The 8 Best Aquarium Canister Filters

This wiki has been updated 6 times since it was first published in June of 2018. If you were to stop removing debris and toxins from your aquarium, it would become uninhabitable for your aquatic friends in no time. With one of the dependable canister filters featured here, however, you can keep the environment for your fish and plants safe and sparkling clean. Our selection includes designs to accommodate a wide variety of tank capacities and budgets. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best aquarium canister filter on Amazon.

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Top 8 Aquarium Canister Filters

8. Aquatop CF Series 525

The Aquatop CF Series 525 features an integrated UV sterilizer that eliminates algae spores and harmful bacteria effectively. It’s equipped with three pads and a sponge that capture both large and small waste particles reliably.

  • No humming or buzzing
  • Comes with all necessary plumbing
  • Setup directions aren’t the clearest


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7. MarineLand Magniflow 360

The MarineLand Magniflow 360 is equipped with a polishing pad that eliminates fine debris, as well as black diamond carbon bags that remove odors and impurities. Its lid forms a watertight seal when compressed, yet it lifts up easily when you need access inside.

  • Available in 3 sizes
  • Sturdy and made to last
  • Very loud when purging air


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6. Fluval 306 A212

The multi-stage Fluval 306 A212 offers a simple, efficient priming system, along with a sound-dampening impeller for a quiet operation. It can move up to 303 gallons per hour, and runs smoothly, thanks to its clog-proof intake strainer.

  • Comes with replacement media
  • Single motion lift-lock clamps
  • Nozzles can be difficult to adjust


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5. Cobalt Aquatics 26000

The versatile Cobalt Aquatics 26000 can be placed in any position relative to your tank, such as below, above, or alongside it. The pump is made to keep running and providing vital circulation even while the canister is disconnected for maintenance.

  • No priming necessary
  • Backed by a 3-year warranty
  • No hose clamps included


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4. Hydor Professional External 600

Despite its powerful motor, the Hydor Professional External 600 runs quietly and with minimal vibrations, so your marine life won’t be disturbed. You can have it set up and running in just a few minutes, thanks to its helpful instructions and online tutorials.

  • Nonslip rubber base
  • Durable ceramic shaft
  • Space-saving design


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3. Penn Plax Cascade 1500

The cobalt blue Penn Plax Cascade 1500 comes with stackable trays that make quick work of inserting your preferred filtration media. It’s also equipped with handy flow-rate control valves; an adjustable-length spray bar; and a sturdy, tip-resistant build.

  • Taps rotate 360 degrees
  • Simple push-button primer
  • Moves up to 350 gallons per hour


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2. Eheim Classic External

To help ensure a leak-free performance, the Eheim Classic External features a permo-elastic silicone sealing ring that’s fixed on the pump head. Included are all the necessary components to make installation a fast and easy process.

  • Low energy consumption
  • For saltwater and freshwater use
  • Runs whisper quiet


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1. Fluval FX-6

The Fluval FX-6 is equipped to maintain clean water in large tanks, even those that hold as much as 400 gallons. It comes with a set of media baskets with foam inserts that can be stacked in whatever combination of layers works best with your setup.

  • Self-starting mechanism
  • Automatic maintenance reminder
  • Ensures that any trapped air escapes


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