Fluval 306 Review – In-Depth Analysis, Testing, Comparisons

If you’re in the market for an aquarium filter, you probably must have heard about the Fluval 306 filter as it’s one of the most popular aquarium filters out there. 

That’s why we decided to put it through some rigorous testing in order to determine whether it deserved all the praise it gets or if it’s just all bark and no bite. 

Today, we’ll delve deep into the Fluval 306 and discuss how it works and whether or not you should invest your hard-earned money to get this filter for your aquarium. 

Fluval 306 Review - External Filter

With its sturdy design and multi-stage filtration, this product is perfect for any type of aquarium you have. It’s equipped with a number of features that aim to make life easier for the user. 

Alternate #1

Coming with 4 different media trays and a UV Sterilizer, this product can go toe-to-toe with the Fluval 306 in terms of performance as well as consistency. 

Alternate #2

This product provides you with everything the Fluval 306 does and perhaps even more.  It’s very well-made and can even be used to remove odors from your aquarium.

Quick Summary of the Main Product

As we mentioned earlier, the Fluval 306 filter is one of the most popular ones on the market and for good reason. It comes equipped with countless unique features that none of its competitors and Fluval has constantly come up with new, clever designs in their products which other companies still try to mimic to this day. 

The Fluval 306 is appropriate for aquariums that have a size of up to 70 gallons and while it is able to handle aquariums of that large of a size, the size of the filter itself is actually not as large as you would expect it to be. It’s only 18 inches in height, 10 inches in length and 7 inches in width which makes it very easy to hide it away underneath your aquarium or someplace else. 

This canister filter boasts a powerful flow rate coupled with superior filtering capacity. It’s designed to handle both freshwater as well as saltwater aquariums. You don’t need to worry about salt buildup clogging up the tubing of the Fluval 306 as it’s fully equipped to not let anything like that happen. 

Features and Benefits

  • Increased Water Output – Fluval 306 Review

Compared to most of its competitors, i.e., other filters that handle aquariums of sizes up to 70 gallons, the Fluval 306 is able to cycle and filter water at a much faster rate. It must be noted that the Fluval 306 does this while still keeping in check the currents it creates within your aquarium to make sure they’re not strong enough to disturb or stress out your fish. This ensures that your aquarium stays clean and also, it becomes clean and clear at a faster rate when you first plug the filter into your aquarium compared to other filters. 

  • Multiple-Stage Filtration and Filtration Media Customization

Of course, the Fluval 306 filter comes equipped with filtration media that is essential for it to carry out the three essential stages of filtration, namely, mechanical, biological and chemical filtration but if you look into the filtration basket, you will notice that there’s actually more space in there for you to add more filtration media. This gives you a lot of freedom to choose whatever other types of filtration media you want to have within your filter according to the types of fish, aquarium plants and coral you have inside your tank. 

  • Lift-Lock Clamps 

The lift-lock clamps are one of the several ingenious design choices that Fluval made while developing this filter. They enable the user to lock the motor housing in place securely so they are able to clean and perform maintenance without having to worry about the motor getting dislodged. These clamps also come in handy when you’re relocating the filter from one place to another. It’s one of the many features that assist the user in order to make filter maintenance hassle-free. 

  • Aqua-Stop Valves 

The aqua-stop valves are another patented feature by Fluval which is present in almost all of their filters. It enables users to easily perform cleaning and maintenance of the filter without having to disconnect all of the tubing and valves from it. All you have to do is turn the lever and the filter will stop the cycling of water to and from it. You can then perform all the cleaning you desire and once you’re done, you can turn it back on for the filter to resume operation again.

Pros and Cons

  • The aquarium is suitable for a large range of sizes of aquariums. It falls within the most popular size range for most fishkeepers, i.e., the 40-gallon to 75-gallon range which makes it a very popular choice among aquarists. 
  • As we mentioned earlier, the filter’s design is equipped to deal with freshwater as well as saltwater. Along with that, it can also handle tropical tanks as well as coldwater tanks. You can use it with all kinds of aquariums, be it freshwater, saltwater, brackish or coral reef aquariums. 
  • It’s rubberized feet coupled with its vibration-minimizing technology enable it to perform its duties very quietly. This is actually a very valuable asset to have among filters since you don’t want a filter that’s loud to the point where it stresses your fish out. This could be very unhealthy for them. 
  • It has a body that’s highly durable and very resistant to wear-and-tear. You’ll find that even after years, it will perform and also look as if it’s still brand-new. 
  • It has an intuitive design that’s easy to understand. Even beginner fishkeepers don’t have a lot of trouble getting the hang of the Fluval 306 filter as it does most of the job for you. All you have to do is mount it, fill it with water and turn it on. 
  • It comes with all the tubing and necessary filtration media you need. There’s no need to go out and buy any additional external tubing or media in order to get this filter up and running. 
  • Compared to most of its competitors, the Fluval 306 is one of the more expensive options. 
  • The fact that it doesn’t come with an output flow height indicator is slightly troubling as you constantly have to monitor it from time to time in order to be sure about whether it’s operating correctly or not. 

