Whether you are buying your very first tank or you are seeking for ways to improve your existing set up, understanding about the numerous benefits of canister filter systems may be perplexing. The majority of fish lovers don’t start up using a canister filter, but they are a frequent upgrade. Either way, enhancing water filtration should be a priority.

1000 gallon fish tank with best canister filter

Canister Model
For Aquariums
AquaTop 550 GPH Forza FZ13 UV Aquarium Canister Filter with Sterilizer
AquaTop Forza FZ13
Fluval canister filter FX6 aquarium fish filter
Fluval FX6 Canister Filter
Eheim Classic 150 External Canister Filter With Media (2211)
Eheim Classic 150 External Canister
Sunsun HW-303b 370 GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit With 9 Watt Uv Sterilizer
SunSun Aquarium External Canister Filter

marineland magniflow 220 review backside product
Marineland Magniflow Canister

Penn Plax Cascade 1500 Aquarium Canister Filter 350 GPH
Penn-Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

Cobalt Aquatics EXT 26000 Canister Filter 210 GPH
Cobalt Aquatics EXT

Polar Aurora 4-Stage Best External Canister Filter
Polar Aurora Cascade Filter
Hydor 350 Aquarium External 280GPH Professional Canister Filter
Hydor Aquarium External

Aquaflow Technology AEF-302 External Filter System 264 GPH
Aquaflow Technology AEF-302

A canister filter (e.g sunsun 3000) is usually cylindrical in appearance, which clarifies the name. it is a self-contained water purification system that functions a pump to siphon off the water from the aquarium. Moving forward, it drives the water via numerous filter media, which are usually chemical, mechanical, and biological filter media to handle all the bases. As soon as the different pollutants have been strained out, the pump motor drives out the fresh water.

When seeking the best canister filters for aquarium but you don’t know which one suits your tank best, look no further. This is the perfect guide to help you choose between the variety that is convenient for your tank setup. Having said that, a very common question comes to mind.

Which is the best filter for a fish tank?

Installation of a filter is necessary for a healthy aquarium, as the waste can devolve the water to toxic and unbearable for fish. Toxic water can create a plethora of adverse effects on marine life, with death rates being high enough.

Canister filters are defined as powerful filters that can prove effective for most cases. Aquariums having a capacity of 40 gallons or more, a canister filter is mandatory due to the volume of water that needs to be filtrated. Any tank below 40 gallons can also hold a smaller canister filter.

A canister filter is set up circumferential or below the fish tank. Well, it is a convenient option for those who love to maintain the décor by hiding it behind or beneath the cabinet and allowing you to have a clean and attractive setup. Unlike the options of using technology of water flowing past filter media, they force the water to pass through the media. Although, this method of filtration makes it a tad more complicated to maintain the filter, clean and dismantle.

Consequently, why use a canister filter at all? If you’re knowledgeable you must use a tank filter, why get a canister filter? Here are some excellent reasons why:

Benefits of Using a Canister Filter

Canister filters excel in easily removing particles in the water, effective filtration, flexible media selection, easy setup process, easy to clean and quite operation. You are also guaranteed it will work for your tank and you also have the option to use chemical filtration along with the mechanical.

Easily Remove Particles in the Water

The general concept of filtering is to eliminate undesirable elements from your aquarium water.

This involves debris, among other residues, released into the water through a period of days or even weeks. Operating your canister filter ought to easily capture the debris and avert it from heading back into the water. This implies that your living organisms will maintain the clean natural environment essential for survival.

These pollutants are dealt out with the different mechanical filters. initially, you include a filter for the more substantial particles , and then you include an additional filter layer for the smaller particles. This 2-layered arrangement for physical filtration is a common setup for canister filters.

It is very easy to identify the demand for mechanical purification of water once you are a regular aquarium owner. The marine life will excrete various residues in the water, and you definately do not want waste floating around, while waste of food can overwhelm the tank and rot inside. The situation gets even worse with turtles. The canister filtration media contains all those pollutants to keep your water fresh.

Cleaning is also required. You must clean the filtration system frequently to make sure that it continues removing contaminants from the fish tank water.

Easy Setup Process

Installing a canister is viewed to be the simplest, in comparison to the process of installing any other types of filters.

It is at all times essential that you stick to instructions given by the supplier, merely to ensure the build procedure is carried out correctly.

Effortless to Clean

Cleaning canister filters is simple as soon as you have got the correct operation manual and all the appropriate tools.

The majority of them are developed to be disassembled effortlessly, in order that you can access the within segments for a cleanup. You can always refer to the manual where all the maintenance process is throroughly explained

At the time the filter is cleaned up, you are now able to put the pieces back together and move it to it’s designed position.

Flexible Media Selection

Usually with aanister filters you have the option to choose many forms of filtration media that you can choose from, but you will have to recognize how such media work before purchasing.

Make sure you also take a look at the amount of routine maintenance required for the media prior to choosing it for your special tanks.

