Fluval FX6 Canister Filter: Is It A Good Aquarium Filter To Buy?

Crystal clear water in the aquarium? Yeah! Everybody loves that. However, it’s a bit tricky to get. The key is the proper filtration system.

But choosing a suitable aquarium filter for your aquatic friend’s residence is sometimes a bit more challenging than you think.

Here, in this article, you will find a review of one of the most admired canister filters that also work best. I will present its features, benefits, deficits, and guidelines to use in your aquarium. So, let’s go ahead and read the review of the Fluval FX6 canister filter!

Fluval FX6 High Performance Aquarium Filter,...
4,552 Reviews
Fluval FX6 High Performance Aquarium Filter,...
  • Multi-stage filter pumps out 925 US Gal (3,500 L) of water per hour, Smart Pump advanced microchip technology...
  • Self-starting – just add water, plug in and Smart Pump will take over, trapped air auto-evacuated every 12 hours to...
  • Easy water changes eliminate need to lift heavy buckets. Simply attach hosing to output and Smart Pump does the rest
  • Removable, stackable media baskets eliminate water bypass and hold a total of 1.5 US Gal (5.9 L) of media, all filter...
  • Compact 21 in (53 cm) tall design - easily fits under most aquariums

Fluval FX6 Canister Filter Review

Fluval is a renowned name in the world of aquarium products. They are well known for top-notch technology, better style, high quality, and functionality, and the Fluval FX6 canister filter is one of the popular products of Fluval.

But why is it so popular? Because it has some unique & smart features which are loved by the fishkeepers.

You may always look for an aquarium filter that is highly reliable &, most importantly, provides high performance. Then you will undoubtedly love this product. Just set it and forget it, and get what you want. It is an ideal choice for aquariums up to 400 Gal.

Fluval FX6 Canister Filter – Surprising Features

High Capacity

The Fluval FX6 canister filter features a multi-stage pump. The pump can handle a large amount of water (925 Gal of water per hour). Furthermore, its circulation rate is just as perfect, 563 GPH.

Its extraordinary blend of power and efficiency ensures more time enjoying your fish tank and less time maintaining it.

Smart Pump

This aquarium filter comes up with a unique Smart Pump Advanced Technology. But how will that add value to you? Yeah, this will look after the pump for you. How? It will always monitor pump performance.

Doing so will make adjustments so that your pump can deliver the best & keep your fish’s home healthy.

Auto Evacuation

The pump is continuously sucking water inside your aquarium filter, so air builds up there over time. But this Fluval FX6 Canister Filter comes up with an air auto-evacuation solution.

Once every 12 hours, the filter will pause & allow air (if any) to escape. As a result, it maintains maximum filtration efficiency.

Versatile Intake

Solid particles can block the narrower parts of the filter unit. To prevent this, Fluval FX6 offers a versatile intake with a telescopic stem and an anti-clog stainer. Thus it ensures continuous water flow without any clogging issues.

Twin Output Nozzles

It comes with twin output nozzles that are adjustable for multidirectional flow. You can customize the direction of the output flow as convenient. This one is a useful feature to distribute purified water uniformly throughout the entire aquarium.

Easy Water Change

A multi-functional utility drain valve enables easy water removal for this aquarium filter. In addition, water refilling and draining can be possible directly from it. This seamless water change technology will make your life simple.

So, what do you need to do? Just add a Fluval FX6 hose from the utility valve to the output, and the smart pump will do the rest for you.

Self-Starting Pump

Priming is a job that nearly every aquarist doesn’t like to do manually. You don’t need to do it if you have this aquarium filter. This Fluval FX6 canister filter also offers a Self- starting pump.

So, it eliminates priming needs and starts quickly. You need to add water to your aquarium and plug in the filter. After that smart, self-starting pump will take over.

Multi-Stage Filtration

Large capacity media baskets are the core part of multi-stage filtration, and provide perfect combo layers that work best for your aquarium. It contains all three types of filter elements available (Mechanical, Chemical & Biological). 

