best canister filter for 75 gallon

The Best Canister Filter for 75 Gallon for 2022

The best canister filter for a 75-gallon aquarium is one that just does not keep the water clear but also gets rid of invisible threats. Canister filters are the epitome of aquarium filtration systems and are the best choice for larger tanks. Anything that is 50-gallon capacity and above will need a canister filter to keep the water clean efficiently.

A canister filter may be larger than your usual HOB and external filter boxes but it is also a lot more efficient when it comes to cleaning the water. The size should not be that much of an issue when you have a large aquarium anyway. You can simply hide the canister filter in the cabinet underneath the tank to complete it.

Are you in the market for a new canister filter for your aquarium? This article will teach you everything that you need to know to find the one that provides the best value for your money.

Best Canister Filter for 75 Gallon Reviews

1. Sunsun Hw304B 525GPH Pro Canister Filters

sunsun hw304b 525gph pro canister filters

This product is one of the best canister filters that I have used throughout the years. The built-in water pump is so strong that the water in my 75-gallon tank goes through proper circulation.

The pump also has a strong enough rating for tanks up to 150 gallons in capacity. It is better to have an overpowered water pump rather than an underpowered one.

One of the best features of this water filter is that it features an ultraviolet sterilizer. This works great for killing hazardous bacteria and preventing algae bloom. Another advantage is that you don’t have to turn on the UV sterilizer all the time. I just have it on during the weekends and it is enough to keep the water clear for the rest of the week.

You also get all the filter media you will need to get started. You will receive two different filter media and four media baskets. There is also a complete set of filter media.

There is a pound each of activated carbon, ceramic rings, and a set of bio balls. You will be getting a complete filtration system that will help keep your entire aquarium setup clean and healthy.

Speaking of the filter media, they work very well. The activated carbon helped to remove the funky smells that usually come from aquariums. In addition, the bio balls help by providing a lot of surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow on.

These bacteria are responsible for breaking down the hazardous nitrates and ammonia that come from the waste products of the fish. If any of these two hazardous materials get a bit too high, they can cause a lot of health problems for your fish.

As much as I love this cartridge filter, some minor issues will hopefully get fixed in the future. One thing I did not like about this filter is the hose that comes with the set. It is just not as durable as I would have wanted it to be.

After a couple of months, I had to replace the hoses because I could already see stress marks on the hose. I did not want to risk a full-blown flood in my living room so I replaced them with proper hoses.

Pros
  • The water pump is strong enough for up to 150-gallon tanks
  • Has a built-in UV sterilizer
  • Comes with all the filter media you need
  • Strong but is extremely quiet
  • Prevents the growth of algae and bacteria
Cons
  • The plastic casing is not UV-resistant
  • The input and output hoses are not of the best quality

Although I did end up replacing the included hoses, I did like how this filter worked. This was quite efficient at keeping the water in my 75-gallon tank crystal clear. In addition, the biofiltration kept the water chemistry at just the right levels to keep the fish healthy and happy.

2. Super HW-304B 5-Stage External Canister Filters

super hw-304b 5-stage external canister filters

One impressive feature of this canister filter for a 75-gallon fish tank is that it features a UV sterilizer. I used to have a huge algae bloom problem that made the water in my tank take on a green hue. It even comes back just a couple of days after I did a complete water replacement.

Now, I no longer have a problem with algae. I just turn on the UV sterilizer every other day and my water remains clear far longer.

Do not be surprised by the sheer number of parts that came with the cartridge filter. This is surprisingly easy to assemble and get working. The well-illustrated instructions are easy to understand. I got my canister filter up and running in just thirty minutes, and that included the time I made coffee.

I have assembled enough canister filters, so it did not take me long to put this together. However, I have no doubt anyone would have any problem with this.

Just like with most cartridge filters, this one also provides 5-stage filtration. It provides mechanical filtration via the sponge filters, chemical filtration from the activated carbon, and biological filtration from the bio balls. In other words, it will cover all your filtration needs.

If you live in an area where power interruptions are quite common, you need to get this cartridge filter because this has a self-priming pump. What this means is that aside from the initial priming, you do not need to prime the pump to get it started.

This prevents the pump from running dry, which leads to overheating and serious damage. The pump in this cartridge filter will always have a bit of water that will help it get started after a power outage.

I do have a bit of an issue with this filter. Even though it has a built-in UV sterilizer, the plastic housing of the filter is not UV-resistant. Fortunately, the only adverse effect of the UV sterilizer is that the white plastic becomes a brownish color.

The dark colors also faded. It seemed kind of obvious that you should use UV-resistant plastic when you are using a UV lamp.

