Selecting and using the best 55 gallon aquarium filter for your fish tank is one of the necessary steps you have to take to keep the water clean and cut down maintenance work so the tank can last for many years.
Of all aquarium filter types, power and canister filters are much more powerful and efficient than other types. This makes them a great choice for large sized aquariums like 50-60 gallon tanks.
Best 55 Gallon Aquarium Filter
Before we pick the best 55 gallon fish tank filter, it is important we get familiarized with certain terms and answer specific questions you might have in your mind.
How Does A Canister Filter Works?
A canister filter is a form of external aquarium filtration system. It can be housed in an aquarium cabinet where it won’t interfere with the appearance of the tank.
These filters are powered by an impeller which draws aquarium water via a tube, passing it through many levels of filter media packed in lots of chambers inside a canister, after which it then releases it back into the tank through another tube.
This ensures the canister filters well the aquarium water. It uses three types of filtration – chemical, mechanical, and biological.
Mechanical filtration is the most basic type and it is done by the physical removal of solid waste particles from the tank water. This is mainly carried out using a sponge or some other type of material that traps the solid waste particles as tank water moves through the filter.
Chemical filtration on the other hand, is the eradication of dissolved matter and heavy metals from aquarium eater and it is often accomplished using activated carbon filter media.
Biological filtration is to degrade Ammonia (NH3) and Nitrite (NO2) in aquarium water that can in any way cause harmful for your fish and invertebrates.
Now, canister filters are generally much more powerful than other filters because they can entertain more filter media and hence, execute all these filtration processes best. But, canister filters cost more than other filter types used for the same tank sizes and usually chosen for medium to large aquariums upward of 30 gallons.
They are the most common choice for 55-60 gallon fish tanks stocking many freshwater or saltwater fish that requires a good filtration system to do well.
Fluval 306 external canister filter for aquariums up to 70 gallons
This is the first filter for 55 gallon tank you need to try. It has the following specs:
- Flow rate (gallon per hour): 303 GPH
- Ideal for: a 50-70 gallon aquarium
- Number of baskets: 3 baskets
- Media Capacity: 6.6 l
- Suitable for: fresh or saltwater aquariums
- Filtration types: all 3 forms of filtration
- Filter media: 4 foam pads (mechanical), 2 x Bio-Foam (mechanical & biological), 2 x 120 g BioMax (biological), 2 x 70 g carbon (chemical)
- 3 year warranty.
Fluval 306 canister filter is an external aquarium filter in the Fluval 06 series from Hagen Fluval. The filter comes with a flow rate of 303 GPH and can be used for fish tanks up to 70 gallons.
It is created with a multi-stage filtration to purify aquarium water and offer healthier environment for both saltwater or freshwater aquariums.
Since it is relatively new in the world of Fluval 06 series, the Fluval 306 receives all of the most advanced features from this product line such as the most effective filtration, faster and easier to setup, quick and less maintenance, quitter operation etc.
The new and improved Fluval 306 canister filter helps fish keepers like you to perform less work but still provide a healthier and cleaner environment for your fish to live in.
The filter has a square shape and it can hold 35 to 50% more water than round ones. Water flow is noticeably increased and the filtration is boosted as a result of the ability of this filter to use the complete canister space.
The sound dampening impeller is made to operate quietly. All you need to set up the filter comes with the product package, even the filter media that are already pre-packed in the 3 baskets for easy setup and access.
There are lots of instructional videos available on this filter type on Youtube.com if you don’t want to read the boring manuals.
Eheim Classic 250 External Canister Filter
Some features of this top 55 gallon aquarium filter include:
Simple to set up in a matter of minutes, though sometimes instructions can be difficult
The flow is perfect in a 2 ft tank. It is powerful too
It’s prices are affordable
Eheim classic 250 filter clears and moves water efficiently
Its brand is trusted and reputable
Accessories and hoses can be a pain the butt
The basic version does not come with double connector caps
Lack of automatic priming
Valves can go missing
The flow might prove to be too strong for some tanks
It comes with an European plug
Based on personal experience, the Eheim classic 250 is made and known for its outstanding quality and economical pricing.
Like all best canister filters, Eheim classic 250 is like all models that are tried and tested to very hogh standards. This filter is made with first with first class components and standard with amazing characteristics that guarantees excellent performance.
The Eheim classic 250 is a very quiet filter, and is durable, strong and long lasting, it also uses low energy. There are 5 aquarium models, ranging from small and compact filters to filters that are extra-large.
A small filter from 50 liters with the extra-large filter will go up to 1500 with various pieces of equipment.
- Produced from components that are a high standard.
- Can be operated with either fine or coarse filter pads. There are media sets for each model.
- Filter that comes with superb long service life and its durable and robust technology runs with low energy consumption.
Flexzion Hw-302 Canister Filter
Flexzion HW-302 Canister Filters are one of the best 55 gallon aquarium filter out there. It comes with amazing filtration that is idea, especially for larger or even heavily stocked aquariums.
The specs of this 55 gallon fish tank filter include:
It operates at an extremely quiet range
It is affordable and cheap
It has a flexible spray bar
It lacks filtration media
At first, hoses can prove to be very stiff
Some of the instructions in the manual can prove to be hard
They are recommended for use with saltwater or freshwater aquariums. These filters efficiently increase the filtering volume by taking the advantage of their very large filter bodies.
Commonly, a lot of fish enthusiasts who only used chemical, biological, and mechanical filtration in very large aquariums that are used for housing their fish.
- It has a flexible spray bar
- It has a self-priming pump
- The dimensions include 9” L x 9” W x 15.5” H.
- It has 3 trays of media. This can aid you in the selection of your favorable media filtration.