Effective Filtration

Any time you are comparing the canister filters to various other sort of filters, it is relatively simple realizing that they possess higher flow rates. Quite a few can actually get up to 320 GPH (gallons per hour). This indicates that the complete purification progress for your fish tank should require a lower fraction of time but also save you electricity.

Βeforing end up with a purchase, look into the flow rates of various models to understand how much power can they unleash.

Preserve Water Quality with Chemical Filtration

Undoubtedly, chemical filtration is not at all times utilized in numerous canister filter builds. That doesn’t mean it has no value, and canister filters do have the ability to support integrated chemical filtration, due to the fact you have got that flexibility to select which filter media to incorporate in your filtration setup.

Chemical type of filtration for typically happens with activated carbon. The activated carbon can clean the water impurities of such as volatile organic compounds, odor, sediment and chlorine.

It Will Work for Your Tank

Self-contained filtration systems are exceptionally versatile, and consequently it can operate for a diverse range of aquariums. Either for a saltwater or freshwater aquarium,  the canister filter will be appropriate. It can also be utilized for a turtle tank where turtles normally create way more mess than fish.

Quiet Operation

Someone who owns an aquarium wants to deal with filters that don’t produce a great deal of noise when functioning. The ideal method to avoid disturbance and vibrations is by employing a mechanical self-contained filter.

Most operators would come to an agreement that they experienced a relaxing time having a snooze in a room with a canister filtration system on.

How to Choose a Canister Filter for Aquarium?

First of all, filtration systems have max capacity limits, which will determine the water volume of the fish tank that they can filtrate. Applying a filtration that isn’t intended to cope with the capacity of the fish container signifies that it may not clean the water adequately, and could skimp the overall health of your marine life. You must carefully considerate the GPH (gallons per hour) ratio, as this will aid your knowledge whether the filter is suitable for your setup. When considering GPH or LPH (litters per hour) you should pay close attention to tank turnover which is the number of times the tank water passes through the filter in a span of an hour.

Tank Turnover

Mostly the tank turnover has the capacity around the four times of the tank per hour. For instance, if you have a 50-gallon tank, then having a GPH around 200 would be acceptable. You can find typically numerous canister filters in the market that are pocket-friendly as well as convenient for use. Having such vast variety can put you in a dilemma to choose in between them. To assist you in choosing the convenient one for you here, we are presenting you with the perfect guide and list of the top canister filters to take into consideration.

In most instances, the bare minimum tank turnover is often believed to be to be about 4 times the capacity of the tank per hour. As a result, for a 100 gallon container, a GPH of around 400 would likely be satisfactory.

When seeking the best canister filters but you don’t know which one suits your tank best, look no further. This is the perfect guide to help you choose between the variety that is convenient for your tank setup.

At this time, there are numerous  canister filter systems on the market, and the price can vary so broadly, that it can be challenging to conclude which to purchase. To guide you through that selection, we have put along our list of the best canister filters you can acquire.


It happens to be normal for each individual to own a specific amount of budget that he’s prepared to invest on a self-containted aquarium filter. Always try to go for fish tank canisters with high value for money ratio within your budget instead with the cheaper option. The ideal budget external filter should be dependent on a plethora of points and not merely your flexibility to afford it. It is vital to judge your options, checking out different prices and filters before settling on a budget.

You may possibly be shocked, when you compare a plethora of options, by simply how many features you can find for the price. Internet retailers are an excellent start in case you are seeking to swiftly and effortlessly buy the best cheap canister filters.

You can start with our list that follows below for the best budget canister filters and decide which one matches your tank build.


The engines are assisting to pump the water straight into the filtration media to start off the purification process. It is simple to notice that you are going to require a reliable motor that can conveniently help forcing the water into the filter trays.

Moreover, the motor has to be competitive in terms of effectiveness and maintenance. Several engines may require considerably more servicing compared others. Acquiring a high maintenance canister may imply that you”ll have to open up the filter at least every 2 months. Due to some models being hard to be serviced, that isn’t always a great asset for an external filtration.

In addition, the electric motor will establish whether or not the product can operate loudly or will be making a lot of less noise than its’ competitors when it’s fired up.

Decide between internal motor or in-tank pump. Most companies are building the canister motor internally, which provides additional space and operate at a constant flow rate. In contrast, in-tank pump is mostly utilized for adjustment of flow rate but it is mostly used by experienced aquarium enthusiasts because increase flow rate can damage the seal.


Unquestionably, the company name commonly takes on a critical role whenever you are purchasing an external filtration system for either a very small tank or perhaps for a large tank to aid the enviromental health of your marine tenants.

In case you choose to try other brands than the ones we suggest, ensure to carry out at least some hours of research to check what are the real capabilities of their products and how well their canisters perform. Some companies will assert to provide the best canister filters for aquariums only to let down their clients.

