The best tank filer will help you create a clean, healthy environment for your fish. It removes fish water, uneaten food, and potentially harmful chemicals. And if you have tried some filters before, but not any of them can meets your need of provide extremely clean water, you should go with one of those canister filters on this list.
Canister filter is the most powerful with vast water flow and quite filter on the market. However, this is also the most expensive filter. If you have a large aquarium with high population density and heavy bio loads, canister filter may be the best option you can get.
#1 Fluval FX4High Performance Aquarium Canister Filter
Fluval canister filter provide three types of filtration and five stages filtration system. This filter has 700 GPH, that means it can handle 700 gallons water per hour, making it suitable for 250 gallons aquariums. It is also installed outside of the tank, so you will not need to worry that it will take lots of space interior. It is also convenient when you need to change the filter media.
Fluval FX4 features outlet pipe and smart pump so it does not require manual pump, it siphon water off automatically. Not only that, it comes with all the filter media but you also can choose to use the media you want. However, the drawback is that canister is pretty difficult to service as you will need to practically disassemble all the filter when you want to clean the insides.
One more pro is that due to its effectiveness, this compact powerful filter is also costly, you will have to pay about $280 to get one, so it is only recommended for the large tank with heavy bioload.
#2 Polar Aurora Free Media 4-Stage External Canister Filter
If you are looking for another powerful filter but you are on the limited budget, this filter of Polar Aurora is best value for the money. It provides great effective within a affordable price. It is obvious that it cannot do better than Fluval FX4, however it’s reasonably priced compared to other filters with the same capacity.
At $85, this filter will not disappoint you, this is why I would like to recommend it for users. It features 4 filter media tray that allow you to add the filter media that you prefer of mechanical, chemical, and biological filter media. The outstanding point of Polar Aurora filter is that it comes with 9-watt UV sterilizer, that will help prevents the growth of algae spores and bad bacteria in the water.
It is 525 GPH and can be used for the tank up to 200 gallons. It also features self-priming pump, what make it easy to use due to the automatic siphoned. Plus, this filter is super quiet operation.
#3 Penn Plax Aquarium Cascade Canister Filter
This is the only multiple use filter on this list as it can be used for both freshwater and saltwater fish tanks. Cascade 1500 filter of penn Plax provide 5 filter media trays and works at 350GPH, which make it work great in the aquariums up to 200 gallons.
If features 360 degree rotate flow valves, which allow it easy siphoned even in the tightest aquarium cabinets. The only disadvantage of this filter is that when it operates, this filter will make a lot of chattering and grinding sounds, this may disturb you.
#4 EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter with Media
The flow rate of EHEIM external canister is 164 GPH that is recommended for tanks up to 95 gallons. If you are worry about cleaning issues of canister, this filter will solve your problem as is features filter sponges and other types of loose filter media, that means you does not need to disassemble the whole filter whenever you need to clean it.
It also features permo-elastic silicon sealing ring, which will hold the filter secure in the position while working in the aquarium. It also prevents the change of leakage issues that has been meet in other fish tank filters.
#5 Sunsun Hw304B 525GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit with 9-watt UV Sterilizer
This filter comes with large capability of 525 GPH, that means if you have the large tank, you should get this filter. Sun Sun filter can easily handle various aquariums up to 150 gallons. As long as you proper maintain it, this filter can work great and faster than other models.
The attractive feature of this filter is that it comes with 9W UV sterilizer, which will kill the harmful algae and bad bacteria that exist in the water. If you are worry about the noise, this model is quite silent when it operate. You can place your aquarium in the room that you use to relax without the noise from tank filter.
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