Are you confused about which canister filter to buy?
Are you unaware of the factors that decide which canister filter will be suitable for you?
If this is the case, you are at the right place.
Canister filters are crucial if you want to maintain healthy living conditions for your fish.
The fish need an environment, devoid of any debris or impurity and this is where a canister filter is valuable.
Let’s find out some of the best options available.
The Best Canister Filters
|Hydor Professional External Canister Filter||All types of aquarium||150 gallons|
|SunSun-China HW-304B External Canister Filter||Freshwater and saltwater aquariums||150 gallons|
|Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter||Freshwater and saltwater aquariums||200 gallons|
|Fluval External Filter||Freshwater and saltwater aquariums||100 gallons|
|Marineland Multi-Stage Canister Filter||Freshwater and saltwater Aquariums||100 to 150 gallons|
What is the purpose of the canister filter?
Canister filters are filters for the aquariums that are meant to remove any impurity from the tank.
Here is the thing:
The debris and microbes in the tank can be harmful to the fish.
Thus, these filters are required to get rid of all the impurities that can harm the aquatic life.
The filters remove the water from the tank via an intake tube and then run it in a pressurized canister through filter media.
The filtered water is then pumped back into the tank via a spray bar or spillway.
How Does A Canister Filter Work?
It is common for the aquarium to accumulate dirt and waste.
Remember: cleaning your aquarium thoroughly, is vital if you do not want the aquatic life to suffer.
This is where the use of a canister filter proves to be pivotal.
Let us go through the steps via which it performs its task of filtration.
The first step is removing the dirty water from the tank.
The canister uses an inlet piping to draw the unfiltered water from the tank.
The large debris is strained away via the input strainer.
The water then goes to the filter.
An important point that you need to remember: air gaps need to be removed if you want your filter to perform optimally.
Most filters available on the market are self-priming or are primed with a single button.
Manual siphoning is not required for many.
Filtration of water by media
It is drawn up via a motor and is then made to pass through multiple layers of filtration media.
The layers of media are mechanical, chemical and biological.
The selection of media is made according to the tank.
The type of fish in the tank and the waste generated are some factors that are considered.
The first set of media that the water is exposed to is usually mechanical.
It gets rid of debris from the water.
Meshes and nets.
Some beneficial bacteria flourish in the tank.
These bacteria break down harmful nitrogenous waste to produce nitrates.
The bacteria need a substrate for proliferation, and biological media provide this.
Bio balls and bio glass.
Pollutants and other impurities such as chlorine are removed from the water by chemical filtration.
Phosphate removers and activated carbon.
Transfer of filtered water back to the aquarium
Once the process of filtration is complete, the water is sent back to the tank.
Outlet pipes are used for the purpose.
Some filters use spray bars while in others; the water is let directly in.
Canister Filters Detailed Product Reviews
1. Hydor Professional External Canister Filter
- Easy to set up and use
- Does not produce a lot of noise
- Quite powerful with impressive filtration ability
- Cleaning the filter can sometimes be a tad bit messy
2. SunSun-China External Canister Filter
- Offers a relatively quiet operation
- It does not take a long time to clean the water
- The manual guide does not contain clear instructions about using or cleaning the equipment
3. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter
- Setting it up is easy
- The hose connections are secure and strong
- Ample scope of using media owing to the presence of five trays
- The flow rate is easy to adjust
- The tray locks are somewhat weak.
- The instructions for setting up the unit are not very clear.
4. Fluval External Filter
- Offers a quiet operation with minimal vibrations
- Small and light in weight making handling easier.
- Provided with a narrow design
- The locking mechanism is quite simple.
- The input-output heights are adjustable
- The appearance is not very stylish
- The instructions are not easy to understand
- The priming is somewhat awkward
5. Marineland Multi-Stage Canister Filter for Aquariums
- Impressive design with ease in handling ensured
- Cleaning the tank is easy owing to the media trays
- Detailed instructions make setting up easy
- Remarkable performance with a production of clean sparkly water
- The plastic plumping tends to feel a little flimsy.
6. Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter
- Offers a quiet operation
- Sturdy model that provides durability
- Easy to use with great results considering the price
- There are no handles to the unit which makes handling it a bit difficult.
- Switching off the filter pump is not an option. This can only be done by unplugging the unit.
7. EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter with Media
- Secure sealing
- Offers a quiet operation
- Energy efficient
- Versatile- can be used for a variety of marine life and tanks
- The instructions are unclear making setting up somewhat tedious
- Priming can be a bit difficult at times
8. Fluval Canister Filter, FX6 Filter (400 Gal)
- The capacity is vast, and the performance is quite impressive as it leaves the tank with sparkling clean water.
- It is quite reliable. If you ensure proper maintenance, you will not have to look for an alternative anytime soon.
- Offers a smooth and quiet operation
- It is quite heavy which makes handling somewhat difficult
9. Fluval Advanced Filtration System
- High durability is ensured with a hard shell
- Locking lids are in place to ensure safety
- Setting it up and maintaining it is quite feasible owing to the self-priming feature.
- It features ample basket space to make things convenient.
- The display is informational and easy to control and access
- Does not take a lot of room in the tank
- The system can be a bit loud for some
- The display can be damaged owing to water
- It is quite heavy making it difficult for some to handle it.
10. Cobalt Aquatics 26000 Ext Canister Filter
- It is super quiet.
- Maintenance is easy, and water circulation does not have to stop for the same
- The media trays are large
- The instructions are somewhat small which can be challenging to read for some.
- There are no clamps to secure the hosing
11. API Filstar XP
- Features a large media tray ensuring that no bacteria are left behind and optimal performance is provided.
- Starting it up is easy owing to the self-priming feature; no manual siphoning is required.
- Feasible maintenance owing to centralized control of the functions for removal of canister
- Quiet operation with minimal vibration
- Three stages of filtration that makes sure that no impurity is left behind.
- The tubing is somewhat stiff making it difficult to place it into the valve.
- Not enough media is provided, and thus you have to buy it.
12. AquaTop Forza Canister Filters with UV Sterilization
- Provided with a powerful UV system which ensures that the tank is appropriately disinfected
- Does not produce a lot of noise
- The UV bulb shuts off automatically
- Change-outs are easy owing to the pre-cut filter pads that come with the unit.
- The instructions are not very clear
- It does not feature an open basket and is instead provided with a sealed activated carbon cartridge.
13. Polar Aurora 3-Stage External Canister Filter
- Easy to set up and use
- Gets rid of all the impurities including the microbes owing to UV sterilization
- Flexible media trays provided for optimal efficiency
- Maintenance is feasible
- Operates quietly
- The instructions are not very clear
- There is no option of switching the unit on or off.
- It has to be plugged in to start.
Why should I use a canister filter?
Canister filters prove to be quite beneficial for your aquarium.
Offers better flow rates
Canister filters have better flow rates compared to other options.
Some even offer a flow rate of up to 320GPH.
Thus, the filtration of the tank takes less time and energy.
There is the best part: since they are energy efficient, they don’t cause your energy bills to hit the roof.
It is quite easy to set up canister filters.
This is in contrast to the complex processes that other filters require.
Follow the instructions: there is not a lot that you will need to do.
Cleaning the canister filters is relatively easier as long as you have the right tools.
Don’t be worried about cleaning or maintenance: These filters are designed to offer ease in disassembling.
The internal components are feasibly accessible
Most manufacturers offer detailed instructions about how maintenance should be done.
Once your filter is clean, you can place the parts back: The unit will be running again in no time.
Vibrations and noise produced by filters can be quite distracting.
Here is the most appealing feature of Canister filters:
It operates quietly with minimal vibration.
Thus, your comfort does not have to be compromised for your fish to get healthy living conditions.
Filtration is done to remove any debris and unwanted particles from the water.
Thus, the tank is optimally clean: your fish can now thrive in a pure environment.
It is vital to keep the filter clean to ensure that the debris is removed from the tank effectively.
Freedom of media selection
Most canister filters are quite flexible when it comes to media selection.
Thus, you can select any type of filtration media you like for the tank.
It is advisable to find out more about the different types of media and how they work before deciding on which of the filter media you want to buy.
What is the importance of filter media in the process of filtration?
If you want to make sure that your aquatic life gets a clean environment, it is essential to use the right media.
The thing is:
You would not want to head to the market frequently to get the filter media.
Thus, it needs to be washable and long-lasting.
It should be versatile so that it can be used in any aquarium.
It is vital to ensure that the media is not harmful to the fish.
It is also advisable to ensure that the filter media is affordable for you.
