Top 11 Best Canister Filters for Aquariums


Top 11 Best Canister Filters for Aquariums

Canister filters are of great importance because they help remove in removing dirty water from the Aquarium via a consumption tube, innings it via a filter media in a canister at high pressures, and further, the filtered water is pumped back to the fish tank through a tube.

This helps in eliminating damaging dirt and debris from your Aquarium.

The canister filters are very famous in the aquarium industry for their best filtering solutions as they offer excellent chemical, mechanical, and biological filtration skills to their customers.

Moreover, the canister filters are equally useful for freshwater tanks, saltwater tanks, reef tanks as well as turtle tanks.

The factors to consider when buying a Canister Filter for your Aquarium

  • Fish tank size

This is the foremost thought to get yourself the correct filter for your tank. The good thing is that most of the canister filters have an advocated tank size.

In case you have no idea what to choose, you can take the bigger size because over-filtration can harm the fish, but under-filtration can deadly for your fish.

  • Stocking levels

If you have more fish in your fish tank, the greater the waste production, meaning you will need more filtration.

Moreover, the type of sea animal in your aquarium matter, for example, a turtle will require more filtration compared to a small fish.

  • They are quiet

Although a few might be noisy, Canister filters are usually quiet compared to other filtration systems.

They fulfill most people’s needs; for instance, when you just want to relax, you can have a calm environment while having to view your fish, and if you have an aquarium in your bedroom, you can sleep without any distractions.

  •  Media selection

Most Canister filters offer a flexible choice of media, which can be either be mechanical, biological, or chemical filtration of water in the fish tank.

For biological filtration, good bacteria groups are formed to cope with nitrite and ammonia; chemical media copes with invisible substances that accumulate in the aquatic, while for mechanical media, the physical leftovers are eliminated.

  • Rates of flow

The canister filters can have a flow rate of 320 gallons every hour, which is much higher than its competitors.

They save time and power since the complete filtration process takes a shorter duration.

  • They are easy to set up

Canister filters are characteristically easy to install, with most of them designed to allow easy disassembling as well as setting them up.

  • Financial Plan

You should have a good budget because most canister filters are costly than other filters in the market.

Best Canister Filters for Aquariums

 Fluval External 06 Canister Filter Series

This series comes in a variety of sizes, including; Fluval 106 (95 GPH), Fluval 206 (121 GPH), Fluval 306 (206 GPH), and Fluval 406 (245 GPH).

 Fluval 06 series possesses a breathtaking motor technology with its high durability and ability to maintain a robust flow even during cleaning. 

The noise from the impeller is reduced by the detailed-engineering bearings and defensive cover, as well as defending it moist and debris, which helps in maintaining durability.

These canisters use the whole volume to split every stage of filtration, which results in higher effectiveness and least mess-free upkeep.

This filter operates delightfully at debris absorption and stopping blocked media. Prompt preparation is a smart feature at all times.

The Fluval 06 Series helps users to tap teir fish tank water without difficulties or annoyance. Aqua Stop valve installation is simply allowing the user to regulate the flow rate entirely.

However, this is a robust and reliable filter for freshwater and saltwater fish tanks with its efficiency in eliminating impurities.

What we like:

  • High motor tech which ensures a strong water flow
  • It provides a reliable multistage filtration
  • It is quite.
  • It makes use of the complete canister volume to intensify filtration.
  • It has a neat real-time feature.
  • It has changeable disengage and engages flow rates
  • It is manufactured with a media
  • Offers a 3-year warranty

What we don’t like:

  • Trembling output nozzle.
  • The installation guide is not so clear.
  • The users should not touch the impeller to avoid removing it from the balance as well as easily losing its parts.

EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter

With over 30-year experience in the market, the Eheim platform is well-known for manufacturing German-engineering canister filters.

Eheim Classic External Canister Filter being one of their products it is as well-liked for its ease and efficiency.  Although you won’t get the high tech gear found in digital filters, you can’t ignore this model.

This unit is accessible in 40, 66, and 90-gallon tanks, as well as possess absolute Eheim mech and Substrat Pro media.

The good thing concerning this filter is it doesn’t have a bypass, meaning debris must go through media to attain a fantastic water clearing.

Although this is probably to make it saturated and decrease the rate of flow over the period, if you are good at being on the best of maintenance, this won’t be a problem for you.

