Fluval 406 Canister Filter Buying Guide And Review

Last Updated on

Venturing into the world of aquariums, fish, and plants can be hard work and pretty much time consuming for most people, even those who already have experience. The same has happened yet again to us as well, bought a brand new large aquarium but didn’t know how to properly maintain it.

Over time, ammonia started growing, other toxins started spreading as well at a similar speed and everything started getting worse and worse. But now it is time to change that, we can’t simply let everything die. The toxic elements could grow so fast in size and concentration that nothing would be left alive in our aquarium.

The thing that was lacking in the aquarium should have been obvious from the very start; the filter simply wasn’t good enough for our 100-gallon aquarium. But which one should we get? Which type is the perfect one? Could the Fluval 406 do the job properly? Let’s dig deeper and find out!

Things To Consider Before Buying A Filter

An aquarium filter is exactly what every aquarium owner needs, but depending on the size of it, you may need a higher quality filter. Simply put, sometimes a budget tier filter won’t do the job as it will not be able to keep up with the amount of water.

And if this happens, the water won’t get filtered out enough and it will end up with a lot of toxic elements like ammonia and nitrite hanging around. Even something as basic as fish food leftovers could cause damage to your aquarium!

So, in order to fix all of that, we need a filter. But which one exactly? Filter come in many types with each one serving a different purpose, some may be good for you while others won’t fit your requirements.

Some of them are called sponge filters, some power filters while others are called canister filters, but which one out of these three fit you the best? Let’s get a quick summary of them:

  • Power filters-Great performance at all filtration stages, they hang over the back or sides of the aquarium and they work with a syphon tube.
  • Canister filters-Good for people who want a filter that works for large aquariums, has the biggest main body out of all filter categories. Popular among enthusiasts and novices alike.
  • Sponge filters-Basic filter type which works in the most simplistic way possible, great for people who don’t have a large aquarium or don’t require the features offered in other types. When it comes to money, this one is the best budget friendly option possible.

But for all filters in general, you need to consider the following aspects:

Size Of Your Aquarium

Filters can’t work on all aquarium sizes as they all have a different motor. This motor might not be strong enough to clean the water fast enough in the time needed.

Water Flow

Again, different filters have different motors that can provide a certain range of gallons of water filtered per hour, usually marked as GPH. This is closely related with the size of your aquarium; the bigger it is the better the motor should be.


If you want to have a large aquarium, a good enough filter for it and still spend a low amount of electricity, we are afraid that you can’t achieve that. Most filters have alright power consumption rate but you should still plan ahead when buying.

Fluval 406 Product Summary

The Fluval 406 is a canister type filter which promises support of aquariums up to 100 gallons with better performance and power consumption compared to previous generations. Besides that, it offers a multi-stage filtering system which could possibly help you in the long run when it comes to the filtering process.

The company also claims that with its unique design, you can get from 35 to 50% more water compared to other canister filters of similar shape and size. Compared to its younger brother, the Fluval 306, it offers far better performance in all aspects, flow rate, media capacity, and consumption.

For people who have large or medium size aquariums up to 100 gallons, and who like to customize their filtering media, this could be a great product for them. But on the other hand, people who don’t need this much power should look for something smaller.


  • It is very quiet for its size.
  • Some user-friendly features can help both experienced and inexperienced people.
  • Great improvement over previous generations.
  • Strong and durable build quality.


  • Some parts such as the impeller may break easily over time due to usage.
  • Some people reported leaking happening after only months.
  • The size of it might throw some people off.

Features & Benefits

Although the features didn’t advance far when it comes to the previous model, they are still worth mentioning and explaining. It may even not be such a downside considering that you shouldn’t fix something that isn’t broken.

Multi Stage Filtration System

A great thing about this entire system is that the independence that it creates between all the media can be used to heavily customize this filter. Simply put, you can change every filter according to your own needs.

This can greatly improve the efficiency and performance of the filter itself, as different filtering stages won’t be damaged or affected by the other two. Simply pull out the filter media modules, add something different to each one and you’re set to go.

Quiet While Operating

For a filter that supports aquariums up to sizes of 100 gallons, you might be expecting something big, robust and noisy, but that isn’t really the case here. Even with a motor which is bigger and better than previous models, it still retains its quietness.

Perhaps it will get noisy when you first set it up, but people who even had this problem in the first place, had it solved within days.

User Friendly Features

The same parts and features are exactly the same as the ones shown in The Fluval 306 or 206, but let’s still mention and explain them.

  • Lift-lock clamps: These clamps are great for ensuring far better stability for the entire filter by allowing the motor housing to be locked into place.
  • AquaStop valve: If you ever end up in a situation where you personally have to clean the aquarium, you will find this feature very handy. Why? Because it can stop all the water from flowing so that you don’t get any possible leaks.
  • Instant prime: This feature is specially aimed towards beginners who may have a hard time setting up a filter. With this feature, you can set the filter up almost instantly since there is no need to use a syphon.

Improved Characteristics Over Older Models

We just have to mention this part over and over again, for a price that is only perhaps $20 higher than the previous models such as the 306, the 406 offers far better performances. This can be a great deal if you’re buying for the first time, but a bad one if upgrading from previous models.

Some of the first noticeable aspects that have improved are certainly the media storage, the higher size that it offers as well as a stronger motor. The size didn’t get any bigger but the motor still manages to provide a better water flow rate, with more than 383 GPH.

What Other People Thought About It

Fluval is a very popular brand between aquarium users, and as such it is very common to see their products being reviewed and talked about on the internet. This way we can be 100% that we will see a review from a 3rd person view that will stay objective.

There wasn’t much talk about the Fluval 406, the features were pretty much the same as the previous models. But people talked a lot about the noticeable improvements that have been made which will surely affect sales.

Pretty much everything improved in the new 406 version, people reported that everything that was described about the product was correct. Power consumption was lesser, water flow was greater and it could handle bigger aquariums.


Filters are a great product when it comes to aquariums for the sole reason of their cleaning purpose. There just isn’t anything else when it comes to aquariums that can perform the same task as efficiently as filters.

And in order to fix these problems, such as the rise of various toxins such as nitrite and ammonia in the water as well as some other parts such as food waste in the water, you need to get a quality filter. One that will fill all your needs.

For us, the Fluval 406 seems like a good pick for this problem because it:

  • Has improved characteristics when it comes to water filtering.
  • Power consumption allows you to care less about spending money on maintaining it.
  • The multistage system allows a far better control over the filtering part of the toxins.

If you’re interested in buying this product, click here to check it out.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.