Penn Plax Cascade 700 canister filter for aquarium up to 65 gallons
- Flow rate (gallon per hour): 185 GPH
- Rated for: tanks up to 65 gallons
- Suitable for: Saltwater or marine aquariums.
- Filtration types: all three types of filtration
- Filter media: bio-sponges, activated carbon, bio-floss
Penn Plax Cascade 700 canister filter is another filter for 55 gallon tank topping the market right now. You want to know why?
Because it has a flow rate of 185 gph and is used for aquarium up to 65 gallons, and really does work well for either 50/55/60 gallon aquarium.
The large filter trays makes the filter possible for housing more filter media used as you want to perform a wide range of filtration to provide a cleaner and clearer water environments for your pet fish.
As expected, it is effective for both salt and fresh water fish.
It is really simple to set up and run the filter because all you need to connect the tank to the filter has been made available to you.
The filter is automatically primed, only press the prime button and the filtering process will begin in about 30 minutes after the installation is complete, and within only 24 hours the water improvement will be easily noticeable.
The air-tight seal assures proper flow rate while maintaining ultra-quiet operation.
The larger filter trays for the longer maintaining periods, the creative design makes it simple to assemble the top to easily access the inside filter media for quick maintenance.
Kindly release the vacuum and remove the top, and then you can easy to handle inside the filter.
Best Power filters for 50/55/60 gallon aquariums
This form of filter hangs on the back of your aquarium (this explains the name “Hang-On-Filter”) and it generally provides all 3 types of filtration chemical, biological, and mechanical filtration.
Power filters are powered by an impeller which sucks aquarium water up through an intake tube, passes it through the filter, and releases it back into the tank through an intake tube, passes it through the filter media, and releases it back into the tank via a waterfall.
AquaClear 70 power filter for 40 – 70 gallon aquarium
- Flow rate (gallon per hour): 300 GPH
- Rated for: 40 – 70 gallon aquarium
- Filtration types: All three forms of filtration
- Filter media: AquaClear Foam Cycle Guard, , Activated Carbon, and BioMax.
AquaClear 70 power filter is perhaps the most powerful power filter rated for aquairums and its quality has been confirmed by thousands of aquarists on the world.
The filter has a larger capacity compared to other 55 gallon aquarium filter in the same category that provides the maximum capture of waste in the aquarium.
To ensure easy installation, it comes with filter materials such as AquaClear Foam, Activated Carbon, BioMax and Cycle Guard that are needed for you to complete the installation.
Using the filtration grid, you know that all the water in the tank goes through the filter and is safe for your fish to consume.
Perhaps, what makes it my best filter on the market is its flexibility on customization wuth the larger capacity. You can select your own filter materials to work with the filter without having to use the cartridges come with the product.
People love to use this filter with only types of filter media (biological and mechanical) and they only add Activated Carbon (chemical media) when they see the aquarium water looks yellowish.
AquaClear 70 power filter is an awesome choice for 50-60 gallon aquariums. With its very affordable price, customization, and quality, the filter is recommended for the creative aquarists who want to customize their own filter materials.
If you don’t have an abundant budget to but a canister filter, this power filter maybe the best replacement.
Fluval C4 Power Filter for 40-70 gallon aquarium
- Flow rate (gallon per hour): 264 GPH
- Can be used for: 40 – 70 gallon aquarium
- Filtration types: all 3 forms of filtration
- Filter media: Poly/Foam, Activated Carbon, Bio-Screen Pad and C-Nodes.
Fluval C4 Power Filter is also a power filter made by Hagen Fluval. The filter is rated for aquariums from 40 to 70 gallons and certainly it can work perfectly for a 50/55/60 gallon fish tank. It isn’t a canister filter so it price is cheaper than the previous one Fluval 306 external filter. The filter well performs all 3 types of filtration through 5-stage filtering that provides the best environment for your fish.
5-stage filtration, image from Fluval Aquatic
- Stage 1 & 2: Mechanical is made by Foam/PolyPad,
- Stage 3: Chemical is manufactured by Activated Carbon Insert,
- Stage 4: Biological is produced by Bio-Screen,
- Stage 5: Biological is designed by C-Nodes.
This is a very quality product similar to the previous, so if you are a fan of Fluval filters, this filter is ideal for your fish tank.
Marineland Penguin 350 power filter for 50-70 gallon aquarium
- Flow rate (gallon per hour): 350 GPH
- Rated for: 50-70 gallon aquarium
- Filtration types: Chemical, mechanical, and biological
- Filter media: bio-wheels, Penguin-Rite C cartridge.
If you try a new method execute biological filtration without using ceramide rings, take your attention to the Marineland Penguin 350 power filter.
The bio-wheels instead of ceramide rings plays the primary biological filtration in this filtration system. The bio-wheels are loved by lots of hobbyists because they offer a rich aeration environment for helpful bacteria to live in.
When the filter matures, this translates that the amount of helpful bacteria is large enough, the nitrogenous toxins (nitrite and ammonia) produced by fish wastes will efficiently process to make the water safer for fish.
Aside the bio-wheels, the filter also comes with the Penguin-Rite C cartridge which is made of floss to mechanically remove debris and dirt, the between of it is filled with activated carbon to remove odors, impurities, and discoloration.
All of the filtration are performed that means aquarium water is not only clean for stocking your aquatic pets but also clear for the great enjoyment.
Now, you can effectively select the best filter for 55 gallon tank (for your freshwater or saltwater fish). You are also aware of what a canister and power filters are and how they function.
With so many options available, we recommend Marineland Magniflow 220 as the best canister 55 gallon aquarium filter for your pet (especially if you keep goldfish) as it comes with desirable features and excellent quality.
But, if you decide to choose another one that is okay as all five models are top-notch on today’s market (with Flexzion HW-302 being a little on lower quality but still an excellent price for what it gives).
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