When seeking the best canister filters but you don’t know which one suits your tank best, look no further. The manufacturers evaluated in this buying guide are all superb at exactly what they advertise they provide. This is the perfect guide to help you choose between the variety that is convenient for your tank setup.

At this time, there are numerous canister filter systems on the market, and the price can vary so broadly, that it can be challenging to conclude which to purchase. To guide you through that selection, we have put along our list of the best aquarium canister filters you can acquire.

[TOP 10] Aquarium Canister Filter Reviews 

1. AquaTop Forza FZ13 60 gallon 13W UV Sterilizer

This cascade filter was the first name suggested by experts to our team. If you are willing to have an easy to install and operate self-contained canister, then according to our team tests, AquaTop Forza FZ13 should be within your first priorities. It is the ideal choice for many looking for a decent priced product, along with a built-in filter pad which polishes the aquarium water as it is filtered through, removing any minute contaminants from the water. Addtionally, while our team was operating it, no substantial sound was coming out, making it one of the most quiet motors. Moreover, it carries a strong pump allowing complete filtration with ease. We would recommend this to tank owners ranging from 125-175 gallons (475-660 litters). The filtration output is about 550 gallons per hour or 2100 litters per hour. Lastly, the 13 Watt UV sterilizer which comes along is a major advantage too. We were a bit concered because the hoses have a disposition to become loose, which can be rather tricky when performing maintenance. Also the manual was kind of misleading. Although, those drawbacks are not deal breaking.

AquaTop 550 GPH Forza FZ13 UV Aquarium Canister Filter with Sterilizer


Cast Your Product Vote | User Rating 3.5 (8 votes)
Things We Like
  • One button self-priming
  • Quiet operation
  • Built-in filter pad cleaning up even the smallest molecule debris
  • 13 Watt UV sterilizer
Things We Don’t Like
  • Be very careful when performing maintenance as moving around might detatch the hoses leading to leakage
  • Even though our team installed the filter with ease, manual is a bit misleading.

Overall, our team did felt Aquatop FZ13 is fair priced product while it gains extra points due to the addition of water polishing feature, which is hardly found in its competitors. The addition of built-in filter pad, UV sterilizer, strong pump and the very quiet operation nominate Aquatop FZ13, as one of the best contenters for the best canister filter applied in fish tanks ranging from 40 to 60 gallons.

Warning: Amazon listing and box says 125 to 175 gallons, which is wrong! Our team tested it and it’s for up to 60 gallons.

2. Fluval FX6 Canister Filter 563 GPH

All Fluval Aquatics FX4 Series

Fluval FX4 – 264 GPH filter output

Fluval FX6 – 563 GPH filter output

Our team found out that it was very easy to follow instructions provided by the company. Once the setup was finished, our team could verify this can cycle about 563 GPH (gallons per hour) or 2130 LPH (litres per hour).

This is designed towards large tanks ranging from 100-150 gallons to over 400 gallons, which is a huge advantage because not many filters can maintain good filtration against such huge water volume.

Among other features, the most noticable ones from our team was the self priming that auto set the canister for plug and play, while every 12 hours air which is trapped is automatically evacuated.

The absorption strainer is built to be clog up-proof to ensure that it can be beneficial for longer. You’ll not have to be concerned about dirt getting beyond it, which might obstruct water flow within a planted fish tank. It is advisable to use a fine net over the strainer though, to stop fry from being sucked in.

It contains a little tap which permits drainage of water directly through the filter. Consequently makes water shifts unbelievably viable. Nevertheless, if you are filling the tank back up make sure the water is dechlorinated so you won’t damage your marine life or beneficial bacteria

Fluval canister filter FX6 aquarium fish filter

Cast Your Product Vote | User Rating 5 (1 votes)
Things We Like
  • Self-priming
  • In-built strainer
  • 12-hour air evacuation
  • Solid build
  • Powerful motor
Things We Don’t Like
    • Hoses while maintenance can become lose if moved
    • Strainer is a bit big so you need to install a fine net to avoid fry being sucked in

On the whole, Fluval FX6 scores very high rating on our list. Ease of installation, self-priming, in-built strainer to avoid clogging, 12-hour auto air evacuation.

On top of that it features high quality build materials and a strong motor able to handle up to 400 gallons aquariums.

Definately Fluval FX6 563 GPH is worth the price tag and it’s a great addition to 100 up to 400 gallons tank.

3. Eheim Classic External Canister Filter With Media

All Eheim Classic Series

Eheim Classic 2211 150 lt – 40 gallons

Eheim Classic 2213 250 lt – 66 gallons

Eheim Classic 2215 350 lt – 92 gallons

Eheim Classic 2217 600 lt – 264 gallons

Our reviewing team timed the process of installation for Eheim Classic which was, over the line, time consuming, and for sure it would a little bit difficult for a novice along with instruction not being that clear.

Eheim built this filter without self-priming feature. Nevertheless, the construct quality is great and the components material applied aren’t of cheap plastic. A very notable example is the stainless metal clips that secure the motor head into the container.

