Skip to main content

When it comes to providing the optimal conditions for the fish in your aquarium, it’s important that you have the right equipment for the job.

If it’s an aquarium filter you’re looking for, you should look into grabbing an FX6 canister filter from Fluval. In our FX6 Fluval Filter review, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this dynamic machine.

What is a Canister Filter?

A canister filter is a powerful mechanical aquarium filter that is the best possible filter for a large aquarium. Because it is positioned outside of the tank, it’s easy to conceal with your aquarium stand and offers some of the best chemical, mechanical, and biological filtration.

Overview: Fluval FX6 Canister Filter

One of the most popular canister filters on the market, the Fluval FX6 has a huge capacity and flexibility that lends itself nicely to just about any aquarium. It’s rated for tanks up to 400 gallons in size, which will be more than enough to handle the vast majority of home aquariums.

Its intake tube is extendable which allows it to conform to any aquarium. If you’ve had a hard time finding a filter that can accommodate the unique style or shape of your fish tank, don’t worry – this is the filter you’ve been looking for.

The Fluval FX6 offers high-quality performance with its self-priming pump. It’s truly a “plug and play” kind of filter. All you need to do is plug it in, with no priming required on your part.

Twice a day – or every twelve hours – the pump will remove any air that’s trapped in this system, helping to maintain a highly efficient vacuum system. It uses a unique blend of biological, chemical, and mechanical filtration methods to keep the aquarium clean at all times, and it comes preloaded with filter media that can suit most aquariums (although you can change them if you so desire).

Fluval Fx6 Specifications & What You’ll Get

The Fluval FX6 Canister Filter is rated with the following specifications:

  • 500-gallon aquarium capacity
  • Filter circulation of 53 gallons per hour
  • Pump output of 926 gallons per hour
  • 43 watts
  • 3 media baskets
  • 10.8 feet tall
  • 3-year warranty

When you buy this canister filter, you don’t just get the bare minimum of the filter only. You’ll also receive:

  • A power cord and pump unit
  • The purge valve housing
  • Rubber feet and suction cups for easy installation
  • Intake stem
  • output nozzle
  • Rim connectors, lid fasteners, and clips
  • Drain cap
  • Utility valve
  • Three media baskets
  • Two media packs
  • Carbon-filter pad
  • Two biofoam inserts

Fluval Fx6 Review: Features

High Capacity Filter

If you have a large fish tank, it can be difficult to find a filter with the gusto to get the job done. This canister filter offers superior performance and filtration, working well in large aquariums – even those as large as 400 gallons or more!

It doesn’t matter how big your aquarium is with this high-capacity filter. It can handle more than 900 gallons of water per hour, making it easier than ever for you to filter the water moving inside your aquarium.

At only 21 inches in height, you don’t have to sacrifice space for effectiveness, either.

Quiet Operation

One of the biggest reasons why people avoid canister filters is that they can be incredibly noisy to operate. That’s not the case with the Fluval FX6 Canister Filter.

This filter works practically silently – in fact, you might not even realize that it’s running until you get right up next to it. It has quiet motors that are engineered to keep the room quiet and peaceful.

And it’s not just noise that will be reduced, either. Canister filters can sometimes vibrate, which isn’t necessarily the best thing for your fish. All the vibrations in this machine are minimized to the least extent possible. This is good news both for the lifespan and integrity of your aquarium, as well as for the health of your fish.

Multi-Directional Output


With a twin output nozzle, you’ll receive multi-directional output from this canister filter. It can distribute filtered water to each and every corner of your aquarium, with nozzles that can be adjusted to various modes of output depending on your needs.

Click-Fit Assembly

The FX6 comes with click-fit connectors that make it easy to install. All you have to do is push the intake and output assemblies down onto the filter housing. Wait and press until you hear a click, and that’s it! You’ll have the perfect airtight, watertight fit you need for effective water circulation.

Easy Monitoring, Checks, and Balances

If you’re a nerd for mechanics and like to understand how things work – as well as how to get your equipment to operate at the maximum efficiency – then the Fluval FX6 is the right canister filter for you. It includes an electronic circuit board that continuously monitors the state and output of the filter. Plus, it has an auto-shutoff in case the impeller gets stuck or impeded.

AquaStop Valves

Need to perform some basic maintenance to your aquarium – or to the filter itself? You don’t have to worry about the cumbersome process of stopping your filter mid-cycle. This one has a valve lever that enables you to stop the water at any time – no water leakage or filter damage involved.

Purge Valve

The Fluval FX6 even comes with a purge valve. This is located at the bottom of the canister and lets you open it up after the AquaSTop valves are closed. This way, you can remove excess water from the filter before taking it out of the tank.

Self-Priming Start System

It can be difficult, with similar models of canister filters, to siphon water into the canister before your actual filtration can start. This canister filter changes everything. It has a self-priming system so that it automatically fills with water before filtration can start. All it takes is two minutes, and your filter will self-start the entire process.

