Fluval vs Marineland | Why everyone swears by the Marineland Canister filter
Cheap knock-off filters (< $30) may get the job done but they’re super unreliable. Today they’re working well and pumping fresh water to your fish and they next day the just won’t pump. They’ll spend the whole day humming, with their noisy propellers rattling barely removing decaying matter and floating decaying debris. Without a filter removing fish excrete as they move, or dangerous chemicals from the water, I doubt if your fish will make it past the 4th day mark. Do you want this? These two best-selling canister filters on Amazon have glowing reviews but which one should you go for. In this fluval vs marineland, we’ll compare their similarities while highlighting what they have in common and at the end of the day you’ll see why getting (the cheaper) Marinelenad filter is the right choice.
Fluval vs Marineland: Is the fluval canister filter any good ?
Judging from the 200+ glowing positive reviews on Amazon (nelson link to fluval), everyone compliments this canister filter for its high pumping power. But this comes with an extra power consumption as it draws 16 watts while in operation. Size isn’t usually a big deal breaker when getting a filtration unit as they’re usually installed at the back of the aquarium next to the wall and out of sight. Everyone’s favourite model, the fluval 306, comfortable handles large tanks – unto 70 gallons comfortably. The beauty in getting a larger filter is that they come with three distinct baskets ensuring that no organic matter or chemicals go past it. The Fluval 406 is obviously superiors as it has 383GPH capacity – compared to the 306’s 303GPH but it would be an overkill for a hobbyist’s tank.
Like all other filters on their “06” product line, the Fluval 306 is fitted with a durable motor capable of sustaining continuous water flow. The company also claims that this unit has “patented aqua stop valves for easy hose disconnections” for hassle free installation on their product page but I believe this is more of a marketing gimmick.
What should you know before getting the Fluval ?
Canister filters are large and powerful. To be honest, they’re best suited for large (>30 gallons) and heavily stocked aquariums as they’re designed to provide high water flow while continuously filtering out organic matter. As a rule of thumb, large tanks need larger filters. Large filters ae generally pricier than small ones and they perform better and the Penn Plex is the only filter I’ve seen going against this rule. This <$70 filter certainly gives pricier models a run for their money.
The Fluval is an external filter and you want to be sure that there’s enough space (under the table or next to the tank) for this 9.5″ x 7″ x 14.4″ unit. All canister filters are marketed as “quiet and effective). But, you must understand that “quiet” is subjective. I’m yet to see a noiseless canister filter. Installing and maintaining a canister filter is a learnable skill and there’re are great tutorials on YouTube that show you how to get started.
The Fluval 306 is a great filter for large tanks. However, if you’re not yet ready to invest (time and money) into a filter, this Marineland filter is great alternative too.
Marineland filter review : Why I would go for it any day
This certainly isn’t the biggest, most efficient filtration unit you could get your hands on. But, it’s a steal considering that it’s the most efficient filter for medium and large sized aquariums. With the unit filtering 305 gallons every hour, it would have filtered al the water in a 50 gallon tank 7 times at the end of the hour! Isn’t this impressive? Most filters can compete with it here.
Of installation, this is a hang back filtration unit and they’re by far the easiest to install. Place it at the back (or near) your aquarium, secure it in place with the filters provided and that’s it! Hang on filters are my favourite as they don’t use up any aquarium space. Real estate in the tank is valuable and I wouldn’t imagine using any of it on a filter. I mean wouldn’t putting an aquatic plant in there be a better use of tank space? This isn’t a problem with the Marineland filter.
Of course, you’ll need an extra 5 or 6 inches of clearance at the back of the tank to install this unit but this is certainly better than fitting it in the tank.
It’s 3 filtration stages
There are three filtration techniques used by canister filters and this unit combines them all! There are three filtration cartridges used by this unit but sadly, there’s no indicator telling you when they need to be replaced. In the first filtration stage, the filter catches all physical debris – fish excreta, decaying foods, dead plants – and chemical toxins in the water. It’s bio wheel, that’s in the second filtration stage, hosts beneficial bacteria that breaks down nitrates and nitrites in the water. It’s well known that high nitrate levels kill aquarium fish. The bio wheel is its loudest component, especially when its turning.
The third and final filtration stage takes place in the adjustable strainer. This component removes all the larger particles (>30 micron) before they get to the filtration media. Large particles clog up fine filtration media and you’ll end up replacing the filters more times.
The small waterfall on each side of the filter ensure that it’s in contact with air for longer. This plays a big part in aeration. Fish need oxygen too and more dissolved oxygen is required with increase in fish population. The waterfalls are noisy too. To some, this is gurgling, white noise is relaxing. Others can’t withstand it. The waterfalls are great at aerating water but if their noise will drive crazy, consider getting the smaller Marineland Magniflow.