Moreover, up to 6-stage filtration can be achieved with this. What more do you want? Additionally, baskets are engineered to get rid of the water bypass. Surely that will give you the highest possible filtration while this aquarium filter is in function.

Fluval FX6 3-stage filtration

Pros and Cons


  • Smart, self-priming features offer trouble-free operation.
  • Usable both in freshwater and saltwater aquarium.
  • No need to lift heavy buckets as it has an easy water change option.
  • Aqua-Stop valves & Utility valves with hose enable easy maintenance and flushing of the canister.
  • Quiet operation, rubberized feet ensure that.
  • Since only 21″ in height, it fits most aquariums.


  • It is not cheap, rather a bit costly.
  • Due to its compact design, filter media space is somewhat limited.
  • Removing and replacing the lid needs a bit more time and effort.

Fluval FX6 Filter Media Setup

Before Fluval FX6 filter media setup, it is better to have some idea of the filter construction.

Fluval FX6 canister has a side core, three chambers, and two trays. So you can use six different filter media. Three sections are allocated for mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration, respectively.

There are core sponges at the side core of the canister, which act as the mechanical filter. Water entering the canister travel up the sides through core sponges and enter the middle basket’s top chamber.

Water passes the middle basket from top to bottom. So, from the top, the first stage should be biological filtration, and the next section is chemical filtration.

Let’s see the step-by-step tasks to set up filter media.

fluval fx6 filter media setup guide

Set Up Core Sponges:

First, set up all the sponges around the side tray. Though they come installed with the FX6, you have to ensure they fit correctly, leaving no gap. If there is any gap in the side core, water will bypass the sponges and remains mechanically unfiltered.

Put Chemical Filter Media:

The bottom chamber will act as the chemical filter. In the next step, We are going to fill that with chemical filter media. Activated carbon acts as a chemical filter to eliminate dissolved particles, excess medicine, and tank smell.

You’ll get carbon foam with the Fluval FX6 box. Place it carefully in the chamber. You can add any external chemical filter media also.

Add Bio-Filter Elements:

Then, We’ll move to the next tray up this tree. The middle and the top chambers both have two trays each. All four stages are allocated for biological filtration.

Two packs of bio-max media and two pieces of bio-foams come with the filter. Put bio-max in the middle two trays and bio-foam in the top compartments.

Box The Media Basket:

Next, fix the media basket with T-bars and place it inside the canister. It is advisable to add at least two gallons of water before putting the lid. It helps with proper fixing and later priming.

Then put the cover and secure it with grip locks. Tighten the locks just snug and not too tight. There is a gasket to ensure sealing, and hard tightening can damage it.

Connect The Input And The Output:

Once you set up the filter media, connect the inlet and outlet tubes with click-fit valves. Next, attach the strainer with the input tube and nozzles with the output tube. Put them into the aquarium, and your installation is complete.

More Read: What You Should Do To Set Up The Canister Filter Correctly

How To Clean Fluval Fx6 Canister Filter?

Cleaning the Fluval Fx6 is simple. Thanks to the Aqua-Stop valve & Utility Valve. Together they allow removing all the water from the filter. Moreover, you need to follow a few easy steps to clean your canister.

Drain, Disassemble & Clean:

  • At first, drain the filter. Before doing that, don’t forget to isolate electrical power. After that, close in and out valves. Open utility valve & use hose to contain water in a bucket. keep draining until the canister weighs light enough for you. ( who wants weight lifting!)
  • Carry the canister to your work area. Disassemble the unit by opening the filter lid & media basket.
  • Clean or replace filter media as needed. After that, empty and rinse the filter canister. Don’t use soap or detergents! Yeah, a trace amount of residue can damage your fish tissues.
  • Now remove the pump unit. Unscrew fixing screws by using a screwdriver. Take the impeller unit out gently by holding the fan.
  • Clean the impeller properly using clear water.

