How To Find The Best Canister Filter – The Definite Guide

Aquariums are, nowadays, one of the best decorating objects for houses, offices, community centers, party places, receptions etc. places.  Different colored fishes make it look much more attractive and beautiful. But if you do not clean the water after a certain period, the water gets dirty and filthy. What you can do in this case is, install one best canister filter with the aquarium. This is nothing but a procedure that will help you out in case of frequent water change and cleaning of the aquarium.

best canister filter

>>> Best Canister Filter On The Market 2015 <<<

Predominantly, canister filters are water purifiers/cleaners used in aquariums. These products execute water filtration through a series of water purifying and cleaning processes simultaneously. There are water inlet and outlet valves by which the water flow works. The word “Canister” is used for aquariums water filtration because it means the process carried inside a container shaped drum/box.

We will introduce you to a comparison chart detailing the 3 products. Hope it will help you have more information to make the best decision !

  • Model: Cascade® Canister Filter Pumps for Fresh & Saltwater
  • Our Rating
  • Customer: 720+ Reviews
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10 x 11.5 inches
  • Item Weight: 12 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 12.9 pounds
  • Our Detail Review

  • Model: SunSun HW-302 3-Stage External Canister Filter, 264 GPH
  • Our Rating
  • Customer: 370+ Reviews
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 15 inches
  • Item Weight: Updating..
  • Shipping Weight: 9.5 pounds
  • Our Detail Review

  • Model: Penn Plax Cascade 1500 GPH Canister Filter
  • Our Rating
  • Customer: 720+ Reviews
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 12 x 11 inches
  • Item Weight: 15 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 16.2 pounds
  • Our Detail Review

Top 3 canister filters available in the market nowadays:

There are loads of canister filters in different types in markets today. But all of them are different to look at, different in water filtration and purification process, weight, dimensions etc. regarding all the factors; there are 3 very lucrative products out in markets today that you certainly need to get acquainted-

1. Cascade® 1000 Canister Filter for up to 100 Gallon Aquariums, 265gph

best canister filter

One of the best heavy duty and best aquarium canister filters released in the markets. This product can take upto 100 gallons and possess about 265 GPH purified water flow rate. Its filtration system proceeds through multi staged purification with chemical, mechanical, biological and physical stability. It highly maintains aquatic life through perfect requirements of the aquatic eco-system.

2. SunSun HW-302 3-Stage External Canister Filter, 264 GPH-

SunSun HW-302 3-Stage External Canister Filter, 264 GPH-

One of the best customizable canister filters available in the market today. If you are thinking of buying a customizable filter, then this is the best. Mathematically, it can handle up to 75-gallon aquarium without any maintenance hassle. 3-staged water filtration system allows you to put any of your specified filtration media in the bays. It also filters water at the rate of 265 gph very effectively.

3. Penn Plax Cascade 1500 GPH Canister Filter

Penn Plax Cascade canister filter

If you are thinking about filtrating small to medium aquariums, then Penn Plax Cascade canister filter might be the best choice. It has 1500 GPH water filtration rate but works in small filtration systems. In small aquariums, this canister filter just works fine and helps you maintain the water inside for a long long term. The independent 360-degree rotating valves make it easy to install with the aquarium. Overly, this is a very rigid and sturdy product from its top to base.

What is canister filter reviews?

When you are about to choose a best aquarium canister filter; you must have a broader knowledge on how it is made, how it works, what are the steps it uses to purify water, what are the particular spheres that treats water specifically etc. There are many stages where the inlet water gets treated. But how it is treated, must be known before you are to install a fresh one with your aquarium system.

A canister filter, technically, has got an inlet valve, which goes to a filter paper. This part preliminarily filtrates the water just to remove the tiny dusts and particular visible matters. Without this process; the water cant be treated accordingly t each of its stages.

