Why was your filter too weak for the aquarium?
The size of the filter media (sponges, noodles, etc) is what counts, as long as the tank volume is turned over a couple of times an hour. If the filter media blocks up in a few weeks, then a bigger filter with more media is useful. If the filter media takes several months to clog up, then there is sufficient media for that tank. You can have the biggest filter with all the water you want moving through a filter, but there will only be enough beneficial bacteria living in the filter to use the ammonia that is produced by the fish that are in the tank.
Bigger filters don't necessarily mean cleaner water. They do have more water movement and have more media but aren't always needed, it depends on the fish being kept and how many fish are in the tank.
Some fish (Bettas, gouramis, tetras, angelfish) come from slow moving water (calm streams, lakes or puddles) and don't need or like strong currents. If you have these types of fish, then a smaller or slower pumping filter is better for them.
Other fishes like rasboras, danios, rainbowfish and some loaches, come from water with a bit of movement and often enjoy swimming in the currents. However, they should be given a rest period too where there isn't too much water movement. You can do this by having powerheads on a timer and let them come on for an hour in the morning and evening.