Small canister filters are a suitable option for low-capacity aquariums. They are generally installed outside the tank and don’t interfere with the décor of the tank. You can easily hide them from plain sight. They are equally good at cleaning water and are easier to maintain.
What are the Best Small Canister Filters?
Here are the ten best small canister filters that will be suitable for low-capacity fish tanks. If you have decided to go with a small aquarium, you might find one of these suitable for your requirements.
1. OASE Indoor Aquatics Filtosmart Thermo 100
OASE Indoor Aquatics Filtosmart Thermo 100 is a versatile product among the ten best small canister filters. It not only filters the water but also comes with an integrated heater for maintaining it at an optimum temperature. The filter employs a two-stage process for mechanical and biological filtration. Its valves have adjustment knobs for controlling the flow rate of water. A diffuser and spray bar creates surface movement and oxygenates the water. FiltosmartThermo 100 is easy to clean and maintain and has a self-priming function for effortless starting. It can be used in up to 30-gallon aquariums.
2. Marineland Magniflow 160 Canister Filter
Marineland Magniflow 160 is a good choice for the buyers who are searching for the ten best small canister filters. It can filter 160 gallons of water per hour and will be adequate for up to 30-gallon fish tanks. There are multiple filtration media used in it for cleaning water and removing impurities. It has filter foam pads for catching dirt and waste, a polishing filter pad for removing fine debris, black diamond carbon for removing odors and discoloration, and bio-filter balls and ceramic rings for promoting the growth of bio spires. Marineland Magniflow 160 canister filter is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater applications.
3. Finnex PX-360 Compact Canister Aquarium Filter
Finnex PX-360 is a compact option among the ten best small canister filters. It uses a 90GPH sealed motor with low operational noise. The filter is suitable for up to 25-gallon freshwater and saltwater aquariums. Its removable media trays allow you to maintain the filter effortlessly. It comes prepopulated with filtration media that include activated carbon floss pad, ceramic rings, and sponge foam. They clean the water and keep your fish healthy. A spray bar ensures that the water in the aquarium flows naturally. A hanger allows you to hang the Finnex PX-360 canister filter on the tank.
4. Zoo Med Nano 10 External Canister Filter
Zoo Med Nano 10 is one of the ten best small canister filters available today. It is a compact filter that will be ideal for nano fish tanks having a capacity of up to 10 gallons. The device has a filter sponge for mechanical filtration, activated carbon for removing chemicals and odors, and ceramic media for biological filtration. A spray bar improves aeration for increasing the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water. Its small-design ensures that it requires very little installation space while allowing for effortless maintenance. You can use it in freshwater and marine tanks.
5. Fluval 107 Performance Canister Filter 120Vac
When it comes to the ten best small canister filters, Fluval 107 Performance Canister Filter is a high-quality product. It can filter 145 US gallons of water per hour and has adequate filtration capacity for 10 to 30-gallon aquariums. The filter can perform mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration. There are foam pads, sponges, activated carbon, and filtration media provided in the package. A handle enables you to remove the media stack easily for replacing the filtration media. It is almost silent while in operation and won’t cause any disturbance in the room.
6. Sunsun Tech’n’Toy HW-603B 106 GPH 3-Stage External Canister Filter
Sunsun Tech’n’Toy HW-603B canister filter is a popular choice of the buyers who search for the ten best small canister filters. It is equipped with a 6W pump that yields a flow rate of 106 gallons per hour. The filter is capable of cleaning fish tanks having a capacity of up to 20 gallons. Filter pads are pre-installed while there is space available for adding filtration media such as activated carbon, bio-balls, or ceramic rings. It can perform mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration. A spray bar is provided for ensuring natural water movement and improving aeration.
7. EHEIM Classic 150 External Canister Filter
EHEIM Classic 150 is a small-sized option among the ten best small canister filters. It has a flow rate of 40 gallons per hour and will be ideal for up to 15-gallon fish tanks. The filter comes with filter sponges and filter media for cleaning the water in your aquarium and keeping fishes healthy. It is easy to clean and maintain, and its pump has a permo-elastic silicone sealing ring for closing the filter effortlessly. A spray bar assists in circulating water and improving oxygen levels. EHEIM Classic canister filter is also available in 66 and 92-gallon variants.
