The filter is the most important part of your aquarium. Without proper filtration, no fish or plants will survive.
If your tank is beginnning to be a challenge or you find yourself spending too much time doing maintenance and not enough time just relaxing and watching it, you could be experiencing "ageing tank syndrome".
To prevent turning your aquarium hobby into an aquarium nightmare, an upgrade in the type of filter you use is usually a very simple answer.
An aquarium canister filter will turn your whole aquarium world upside down. What was an unrewarding challenge and a chore will become a pleasure and a breeze.
An aquarium cansiter filter is a larger filter-in-a-drum (about 15" to 28" tall) that sits out of site under your tank in the aquarium stand. It has an intake valve and an outflow valve on the top where flexible tubing is attached. The intake brings water from the tank into the filter where it swirls through the interior of the canister, being routed through all of the media, cleaned and sent back to the tank through the outflow valve.
Canisters are essentially a closed system. All top brands have easy-to-use snap closure brackets that keep them sealed and without leaks. Depending on the manufacturer, each houses a configuration of media-containers that perform different functions. Unlike your current undergravel filer or tank-back power filter, most canister filters offer complete three-stage filtration.
Water enters and passes through a filter pad that traps large particles and debris (1. mechanical filtration). It is then routed through several media trays that hold water-cleaning media: First a layer of carbon that takes out colors, odors, chlorine and early-stage ammonia in the water by actually absorbing it into the carbon. (2. chemical filtration)