Why Should You Use a Canister Filter for Your Aquarium?

If you’re just starting out caring for fish, chances are you have a pretty basic power filter in your aquarium. This is a great option for beginners, but if you’re really trying to take your aquarium to the next level, you should consider a canister filter instead.

These filters use a pressurised canister (of course) to draw water out of your tank, run it through a filter, and pump the clean water back into the tank. It’s a great system for everyone from casual fish keepers to avid enthusiasts.

Granted, they’re more complicated than a power filter, and the upfront cost is higher. But for anyone who is passionate about creating the best aquarium possible, there’s really no better option.

Think your filtration system is due for an upgrade? Keep reading for why you should choose a canister filter for your home aquarium.

1. Get Rid Of Toxic Materials

All filters are meant to clean the water and maintain a healthy living environment for your fish. Regular mechanical filters will get rid of debris, keeping the water clean. Some canister filters, on the other hand, will also get rid of most toxic materials, ensuring that there isn’t anything that could affect your fishes’ health.

If the canister has a biological filter, it will either reduce or get rid of any poisonous organic matter in the water. These toxins can form in the tank with time as your fish urinate or even just breathe.

You need a filter that protects your fish by getting rid of ammonia and other biological hazards.



2. They Have A Large Media Capacity

No matter how large your home aquarium is, there is a canister filter that will meet your needs. One of their biggest advantages is their media capacity, which can be designed for aquariums as large as 400 gallons of water.

The number of baskets and how much they can hold will vary based on which filter you decide to buy. But if you have a larger aquarium and are looking for a filter that won’t let you down, this is the best choice.

You also won’t have to clean the media as often as you might need to with a power filter. Since the filters do a much better job with purifying the water, you should be okay if you only clean the media baskets once every three to six months.

3. You Gain More Control Over The Aquarium Environment

The best canister filters will have biological, mechanical, and chemical filters. The biological filters, like we mentioned, remove organic particles that could be poisonous.

Mechanical filters, on the other hand, will get rid of dirt and other particles that might have been building up in the aquarium water. Chemical filters acidify the water, which can help if you want your fish to reproduce.

You can adjust the settings of all three of these filters to get the filtration process you need. You can also browse different brands to find the water direction that you want: Anything from bottom-to-top or centre-out.

4. You Won’t Lose Fish Or Water

If you have a power filter, you’ve probably noticed that you lose a lot of water during the cleaning process. The water is exposed to air on its way back to the tank, so evaporation is not on your side.

A canister filter is set up differently, though. They return water through a spray bar, which empties directly into the tank and won’t evaporate on its way back.

Power filters also need to have a big opening at the top of the tank to work properly. If you don’t watch your water levels, this could end up being a handy escape hatch for your fish.

A canister setup is more inconspicuous. Not only does it help improve the aesthetic of your aquarium, but because you won’t need to leave an opening in your tank, your fish won’t accidentally escape.

5. A Canister Filter Is Quiet

It makes sense to have your aquarium somewhere that you can enjoy it, so many people place their aquariums in a room where they spend a lot of time. If you have a noisy filter, your aquarium can be more annoying than calming. The pump and motor of a power filter can be especially loud.

Canister filters, on the other hand, are as quiet as can be. They’re practically silent as they work, so you can place your aquarium wherever you want without worrying about noise.

This isn’t taken into consideration as often, but you’ll realise it’s important once you spend more than twenty minutes in the room with the aquarium.



6. They Lock And Unlock Easily

Of course, after you’ve been using your filter for awhile, you’ll have to clean it eventually. All of that dirt has to go somewhere, and it should be cleaned periodically to keep it running in top shape.

Although the system itself is complicated, it’s designed to be user-friendly so that you don’t have too many issues once it comes time to clean. It has handles to easily carry it from your aquarium to a sink and has a simple lock-unlock system to remove the housing.

7. Long Lasting

When you’re choosing a filter for your aquarium, you want to avoid having to buy yet another filter in just one to two years.

Up front, a canister filter will cost more than a power filter. However, this is a system that will pay for itself over time.

As long as you stay up on your maintenance and are diligent about cleaning the system (tubes included!), your filter should last for years. Well-maintained filters also aren’t very likely to break down. Cleaning is easy, so once you have the process down, you’ll be good to go.

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Get More Fish Tips

A canister filter can help you improve the health of your fish, the aesthetics of your aquarium, and even the ambient noise in your living room. It’s a great choice for anyone who really wants a high-quality filter.

Ready to discover even more ways to take your aquarium to the next level? We have guides on everything from decorations in your aquarium to how to treat a sick fish. Take a look at all of our guides to learn more.