The 10 Best Aquarium Canister Filter Reviews 2022

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Aquarium Canister Filter

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When you own an aquarium and collecting little fishies become a habit, then you probably know that filters are crucial for a healthy aquarium.

Aquariums are a closed system that accumulates waste and debris over time and get converted into various by-products. Such by-products are quite harmful to your fishes as well as the overall cleanliness and health of the aquarium.

But, with the best aquarium canister filter, you can always ensure that you will have clean and clear water that your fish can swim into.

Top 10 Best Aquarium Canister Filter

Here are our top picks for the best aquarium canister filter:

Fluval 06 Series External Filter

The Fluval 06 Series features some pretty awesome filtering techs. Plus, you can choose from a range of sizes— from the smallest one, the Fluval 106 with 95 GPH to the largest, the Fluval 406 with 245 GPH. The Fluval 06 Series is a dependable and strong line of canister filter that is suitable for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums.

This canister filter comes with a powerful motor that is durable and should maintain a strong flow between maintenance. Its protective cover and precise-engineered bearings help in minimizing noise from its impeller as well as protecting it from debris and moisture. Featuring AquaStop valve, installation is super easy and it allows you to completely adjust the flow rate.

The canister also uses the entire volume in order to separate each filtration stage which results in greater efficiency and mess-free maintenance. It also works really great at absorbing debris as well as preventing clogged media. Instant priming is also a neat feature since you do not have to experience siphoning your tank water.

Penn Plax Cascade Series Canister Filter

Penn Plax has quite the reputation for offering heavy duty aquarium canister filters. Their best-seller, the Cascade Series Canister Filter, offering a multi-stage filtration so that every bit of debris and dirt is removed in every possible way.

You can choose from 8 Cascade models offering varying tank size capacity, so you can choose the right one for your needs. It is also designed to accommodate both freshwater and saltwater environment. The canister comes with tubing, pray bar, directional spout for complete customization as well as filter medium so you are ready to use it right out of the box.

Its state of the art flow valves rotates 360 degrees for easy maneuvering in even the smallest, tightest aquarium cabinets. Extra-large capacity media baskets offer you endless customizations to your heart’s content. With an easy push button primer, you can easily and quickly prime the filter without hassle. Lastly, it has a sturdy mounting tip-proof rubber base in order to keep the unit in place.

Hydor Professional Canister Filter

Hydor is another reputable brand of durable and efficient aquarium canister filter. And their Professional series comes in a variety of sizes from filters with 160 GPH to the more powerful one of 290 GPH.

The Hydor Professional Canister Filter is super easy to assemble and use. Pushing its self-priming button 3 times, and you are ready to go! It has a heavy-duty and durable motor with soundproofing features for quiet operation that won’t disturb your pets. It features ball-valve connections that are designed to reduce back pressure and are quite effective in adjusting the water flow so you get the optimum output for your tank.

Its rectangular shape also contributes to a very efficient filtering process. Holding a large volume of filter media, each tray is flushed against the sides, forcing the water through the filter media without bypass. Depending on which size of filter that you pick, you will have room for at least 2 – 5 media trays that allow a multistage filtration.

MarineLand MagniFlow Canister Filter

A newly designed canister filter, the MarineLand MagniFlow is created in order to provide quick support and fast, spill-free setup. This filter is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater aquarium with multistage filtration that guarantees clean and healthy aquatic conditions by means of chemical, biological and mechanical filtration.

This aquarium canister filter is stacked with user-friendly and unique components in order to keep your aquariums cleaners and healthier, effortlessly. It features a lid which creates a water-tight seal when it is compressed and lifts up for a simple expulsion.

Its Sack ‘n Flow filter plate allows different media layers for a complete filtration process and is quite easy and simple to change or clean. Its fast-prime button easily loads the filter chamber with water for an instant, self-priming setup. In addition, the specially-designed valve allows you to instantly close down water flow and separate the cover from the engine house for quick and spill-free maintenance.

EHEIM Classic Canister Filter

EHEIM is quite famous for its durable German-engineered aquarium canister filters. And the very first thing that will come to mind with German engineering is high efficiency, which totally shows in this line of canister filter.

Available for 90, 66 and 44-gallon tanks, this Classic Series of Canister Filter from EHEIM comes complete with EHEIM’s mech and Substrat Pro media. What’s more is that this filter has no bypass, meaning that all debris will have to go through the media for super clean and clear water. And this does not mean that it will become saturated and eventually slow down the flow over time, as long as you are good at doing maintenance, then it shouldn’t be a problem.

Featuring fixed Permo-elastic silicon seal rings on its pump head, it allows for a safe and easy closing after cleaning. Its compact design and extremely silent motor mean that you will be able to place it wherever you want without disturbing you or your fishes. And if you decided to choose this line of EHEIM filters, then you are in for a lifetime of dependable and trouble-free service.