Social Proof

Just because you’ve had a pleasant experience with a product does not necessarily mean that everyone else has had the exact same experience. That’s why we decided to look at online reviews for the Fluval 306 in order to find out what the aquarist community at large thought about this filter. 

We were pleased to see that the filter has overwhelmingly positive reviews online. Very few people are unhappy with the product. Most people who wrote critical reviews were ones who had received a damaged product due to careless shipping and Fluval was actually generous enough to send them a replacement. Apart from that, most customers seemed satisfied with the filter’s performance as well as the fact that it operated very silently and is very easy to store alongside your aquarium.

More Recommendations!

1. Alternative with Adjustable Spray Bar - Polar Aurora Free Media 4-Stage External Canister Filter Review

The Polar Auror Canister Filter is definitely an option you can look towards if you’re looking to get a filter that matches the reliability and performance of the Fluval 306. It has an appealing white-and-blue color palette and looks wonderful alongside your aquarium. 

The flow rate it’s able to dish out makes it appropriate for aquariums up to 200 gallons and it even comes with a UV sterilizer, something that isn’t present in the Fluval 306. This UV sterilizer helps eliminate and also prevent any algae which may be present in your aquarium and you’ll find that your aquarium is much clearer once you install this filter onto it. 

The adjustable spray bar is also a wonderful addition which ensures that every corner of your aquarium is getting filtered water.

Features of Polar Aurora Free Media 4-Stage External Canister Filter

  1. Dimensions: 12 inches by 12 inches by 19 inches
  2. Weight: 19.6 pounds
  3. Appropriate for aquariums up to 200 gallons
  4. Maximum flow rate of 525 gallons per hour
  5. Equipped with a UV Sterilizer
  • Comes with a self-primer
  • Operates silently
  • Highly effective
  • Easy installation
  • Prevents algae growth
  • Consumes a high amount of electricity
  • Heavy and difficult to handle

If you’re looking for an effective and reliable filter with many additional exciting features, this product is perfect for you. It’s long-lasting and very simple to mount.

2. Alternative with Odor-Removing Capabilities - Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter Review

The Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter is a product that is very reminiscent of the Fluval 306 filter both in terms of appearance as well as performance. It even features Black Diamond Carbon which enables it to remove foul odors from your aquarium. 

The lid is very easy to remove which gives you access to the filtration media. From here, you can easily perform cleaning and maintenance as well as customize your filtration media in order for the filter to provide the most appropriate form of filtration for your specific tank. 

Features of Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter

  1. Available in three different sizes
  2. Appropriate for aquariums between 30 gallons and 100 gallons
  3. Comes with filter foam pads
  4. Different sizes have a flow rate of 160, 220 and 360 gallons per hour
  5. Easy-to-remove lid for maintenance
  • Sturdy
  • Affordable
  • Easy to maintain
  • Spillage-free
  • Comes with a Built-in water polisher
  • Needs manual priming before use

If you’re looking for a filter that is much easier on the pocket compared to the Fluval 306 but still offers the same performance, this product is ideal for you. It even features some additional different features that the Fluval 306 doesn’t offer such as water polishing.

fluval 306 review

Guide to Buy

  • Aquarium Shape and Size 

When buying an aquarium filter, you need to think about the shape and size of your aquarium and choose a filter that is appropriately sized. This means that you should get a filter that provides adequate cleaning for your tank while also not being too strong for the fish inside.

You should also think about how much space you have around your aquarium and whether you’ll have enough space in your room to store the filter

  • Power Consumption 

The amount of power that a filter is something that many aquarists forget to think about. Remember that the filter cycles hundreds of gallons of water every hour and that can take a lot of electricity to achieve. Hence, always look at reviews in order to find a filter that effectively utilizes power. 

  • Ease of Use

This is important for both beginner as well as advanced aquarists because even if you’re an advanced aquarist, you don’t want to spend too much time tinkering with your aquarium’s filter as it can be a very frustrating process and it can be quite disturbing for your fish if you’re constantly shifting the adjustments of your filter while trying to figure out the appropriate settings.

Wrapping Things Up…

We’ve conclusively found that all the popularity of the Fluval 306 filter is definitely well-deserved. It’s incredibly reliable, highly effective and it remains effective for years to come. The several patented features and unique design aspects of this filter make it one-of-a-kind and make it stand out from the crowd. If you’re going to buy an aquarium filter for your fish and have the money to afford this filter, you should definitely go for it.

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