In the second part of filtration, come different operations executed by different media bays. Nowadays, you can get customizable canister filters where you can install media bays on your own choice. This has made such filters way more fascinating and also very operation worthy. But in most cases, the physical water slicing comes after the filtration. In this part, the water gets flown through a stack of rock-stones, granite matters, zirconite (chemical name), luminite (chemical name) etc. In this section, the water gets a slight touch with the purification flavor, which makes it easier for reaction to be executed in its traversing path.

Thirdly, the chemical reaction comes in attention. There are different media bays available. You just can put any specific numbered bays according to the operation you need as per you think your aquatic fishes will feel comfortable and suitable. Bacterial colonizing media bays turns the water germ free competently. This in turn helps in biological equilibrium in the aquatic life. You’ll never get satisfied unless you’ve seen the effects of chemical stabilization in your aquarium. Try it before you get things worse. Maintaining nitrogen and oxygen accordingly in the aquarium water is the main task in this filtration stage.

Lastly, a best canister filter possesses specific media bays responsible for truncating toxicities. This can be done in several ways. However, manufacturers predominantly use diatomic sleeves, sponges, and thick filter papers. This stage is partially responsible for maintaining the nitrogen cycle.

What is GPH/ Gallon Per Hour?

When you are to buy a canister filter, you better get acquainted with the whole canister filter reviews. Reviews will certainly include a term named “GPH”. Those who might get bewildered should get acquainted with it as – Gallons Per Hour (US 1 gallon= 3.7854 liter).

GPH, more elaborately, means the water outflow from the canister filter towards the aquarium. Compared to the size of the aquarium, you ought to buy the best canister filter. For an example; if your aquarium is of 400 gallons or bigger, then using a 45 GPH capable canister filter wont be of any good results. You can see, in the canister filter reviews that specific terms are included which says the best one to use with a limited ranged volumes of canister filters. Some of the best-known canister filters examples in terms of gph are –

Flow of 180 gallons per hour, tanks up to 40 gallons
Flow of 260 gallons per hour, tanks up to 70 gallons
Flow of 340 gallons per hour, tanks up to 100 gallons
Flow of 925 gallons per hour, tanks up to 400 gallons

However, you’ll certainly get many more in the markets because most of the people having aquariums have their own planned and customized ones.  But heed that GPH is a very important term in case time of choosing best canister filters. The greater the GPH is, the bigger aquarium it can handle easily.

Importance of canister filters:

Canister filters are basically the reacting agent of water that not only removes the dirt and filths out of water but also make it chemically noble. In order to make it best suitable for fishes you would like to keep in the aquarium, it is a must to use. There is a great importance about why you should use such a filter in your aquarium purpose-

  1. Using a best canister filter would not make you change the aquarium water in short time frame. You can change the water after double to triple the time compared to the time in case of not using a filter.
  2. You get assured about the quality and liability of water free to the aquarium. All your fishes would certainly get a cozy environment to live in and have a safe and sound reproduction cycle.
  3. Another strong plus point about using such a filter is that, the water out to the aquatic container is sure to be odorless and colored naturally. Discolored and stinky may make you anxious about if you are having a safe environment for the fishes or not.

What might occur if canister filter is not used?

Canisters filters can be used for different purposes. Mostly it is used for aquarium purpose but many people use such filters for keeping turtles, aquatic corals, breeding small fishes, even for bath purpose. However, these filters have their major applications in line of aquariums and fishes.

Fishes are sensitive to their surroundings because they roam here and there haphazardly. The common and frequent diseases that happens to fishes are-

  • Anchor worms
  • Body flukes
  • Gill flukes
  • Clamped fin
  • Dropsy
  • Lice
  • Fungus
  • Gill mites
  • Hemorrhagic Septicemia
  • Ick
  • Ragged Tail Fin
  • Tail, Fin and Mouth Rot

Most of these diseases are caused due to the lack of suitable surrounding in addition with excessive viruses and bacterial intrusions inside the aquarium through water.  Therefore, it is very necessary to keep the water very safe and sound for the sake of the fishes inside.