Production company did really do a great job of managing the interior space to utilize every inch for media trays, while the power consumption of 15 watt, is one the best in the category and doesn’t generate too much heat to mess with your conditions.

It features an outstanding flow rate, which is proven extremely useful to aquarium tanks with goldfish. Although, the quiet operation has widened the variety of marine life in which it can employed on.

They are 4 different models: Eheim Classic 2211 150 lt – 40 gallons, Eheim Classic 2213 250 lt – 66 gallons, Eheim Classic 2215 350 lt – 92 gallons, Eheim Classic 2217 600 lt – 264 gallons. Depending on your setup, it’ll work proficiently 40-gallon, 55-gallon, 75-gallon, 150-gallon, 200-gallon up to 264 gallon tank.

In our package there were 2 items missing but we replaced them with ours, although that happens sometimes.

Eheim Classic 150 External Canister Filter With Media (2211)

Cast Your Product Vote | User Rating 3.5 (2 votes)
Things We Like
  • Quite operation and low consumption
  • High flow rate
  • Quality materials
Things We Don’t Like
  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Self-priming button missing
  • Manual instructions are horrible

All in all, Eheim Classic, a very popular filter of our days, is a remarkably decent external canister for the money.

With quiet operation, outstanding flow rate, high quality material organized perfectly in space and a very low energy consumption motor, Eheim Classic is a primary contenter in the category from 40 gallons up to 264 gallons tanks.

However, due to the complicated graphs of manual instructions and self-priming button missing, requirement of expierience users for installation is essential.


4. SunSun HW 303B 370 GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit With 9-Watt UV Sterilizer (Includes Media)

All SunSun HW Series

HW 302 Pro – 264 GPH, 3 stages, 18W

HW 303B Pro – 370 GPH, 3 stages + UV, 35W 

HW 304B Pro – 525 GPH, 4 stages + UV, 55W 

The SunSun 303B 370 GPH Pro canister filter is built in China and is an extremely good option for the money. Our team reported installation was rather easy, even if the instructions manual is lacking information.

A self-priming feature comes with the 303B has which is being enabled from a priming button. You are only required to push the button in order to fully load with water. Next, connect it and the motor gets going pumping immediately. This self-priming attribute eliminates the necessity of a siphon priming.

The filtration system consists of 4 stages. It accomplishes excellent, biological, mechanical and chemical filtration due to the fact that contains flexible media trays in which you can add bio-balls, ceramic rings and activated carbon. The 4th stage of SunSun external canister is a vibrant, integrated 9-watt ultraviolet lumination.

The UV lighting gets rid of any extra algae that may cross through the other stages of the canister filter. This is where having many filtration cycles of water per hour, hence picking the correct amount of GPH for your tank, is essential. As a side note, our team reported there is a separate on/off button for the UV light.

Having dirty water will reduce death ratio of algae or any pathogenic bacteria, not caught by the filter, when exposed to UV light due to the inability to penetrate the water efficiently.

The 303B has a 35W pump power motor and with a filtration rate of 370 GPH.

Sunsun HW-303b 370 GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit With 9 Watt Uv Sterilizer

Cast Your Product Vote | User Rating 4.67 (3 votes)
Things We Like
  • Very silent operation
  • Self-priming button
  • 9-Watt UV with separate on/off button
  • Decent plastic components
Things We Don’t Like
  • Terrible instructions but easy to set up
  • Connectivity of hoses
  • Even though media is included, it is not of best quality

The 303B Pro model of the chinese manufacturer SunSun has a total width of 10.5 inches and 14.5 inches height.

Through the whole testing, 303B Pro was operating quietly. Its best perks are the 4-stages filtration process with a built-in UV light, a self-priming button, decent price and ease of installation. However, the hoses might have to be heated before are connected and the media/instructions included are not up to standards.

Our team felt this is a value for money product, a solid build even though, not the most expensive materials are used and with a powerful motor for all the models of the series. It’s suitable for aquarium tanks up to 100 gallons.

5. Marineland Magniflow Canister

All Marineland Magniflow Series

Marineland Magniflow 160 GPH – Up to 30 Gallons 

Marineland Magniflow 220 GPH – Up to 55 Gallons

Marineland Magniflow 360 GPH – Up to 100 gallons

Produced by U.S company Marineland, this freshly developed self-contained filter is made to supply quick support and no leakage. Its excellent capabilities make both saltwater and freshwater enviroment success. The 4 different purification phases guarantee a healthier and thoroughly clean aquatic conditions by means of chemical, mechanical and biological filtering.

The Marineland Magniflow external filter is loaded with exclusive, begginer friendly pieces to help preserving up your aquarium conditions more comfortable than ever in your life.

It has a built-in canister lid that establishes a water-tight seal when compacted and lifts up for straightforward removal.

