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More About Canister Filters Versus Power Filters For Aquariums

If you’ve just recently decided to start an aquarium, you might be wondering which filter would be the best to get for your fish tank. There are usually two types of filters that most people use, namely canister filters and power filters. The leading variance be the two is that canisters are trickier and entail more energy and time when setting them up and maintenance wise., while a power filter merely hangs on the back of the aquarium and the water is filtered through a tube. Each filter has individual benefits and understanding what they are can help you decide on which one you should purchase for your tank.

Power Filters

Power filters are available in different shapes and sizes and is usually sold with the tank when you buy a kit from the pet store. These filters are the simplest ones to utilize and are the most affordable. A power filter is merely plugged in, contains a carbon filter pad inside and is switched on. The internal pumps circulate water from the aquarium via a lift tube and passes it through a filter cartridge.

The cartridge contains chemicals that keep the water clean and pure. All models are typically similar in the way they operate. After the water is circulated through the filter media, it is released back into the aquarium through an overflow or spillway. Some evaporation appears which means the water must be changed more often than the case is with a canister filter. Cyanobacteria is usually encouraged with the presence of nitrate and ammonia, which are both fixed forms of nitrogen. Chemiclean helps clean and remove this problem algae through its own unique process. Most other red slime removers use purely antibiotics, namely erythromycin, to take care of the algae. The use of such substances with in your aquarium can have disastrous effects upon your nitrifying bacteria and cause your tank to crash, killing the inhabitants of your aquarium. The use of Chemi-clean not only as a problem solver when red slime is present, but as a regular maintenance procedure will help keep your water crystal clear and your tank free of unwanted cyanobacteria.


It’s easier to maintain power filters since you only need to remove the carbon filter or other forms of media, contingent on the model and brand of power filter, and replace it. You don’t even have to remove the filter from the back of the aquarium, unless the tube is malfunctioning. The carbon filter doesn’t have to be changed every time with a water change, but simply rinsed off. Once it needs changing, you can swap it out.

Canister filters

Canisters are a lot more reliable filtration device for planted and saltwater aquariums. The also work well for freshwater tanks. These filters are installed outside of the aquarium with hoses which are submerged in the aquarium for water filtration. Check here to learn how a canister filter works . These filters are more suited for experienced aquarium hobbyists since they necessitate some knowledge regarding set up and maintenance. They need hoses, routine cleanings, biological filtration and are quite pricey. The water is sucked up through the lift tube into the outside filter chamber. From here water is filtrated through various filter medias to purify the water.

The water direction is contingent on the model you’ve chosen. Contingent on the media you’re using, the filter media can offer chemical, biological or mechanical filtration. After the water is passed through the filter media in a sealed canister, it’s circulated back into the aquarium via the pump. Most canister filters have an integral water pump built into the base or cover; however, some may need a separate outside water pump.


Maintaining canister filters depend on the model, media used and brand. A variety of filter media can be placed into the canister such as isolated chambers, cartridges, baskets and media bags. You can either use them separately or combined to offer the right type of filtration for your tank’s unique setup. Some media must be rinsed out frequently while others must be replaced every now and again. This could become expensive. The tubes also require cleaning which can be done with a tube cleaning kit.

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