The Hydor Professional External Canister Filter is the new kid on the block, but so far it’s making a lot of waves in the fishkeeping community.
Hydor offers a filter every bit as good as the big boys with enhanced efficiency and design, all for a lower price than German manufacturers such as Eheim and Fluval.
Hydor has been around since 1984 and is known for producing high-quality and innovative aquarium components.
This is their first leap into the world of external canister filters, and the result is definitely something to consider in your search for your next filter.
In our Hydor Canister Filter review, we examine the features and quality of this upstart filter.
Read on to find out if this line of filters is right for you!
Quick Overview Hydor External Filter
The Best Features Of The Hydor Professional
- You can buy a Hydor filter for much cheaper than an equivalent filter from Eheim, Fluval, or Marineland.
- The filter seems very solid and well-constructed, and it has an attractive design. This is a filter you can show off instead of just shoving it into a cabinet.
- Expandable spray bar, which comes in four sections so you can customize the length and placement that’s best for your tank.
What We Liked About The Hydor Canister Filter
- Great value for the money.
- Powerful flow rate and quiet, efficient operation.
- Easy to set up and simple to use.
- Rectangular shape for increased capacity.
- No bypass design means water always flows through filtration media.
- Easy priming system, so you can get it up and running fast.
- Comes with all needed filtration media for turn-key install.
- Expandable spray bar to customize the water flow into your tank.
What We Don’t Like About The Hydor Canister Filter
- Since this is a newer filter, it can be tough to find replacement parts for the hydor professional. Luckily, Hydor’s customer service is top notch
- Maintenance can be difficult, and Water can spill out when taking it apart if you’re not careful
- Instruction manual isn’t the best, but that’s true of a lot of filters out there
What You Need To Know About Hydor Canister Filters
With a rectangular shape borrowed from the design of Japanese-style canister filters, the Hydor Professional Canister Filter can hold a larger volume of filtration media than round designs.
Hydor also offers a highly efficient motor and soundproofing features for nearly silent operation.
This filter can definitely compete with high-end brands when it comes to quality and features, and it even offers improvements in efficiency and operation.
Plus, you can buy a Hydor filter for much cheaper than an equivalent filter from Eheim, Fluval, or Marineland.
The efficient design of this filter features media trays that are completely flush against the sides, which forces water through the filtration media.
You won’t have to worry about your tank water creating a bypass channel and passing through unfiltered.
Hydor offers five models for different sized tanks:
Hydor 150: For 20-40 gallon tanks, 2 media trays, 190 gph flow rate, 11W power consumption
Hydor 250 Canister Filter: For 40-75 gallon tanks, 2 media trays, 225 gph flow rate, 17W power consumption
Hydor 350 Canister Filter: For 60-100 gallon tanks, 3 media trays, 280 gph flow rate, 22W power consumption
Hydor Professional 450: For 75-125 gallon tanks, 4 media trays, 320 gph flow rate, 34W power consumption
Hydor Professional 600 Review: The Hydor 600 filter is great for 90-150 gallon tanks, 5 media trays, 345 gph flow rate, 35W power consumption
Every model comes complete with filtration media, ceramic rings, and filter pads. The only thing not included is carbon.
More Popular Canister Filter Brands
If the Hydor isn’t right for you? check out our detailed canister filter comparison chart to see more great options.
Hands On The Hydor Professional External Canister Filter
Inside the box is everything you need including the filter, all tubing and valves, and filtration media. The filter seems very solid and well-constructed, and it has an attractive design.
This is a filter you can show off instead of just shoving it into a cabinet.
Setup is a breeze despite the mediocre instructions, but if you need help with setup check out this video:
Video: Hydor – Professional External Filter
From Hydor Tube
You can adjust the Hydor’s flow rate using the ball valves connected to the tubing on the canister’s top housing. The ball valves are designed to reduce back pressure, but they are effective in adjusting water flow so you can get the perfect amount of output for your tank.
This filter also comes with thick, extra-wide tubing that allows increased water flow, and the filter is definitely powerful enough to push water through these hoses.
Another great feature is the expandable spray bar, which comes in four sections so you can customize the length and placement that’s best for your tank. This lets you spread out the water flow and have water movement in more areas of the tank.
Or, if you prefer not to use a spray bar, the Hydor also comes with an adjustable angle flow return.
Hydor vs Fluval Who Wins?
Comparing Hydor’s filters to the Fluval 06 line is obvious since both feature a square-shaped design, high flow rate, and efficient operation.
But there are definitely some differences you should consider before deciding between the two.
The Fluval offers infrequent and painless cleaning and maintenance. The easy-open lid locks and AquaStop valve makes taking it apart is a breeze, and you won’t have to fully disconnect anything to open it up.
The Hydor, on the other hand, is a bit more difficult, and you’ll have to be careful not to spill water everywhere when taking it apart.
With the Hydor’s included adjustable spray bar system, you can be sure that your water isn’t pouring into your tank too powerfully and disturbing your fish.
The Fluval doesn’t come with a spray bar, so you’ll have to buy one separately if you have delicate fish or plants in your tank.
Finally, the Hydor is significantly cheaper than the Fluval, especially when you consider that the Fluval doesn’t come with a spray bar.
Both filters are excellent products but they have some trade-offs.
The Fluval offers easy maintenance and worry-free operation, but for a higher price. The Hydor is not as easy to maintain, but it comes with additional features at a lower price.
Choosing the right one depends on what is most important to you.
Buy The Hydor Canister Filter
Before you go out and buy that expensive Eheim or Fluval, make sure you take a look at these impressive filters from Hydor.
They offer the same level of quality and filtration but add on additional features and greater efficiency, all for a lower price.
After writing this Hydor Canister Filter review, we came away very impressed with these filters.
Hydor has made a great line of filters that may just be the best bang for your buck out there.
Further Reading: Need Help Finding A Canister Filter? Our Guide Can Help You Find The Best Canister Filter For Your Aquarium And Your Needs. We’ve Reviewed All The Top Brands From Fluval, Ehiem, API, Marineland, And More.