Many aquarists continue wondering whether they need under gravel water filter or not because modern aquariums happen to claim that their advanced features don’t need one. Yet, there are old school people who think it is a must to have an under gravel water filter to keep your fish healthy, but they don’t know which under gravel water filter is best for their aquarium. So, I am here to ease this difficulty of yours. Stick to the end of the post, and you will figure out which UGF you should buy.

A Buying Guide To The Best Under Gravel Water Filters

Before making your decision of buying under gravel filter, keep the following aspects in your mind:

Aquarium Size

  • The most important aspect you need to consider before making your purchase is aquarium size.
  • Check to see the UGF you are buying is appropriate for the size of your aquarium.
  • Under gravel water filters come in various sizes. Buy the one which fits in your aquarium.
  • So, go and check if you are buying the one with right size.


  • Know that, some under gravel water filters use air pumps but others are used with powerheads.
  • A powerhead is way much efficient as compared to an air pump.
  • The bigger the size of aquarium, the more you have a reason to use powerheads.
  • An air pump is not enough to create a strong current effect in your fish tank.

Filtration Type

  • If your aquarium does not require chemical filtration, then you will use under gravel water filters as a secondary choice to the primary chemical filter.
  • So, it is your only backup and you do not have to involve in any other mess.
  • In that case, if you need chemical filtration necessarily then do not only rely over the under gravel water filter because it solely allows mechanical and biological filtration.


  • Generally, under gravel water filters are not expensive.
  • These filters are affordable yet efficient as compared to the other aquarium filter types.


  • Under gravel filters are mostly quiet.
  • The vibration of air pump can be noisy. So, make sure you do not have any problem with it.
  • If aquarium filters seem noisy to you, then it will be better to go for a under gravel water filters.

Top 6 Under gravel Water Filters


1. ircular Bar 33.5″ x 9.6″ – Under Gravel Filter For Fish Tank


  • Weight: 1.45 pounds
  • Tube length: 16.6 cm
  • Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.7 x 5.6 inches

When it comes to the health and hygiene of the environment of the aquarium, every aquarist wants the best under gravel filter. This Circular Bar 33.5″ x 9.6″ Under gravel Filter Tube is made to keep the good nitrifying bacteria to provide a healthy environment for fish. It can be used in massive aquariums. You need the right skill to install it because it can get a bit tricky, but it’s perfect for custom-made aquariums. You can even attach it with a canister filter to make a flow through the substrate to clear wastes directly into the canister filter, which would then flow the filtered water back into the tank. Also, it can be used with a powerhead.

This UGF can be used in aquariums up to 55 gallons. It has up bottom circular bar with 16.6 cm PVC tube. This under gravel filter comes with many benefits; one of them is being reasonably priced.

  • Extraordinary for custom-made aquariums
  • Reasonable for both freshwater and saltwater tanks
  • Can be joined to a canister filter
  • Can work with a powerhead
  • Works with tanks up to 55 gallons
  • Hard to install
  • Incompatible with air pumps

Circular Bar 55 Gallon Filter- Under Gravel Filter System


  • Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Tube length: 16.6 cm
  • Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.7 x 5.6 inches

If you want to have economical yet best under gravel filter, then you should consider Circular Bar 45.3″ x 9.6″ – 55 Gallon Filter. It is designed to be used in big aquariums up to 55 gallons capacity. It has an up bottom circular bar (115×24.5cm / 45.3x 9.6″). There is a total of 27 tubes in package and PVC tube is 16.6 cm long. Once you set it up on the lower part of your aquarium, it will work in freshwater as well as saltwater.

Since the tubes are moveable, so it is a bit hard to install. You can use a team to install it correctly, and then your fish can have the best environment to live in.

  • Works with aquariums up to 55 gallons
  • Works perfectly with fresh and saltwater
  • Can be joined with canister filter and powerhead
  • A bit difficult to install

Under Gravel Plastic Filter- Underwater Filter For Aquarium


  • Weight: 1.21 pounds
  • Tube size: 32 x 2.5cm/ 12.6″ x 1″
  • Dimensions: 13.46 x 7.91 x 3.7 inches

The XMHF Under gravel Plastic Filter includes 28 pieces which makes it a perfect fit for your aquarium. The package comprises under gravel filter, tube, air hose line and air stone. This UGF contains seven layers, and its double filtration makes the water clean and clear.

Unlike the other under gravel filters, it is effortless to install, and due to its vast size range, it can be used in aquariums of different sizes. This UGF is made up of plastic, so it is so easy to clean it. This filter can be attached with a canister filter or even with a powerhead. It also works with an air pump.
Unfortunately, this UGF does not do carbon filtration. So, it is not the best choice for you if your aquarium needs chemical filtration. 

  • Easy installation
  • Works with canister filter and powerhead
  • Air stones included in the package
  • Vast size range
  • Double filtration
  • No chemical filters

70/90 Premium- Under Gravel Water Filter


  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Tube length: 16.25
  • Dimensions: 22.88 x 3 x 16.25 inches

Lee’s Premium Under gravel Filter has a multi-level plate configuration made of unique quality plastic which opposes rupturing or cracking. This UGF provides for the growth of billions of beneficial bacteria to detoxify water naturally and stabilizes the amount of ammonia in water. You can use it in aquariums up to 90 gallons. It works perfectly in fresh as well as saltwater.

