Fluval FX6 Review: What Is All the Hype About?

Alison Page

Alison Page


Fluval FX6 Review

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If you’re looking for a new filtration system for your fish tank, Fluval is one name you should research.

Fluval Aquatics is one of the biggest names in the aquarium hobby and one we can recommend. This latest Fluval filtration system is one of the most popular canister filters around, and for a good reason.

This guide reviews the Fluval FX6 Canister Filter to see if the product lives up to the hype and determine whether this system is the best choice for your aquarium.

Fluval FX6 High-Performance External Canister Filter

The Fluval FX6 High-Performance External Canister Filter is best suited to large, heavily stocked tanks of 75 to 150 gallons (284 to 568 liters). Therefore, we don’t recommend this filter for beginning aquarists with a small setup. 

Product Summary

Fluval Aquatics is a major name in fishkeeping, and they have been producing high-quality, reliable, well-made products for many years. This product is no exception and certainly does a superb job keeping your tank water clean and healthy for your fish and other livestock.

The main features of the product include:

  • A multi-stage filter system that produces clean water for freshwater and marine aquariums.
  • Smart Pump Technology to give you optimal filter performance and efficiency.
  • Self-starting system – simply add water and plug in the unit.
  • Suitable for use in fish tanks up to 400 gallons.

The Fluval Aquatics FX6 filtration system is extremely popular among hobbyists with very large tanks. But despite its capacity, the FX6 is tiny!

The neat canister filter can handle a large volume of water, the motor kicks out an impressive GPH flow rate, and doesn’t need hours of maintenance to keep it running efficiently.

The filter’s dimensions are only 15x15x20 inches, meaning you can hide the system in almost any aquarium setup without compromising on performance.

Specifications – Overview

Here’s a quick overview of the FX6 Canister Filter’s specifications to help you decide whether this filter system is the one for you:

Pump output: 925 gallons
Weight: 19.9 pounds
Media basket capacity: 5.9 liters
Product dimensions: 15 x 15 x 20 inches
Tank type suitability: Freshwater and Marine
Capacity: For tanks up to 400 gallons of water
Self-priming system: Yes
Filter media type: Completely customizable

 Now, let’s look at the FX6’s features in more detail.

Product Dimensions

As mentioned above, the Fluval FX6 canister filter measures just 15x15x20 inches, weighing in at 19.9 pounds. Now, that might seem quite large if you’re more accustomed to using small internal or HOB filter systems.

However, that’s not the case at all!

This filter system’s modest dimensions allow you to hide it under your tank without taking it down and changing your setup or investing in a cabinet to make extra space. That’s essential when dealing with a large aquarium, so this filter system’s neat size can be an absolute game-changer.

GPH (Gallons Per Hour) Flow Rate

For an aquarium filter to work efficiently, it needs to circulate the entire water column volume around your tank at least four times every hour.

According to the numbers on the FX6 packaging, the FX6 boasts an impressive flow rate of 925 GPH.

However, in reality, a more accurate estimate is 563 GPH. That’s because the water pressure exerted when the canister filter is in use impacts the pump speed and, therefore, the GPH.

Materials and Build Quality

Like every Fluval pump and filter system, the FX6 is built using excellent quality materials and precise engineering, so the overall build quality is superb.

The filter system includes some highly effective stop valves that make it quick and easy to stop the water flow without risking water escaping into one of the filter’s components and causing damage. That sets the FX6 apart from many canister filter systems that simply get their stop valve technology wrong. If you use the stop valve, you’ll most likely damage your whole system.

This filter system includes a sophisticated circuit that ensures everything runs smoothly and reliably. So, you can go away on business or vacation without worrying about the water quality in your tank. That’s imperative if you keep high-value marine fish, corals, and other livestock. 

Multi-Directional Output Nozzle

The Fluval FX6 also allows you to adjust the water flow via the dual output nozzles on top of the canister filter. That’s an extremely useful feature that’s perfect for you if you keep fish sensitive to flow rates, as you can redirect the current without using plants and decorations as a buffer.

The twin output nozzle design is simple to use and easy to access. That’s important for routine maintenance, as well as functionality.

Silent Running?

Given the powerful output of the Fluval FX6 Canister Filter, you would expect it to be quite noisy.

That’s often a problem with a mechanical filter system. However, this is one of the quietest canister filter systems currently on the market! That’s excellent news for you if you keep your fish tank in your office, bedroom, or living room.

The internal components that Fluval uses in this filter system are well-designed and very high-quality, so they don’t vibrate and hum. The unit also comes with rubber feet that help to dampen any vibrations.

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your aquarium looks or how happy and healthy your fishes are if you can’t relax and enjoy them because of an annoying humming or rattling noise in the background. Thankfully, the FX6 is virtually silent, so you don’t need to worry that an unacceptable noise level will spoil your enjoyment.

