10 Silent and Best Canister Filters for Aquarium Reviewed in 2021

Relax now, your search for the best canister filter for aquarium ends here. We’ve shortlisted some top canister filters which are best in work as well as silent while performing their duty. This guide is very deep in knowledge and so in content length. Therefore, below we have provided main navigation for ease of reading this list of recommended and top best canister filters.

10 of the Best Canister Filter for Aquarium - Buyer's Guide

Product ImageCanister Filter NameAquarium & CapacityBuy Now Option
Fluval 106-206-306-406 Best External Canister Filter ReviewFluval External Canister FilterSaltwater as well as Freshwater Aquarium
100 GPH & above
Silent canister filter Fluval FX6 ReviewFluval FX Series Canister FiltersFluval FX4: 250 Gallons & more
Fluval FX6: 400 Gallons & more
Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters ReviewPenn Plax Cascade FiltersFreshwater & Marine water
Capacity- upto 200 gallons
Marineland Canister Filter ReviewMarineland Canister FiltersUse with both types of fish tank
- Up to 100 Gallons
EHEIM Classic External Canister Filters RatingEHEIM Classic External Canister Filters40 US Gallon
66 US Gallon
92 US Gallons
Hydor Professional External Canister Filters ReviewsHydor Professional External Canister FiltersNo noise and vibration
20 Galllon to 150 Gallon
Aquatop CF Series Cheap Canister Filters ReviewAquatop CF Series Canister Filters20 Gallon to 175 Gallon
Saltwater and Freshwater Aquarium
Cobalt Aquatics EXT Best Canister Filter ReviewCobalt Aquatics EXT Canister Filter55 Gallons and more than it.
API Filstar XP-M Silent Canister Filter ReviewAPI Filstar XP-M Canister FilterBest for freshwater and saltwater tanks
- up to 265 U.S. Gallon
SunSun HW304B 525GPH Pro Canister Filter ReviewSunSun Pro Canister FilterSuitable for aquariums up to 75 gallon

What is a Canister Filter?

Canister Filter! The word itself has a sound about it which directly takes you to the fish business. A kind of filters as they are, Canister Filters are used to remove the water from the aquariums and fish tanks with the help of a valve, sieve or say a tube and run the water through a filter in the pressurized canister.

The water that has been filtered will be again pumped into the fish tank through a spray bar or a spillway. In one way, Canister Filter works more like a recycling filter of water which comes handy especially when you can’t perform regular water changes in your fish tank.

How does a regular Canister Filter work?

Pumping the water in: As mentioned above, best Canister Filters usually draw the water in the fish tank up through a lift tube and then pumps the water out of the aquarium into an external chamber. In this chamber, the water is pushed through the filtered media (usually, a series of them) that remove the contaminants and clean the water. The direction of flow of the Canister Filters usually varies from one model to another.

In some of the prominent models, the water flows from bottom to the top while in other models they flow from top to bottom. There are few models which incorporate the back to front, outside in or the center-out directional flows also, based on the brand which is manufacturing these filters. The filters provided inside the Canister Filters, offer Biological, Chemical and also Mechanical filtration depending on the type of filter that you have chosen.

Pumping the water out: Once the water is passed through the filters in the Canister, it is again pumped back as fresh water into the tank. The Canister Filter hugely depends on the water pumps to circulate the water as the entire system is sealed without any external acceleration.

Most Canister Filter models have integral pumps which are inbuilt in the base or usually covered; while some of the models come with external pumps that can be detached or replaced.

Top 10 Silent and Best Canister Filters of 2021

#1. Fluval External Canister Filter

A Fluval Canister filter is known for delivering many profound benefits along with the most sophisticated filtration, low maintenance costs, less time and effort in maintenance, quitter and non-chaotic operation and also faster set up.

The best External Canister filters are designed exclusively in order make the whole fish keeping habit, relaxing and enjoyable. After building success on the Fluval 05 series, the Fluval started the 06 series with elevated performance and enhanced functionality to provide the healthiest water in your aquarium.

The series contains a total of 4 External Filters coming from 106-406.

