Best Canister Filters of 2018

If you are an aquarium enthusiast, then you must know how difficult it could get to keep the waters clean. However, it takes a lot to find the right canister filter for your aquarium. You must consider yourself lucky to have found this post, as this covers everything about the Best Canister Filters. Why not read this until the very end to make things easy for you. We have incorporated everything in regards to canister filters. In fact, the best ones will be a combination of chemical, mechanical and biological filtration. We have found you some handy ones in here, do have a look.

Buying guide for the Best Canister Filters

Before investing in a filter, we would request you to look into its functionality. With that said, we mean, what kind of filter do you require is also something to be looked into. Installing a filter that meets your requirements is a must. Of course, there is more to it and we have discussed it down here.

  • Your budget–You must be able to afford a canister filter and that is the biggest truth. Again, while buying a filter, you must be pragmatic enough. You must not give into the fads of the times but invest in something that can stand the test of time at any budget. Be sensible and take a call.
  • Brands–The brands that we have reviewed here are top notch in this industry. Hence, it is recommended that you must stick to reliable brands only. This will keep confusion at a bay for you and ultimately help you buy the Best Canister Filters.
  • Tanksize–You can either read the product details for this or contact their customer service to know more about getting the right tank size. Tanks would come marked 10 gallons, 20 gallons, at times 29 gallons and even 55 for gallons or more. Suit yourself and select the correct size to avoid trouble.
  • Motor–The motor must be competent enough to pump water and do it all. You must opt for a motor that is sturdy and extremely low on maintenance. Meeting these prerequisites would cut you a deal and you must not neglect any of these features.

Tips on choosing the best canister filter for turtles

If you really care for your reptile friend, then you must make them comfortable in their abode. Getting a canister filter for your turtle could be one way of doing so. We have a few ways to find the best canister filter for turtles. Read this section with attention.

  • Size of the tank–Read more about the filter and then make certain that the canister filter is fit for your tank. These filters are designed for special tanks if your tank fits the bill and your turtle will enjoy it the most.
  • Durability–You must invest in a filter that is made from durable materials and can perform to its full. That means a well-built filter will provide you with quality filtration.
  • Motor–The motor pumps the water and makes it all work. So, you must purchase a filter that has a reliable motor. It should be easy to maintenance, efficient and if possible quiet.

Best Canister Filters for the money

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Product Name

Build

Capacity & Efficiency

Price

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

Sturdy and Durable, made of hard plastic

Large capacity of media trays

Marineland Magniflow Canister

Marineland Magniflow Canister

Long lasting

Proper seal with top sealing gasket

Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

Long life and high capacity filter volume

Safety Locks

Fluval Canister Filter, FX6 Filter

Fluval Canister Filter, FX6 Filter

High performance and reliable

Consumes less electricity

AquatopCF Series Canister Filter

AquatopCF Series Canister Filter

High quality internal parts, but affordable

Media trays are quite large

EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter

EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter

Excellent build quality

Low energy consumption

Cobalt Aquatics EXT Canister Filter

Cobalt Aquatics EXT Canister Filter

Unique Design and competitive price

Lot of media included out of the box

Flexzion HW-302 Canister Filter

Flexzion HW-302 Canister Filter

Good build quality

Compatible with larger tanks

Marineland C-Series Multi-Stage Canister Filter

Marineland C-Series Multi-Stage Canister Filter

Durable build quality

Replaceable media trays for flexible filtration mode

Top Quality​ Canister Filters to look for in 2018

1. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

The Penn Plax Cascase Canister Aquarium Filter is one of the best canister filters in the market. They are powerful, reliable and offers great user experience. The flow valves of the filter offer a 360 degree flexibility which will help you to move it in any direction depending upon the space inside the aquarium. The media baskets are of large capacity and you can customize your media needs as per your wish. Now, you can easily prime the filter with just a press of a button. The kit comes with a spray bar to direct water to any area of the tank, tubes, directional spout and filter media. These canister filters are easy to install, long lasting and built well for the purpose to give you a long lasting hassle free experience.

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

Pros

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    The filter is made of hard plastic and sturdy.
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    The filtration takes place in stages which helps in removing all the dirt which is accumulated inside.
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    Most of the components in the kit are of high quality.
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    The self-priming functionality in this filter makes it usable in different types of aquarium.

Cons

  • The filter makes a considerable amount of sound during operation.
  • The motor in this filter is not very long lasting.

