Fluval FX4 Canister Filter Review (Updated For 2023)

The Fluval FX4 canister filter is one of the best options for your aquarium. In fact, if you ask any experienced aquarist to name some canister filters that pack a punch, most of them will include the Fluval FX4 on their list.

And we’re going to tell you why.

There aren’t many individual products that we think deserve their own review. Most of the time we pull a bunch of our favorites into one post (like this).

But for the special few, we make an exception. That’s why this Fluval FX4 review was the first solo-reviews we published!

In this review, you’ll find out some basic information about the Fluval FX4 as well as our comprehensive review. We cover things like performance, dimensions, and much more!

Fluval FX4 Product Summary

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been an avid aquarist for a while, or you’ve only just begun. You’ve heard of Fluval.

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This manufacturer has been in the game for a while and has a reputation for creating high-quality products that can stand the test of time. These high standards hold true when you look at the Fluval FX4 canister filter as well.

Fluval FX4 High Performance Aquarium Canister Filter

  • Multi-stage filter pumps out 700 US Gal (2650 L) of water per hour
  • Smart Pump advanced microchip technology continuously monitors and optimizes pump performance
  • Easy water changes eliminate need to lift heavy buckets
  • Compact 41.9 cm (16.5 in) tall design – easily fits under most aquariums

Like we mentioned earlier, the FX4 is on a lot of peoples shortlist when they think of canister filters. In fact, these could be one of the best selling canister filters over the last few years.

The filtration efficiency is top-notch and can handle a large amount of water at once. This gives you a lot of flexibility if you want to add it to your system.

It’s a very simple device that won’t give you headaches when installing or maintaining it over its lifetime. There aren’t a ton of unnecessary moving parts which greatly reduces the amount of time you’ll need to make repairs as well.

Quick Specs & Details

Here’s a list of the key specs and details about the Fluval FX4 that you should know when making your buying decision. We’ll explore these (and what they mean for you) a little further down in the review, but this is a good place to get started.

  • It runs on water and electricity alone
  • The dimensions are 15.6 x 15.6 x 17.7 inches
  • The Fluval FX4 hose size is 3.5 mm
  • Works for tanks up to 250 gallons
  • The multi-stage filter can pump 2,650 liters of water per hour
  • Can work with any kind of filter media
  • Usable for saltwater and freshwater tanks

More On The Fluval FX4 Dimensions

The Fluval FX4 dimensions are very tank-friendly and allow it to be used in a wide range of setups.

This is actually one of the biggest reasons why this canister filter is so popular. Sure it’s extremely well made and gets the job done, but it can do this for a variety of different tank owners.

The dimensions of the Fluval FX4 are 15.6 x 15.6 x 17.7 inches which makes this very small for the kind of power the filter offers. It weighs just over 14 pounds when taken out of the box and ready to go.

It’s worth lingering on this for a second. This is a very small canister filter! However, if you look at the amount of water it can filter you wouldn’t know it.

This is very impressive, and not something all manufacturers can pull off.

Fluval knocked it out of the park in this aspect.

Build Quality

Canister filters are exactly like any other piece of aquarium gear. If they’re not made from the right stuff, there’s no chance they will work well and last a long time.

When conducting our Fluxal FX4 review, this was one of the things we were most unsure about at first. We had heard great things, but not as many raving reviews compared to the other benefits of the filter.

Then we got our hands on it.

When you hold the FX4 in person it really hits home how well-made this product is. The body consists of durable plastic that gives you a weight advantage without sacrificing durability.

As with anything you use in your aquarium, less weight can be a huge convenience. You’re eventually going to have to take it out for cleaning or to replace a part, and when you do you would rather it be fast and easy.

This means less time disturbing the life in your tank, and more time letting your aquatic ecosystem thrive.

To put it another way, you know how sometimes you hold products and they just feel cheap?

The FX4 doesn’t have that problem. It gets two thumbs up from us when it comes to build quality!

The Design

While some of you might be only be concerned with performance, there are a large number of aquarium owners who consider the aesthetic appeal of their gear as well.

We’re in this group as well, so we were very pleased with the design and appearance of the Fluval FX4.

While it’s not going to blow you away with a unique and fancy design, it thrives in the world of simplicity. It has an all-black body with red and white accents on different pieces of the device.

This color combo is a classic because it works like a champ. When you use the FX4 it won’t distract you from the rest of your tank, but it looks great when you glance at it.

Obviously, good design can be in the eye of the beholder but in our opinion, the Fluval FX4 canister filter checks this box in a big way. We think you’ll agree!

The Good And The Bad

When reviewing the Fluval FX4 canister filter we came across a lot of things we liked, and a few things we didn’t. This was one of the easiest products to review because everything was so obvious.

The flood of feedback and reviews online for the FX4 didn’t hurt either. Before we even got our hands on it, we had a wealth of information that was shared with us by the aquarium community.

Fluval FX4 High Performance Aquarium Canister Filter

  • Multi-stage filter pumps out 700 US Gal (2650 L) of water per hour
  • Smart Pump advanced microchip technology continuously monitors and optimizes pump performance
  • Easy water changes eliminate need to lift heavy buckets
  • Compact 41.9 cm (16.5 in) tall design – easily fits under most aquariums

The Positives

  • The build quality is top-notch (which you would expect from Fluval)
  • FX4 can clean a LOT of water very well
  • Compact size and weight gives you flexibility
  • It’s a very quiet canister filter and comes with rubber feet to help ensure this
  • Changing water is so easy it almost feels wrong
  • The smart pump tweaks and improves pump performance over time so you don’t have to
  • It basically never clogs
  • Overall maintenance is hassle-free
  • Media baskets make it easy to add any compatible media to your setup

The Negatives

  • If you use filter media you’ll need to add more quite frequently
  • It’s a little pricey so it might not be the right buy for everyone
  • There have been some reported struggles with taking off the lid
  • The included hose tanks aren’t compatible with all aquariums (like a few acrylic fish tanks)

Our Conclusion

Overall, we think the Fluval FX4 canister filter is a fantastic option that you should definitely consider. It packs a lot of punch for such a small device and will make a big difference when it comes to the quality of the water in your tank.

We’ve been hearing great things about the FX4 for a while now, so reviewing it was at the top of our list.

And boy are we glad we did.

Not only does it do its job right out of the box with minimal setup and hassle, but it also gives you the option to add media to the mix as well. You’ll have plenty of media setup options with the FX4, which is something that many tank owners will be happy to hear.

It will also look awesome in your tank no matter what your set up is. Getting performance and aesthetic appeal together is something that doesn’t happen a whole lot.

If you want to pick up the Fluval FX4 canister filter you can go here to find it, or click the button in the box below.

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