freshwater and saltwater tanks which makes it an excellent choice for beginner pet parents who are using small tanks.

It comes with an uprise tube that can be fitted with a powerhead, or an air pump, or a canister at separate occasions to keep the tank aerated and clean.

It works best with coarse gravel or air stones or a mixture of both to keep your fish tank crystal clear and bubbly.

This UGF creates the best ecosystem in your tank by circulating the water below the gravel as well.

It keeps the temperature of your tank in check and maintaining a healthy environment.

If you’re looking for low maintenance easy to run system then this is the filter for you.

It doesn’t need high electricity voltage, nor does it require very frequent cleaning to be run properly.

The package comes with very easy to install instructions that you can use to assemble it and have it fully functional within 10 minutes. 

It’s suitable for fish of every age so it’s the best solution for a small aquarium having fish in all life stages whether the fish are tiny or regular size.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Good quality plastic 
  • Easy to Assemble
  • Works best for small tank


Final Thoughts

There is a huge selection of under gravel water filters online.

We’ve only highlighted the best ones for you so you can buy the ones according to your needs.

Keep in mind the size of your aquarium or tank while choosing an under gravel water filter.

The plastic plates have to fit at the bottom and the dimensions are important in this case.

You also need to consider the filter options according to the water you’re using in your tank or aquarium.

Some filters are best for saltwater while others work better in freshwater environments.

Whether you have an aquarium to keep crystal clean or have a healthy ecosystem for your tiny fish friends in a bowl, these are the 10 best options available out there right now.

We wish you the best in choosing a UGF for your lovely fish friends.

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