Tetra Whisper Filter – My Review Of The Tetra Whisper Filter

If you’re looking to buy a filter for your first aquarium or need a solid filter but don’t have the budget for a Fluval or an AquaClear, you may consider a Tetra aquarium filter.

Tetra is a highly respected brand in the fishkeeping industry, and they have been making high-quality fish food and aquarium products for over half a century.

But how do their filters stack up? Is the Whisper series of filters a good option for your tank?

In our review of the Whisper series of HOB filters, we dig into the details to help you make your decision.

Read on to find out if this filter is right for you.


  • Value For The Money 99
  • How Quiet Is The Filter 80
  • Ease Of Installation 90
  • Ease Of Maintenance 95
  • Filtration Capacity 85
  • Flexibility, Flow Rate, Input, Output 88

What You Need To Know About The Tetra Whisper

Tetra filters are widely available and inexpensive, so they are often the first filter for aspiring fishkeepers. The Whisper HOB aquarium filter has been around for years, and so far, they’ve stood the test of time.

While inexpensive, these filters are still good quality and offer a great bang for your buck. They may not have as many features or be as hyped up as some of the more expensive options, but they are good solid bare-bones workhorse filters.

These filters come with filtration media included, but it’s very low-quality, so you’ll want to purchase your own.


Here’s Our Tetra Whisper Power Filter Reviews

Whisper Power Filters come in five different models for different tank sizes:

Tetra Whisper 10 Filter (PF10 Tetra 25771): The whisper pf10 power filter is perfect for tanks up to 10 gallons and has about a 90 gph flow rate. For anything smaller, you’ll need an internal tetra whisper filter for 1-3 gallons.

Tetra Whisper 20 Filter (PF20 Tetra 25772): The whisper pf20 power filter is perfect for tanks up to 20 gallons, 105 gph flow rate

Tetra Whisper 30 Filter (PF30 Tetra 25773): The whisper pf30 power filter is perfect for tanks up to 30 gallons, 145 gph flow rate

Tetra Whisper 40 Filter (PF40 Tetra 25774): The whisper pf40 power filter is perfect for tanks up to 40 gallons, 210 gph flow rate

Tetra Whisper 60 Filter (PF60 Tetra 25775): The whisper pf60 power filter is perfect for tanks up to 60 gallons, 330 gph flow rate

Just like with other HOB filters, we recommend going a step up on the size, so if you have a 40-gallon tank, you’ll be better off with the Whisper 60.


  • Cheaper than many other filters on the market.
  • Easy to clean and requires very little maintenance.
  • Generally durable and long-lasting.
  • Solid, bare-bones operation.


  • It comes with low-quality filtration media, so you’ll need to buy your own.
  • Although generally quiet, it’s still noisier than higher-end filters, and the noise level is inconsistent from filter to filter.

The Best Features Of The Tetra Whisper

  • Inexpensive but still good quality and offer a great bang for your buck.
  • Ability to easily adjust the flow rate using the dial mounted on the top.
  • The simple design of this filter makes it very easy to clean, and maintenance, in general, is pretty infrequent and trouble-free.

Click here to see our HOB Filter comparison chart that might work for you.

Hands-On Tetra Whisper HOB Filter

Although the Whisper filters come in several different sizes, we tested a Tetra Whisper 40 for this review.

The filter feels plasticky, but it seems solid and well-constructed enough. It comes with everything you need inside the box, but we recommend buying better quality filtration media.

The first thing we noticed when we started it up was a buzzing, rattling sound.

Other reviews on the noise level are mixed, so it seems like it may be a quality control issue. However, after taking it apart, we determined that the impeller tube assembly, which is in two separate pieces, was not seated all the way and was causing the noise.

How To Set Up The Tetra Whisper Filter

When setting this filter up, make sure the impeller tube assembly is aligned correctly and pressed in all the way, and you shouldn’t have problems.

Even after fixing the impeller assembly, the Whisper Power Filter 40 is far from being “whisper quiet.” It’s not deafening or anything, but it’s also not as quiet as higher-end filters. That being said, this thing works very well.

It has a reasonable flow rate, and it was able to keep the water on our 30-gallon tank impeccably clear.

The Tetra Whisper Filter Cartridges

The media basket and filtration system are designed to allow you to play around with customizing your media mix, which is nice.

However, my opinion is that the filter cartridge is a needless expense, and you are better off buying a sponge or filter floss, cutting it down to size, and provide your bag of bio media.

This way, you don’t need to pay for new cartridges every few weeks, and a custom setup allows you to suit your own tank needs and provide overall better filtration.

How To Adjust The Flow

A big selling point of this filter is quickly adjusting the flow rate using the dial mounted on the top. We found that this worked very well, even better than the flow controls on more expensive filters.

Which Way Does The Tetra Filter Go On Your Tank

This Tetra filter, as with most power filters, hangs on the glass of your aquarium. You can place it on the sides or the back of the aquarium with the intake tubes placed into the aquarium.

How To Take Apart The Tetra Whisper Filter

The simple design of this filter makes it very easy to clean, and maintenance, in general, is pretty infrequent and trouble-free.

The Instructions

The tetra whisper filter instructions are easy to understand and have excellent illustrations to help you set it up.

Click here to download the pdf version of the instructions.

Overall, we were pleased with the performance of this power filter and wouldn’t hesitate to put it on any of our tanks.

Video: Tetra Whisper PF10 Unboxing

Buy The Tetra Whisper Power Filter

If you’re on a budget, need a solid backup filter, or are just getting into the fishkeeping hobby, the Tetra Whisper HOB Filter is a great choice. It may not have all the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive filters out there, but it’s solid, it works, and it’s easy to clean and maintain.

Because of its solid performance and low price, the Whisper power filter may be the best HOB filter for those needing a quality filter that doesn’t cost a whole lot.

Jack Dempsey
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