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Fluval Aquarium Filter Guide

Aquarium Filtration Guide

Good filtration is a fundamental building block to a healthy aquarium. Whether you have a basic freshwater tank or the most complex reef ecosystem good filtration is a must.

A quality filter will protect your fish, invertebrates and your investment. Fluval has been designing and building quality fish tanks and filters for over 35 years.  Fluval makes a wide range of filters for everyone from novice to expert.

As a Canadian company, Fluval references it’s filters in liters.  Since we are talking water volume, a helpful reminder on gallons and liters:

1 gallon = 3.79 liters

1 liter = 0.26 gallons    

What do aquarium filters do anyway?

Aquatic filters clean water so your fish can breathe and live a healthy happy life. Filters replicate nature through a three step process.

  1. Mechanical filtration stage: removes solid waste from aquarium.
  2. Chemical filtration stage: removes excess toxins from water such as copper, chlorine, and discoloration. Typically through an activated carbon layer.
  3. Biological filtration stage: breaks down excess ammonia and nitrates from fish waste by colonizing healthy bacteria.


Aquarium Filters are sized by how much water they filter in 1 hour.  The bigger the tank, the larger the pump and filter needed to clean the water.  The bigger the tank, the more fish. The more fish, the more fish waste. (which results in higher ammonia levels)

There are 2 basic types of filters: in-tank internal filters and external out-of-tank filters.  

Small aquariums most often have internal filters, large aquariums have external filters.

Filter cost is a function of these features:

  • quality of water filtration
  • quality of filter and pump construction (quality lasts longer)
  • tank size and filtration throughput (bigger motors cost more)
  • ease of maintenance (we can’t emphasize enough just how important this is!)
  • noise level (less noise is better…way better)

Which Fluval Aquarium Filter is right for my fish tank?

Let’s break it down so you can choose the right filter for your tank and enjoy a clean, clear aquarium and your fish can live long healthy lives!

FX Series: The Big Tank Pro  

  • External 3-stage filtration
  • Designed for 1500 liter (400 gallon) aquariums
  • If you are an advanced fishkeeper with a BIG tank, this is your filter.

06 Series : The “06” stands for “6th generation design”

  • External 3-stage filtration.
  • This is Fluval’s primary filter for intermediate and experienced fish hobbyists.  
  • A fantastic value for mid to large tanks.
  • Four models designed for 100/200/300/400 liter aquariums.
  • 106, 206, 306, 406 labels denote tank size. (For those non-metric system fishkeepers, that’s 25/45/70/100 gallons.)  


G Series :  Super easy maintenance, virtually noiseless, this is the most advanced external filtration system on the market today.

  • External 3-stage filtration
  • Easiest way to maintain a larger tank for the beginner to expert
  • Onboard computer constantly monitors water quality
  • System alerts you when to perform maintenance  
  • Super simple cartridge system makes maintenance a snap
  • Virtually noiseless. So quiet it is amazing.
  • Perfect for for 300L and 600L (80 and 160 gallon) tanks.  
  • 3G and 6G labels denote tank size.

U Series : U stands for “Underwater”

  • Internal 3-stage filtration sits nicely inside the aquarium.
  • Designed for small to medium aquariums
  • 45/110/150/240 Liter (12/30/40/65 Gallon) tanks
  • Using 1 top loading cartridge, maintenance is a snap

C Series : 5 filters! C stands for “Clip On”

  • Internal clip-on 5 stage filter sits inside, at the top of the tank.
  • Designed for delicate fish and plants
  • Internal 5-stage filter system
  • Clips on the back of the tank, takes up very little space in-tank
  • Indicator alerts you to perform maintenance.
  • Designed for 30/50/70 gallon (115/190/265 liter tanks)

Fluval Filter Videos


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