7 Best Canister Filter Under $100 (Updated 2024)

Lauren Kiekbusch
best canisters filter under $100

Canister filters are extremely useful in maintaining a clean living environment for aquatic animals. They are also effective at lowering nitrate levels and are far more durable when filtration for saltwater and freshwater tanks.

They are typically placed outside the tank and filter the water using hoses submerged in the tank. The majority of some canister filters are that they are capable of chemical, biological, and mechanical filtration.

However, numerous canister filters on the market make it difficult to determine which products can be purchased for less than $100. This article will show the best canister filter that you can buy for under $100, so continue reading.

So, let’s start with the question: What to look for before buying a canister filter for an aquarium?

The size of a canister filter is essential because different filters can support different levels of water. You must understand how much water your canister can filter per hour called (GPH). So choose a tank that will work with your tank without causing any unbalanced pressure.

The best filters will have mechanical, chemical, and biological media trays. So, if you want the best results, stick to those three stages.

Another thing to consider is that canister filters are made with pumps to ensure the easy flow of water in the aquarium, making sure the filter has an internal motor or an intake pump.

Also worth reading;

  1. 5 Best Reverse Osmosis (RO/DI) System for Aquariums (2023)
  2. 7 Best Aquariums Battery Backup for Power Outages (2023)
  3. 7 Best Substrate for Planted Fish Tanks (2023)

Top 7 Best Canister Filters Under $100

Finding the budget canister filter can be difficult because there are so many options available. But we have listed the top best products that are available on the market for under $100. So go through the list, and you’ll find the information in detail in this handy article.

Best Canister Filter Under $100

Product nameSpecificationAvailable
Cascade Canister Filter for Large Aquariums and Fish Tanks
  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 17 x 11.5 x 10 inches
  • Item weight: 12 Pounds
  • Item model number ‏ : ‎ CCF3UL
  • Department ‏ : ‎ Filters
  • Date First Available ‏ : ‎ October 30, 2005
  • Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ Monster Pets
Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter for Aquariums
  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.2 x 9.17 x 13.62 inches
  • Item weight:  10.15 Pounds
  • Item model number ‏ : ‎ ML90749
  • Date First Available ‏ : ‎ July 1, 2015
  • Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ United Pet Group
Penn-Plax Cascade 600 Submersible Aquarium Filter
  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12 x 5 x 3 inches
  • Item weight:  2.14 Pounds
  • Item model number ‏ : ‎ CIF3
  • Date First Available ‏ : ‎ October 2, 2001
  • Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ Monster Pets
SunSun Hw303B 370GPH Pro Canister Filter
  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12 x 12 x 20 inches
  • Item weight: 16 Pounds
  • Item model number ‏ : ‎ HW-303BPro
  • Date First Available ‏ : ‎ August 6, 2014
  • Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ SunSun
Eheim Pro 4+ 600 Filter
  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 14 x 10 x 10 inches
  • Item weight: 14 Pounds
  • Item model number ‏ : ‎ 720686225169
  • Date First Available ‏ : ‎ January 25, 2016
  • Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ Eheim
Exo Terra External Turtle Filter for Aquarium
  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5 x 8 x 8.6 inches
  • Item weight: 2.25 Pounds
  • Item model number ‏ : ‎ PT3630
  • Date First Available ‏ : ‎ October 2, 2012
  • Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ Exo Terra
Aqueon QuietFlow Canister Filter
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 7.5 x 17.25 inches
  • Item Weight: 14.25 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Central Garden & Pet
  • Item model number: 100532089

1. Cascade Canister Filter For Large Aquariums And Fish Tanks

Cascade Canister Filter is a bit unique and one of the best canister filters that allow you to easily customize your setup. It has everything you could want in a quality system, such as large-capacity media trays that can be easily swapped out and cleaned with a simple primer button. 

There the 360-degree valves for hard-to-reach places, allowing you to position the filter anywhere without worrying about your pipes or hoses limiting you.

Its large-capacity, stackable media trays provide all three types of filtration, ensuring your water is as clear as can be. It has a flow rate of 350 GPH and can be primed with the push of a button. It can purify over 265 gallons of water per hour.

