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Review, experiences, filtration and forum about Tetra Whisper Filter

Brief Description

The Whisper Filter is an aquarium filter that is as quiet as the name describes. This filter is manufactured by Tetra and comes in a variety of sizes for both internal and external filtration. Priced between $12 and $65, these filters are relatively inexpensive compared to many other brands. It is a widely available product that is sold in most aquatic retail stores and many different aquarium supply websites.


The Tetra Whisper Filter will provide clean water in tanks from 2 gallons (7.57 litres, 1.67 Imperial gallons) up to 60 gallons (~227 litres, 50 Imperial gallons). The filters canisters have one or two chambers for cycling water, depending on the volume of water it is meant for. You will need one filter for each chamber in your filter canister. The cartridges come in small, medium, large and X-large to suit your filtering needs.

Tetra makes their filters easy to clean and maintain. They are comprised of a number of parts that are easy to remove for cleaning purposes.

The external filter

The external filter hangs on the back of your aquarium. The motor, located on the bottom of the canister, sucks water up through a tube and forces it through the filter cartridge and a bacterial foam pad. The waste stays behind, the soluble chemicals get filtered and the bacteria that metabolize ammonia and nitrites get dispersed into the water when the water is pushed out of the filter canister and back into the aquarium.

The internal filter

The internal filter canister hangs on the inside of the aquarium supported by suction cups so that you can place it in there wherever you want to. The internals come in sizes that filter 2 gallons (7.57 litres, 1.67 Imperial gallons) up to 40 gallons (~151 litres, 33 Imperial gallons). Because the motor is located below the water’s surface this filter is even quieter than the external Whisper. The best thing about this filter is that it will filter even in low water levels making it ideal for aquariums that contain mud skippers or turtles that need to be able to spend time up and out of the water.

Each filter cartridge comes ready to assemble with a plastic frame, a holding clip, a mesh “bio-bag”, a bacteria sponge and a pre-measured portion of “ultra activated carbon”. The Whisper Filter is designed to promote clean and clear water, absorb fishy odours and prevent discolouration through the use of the specially designed ”bio-bag” and “ultra activated carbon”. The reusable plastic frame is slid into the mesh “bio-bag” which is then filled with the “ultra activated carbon”. The frame flaps are folded over the top of the “bio-bag” and the holding clip is put in place to hold it all securely together. In addition to “ultra activated carbon” other filtering products may be used in the “Whisper Filter”. The reusable plastic frame is economical and earth friendly because it is not thrown out every time you change a filter, thus cutting down on the amount of discarded trash. For optimum effectiveness, it is recommended to rinse the filter cartridge once a week and to change it once a month.


Some people do not think the Tetra Whisper Filter is a good product. Even though the cost is relatively reasonable compared to other filtration devices, some aquarists have had trouble with the motors of these products. They have mentioned that the filters get clogged too quickly and that the motors are weak and unreliable. If these filters are regularly maintained I have found that they do a pretty good job.

I bought a 55 gallon (~208 litres, 46 Imperial gallons) aquarium that came with the complete starter kit. One Whisper PF-60 came with the kit including two large filter cartridges. I used this filter for the first 3 months and decided it was not filtering as well as I would have wanted it to. I got a second Whisper PF-60 so that I could have double the water filtration. I do a 30% water change every two weeks and I scrub out my filter tubes and canisters once a month and I am happy with the condition of my aquarium. The second filter made all of the difference in cleanliness and I feel that my fish are healthier because of it. Even though Tetra tells you which size should filter which volume of water, I still think you should consider getting one size larger than recommended. In my case I just got a second filter. I have never had any trouble with this filter. With regular maintenance and the proper amount of filtration, this product is just as good as any other.


Tetra whisper aquarium filter, picture 1

Tetra whisper aquarium filter, picture 2

Tetra whisper aquarium filter, picture 3

Tetra whisper aquarium filter, picture 4

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