[i] Fluval 106 External Canister Filter: With dimensions listed as 19.3*24*30; the capacity of the filter is 250 gms = 100 Gallons per hour. It comes with foam pads each of 70 gms Carbon along with a polishing pad and a Bio-Foam.

[ii] Fluval 206 External Canister Filter: It is of size 19.3*29*37.6; with a capacity of 599 gms = 200 Gallons per hour.

[iii] Fluval 306 External Canister Filter: It has a capacity of around 300 Gallons which is greater than the above both. It turns the entire water, two times in an hour. If we look at the filter alone, it can turn the entire water in 5-7 times but given the pumping out and the pumping in a process, it takes little more times while providing you with the best filtration. It comes with 4 foam pads with 140 gms of Carbon and two polishing pads.

[iv] Fluval 406 External Canister Filter: It also have the same features as mentioned above with enhanced dimensions listed out as 19.3*36.8*45.2 and is actually suitable for both saltwater and also freshwater aquariums. The capacity is around 4.5 Kg and is suitable for larger tanks that have a capacity of 100 Gallons and above.

These External Canister Filters come with improved hydraulic performance that reduces the frequency of the water filtration, evaporation and increased head pressure and also the flow rate. Therefore, the water is healthier and cleaner when you compare it with the rest.

#2. Fluval FX Series Canister Filters

With high-performance filtration, these filters came with European ingenuity and advanced innovation fueling the advanced and patented pumping performance. The pumping technology is amalgamated with the smart technology, the intricate filtration, the water change system that has been inbuilt, the basket-tray architecture, the greater filtration media capacity, etc.

You can expect a combination of both power and performance which makes the Fluval FX series stand out as one of the best Canister Filter in the market.

The two type of models that have been made available are:

  • Fluval FX4 Canister Filter: It has a capacity of around 250 Gallons and more.
  • Fluval Fx6 Canister Filter: It has a capacity of around 400 Gallons and more.

#3. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filters

The series of Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters are manufactured to perform the heavy duty. They deliver chemical, biological and also mechanical filtration both for salt water and fresh water tanks. They are all extra large with brilliant capacity and stackable filtering containers. All the Filters come with a three-year warranty.

  1. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium 500 Filter: It tanks up to 30 gallons of water and filters around 115 gallons per hour.
  2. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium 500 Black 500 Elite Filter: On an added value of $50, it comes with clean tubing, Bio Foam, Pro Carb, large algae magnet, Ceramic Rings etc with the same capacity and gph.
  3. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium 700 Filter: It tanks up to 65 gallons of water and filters around 185 gallons per hour.
  4. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium 1000 Filter: It tanks up to 100 gallons of water and filters around 265 gallons per hour.
  5. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium 1200 Filter: It tanks up to 120 gallons of water and filters around 280 gallons per hour.
  6. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium 1500 Filter: It tanks up to 150 gallons of water and filters around 300 gallons per hour.
  7. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium 1500 Black 500 Elite Filter: On an added value of $100, it also comes with clean tubing, Bio Foam, Pro Carb, large algae magnet, Ceramic Rings etc with the same capacity as 1500 regular and same gph.

#4. Marineland Canister Filters

With a third-year warranty, the Marineland Canister Filters offers filtration in multiple stages making the filtration process easier, simpler and healthier. The designed filter is designed powerfully offering many upgrades in different models and is compatible with both freshwater and saltwater as well. The filters come with a sealing gasket and are easy to setup. They require almost no maintenance costs and also are easier to remove from the basket. Everything is instructed in the manual, and therefore you don’t have to guess anything. The advanced features that are incorporated in these features are that they are sparkling clean with Canister Lid, Stack N’Flo Filter Trays, Quick Prime Button with water for priming system, Valve Block for Quick Release and shut down of water flow. It not only polishes the water but with attached polishing pad it removes the debris, avoids decoloration as well.

[a] Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter Series:

  • 160: Upto 30 Gallons with 160 gallons per hour
  • 220: Upto 55 Gallons with 220 gallons per hour
  • 360: Upto 100 Gallons with 360 gallons per hour.