2. Marineland Magniflow Canister

The Marineland Magniflow Canister is among the best canister filters in the market. The high end features with a mid range price, make it a great value for the users. This filter has a capacity of 3.4 gallons and is one of the largest in its class of filters. The canister lid is made such that it creates a watertight seal when pressed. The filter has multiple media layers in filter trays which allows for different filtration levels such as mechanical, chemical and biological. There is a quick prime button which helps in quick starting the filter once it is set up. There is a polishing filter pad installed which removes the fine debris from the water to keep it clean and fresh. The black diamond carbon present in the package will remove any odor, discoloration and water impurities from your tank.

Marineland Magniflow Canister

Pros

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    The filter is almost as powerful as the bigger models.
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    There are multiple trays which allow flexibility in terms of media selections.
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    Customer service is good and spare parts are available in a lot of places both offline and online for easy replacements.

Cons

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    The filter media which is provided out of the box could have been of a better quality.
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    If you are not careful while replacing the media from the trays, the rubber gaskets present can tear or get misplaced.
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    The filter is a little bit oversize, so, you may need a bigger tank.

3. Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

The Hydor Professional External Canister Filter is among the best canister filters in the market. It is an all-rounder having a solid build, telescopic intake tubes and a 3 stage filtration process in place. There is a 4 lock clamp system which holds the motor in the filter in place and keeps it working properly.

This system also helps to avoid any form of water leaks as everything is tightly held together. The model is easy to assemble, install and takes very little time to setup and run. You will be impressed with the flow rate this filter offers and the range of the capacity. The operating noise for this filter is very minimum and sometimes you have to come near it to make sure that it’s running. Priming can be done very easily which finally adds to easy maintenance.

Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

Pros

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    You don’t need to worry if you are an amateur, you can easily set up the filter from scratch.
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    The filter comes with a safety lock system so that you do not hurt yourself in the process.
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    You can easily clean and maintain this filter at your home.
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    The powerful flow rate is unmatched across its segment of filters.
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    The priming system in this model is very easy.

Cons

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    This model is new to the market and replacement parts may not be available easily.
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    You should be careful while disconnecting the valves, it’s prone to leaks.

4. Fluval Canister Filter, FX6 Filter (400 Gal)

The Fluval Canister Filter is one of the best canister filters there is. The filter is known for its high performance and superb capabilities. It has a very high throughput capacity and can filter large volumes of water with ease. The filter is compact and can fit in most large tanks available in the market. The motors of this canister filter have bare minimum vibrations and produce very low noise during operation.

The filter comes with adjustable twin nozzles which help inefficient distribution of the filtered water to all the corners of the aquarium. There is an electronic circuit board which monitors the filter while in operation. The valves in the filter stop the water flow through the use of the valve lever. This will help you to separate the hose and properly clean the filter without worrying about leakage or the components getting spoiled. The Fluval canister filter has a self-priming system so that you can avoid manual siphoning and save yourself time and energy.

Best Canister Filters

Pros

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    The filter is well built and quite compact.
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    It has a clog free strainer which keeps the debris from getting into the filter.
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    As a user, you will get a maintenance reminder after every interval, so that the filter remains in the best condition. This will increase the life of the filter and also remain effective over time.

Cons

  • The price is steep. There are other similar alternatives at a lower price.
  • The size of this filter may be an issue with medium to small tanks.

5. Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter

The Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter is among the best canister filters, popular for providing multistage filtration at an affordable price. This filter is effective majorly in fresh and saltwater aquariums which has a range of close to 175 gallons. There is a UV sterilizer which helps in keeping the water clean and fresh.

The filter has large filtration trays where you can add media of your choice. The filters come with a white and a blue filter pad which helps in enhancing the mechanical filtration process. The self-priming system in this filter will save you from manual siphoning and also time consuming maintenance.

Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter

Pros

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    The filter provides multistage filtration at such a nice price point.
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    The UV sterilization is first of its kind and quite effective in keeping the water clean and fresh.
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    The filter has a low operating noise.
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    The media baskets which come along with the filter are quite big to hold a large number of media.
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    The filter has high quality components which not only last long but also remains efficient in the long run.
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    The power cord is long enough for appropriately placing the filter.

Cons

  • The filter starts to leak sometimes after some months of usage.
  • The components of the filter are not of very high quality.
  • The kit should come with more amount of media for the biological filtration.

6. EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter

The EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter is one of the best canister filters for turtles. It is the most reliable and efficient filter in the market. Every component of this filter has been tried and tested following the best of standards. The filter is also popular for its noise free operation and sometimes you have to touch it to understand whether the filter is running.

The filter has a capacity of 40 gallons, is durable, power efficient and provide an exceptional value for money. The filter comes with high quality components and provides superb filtration, all at a low price point, thus an ideal buy if you are looking at value for money.

