Best Canister Filter For 55 Gallon Tank Review

Aquarists, canister filter aficionados, and general fish enthusiasts – gather around! It’s time for a comprehensive review of the best canister filter for a 55-gallon tank. Whether you’re starting up a new aquarium or upgrading your filtration system, this blog post is for you. So get ready to take some notes because we’ll be covering everything from flow rate to media capacity. 

In your home, fish tanks are a real work of art. The lovely tank with a variety of fish adds to the charm of your house or office. But have you considered the psychological advantages of these fish tanks?

According to numerous studies, fish tanks are a terrific method to relax. They are quite beneficial to your sore eyes. A quick glance at the colorful fish moving around will lift your spirits when your mind is overworked.

However, there is a price to be paid for beauty. It’s also not easy to maintain a fish tank. If you dream big and want a 55-gallon tank, you’ll need to make the same effort. You must seek the most effective filter available.

A Quick Comparison Of The Best 55-Gallon Fish Tank Filter

Best Budget
Aqueon QuietFlow 155/400 Canister Filter
Top Pick
Fluval 407 Perfomance Canister Filter for...
Best Value
Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter 220 GPH For...
UV Sterilizer
Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter...
Customizable Media
Penn-Plax Cascade 700 Aquarium Canister Filter –...
Aqueon QuietFlow 155/400 Canister Filter
Fluval 407 Perfomance Canister Filter for...
Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter 220 GPH For...
Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter...
Penn-Plax Cascade 700 Aquarium Canister Filter –...
$194.88
$219.99
$99.99
$119.99
$124.99
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Best Budget
Aqueon QuietFlow 155/400 Canister Filter
Aqueon QuietFlow 155/400 Canister Filter
$194.88
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Top Pick
Fluval 407 Perfomance Canister Filter for...
Fluval 407 Perfomance Canister Filter for...
$219.99
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Best Value
Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter 220 GPH For...
Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter 220 GPH For...
$99.99
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UV Sterilizer
Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter...
Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter...
$119.99
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Customizable Media
Penn-Plax Cascade 700 Aquarium Canister Filter –...
Penn-Plax Cascade 700 Aquarium Canister Filter –...
$124.99
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Why Are Canister Filters Superior To HOB Power Filters?

Both the power and canister filters are functional, but they differ in their performance inside a given system/environment.

For tanks larger than 50 gallons, canister filters are usually the best option since they provide better water circulation and filtering than power filters.

If your tank is less than 50 gallons, though, power filters are likely to be the superior alternative because you won’t require an expensive option like canister filters.

Besides, there are some advantages to canister filters.

Biomedia Capacity

The main advantage of employing a canister filter instead of a hang-on-the-back filter is that a canister filter can hold a lot more biomedia.

A canister features large trays that may be filled with various types of filter material.

You can easily fit 10 times as much filter media into a canister as you can into a hang-on-the-back, especially those that use cartridges.

Boost The Flow

Another advantage of canister filters is that they allow you to significantly boost the flow in your tank.

The intake hose can be positioned at one end of the tank, while the outflow hose can be placed at the other.

A current runs from one end of the tank to the other due to this.

Compared to a hang-on-the-back, the intake and exhaust are only inches apart. This can result in “dead spots” in the tank where no water flows.

And other canisters feature a spray bar, which is just a plastic tube with perforations along its length that diffuses the outflow and creates a flow throughout the canister.

A canister filter is better for water flow, particularly in a long tank like a 55 gallon.

Gallon Per Hour (GPH)

Gallons per hour measure how much water a filter pump can move (GPH).

Canisters have a high GPH, which is one of their best features. In addition, the motors are substantially more extensive and more potent than hang-on-the-backs.

In general, your filter should have a GPH that is at least four times the capacity of your tank. For a 55-gallon tank, a GPH of at least 220 is required. However, in my opinion, a greater GPH is always preferable.

GPH is vital because bacteria must be able to remove waste products in the biomedia by pumping water through it. Waste doesn’t get to the bacteria fast enough to keep up and clean the water if there isn’t enough water movement.

Versatile

A canister filter is incredibly adaptable and may be used in various saltwater and freshwater aquariums. 

Because this filter is so versatile, it may be used in different types of aquariums. 

This can also be used for a turtle tank (aquatic turtles are much messier than fish), fish-only saltwater tanks, and different freshwater setups including an axolotl tank where water clarity is crucial.

Easy To Install And Clean

Compared to other filters, setting up a canister is simple. Although the simplicity of installation varies per canister filter model, many canister filters are simple to set up. To ensure that the setup procedure is correct, make sure you follow the directions in the manual.

Cleaning a canister filter is effortless if you have the correct tools and a guidebook. Cleaning the filter is also a typical component of aquarium maintenance, and with the best canister filters, cleaning is quick and straightforward. 