Manufacturer has enabled total mechanical, biological and chemical purification, through the “Stack N’ Flo” filter trays which support numerous media layers and is easy to remove for media swap or maintenance.

The Magniflow is empowered with a quick priming button filling the filtration system chamber with water for fast, self-priming setup.

Among the above, it also comes with a special blocking valve, enabling you to easily shut water flow and divide the cover from the motor housing for effortless, spillage-free maintenance.



Cast Your Product Vote | User Rating 5 (2 votes)
Things We Like
  • Quick self-priming button
  • Great canister lid to seal
  • Easy water flow shut down with blocking valve
Things We Don’t Like
  • Build up of air
  • It’s slight more noisy than competition

Overall, our team did felt Marineland did a great job on all Magniflow series, models can support up to 30 gallons, 55 gallons, 100 gallons tank.

The Magniflow unit we received came with all necessary filter media. The instructions manual was really great.

Marineland also provides great phone support and backs Magniflow by a 3-year warranty.

6. Penn-Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

All Penn-Plax series

Penn-Plax Cascade 500 (CCF1UL) 115 GPH – Up to 30 Gallons – 2 media baskets

Penn-Plax Cascade 700 (CCF2UL) 185 GPH – Up to 65 Gallons – 2 media baskets

Penn-Plax Cascade 1000 (CCF3UL) 265 GPH – Up to 100 Gallons – 3 media baskets

Penn-Plax Cascade 1200 (CCF4UL) 315 GPH – Up to 150 Gallons – 4 media baskets

Penn-Plax Cascade 1500 (CCF5UL) 350 GPH – Up to 200 Gallons – 5 media baskets

Our team felt the process of installation was quite easy. Cascade comes with all necessary parts and includes media for each new filter, so you don’t need to invest extra cash to operate. The Penn-Plax Cascade also comes with an easy self-priming button.

Penn-Plax series deliver amazing biological, mechanical and chemical filtration, which yields really healthy aquatic conditions in both freshwater and saltwater fish tanks.

It includes flow rate adjustment valves, which are very important to alter your flow rate as needed and also for routine maintenance. Upon them they are attached two individual directional 360° twisting valve taps, which are essential for easy positioning.

The significant capacity stackable media baskets used on Cascade enable the best possible filtrations while they’ll last months prior to thinking about changing them.

Swapping media shouldn’t be challenging, since it is built having easy-lift clamps releasing vacuum sunction, giving access to the purification media and various other inside parts that necessitate upkeep.

Floss pad and coarse sponge

Cast Your Product Vote | User Rating 5 (2 votes)
Things We Like
  • Manufacturer product warranty is presented to you for a longer period of time
  • Even after the disconnection canister can work well
  • Free to position anywhere, the cobalt fixer can be placed and fixed anywhere of the tank
Things We Don’t Like
  • Quality of the hose is not up to mark as compared to others
  • The inbuilt pump is compact and offering you limited water flow capacity of it


It measures (tested version by our team Penn-Plax 1000) length: 10 inches height: 11.5 inches width 17 inches

7. Cobalt Aquatics EXT 26000 Canister Filter 210 GPH

The Cobalt Aquatics EXT cascade filter has an revolutionary layout that can handle arrangement in any location relative to the fish tank; no matter if placed beneath, besides or over the aquarium/terrarium/vivarium, the EXT style enables the canister to tube water in either direction, fulfilling maximum expectation for all the setups.

Our reviewing team noticed that the (plastic) clips and media baskets are easy to open up and close making upkeep easy.

It consists of 4 layers of filtration phases. Starting with sponge filter, next water passes the activated carbon, followed by ceramic ring and finally crossing a floss pad to filter any remaining matter.

The only downside here is that the pump could be stronger, as flow can suffer slightly when pumping through the various layers of media that can be used within the canister.

It has a maximum flow rate of 210 GPH (800 liters) and Cobalt Aquatics provides you with a 3-year warranty.

Our canister came with complete four pre-packed media chambers.

Cobalt Aquatics EXT 26000 Canister Filter 210 GPH

Cast Your Product Vote | User Rating 5 (2 votes)
Things We Like
  • Manufacturer product warranty is presented to you for a longer period of time
  • Even after the disconnection canister can work well
  • Free to position anywhere, the cobalt fixer can be placed and fixed anywhere of the tank
Things We Don’t Like
  • Quality of the hose is not up to mark as compared to others
  • The inbuilt pump is compact and offering you limited water flow capacity of it

This is a perfect piece for the compact and smaller Aquarians; however, the filter pump can be a better place surely. Whilst the functioning of the canister filter can help to keep your aquarium clean and prevents the health of the fishes from the toxins. However, the manufacturing team can work for the building of hose clamps for better quality and reliability.

Also, if you have lesser space, then you can surely count on these canister filters as it requires lesser space for the aquarium set up. In addition, it has the ability of the pump in the desired direction.

