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Hydor Professional External Canister Filter Review: Is It Worth Trying?

Professional veterinary specialist with 10 years of experience. - Alisa Moor

publication time: 16:27

Aquarium fish are extremely sensitive to the quality of water. Dirty or poorly filtered water is a potentially dangerous environment for all aquarium habitats; it is the primary reason for their illnesses and even death. It goes without saying that a good filter is a key component of aquarium equipment.

External canister filters are the most popular choice of home fish keepers. They are powerful, versatile, and durable. Moreover, they provide an excellent quality of water filtering. According to numerous expert and user reviews, one of the best canister aquarium filter options of 2019 is the Hydor Professional external canister filter. We tested the unit in order to single out its strong and weak points and decide whether it is as great as advertised. Check the results in our comprehensive review.

Table of Contents:

What is Hydor Professional External Canister Filter and How Does It Work?
Hydor Professional 350 and Its Rivals: a Comparative Chart
Hydor Professional Canister Filter: Unboxing and Package Supply
1. Hydor Professional 350 External Canister Filter Overview
How to Set up the Hydor Professional External Canister Filter
How to Prime the Hydor Professional External Canister Filter
The Bottom Line

What is Hydor Professional External Canister Filter and How Does It Work?

As the name implies, an external canister filter is installed outside the aquarium, i.e. externally. It looks like a large container with a hermetic lid and two detachable hoses. Inside the container, there are removable media baskets (commonly, there are 3 or 4 of them.) The filter sucks in dirty water from an aquarium via the intake hose and forces it through several layers of filtering media. Clean water is returned back to the water tank via the release hose.

Hydor Professional is a series of premium canister filters. The product line includes several modifications – 150, 250, 350, 450, and 600, which are designed to handle up to 40, 75, 100, 125, and 150 gallons of water respectively. Our test sample is Hydor Professional 350. Read the full review of the filter in the following sections.

Hydor Professional 350 and Its Rivals: a Comparative Chart

Brand

 

 

Tank size (gallons)

GPH

Filtration media included

Pump power

Saltwater/freshwater

Noise level

Warranty

Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

Hydor Professional BUY NOW AMAZON 100 280 +

N/A

Both Medium 2 years

SunSun HW-302 3-Stage External Canister Aquarium Filter

SunSun HW-302 3-Stage External Canister Aquarium Filter   BUY NOW AMAZON  75 264   –

18 W

 Both Low   N/A

AquaTop CF Series Canister Filter

Aquatop Canister Filter    BUY NOW AMAZON  175 525   +  18 W  Both Medium   6 months

Fluval External Filter

BUY NOW AMAZON

100 383 + 25 W Both

Low

3 years

Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter for Aquariums

BUY NOW AMAZON 100 360 +

35 W

Both Medium 3 years

Filter Aquarium Tank Polar Aurora

BUY NOW AMAZON 200

525

+

55 W

Both Low N/A

EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter with Media

BUY NOW AMAZON 66 79.25 + 15 W Both Low 1 month

Hydor Professional Canister Filter: Unboxing and Package Supply

Hydor Professional comes with all the accessories needed for its installation. The package supply includes input and release hoses, a spray bar, an expandable water intake tube, eight suction cups, an exhaust tube, and one set of filtering media. The latter includes one sponge, two packs of ceramic rings, and two synthetic filtering pads. Charcoal media is not included, but it’s not a problem to buy it separately.

Hydor Professional

Hydor Professional 350 External Canister Filter Overview

Hydor canister filters stand out thanks to their unique rectangular design, which makes them more ergonomic and capacious than their conventional round-shaped counterparts. Hydor Professional 350 is a medium-sized option with three separate media baskets. A powerful pump provides a decent flow rate of 280 GPH. The canister and the trays are made of sturdy plastic and seem to be rather durable.

The filter is large – 10 x 8 x 19 inches, so you may fail to place it is a standard cabinet. But it looks really stylish and modern. Chances are you will prefer not to hide it. The smooth transparent hoses seem to be robust enough too. They are attached to rotating taps. The stabbing valves are simple and reliable. Finally, we can’t but mention a dedicated priming button on the top, which help you push air out of the canister with minimum efforts.

What we think

Hydor Professional 350 offers a great price/quality ratio. There some interesting solutions, such as a telescopic intake tube and a rotating spray bar for the output tube. Both of them let you customize the filter according to your needs. We also love the silent operation of the unit: it produced just a quiet zooming sound with no strong vibration.

As for the drawbacks, Hydor canister filters are relatively new in the market. It means that finding spare parts for them can be a problem (and they can turn out expensive.) Also, the unit is supplied with only 3 types of media – ceramic rings, a sponge, and filtering pads. No charcoal media is included.

PROS

  • sleek design;
  • a good flow rate;
  • quiet operation;
  • a telescopic intake tube;
  • an adjustable spray bar;
  • robust rotating taps;
  • 2-year warranty;
  • great customer service.

CONS

  • no charcoal media included;
  • finding spare parts can be a problem;
  • no shut-off valves to prevent water leaks during disassembling.

How to Set up the Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

To set up the filter correctly use the manual included. Firstly, fill the baskets with appropriate media and stack them into the canister. Secondly, attach the tubing. Thirdly, adjust the length of the hoses and attach the spray bar. Finally, mount the hoses on the inner wall of the aquarium with the help of the suction cups. Setting up and adjusting is easy but if you happen to get into troubles, there is a detailed video instruction on the manufacturer’s official website.

How to Prime the Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

Priming is filling the canister of the filter with water before its launching. Old-gen canister filters required manual priming: you were to pump the water by hand. Hydor Professional offers an advanced solution in the form of a special button on the top. Just press the button 3-4 times before switching on the unit to prime it.

The Bottom Line

Picking out the best canister filter is quite a challenge because there are so many things to consider. A filter is the most important piece of aquarium equipment, so it must be reliable, effective, and convenient. Hydor Professional is a series of medium-priced canister filters that come with some cute advanced features, such as a telescopic intake tube and an adjustable spray bar. They are known for their quiet operation and an impressive flow rate, which provides a very good quality of water filtering. Despite some minor drawbacks, Hydor Professional is one of the best currently available options.

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