[b] Marineland Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter:

It comes with two different refillable chambers that are used to house the carbon filter media.

They are more versatile with many specifications in the bag to offer.

You can choose it to use every day, and they come with a three-stage filtration. The Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter provides high efficiency with a micron cartridge.

It has a submerged motor which makes a start up process pretty easier. Supporting the aquarium of 97 gallons and less it filters around 290 gallons per hour.

[c] Marineland Bio-Wheel Power Filters:

Compatible for both the freshwater and saltwater tanks; they offer chemical, mechanical and also biological filtration. They come ready to be used with each filter to remove discoloration, waste and also odours respectively.

Each filter contains faster-activated carbon which is responsible for the performance. These filters come with two vented covers and adjustable intake strainers. Attachable to aquariums up to 10 gallons, they offer 150 gallons per offer.

#5. EHEIM Classic External Canister Filters with Media

A classic; known to have the regular specifications; it comes with reliable equipment. All the models perform high standards with first class features and latest components ensuring perfect filtration and precise pumping. Additional, the robustness, smoothness, energy consumption and running are also offered.

There are around 5 models varying between 50 to 1500litres with equipment of varying sizes, low energy consumption, everlasting flexibility, silicon rings, filter pads, detachable filtered media, spray bar, hose, the inlet pipe and installation manual.

The whole volume of the filter can be used for the optimum balance between the tank size and the filtration tank. The spindle made of ceramic guarantees maximum resistance and smooth running. The connection between the Canister and the pump head is secured with clips, and the silicon sealing ring is used to keep the water right.

  1. EHEIM Classic 150 Aquarium External Canister Filter
  2. EHEIM Classic 250 Aquarium External Canister Filter
  3. EHEIM Classic 350 Aquarium External Canister Filter
  4. EHEIM Classic 600 Aquarium External Canister Filter
  5. EHEIM Classic 1500 XL Aquarium External Canister Filter

#6. Hydor Professional External Canister Filters

These external filters are perfectly suitable for the modern day aquariums. They are all designed with an excellent design and are conceived to make the most of the space below the aquarium.

These top Canister filters offer maximum versatility and extraordinary business. The ease with which the priming pump can be used makes the filtration process entirely amazing. The filter is useful for fish keeping enthusiasts and also the aquariology scientist. They are reticent and are so amusing that you don’t even know that they are being run.

They contain large volume for filtration as well with high porous efficiency and quartz bio-rings that are ideal for optimum filtration.

  • Hydor Professional 150 External Filter for 80-150 litre tank (speed 600L/h)
  • Hydor Professional 250 External Filter For 140-250 litre (speed 750 L/H)
  • Hydor Professional 350 External Filter For 220-350 Litre Tank (speed 900 L/H)

#7. Aquatop CF Series Canister Filters

Priced smartly to make it affordable, the Aquatop filters are outstanding with the multi-stage filtration. A popular choice across the globe for both freshwater and saltwater tanks, they are extremely handy for people who are looking for user-friendly, attractive and best canister filter. A priming pump and a single valve allow the easy maintenance of the filter with easy connect and disconnect functionality. They are extremely quiet, top notch efficient and they come in two featured models with UV sterilization to eliminate pathogens and to eliminate the algae. Each model has a filter including 3 polishing and filter pads and one sponge.

  1. Aquatop CF300 Canister Filter: This Canister filter supports around 75 Gallon fish tanks with a 264  gallon per hour water flow with 3 filter baskets but with no UV technology.
  2. Aquatop CF400 UV Canister Filter: This model is supportive to 125 Gallon fish tanks with a 370 gallon per hour water flow and 4 fiterbaskers with 9 watt UV technology.
  3. Aquatop CF500 UV Canister Filter: This model is compatible for 175 Gallon fish tanks with a 525 gallon per hour water flow with 4 filler baskets and again 9 watt UV technology.

