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5 Best Filters for African Dwarf Frogs in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

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By Lindsey Stanton

african dwarf frog diving

One important part of setting up your African Dwarf frog aquarium is getting a quality filter, but what type of filter should you actually get? Today we want to cover the different types of filters to consider and what we feel are the better options.

In this article we will be answering many of the common filter questions and help you find the best filter for African Dwarf Frogs, but first, let’s take a look at our top 5 choices.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Zoo Med Canister Filter Zoo Med Canister Filter
  • Small and space friendly
  • All 3 types of required filtration
  • Easy maintenance
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Sunsun Canister Filter Sunsun Canister Filter
  • Doesn’t take up much space
  • Easy to set up and maintain
  • Adjustable flow rate
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Finnex Compact Canister Filter Finnex Compact Canister Filter
  • Combo HOB & canister filter
  • Saves space
  • Adjustable flow rate
  • Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter
  • Durable
  • High flow rate
  • Quick maintenance
  • AquaClear Filter AquaClear Filter
  • Powerful and efficient
  • 3 stages of filtration
  • Easy set up and maintenance
  • The 5 Best Filters for African Dwarf Frogs

    1. Zoo Med Canister Filter – Best Overall


    Here we have the Zoo Med Canister Filter, a very small and simple filter ideal for tanks and terrariums up to 15 gallons in size. It’s a simple external canister filter that barely takes up room outside of the tank.

    It comes complete with all hoses and connectors required to install it. This filter features an easy to remove lid, with easy to remove components, for super easy maintenance and media replacement.

    The clear body of it allows you to see when media needs to be replaced. This filter engages in mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration for clean water, plus it comes complete with all media you need to get started.

    It’s just a super small, basic, and very convenient filter for small frog and fish tanks. It’s nothing overly special and it doesn’t have a massive flow rate, but it gets the job done just fine.

    • Small and space friendly.
    • All 3 types of required filtration.
    • Very easy maintenance.
    • Clear body to see media.
    • Comes with media and everything you need.
    • 1 size only.
    • Not for large tanks.
    • Limited durability.

    2. Sunsun Canister Filter – Best Value


    Here we have another small and convenient canister filter for your frog tank, one that is not going to take up much space outside of the tank.

    Just like the other filter, this one is very easy to maintain and set up. It comes complete with all of the tubes and components required to set it up.

    The filter itself is very easy to open, take apart, and maintain. Cleaning and changing media is made easy here.

    Keep in mind that this filter is made for aquariums up to 20 gallons and can process over 100 gallons of water per hour, more than enough for a frog tank.

    The flow rate here is adjustable. Sunsun 603B comes with filter pads for mechanical filtration, and there is plenty of room for other types of media.

    That said, biological and chemical filtration, while definitely possible with this filter, the media for these is not included. All things considered, it’s actually a really durable filter too, although quite noisy.

    • Comes with all required components.
    • Doesn’t take up much space.
    • Easy to set up and maintain.
    • Adjustable flow rate.
    • Fine for most ADF tanks.
    • Capable of all 3 types of filtration.
    • Not much media included.
    • Quite noisy.

    3. Finnex Compact Canister Filter – Premium Choice


    Here we have a slightly larger aquarium or terrarium, one that can work for tanks up to 25 gallons, so it is of a pretty decent size. This thing has an adjustable flow rate and can process up to 95 gallons per hour, more than enough for a decent size African dwarf frog tank.

    This unit comes complete with a spray bar, a filter hanger, and a filter intake strainer. However, keep in mind that the tubing is not included.

    What is really interesting about the Finnex PX-360 is that it is a combination external canister filter and hang on back filter. It’s a canister but can be hung on the side of the aquarium, and it doesn’t take up much space either.

    The Finnex PX-360 has a good amount of space on the inside for all types of media, and yes, this unit engages in mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration.

    There is media that comes with this filter, and this includes a sponge, an activated carbon floss pad, and ceramic bio rings. The side of this filter is see-through, so you can keep an eye on the media.

    We do want to say that it’s not the most durable or the quietest filter.

    • Comes with media.
    • Combo HOB & canister filter.
    • Saves space.
    • Quite powerful.
    • Adjustable flow rate.
    • All 3 types of filtration.
    • A bit noisy.
    • Limited durability.

    4. Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter


    In case you have not noticed, we keep moving up in size. This particular filter comes in a few sizes including ones for up to 30, 55, and 100 gallons, so it can get pretty big.

    Even though the Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter is powerful and has a very nice flow rate, it has a very compact shape that does not take up too much space. It comes with an easy to set up design, which is also easy to maintain. Simply pop the tubing off and pop off the lid for easy cleaning and media changes.

    Keep in mind that the tubing is not included, but it does come loaded with media. This thing actually performs 4 stages of filtration, including all 3 necessary types, which are mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration.

    It comes complete with a polishing filter for fine debris, as well as an array of mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration media.

    The Marineland Magniflow is actually quite durable, although quite loud too.

    • Durable.
    • High flow rate.
    • Various sizes.
    • Easy to set up.
    • Quick maintenance.
    • Media included.
    • All 3 types of filtration.
    • Quite loud.
    • Tubing not included.

    5. AquaClear Filter


    Here we have a very simple hang on back filter, one that comes in various sizes. The sizes here include 5 to 10 gallons, 10 to 30 gallons, 40 to 70 gallons, 60 to 110 gallons, and more.

    The fact that this thing hangs on the back means it doesn’t take up space inside of the tank, and it does not require much clearance behind it either. This thing comes with everything you need to get it running, including the tubing, mounting gear, and more.

    This filter has a very high flow rate with lots of processing power, but the flow rate can be turned down. The AquaClear Filter engages in all 3 major types of filtration, and it comes with all media included.