Chemically the water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen. But there are lot more things that come up with water inside the aquarium like nitrogen, bacterial toxicities, particulate dirt, oxidant reagents, bacteria etc. You need to be very cautious about bacterial and viral attacks. There is literally no alternative to using a best canister filter in your aquarium if you need to keep it clean and safe.

Rotting are cause by bacteria and viruses. Fishes tail, mouth and fins get rotten and it cannot eventually roam and dies in lack of food 

Some canister filter reviews:

Well, canister filters are becoming very popular day by day. It not only helps to purify aquarium water but also helps to maintain it for a long term. Seriously think, would you even think of taking care of your aquarium once a week or rather you’ll install an equipment, low in cost compared to the costs that’s charge you manually, to maintain all of it?

We are pretty sure that you’ll go for the second choice. As for canister filter reviews; there are many goods like eheim canister filter, aquarium canister filter, marineland canister filter, sunsun canister filter etc. that certainly could be of your service-

EHEIM canister filter:

this is one of the top-notch canister filters out there in the markets nowadays. Despite of being a bit costly product, eheim canister filter is virtually silent in operation and certainly can be regarded as a best canister filter. You won’t need to get up late in the night to turn it off for its operational noise. It’s predominantly a vertical bar in which the filtration works through series of spheres. There are different models of EHEIM classic external canister filter with media.

Aquarium Canister filter:

Aquarium canister filters are externally or internally mountable. More specifically the ones, which are, used in fish aquariums. These are very easy any and simple to install. If you are in quest for a best canister filter. Then you better research for the best in the market and grab one best suitable for your aquarium.

Marineland canister filter:

its not only fishes you keep in an aquarium. Some people also have hobbies for turtles, sucker fishes, and other aquatic animals. For those, marineland canister filter can certainly be a best canister filter. Such filters usually enforces on multi staged filtration process including biological stabilization process. From creating aquatic algae to bacteria convenient for aquatic life, this filter can certainly work greatly!

SunSun canister filter:

Sunsun canister filters are nowadays very popular due to their longevity of operation. Such filters use volcanic rock in the filtration stage with several more stages to purify water like chemical, biological, color etc. these are usually made and engineered in ASIA with a lot of concentration on its operation efficiency. They’ve got 3 to 5 staged filtration processes with 3 optional and customizable filtration media bays.

Types of canister filters available in the market:

nowadays, there are many types of canister filters in markets but to choose the best suitable and perfect fitting one, is the challenge. You have to see all the specifications and match with all your requirements to choose the best suitable on. Here goes some of the topnotch best canister filters available in the market nowadays. Predominantly, there are two main types of canister filters that are-

1. External:

External canister filters are those, which are mount outside the aquarium. Such sort of canister filters are capable of handling more gallons of water and can have multi staged water purification stages. There are also customizable filtration media for user convenience.

External filters are easy to use through pipes into the aquarium, they can be placed at any convenient places beside or far away from the container, they are easy to maintain and clean periodically (if required after a long time), they can be operated through direct hands and can also be repaired in case of any difficulty with bare hands keeping the electricity connection of.

2. Internal:

Internal canister filters are those, which are used inside the aquarium or the container to filtrate. Thee filters are usually placed inside the aquatic environment and basically sucks the dirt and filths in its internal tub. That is one of the main drawbacks of such filters because they need periodic maintenance.

But on the contrary, they are very handy and maintaining such small filter is way easier than to maintain the whole aquarium. These filters also take a very little space inside and add up as a decorating prop inside the aquarium.

3. Diatom filters:

Sporadic cleaning of aquariums is very necessary when there are a good number of fishes. The wastes produced by fishes, when the number of fishes is high, is also high which might contaminate water irrationally and make it worse to live. However, diatomic filters are usually used to support irrational cleansing of aquatic water.
Such filters usually use diatomaceous earth filtration process to clean the water and remove all the particulate matters that might be dangerous for aquatic environments.

4. Algae Filters:

Algae is biologically a living creature that produces in wet places; creating unwanted environmental hazards. Though Algae is green and makes its food itself and for others as well, it itself becomes a burden for the aquatic life sometimes.

