Can I use an aquarium filter meant for a 100 gallon fish tank on a 20 gallon fish tank?

I have a 20 gallon fish tank and I’m linking into getting a new filter system. I would like to get something that could filter as much water as possible. I saw one online that was for a tank 100 gallons or more, here it is:

Would this be ok to use on my 20 gallon fish tank?

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7 Responses to Can I use an aquarium filter meant for a 100 gallon fish tank on a 20 gallon fish tank?

  1. Terry P says:

    The answer to your question is yes, and no. It is true that you can’t over filter the water in your aquarium, but as already pointed out you have to consider other things such as the amount of current that it creates in your tank. If it was a reef tank then you would want the heavy currents, but if it is a heavily planted freshwater tank with calm water loving species such as Discus, Angels or Betta’s then this current would be a real problem. You can regulate the amount flowing through the tank but this is a waste of filtration and the energy required to run it.

    Frankly I wouldn’t even consider using the hang on filter that you linked to for a 100 gallon tank. A filter should be able to circulate 10 times the water volume of the tank it is for. At only 300 gph I would say that the filter is good for a 30 or even a 55 gallon, but no more. With a 20 gallon tank you are going to be turning over the tank 15 times an hour so this is quite a bit of current. If you are going to have fish such as African cichlids they will fine, but it’s a bit much for a planted tank and calm water species.

    As an example of one way to deal with this problem I submit one of my own tanks. I have a 110 gallon tank that is a heavily planted Discus tank. I have a wet dry filter with 2 pumps that pushes 1500 gallons per hour. Obviously this is an awful lot of current for the fish that I have in the tank. What I did was to cycle 500 gallons per hour through the tank, while the other 1000 gph is continuously circulated through the filter and its 30 gallon sump. It is still effectively filtering the tank at a rate of 15 times per hour, but with the current equivalent to only 5 times per hours. The great thing about this is that it allows a much higher stocking level and the water quality remains pristine, while allowing me to keep fish that wouldn’t do well in a strong current.

    So it all depends upon what you are trying to keep, and there always ways to cheat.

  2. Jessica G says:

    It would def. be good to use. The only thing you have to think about is making sure the flow is not too strong for the fish that are in the tank.

  3. Tara & darren C says:

    it says upto 100 so yes that wud b excellent just watch that the out flow isn’t 2 powerfull some filters u can regulate this
    u can never have 2much filtration

  4. courtney says:

    Of course you can.
    Majority of them time,
    you should have a step above and they recommend a higher rated filter then
    the tank technically calls for.

    I’ve got the same filter on my 20 gallon with 3 goldfish
    and I’ve never had water troubles.

  5. Mrs Sajid says:

    hi that is a good filter it doesn’t matter if its big infect the bigger the better nd the Cleaner it will be, ur fishes will stay more happy

  6. poxxyfoxxy says:

    Modern thinking on water cycling through filters per hour now say more is better. A controllable system is even better in case the output is to violent for the tank residents &/or fittings. Bigger filters usually give a higher quality & more thorough cleaning. Also at some time in the future you may try a bigger tank & if the filter lasts you wont have to purchase a new one & spread out the costs.

  7. yablocksthetruth says:

    This Cascade will be fine. If you can place this on the short end it will be great though if not try it in the middle of the long back of the aquarium and if the flow is too great slide it down to the far side where the intake tube is in the corner. Usually the claims on filters are far too large for what they say. There is no way in the world I would consider putting one of these on a 100 gallon. It would be perfect for a 29.

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