8. Polar Aurora Cascade Filter with 9W UV Sterilizer

Polar Aurora  265 GPH – Up to 75-Gallon Tank – 3 Stages – No UV

Polar Aurora 266 GPH – Up to 75-Gallon Tank – 3 Stages – UV light

Polar Aurora 370 GPH – Up to 100-Gallon Tank – 3 Stages – UV light

Polar Aurora 525 GPH – Up to 200-Gallon Tank – 4 Stages – UV light

When we received the product, our team couldn’t believe this canister filter was below the $100 mark, coming along with required 25 needed components to start with. Polar Aurora did an exceptional job on this 4-stage media system.

Our first test was to understand how easy it was to install it properly. Our team loved the ease of installation and clear manual instructions.

This specific canister filter provides a flow rate of the 525 GPH and also includes with an inbuilt polisher filter. We were amazed by the 9 watt UV sterilizer which is optimal in preventing the water from all the bacteria and algae spores, promoting fresh water.

Lastly, the O-ring with vaseline seemed durable to leaking and sleeping. We recommend this version up to 200 gallons aquariums.


Pingkay 200 Gallon Aquarium Tank Fish Canister Filter 9 W Sterilizer 525 GPH


Cast Your Product Vote | User Rating 3.5 (4 votes)
Things We Like
  • Clear instructions manual
  • The package we received had everything you will need, including the range of pumps as well as tubing
  • Reliable for moderate to big aquariums up to 200 gallons
  • 9 Watt built-in UV sterilizer limits the growth of algae and ensures the proper purification of water
  • Decent build of O-Ring
Things We Don’t Like
  • Might trap air within the system causing inconvenience
  • The correct set up of media is problematic
  • Keeping the surface skimmer uncapped, can generate noise

Package came with every addon needed to start functioning. The installation was completed rather quickly and comfortably. We found that the build material is very solid for the low price.

The incorporation of built-in UV sterilizer allows you to increase the efficiency of the canister cleaning bacteria and algae, so that they cannot reproduce and harm the health of your marine life.

They were some minor issues. You have to press the pump a couple of times to drain out the air before using. Also make sure you choose the correct media and you aren’t annoyed by the small noise produced by the surface skimmer left uncapped

On the whole, our team found this as the best budget choice available.

9. Hydor 350 Aquarium External 280GPH Professional Canister Filter

Adding embellishing elements to your house can uplift the look of the house, so it is necessary for you to have attractive things in your house. In that case, the Hydor 350 professional canister filter is the ideal choice to go along with. Among all the top attractive models, this one remains the first, surely.

The working of this self-primed is without any noise. Additionally, it is also compatible, along with a whole range of accessories offered from all the leading brands prevalent in the market. However, it many set up as the replacement filter can come in handy for users of the canister filter surely. The little outflow of water can lead to easy and simple cleaning that makes it easy and hassle-free for its maintenance.

Hydor 350 Aquarium External 280GPH Professional Canister Filter


Cast Your Product Vote | User Rating 4.33 (3 votes)
Things We Like
  • Sleek, Highly attractive design and sleek look with qualitative finishing
  • Offers compatibility along with multiple ranges of accessories
  • Silent functioning
  • Easy to perceive the installation process and straight forward self primer
Things We Don’t Like
  • You can actually see the more expensive side for the spectrum
  • The tank charges can get it messy, and it is because of the filter clings for an abundance of water

This Hydor canister is a wonderful choice to make for the external filter as it is presented with a unique design. It also offers you the compatibility for multiple components and accessories. Additionally, the filter works with no noise and pretty much easy to set up and comes up with a great mess when you practice the easy to installation and cleaning.

However, it is not a cheap product but comes with a mess when practicing the changing of the tank water. The trading off the first time installation is easy, and you can do it straightforwardly.

10. Aquaflow Technology AEF-302 External Filter System 264 GPH

If you have a small aquarium, then you can surely be considerate about having one that can allow you to complete purification of water so that the health of your fishes does not get affected. Then Aquaflow AEF-302 filter is the ideal choice to go along with as it has a capacity of 75-gallon capacity, with a flow rate of 264 GPH (gallon per hour). It is good for you to be considerate about the gallon per hour capacity for getting yourself a convenient canister filter.

This one has a proper package of the necessary components, which also includes the filter pads and connective hosing. Filter pads work for polishing water, and these hoses remain good even during the moving of the canister.


Cast Your Product Vote | User Rating 4.67 (3 votes)
Things We Like
  • Quick and easy priming
  • Pocket-friendly and becomes the cheaper end of the market
Things We Don’t Like
  • Most canisters have four trays whereas it has only 3
  • For larger tanks, the tubes are shortened and can cause inconvenience

The aqua flow filter is compact in structure and convenient for the tanks having the capacity of 75-gallons. It usually fits the small aquarium the best and convenient for your proper filtration of the smaller Aquarians. Also, the tray can get you an idea of the media trays that are lesser in number as compared to the other canister filters that are usually four in numbers, whereas it only offers you three only.


