Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter Review

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If you are in the market for a filter that will keep up with a large tank, the Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter may just be the product you’ve been seeking.

It comes with a 9-volt UV sterilizer to keep the algae at bay, is easy to set up, has a filter capacity of up to 200 gallons, and is fairly inexpensive.

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Unfortunately, not all users speak of such a great experience with this filter. Some have complained that the filter is not powerful enough, while others have had the filter leak water as it was running.

Nonetheless, before you decide whether this is the product for you, let’s take a more in-depth look into the Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter.

Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter: The Details

Specs

  • Weight: 17 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 11 x 17 x 11 inches.
  • Filter Capacity: 200 gallons.
  • Flow Rate: 525 GPH.
  • Media Stages: Four stages, including mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration.
  • Self-Priming or Standard: Self-priming.
  • Warranty: One-year warranty.

Features

Four Media Stages

The Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter comes with four different kinds of media, including biological, chemical, and mechanical filtration.

It even includes activated carbon, ceramic rings, a coarse filter sponge, and bio balls, so you don’t have to make a separate purchase.

These four different stages of media mean that the water goes through many phases of filtration and becomes as clean as possible for your fish.

9-Watt UV Sterilizer

The Polar Aurora filter also comes with a 9-watt UV sterilizer bulb. This will help eliminate algae spores, as well as any other bacteria that may build up in your tank.

Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter review

Along with the four media stages, the UV bulb ensures you have the cleanest water possible running through your aquarium. Your fish will greatly appreciate this.

The bulb will also provide a bit of lighting, so you can see what you’re doing when performing any maintenance on the filter.

Self-Priming Pump

This canister filter is also self-priming! You won’t have to siphon the water through the tubing yourself (no need to use the tube as a straw to try and get the water started!); the filter will do the work for you once it’s all set up.

It’s just a press of a button to prime the pump.

O-Ring

This may seem like a simple feature, but it’s important to help ensure your filter doesn’t leak. Polar Aurora includes an O-ring with the filter that goes around the circular opening, once you remove the top of the filter.

Once you return filter’s cap, you get a secure and leak-proof seal, which ensures even several months of use won’t have it dripping.

Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter Review

The Positives

Huge Capacity

A major highlight, which most users loved about this filter, is that it can work through such a huge amount of water. This is not the filter you use for your little goldfish tank.

The Polar Aurora can go through up to 200 gallons of water! Not to mention, the flow rate is 525 gallons per hour!

Your fish will never have to deal with dirty water again, and your cleaning routine will be seriously lessened. If you have a huge tank in your home or office, this is the filter you need.

Convenient

A number of testers liked the convenience of a self-priming pump. With the filter itself handling the dirty work of priming, you simply have to press a button and sit back as the process is carried out – hands-free!

Polar Aurora 4 Stage Canister Filter

No need to siphon the water through the tubing by sucking it personally (yuck!). You’ll no longer deal with that hassle, and if you are a new aquarium owner and this is your first filter, trust us – it’s an especially great feature!

Easy to Set Up

Having to make secondary purchases to get your aquarium running is a hassle – but luckily, this canister filter includes everything needed right in the box.

Additionally, it doesn’t take much effort or time to set up. All that’s necessary is to place the media inside the baskets, connect the tubing to the correct outlets, make sure the O-ring is in place to prevent leaks, attach the tubing to your tank, put the top on the filter, press the self-priming button, and you’re ready to go.

If you have trouble and the instructions aren’t helping you, there are also a number of YouTube videos that can guide you through the process.

Inexpensive

Despite how much it does and its capacity, the Polar Aurora filter is pretty inexpensive, priced at under $100 on Amazon.

That is far cheaper than most of the larger-capacity filters on the market, and it is a prime reason why many users have invested. With all these features and a low price, this filter seems almost too good to be true.

Included with your purchase is a one-year warranty protecting users against any damages they encounter from the manufacturing process.