Aesthetics

The canister filter’s main body is buried beneath the tank by the tank stand. This is great since the intake and outflow may be easily hidden.

I really enjoy it when you can camouflage the equipment in a tank and make it all look more natural.

Best Canister Filter For 55 Gallon Tank: 5 Picks Review

Aqueon Quietflow Canister Filter (Best Budget)

For a 55-gallon aquarium, you’ll need a top-of-the-line canister filter. The Aqueon Quietflow Canister Filter is a great option. This filter is suitable for freshwater and saltwater aquariums and features a unique hang-on-the-back water polishing mechanism for easy maintenance.

Unlike other canister filters, you don’t have to remove the entire canister to replace the media basket. You only need to replace the carbon cartridge in the polishing equipment now.

It’s simple to set up and use, thanks to the quick disconnect valves, pump locking heads, water intake, output connectors, hoses, and water polishing unit with the cartridge.

The Aqueon Quietflow is also as quiet as it sounds. The motor operates smoothly and silently, despite its high efficiency. Furthermore, installation is quick and straightforward, making it one of our top recommendations for the best canister filter on the market.

The canister is packed with biological, chemical, and mechanical media to properly remove trash and dangerous pollutants from your fish tank’s water. So, the Aqueon Quietflow wins the top position as the best canister filter for 55-gallon tanks.

Pros
  • Both saltwater and freshwater tanks benefit from this product.
  • The flow rate is really high.
  • Cleans swiftly and thoroughly.
  • The polishing machine is simple to maintain.
  • Several media filters are available.
Cons
  • The unit that hangs on the back is a little gimmicky.

Fluval 407 Performance Canister Filter (Top Pick)

The Fluval 407 is the most recent canister offered from Fluval, a firm noted for producing high-quality aquarium equipment.

Fluval has also altered the priming lever to make it easier to belch air out of the system after servicing.

There are simply a few primary and quick stages to the setup procedure. First, it has a broad, easy-to-grip handle that allows for a quick and easy startup with just a few pumps. This filter has a swift and straightforward maintenance technique. You can use this feature to pull out all media baskets at once.

According to the manufacturer, the 07 series is 25% quieter than previous models. In addition, the filter is highly energy-efficient, consuming as little as a household energy bulb. According to Fluval, this canister is so energy efficient that it only consumes 10 watts of power, the same as an LED light bulb.

Another benefit is that the 407 comes with all the mechanical and biomedia components you’ll need to get started.

Pros
  • It’s a quiet business.
  • It is energy-saving.
  • It’s simple to set up and maintain.
  • All filter media is included.
  • Effectively utilizes the available area and places the media.
Cons
  • There is no spray bar included.

Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter (Best Value)

The Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter provides immediate assistance and a spill-free installation. The filter is ideal for use with both marine and freshwater. Additionally, it is capable of successfully cleaning tanks up to 100 gallons in capacity.

It’s brimming with one-of-a-kind, user-friendly components. These components can assist you in maintaining your aquarium more efficiently than ever before. For example, it includes a cover that compresses or lifts up the filter to facilitate ejection.

It includes a Stack N’ Flow filter plate as standard. This plate enables the application of multiple media layers for mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. Additionally, you will have no difficulty changing or cleaning the media, as it is simply removed from the plate.

This item includes a quick-prime button. You can quickly and easily fill the filter chamber with water for self-priming by pressing this button. Additionally, it incorporates a custom-designed valve. With this valve, you’ll be able to rapidly shut off the water flow and separate the cover from the engine housing for maintenance work without any spill.

Additionally, the innovative components of this filter can provide you with the resources necessary to maintain a pure, healthy aquatic environment with significantly less labor.

Pros
  • The operation is quiet and tidy.
  • A three-year warranty is included.
  • A high-quality canister filter.
  • It is simple to clean and maintain.
Cons
  • Instructions that are difficult to understand.

Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter (UV Sterilizer)

The ‘Polar Aurora External Canister Filter’ is the device you’re looking for if you need a filter with a large tank, such as a 55-gallon tank. It comes with a 9-volt UV sterilizer to keep algae at bay, and it’s also reasonably priced. 525 gallons per hour is the maximum flow rate.

Chemical, biological, and mechanical filtration are among the four media phases in the canister. These media stages cause the water to travel through many filtration stages, ensuring that your fish receives the purest water possible. Ceramic rings, activated carbon, a coarse filter sponge, and bio-balls are included. As a result, you won’t need to purchase it separately.

The 9-watt UV sterilizer bulb, which helps eliminate algae spores, is one of the best features. It’ll help get rid of any other germs accumulated in your tank. Like the four media phases, the UV bulb guarantees that your fish have the cleanest water possible. Furthermore, the bulb will come in handy if you need to perform filter maintenance.