Intake Strainer Feature

The Fluval FX6 comes with a reassuringly solid intake strainer that virtually ensures the filter won’t clog. That’s a very big plus point when dealing with filters that generate such a high GPH.

However, if you need to get into the filter to clean it out and remove clogs, there’s a simple-to-use purge valve at the bottom of the unit.

Purge valves are essential for canister filter systems, and a well-designed one can make routine cleaning and water changes a breeze. However, some purge valves are poorly designed and are a total pain to use. Luckily, Fluval has designed their unit so flawlessly that there’s no problem.

Media Baskets

When it comes to canister filters, part of their appeal is that you can customize the filter media you use. To do that, you need media baskets that are easy to remove and offer sufficient space to accommodate the filter media of your choice.

With the FX6 filter system, you get three media baskets that can hold a total of 5.9 liters. That’s ideal for tanks with very dirty fish that produce lots of waste, as you can load the baskets with extra media to cope with all that fish poop and keep tank maintenance to a minimum.  

With some canister filter systems, you’re forced to choose what filter media you can use, but having three baskets gives you more options to customize your aquarium filtration setup completely.

Despite their generous size, the media baskets are easy to remove and replace. Simply use the release handle to access the tray area and pick whichever media basket you need. Once you have everything you need on hand, completely swapping out spent filter media takes just minutes.


You’ve spent hours aquascaping your tank, tending to your aquatic plants, and choosing your fish, so the last thing you want is an ugly filter unit spoiling the effect.

Most canister filters are kept out of sight in the aquarium cabinet. However, if you don’t have a cabinet and your filter is on view, you don’t want it to be an eyesore.

We think the Fluval FX6 is actually a pretty good-looking piece of equipment that won’t detract from your tank if kept out in the open. The unit features a classic black, red, and white combo that looks smart yet functional. 

Not everyone cares about the look of their filter system, especially if the unit is out of sight in a cabinet or screened in some other way. However, if looks are important to you as well as functionality, the FX6 is well worth considering.

Setting Up the Fluval FX6 Filter

The look and functionality of any filtration system can suddenly become irrelevant if the unit is difficult to set up and run. Luckily, the installation process of the FX6 is easy.

This filtration system has a wonderful self-priming feature that removes the need for tedious manual siphoning to get things started. Simply add some water to this self-starting filter, plug the unit into a power source, and you’re good to go.

Once you have the FX6 filter system up and running, it’s simply a case of adjusting the settings to get everything working as you want. You can tweak the intake tubing, output nozzles, rim connectors, filter media, and more.

The other good thing about this filter system is that it has everything you need. So, you don’t need to spend money on purchasing a bunch of other essential components separately.

Fluval FX6 Canister Filter – Pros and Cons

As you can see from our FX6 canister filter review, we rate this filtration system very highly. However, no product is perfect, and there are a few downsides that we will mention here for unbiased completeness.

The Pros

Here’s what we love about the Fluval FX6 Canister Filter System:

  • Extremely well-made
  • Very reliable and easy to maintain
  • Large capacity filter media baskets that provide plenty of options for customization
  • Filter baskets are easy to access for maintenance
  • Ideal filter system for larger aquariums
  • Excellent performance even with a larger tank
  • Almost silent running despite the unit’s high power output
  • Small size, considering the power and output
  • Smart monitoring system keeps an eye on impeller speed, alerting you to potential problems
  • Smart pump technology

The Cons

  • Not the most affordable filter for those hobbyists on a tight budget
  • Can require a fair amount of tweaking and adjustment to get the correct flow rate
  • The lid can be tricky to remove, thanks to the click-fit connectors that can stick
  • The intake tube, output hoses, and other tubing are not of great quality, which is disappointing for the price of the unit and the reputation of the manufacturer

Who Needs The Fluval FX6 Canister Filter System?

We reckon the Fluval FX6 is perfect for large, heavily stocked tanks and those where leftover food and fish waste are a problem.

For example, this system would be too much if you have a 40-gallon tetra tank. However, if you keep fancy goldfish in a 100-gallon aquarium, the FX6 is a perfect choice.

This powerful canister filter system will catch waste and keep your aquarium water crystal clear, especially if you add polishing pads and biomedia to the media baskets.

So, if you need a canister filter that offers excellent biomedia capacity, superior mechanical filtration, and is super-quiet but powerful, the Fluval FX6 is perfect for you. 

That said, you need a cabinet that will fit the canister, as it’s quite hefty.

In Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed our review of the Fluval FX6 Canister Filter System. If you found the information helpful, please share the article.

If you want a high-performance canister filter for a large fish tank, the FX6 is definitely the way to go. The system is easy to install, activate, and maintain, and you can completely customize the filter media baskets to suit your precise requirements.

The old maxim, “You get what you pay for,” certainly applies to this superior quality system from Fluval. It isn’t the cheapest canister filter, but it beats an average canister filter hands-down.

Did you buy the Fluval FX6 Canister Filter System for your tank? How did it do? Tell us in the comments box below.

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