8 Best Canister Filter For Your Aquarium

Best Canister filter for aquarium

For aquarium hobbyists, filters are essential as they not only help maintain their aquarium but also contribute to better fish health. In this article, we are going to discuss canister filters in detail.

Canister filters are aquarium filters that essentially aim at removing wastewater from the fish tank via an intake tube, sieve, valve, and pass it through multiple filter media to purify the tank water. The water so filtered is then put back to the aquarium through the spillway or using the spray bar.

Why should you opt for a canister filter? 

Well, there are various reasons to consider buying a canister filter instead of other varieties like power filters available in the market. Let’s check out some of them:

  • A good canister filter gives you an advantage in selecting the type of filtration appropriate for your tank and then customizes the filter media.
  • Canister filters generally come with comparatively lesser maintenance requirements.
  • These filters usually replenish the tank water through a spray bar, thereby preventing evaporation and reducing current.
  • These aquarium filters can facilitate mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration based on the chosen brand and requirement.
  • Most canister filters come with an inbuilt water pump to push water as they have a sealed system.
  • Total media filter customization can be done.
  • Ensures easy maintenance.

You will find various kinds of aquarium canister filters in the market. Still, for your convenience, we have thoroughly researched their pros and cons, varieties, and customer reviews, especially. If you have already decided to buy one for your aquarium, you must go through this article to make your decision wisely and as per your requirements.

8 Best Canister Filter Available in Market

8. EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter with Media

This is a legendary classic filter with technology which is tried and tested and has larger systems. The biological, mechanical purification is attained in a single process with a constant circulation of water and oxygen enrichment. The model comes with media and a stand.


  • Setting up of the filter is straightforward.
  • You get a wholly contained media, so no extra time is required for unpacking each media item, and you can easily rinse and install them.
  • It’s easy to sue, and for cleaning, you require to disconnect hoses using the double-tap connectors.


  • Lack of external features makes the grip of the canister very difficult.
  • Some hideous green parts appear like a huge eyesore to the tank.

User Reviews:  The users think that this is the greatest filter available in the market. It does not take much time to turn the tank water crystal clear. There are better varieties available in the market, but they are no match to the EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter, particularly when price and maintenance are considered.

7.SunSun Hw304B 525GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit

This filter is ideal for tanks up to 150 gallons. It can handle water flow up to 525 gallons per hour. Using it, the aquarium gets filter pads, hoses, and other parts that are required to get started. The flexible media tray allows you to add other filtration systems like activated carbon, spores, bacteria, and then promotes clear water.


  • The amount of biomedia it holds is amazing.
  • They hold plenty of room for mechanical filtering.

You may easily change of clean media, like using activated carbon.


  • The design is quite unsafe. You need to add a UV option on top of all.
  • The installation process might be complicated if you don’t follow the video.

User Reviews: The customers have to say that the filter is quite good, and there is no point in disliking the same. If these filters could be kept like the coarse ones at the bottom and finer ones at the top, that would give the best result. Although it’s fairly expensive, still considering the fact that it facilitates anaerobic cleaning, the pricing is worth it.

6.Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter

This product includes UV sterilizer to eradicate algae spores and bacteria and suitable for tanks up to 175 gallons.


  • Very sturdy and strong filter.
  • It gives great service until 5 years and might even go on further without the slightest problem.


  • Some customers complain that the filter starts getting worse after 6 months.
  • There can be some air bubble issues attached to the filter for some customers.

 User Reviews: One happy customer says that he bought it 5 years back, and it’s still going on good. Although it loses its filtration capabilities after a long time, still not to the extent that it can be a dumped. The UV lights can stop working, but that can always be exchanged.

 5. Fluval FX 6 Aquarium Canister Filter

It’s a very high performing multi-stage external filter for aquariums with a capacity of a maximum of 400 gallons. The filter is compact and fits in any of the aquarium cabinets. It has an indigenous self-priming system. It is 20 liters in volume, has 5.9 liters of biological filter, and pump output of 3500l/h.