The O-ring is another fantastic feature. It may appear to be a little function, but it ensures that your filter does not leak. When you open the top of the filter, you’ll notice an O-ring surrounding the circular aperture on the canister.

Thanks to its large capacity, it’s probably one of the best canister filters for 55-gallon tanks.

Pros
  • It’s simple to set up.
  • An ultraviolet (UV) sterilizer is integrated.
  • The pricing is reasonable.
  • Algae problems are reduced.
Cons
  • Not strong enough.

Penn-Plax Cascade Aquarium Canister Filter (Customizable Media)

The Penn-Plax Cascade 700 Canister Filters is a true powerhouse, packed with fantastic features and built to last. This is an excellent choice for your 55-gallon aquarium because it can filter aquariums up to 100 gallons.

The filter is constructed of extremely tough plastic that will endure a long time. The cobalt blue hue is striking. It may be used in both freshwater and saltwater environments. It uses a multi-stage filtration method to ensure that the water is crystal clear.

The use of multiple media baskets enables a multi-stage filtration process. As a result, it can effectively perform mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration to ensure the safety of your tank inhabitants. Additionally, it contains a flow rate control valve, which is helpful during cleaning and maintenance procedures.

With this canister filter, installation is a breeze. You arrive with all the components needed to assemble it. In addition, it features swimming pool-style hose clamps that simplify assembly and maintenance.

The filtration process will begin within 30 minutes of installation, and visible changes in the tank water will occur within a day. Additionally, it operates quietly, making it an excellent choice if you intend to put the tank in the bedroom. Due to the airtight seal, the optimal flow rate and quiet operation are ensured.

Pros
  • Installation and maintenance are a breeze.
  • Appropriate for large tanks.
  • Made from a durable and robust material.
  • Rapid flow rate.
  • Filtration method with multiple stages.
Cons
  • Consumes more energy due to its 27-watt rating.

Features To Consider Before Buying A Canister Filter For 55-Gallon Tanks:

Purchasing a canister filter is a fantastic idea, but you must keep in mind that the machine you choose determines the outcomes. If you’re not sure where to begin when selecting a canister filter, we can assist you. 

The tank’s maximum capacity, flow rate, size, weight, and other features are things to consider.

Maximum Flowrate

When selecting a canister filter, the amount of gallons per hour is critical. If you compare the pace to the size of your tank, you’ll get the best results. For example, Fluval 407 Performance Canister Filter has a flow rate of up to 383 GPH, which is good. However, if the fish tank is smaller, a filter with a slower flow rate is recommended to avoid circulating clean water.

Filtration Process Stages

The best filters will feature media trays for each filtering stage – mechanical, chemical, and biological, for the most transparent water in your aquarium. 

The aquarium water passes through a media that traps tiny particles, eliminates harmful compounds, and removes ammonia in the three-stage filtration system. 

Consider obtaining a three-stage filtering type like the MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter

Some models may have more than three levels of filtration. For example, the Polar Aurora External Canister Filter includes a UV sterilizer.

Size

One of the most crucial factors to consider is the size of the canister filter you select. It establishes how much room the filter takes up in your cabinet. Any size of canister filter will suffice if you have enough space and some room to spare.

Smaller cabinets necessitate smaller filters. A type like the Fluval 407 Performance Canister Filter on our list is multifunctional and compact.

Weight

You should also consider the canister’s weight. The weight of the filter is an essential consideration because it determines its size and volume. 

Although heavier models are more sturdy, they are also more challenging to transport. Conversely, lighter models are easier to handle and transport.

Additional Features

Extra features in a canister filter may require you to delve further into your wallet. They will, however, make utilizing your filter more convenient. For example, a UV light component in some canister filters, such as the Polar Aurora Free Media 4-Stage External Canister Filter, kills germs in the fish tank.

Final Verdict

So there you have it – our top 5 picks for the best canister filter for a 55-gallon tank. 

These are all fantastic canister filters ideal for a 55-gallon tank. However, I’d go with the Fluval 407 if I had to choose. It has the best combination of features, in my opinion.

Fluval 407 Canister Fiter
Top Pick For 55-Gallon Tanks

The 383 GPH is more than adequate for a 55-gallon tank, and I appreciate how much work has made this even quieter than prior models.

I like how easy it is to access all of the media. Also, because of the large vertical mechanical media, there is more capacity in the baskets for biomedia.

If you’re still undecided or have any questions about these filters or aquarium keeping in general, please leave us a comment below. We love hearing from our readers and helping out where we can. And who knows? Maybe your question will be the inspiration for our next blog post. 

Happy fishkeeping!

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