If any faults were to be found, the company will then be in charge of making sure your filter is repaired or replaced.

This is great for those on a budget since you won’t be required to spend a lot of money to get a great filter, saving up your cash for other accessories for your pet and your tank.

Reduces Algae Problems

The UV light is a main selling point for this filter, and those who made their purchase exclusively for it were not disappointed.

It helps with algae problems, and/or any other bacteria problems you may have in your tank, all by shining an unobtrusive light into your aquarium.

You don’t have to worry about algae spores taking over your tank or mucking up your water; the light takes care of it for you.

This is an incredible feature that only requires a bulb change once a year – or even less frequently.

Great for Beginners

Given the ease of use and setup with this filter, as well as the price, it would be hard not to recommend this filter to beginner hobbyists.

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It can be daunting to have to spend a ton of money on aquarium necessities before you even give your pets their new home. The Polar Aurora Canister Filter makes it easy by keeping this filter affordable.

And once you’ve bought it, it won’t be a hassle to put together thanks to features like self-priming and swivelling input/output joints.

Since it comes with all the filtration you need, you won’t have to scurry around your local supply shop trying to find the right media.

Cheap, Available Parts

Some users were very happy about how easily accessible spare parts were for this filter. There is a full parts kit available for purchase and it’s quite inexpensive as well!

While this isn’t super necessary given the warranty, it’s nice to have on hand if you need to tackle any quick fixes and is especially great to have after your warranty expires.

Quiet

Your aquarium should make you feel at peace as you watch your swimming friends and pretty decorations – but that’s not always the case, especially if you have a noisy tank.

Fortunately, the Polar Aurora 4-Stage Filter won’t be contributing to this annoyance since a large number of users have found this to be super quiet.

This opens up a wider number of options when it comes to where you’ll place your tank. If you want your fish in a quiet space like a relaxing living room or your bedroom, then you won’t have to worry about it making too much noise.

Those with sensitive ears will appreciate not hearing the whirring and gurgling of their filter as they go about their day.

The Negatives

Leaking Issues

While leaks weren’t an issue for most users, there were some who experienced their filter leaking.

Most buyers noted that the seal, which is supposed to keep the water out of the UV light electrical area, is where the water leaked in.

No leak is a good one, but for water to get near the lighting is very dangerous – and definitely something you want to watch out for. It could be a deal breaker, as water and electricity are never a good mix.

Not Powerful Enough

While it offers a range of abilities, some testers complained that the Polar Aurora was simply not powerful enough. It doesn’t have the guts to really do as good a job as advertised, and quite a few users were underwhelmed.

If you’re really looking for a potent filter for your big aquarium (and you probably are), this may not be the filter you should choose.

There are other models on the market that may be a bit more expensive but that will give you the power you need if you require it.

Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter review

Overall Verdict

After going over all the positives and negatives, we are recommending the Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter.

With its four different media stages, its huge capacity and ability to work through 525 gallons per hour, its low price, and how easy it is to set up, this does seem like a pretty great filter.

However, a word of caution remains. Some users have found that it was not powerful enough and that it leaked into the electrical portion of the filter.

Nonetheless, you may not experience this issue, and you can always return it if a problem arises. In any case, it’s cost-effective, high quality, and only offers rare manufacturing defects.

Where to Buy the Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter

There’s a wide variety of products in varying niches offered by Polar Aurora. While they mainly offer their products through Amazon, their items are affordable and accessible, raising their popularity.

Their customers have commented on the satisfaction they’ve received from this company, which only helps to spotlight them further.

While their company has received some success, their lack of an online presence makes products like the Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter harder to find in-store and online.

While you’d usually check pet, fish, or specialty stores, you can kick-start your search with the following online retailer.

And of course, you can also find this canister filter on Amazon.

4 stage canister filter


That’s all for our Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter review. Tempted to give it a go?

Staff Writer
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