#8. Cobalt Aquatics EXT Canister Filter

** This filter is a cheap as well as best canister filter in this price range. **

The Cobalt Aquatics EXT Canister Filter is an external filter which is found to be the most innovative in the Canister Filter market.

It has a unique inline pump unlike the other best Canister Filters, that offers maximum flexibility on any vivarium, aquarium or even terrarium setup.

It goes well along every model of the fish tank and therefore is universally compatible.

The valve that has been given with a 5-8 RDquo hose and barbs allows the inline pump to circulate the water vitally and also the flow is visible to you because of the transparency it offers.

The canister can be disconnected and cleaned whenever you want for easy maintenance. Easy to open, the trays come with clips which are removable.

The priming pipe is functional even without gravity and therefore, this best Canister Filter is ideally suitable for any fish tank with a capacity of 55 gallon and above.

The product comes with a warranty of three years making it even more desirable.

Note: Cobalt Aquatics EXT is a budget canister filter.

#9. API Filstar XP-M – Best Canister Filter

These filters are extremely powerful and are best used with freshwater aquariums. Each filter provides filtration for fish tanks that have a capcityupto 75 gallons with a flow rate of around 300 gallons per hour. They don’t have any by pass construction.

The XP-M filters are intensively easy to set up, clean and even maintain which is why they have been desired across the world. FilStar XP channels include a simple to-work sealed area framework to permit self-preparing, continuous operation.

The API FilStar Canister Filter additionally highlights stream control, a flexible bay, and a solitary lever control fast disengage for simple support. The FilStar XP M has two multi-filters crated for organic and compound filtration media, and has a handle to roll out the waste fast simple.

Due to the fast pace operation, you won’t find any depositions and the filtration method ensures that the water that have been through the Canister Filter is actually forced to pass through the media and not around it.Therefore, even the aged aquarium water will also be healthier by using this Canister Filter in case if you don’t have time to make water changes as such.

#10. SunSun HW304B 525GPH Pro Canister Filter

If you’re looking for budget and less noisy canister filter, this is one of the best and Cheapest canister filter. The HW-304B kit of SunSun has been designed to be useful for extremely large sized aquariums that have a capacity of around 150 gallons of water. This model has become quite prominent making it popular with a capability of around 525 gallons per hour.

You can find an extravagant filtration process in this Canister Filter when compared to other models. What do we all look first in a Canister Filter? Of course, the better filtration. The whole idea of buying this filter is because if offers sophisticated filtration, meeting your expectations.

The manufacturer has given a multiple filtration technology in this Canister filter with three stage filters fit to offer biological, mechanical and also chemical filtrations. With these filtrations mixed together, the water can be effectively cleaned without any contaminants or toxins left in it.

There is an inclusion of 9W UV sterilizer in this model that uses the UV rays to kill the unwanted bacteria and algae. Through this, you can keep your fish entirely healthy without worrying about the diseases that the water may cause to the fish.

*** Silent Canister Filter in your budget. One of the best canister filter ***

How to maintain a Canister Filter?

Well, it is pretty obvious to say that the maintenance cost is a factor of the parts, the model type, the brand and the type of filter that has been used in the Canister Filter. Therefore, the maintenance usually varies from one filter to the other.

Many Canister Filters come up with media bags, baskets, cartridges or isolated chambers where you can put the water into the right kind of filter for the aquarium set up. While some media of the aquarium tends to be rinsed regularly, some media just needs to be replaced.

Therefore, based on the recommendations of the manufacturers; you should completely be aware of the specifications of the Canister Filters first and then try to understand and estimate the maintenance costs for each, individually.

Apart from the maintenance costs requited for the filtered media, you will also have to clean the water tubes of the Canister Filter; both the ones that are used to pump the water in and pump it out. Therefore, a cleaning kit is mandatory along with the aquarium kit in case if you are setting up a Canister Filter.

How to Set up a Best Canister Filters for Fish Tank?

These Filters are best used in large aquariums and fish tanks when you don’t want to flood the aquarium with all the ugly equipment needed for the maintenance. They are also good for large aquariums with fertilization of carbondioxide.