8. Penn Plax Cascade 500
Penn Plax Cascade 500 is one of the best-selling items on the list of the ten best small canister filters. It has a flow rate of 115 gallons per hour and will be adequate for up to 30-gallon aquariums. There are two media baskets for customizing the filter as per your fish tank setup. Its valves support 360° rotation and provide additional maneuvering room for easy installation. A push-button primer allows you to start the filter effortlessly after cleaning. It comes with a spray bar that ensures optimum water circulation.
9. OASE Indoor Aquatics Filtosmart 60
The OASE Indoor Aquatics Filtosmart 60 filter is an alternate choice from the company. It doesn’t come with a heater and will be ideal for aquariums that don’t need the same. The filter can be used with fish tanks having a capacity of up to 20 gallons. It makes use of a 2-stage process for mechanical and biological filtration. It gets rid of waste and debris and keeps your aquatic pets healthy. A diffuser and spray bar create surface water movement and aerate the water. OASE Indoor Aquatics Filtosmart 60 is suitable for freshwater and marine aquariums.
10. API Filstar XP S
API Filstar XP S canister filter is a compact yet powerful offering that may appeal to the buyers who are searching for the ten best small canister filters. Despite its small size, it is suitable for up to 45-gallon fish tanks. It uses a 3-stage process for mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. Cleaning and maintaining the API Filstar XP S canister filter is effortless while its self-priming feature allows easy operation. It comes with quick-disconnect valves that are leak-free. You can use it with freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
What Are Small Canister Filters Good For?
Small canister filters are generally suitable for tanks up to 30 gallons, but a few of them can also be used with aquariums that hold 45 to 50 gallons of water. Their advantages are promoting hobbyists to switch to a small canister filter from a power filter.
What are the Benefits of Small Canister Filters?
Here are a few benefits of small canister filters as compared to their power counterparts. They make a case for these compact yet powerful devices.
High Flow Rate
Canister filters, even small ones, have a higher flow rate as compared to power filters, generally expressed as GPH or gallons per hour. They can maintain a relatively large or heavily populated tank better than the latter. Because of their higher flowrate, small canister filters can clean more gallons of water in a specific time compared to power filters.
Accommodate More Filtration Media
Small canister filters can accommodate more filtration media as compared to power filters. The former have multiple compartments for media, while most models of the latter may only have a single compartment. You can add activated charcoal and biological and chemical filtration media to a small canister filter, while a power filter may or may not allow the same. More filtration media ensures a healthier living environment for the aquatic life in the fish tank and increases their lifespan.
Take Less Space
Despite their performance, small canister filters have a compact build and take minimal space. You can easily hide them from view by placing them below the aquarium stand or in a cupboard. The smaller variants are a few inches tall and can be concealed from plain sight without any effort.
No Aesthetic Impact
Small canister filters don’t impact the aesthetic appearance of the aquarium. A power filter is generally hanged on one of the walls of a fish tank. It can be an eyesore while also taking up space that could otherwise be utilized for decorations or providing fish more living area. On the other hand, small canister filters are meant to be placed externally. They neither occupy any space inside the aquarium nor visually impact its looks.
Most small canister filters run as quiet, if not quieter, than power filters. You will not hear the humming of the pump, which tends to irritate some individuals. They can be beneficial if the aquarium will be installed in an office or work area. Individuals will not be distracted or disturbed by the humming of the pump and can work in quiet.
Small canister filters may make it easier to maintain a fish tank. They may have the capability to drain the aquarium automatically. You won’t have to siphon the water for changing it. This will make aquarium maintenance slightly convenient.
What are the Disadvantages of a Canister Filter?
While there are many benefits of small canister filters, they have a few disadvantages as well. They are generally more expensive as compared to power filters. Also, as their flow rate is higher, the media in small canister filters will have to be replaced more frequently. However, their pros outweigh their cons, making a case for them in most scenarios.