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Fluval 306 Review

Fluval 306 Canister Filter Review

Filtration is one of the most important components of a healthy tank. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the more frustrating aspects, especially if you’re like me and find yourself with a large, well-stocked tank that needs a high-capacity filter with several filtration media to get the job done.

This filter manages to check these boxes, and this Fluval 306 Canister Filter review will help you determine whether or not it will work for your tank too.

Things to Consider Before Buying an Aquarium Filter

All tanks, no matter the size, will need some kind of filtration system.

Smaller tanks, though, like nanocubes or anything under 30 gallons, may not need a heavy-duty, high-powered canister filter. You also may not need a canister filter if your tank isn’t well-stocked or doesn’t have a high bioload.

You should get a canister filter if:

  • You have a large tank
  • You have a lot of flora and fauna in your tank
  • You’re struggling to keep your tank clean
  • It’s difficult to keep harmful levels in check
  • You need multiple filtration media options

Fluval 306 External FilterAs you will see in this Fluval 306 Review, canister filters are frequently used in large or well-stocked tanks mostly because of their varying options for filtration media. This means you can have different types of filtration like chemical, mechanical, and biological all stacked in one system.

If you have a smaller tank that doesn’t contain a large quantity of fish, plants, and coral, you may want to look into other options like a sump and/or refugium. This will allow you to incorporate things like a protein skimmer and macroalgae for natural filtration without the unneeded expense of a canister filter.

Fluval 306 Review

The Fluval 306 Canister Filter is based on the previous success of Fluval’s “06” filters, but with a few improvements. The 306 promises the same fast filtration, durability, and quiet operation that were hallmarks of the 106 and the 206 models that came before it.

The 306, though, comes with a higher gallon capacity – up to 70 gallons instead of the 25-gallon and 45-gallon limit of the previous two models – and a higher cycling rate of 303 gallons per hour (GPH).

The 306 also sports some new additions that make it more convenient and user-friendly such as the aqua-stop valve which is designed to control flow rate easier and more efficiently. This model also comes with locking hose nuts which help prevent leaking or the possibility of the hoses becoming accidentally disconnected while the filter is in use.


  • High capacity
  • Durable
  • Multiple filtration media


  • High price point
  • Difficult to clean
  • Takes up a lot of space

Fluval 306 Features & Benefits


The Fluval 306 filter is around 18 inches tall when allowing for accessories and tube clearance and is rectangular in shape. This makes it very different in appearance to the standard cylindrical shape most canister filters come in, but it allows for 30% – 50% higher volume and more room for multiple filtration media options.

The high-volume design is bulkier than most models and is approximately 10 inches long and 7 inches wide, so you will need to be sure it can fit in your aquarium cupboard or whatever designated space you have available for a canister filter.

Design & Construction

The sleek black design with red accents gives this filter an attractive yet low-profile appearance. It’s made of high-quality, durable material that feels substantial when you’re handling it. No need to worry about easily breaking cheap plastic parts on this model!


Setting up the Fluval 306 filter can be a little tricky but is still relatively easy compared to other canister models of the same size.

You’ll want to start by unpacking the box and making sure everything is there. Everything you need to set up and run this filter will come in the kit including the pump, hoses, filtration baskets, and some filtration media to get you started. A set of instructions should also be included that will walk you through the finer details of getting everything up and running.

Operating Features

This filter is surprisingly quiet for a unit of its size, especially considering the high-powered pump and rapid filtration and water cycling. Even with the multiple layers of filtration media, this pump will keep the water moving at a high rate. Special features like the re-designed impeller, intake strainer, and wide mouth on the intake hose all help this filter operate smoothly and efficiently.

Types of Filtration and Media

One of the best features of this filter is the multiple filtration media options you can include. Generally, the combination you want to go within the three provided baskets in mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration.

Mechanical filtration refers to filter options that remove physical debris from the water. A large vertical foam block is included in the Fluval 306 setup to provide extra mechanical filtration. This will fit alongside the stacked filtration baskets. For further mechanical filtration, Fluval has included two of their water polishing pads.

Biological filtration is the process where good bacteria help breakdown dangerous components like nitrogen and ammonia. Two Fluval Bio-Max pads are included in the kit to add to your biological filtration basket.

Chemical filtration helps further breakdown the harmful levels of compounds in the water. Included in this kit are 2 70-gram packets of carbon which can be added to the chemical filtration basket.

How Does The Fluval 306 Compare To The Competition?

Fluval 306 vs Sunsun Canister Filter

The Sunsun Canister Filter is a significantly cheaper option when compared to the Fluval 306, though they both have a max capacity of 70 gallons. This Fluval 306 review has discussed the importance of higher GPH processing, and the SunSun only operates at 260 GPH instead of the 303 of the Fluval.

While it does have 3 filtration media baskets, the Sunsun doesn’t have the room for the extra foam block. If you don’t need a high-powered system and are looking to save some money, the Sunsun could be a good option for you.

Fluval 306 vs Marineland Magnum 350 Canister Filter

The Marineland Magnum 350 Canister Filter is also a little cheaper than the Fluva and is easier to clean. It only comes with 2 baskets for filtration medium, but it has the option of using wet/dry filtration.

If that is something that is important to you, check out the Marineland Magnum 350.

Fluval 306 vs Cascade 1000 Canister Filter

The Cascade 1000 Canister Filter is rated for up to a 100-gallon tank, though it operates at 265 GPH, which is lower than the Fluval. It also has 3 filtration media baskets, and the Cascade’s baskets are slightly larger than the Fluval’s.

If you have a bigger tank and need a higher gallon capacity and bigger filtration media baskets, this will probably be a better option for you.

Final Thoughts

As we’ve seen in this Fluval 306 review, a good filtration system is vital for your tank, especially if you have a large or well-stocked aquarium. For a filtration system to be good, it needs to have multiple filtration media baskets, a high GPH processing power, and be durable and high-quality.

The Fluval 306 Canister Filter checks all these boxes and more. Check it out today to see how it can fit into your system and improve the overall quality of your aquarium!

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