Algae naturally hampers aquarium waters chemically and makes it unstable. It soaks most of the necessary elements out of water like hydrogen, carbon-di-oxide, nitrogen, little oxygen etc. to make its own food. Therefore, Algae filters are used. Most of the filters use UV irradiation that cuts the volatility of water. But such filters shouldn’t be used frequently, rather once or twice a month. More specifically, you should use an algae filter when you feel its necessary, not all the time.

5. Baffle Filters:

If you feel more than a canister filter to treat your aquarium, then you can add more than 2 filters of different purpose and refine the water. Collectively, the series of water treating filters with different acting bays are regarded as baffle filters.

Typically, baffle filters are used when a big sized aquarium is under maintenance and operation. These filters are both, wet and dry, that purifies water through individual canister filters and acts as a single agent.

6. Fluidized Bed Filter:

this is shortly known as FBF. In such filters, sand is the prime element, which becomes colloidal when water is flown through it. When more water flows through this water gel, most of the bacteria and articulate matters stuck in letting fresh water outflow. Aerobic de-nitrification process makes the bacteria to die or get caught in it.

Problems that frequently occur with canister filters:

Although we say that we ought to find a best canister filter, we should know that canister filters are also electrical devices where different sorts of problems can occur. Some of the most frequent problems that emerges from canister filters are shortly detailed below-

  1. Number 1 problem lies mostly in the priming pump. The apparatus of the filter that forces water to flow through the media and ultimately reaches the aquarium is the pump. As for being an electrical device, this part can be damaged due to high voltages of input power, water leakage into the pump and short circuit, vibrations from the filter, misplacement etc.
  2. Any traumatic accidents might damage the canister filter completely. Due to accidental falls or strikes, the filter might get cracks in any of its part and ultimately, water flow can get bypasses through which water leakage can happen. This won’t just only hamper medias but also will hamper the water flow. Ultimately, the whole process can get hampered and repeatedly increase.
  3. Tight connections are mandatory in times of fitting a canister filter from its segregated parts. When you buy a filter, all the parts will be separated and you’ll get a guideline through which, you are to affix all the parts to make the whole filter. Loose and unfitting joints/connections might lead to water leakages. Moreover, loose connections might get looser for pump vibrations and ultimately will deteriorate its performance exponentially.
  4. Whether the filter is external or internal, make sure that you’ve placed the filter very strongly and firmly. Sometimes insertion of excess media cause to heavy weight of filters, which are to mount of the aquarium wall. Eventually, due to heavy weight and shaky vibrations, aquariums get cracks which leads to disaster. This is one of the common problems of people who have mountable canister filters. 

Some important notes on canister filter maintenance:

Maintaining a canister filter is a must. If you intend to wash and clean a big volume canister filter (say 160 gallons), then you wont imagine the pain and distress you’d go through. On the other hand, using a canister filter will help you till the day it gets absolutely expired in this regard. A canister filter requires less but periodical maintenance and check for proper evaluation of water purification. In order to do so, there are some important notes on best canister filter maintenance that you ought to know before handling one of your own-

  1. Before the first maintenance, you have to check the aquarium water out and out. Smell the water. If you feel that it’s getting a bit fudgy and stinky, you have to go through the medias for smell.
  2. Also check for any possibility of algae spores, fungal growth, dirty residues, and filthy particulate matter with your bare eyes. If yes, you have to go through the medias and check for any leakages of the dusty volcanic rocks of carbon pieces.
  3. After choosing a suitable canister filter, you certainly have to go through the canister filter reviews in order to know all the maintenance period of different parts of it. Media bays needs to get cleaned on an average of 6-12 months. Filter floss, filter pads, carbonic filters etc. need fresh replacement at every maintenance. Do not worry about the price because these parts are of less cost and won’t affect your budget compared to the hassle of washing with bare hands and labor.
  4. Washing is the primary part of canister filter maintenance. If you are using hot/cold water for washing the filter from tap water, then you better get alerted that is not suitable at all. Almost all the manufacturers of canister filters in Asia prescribe washing of canister filters with the water of aquarium (the water from the aquarium). This is because of the habituation of the filter. The washed water then can be spilled away and then freshwater can be flown through the filter for filtration again.
  5. Cleaning is the secondary concentration of canister filters. To make it look brighter after a certain period, you cause mild dishwashing soap or other detergents at a very low volume; mix with water and make a solution and then apply with soft forms or piece of cloths to clean the overall filter. But it is highly recommended that you should not let such solutions get into the media or bays where water flows into the aquarium after filtration.
  6. When you are up to cleaning the parts of a canister filter, make sure that you’ve checked the lifetime and the working period of all the parts individually.

