Best Shrimp Filter Buyer’s Guide

Many shrimp keepers don’t understand the importance of filters for shrimp tank. If you think we only need filters for purifying the shrimp tank water, then you are wrong!

Filters don’t only purify the water, they establish a beneficial bacterial colony which turns the harmful ammonia into nitrite and lastly nitrate. Ammonia is very very harmful for any inhabitants. That’s why we need to turn ammonia into nitrate, which is much less harmful (but still, too much nitrate can get deadly for the shrimps).

In order to prevent too much nitrate buildup in the shrimp tank, we perform weekly or bi-weekly water changes.

Here, I won’t talk about the importance of filtration. I hope you know how much important it is for any living creature inside our tanks.

Instead, I’ll talk about some of my favorite filters for shrimp tank.

Matten Filter – Best Option For A Shrimp Only Tank

According to me and FlipAquatics, Matten filter is simply the best filter for shrimps. This filtration system is perfect for keeping as well as breeding shrimps.

The thing that makes this filter stand out from the other is the large surface area! Matten filter provides the largest surface are for bacteria to grow. It also grows micro-organism over the surface which is a natural food source for the shrimps.

Here are the features of Matten Filter:

  • Very large surface area for growing a large beneficial bacterial colony
  • Ideal water circulation throughout the shrimp tank
  • low maintenance
  • low cost
  • suitable for larger tanks and commercial breeding projects
  • Thanks to the small PPI, the shrimps don’t get stuck inside the foam
  • You’ll get roughly 4 times for surface area than a sponge filter

Matten filters are not readily available at the stores or on Amazon. You can make one yourself or get one from FlipAquatics. I think FlipAquatics offer the best quality Matten filter in the market. I’ll advise buying from them instead you trying to make one.

At FlipAquatics, the Matten Filter is made of 100% durable and shrimp safe foam. Their Matten filters are proven to work in breeding projects. In fact, it was found that the survival rate of baby shrimps spiked through the roof after using their Matten filter.

The Matten filter comes with a Lift Tube which creates the ideal amount of water flow throughout the shrimp tank. The water current flows from top to bottom which is ideal for dwarf shrimps.

As the lower portion of the lift tube sits just above the tank bottom, water from the very bottom of the tank flows towards the top and creates the perfect circulation.

You can check out the current price on FlipAquatics here.

Sponge Filter- Next Best Option For A Shrimp Only Tank

If you can’t manage a Matten filter, go for a sponge filter. Sponge filters are effective too for breeding and keeping shrimp tank. However, you’ll need to make sure the filter is appropriately sized for the tank. Generally, I take the largest one I can afford.

This is because, the larger the sponge filter is, the more surface area it will offer for beneficial bacterial colony to grow. It’ll also grow more micro-organism for the shrimps.

Moreover, an undersized sponge filter won’t be able to properly circulate the water throughout the tank. So, get the largest one you can afford.

I love the one from Powkoo. It has double 10 layer sponge design which offers superb surface area. This filter also does a pretty good job of mechanical and biological filtration. The dual sponge offers larger surface area than a single sponge filter. It quickens the cycling process of the tank as well as keep the shrimp tank cleaner & healthier.

This model is suitable for fish tanks up to 30 gallons. All you need to do is connect the air line tube between the air inlet of the sponge filter and the air pump. Then simply turn ON the air pump and the filter should start filtration immediately. As the filter runs on Air Pump, your tank will get pretty good aeration too!

Maintenance is also pretty easy. All the parts are detachable. You can simply take off the parts, clean them in ‘Tank Water’ and put the filter back on.

If you want to know more about this sponge filter and check out the latest price on Amazon, click here.

Hang On Back (HOB) Filter: Good Option For A Moderately Sized Community Shrimp Tank

If you are keeping other tank mates in the tank beside shrimps, a sponge filter won’t be able to cope up with the bioload. In such a case, you’ll need a Hang On Back filter.

I love HOB filters for the following reasons:

  • HOB filters come with a chamber. So, you can customize the filter media if you want. It also provides better filtration.
  • In the chamber, you can put chemical filter media like bio-balls or activated carbon. Chemical filtration is not possible with a sponge or Matten filter
  • The filter is not visible and it doesn’t use any space inside the tank. So, your shrimps will get to enjoy the full tank space.

I don’t like HOB filters for the following reasons:

  • There is no filter media inside the tank for micro-organisms to grow. So, the shrimps can’t enjoy grazing on the sponge.
  • The inlet power of the pump can be too powerful for the baby shrimps and they can get sucked inside the chamber. However, you can prevent that by covering the inlet pump with a thin layer of foam or sponge.

There are many HOB filters available in the market. I like the Penguin model from Marineland.

This HOB filter from Marineland comes with a rotating bio-wheel. This rotating bio-wheel technology is excellent at biological filtration.

Your tank will be filtered in 3 distinct stages: mechanical filtration, biological filtration as well as chemical filtration.

Also, the filter comes in 5 different GPH settings so you can easily choose the one that suits your shrimp tank.

If you want to check out the latest price on Amazon, click here.

Canister Filter: An Overkill For Shrimp Only Tank (But Good Option For A LARGE tank)

I think canister filters for shrimp tank is a bit overkill. These are the most expensive ones among all the filters mentioned in this article.

Canister filters are generally used for show tank and they offer the most supreme filtration. You can definitely go for one if you have the budget.

Canister filters don’t sit inside the tank. You’ll set them below the tank. It has a larger chamber than HOB filter. The chamber is generally divided into multiple stages for providing multiple filtration: mechanical filtration, biological filtration, and chemical filtration.

If you are willing to get a canister filter for your shrimp tank, you can get the one from Penn Plax Cascade Model. It is currently one of the most popular canister filter models in Amazon. There are certainly many reasons for this such as:

  • The filter comes with 3 media baskets for providing the ultimate filtration
  • Can be suitable for tanks up to 100 gallon! The GPH rate is 265
  • You can use customized filter media if you want
  • 360 degree rotating flow valves make the setup even easier
  • You can easily prime the filter with its push-button primer
  • Multiple sizes are available. So, you can choose the one that fits your shrimp tank

Here are the things I don’t like about canister filter in general:

  • Not suitable for beginners as setting up can be quite tricky
  • Generally a lot more expensive than other filtration systems
  • Overkill for using in a shrimp only tank
  • Like the HOB filter, there is no filter media available inside the shrimp tank for micro-organism to grow

If you are not new to fish keeping and have a good budget, you are more than welcome to use a canister filter on your shrimp tank. You can check out the Penn Plax Cascade Aquarium Filter on Amazon by clicking here.