This unit is secured with Permo-elastic silicon seal chimes on the top of the pump to enable easy and secure closing a once done with the cleaning.

The model is made with a compact style and has a quiet motor that makes it suitable to fit any room you wish without experiencing disturbance. However, this unit has promising life reliability, silence, and problem-free services.

The unit has power efficacy; thus, users are sorted with complete energy consumption.

The Eheim has a striking rate of flow, one of the reasons why it is rated the perfect choice for goldfish tanks. No matter which model you select from 40, 66, 92 gallons, and up to 300 gallons, you are assured of efficiency.

Also, to silence levels, this unit has extended its feasibility to house different types of marine lives.

What we like:

  • It has a quiet motor
  • Simple and long-lasting style with ease in operating.
  • There are media available.
  • It lacks media trays meaning that the flow of water will be higher past filtration media
  • It holds plenty of filter media.
  • It is silent, solid with efficiency in operation.

What we don’t like:

  • Lack of media trays makes cleaning harder.
  • It lacks the feature of independent-priming
  • Its instructions are not clear, although you can find simplified guides on YouTube.
  • It doesn’t have stimulated carbon.

SunSun Pro Canister Filter Kit

The SunSun Pro is a sleek contemporary canister filter obtainable in three various sizes. The following are the SunSun’s Pro filtration kits:

  • The HW 302B Pro Filtration Kit (264GPH) – this is the best choice for tanks with 75gallons.
  • HW 303B Pro Filtration Kit (370GPH) – a perfect selection for tanks with up to 100 gallons.
  • HW 304B Pro Filtration Kit (525GPH) – perfect for tanks of up to 150 gallons

The units come with additional three packs of white filter pads and a single pack of rough blue pads, the best filter carbon of 1pound, a one-pound ceramic rings as well as forty pieces of bio balls.

The unique thing about this model is that it has a built-in nine watt UV disinfectant that assists in killing bacteria and algae spores, making the water to become crystal clear.

The large blue independent-priming pump operates greatly and removes the essence for physical siphoning. Through the four media trays, you can attain exceptional chemical, mechanical and biological filtrations.

This unit’s maintenance and cleaning are easy, but when cleaning, you should not interfere with the arrangement of trays. However, you can mark every tray depending on their order for simpler remembrance.

This unit has a button that allows the user to separate the input and output hoses at once.  That button essentially stops the flow of water and leaves it in the hoses.

This is helpful since it helps the siphon system when it is restarted.  

Most importantly, don’t get confused, the button is not made to regulate the rate of flow, and you can keep it either closed or open.

This model offers a lot of energy, and it has high durability as well as its motor is efficiently silent.

What we like:

  • Exceptional worth for cash and has a variety of sizes.
  • The model comes with a UV sterilizer that helps in eliminating algae spores and bacteria.
  • Individual-priming pump
  • It has numerous storage of media.
  • It is near to quiet
  • It has simplicity in cleaning and maintenance.
  • This unit makes use of the three filtration processes which they offer at a sensible cost.

What we don’t like:

  • It has some plastic parts that are a bit fragile, but if they fall and don’t break, you can fix them back instead of replacing them with new ones.
  • Its UV sterilizer LED bulb loses energy eventually
 Fluval FX6 Canister Filter

The Fluval Fx6 huge mainstay having a flow rate at 56 gallons each hour.

In this model, you anticipate great tech, durability, and power since it is a premium performance unit. However, it has not failed in advancing from its predecessors such as the FX4 with better technology of motor.

This unit offers improved performance while using ten-percent fewer electricity.

Exact-engineered bearings, as well as defensive cover, reduces noise produced by the impeller and protects it from moist and debris to ensure durability.

Its excellent pump is individual-priming; thus, its very simple when setting up as the user just adds water and sample it in.

This pump tracks the water flow, involuntarily regulating to keep a steady flow rate and eliminates the canister of surrounded air per 12hrs.

The FX6 uses a whopping six stages of filtration! Each basket has been precision-engineered to stop any water bypass.

It is resulting in a more efficient filtration process. It’s very easy to maintain, and if you’re the kind of person who isn’t the best at staying on top of maintenance.

The unit a month-long indicator that helps the user recall the precise date you last did maintenance and change water in the Aquarium.