How does a Canister Filter Work?

The way a canister filtration system functions is a frequent query many individuals looking for an answer to. This is certainly critical, to ensure that they can understand how to utilize them most effectively, while also understand why maintenance is so important. You are probably to come in front many sorts of external filters when you are reviewing your possibilities, some along with an integrated UV-Sterilizer and some with included canister filter media . Being familiar with how both variations work is advantageous to the potential owner purchasing the right one for ones’ needs.

Internal Motor or In-Tank Pump

Some filters will possess an in-tank pump, which is essential for propelling the water towards the canister to filtrate, while other manufacturers might create canisters which have internal motor and will depend on gravity to start the system.

The majority of companies have integrated the motor unit internally. An inner motor implies that there isn’t no pump consuming room in the fish tank and you do not have to apply an additional electric cord coming out of the aquarium. An Internal motor is easily washed when you undergo maintenance on the whole filter and you don’t need to reach into the tank and deal with a dirty pump.

On the other hand, implementing an in-tank pump may provide the operator, room for modification in flow, since it is rather simple to replace pumps to increase or perhaps decrease flow. Be aware that rising the flow of a canister will increase pressure it applies and could compromise the seal. As soon as the filtration system is loaded, the interior pump will push the water from the filter again directly into the tank. During this time, the water will cross through the different filtration media layers within the canister. The tray media will snare all the pollutants and bacteria, permitting only clear water to return to the aquarium. You may have observed that canisters are attached on the external of the fish tank, with one part within the fish tank based upon the way they operate. Additionally, the water flows inwards and outwards of the filters by special inlet and outlet tubes attached on the filters. Those tubes are versatile so that they can be set up without difficulty to the filter and once again to the aquarium.

how does a canister filter work

Unsurprisingly, a canister filter demands frequent servicing. This routine maintenance procedure is usually easy, as you basically require to detach the built-in valves and wide open the canister. You may thoroughly clean the inner parts based on the directions on the manual provided by the manufacturing company. Finally, you ought to make use of the instruction manuals to arrange the parts back in place ahead of mounting the container again in its’ normal position beneath or by side to your tank.

How Do I Clean A Canister Filter?

An external filter must be cleaned every 90 to 180 days (maximum half a year). The number of fish you possess in the fish tank and the sizing will influence the exact servicing necessities.

All filtration systems and filter components ought to be washed once in a while. Canister filters work with different types of filtering layers so make sure if u have set up biological media you shouldn’t clear the bacteria that is helpful to cleaning process.

The components that will get notably swampy are the hoses and those require cleaning off debris as well as accumulated dirt.

  1. It is very convenient if you clean your external filter while you are doing weekly water refill routine because you will need some of your aquarium water.
  2. Before turning off the electricity supply make sure to double check all connections so you can avoid water leaking and escaping.
  3. Disconnect the power supply
  4. Position the canister on a clean area (usually a bathtub or a wet room) to drip out the grubby water. Wide open the connections and let water drip out.
  5. After removing the screws, carefully remove the lid. Make sure to not spill media out of the trays because that will slow you down on your routine maintenance.
  6. Get a scrubber. This how to clean canister filter hoses and smaller parts.
  7. Take apart your canister starting off with the motor mechanism
  8. Carefully remove the trays from the container. Separate the trays if they are formed together.
  9. Clean out the empty container. Use aquarium water in this step.
  10. If you have any pads or foam media remove them from the baskets and put them in the bathtub, while all other media should be left inside the basket and be placed in the bathtub as it is.
  11. Start rinsing the baskets and the foams separately and thoroughly, you can also soak them for a while. Use aquarium water in this step. Make sure they look extensively clean and there are no dirt present. The part that is the most fragile and will need extra care is the impeller. Use special care when this part is removed and scrubbed.
  12. Return foam back to the filter. Put the filter into the canister, so it is reassembled as it was before.
  13. Water (that you are going to use for your aquarium) should fill the filter. This is highly recommended but not needed on all filters.
  14. Attach the filter back to the fish tank. Hang on for all the air bubbles to emerge off the outlet and inlet pipes. Cautiously examine if the connections are locked prior to turning the flow connections on the hoses.
  15. Turn the filter on.
  16. Verify the water being released in the outlet pipe to ensure your filtration system is operating appropriately.

Protecting your canister filter and keeping it fresh will aid the filtration system operate properly and efficiently, while how long it will last depends a lot on how often you clean your cascade.

How Do We Conduct The Evaluation For Best Canister Filters?

To conclude a collection of the 10 best canister filters for aquariums, we conducted testing and evaluation on almost 22 models of external filters. A major challenge for the team was to mount and examine each filter on the correct aquarium gallons so we can provide an objective and thorough review.

We were constantly testing those filtration systems for a period of over 72 hours and rated them. Despite the fact that there was a 72 hours constraint in each model testing, we addressed scoring them on a few key factors: installation, build, functioning, maintenance and value for money.