The Cascade Canister Filter uses simple filters, such as sponges, which saves money and gives you the freedom to put whatever you want in there. You’ll find everything you need to get started, including filter baskets, start-up filter media, and input/output tubing.

Main Features

  • External filter that is strong enough to be used with saltwater or freshwater tanks up to 100 gallons.
  • 360-degree rotating flow valves are helpful for the tightest of fits.
  • It is simple to set up, run, and maintain thanks to the push-button primer and user-friendly design.
  • It comes with a variety of cleaning tools.
  • Designed for heavy-duty use.
  • The unit’s rubberized base keeps it firmly in place.

The things that might be bothering you: Cleaning the canister can be difficult.

2. Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter For Aquariums

The Marineland Magniflow filter is ideal for both saltwater and freshwater setups, and it comes with everything you need to keep your fish’s habitat in pristine condition. It has one of the best seals you’ll find on any filter and a slew of features that make setup and maintenance a breeze.

The canister also includes mechanical, chemical, and biomedical. It also has an activated carbon layer for chemical filtration as well as bio-balls for biological filtration. The hosses are extremely simple to detach and clean, so you won’t have to worry about cleaning.

The filter foam pads and black diamond carbon help to clean the tank of impurities, and the bio-filter balls boost their efficiency. There are ceramic rings that provide plenty of space for beneficial bacteria to grow and black diamond carbon that removes odors and discoloration.

Main Features

  • The three-tray filtration system provides biological, chemical, and mechanical filtration.
  • Bio-filter balls and ceramic rings are available to help bio-spire growth.
  • Hoses with quick release.
  • Installation of the lid is simple.
  • It’s a good filter, and all of the spare parts are readily available.

The things that might be bothering you: There will be a small flood if you move the hoses aloud, so proceed cautiously.

3. Penn-Plax Cascade 600 Submersible Aquarium Filter

The Cascade 600 is a submersible filter that can filter 175 gallons per hour in a tank as small as 50 gallons. If you’re looking for a turtle canister filter, this is one to consider because it’s powerful and runs quietly.

It has three stages of filtration and two media chambers, one for foam and one for activated carbon. The foam filters particulate matter while also providing a home for beneficial bacteria. 

The carbon cartridge supports removing harmful chemicals such as toxic materials, foul odors, and other contaminants from the water in your aquarium.

Another feature of this product is the directional water flow obtained from the pump head, which is also completely adjustable. On the other hand, you don’t need an extra air pump because this single filter unit can perform both functions.

Main Features

  • Filtration in three stages.
  • Media chamber that can be customized.
  • It is possible to position both vertically and horizontally.
  • Flow can be adjusted.
  • A spray bar evenly distributes the flow.
  • There is no need to purchase a separate air pump.

The things that might be bothering you: Not as quiet as we had hoped.

4. SunSun Hw303B 370GPH Pro Canister Filter

The SunSun HW303B Canister filter has unique and appealing features at a reasonable price. The powerful motor, filtration system, and thoughtful design make this Canister ideal to filter aquarium tanks with a capacity of up to 525 gallons of fresh or saltwater per hour.

The whole point of getting a canister filter is that it usually has a three-stage filtration process that effectively increases the cleanliness of the water.

It includes four flexible media trays with excellent mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration capable of handling 150 gallons of crystal transparent water tank.

The combination of powerful filtration and a UV sterilizer ensures crystal-clear water. The included UV sterilizer can help eliminate algae growth and kill harmful bacteria in your tank as an added bonus.

It has massive baskets that can hold up to a pound of ceramic bio media, and reusable pads for coarse, medium, and fine mechanical filtration are also included.

Main Features

  • Excellent value for money and is available in a variety of sizes.
  • A UV sterilizer is included in the kit, which will kill algae spores and harmful bacteria.
  • Pump that self-primes.
  • A large amount of media storage.
  • It’s almost silent.
  • Simple to clean and maintain.
  • Filtering is done in three stages.

The things that might be bothering you: If the UV sterilizer is left on for an extended period, which may cause problems.

5. Eheim Pro 4+ 600 Filter

This filter has a futuristic design that will undoubtedly improve the appearance of your entire aquarium. It is simple to use and suitable for experienced aquarists because aquarists can use it with their own control.

This filter has completer filter pads and media and is designed for aquariums ranging in size from 30 to 160 gallons.

