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7.2 million people across the United States have at least one fish tank in their homes.

If you’re among these fish owners, you should already know about the importance of a filter. Filters keep your fish’s water clean and safe for them.

Canister filters are just one type to choose from, and we’re going to go over a few reasons why you might choose one, and our top seven picks.

Keep reading to find out more about the best aquarium canister filters.

My Top 3 Favorite Canister Filters That Come With A UV Sterilizer

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Why Use a Canister Filter

Before we get to our top picks, let’s go over the top three reasons you want to use one for your tank.

Work Well

First and foremost, canister filters are excellent at removing particulate matter from the tank. This alone makes them a great choice, especially if you have a tank that’s 40 gallons or more.


Not all bacteria are harmful, which is why fish experts add special media to their filters that provide ideal living environments for beneficial bacteria. Filter media comes in a variety of sizes, materials, and shapes.

The benefit of using a canister filter is that most are designed to hold several different types of media if you want to try different combinations. This allows you to provide the right home for the bacteria that will most benefit your fish.


If you put a lot of work into making your tank look spectacular, it’s disappointing to ruin the look with a filter. That’s why people that create show tanks love canister filters.

Because the bulk of the filter is on the outside of the tank, it’s easy to hide it so you can simply enjoy the beauty of the fish and decorations.

What is UV Sterilization?

What is UV Sterilization Video

Now let’s take a moment to talk about UV sterilizers and why you would want a canister filter that has one. A UV sterilizer uses ultraviolet (UV) light to kill or damage microorganisms.

Traditional filters rely on physically removing bacteria from the fish tank. However, that doesn’t guarantee the tank will remain clean as some bacteria can slip through the cracks.

A UV light prevents any of these harmful microorganisms from escaping and getting back into your tank, keeping your fish happier and healthier. It can also mean you can go longer before cleaning your aquarium.

Our Favorite Canister Filters With UV Sterilizer

Without further ado, here are our picks for the best canister filters with UV sterilization to eradicate algae spores and harmful bacteria.

1. Polar Aurora UV 9W

Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter 525GPH with 9-watt UV Sterilizer New(525GPH)

Get The Polar Aurora UV 9W

The Polar Aurora is one of the most powerful canister filters on our list. It can handle a 200-gallon fish tank on its own. It also has four trays so you can include your choice of filtration media.

This filter at a glance:

  • Capacity: 200 gallons
  • Flow rate: 525 gallons per hour
  • Power: 55 watts
  • UV Sterilizer: 9 watts
  • Media trays: 4

It also has a self-priming pump, which makes it easier to maintain and clean.

2. Oxyful UV 9W

If you need a filter that can handle up to 150 gallons and works so quietly, you won’t notice it. The Oxyful may be right for you. It also has four media trays so you can add what you want to them.

This filter at a glance:

  • Capacity: 150 gallons
  • Flow rate: 525 gallons per hour
  • Power: 55 watts
  • UV Sterilizer: 9 watts
  • Media trays: 4

This canister filter works in both fresh and saltwater tanks.

3. Penn Plax Marlin UV 9W

Penn Plax Marlin Canister Filt

Get The Penn Plax Marlin UV 9W

For aquarium enthusiasts that need a smaller filter, there’s the Penn Plax Marlin. This canister filter can handle up to 90 gallons and is highly efficient and operates silently.

This filter at a glance:

  • Capacity: 90 gallons
  • Flow rate: 370 gallons per hour
  • Power: 100 watts
  • UV Sterilizer: 9 watts
  • Media trays: 3

Another advantage of this filter is its compact size, which allows it to fit nearly anywhere.

4. JBJ PRO-35 UV 4W

JBJ 4-Stage Reaction Canister Filter with UV Sterilizer for Aquarium, Filters Up to 100-Gallon


What’s nice about the JBJ Pro-35 filter is that it’s got a one-touch start, so once you’ve got it in place, you can immediately put it to work on cleaning your tank. It also shuts off just as quickly to maintain it.

This filter at a glance:

  • Capacity: 150 gallons
  • Flow rate: 425 gallons per hour
  • Power: 30 watts
  • UV Sterilizer: 4 watts
  • Media trays: 3

Because the flow rate is variable, you can adjust it to suit any size aquarium.

5. Penn Plax Cascade (No UV)

Another filter from this company, the Penn Plax Cascade is perfect for someone who’s buying a canister filter for the first time. It comes with everything you need and estimates you can have it up and running in less than 30 minutes!

This filter at a glance:

  • Capacity: 200 gallons
  • Flow rate: 350 gallons per hour
  • Power: 135 watts
  • UV Sterilizer: N/A
  • Media trays: 5

The specs listed here are for the largest size. You can also get smaller filters with less power for a smaller tank.

6. Sunsun HW-703B UV 9W

Sunsun HW-703B 370 GPH 4-Stage External Canister Filter with 9W UV Sterilizer

Get The Sunsun With UV 9W

With four media trays, you can mix and match media to get the right combination for your tank. The Sunsun HW-703B also has a spray bar designed to aerate the water better.

This filter at a glance:

  • Capacity: 150 gallons
  • Flow rate: 525 gallons per hour
  • Power: 55 watts
  • UV Sterilizer: 9 watts
  • Media trays: 4

As with some of the others on our list, you can choose from a variety of sizes to meet your needs.

7. Odyssea CFS 700 UV 9W

Odyssea New CFS 700 Aquarium Canister Filter External 75 100 G Saltwater Cichlid UV

Get The Odyssea Canister Filter

If you don’t feel ready to mess around with filter media, the Odyssea CFS 700 may be the right canister filter for you. Instead of media baskets, they have a set of filters that are easy to remove and clean.

This filter at a glance:

  • Capacity: 125 gallons
  • Flow rate: 700 gallons per hour
  • Power: 55W
  • UV Sterilizer: 9 watts

Because this filter has an adjustable flow rate, it can work on a variety of tank sizes.

Before & After Using A UV Sterilizer

Before & After Using A UV Sterilizer

Want More Information About Filters?

Now you have a list of our favorite picks for canister filters that have a UV sterilizer. As you can see, there’s a variety of options so you can choose the one that fits your budget and tank size!

If you want more information about filters and our reviews of them, be sure to check out our post on the 29 best filters of 2019.

It’s a great piece to read if you still haven’t found what you’re looking for.

SunSun 9W UV Sterilizer
AquaTop Canister Filter With 9W UV Sterilizer
Penn Plax Marlin Canister Filter With UV
Polar Aurora Canister Filter With 9W UV Sterilizer
AA Green Killing Machine 9W Internal UV Sterilizer
Sunsun Canister Filter with 9W UV Sterilizer

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