External Fish Tank Filters

4 Best External Fish Tank Filters in the Market

When it comes to taking good care of your friends living in water, proper filtration of the water is certainly a priority. Fish produce a lot of waste, mainly ammonia, that needs to be flushed out of the water.

In a natural setting, nature has its way of dealing with this. The waste may be washed downstream or may be insignificant considering the huge volume of water in their natural habitat.

However, in an aquarium setting, the volume of water is not just enough to dissolve the waste to levels that are healthy for them.

This is why you need to get the best external fish tank filters that will meet the health requirements for your fish.

External Fish Tank Filters Setup

external Fish Tank Filters

So, do you again go and buy additional materials for setting up your canister filter for fish tank? The answer is no. The packages of the external aquarium filters recommended here usually come with everything you will need for setting it up.

To assemble the parts into a unit, first, you need to link them together with your inlet pipework and attach it to the green hose. Then assemble the outlet pipework and attach it securely to the green hose.

After this, connect the ends of your inlet and outlet pipework to your tap adapter.

If you are experiencing difficulty attaching your hose to your pipework or your adapter, use this trick: soak the ends in hot water for a few minutes to make them more pliable. Ensure that all filter media is rinsed thoroughly before use.

Before attaching the head to the body, fill the canister with clean water just above the top of the filter plate. Firmly connect the head and the body and fasten the clips.

Once the head is securely in place, connect the inlet-outlet tap adapter and push the lever down into the open position.

For purposes of priming, locate your inlet-outlet pipework into the aquarium ensuring they are fully submerged. You can move the spray bar above the water line once the unit is fully primed.

Ensure you remove air from the system as much as possible before powering on the unit. This is done by pressing the priming button and holding for three seconds and releasing it to fill the inlet pipe with water. You may need to do this a few times.

It’s now time to connect your unit to a power supply. Allow the external filter to run for a few moments to clear out any air. You can use the priming button to hasten the process.

Once your external filter is primed and operational, you can position your spray bar above or below the waterline. Spray bars are optional but they really help in oxygenating your water and will evenly distribute your outlet water flow.

Additional Features of the Best External Aquarium Filters

External aquarium filter with UV

Using an external fish tank filters with UV is quite a great deal when it comes to doing away with bacteria, mold, algae, and other trouble-bringing parasites.

UV sterilizers are versatile as they can be used in both freshwater and marine aquariums. Because of its protective nature, UV sterilizers will ensure that your fish do not die.

External aquarium filter with heater

If your fish pets are from the tropical, having a heater is vital. A heater will regulate the temperatures of your fish tank ensuring that it doesn’t get too cold during the day. This will ensure your fish stay warm even in the coldest of the nights.

See also: Can goldfish live without a filter?

Fluval external filter

If you treasure so much a serene environment, then a Fluval external filter is just what you need. Besides running so quietly, this filter requires less maintenance frequency, offers quality filtration, and is relatively easier to set up than other filters.

This is a design to ensure smooth and efficient fish keeping.

Well, now that you have basic ideas on how to set up your aquarium filter and the different features each come with, let us dive in and buy the one that suits your needs.

See also: best internal aquarium filter

After careful consideration of all the external aquarium filters in the market, I handpicked these external filters that deserve every cent of your money.

Let’s filter in, shall we?

The Best external filter Reviews

1. EHEIM Classic Canister 2213, Classic 250

eheim classic 350

Are you a firm believer in products that have stood the test of time? Well, look no further than the classic German-crafted EHEIM classic filter.

With over 30 years in the market serving fish keepers, this filter has been proven to have run very efficiently (no surprise as it is made in Germany).

The filter makes use of mechanical and biological filtration to keep the water purified and enriched with oxygen in just a single process. It features a permo-elastic silicone sealing ring fitted on the head to ensure safe and easy closing after cleaning.

The package comes complete with valves and filtration media. It also features useful accessories such as an inlet pipe, spray bar, installation accessories, and a hose to ensure the setup is easy and fast.

EHEIM classic canister is available for a wide range of tank sizes including 40, 66 and 55-gallon tanks.

See also: 55-gallon fish tank filters


  • All the debris must go through the media resulting in perfect filtration
  • It has a silent motor and a sleek compact design
  • A high amount of filter media
  • All needed accessories are included


  • It does not include self-priming feature

2. SunSun Hw302 265GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit

Sunsun hw302

SunSun Pro canister filter, a commendable product that has had its popularity roots dig further in the market, all for good reason. This canister offers so much at a very low cost.

An excellent choice for tanks up to 75 gallons, this canister filter handles water capacity of 264 gallons every hour. It comes with hoses, filter pads, and all needed parts ideal for setting it up.

The three media trays incorporated in it allow you to connect other vital filtration media.

What gives this filter the cutting edge is the fact that it has an in-built UV sterilizer. This helps kill all parasites and bacteria present in the water.


  • Self-priming pump hence no need for manual siphoning
  • Incorporated with a large amount of media storage
  • Saves you money
  • Easy to maintain


  • The plastic parts may become flimsy over time (No worries, just reattach them)

See also: How to keep fish from getting stuck to filters

3. Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

Hydor proffesional external fish tank Filters

When it comes to water filtration, efficiency is key and the Hydor Professional External Canister filter offers just that. It is available in a wide range of sizes; you will not miss the right one for your tank.

It is so much easier to use. Just press the self-priming button three times and just like that, you are good to go. This canister encompasses a soundproof feature ensuring a serene environment, you know, even for a nap.

It holds a great deal of media for perfect filtration. The selling point for this filter is that it includes an expandable spray bar.

You will be able to adjust the placement and length to get maximum results for your tank using the four sections.


  • Priming is easy
  • Expandable spray bar
  • Holds larger amounts of media because of the rectangular shape
  • Easy to set up


  • It may be tough to acquire replacement parts. (Good thing its Customer care is great)

4. Fluval 307 External Filter

Fluval 307

What could get better than the Fluval 07 series? This filter features new engineering solutions that guarantee up to 25% more energy-efficient, quieter, robust, and productive filters than ever before.

This filter features new advancements that minimize the maintenance of the filter. From now on, you wouldn’t have to spend more time maintaining your aquarium instead of enjoying it.

This 07 series Fluval filter utilizes every single inch of the volume in it to maximize on media and offer a more compact design.


  • Multi-stage filtration process
  • Instant priming feature
  • Compact design
  • A large volume of media present


  • Set-up instructions are not clear (Find a setup guide above)


ProAquariums: Aquarium Filtration Guide

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