    Here you get AquaClear Foam, Activated Carbon and BioMax, and Cycle Guard for continuous biological filtration. In terms of maintenance, this thing is about as easy as it gets, although it does require a fair bit of maintenance.

    • Many sizes.
    • Very powerful and efficient.
    • All media included.
    • 3 stages of filtration.
    • Easy set up and maintenance.
    • Does not take up much space.
    • Can be a bit loud.
    • Needs lots of cleaning.

    wave divider

    Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Filter for African Dwarf Frogs

    Do African Dwarf Frogs Need a Filter?

    Yes, for the most part, you do want to supply your African dwarf frogs with good filtration. These frogs are quite sensitive to dirty water and bad water conditions.

    Dirty water full of contaminants is very bad for frogs and can quickly end up killing them. Therefore, you should definitely get a decent filter for your African dwarf frogs.

    Now, the issue here is that these frogs are also sensitive to heavy water flow. They don’t like fast moving waters, or really water that moves at all.

    Therefore, you need an efficient filter that has lots of filtration capabilities and power, but also one where the flow rate can be adjusted so you don’t end up making a strong current in the water.

    Some people say that it is possible to keep African dwarf frogs without a filter, because with enough due diligence, water can be kept clean enough. However, we wholeheartedly disagree with this. You absolutely should have a good filter for your frog tank.

    African Dwarf Frog Hopping Around
    Image Credit: Charlie Tyack, Shutterstock

    What Type of Filter Should I Get?

    There are a few different types of filters you can consider getting for your African dwarf frog tank, but which type is best? Let’s take a quick look at each type.

    Canister Filter

    Generally speaking, most people would agree that an external canister filter is the go top option for African dwarf frogs.

    One reason for this is because they cannot get injured by the filter, and they can also not cause damage to it simply because it is external. They don’t take up any room inside of the tank either, thus saving prime real estate for your frogs.

    Moreover, external canister filters tend to be fairly easy to maintain, as you can simply pop the lid off to get to the media.

    Moreover, these tend to have lots of room for media, the media can usually be customized, and they are generally very efficient too, not to mention that their flow rates are highly adjustable.

    For these reasons, canister filters tend to be the go-to option for African dwarf frog tanks.

    Hang on Back

    AquaClear Power Filter feat

    Another type of filter which some people use for African dwarf frog tanks is the hang on back filter.

    An advantage with these is that they hang on the tank, so you don’t need a separate cabinet for them, but they also don’t take up room inside of the tank. These filters tend to be fairly powerful, and they generally allow for all three necessary types of filtration too.

    They may not be quite as easy to maintain and clean as canister filters, but are still not too much of a challenge. However, hang on back filters do have some issues, with one being that they generally are not as durable as external canister filters.

    Moreover, if worst comes to worst, these filters can injure frogs, or the frogs can jump into them and cause damage. Yes, HOB filters are fine for the most part, but not quite as good as canister filters, at least not for frog tanks.


    One thing we won’t do here is list the pros and cons of internal aquarium filters. Although these may be fine for some applications, never use one of these for a frog tank of any sort.

    These tend to not be the most durable, they create lots of water flow, they take up lots of space within the tank, and due to all components being located right in the tank, they can cause injury to your frogs, or even death if they get stuck or pulled into an intake tube.

    Just don’t use internal filters for African dwarf frog tanks.

    Image Credit: PDPics, Pixabay


    Things to Consider When Buying A Filter For ADFs

    Before you go out and buy any sort of filter for an African dwarf frog tank, here are some main considerations you will want to keep in mind.

    1. Tank Size

    One of the main considerations to keep in mind here is the size of the tank compared with the size and flow rate of the filter.

    Simply put, if you have a 30-gallon African dwarf frog tank, you need a filter to match. Now, the flow rate is important to consider too, because although frogs do need efficient and powerful filtration, they cannot really handle high flow rates or strong water currents.

    Therefore, you need an efficient filter that can handle the size of the tank in question, but also one where you can turn the flow rate down a bit.

    fish tank at night
    Image Credit: Tide-Oo, Shutterstock

    2. Filtration Type

    When buying a filter for your frogs, you do also want to pay attention to the filtration type.

    What you are looking for here is a combination of mechanical filtration for solid debris, biological filtration to break down ammonia and help with the nitrogen cycle, and chemical filtration to remove other unwanted compounds and components.

    You need to have all three types of filtration for the best results and the healthiest frogs.

    3. Noise & Vibrations

    Yes, there are louder and quieter filters out there. Now, although canister filters are generally the best option for African dwarf frogs, they generally are not that quiet.

    However, if you can find one with decent legs and a solid body, you should be able to minimize vibrations and therefore noise too.

    4. Maintenance & Installation

    This really depends on what is easier for you. But a filter that is easy to open up, lets you see the media, lets you easily detach various components, and is easy to open up is always nice.

    Simply put, a fast set up and quick maintenance are both big factors that will help make your life easier.

    5. Durability

    The other thing you want to look for is of course a filter that’s not going to go bust in just a couple of months.

    Simply put, you do get what you pay for. It’s definitely worth getting a more expensive and high-quality filter that will last for time to come and be reliable, rather than spending as little cash as possible and then constantly having to deal with issues.


    The bottom line is that there are plenty of great filters for African dwarf frog tanks, but if you’re looking for the overall best, we recommend the Zoo Med Canister Filter, or if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the Sunsun Canister Filter makes a great choice. Keep in mind that it needs to engage in all three major types of filtration, and generally speaking, canister filters tend to work best, although hang on back filters are fine too.

    As long as you look out for the main features that we discussed in our opening sections, you should have no problems finding the best filter for your African dwarf frog tank.

    Featured Image Credit: Dan Olsen, Shutterstock

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