Fluval FX6 Canister Filter Review

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Professional, amateur, or enthusiast aquarist, you want the best of the best when it comes to filters to keep your fishy friends healthy and happy.

Shopping around for the best canister filter can be hard, and we’re making is a bit easier by covering one of Fluval’s top dogs.

The Fluval FX6 Canister Filter is a well-rounded machine, suitable for salt and freshwater tanks, and is particularly handy for turtle tanks too.

fluval fx6 review

The drawback is, though, that despite a relatively easy set-up, there can be issues with sand or fine gravel getting trapped in the impeller or motor.

So what’s great and what’s sub-par? We break it down for you here.

Fluval FX6 Canister Filter: The Details


  • Weight: 24.4 pounds (shipping), 19.9 pounds (product)
  • Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 20 inches
  • Filter Capacity: for aquariums up to 400 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 925 gallons per hour
  • Media Stages: Multi-stage.
  • Self-Priming or Standard: Self-Priming
  • Warranty: 3 year


Purge Valve

When moving, maintaining, or cleaning, having a purge valve at the base of the canister is a handy tool.

This allows you to drain the canister easily without the strenuous task of lugging buckets of water across the room.

A good feature for those who struggle lifting heavy weights or those who have carpeted floors.

Multi-Directional Output Nozzle

A flared spout allows water to be distributed into all corners of the aquarium.

This keeps water circulating and prevents waste from coagulating.

The twin-output is also adjustable!

Rubberized Feet

Precision engineering and clever design like its rubber feet allows this filter to operate quietly.

No one likes a noisy filter humming away while you’re trying to watch TV or sleep.

This is a good feature for those who are sensitive to noise, or just want to live a little more peacefully.

Powerful Performance

While compact in size, this canister can process 564 gallons of water per hour and has multiple media baskets that can hold up to 1.5 gallons of media.

The Fluval FX6 is a powerful machine, no doubt.

Self Starting for Easy Set-Up

This filter makes it easy to get up and running by literally just adding water.

Self-priming and easy to prepare, this filter is good for beginner and expert aquarists.

We will go into more detail below, but it is pretty much ‘plug in and go’.

Clog-Proof Intake

Paired with the intake strainer, it’s a smart design.

A wide, rounded mouth and a beveled fine screen prevents blockages from forming, stopping potential clogs in their tracks.

This is an important factor when choosing a filter, as many of you will agree, since a decent clog can cause all sorts of trouble.


An electronic circuit board constantly monitors your whole system, including pump power, impeller speed, ensuring optimal energy use and output.

Plus, if the impeller is impeded, the motor will turn itself off – a good safety feature for those who don’t work at home, or have children or other pets that won’t pay attention to a tank.

Maintenance Reminders

Included alongside various other features are the monthly indicator dials, which allow you to monitor filter maintenance and water changes.

This is a good feature for those who lead busy lives or those of us who are just really forgetful.

AquaStop Valves

Maintenance is easy with the addition of these valves for intake and output; one twist and the water flow is halted.

This allows for easy cleaning as well!

Uses Less Energy

For such a powerful filter, you would think it would take a lot of power to keep it running.

In reality, this filter performs with 10% less energy consumption than models prior. So you’re actually saving on your electricity by making your tank clean.

Definite bonus.

Extended Warranty

The Fluval FX6 comes with a 3 year limited warranty so you don’t have to worry so much.

While most filters usually only allow for short warranty periods of a month or two, Fluval blows them out of the water with years of coverage.

The warranty covers defects in materials or crafting and as long as you are careful about not damaging the product yourself, Fluval will cover it.

Fluval FX6 Canister Filter Review

The Positives

best canister filter


Few things can be more irritating than a noisy filter.

If you’ve got more than one tank, and therefore more than one filter, having a quiet filter is not just a nice idea, but a requirement.

So a huge tick in the positives column is how quiet the Fluval FX6 is for its size.

If it’s tucked away in a cabinet, it’s practically silent.

Easy Set-Up

It can be a little nerve-wracking setting up a filter like this if you are new to external filters or keeping larger aquariums.

The Fluval FX6 is a great gateway into both categories, with an easy set-up and a self-priming instant-start system.

Basically, you set up your hoses, plug in the power, and you are good to go.

Easy Cleaning

If filter cleaning usually makes you cringe and procrastinate, the Fluval FX6 will be your saving grace.

Thanks to the purge valve feature, you can skip the grunting and lugging when draining, and Fluval’s easy to use design makes it a breeze to clean.