Media Baskets Included

When you buy the FX6, you’ll get three high-capacity media baskets. These can be removed quickly and easily as they have simple T-handle release mechanisms. Then, you can separate the baskets so you can get to the filter media in each one. This not only creates a system that is highly customizable, but it makes it remarkably easy to change your filter media, too.


How to Install a Fluval FX6 Canister Filter

Installing a Fluval FX6 is remarkably easy, especially if you’ve had to deal with the cumbersome installation of other units in the past.

To start, you’ll position the canister filter directly beneath your aquarium. Using the included click-fit connectors, you’ll connect both the output and intake assemblies. If you want added security, you can use the locking clamps to lock the connectors to the tank.

Next, separate out the output and intake housing. Lay them out so that they reach from the canister and extend into your aquarium. Cut open the intake tubing – it will hang about six inches below the top of your tank. Then, you can adjust the height so it extends at least an inch below the water’s surface.

Cut your output tubing, letting it extend just below the water level in your aquarium (about an inch is preferable). Use another locking clamp to connect the end of the tubing to the multidirectional output nozzle.

Now, you need to remove all the media baskets from the canister. This is easy to do with the T-handle release system (which is red). Fill up your idea baskets with your choice of filter media. If you don’t have a preference, you can also use the filter media that is included with the FX6. Make sure you leave at least half an inch of headspace at the top of your chest so they fit together and do not leak.

The last thing to do (before starting up your filter, of course!) is to restack the filter baskets and place them into the canister. Lock the lid by hand-tightening each of the lid fasteners.

You’re ready to go!

Cleaning and Maintenance

Another major inconvenience of most canister filters is how difficult and time-consuming they are to clean and maintain. They tend to be bulky and hard to take apart. Not the Fluval FX6!

This canister filter has a number of features that make it easy to access all of its components to start, you will need to close the AquaStop valves on the output and input tubing. Unplug your filtration system from the electrical outlet and set a bucket beneath the purge valve. Open up the purge valve so that you can release any water that’s trapped inside the canister.

You can change your filter media by opening the top of the canister and releasing the media baskets. As you did when you were installing your canister filter, make sure you leave at least half an inch of headspace at the top of each basket.

If you need to clean the impeller, you will need to access the pump. You can do this by flipping the tech canister upside down and removing the screws that hold the pump unit secure. Remove your impeller assembly and rinse it with fresh water. When you put your canister back together, make sure the two arrows on the assembly are aligned boeuf you push everything back into place.

Once everything has been replaced inside your canister-  and your lid is back on and hoses are reconnected – you can go ahead and open the AquaStop valves again. Plug the filter back into your outlet, wait for it to self-prime, then check for leaks.

Pros and Cons

When you’re shopping around for the best canister filter, it can be tough to read through all the sales jargon to find the right product for your needs. If you’re in a hurry, skim through our quick list of pros and cons to find out exactly what the FX6 Fluval Canister Filter has to offer.


  • Has a clog-free strainer so that debris can’t get into the filter
  • Comes with maintenance reminders so that your filter will always remain in tiptop shape
  • Has an aqua valve for easy maintenance and shut-off
  • Designed with a set of locking clamps so that the tubing won’t snap under pressure
  • Equipped with a set of canister dials that tell you when it’s time to change the tank
  • Adjustable water flow on demand
  • Has an adjustable intake stem
  • Comes with a three-year warranty


  • Can be a bit pricey for beginner fishkeepers
  • Foam inserts in the baskets need to be replaced often
  • The canister can be bulky for small aquariums

Alternatives to the Fluval FX6 Canister Filter

Make sure a canister filter is the best option for your species of fish and other aquarium inhabitants before you buy. Although canister filters are the most effective filters you can buy (and the best at keeping your tank clean), they may offer too much power for tanks that have small or slow-swimming creatures.

For example, if you plan on breeding your fish, you will want to stay away from a canister filter. It can easily suck young fry up through the pump.

If that’s the case, you might want to consider a smaller filter, like a sponge filter. This will need to be cleaned with aquarium water – and it might not be as effective as a canister filter – but it will be a safer choice for your tiny young fry.

Otherwise, if you have a large tank, you’ll love how quietly and efficiently the Fluval FX6 Canister Filter operates. Maintenance is easy, letting you clean your tank and maintain your filter in just minutes you can even add and remove water to and from the tank directly through the canister, which will reduce the amount of water you find yourself dumping on the floor.

Although it’s not the cheapest aquarium filter you will find, there’s nothing quite like the Fluval FX6 Canister Filter if you’re in the market for an integrated, intelligently-designed canister filter.

If you like the article above, here are some other similar articles you should check out!

Best Aquarium Filters Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

AquaClear Power Filter Review

Penn Plax Cascade 1000 Canister Filter Review


Hi, my name is Jordan. I've been in the fishkeeping hobby since my childhood. Welcome to my blog where I help fishkeepers enjoy the hobby by offering free guides, advice, & product reviews. Read more...

No Comments