The unit comes with everything you need to get started, including the filter pads, media, and installation instructions. This square model has more media capacity and is ideal for larger aquariums.

This filter can also control flow with its Xtender control function and redirect water flow from different chambers to extend media life.

Because of its square shape, it fits perfectly into most aquarium stands. The filter’s super-efficiency power can handle even larger tanks.

Main Features

  • A square canister provides more filter volume and stability.
  • The flow rate can be adjusted to suit the application.
  • Pumping efficiency and low energy consumption.
  • Self-priming tool built-in.
  • Xtender control function to prevent filter media blockage and extend filter life.
  • The top pre-filter provides additional filtration by trapping larger particles, making cleaning easier.

The things that might bother you: The hose is a little on the short side, and extra length for a tank is required if you want to place it higher.

6. Exo Terra External Turtle Filter For Aquarium

The Exo Terra aquatic turtle filter system has a dual-chamber design for optimal water flow and efficiency. It strikes a good balance between the various types of filtration it employs. 

It is intended for use in aquariums, turtle tanks, and aquatic terrariums. It effectively removes odors and other media to make the water clearer.  The dual carbon pads, combined with the odor-reducing padding, provide maximum ammonia absorption.

It has three stages of filtration and a dual-chamber design that allows you to maintain mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration with maximum flexibility. 

In conjunction with the dual carbon pads, the odor-reducing pad ensures maximum ammonia absorbing capabilities, useful in turtle tanks or aquatic terrariums with a high biological load.

This is an excellent choice for all turtle tanks because it helps oxygenate the water and allows your turtles to breathe comfortably.

Main Features

  • Filtration system with three stages.
  • Filter chamber with two chambers.
  • The ability to control odors.
  • Balanced performance.
  • The operation is low noise.
  • The waterfall effect

The things that might be bothering you: It is appropriate for baby turtles, but this filter is not ideal if you have more giant turtles.

7. Aqueon QuietFlow Canister Filter

The Aqueon Quietflow Canister Filter is a high-performance canister filter that works well with the dual carbon padsThealtwater and freshwater tanks. This 200 GPH model is more appropriate for a 55-gallon with a super high flow rate of 400 gallons per hour. 

It comes with filtration media that will filter your water biologically, chemically, and mechanically, removing waste, harmful bacteria, and toxins. You will be surprised after hearing that it can remove toxins from the water approximately 2.5 times per hour.

Quick disconnect valves on the Aqueon QuietFlow Canister Flow are adjustable for easy cleaning and flow adjustments. It includes a variety of outlet options.

You should open the canister at least once a month to clean out the mechanical filtration and remove any accumulated dirt. The highly efficient motor operates smoothly and quietly.

The installation is quick and easy, making it one of our top picks for the best canister filter.

Main Features

  • It performs admirably in both saltwater and freshwater tanks.
  • The flow rate is very high.
  • Cleans quickly and thoroughly.
  • The polishing unit is simple to maintain.
  • There are three media filters included.

The things that might be bothering you: Extra-large tanks are not recommended.

You might be interested to read also our other article: Best Aquarium Starter Kit

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a sump better than a canister filter?

Canister filters require less maintenance than power filters and sumps because the water is forced through the media rather than flowing over or around it.

How often should you clean the canister filter?

Canister filters, enclosed, can go the longest time between cleanings – they may only need to be cleaned every three to four months.

How often should I change the carbon in my canister filter?

Every 2 weeks or so, the carbon should be replaced even though many people do not use carbon at all. It is helpful in cleaning the water after a chemical treatment, but it is not required otherwise. We would suggest replacing it with more bio-media.

How long do canister filters last?

Typically, they would be cleaned or replaced every two months. After two months, the biological filters must be replaced. It is important to note that if your fish or other aquarium animals are sick, you will need to clean your aquarium frequently to avoid contamination.

Final Words

Canister filters are necessary for every aquarium tank because they ensure a clean water environment where the fish can live. The higher the GPH and the number of filtration processes, helps clean the better the filtration. Still, higher GPH is not appropriate for small tanks.

So, before you buy, make sure you know what products will work with your aquarium and improve the water quality. We hope we were able to provide you with the information you require.

Leave a Reply
Related Posts