Biological Filter Media
Biological filter media should be used in all types of fish tanks.
The problem is:
Every fish tank contains waste products that can turn toxic.
The toxic waste can be harmful to the fish.
Biological filter media ensures that the fish are not affected owing to these elements.
The waste products are broken down from ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate by the media.
Nitrate is not harmful to the fish and is removed from the tank by filtration.
Mechanical Filter Media
Getting rid of the dirt and debris is crucial if you want to provide a clean environment for your fish.
The mechanical filter media functions as a strainer.
The dirt particles are caught by the media and thus removed from the water.
It is therefore only the clean water that passes through the mechanical media.
You will find mechanical filter media of varying quality.
The higher the quality, the more particles will be trapped by the media.
Chemical Filter Media
Removing toxins and harmful elements from the tank is essential.
It is worrisome:
Your fish might be exposed to some serious danger without you even realizing.
This is where chemical filter media proves to be helpful.
Using activated carbon, you can get rid of all the toxins from the water.
Here is an interesting tidbit: A cubic inch of a carbon filter is sufficient to clean about 2 gallons of water chemically.
How should I decide which canister filter to buy?
There are quite a lot of factors you need to pay heed to if you want to purchase the right canister filter.
The basic requirements
You need to keep in mind why you are purchasing the canister.
What are the features you want? Is versatility vital for you?
Will a particular canister filter be able to handle the flow rate you need?
Find the answers to these questions: you will find the best canister filter for your tank.
It is advisable to get a filter that offers a high flow rate.
And another thing:
This will save a lot of time and energy.
Nobody likes the idea of placing the filter in plain sight.
Those with a stand for aquarium can conceal it in the compartment.
You might have to look for other means to hide the tank for tall filters.
Decide beforehand: the placement of the filter will influence your decision of which one to buy.
You would not want your filter to be damaged within a short span.
Therefore, opt for a well-built option that will last for a long time.
Most filters are made from plastic: high quality of durable plastic will last for long.
It is the motor that is responsible for pumping the water into the filter.
Thus, having a great motor is vital so that the water can easily be pumped in.
It is essential that the motor is reliable and efficient.
Maintenance should also be easy.
Some motors require frequent maintenance which can be troublesome.
The unit will have to be opened up often which might affect the performance of the filter.
The motor decides how much noise is produced by the filter.
Therefore keep it in mind: the canister filter you buy should have an easy to maintain and powerful motor that operates quietly.
All canister filters are not suitable for tanks of varying sizes.
Therefore, it is essential that the canister filter you select is suitable for your tank size.
Find out the tank size compatible with the filter: read the production description carefully.
You can then decide which canister filter will work better for your aquarium.
Brands with a profound reputation offer reliability.
The popular brands are the ones that have acquired the approval of users.
Purchase a canister filter of one of the well-known brands: there is less chance of being disappointed.
The budget you have in mind for the canister filter is crucial in your selection.
If you have a restricted budget, your choices will be limited.
It is advisable to get some idea of the price of various filters before deciding on a budget.
This will allow you to set a realistic limit for yourself.
It is also essential to consider the feature while deciding on the price.
A realistic budget is important: You would not want your money to be wasted on something that fails to perform.
How is a canister filter primed?
How should I set the canister filter for my tank?
How often should I clean the canister filter?
This varies from model to model.
How often you use the filter also decides how frequently it should be cleaned.
If you want the performance not to be compromised:
Clean the filter it every three months.
How do I get rid of air from the canister filter?
Ensure that the sealing of all the joining parts is tight.
The area usually gets in from the space between the joining parts.
There might be a leak somewhere that sucks the air in.
Proper sealing will ensure that air bubbles do not form.
How should I layer media in the filter?
This is important: Make sure that you get the right media for your filter to get the desired results.
Usually, the mechanical media is placed in the first tray.
The layer of biological media followed next.
The third and fourth trays comprise the chemical media.
Is it suitable to use a canister filter for saltwater?
Yes. You can use canister filters for saltwater.
However, it is vital that the filter you use has a layer of biological media.
Otherwise, the harmful toxins will not be removed from the tank, and your fish will suffer.
Does a turtle tank need a filter?
Yes. The turtle tank does need filtration as the water can get dirty with time.
It is advisable to opt for a filter that is compatible with your tank size.
The high flow rate will be a better option since the turtles would then remain unaffected with the ongoing filtration.