Pros
  • Comes with a built-in UV sterilizer
  • Easy to set up and operate
  • Provides 5 stages of filtration
  • Has a self-priming pump that protects the pump from running dry
  • Capable of a 525 gph flow rate
Cons
  • The plastic housing is not UV-resistant
  • The pump is a bit noisy

This might be far from being the perfect canister filter but it works better than I expected it would. The water pump is a bit noisy but it is not at all that distracting. It is more like a monotonous hum. Aside from these minor inconveniences, I am completely happy with how this filter works.

3. Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filters

polar aurora 4-stage external canister filters

If you are constantly battling against algae bloom, you will like the UV light included in the filter. UV light kills any harmful microorganisms in the water, including algae spores.

This means that even if you put your tank in a location that gets a substantial amount of sunlight daily, there won’t be any algae growing in your tank anymore. The UV light also kills harmful bacteria and parasites, thereby keeping your fish healthy.

Another nice feature of this canister filter is that it has an adjustable spray bar attachment. I am using this canister filter in a 75-gallon tank, and this is rated for up to 200-gallon tanks, so the water pressure can be a bit too strong for my fish.

The spray bar is great because it gently recirculates the water in the tank. It also breaks up the surface tension so there is no film developing on the water.

What is so surprising about this canister filter is that even though the water pump is quite strong, it is quiet when it works. I have my aquarium set up in my living room. Aside from the gentle trickling of the water, there is almost no other indication that it is working.

This canister filter comes with 4-stage filtration. The water would first pass through a couple of layers of sponge filters to get the larger particles out of the water. The water would then go through three media baskets for chemical and biological filtration.

The cartridge filter already comes with free filter media so you can use it immediately. However, you can replace them with filter media from other brands if you like.

I have a bit of a problem with this cartridge filter, though – that is it is a bit taller than most of the other products that I have used. This cartridge filter was a bit too tall for the cabinet I am using. The hoses were a bit too stiff that they got crimped.

Pros
  • Comes with a 9-watt UV sterilizing lamp
  • Includes an adjustable spray bar to control the output
  • Provides 4-stage filtration
  • The water pump is capable of a 525 gph flow rate
  • Extremely quiet operation
Cons
  • The canister filter is quite tall, which might cause the hoses to crimp when placed in a typical cabinet
  • The clamps that should hold the hoses in place are somewhat flimsy

Although this canister filter has a couple of issues, it still provides a reliable service. However, you should ensure that you measure the available space in the cabinet where you are thinking of placing this. Make sure that the hoses are not crimped to prevent leaks and damage to the hoses.

4. Fluval High Performance Aquarium Filters

fluval high performance aquarium filters

This cartridge filter might be a bit too excessive if you only have a 75-gallon tank. It is for tanks up to 250 gallons in capacity. This filter has a water pump that is capable of flow rates up to 700 gallons per hour, so it might not be the best canister filter for a 75-gallon cichlid tank.

However, this cartridge filter does have a feature that you do not see often in other brands. It has a smart chip that monitors the flow rate and would automatically adjust it for more efficiency.

This means it would throttle the flow rate when you use this in a smaller tank, so this will not cause too much harm to your fish.

Just looking at this cartridge filter, you can tell that this is highly durable. The plastic housing is thick and sturdy. If you hold it in your hand, you can feel how solid it is. I checked the gaskets and they are all thick and provide a good seal.

The included hoses are also quite robust. They are comparable to the hoses that I used as replacements for my other filters.

One neat feature of this water filter is that it has another outlet where you can attach another hose for water changes. I liked this feature a lot because it meant I no longer needed to haul buckets full of smelly water across my living room. Now, I just need to connect a hose to the filter and then place the other end in the kitchen sink.

I need to warn you that this cartridge water filter is extremely expensive. In addition, this filter’s flow rate is overkill for a 75-gallon tank. You can buy an already good cartridge filter for your size tank for a fraction of the price of this item. Also, even with the smart chip controlling the flow rate, it is still too strong for a 75-gallon tank.

Pros
  • Boasts of an incredibly high flow rate at 700 gph
  • Automatically monitors and optimizes pump performance
  • Self-starting – You do not have to prime the pump
  • Can hold up to a gallon of filter media
  • Has an outlet for attaching a hose when you need to change the water
Cons
  • Might be a bit overkill for a 75-gallon tank
  • Extremely expensive

If you have enough room in your budget, you might want to check this cartridge filter out. However, I must warn you that this will be a bit too excessive for a 75-gallon tank. Also, for the price, you can buy maybe three cartridge filters that are more suitable for your tank. If you choose to buy this, you will find that it is worth every dollar.

