Best Filter For Crayfish

Filtration is necessary for any living organism inside the tank. If you are planning to keep crayfish or any other pet inside the aquarium, you need to invest in a decent filtration system.

Before I explain why filtration is necessary, I”ll recommend 2 filters that I personally love for crayfish tank. I’ll also explain why all types of filter are not suitable for a crayfish tank.

Let’s get started!

Why All Filters Are Not Suitable For Crayfish?

Crayfishes are excellent escape artists. If there is any way to get out of the tank, they’ll find it and escape from the tank. This is just their natural instinct.

That’s why all types of filters are not suitable for crayfish tank. If you place a sponge filter, then the crayfish will easily be able to crawl out of the tank using the air intake tube.

Of course you can cover the tube using other means, but I don’t find that necessary for a sponge filter. I don’t think sponge filters provide enough filtration for a crayfish. You need something more powerful.

That’s why I always recommend a HOB (Hang On Back) filter for a crayfish tank. Though HOBs are not 100% safe against escape, it is easier to escape-proof them.

Also, HOBs can hold a considerable amount of biological filter media (ceramic ring, bio balls, etc.) which is great for providing biological filtration.

That’s why, I’ll always recommend a powerful HOB filter for a crayfish tank. Of course you can use a sponge filter as an additional filtration, but I wouldn’t suggest having sponge filter as the only filtration system in the tank.

Why Not A Canister Filter?

When it comes to filtration power, canister filters are more powerful than a HOB. So, you might ask why I am not recommending a canister filter.

Well, I agree that canister filters are more powerful than a HOB. However, I think canister filters are an overkill for a single crayfish tank. If you have a large community tank where you keep crayfish along with other fishes, then of course a canister filter will be a much better choice.

However, for a single crayfish only tank, I don’t think that’s necessary.

Also, canister filters are much more expensive than a HOB filter. I don’t think everybody can afford that type of expense for a simple crayfish tank. That’s why I recommend HOB, not canister filters for a crayfish only tank.

With that being said, if you have the budget, you can certainly go for a canister filter!

The more powerful filtration is, the better!

Now that you know why I suggest HOBs filter, let’s get on to my recommendations and why I recommend them!

Aqua Clear HOB Filter: Best Choice

There are many reasons why I love this HOB filter. First is the build quality. And secondly, there are lots of options you can choose from. This HOB filter is generally a bit pricier than other HOBs in the market. But you know what they say, good thing doesn’t come cheap!

Available Size Options

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

If you have a 10 gallon crayfish tank, then I’ll suggest the 10 to 30 gallon size option. I think this one is perfect for such a tank!

Available Filter Media Options

  • Just the filter
  • filter + activated carbon
  • filter + foam inserts
  • filter + Biomax insert

I don’t recommend activated carbon for a crayfish tank. I don’t think it is necessary to use activated carbon unless there is a specific reason.

I’ll suggest getting the filter with foam inserts. It will ensure a good mechanical filtration. However, I’ll suggest to get some additional ceramic rings for the biological filtration.

If you’ve got budget, then get the filter with Biomax inserts. Biomax is a superior quality biological filter media. It will certainly help with the filtration process!

Aqua Clear is a very reputed brand for their line of filtration systems. However, quality costs money and I know its price can be a bit too steep for some hobbyists.

Don’t worry. I’ve got a more budget option available for you!

Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel HOB Filter: Budget Option

If you can’t buy the Aqua Clear HOB filter for higher price, you can confidently choose Marineland Penguin HOB filter. Though it might not be as effective as the Aqua Clear HOB, it is certainly one of the best budget HOB filters in the market.

There are mainly 3 sizes available. For a 10 gallon tank, you can confidently choose the 20-30 gallon version. It comes with a 150 GPH flow rate which is decent for a tank this size.

This HOB provides 3 stage filtration:

  1. Mechanical Filtration: The cartridge floss screens provide mechanical filtration and entraps dirt and other organic matters.
  2. Chemical Filtration: The cartridges contain activated carbon which provides chemical filtration.
  3. Biological Filtration: Comes with Marineland Penguin’s patented biowheel which is excellent for growing beneficial bacterial colony. This colony will provide superior biological filtration.

My Personal Recommendation

Though this HOB comes with mechanical and chemical filtration, I don’t think these are good enough. Firstly, I don’t think chemical filtration is absolutely necessary unless there is a specific need for it.

Also, I don’t think the thin cartridge floss screen can do much of a mechanical filtration. So, I’ll advise to get rid of the cartridges and do this instead:

Get some decent amount of filter floss and ceramic rings. You can also get bioballs. Push the filter floss right after the intake pipe inside the HOB. It will do a much better mechanical filtration. Also, the filter floss will be easier to clean and maintain.

The ceramic rings will be necessary for biological filtration. I know the filter comes with its patented bio-wheel media, but I believe the more filter media there is, the better.

This is how you can increase the effectiveness of a simple HOB filter!

Why Filtration Is Necessary?

Now that you know my recommendations, you might ask, why filtration is necessary at all! I’ll give a short answer to this question here.

Whenever we keep a pet inside aquarium (fish, crayfish, etc.), it produces waste (poop, uneaten foods, etc.). This waste produce ammonia in the tank. Now this ammonia is lethal for any living being and a small amount of that can be enough to kill your pet.

So, we need to deal with this ammonia. That’s where biological filtration comes in. Biological filtration just means there is an active beneficial bacterial colony in the biological filter medias of your filter.

This bacterial colony will use the ammonia as food and turn it into Nitrite. Furthermore, they’ll process the Nitrite and turn it into Nitrate.

Nitrate is much less harmful than Ammonia or Nitrite. That’s why we need filter! To turn Ammonia into Nitrate!

Now, too much Nitrate can also cause problems to fish and crayfish. That’s why we do 20-30% water change weekly to get rid of excess nitrate.

This is the nutshell of filtration system and Nitrogen Cycle. If you want to know more about cycling a tank, read this post of mine. Though this post is primarily focused for shrimps, the main principle is same for any living creatures.

What About Mechanical Filtration?

A good filter will provide mechanical filtration too along with biological filtration. Mechanical filtration entraps all the floating dust particles, organic matters and help to keep the water crystal clean!

For mechanical filtration, we use filter floss, foams, etc. Most filters these days come with filter foam for mechanical filtration. However, the available foams are not that good in most cases. That’s why I recommend to use filter floss for superior mechanical filtration!