It is important to keep the surface clean without any disturbance. The media basket embedded inside is usually adaptable and is compatible with many media allowing you to tailor the system according to your needs.

Step by step process to install Canister Filter:

  1. Start with placing both the flow pipes inside the aquarium or fish tank where you want them to be permanently installed. At times, you might have to snap the spray bar onto the outward pipe. A pre-filter might be included which also have to be attached onto the inward pipe.
  2. Place the Filter where it will be run permanently and then measure the distance between both the pipes from the ports to the end. Now get rid of the hose of each of the pipe to lengthier than the length so that you leave a slack but make sure that there are no sharp bends or kinks to impede the flow.
  3. Attach the hose so that the input pipe is definitely inside the tank and goes to the port of the canister and the output pipe is on the canister and connects to the output pipe of the fish tank.
  4. Fill the canister filter with multiple baskets based on the brand of Canister Filter you have purchased. Make sure that you rinse the basket to get rid of the dust as floss gets accumulated on it now and then.
  5. Now, place the basket inside the Canister box with the proper orientation. Be sure that the pipes are matched up for the easy flow of water. Do not in any case, force the basket inside the Canister Filter.
  6. Now start pumping the water out and start filling the Canister Filter to a level that has been recommended by the manufacture.
  7. You can either fill the dechlorinated water to get filtered or the aged water inside the fish tank to start the filtration process.
  8. Once you have filled the Filter, dip the given O-ring inside it to make it wet. This helps in sealing the Canister Filter.
  9. After placing the ring on the top, you can see the grooved fitting into the flange of the filter. Put the lid on the top and holdthe ring in the place to lock it down and then screw it in to seal the Canister Filter.
  10. When you are done, turn the power one for the remaining air and start checking for the leaks in order to run the Canister Filter.

Why should we own a Canister Filter for Fish Tank?

Canister Filters are efficient, and when used in the right way, they work well with the aquarium water. A quintessential filter also gives you the choice of selecting the media rather than confiscating you to the pre-made filtered media changes that are given by the brand. They involve low maintenance costs and are comparably more powerful when we make an analysis with the regular filters. The water is forced through the filters in the Canister Filter rather than just flowing around them, and the output tube with a spray bar reduces the current and also the evaporation of the water. Only just like every other filter you should often replace the carbon inside the filtered media as the carbon tends to get saturated more often so that it won’t leave toxins in the aquarium water. Therefore, by owning a Canister Filter; you are actually making the whole process of filtration easier and quicker without putting any manual effort.

Advantages of Canister Filter:

Canister filters do come with many benefits. For example, they can be used to remove particles that range from large to the unwanted bacteria and algae. In one word, they can make your water free from all kind of dirt, waste and contaminants. The Aquarium water usually hits the foam first and then the floss. These materials usually trap many particles of different sizes before they reach next level of filtered media. The activated carbon present in each filter is commonly used for the filtration process to absorb the waste. The best part about using the Canister Filter is that they are very inexpensive and when maintained properly, they work well with almost any kind of aquarium setups and fish tanks. The media in the filter can be changed regularly whenever you have a doubt about their functionality.

Conclusion About Best Canister Filter for Aquarium

Confused which canister filter to purchase? Want recommended filter name from editor?

Editor’s choice for best canister filter is : Fluval FX Series Canister Filters (FX4 and FX6)

That being said, you can just choose any of the above listed Canister Filters based on your budget and preferences as all of them are helpful in your fish keeping business. You will hardly get to hear any noise while using the above mentioned Canister Filters as all of them are so silent that they don’t even let you know about their existence. Based on the technologies involved with each part of the Canister Filter coming from the filtration technology, the design of inline and outline pipes, the prime pumping, the gallon per hour capacity; you can find the Canister Filter that suits you the best and proceed further.  It is recommended that you go through the reviews in case if you’re not very clear about the description of the filters by web searching them before you make a decision on which Canister Filter to buy. What are you waiting, for?

Best Canister Filters

Best Canister Filters

Silent and Best Canister Filter

Silent and Best Canister Filter

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