The media baskets are nice and big, and the uncomplicated canister makes for a quicker tidy.

Here’s a video showing a cleaning of the Fluval FX6.

One Stop Box

In addition to a super quick and easy set-up, the Fluval FX6 comes with all the required media (mechanical, chemical, and biological) as well as everything else you’ll need to get the filter running right out of the box.

This eliminates the need to scrummage your shop for media or hoses, and cuts the cost on buying those extra additions.

Just one less thing you have to worry about with the FX6 canister filter.


Plain and simple, this filter is a beast.

Designed to churn through high levels of water per hour using smart pump technology, this filter can strip out contaminants and detritus with precision.

For tanks with large populations, larger fish, or turtles, the Fluval FX6 is a good choice as it is can handle the high levels of waste they produce.

Flow Rate and Output Nozzles

Remember when we said this thing was powerful? Well it continues to show with its strong flow.

This Fluval filter starts with a powerful flow rate from the start, making for a clean and clear tank or aquarium in just a matter of hours.

Given the rate at which this filter can pump out clean water, being able to adjust the flow and nozzles is a definite bonus.


Bigger isn’t always better, and for all that it can do, this filter is smaller than you think.

While still the largest in the Fluval range, the FX6 is compact and designed to fit underneath most large aquariums at 21 inches in height.

Perfect for making use of the space under your tank, or for tucking it away if it doesn’t suit your decor.

Media Baskets

As we’ve mentioned, you can customize what media you use to suit what your aquariums needs.

Fluval provide a range of media, and the baskets in the canister can hold up to 5.9 litres of media and can be stacked in whatever order you require or please.

To avoid leaks and water bypass, they have also designed the internals precisely to make the whole system more efficient. This is a big plus!

fluval fx6 review


Saltwater or freshwater, fish, eels, turtles, or axolotls, Fluval FX6 has got you covered.

This filter can handle a range of needs, which is great for people who cycle through different types of aquariums and animals.


Forget the clumsy, flimsy, and unreliable cheap plastic that other canister filters are made of. The Fluval FX6 is built to last thanks to being made up of heavy duty materials.

This combined with the long term warranty can ensure a long lasting filter for years to come.

The Negatives


There are always a few lemons in every batch. Unfortunately, the same holds true for Fluval too. There have been issues with some filters breaking or leaking only hours into use, others a few months down the line.

In addition to this, problems with micro bubbles being produced are another strike in the negatives pool.While the Fluval FX6 is programmed to allow excess air to escape every 12 hours, constantly creating micro bubbles can lead to problems.

While the warranty is good for three years, paying for shipping returns, replacement parts, and just the general bother of handling it all might be a turn off for some.

Fine Particles

Despite the beveled screen over the intake spout, fine gravel and sand has been known to creep through and muck up the internal workings of the filter. This is restricted to the motor and impeller chamber.

In order to clean this grit out, you will have to pull the filter apart and strip the parts. This can be time-consuming and tricky to do.

Obviously, this con only applies to those aquariums with fine substrate – so keep that in mind!


Fluval is one of the top-of-the-line brands out there, but they aren’t the priciest.

However, if you take the above negatives into consideration, forking over hundreds of dollars (including shipping) can be a tad risky.

While we have put the price into the negatives section, it truly does come down to your own personal preferences and finances.

Murky Water

Filters are supposed to clean water. But there have been times when the Fluval FX6 has definitely not done its job.

While this usually comes down to improper media or faulty mechanics, cloudy water is a big no-no in the world of healthy aquariums.

The fact the Fluval FX6 may be capable of doing this, can be worrying.

Overall Verdict

Our Fluval FX6 Canister review has covered the good and the bad aspects of this external canister filter.

While there are more good than bad factors, the cons should be considered before purchasing. A hefty price is a hard thing to take when the potential for a lemon is very present.

But, a three-year warranty tips the odds in Fluval’s favor, as the versatility, quietness, and robustness of the Fluval FX6 Filter’s design make it a potentially great investment.

Where to Buy the Fluval FX6 Canister Filter

Fluval is a well-known brand readily available on the market. Thanks to the power of the FX6 Canister Filter, the popularity level is no different. This filter can be found easily in-store or online.

To start, check out the following online retailers:

And of course, it’s also available for purchase on Amazon.

fluval canister filter

That’s it for our review on the Fluval FX6 Canister Filter. Have we tempted you to give it a try?

Staff Writer

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