  • It has a huge capacity and dependable media, along with a powerful motor in the lid.
  • Moves well with a lot of water, keeping the tank sparkling.


  • The filter is powerful enough to suck small fishes like cichlids.
  • The filter is heavy and awkward. It has to be put out of the cabinet and then hauled inside for fitting.

User Reviews: Some of the users say that after keeping fish for the last 25 years or more, Fluval is the best type of aquarium filter they used. Fluval gives a wonderful experience of fixing the priming issues with rubber gaskets and dozens of fussy parts. They have a simple assembling experience and prime immediately.

4.Hydor Professional External Canister Filter for Aquarium

The Hydor Professional 600 filter is a complete aquarium in a box. It will give all the necessary mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration that one may require for a healthy and long-living aquarium experience. Everything is made super-easy and convenient, starting from the priming feature to the telescopic intake tube.


  • Setting up the filter is amazingly simple.
  • The filter makes the least possible noise.
  • It’s powerful and processes lots of water.


  • There is a flow in design that prompts leaks to develop at the connection point.
  • Washers used for tightening the hose are made of cheap plastic.

User Reviews: Customers shared happy remarks about the Hydor filter, and they think that the long thick wide hoses facilitate more water flow. Also, it’s so quiet that sometimes it feels the filter is not even running.

3.Marineland Magniflow Canister

The Marineland Magniflow Canister filter acts as a multistage filtration in both freshwater and saltwater and has a great design with a top sealing gasket. There is an easy-to-remove lid for media basket. The presence of a quick prime button makes the filter chamber fill easily.


  • Easy to install, no slack in hoses, and no air bubble near the intake strainer.
  • It makes up a good filter, with all the spare parts easily available.


  • If you move the hoses aloud, there will be a small flood, so handle carefully.
  • It requires more service for a smooth flow.

User Reviews:  Customers who have used the filter says that the setup and maintenance of filter are comparatively easy. The water gets well filtered, and the canister is not loud. In case you want to move the hose, the connection on the top of the canister has to be checked.

2.Fluval Aquarium External Filter

Fluval canisters are provided with extra motors for better customer convenience. It features a patented aqua shop valve, rim connector, and multiple filtration baskets. The filtration is packed with necessary media for mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration.


  • Better flow with extra media compartment.
  • Easy to follow set up mechanism. The installation can be done without any hazards.


  • The microbubble so formed makes the aquarium look cloudy.
  • The impeller cover falls off frequently, causing inconvenience.

User Reviews: The user review for this filter gets a 5-star rating. Users say that this system has a more powerful motor, which adds greater convenience. The filter holds 30-35% more volume and features patented aqua stop valve, multiple filtrations, rim connector, and other input, output hoses to keep the aquarium fit for the livelihood of the fishes.

1.Penn Plax Cascade Aquarium Canister Filter

This filter offers heavy-duty multi-stage external filtration, especially for the fresh or saltwater aquarium. It can support aquariums up to 100 gallons, and that can manage 350 GPH of flow. Push primer buttons make the start-up easy along with two independent 360-degree rotational valve taps. Each pump comes with large filter trays.


  • Easy to install filters with all necessary accessories.
  • A quick push-button primer makes all the startups easy.
  • Flow rate control valves & pool style hose camps make the set up easy and adjustable. The airtight seal assures the proper flow rate.


  • Inefficient design.
  • Too much water flow is affected.
  • The plastic used in the handles is not of good quality and, therefore, not reliable.

User Reviews: The users have appreciated and given 5 stars to the product. They have loved the features like three trays, affordability, easy to handle and set up, lesser sound-producing technology, and robust quality.

We hope you find this article useful, and it helps you in choosing the best canister filter for your aquarium. In fact, canister aquarium filters are quality products, which are safe, tough, inexpensive, easy to use, and of course, of great valu

Matt Hook

Matt Hook is a professional aquarist and writer who loves to create highly informative and well-researched contents on fish care and aquarium maintenance for his valued readers worldwide. His articles on fish care regularly get featured in many reputed global online magazines, and publications of which he's a regular contributor.

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