Fluval External Fish Tank Filter Review

Review of the Fluval External Canister Fish Tank Filter

Easy To Maintain
4.2 stars
Noise Level
4.1 stars
Suction Power
4.3 stars
Aqua stop valve and lift lock clamps make maintenance easy.The sound dampening feature reduces noise and vibrationsComes with an advanced motor technology
  • High quality plastic build
  • User friendly design
  • 3 year warranty
  • Amazing flow rate
  • Clog proof intake
  • Quiet operations
  • Effective priming technique
  • Lacks a spray bar
  • After a few months there were impeller issues

Summary of the Fluval 406 external filter:

Fluval external filter is an efficient external canister filter that features a unique design. The canister filter doesn’t require regular maintenance, and it works faster and better than other filters in its category. Filtration is easy and smooth, thanks to its extra features.

It also features multiple filtration baskets which are removable for the best biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration. The overall construction of this unit is made of high-quality plastic. It makes the filter a portable and flexible fit in an aquarium.

Fluval is a well-established brand in the world of fish tank filters. Fluval manufactures some of the best filters to fit all sorts of aquariums. The Fluval 406 external filter is among the best filters from the Fluval brand. It comes with some unique features that the previous models lack.

┬áThis external canister filter comes with a simple design, and it’s easy to set up. It is ideal for aquariums of up to 100 gallons. There are a lot more features and benefits that come with this model, and below, we shall look at them in detail.

Who is this product for?

The filter is ideal for small Aquariums of up to 100 gallons. Aquariums with a capacity of 40 gallons are also ideal for this unit. Are you in need of several types of filtration media? If you are, then this filter will work for you. The filter delivers quiet operation, and it gives you peace of mind as it operates.

In case you have been looking for a proper filter with a great flow rate, then this filter was specially made for you. A hydraulic motor will increase the filtration rate while decreasing the maintenance the unit will require. Beginners with little understanding of filters will find this model easy to set up and use.

What is included in the package?

Knowing what comes with a filter you buy is very important. This is because you need to know if you will have to buy some additional items. Fluval 406 external canister filter comes with several accessories for smooth operations. These include the following.

  • BioForm Max
  • 70-gram carbon
  • Intake strainer
  • Intake stem with intake strainer
  • Intake tube
  • Ribbed hosing
  • Pre-filter basket
  • Rim connectors
  • Biofoam +
  • Bioform
  • Aqua stop valve
  • Quick clear
  • Instructional manual
  • Media basket
  • Media basket handle
  • Output nozzle
  • Media basket cover
  • Suction cup (30 mm)
  • 2 rubber hose connectors

Overview of Features

There are quite a number of things that set this external tank filter aside from other models on the market. Some of the best aspects of this unit include the following:

Flow Rate and Capacity

The Fluval external filter comes with a flow rate of up to 383 US GPH (1450LPH), meaning the water will be crystal clear throughout. The bottom-top filtration process works in a way that the water goes through the inlet into the filtration media and then goes out through the other side of the filter. The hydraulic motor helps to improve the flow rate by increasing the rate of filtration and decreasing maintenance.

When it comes to the capacity of this external filter, it can work in aquariums of up to 100 gallons. You can also install it in aquariums from 40 gallons and not below that.

Noise Level

The sound dampening feature will reduce the sound from this filter. The sound it produces is 15% less quiet than that of its competitors. This will give you a quiet working environment, and in most cases, you will not know that the filter is functioning.

Filtration Media

Water in any aquarium passes through the filtration Media to be cleaned. The Fluval 406 external canister filter comes with a square design that is ideal for better water filtration. The filtration Media on this unit comes with three Media baskets as well as a coarse sponge. These make the filtration process on this filter one of the best. The water will be crystal clear, and it will be ideal for some turtles, goldfish, and cichlids.

User-Friendly Design

The design of the Fluval external canister is simple and easy to use by anyone. The setup process alone is straightforward, and the installation will only take a few minutes. The fact that this filter comes with a user manual makes it even easier to operate and set up. Also, the square shape of the canister allows it to hold 35 to 50% more water than the round canister filter will hold.


When purchasing an external canister filter, you must look at the overall build material of the unit. The general construction material will determine whether the filter will sell you for years or not. The Fluval 406 external canister filter comes with a high-quality plastic material build. The outside, as well as the inside, are strong enough to last more years of service.

Aqua Stop Valve

The Aqua stop valve will allow you to clean the filter without having to disconnect the hoses. This can eliminate leaks and creating a mess. All you have to do is to turn the valve lever to stop the water flow. Then when you’re done with maintenance, you turn back the valve so that water can flow again.

Clog Proof Intake

This Fluval filter features a clog proof intake, which improves water flow. The debris or any other particles are held from entering the filter by a strainer on this feature. You don’t have to worry about the filter getting any clogs.

Fluval External Fish Tank Filter Alternatives

If you find that this model is not sufficient for you, you can consider these alternatives:

  1. Fluval C Power Filter
  2. MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter


The Fluval 406 external canister is one to invest in if you have a small size aquarium. It has unique features that some filter models lack. The filter will take the filtration process to another level when it’s quiet operations. This filter works well to ensure that you have healthy fish and clean water in the aquarium.

Leave a Comment