The package includes two plates and four uplift tubes, 2 tubes for both plates each. This UGF can be used with power filters to maximize water quality. It can be attached with canister filter inlet. Another plus point of having this UGF is that it comes with carbon cartridges. So, if your aquarium needs chemical filtration, this under gravel filter can be your most appropriate pick for your purchase.

  • Works in fresh and saltwater
  • Can be attached with canister filter and powerhead
  • Comes with carbon cartridges
  • Can work with aquariums up to 90 gallons
  • Difficult to install

Imagitarium Under Gravel Filter- Underground Fish Tank Filter


  • Weight: 8.78 ounces
  • Tube length: 10.16 inches
  • Dimensions: 10.16 x 9.53 x 1.34 inches

The Imagitarium Underwater Gravel Filter helps keep aquarium water clean and fresh. This two-plate filtration framework was solidly built, and made to cover up underneath your aquarium’s substrate. This under gravel filter is designed to use in 10 gallons aquarium tanks. Whether your tank contains freshwater or saltwater, it works in both.

The large 1″ lift tubes give greatest surface area to effective filtration. Lift tubes are completely flexible to give a custom filtration solution for your aquarium. This UGF comes with 2 filter cartridges. Filter cartridges give efficient chemical filtration. Every cartridge gives completely clear water in your aquarium for 6-8 weeks and they can be changed in a moment or two.

For best results, you should attach this UGF with powerhead or air pump to provide the best filtration. The installation of this under gravel filter is very easy and quick.

  • Does chemical filtration
  • Work with powerhead and air pump
  • Very easy to install
  • Works in fresh and saltwater tanks
  • Tubes are fragile

Lee’s 40/55 Premium- Aquarium Under Gravel Filters


  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Tube length: 22.25
  • Dimensions: 22.25 x 3 x 11.38 inches

The large-sized plates lessen the number of plates required. It is designed of sturdy plastic that isn’t inclined to parting or breaking; subsequently, it will efficiently uphold the heaviness of your substrate in addition to the water section.

This UGF comes with two bottom plates and four riser tubes, and you can utilize the filter with a powerhead, canister channel, or even an aerator. You can also use it all at once if you want.

The plates are intended to fit a 48-inch long aquarium, and it can be utilized in tanks of up to 55-60 gallons. Lee’s under gravel filter can be used both in freshwater and saltwater aquariums. But due to the added strength of UGF plates, saltwater aquarists seem to be more interested in this product.
In addition to mechanical and biological filtration, this UGF also accompanies four initiated carbon cartridges for the aquariums who can’t manage without chemical filtration.

  • Contains large-sized plates
  • Has multiple tube ports
  • Made of sturdy plastic
  • Comes with carbon cartridges
  • Filter tubes are small


If you are wishing to set up an aquarium with the best under gravel water filters, look at my suggestions for the best under gravel filters and pick the filter that meets the prerequisites of your aquarium. In case you use these filters as your essential aquarium accessory, try to pick one that additionally offers synthetic filtration and make sure to devise a safeguard aquarium to generate a clean environment.


  1. What is the best under gravel water filters?
    If you are searching for the best under gravel water filters, then following should be your priority:
    Circular Bar 33.5″ x 9.6″ – Under Gravel Filter For Fish Tank
    Circular Bar 55 Gallon Filter- Under Gravel Filter System
    Under Gravel Plastic Filter- Underwater Filter For Aquarium
    70/90 Premium- Under Gravel Water Filter
    Imagitarium Under Gravel Filter- Underground Fish Tank Filter
    Lee’s 40/55 Premium- Aquarium Under Gravel Filters
  2. Are under gravel filters any good?
    Under gravel filters will in general be more work escalated to keep up than internal filters, and can mess up planted aquaria. In any case, they are cheap in price to purchase and run, and do have on a lot bigger surface than most of the internal filters. So, overall, under gravel water filters are good to make a purchase on.
  3. Are undergravel filters obsolete?
    The “UGF” is presently commonly viewed as out of date, yet they are cheap and simple enough that they never fully disappear. Regardless of whether there’s as yet a function for under gravel filtration in aquariums is an inquiry with numerous answers. In aquaponic systems, in any case, these old reserves offer some astonishing benefits.
    What is the best UGF for aquariums?
  4. All the under gravel filters that I have mentioned above are pretty best for aquariums.
    Circular Bar 33.5″ x 9.6″ – Under Gravel Filter For Fish Tank
    Circular Bar 55 Gallon Filter- Under Gravel Filter System
    Under Gravel Plastic Filter- Underwater Filter For Aquarium
    70/90 Premium- Under Gravel Water Filter
    Imagitarium Under Gravel Filter- Underground Fish Tank Filter
    Lee’s 40/55 Premium- Aquarium Under Gravel Filters
  5. Should I use an undergravel filter for my aquarium?
    We feel that these filters can be extremely viable, yet are best utilized in tanks under 55 gallons in size, and are not fitting for use in reef tanks. UGF’s may work fine and dandy. Try to keep the media clean, through a customary support plan.
  6. Can you use an undergravel filter in a planted tank?
    In a planted tank, you will not need to use an undergravel filter. These filters are not mostly used in planted aquariums, specifically for a reason that the roots get tangled in it.

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