5. Flexzion 3-Stage Canister Aquarium Filters

flexzion 3-stage canister aquarium filters

If you live in an area where power interruptions are not rare, you need this cartridge filter in your life. Unlike other filter water pumps that require you to prime every time you turn them off, this is not an issue with this item.

As long as there is water inside the filter when the power goes out, the water pump will be able to prime itself to work again. This means you no longer need to worry about wrecking your water pump because you let it run dry.

Unlike the other, bigger, cartridge filters mentioned in this list, this one only has 3-stage filtration. However, this is not that big of a deal. A 75-gallon tank does not produce nearly enough waste to require over 3 stages of filtration. In any case, you can still get all the recommended filtration, including mechanical, chemical, and biological.

A 75-gallon tank is not that big, so the cabinet that you are mounting it on might not have a lot of space to spare. The cabinet underneath my tank is not that big but this cartridge filter fits in there perfectly. There is more than enough space above the filter that prevents the input and output hoses from crimping.

As mentioned earlier, this cartridge filter can use all kinds of filter media. There are three media baskets that you can use for this purpose. You do not even need to use the same SunSun-branded filter media.

Aside from the regular filter media, I also use broken terracotta pots. The reason is that they are quite porous and I can get as much of them as I want for free.

I do have a couple of issues with this product but they are not so serious that I would consider replacing my cartridge filter. One issue is the included instruction that is not so easy to understand. It gets even more confusing when you do not have any prior experience in assembling cartridge filters.

Pros
  • Has a self-priming pump
  • Comes with 3-stage filtration
  • Compact, but strong enough for a 75-gallon
  • Can use different kinds of filter media
  • Easy to set up and operate
Cons
  • The instructions that came with the unit are hard to understand
  • The included spray bar and intake pipe are quite fragile

This is the perfect size for a 75-gallon tank. Although this cartridge filter does not have quite as many features as the other tanks featured in this list, it does not disappoint. The water pump is just strong enough for a 75-gallon tank. It is not too strong and not too weak.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Canister Filters for 75 Gallon

canister filter for 75 gallon planted tank

There are so many cartridge filters in the market nowadays, making it quite difficult to pick out just one. Hopefully, the following factors would be able to help you pick out the right cartridge filter for your 75-gallon tank.

Flow Rate

The rule of thumb when shopping for a cartridge filter is that the flow rate should be at least 6 times the volume of the tank. In other words, for a 75-gallon tank, the flow rate that you should look for is around 450 gph (gallons per hour). Anything that has a flow rate equal to or more than this should be fine.

The Number of Filtration Stages

Most cartridge filters have at least 3-stage filtration, meaning the water goes through three different filter media. For a 75-gallon tank, a canister filter for a 75-gallon planted tank with 3-stage filtration is enough.

However, if you can find a product that provides more then you should get that one instead.

Size of the Filter Baskets

This is not as talked about as much as it needs to be, but you also have to consider the size of the included filter baskets. Having deep filter media baskets means you can use all sorts of media in them, like bio balls, ceramic rings, or if you are like me, broken terra cotta pottery.

Ease of Assembly and Use

If this is the first time you are using a cartridge filter, you should get one that is easy to put together. Oftentimes, though, the cartridge filter comes with most of the parts already assembled.

Typically, you will only need to assemble the plumbing that goes from the filter and into the tank.

Another thing that you need to consider is the ease of maintenance. Can you access the filter baskets easily? Can you clean the filters easily? These are legit questions that you need to ask yourself when choosing between filter models.

Durability

The cartridge filter will be running continuously and it will only be off when you are doing maintenance, so it needs to be quite durable. The water pump should be durable and not conk out on you after just a couple of months.

The reason is that apart from making the water in the tank dirty, it may also kill your fish because the water is not aerated anymore.

Additional Features

Now that most of the basics have been covered, focus on the additional features that come with the filter. One feature to look out for is a UV-sterilizing lamp. This is essential if you are constantly struggling with an algae bloom. It will also help kill bad bacteria that can make your fish sick.

What size Canister do I need for a 75-Gallon Tank?

You should not focus on the size of the cartridge filter but more on the flow rate that it can produce. The water in your aquarium needs constant and proper circulation to keep it clean and aerated. For a 75-gallon tank, the cartridge filter should be able to move the water at a rate of 250 gallons per hour at the minimum.

Conclusion

The best canister filter for 75-gallon aquariums may seem tricky to find but when you know what you need to look for, it becomes quite easy. In addition, most cartridge filters work pretty much as efficiently as each other, so focus more on durability and overall designs.

You will find that a good quality cartridge filter works many times better than your usual HOB filter. This means water changes need not be that frequent anymore. This will give you more time to enjoy your hobby.

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