Benefits of Canister Filters (Pros and Cons of External Filters):

Canister filters are big in size & they are usually located outside tanks so large volumes of water should be drawn from aquarium to canister filter for best efficiency. They are very powerful filters that clean the tank much better than other filters.

Only tubing of canister filters are located inside aquariums that are used to draw dirty water from aquarium & pump clean water back to the tank. A canister filter has multiple baskets used for storing filtration media. Dirty water passes through each basket of canister filter where it is filtered & then it pumps back clean water to the aquarium.

Pros and Cons of Canister filters
Pros and Cons of Canister filters

One of the best pros of a canister filter is that it allows you to add any type of media you want to. Based on your aquarium requirement, you can add mechanical, chemical & biological filtration media. There are various varieties available when choosing biological media & you can add multiple media because there is lots of space available in baskets. In addition, you can add coarse, medium & fine foams for removing solid particles from water. Mechanical filtration media is installed first in a canister filter, which traps fish waste, dirt, debris & other particles from water using foams & then water passes through biological media. Note that fish waste releases ammonia, which can pass through mechanical filtration media. Ammonia is broken down into nitrites using good bacteria present in the biological filter media & then further good bacteria breaks it down into nitrates. Ammonia is highly toxic to fish, nitrites are less toxic than ammonia, & nitrates are less toxic than nitrites.

Chemical filtration is optional but you will get activated carbon for free when you buy a canister filter. You are allowed to add your own media into baskets because a canister filter offers the option of customization. Make sure you add heaps of bio media for best cleaning of water. However, adding too much media will need high maintenance, which is one of the cons of canister filters.

Canister filters are large and bulky, & need lots of space outside aquarium.

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