API Filstar XP Canister Filter

Previously known as “Rena Filstar”, this series of aquarium canister filters have maintained a reputable and well-known brand name in the fishkeeping community. And the main reason for that is their high-quality products at a very reasonable price. In comparison to more expensive brands, the API Filstar Canister Filters come at a price that is twice as low for the same filtration system power bracket.

Although these filters are not made of sturdy plastic, they’re definitely a superior choice if you have a large aquarium to maintain. IT comes in Small to Extra Large sizes with powerful motors that pump huge water amounts. The filter has an anti-airlock system which prevents any unexpected filtration stops as well as an anti-noise feature that prevents any vibration and unnecessary noise against the floor or a cabinet.

In addition, the canister filter comes with its own set of filter media, which are all brand-patented with its own unique filtering technology. You can place these in 4 separate filter-holding trays. The canister filter also comes with its own self-priming tech together with quick-disconnect valve for efficient and quick cleaning of the unit without the need of re-priming.

MarineLand C-Series Canister Filter

The MarineLand C-Series Canister Filter offers you varying size: 30-gallon tank size / 150 GPH, 30 – 55-gallon tank size / 220 GPH, 55 – 100-gallon tank size / 360 GPH and 100 – 150-gallon tank size / 530 GPH. Its top selling point is that this canister includes a DVD which offers you a comprehensive and detailed guide on how to easily set it up.

The canister filter features large-sized trays that allow you to place any filtering media on them without any difficulties. IT as a multi-stage filtration process that allows for exceptional chemical, biological and mechanical filtration for the healthiest and cleanliest water for your aquatic pets. In addition, this filter can also work for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.

The aquarium canister filter is super easy to install and setup and includes all the necessary media so it is ready to be used right out of the box. Maintenance is super easy and painless and you never have to change its BIO-Filter Balls and Ceramic Rings unless they get damaged. You only need to worry about the polishing pads and Activated Carbon and replaced them monthly.

Fluval FX6 Canister Filter

This monstrous canister filter is rated with a flow rate of 563 gallons per hour and is suitable for a gigantic 400 gallons tank capacity. Of course, it also comes with the durability, power, and tech that you would expect from a high-performance canister filter. FX6 is an upgrade from the FX4 with improved motor technology, offering better performance while also consuming up to 10 percent less electricity.

It has a protective cover and precise-engineered bearing the help minimizes the noise from the impeller as well as protecting it from all debris and moisture. It also has a self-priming pump that is quite easy to setup— you just need to add water and then plug it in. The pump would track the water flow and automatically adjust in order to maintain a constant flow rate and purge the canister filter of trapped air every 12 hours.

Not only that, but this canister filter also uses a whopping 6 stage filtration with each basket has been precision-engineered in order to stop any water bypass which results in a more efficient filtration process. Plus, it is also easy to maintain with a monthly indicator dial that should help you remember the exact date of your last water change and maintenance.

Sunsun HW304B Canister Filter Kit

The HW304B is the largest canister filter in this line, however, if you needed something for a smaller tank, then there is also HW302B rated for 264 GPH and HW303B rated for 370 GPH. The kit includes at least 40 pieces of bio-balls 1 pound ceramic rings, 1 pound of premium filter carbon, a pack of blue coarse pads and 3 packs of extra white filter pads.

What makes this canister filter stand out is that it features a built-in 9-watt UV sterilizer that helps in killing bacteria and algae spores, promoting crystal clear and healthy water. Featuring a big blue self-priming pump that works great and eliminating the needs for a manual siphoning. With the 4 flexible media trays, it allows you to achieve excellent biological, chemical and mechanical filtration.

Maintenance and cleaning are super easy and quick, but you will need to keep the cleaning in order of the trays or you will not be able to get the top back on. There is also a useful switch that should allow you to detach both output and input houses at the same time. This switch also cut the water off and leave it in both houses, which is quite useful since it should help with your siphon system when restarting it.

AquaTop CF Series Canister Filter

The Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter comes in 3 versions from 264 GPH, 370 GPH, and 525 GPH and is vouched for aquarium canister filters by fishkeepers. The canister filter also comes with a UV sterilizer that helps in killing and eradicating algae and harmful bacteria from the aquarium, particularly if one has planted some fish vegetation in the aquarium.

It is also suitable for messy fish such as goldfish, thanks to its four different sponges that excellently filters the waste matter. The filter that is placed internally comes with clamps that securely lock its power head and providing a watertight seal. It has a mechanical, biological and chemical filtration system and is suitable for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums.


Canister filters are crucial in every aquarium since it helps remove debris, dirt, toxic substances and other waste matter that ensures a clean water environment which supports the fish lives.

The right canister filter should help sustain that life of your fish but the wrong one can surprise you with floating fishes at the surface one day. The best aquarium canister filter is quite different for every user. Making a decision can be quite tough, however, the abovementioned canister filters are among the best choices of amateur and pro fishkeepers worldwide.