This monster of the filter is the best filtration system being on the sharp edge of the Aqua technology.

Durable and dependable, you’d be able to count on this filter for a very long time. If you’re looking for a little less power, check out the Fluval FX4.

Almost all the same features but with less power (265 GPH), and 4 stage filtering instead of 6.

What we don’t like:

  • Great performance using a 10-percent lesser electricity
  • It has a self-priming Smart Pump with ease to assemble.
  • It has six filtration stages.
  • Has plenty of media
  • It has high durability and is of good quality
  • Its output hose is multi-directional
  • It is extremely silent
  • Its impeller is so protected that the canister automatically switch off when cooperated.

What we don’t like:

  • The Fluval FX6 is pricey.
  • It is large thus needs a spacious room, unlike most filters.
  • Takes up a lot of space compared to the other filters

 Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

The Hydor Professional Canister filter is a reliable unit that comes in different sizes: 160 GPH, 200 GPH, 240 GPH, 260 GPH, and 290 GPH

This unit can be easily set and is user-friendly, having a 3-time push self-priming button that helps in starting. Its motor has a high durability with a soundproof feature that helps it run quietly.

It is designed in a rectangular shape to enable an efficient filtration process.

Every tray is flush across the sides due to the sizable volume of media held by the unit forcing water via the filtration media without a bypass.

This kit possesses each essential media apart from carbon.

Varying from the filter size you select, you receive space for 2 to 5 media trays enabling a multistage filtering process to take place.

It features connections of ball valves that are made to decrease backpressure. They are efficient in changing the flow of water to get a faultless quantity of output for your fish tank.

This enables you to switch off the flow at the time of detaching the filter for maintenance.

The fashionable thing about this model has a stretchy spray bar. Its four dividers allow you to regulate the location and length to have the best outcome for the fish tank.

The platform its self has good customer services

What we like:

  • It has power, efficiency, and silent
  • It is easy to assemble and use.
  • Its rectangular form allows holding of the huge volume of media.
  • It is simple to prime
  • Has an expandable spray bar

What we don’t like:

  • It can be difficult to find spare parts, and it is new in the market.
  • Water can leak out when you are disjoining it for maintenance, if not cautious.
  • Its guide is not clear, but you can access instructions on YouTube.

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filter

The Penn Plax Cascade filters have pliable media trays that allow multistage adaptable filtration. This unit has five different sizes.

There is a variety of numbers of media baskets from 2 to 5 accessible to form your filtering system in accordance with your model selection.

The installation of filters is very easy as they can be assembled, and water filtration can take place in just 30 mins.

It has a push-switch primer that allows ease during starting up with a regulation on the flow rate as well as an elastic bases that maintain the unit’s stability.

The filter is sold together with all the essential equipment needed to assemble it, such as the filter baskets, startup filter media as well as the intake & output tubes.

What we like:

  • This unit is silent when operating
  • It is very strong since it is a robust plastic make.
  • It comes with a spray bar.
  • Presence of a portable handle that enables easy picking

What we don’t like:

  • This unit is one of the expensive filters on the list.
  • It is on the more expensive side.
  • It does not self-priming, thus making it hard to prime the first time.
  • It consumes so much power.

Fluval All-New 07 Series Performance Canister Filter

All New 07 series range of sizes include Fluval 107, Fluval 207, Fluval 307, and Fluval 407.

The 07 series are prominent for its remarkable features with excellent filtration capabilities fit for all aquarium types.

This filter is similarly effectual to freshwater, discus (circular), and saltwater fish tanks because they are not noisy throughout the filtration process.

Thus they are the best suitable since fish frequently hate vibrations, and it ensures that a robust rate of flow is upheld in the Aquarium at all times.

This canister filter importantly offers a multistage filtration such as chemical, biological and mechanical stages to guarantee the least maintain ace need as well as utmost versatility provided.

This model features aqua stop-valves to discontinue water from flowing without disjointing the hoses, which removes all leaks and general maintenance untidiness.

Also, this model can be used in fish tanks of up to 100 gallons.

What we like:

  • It is quiet
  • Suitable for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
  • Offers a multistage filtration process.

What we don’t like:

  • Pricey

Aqua Top Canister Filter

This filter is suitable for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums and is perfect for mechanical, biological, and chemical filtering.