The product kit includes permo-elastic silicon ring attached to the pump head which helps you to easily open and close the head after cleaning, filter sponges, filter valves, filter basket, spray bar, inlet pipe, hose and other accessories for installing the filter. The sealing ring not only helps in easy cleaning, but also help in locking after cleaning to avoid water leakages. The filter inserts present help in cleaning the filter easier.

EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter

Pros

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    The filter has an excellent build quality and the components are of high quality.
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    The filter has almost zero noise while operation.
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    High and adjustable flow rate.
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    The filtration process is way more efficient than similar a range of filters.
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    Energy consumption is quite low.
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    It is durable and will last longer if you take regular care.

Cons

  • There is no priming button given, so you have to do manual siphoning.
  • The instruction manual is not very easy to follow.

7. Cobalt Aquatics EXT Canister Filter

The Cobalt Aquatics EXT Canister Filter is a very innovative product and the best canister filter for turtles. This filter is separate from the canister body. As the canister is separate from the main body, you can clean this filter without switching it off. This filter, unlike the older canister filters does not have a built-in pump, thus it does not require priming, making it very easy to use.

So you can put the filter anywhere you want, below the tank, beside the tank or just above the tank. Another good thing about this pump is that it comes out of the box with four layers of filter media which includes a sponge filter, activated carbon, ceramic borings and filter finishing pad.

Cobalt Aquatics EXT Canister Filter

Pros

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    The filter has a unique design and is priced competitively.
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    You can clean the filter even when it is switched on.
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    The operating noise is quite low.
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    A lot of media is included out of the box for you to use and there is no hassle of priming.

Cons

  • The pump on the intake pipe consumes a good amount of space in the tank and is more noticeable than a normal pipe.
  • There is no spray bar included in the box which is a must for these kinds of filters to work at an optimal rate.
  • There is no clamps provided for the hoses making the construction flimsy.

8. Flexzion HW-302 Canister Filter

The Flexzion HW-302 Canister Filter is among the best canister filter for turtles. It is a heavy duty filter for tanks up to 75 gallons and can filter at a rate of 1000 liters per hour. The large filter body helps to maximize the filtering capacity of this model. There is a 3 stage filtration process and a varied number of filter materials can be used in the process.

There are three media trays out of the box which will allow you to fill the media of your choice such as activated carbon, ceramic rings among others. The filter consists of majorly three components; the filter unit, the intake hose and the output bar. After you assemble the filter, only the output bar and the intake hose are visible from outside. Thus when you place the filter in the tank, the tank does not look clumsy.

Flexzion HW-302 Canister Filter

Pros

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    The self-priming facility is a boon.
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    The filter is quite large and powerful for tanks containing more than 50 gallons of water.
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    The filter is also compatible with a range of inline accessories like UV sterilizers, inline heaters etc which makes it easy for you to fit in externals whenever you wish to.
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    It is easy to maintain and can last for quite some time if you take proper care.

Cons

  • The accessories provided in the box are not of very high quality material and tend to break quite easily.

9. Marineland C-Series Multi-Stage Canister Filter

The Marineland C-Series Multi-Stage Canister Filter is among the best canister filter for turtles. It is very popular among large tank enthusiasts. Although it is good for both medium and large tanks, it is best for large fish tanks with a big fish community. The filter works efficiently to provide clean and fresh water for your fishes. There is a 3 stage filtration process which includes biological, mechanical and chemical filtration.

The bio filter balls are great for biological filtration and the replaceable media slots help in filtering the dirt and waste, keeping the water clean and fresh. The multistage filtration in this filter does not have any bypass option which forces it to produce only clean water. Although the filter looks complex, you can easily set this up with the user manual and the DVD present in the box.

You can clean this filter quite easily and within just a couple of hours. The only thing which needs changing monthly is the activated carbon and polishing pads. The ceramic rings and bio filter balls do not get damaged so easily.

Marineland C-Series Multi-Stage Canister Filter

Pros

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    The filter has a very powerful flow rate which leads to better filtration.
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    There is no bypass option which keeps the water clean and fresh.
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    The media slot with trays can be replaced and you can change the filtration method as you want to.
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    The priming is instant which helps you to avoid manual siphoning.
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    Cleaning the filter is very easy and less time consuming.

Cons

  • The filter is not very quiet.
  • Some of the components of the filter is of low quality.

10. Pingkay 3-stage External Canister Filter

The Pingkay 3-stage External Canister Filter is among the best canister filters in the segment. Although you can use this filter for larger tanks, you would get a much better performance if you use this filter in tanks which have a capacity of up to 100 gallons. The flow rate is not very high nor low and is just adequate for the fishes.

