How Does External Canister Filter Work?


External canister filter is a type of aquarium filter removing water from fish tank through an intake tube, then passes through different filter media inside a canister, then pumped back filtered aquarium water into fish tank through spray bar or spill way.

It can be used in saltwater or freshwater aquariums.  Most of them provides mechanical, chemical and biological filtration. Canister filter usually holds greater quantity of chosen filter materials.  The most commonly used filter medias are cotton wool, activated carbon, bio balls and ceramic filters.

Canister filters are best to use in freshwater aquariums versus marine aquariums.  This is because canister filters are very effective in converting ammonia to nitrite then nitrite to nitrate.  Marine tanks are quite sensitive to nitrate so the canister filters might need to be cleaned more often.

Canister filters are the most convenient and easier to maintain type of aquarium filter. It can be cleaned, replaced and disconnected without disturbing the interior of the aquarium and its livestocks. It is usually a good choice for much larger tanks. For excellent performance and efficiency of the canister filter, regular maintenance as per manufacturers recommendation should be done.

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