Reassemble The Filter Unit:

  • Assemble the impeller and all pump parts. Then stack media baskets in proper order. Place filter lid & tighten using lid fastener.
  • Place in and out valve on filter lid connectors. Gradually open them & you may hear hissing sounds of water coming in.

For More Information read how to clean a canister filter in a few simple steps.

fluval fx6 canister filter cleaning


What Does Fluval FX6 Canister Filter Come With?

Along with the primary filter, it comes with a few other things. These include 1.5 gallons (5.9 L) of media, ribbed hosing, two nylon bags, five media baskets, 13.1 feet long tubing of 1 inch inner & 1-1/4″ outer diameter, rubber feet, Aqua-Stop click valves, utility valve, rim connectors, suction cups, strainer, pump unit, and user manual.

Is Fluval Fx6 Canister Filter Quiet? 

Although pump capacity and power are high, The Fluval FX6 canister filter is very quiet. It creates a low humming sound. However, only be audible if you get close to the filter. Its unidirectional impeller allows fewer joints that keep noise as minimum as a whisper.

How Often Should I Clean My Fluval FX6?

It depends on so many variables, like your tank’s size, how many fishes you have, the filter media’s condition, aquarium water quality, etc. However, we will try to keep it simple.

Usually, every six months, you need to change biological (Bio-foam, Bio-max) & mechanical (Foam) filter media in half or entire portions. Replace filter media (carbon pad) once every month. 

Besides, the user manual can be a great help for you. Most importantly, Fluval attached a monthly indicator dial on the canister to give a reminder. So no way to forget (excellent!)

Unboxing Fluval FX6 Canister Filter Video Tips!

Alternatives You May Consider

Although Fluval FX6 is a top canister filter with reliable performance, the price tag is a little higher. For a cheaper option, you can check the below two alternatives.

Penn-Plax Cascade 1200 Aquarium Canister Filter...
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Penn-Plax Cascade 1200 Aquarium Canister Filter...
  • CASCADE 1200 CANISTER FILTER: Without effort, the Cascade 1200 Canister Filter quietly delivers crystal clear water...
  • STATE OF THE ART FEATURES: In addition to the push button primer that allows for a simple and quick prime, this Canister...
  • FILTER MEDIA: This Canister Filter comes standard with 4 Poly Fiber Floss Pads, 1 Coarse Bio-Sponge, and 1 Bag of...
  • ITEMS INCLUDED: 2 Independent Valve Taps, Push Button Primer, Flow Rate Control Cut-Off Valves, Swimming-Pool Style Hose...
  • MEASUREMENTS AND OTHER USEFUL INFO: The Cascade 1500 Canister Filter measures 11.5” (W) x 11” (D) x 20.5” (H)....

Read The Review: The Ultimate Review of the Penn-Plax Cascade Canister Filter

Fluval 407 Perfomance Canister Filter for...
7,026 Reviews
Fluval 407 Perfomance Canister Filter for...
  • Fluval eTEC (Efficient Technology) construction employs cutting-edge design, materials & manufacturing methods to...
  • Powerful motor generates constant pumping power and pressure that endures over time and re-engineered, precision-crafted...
  • Energy-efficient – some 07 series filters draw as little energy as a single household LED lightbulb
  • Ergonomic AquaStop valves with raised lip for smoother operation; single action dual Lift-Lock motorhead clamps for...
  • The Fluval 407 Cannister Filter is suitable for freshwater and saltwater aquariums up to 100 gallons (500 L)

Read The Review: A Complete Review of Fluval 407 Canister Filter

Final Words!

Even though the Fluval Fx6 canister filter may not fulfill every aquarist’s demands, it’s still a good option. Its high capacity, innovative technology, comfortable maintenance & other unique features make that popular among fish tank owners.

Although the price is slightly higher, you will get value for your money and what we care about the most. In addition, it has offered three years of service warranty. However, you may not need to use that since this Fluval FX6 canister filter is well known for its longevity & reliability.

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