The 3 stage filtration works efficiently and keeps the water crystal clear by removing all waste materials including harmful chemicals out of the water. The UV kill is used to remove any harmful bacteria and viruses from the water and keep the habitat healthy. The filter is specifically made for fishes and not for turtles.

The operating noise of this canister filter is close to minimum and can be fit in tanks placed anywhere in your house. This filter comes in a complete package and you can easily set it up out of the box. The package includes the barrel head, the main canister body, the UV light bulb, trays and tray covers, spray bars, input bars, and white cotton pads among others.

Pingkay 3-stage External Canister Filter

Pros

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    The 3 stage filtration system works like a charm.
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    The flow rate is just adequate for the fishes.
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    The filter has low maintenance.
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    The operating noise is close to minimum.                          

Cons

  • The flow rate decreases over time.
  • The components in this filter is not of very high quality.

FAQs

1. Which is best filter for aquarium?

Ans. There is no right or wrongs answer to this, as filters keep the water clean from feces, plant material, leftover food and other waste products. You need to understand how a filtration system with help you and your fishes to stay safe. Be it mechanical, biological or chemical filtration, a filter must be cost effective.

2. Are canister filters good for saltwater tanks?

Ans. All canisters that we have reviewed in here are considered good, for saltwater (and fresh water) tanks.Yes, canister filters make it simple as one stop filtration system for sure.

3. How do canister filters work?

Ans. In simple words, a canister filter first draws up water by a lift tube. It goes into an external tube, where the water is pushed all the way through a line of media (filter) for cleaning. Then it is pumped back into the tank and there is nothing more. Yes, it is this straightforward, that we thought of mentioning it once in this post for you to understand it once and for all.

4. What is the best canister filter?

Ans. Well, you need to know the models, as there are a lot of them in the market. You need to find out which one suits your needs best.

5. How do you set up a fish tank?

Ans. Assemble the product as explained in the user manual. Then connect the inflow and outflow pipes into the tank. Make sure to place the canister filter in a secluded place, so that no one touches it. Switch on the system if everything seems right and then see the magic.

6. What does a vapor canister filter do?

Ans. Like the way, these filters reduce carbon emission in automobiles, in the same way, they could be used in filtration system of fish tanks. These filters increase the efficiency of filtration that must be added to this discussion.

7. How often to should you clean canister filter?

Ans. Usually, these filters take the longest to clean. So, you could do that once in 3 to 4 months. These filters save your efforts, as they do not require you to clean off and on.

8. Does it cost to run these filters?

Ans. You will be surprised to know that these filters do not consume a lot of electricity. They run on small motors and they actually are quite an energy efficient by themselves.

9. How to find the cheapest canister filters?

Ans. You can find several of them online and some e-commerce houses have listed their bestsellers for you. This way you can find the cheapest and also the most unswerving one for you.

Best ways of using Canister Filters

There is no one way of using the Best Canister Filters, as different people will have different ways of doing it. Though, we believe there is a basic thing that binds all of this with one thread. This is why we would like you to know how to use your canister filter in the best ways.

  • First of check if everything is connected in a secured way before switching it on
  • Make the valves are safe and open to draw and expel water from your tank
  • Some systems may need the canister to be filled with water even before they start operating
  • Know your filter and the do the needful
  • If you are satisfied that everything is in place, then you can go ahead and turn it on
  • One more thing, keep your tank clean, as that will keep the fish happy and playful, which is something that everyone wants

Maintenance tips

Look, there are no hard and fast rules of cleaning your aquarium filter. Nevertheless, you could fix a routine to clean yours like once a week, monthly and then yearly care. If your fish is like your child, then you need to be a better pet parent. You must ensure to keep them clean by hook or crook. Below mentioned are some of the useful ways of cleaning your canister filter.

  • Clean canister filters once every 3 to 4 months, yes these can serve you long in between cleanings
  • Turn off the filter and unplug it
  • Make sure that you submerge the media filter into a bucket of water, as this will keep the beneficial bacteria alive
  • Use a soft scrub to clean the impellers
  • Check if everything is clean before you assemble them back, as this assures that your filter will not leak
  • Once you are done, fill the canister with water and turn it on again

Conclusion

There are too many options for you when you speak about Best Canister Filters. It may get confusing when you come across so many brands and types of filters.Nonetheless, if you keep practicality in your mind, then it will be easy for you to decide on it. This is what made us compose this post and we hope that we did a good job. This is a sincere endeavor that we tried our hands at and we would like you to tell us how did felt about it. Do share your experience with us and the community via the comments section.

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