Canister Aquarium Filters

The aquarium canister filter was invented by Gunther Eheim in the 1960's and today is one of  the most commonly used types of filters in the world. Their are many different brands of canister filters available on the market. Even with all of the different companies designing and producing canister filters they all look relatively similar. Make no mistake there are many differences that at first glance might seem minor or irrelevant but can make a world of difference down the road. It is important to do as much research as possible before selecting the aquarium canister filter that is right for you.
Aquarium filters are the life blood of the aquarium, if the filter dies the fish in the aquarium may be next.
The first thing to remember "You get what you pay for". The cheapest aquarium filters are often the most expensive too maintain. The way I look at it, your going to pay one way or another.

Think about the following points when contemplating a canister filter system

How much do you want to spend on the aquarium canister filter?

How much will/does all of my tropical fish cost?
If the filter system quits on a holiday and all of your fish die as a result, how much would replacements cost. It's amazing how much money worth of fish you can build up over the course of a year. To stock a 50 gallon aquarium someone can spend 50 dollar or thousands of dollars. Imagine if a cheap 60 dollar filter broke and you lost 1100 dollars worth of fish.

Can I get parts for the filter?
Before you purchase your filter ask if the store has parts in stock. Don't wait till 6 months later too ask after its too late.

How much does replacement filter media cost?
This is a recurring cost, make sure you well aware.

How often do I need to replace the filter media?
I never rely on the sales guy for this, unfortunately some aquarium shops will tell you almost anything to make a sale. Check the manufacturers recommendations. It is different for every filter. If you want to see if the sales person is knowledgeable and honest after checking the manufactures recommendations ask the sales guy.

Find out how easy or hard the filter is to prime / start.
Some canister filters are very difficult to start. If the aquarium canister filter has problems air locking when you start it don't buy it. Many good aquarium stores will have filters they sell running on display aquariums in the store. Ask the sales people to show you how to clean the filter and restart the filter using the display model.