The Aqua Top filter comes in 3 various sizes of tanks with the largest at 175 gallons.

The filters have a UV sterilizer of 9 watts, three polishing pads, and a rough filter sponge, among other essential components used for installing the unit.

It also has activated carbon, earthenware rings, and bio balls.

This filters unique feature of having a UV sterilize helps in removing algae and parasites among

What we like:

  • The high flow rate of up to 525 GPH.
  • It has a changeable height input tube
  • Its prime has amazing functionality.
  • It has all the essential media.

What we don’t like:

  • It is pricey
  • Its lid might give you a hard time when putting it back after you clean.
  • It creates air bubbles in the first days
  • The installation of the spray bar is difficult

Marineland Canister Filter

The MarineLand is a trusted and famous product in the aquarium industry that provides a multistage in 3 various sizes with fish tanks of up to 100gallons.

The three stages of filtering are perfect for saltwater and freshwater aquariums.

This model has its lid, particularly made to guarantee a close-fitting water seal.

It has a lot of filter media such as the cleaning pads to help eliminate debris, bio-balls, and ceramic rings that offer a lot of room for growth of good bacteria as well as the dark-colored diamond that helps in eradicating discoloration and smells.

These are the three sizes of the MarineLand canister filter:

  • Small size tank of up to 30 gallons
  • Medium is a 55-gallon tank
  • Large for fish tanks of up to 100 gallons

What we like:

  • It is sold with the essential filter media required.
  • It is simple to set up and maintain
  • There is a spacious room for various media
  • It is of high quality and durable.

What we don’t like:

  • When you shift the hoses, they easily turn out to be loose
  • Its guide is unclear; thus, the user has difficulties in understanding the instructions.
  • It produces air bubbles a few days when it is started.

Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

This filter comes in a variety of sizes (five), which serves different fish tank sizes.

This moderately new brand in the aquarium industry is previously becoming a famous brand for its high-quality products.

These filters are manufacture with strong plastic and have its four legs base made of rubber, giving a firm stand firm.

The unit comes with telescopic input tubes and a simple priming system, as well as easy to assemble. It operates very quietly and is the best selection for all types of aquariums, from saltwater, freshwater to turtle tanks.

What we like:

  • It is very easy to set up and maintain.
  • It runs silently
  • It has long, dense hoses that allow the utmost rate of water flow.
  • It has a reasonable price

What we don’t like:

  • The media baskets have to be lined up perfectly to allow the filter to close again.
  • Drips can develop at the connection points.
  • The media it comes with isn’t great and will need replacing.

 Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

The Penn Plax has a status in the aquarium industry for providing heavyweight filters. This unit provides a multistage filtration process, meaning that every waste is eliminated.

The filtration helps in securing the life of your fish by keeping its setting clean. This filter is designed to be versatile as it can be used in both saltwater and freshwater fish tanks.

However, this is a precise choice for your goldfish as they love living in clean water.

This model can uniquely handle greater volumes of water that most of its competitors, and it allows usage of water capacity of up to 200-gallon fish tanks. It is also easy to install.

Moreover, it comes with all the essential parts, thus saves the users the stress of spending extra cash for the installation of the filter.

This unit has control valves that, importantly, prevent leakages during maintain through regulating the rate of flow. This model has huge filter trays that are very durable and of good quality.

You get flow rate control valves, which are all important to prevent any leaks while doing maintenance.

The large filter trays used on this model will last a long time before there will be any need to think about replacing them.

Moreover, adjusting its media is easy because it has a simple-lift clamp which allows access to the filtering media as well as all essential parts for maintenance.

What we like:

  • It has control valves that regulate water flow during maintenance.
  • Comes with large, durable filter trays
  • Easy to set up and maintain.

What we don’t like:

  • It is quite pricey

To put a lid on it:

As you can see, the models have varying features, which gives you an easier selection to a model that features your Aquarium’s needs.

Although it might be confusing on which canister filter to choose, we still have distinguished the filters from each other since some have some exclusive benefits.

Importantly, you should look at the ease to mount as well as the power efficiency of the canister filter of your choice among other appealing features.

From the list, it is evident that every Aquarium requires a filter to keep your fish and aquarium plant’s environment healthy. However, investing in high quality and the durable filter is good is worth-while after all.


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