On top of testing, our team single-handedly installed and maintained the motors to experience them in person. Moreover, we consulted 14 experts on the filters field. They assisted to fully understand the capabilities of each product and whether they had any experience on specific canisters. Lastly, we reached out to the company managers to discover how their canisters were built while asking them questions about the materials used for all components.

[FAQ] on Best Canister Filters

Can you use a canister filter for nano tank?

It is absolutely optional but you can definately use a canister filter with a nano tank to keep your tenants happy. Make sure to get the proper gallons per hour flow rate. When we talk nano, we usually are referring to aquariums that are between 5 to 29 gallons (most users own betta fish in nano tanks so you might want to check the best betta filters). These kinds of tanks typically come in all-in-one sets that contain a filtration system. These are more often than not hang on backs or internal filters. Most of the time, there seems to be no cascade filter in those kits. To avoid going through all of your current filter constantly, you may choose to upgrade to a canister filter.

What is the best canister filter for saltwater aquariums?

Hydor works good in a plethora of size tanks for saltwater aquarium but every one of the best canister filters we have evaluated in our list feature outstanding capabilities which award them as fantastic for both freshwater fish tanks. You only have to review their sizes, installation, build, functioning, maintenance, price and determine which suction suits best for your tank needs.

What is the best canister filter for freshwater aquariums?

Despite the fact that, there are many in our buying guide that can be applied in freshwater tanks, in this case, the EHEIM classic canister filter or the Penn Plax models are excellent choices.

They are frequently built with an extreme volume capacity that will manage big tanks which always struggle with the amount of water that needs to be filtrated.

Can you use a canister filter with a sump?

Yeah you can use a canister filter with a sump.

Here is how: Place the inlet from your canister in the sump as well as use it as a returning pump to force water to come back to the display tank. Don’t neglect to drill a little opening in the return pipe below the water levels of the primary tank. This technique is used as a syphon bust, in case of a energy outage.

How to layer media in canister filter?

You initially, have to ensure you possess the appropriate layer media for your filter. The standard layering includes, from back to front, with porcelain (ceramic) rings starting, followed by coarse sponge, bio tray comes after and at the very top you include the separating layer wool pad.

How to prime a canister filter?

Chances are you’ll figure out that the greater part of canister filtration systems arrive with the instructions on how to do this, but still you can use one common trick from us. As soon as you’ve put it together, submerge the filter into the aquarium, then connect it to the outlet. Alter the container sideways to flood the impeller and launch the suction.

It is advisable to maintain this position for about 90 seconds and then point it upwards to strike out air. Your canister filter is now primed.

How much does it cost to run a canister filter?

The energy consumption is quite low, as operating motors for self-contained tank water cleaning systems, aren’t that big.

Where to put purigen in the canister filter?

We would advise you to position the purigen wherever the water exits or it can be placed prior to it the water going into the ceramic rings.

How often to clean a canister filter?

The routine maintenance of a canister will fluctuate from one company to another but also on the workload. Preferably, you must clean it every 8 weeks for safest and most effective functioning.

Can i use a canister filter with a protein skimmer?

If you have a saltwater aquarium, it’s always a necessity to have a protein skimmer. You may utilize the protein skimmer to purge the superficial water of the probable oily remains in combination with a canister filter (specialized to mechanical filtration) without issue. You do need a skimmer in a sump though, because liquid DOS (Dissolved Organic Soliders) are not filtreted enough with a canister filter for a saltwater aquarium.

What’s the best canister filter for a fish tank?

There isn’t a clear answer to this. Various products will come along with a wide range of features; you merely need to select a model with functions that will perform best for your aquarium, taking into consideration our advice how to choose a canister filter.

How to get air out of a canister filter?

You have to make certain that all the joining components are correctly sealed. With right sealing, you should avoid the air flow bubbles from occurring in the near future. Also, Make sure you remove air when firstly receiving the product.

How to set up a canister filter?

Firstly, you have to be sure that all the components are well put together, ahead of mounting the whole build in its place. You can now connect the inflow and outflow pipes and connect the filter to your tank based on the canister instructions. Place it in its permanent place to ensure that it doesn’t need to be disturbed later.

Canister Filter Video Tutorials

How do Canister Filters Work

How to Setup Canister Filters


How to Clean an External Filter


How to Position Canister Filters: Tips & Tricks


How to Choose Between Hang on back (HOB) vs Canister?

Final Verdict

The canister filter is the ideal choice for maintaining good health of the fishes and cleanliness of the canister filters. Having one for your aquarium would be a decent idea. The tank water offers you a wide variety that you can take in use for the filtration of the range of filter and waste products.

However, using the process of the UV sterilizer lightning systems is a fascinating choice to go along with for proper filtration process. These UV sterilizers are not necessarily present in every canister filter but are provided with specifically in some of the canister filters.