How you can decorate your aquarium with external props and objects:

If you have an aquarium, then putting a good number of fishes into the water tank would just look simple without any allure. Generally, there isn’t anyone in this whole world who isn’t likely to decorate his/her aquarium with other fascinating creatures. There are some outstanding suggestions on that topic detailed shortly blow-

  1. Besides fishes in the tank, you can put extra fake trees and small saplings inserted in the stone stacks. But get assured that the canister filter water flow doesn’t distract the placement of the fake trees strongly. The hidden corners are necessary for fishes in order to maintain their life cycle, produce eggs.
  2. Using extra stones layered on the ground on the inner aquarium floor can be a great idea. Moreover, canister filters are well operable when you use a good amount of stones because all the dirty particles that are big enough get hidden in it.
  3. Using an extra light placed on the lid of the inner aquarium cover can be a great idea for illustrating the beauty of the aquarium. Some of the canister filters are mounted inside the aquarium above the water level. The water flow from the canister filter can be illustrated with a great beauty through this idea. Many of the office and hall aquariums are nowadays using such conception.

How to choose the best canister filter:

There are few important steps that you should reckon in times of buying a new canister filter. Like-

  1. When you are buying a canister filter, make sure that you have all the data about your home aquarium or of the container that you want your filter to fit in. like the overall volume in gallons; water situation (salty, sour, colored etc.), space allocation (to measure and check if the filter should be internal or external).
  2. You must be aware of the stages of filtration you need. If you need more than 2-staged filtration of separate concerns, then you should go for multi-staged filters.
  3. You can also plan for customizable filters if you are well acknowledged with water filtration requirements and processes.
  4. You have to see if the filter is rigid at all the ends or not. Any cracks or loose ends can make your total filter inactive in operations. Its better if you avoid them although sales person provokes you to buy.
  5. Make sure that all the hosepipes and tubes are very strong and flexible, if said so in the catalogue.
  6. Choosing the type of canister filter is another challenge. Make sure that you make a picture in your mind- external or internal canister filter? Answer yourself and you’ll get the answer. This can enhance the beauty of your aquarium or just shag the beauty out of it.
  7. If the filter entails a self-priming pump, make sure that the pump operates every time you hit the push button. Any complicacy at motor starting might be doubtful; avoidance is the best guide in such cases.

How to Clean a Canister Filter 

Look at this Video to know how to do it: ( Source :


Aquariums are really a thing of beauty, especially when they are decorated with beautiful objects like artificial plants and toys, stones of different types, corals, back pictures, lightings etc. but the main visual beauty lies n the fishes which play around in it.

But if you cannot maintain the living environment in your aquarium, then having an aquarium doesn’t mean anything. On the contrary, maintaining an aquarium not only takes a good time, but also asks for a lot of concentration on the foods for fishes, any insects inside, cleanliness etc. Keeping both ends feasible, you can have a single solution and that is the use of an effective canister filter.

A canister filter can effectively remove all the dirt and filths out of an aquarium through water filtration cycles in your subconscious times. It will not only filtrate the water inside of the aquarium but also will manage the eco-system inside.

The best part lies in the hassle that a person takes in periodic maintenance in absence of such a filter. You won’t need to maintain it and change water every week or month. After even a year, the water can be changed with a siphon mechanism. Make sure that you take the best canister filter in your house with proper satisfaction and dignity of the aquarium. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.