Fluval 406 Canister Filter Review 2020

Keeping our aquarium water and ecosystem in prime condition is one the most important things in keeping an aquarium. The Fluval 406 canister filter is one of the best on the market with some great features that make filtering the aquarium as easy as possible with the best results. manufactured by Fluval who have been leading the way with canister filters in design and innovation.

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Fluval 406 filter comparison table




best fluval filter

Fluval 406 Canister Aquarium Filter

  • Aquastop valve.
  • 383 gph
  • Instant prime intake strainer
  • Quiet operation
fluval external filter
  • Filter foam pads screen out dirt and debris.
  • Quick prime button
  • Quiet operation
  • 360 gph
fluval 406 external canister filter
  • Can handle 200 gallon tanks
  • 350 gph
  • Instant prime
  • 360 deg rotational valve attachment
  • very quiet
fluval 406 external filter

Fluval Canister Filter FX6 400 Gallon canister Filter

  • Can handle 400 gallon tanks
  • 563 gph
  • smart self prime system
  • Multi-directional output nozzle
  • Built with a monthly maintenance reminder
fluval 406 filter
  • Quick disconnect couplings
  • UV Sterilisation
  • Can filter up to 200 gallon aquariums
  • 525 gph
fluval external canister filter

SunSun HW-704B  5-Stage External Canister Filter with 9W UV Steriliser

  • Adjustable spray bar
  • UV Sterilisation
  • Can filter up to 150 gallon aquariums
  • 525 gph
fluval fish tank filter
  • Advanced Hydro-Tech LCD screen monitor
  • 265 gph
  • Can filter up to 160 gallon aquariums
  • Measures temperature and flow rate
  • On-board maintenance schedule
fluval aquarium filters
  • Adjustable telescopic spray bar
  • 345 gph
  • Easy priming system
  • 4 media basket

Some of the Brilliant Features Of The Fluval 406 Aquarium Filter

The Fluval 406 canister filter is a 3 stage-stage water filtration system. That has three baskets for Mechanical Chemical and Biological filtration. So the aquarium water is filtered through these baskets to give the best possible filtered water for your fish to thrive.

The 406 has a very good capacity with an up to 100-gallon tank capacity which will fit well with most home aquariums, with the added benefit of being fine for a smaller tank with the flow rate control.

One of the nice features of the Fluval 06 models is the addition of the acoustic damping material to the impeller cover that results in 15% quieter operation. The Aquastop valve system is a very user-friendly setup that just snaps into place with an inbuilt flow control with the use of the large lever.

New advanced motor technology

The Fluval 406 model uses a smart pump technology that is built into the motor. This takes care of the performance and efficiency of the filter at all times.

The quick prime system is very easy to use with a plunger valve that you pump a few times to get the canister filter primed up and ready to go. It takes less than a minute to get it all up and running.

With the Aqua stop valve maintenance couldn't any easier just a quick turn of the vales to stop any flow or any messy spills! so you can then take off the hoses to do any maintenance you need to carry out.

Fluval 406 filtration

As talked about earlier the Fluval is a 3 stage canister filter with the easy to use 3 filter media trays to take care of your aquariums mechanical, Chemical and Biological filtration needs. The mechanical filters up any debris that is in the tank.

So these are the basics of the 3 stages of filtration the Fluval 06 models uses.
The mechanical part filters through any debris that is in the tank like old uneaten food. The bio filtration works on a pollution control technique. With the primary bio-filtration usually in the form of using live rock. With Chemical filtration in the form of activated carbon used when removing discoloration of the aquarium water or to remove dissolved matter.

Fluval 406 Capacity

The Capacity of the Fluval 406 canister filter is up to 100 gallons aquariums which is perfect for medium to larger size tanks. and with the flow control can be used with smaller tanks also. for larger capacity the Fluval FX6 is also a good choice.

Fluval 406 is quiet

With most filters the pump uses an impeller inside that circulates the water flow around the filter. As mentioned before the design of the impeller uses an acoustic dampened impeller material that absorbs up to 15% noise and vibration which makes it one of the quieter canister filters around.

How user-friendly is the Fluval 406

With the easy to self-priming set up that makes getting the filter primed and ready to go is one of the easier systems to use even for the complete beginner. With the ease of the Aqua stop vales set up is a breeze. The very detailed user manual is nice and easy to follow how to set up the Fluval and also how to maintain the filtration system for many years of use.

Pros and Cons Fluval 406 Canister Aquarium Filter it did well in our best filter review

  • A very good capacity that will take care of tanks up to 100 gallons with the added benefit of using it for smaller aquariums with the addition of the flow rate control.
  • The excellent design of the Fluval makes it one of the less intrusive filters for noise.
  • Multi-stage filtration with the easy to use filter media trays so you can use the right filter media for your aquarium.
  • Quick and easy maintenance due to the easy stack media trays and the Aqua-stop vales. 
  • Not to big, the filter doesn't take up to much space for the capacity of the filter. 
  • Doesn't have a flat top so not easy to store light items on top.


How often should i clean my fluval 406 filter

It does depend on the size of the tank and also how heavily stocked the tank is. For a 75 gallon tank it's about once every 6 weeks. It's good to clean the pads and rinse them.  Always use the tank water to clean the filtration media so that you keep the good bacteria present in the filter. Another point with having to clean your filter is not to over feed your fish, obviously the more uneaten food the more work your filters have to do. It's not uncommon for some hobbyists to only clean their filters once every 6 months or even once a year, but that is very extreme.

Why is my fluval 406 noisy

The one main reason for a noisy Fluval 406 is air trapped in the system. So because of this it's worth checking you don't have any air in the hoses or the canister so always make sure it's primed correctly. Also make sure there is enough water in the canister as this can cause it to make a lot of noise as it's also sucking air. To cure this, gently tapping the filter can release any air in the system.

Why is my fluval 406 leaking

This could be the main gasket not being seated correctly or it needs replacing. If it's leaking at the gasket then take it off and inspect it then replace it in a different orientation so that it reseals in a different position to how it was. You can also let it soak in some hot water so it softens up a bit before refitting the seal. This video shows someone that added some rubber so it has a better seal around the clips.  This was more drawing air into the system than leaking but it could also stop it leaking.

What media comes with fluval 406

So what comes with the fluval 406 filter? Well there are 4 media baskets for your media, also there is a sponge filter that fills half the canister side. The lower tray comes with a sponge filter, the second tray comes with ceramic media. The last two media baskets come with activated carbon. Depending on your filtration needs and what type of aquarium you have, you might want to change up the trays to what would be best suited for you.  This is because no two filters in different tanks are run the same.

Fluval 406 replacement parts

Can you buy a maintenance kit for the fluval 406? You can buy a motor head kit that is a new impeller that comes on a ceramic shaft also new O-rings also it comes with the main canister seal.

How to replace fluval 406 impeller

Even though the 406 has a good self cleaning impeller setup it's worth checking the impeller as part of your routine maintenance. You need to be careful with the impeller as the shaft is ceramic and can be damaged if dropped.

Remove the impeller cover by gently pulling the tab then lift off the cover, then gently lift up the impeller by holding the fan you can clean it with a soft brush or replace it if needed.

Can't get fluval 406 to prime

The easy way to prime the 406 filter is to turn it on while pulling the plunger up and down.  This will help the impeller move the water which will then expel any air in the system. It will sound like a bag of nails to start with while it has air in the system then it will quieten down once all the air is removed from the filter and you get good water flow.

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