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Review: Fluval 305 External Canister Aquarium Filter

Last updated on May 25, 2020

I set up my 55-gallon freshwater aquarium about two years ago, and Fluval 305 was my choice for the filter. This has been a quiet, reliable and low-maintenance workhorse ever since. This filter is rated to service aquariums upto 70-gallons, and so I chose this as it would have some extra capacity when used with my 55-gallon tank.

The Fluval-305 is an advanced external canister filter. First thing I did was to watch the instructional video on the included DVD. In about 10 minutes, this video pretty much tells you where to locate your filter, how to connect the tubes, how to fill the media, and how to turn it on. If you bought this filter and are trying to set it up, I would highly recommend watching the video; it will save you a lot of time.

In the couple of years that I have been using this filter, it has performed quite impressively. It is powerful, quiet and very effective. It does mechanical, chemical and biological filtration — all in one good sized canister that sits below your aquarium. I try to keep my aquarium balanced with live plants, supported by appropriate lighting, nutrient-rich substrate and under-substrate heater. This, as well as the Fluval-305’s large capacity, has made it possible for me to space out filter cleaning and media replacement to about once in 2 to 3 months.

Here are some features that make this a great filter:

Aquastop Valve
When you want to remove the filter for routine maintenance, you need to disconnect it from the tubes in your aquarium. With a lot of filters, this can be messy. With this filter, this is as simple as lifting the valve to block the tubes. Once you do this, you can just disconnect the tube attachment from the filter body with absolutely no spill whatsover.

The motor is hermetically sealed and the only moving part is the impeller. It is completely enclosed inside the filter body and does not need any maintenance, other than cleaning the impeller assembly during routine maintenance.

Foam Screen Frame
A thick and wide layer of foam forms the first stage of the filter. This performs mechanical filtration, to keep out suspended particles from entering the internal stages. The particles are trapped in the foam and are typically broken down over time. The large area of this foam filter ensures that it does not get easily clogged with particles.

Intake Stainer
This is a large intake tube with a clog-proof, wide-mouth design. I haven’t had to clean this tube ever since I set up my filter.

Output Nozzle
The output nozzle can be adjusted for height with respect to the water-level for either surface agitation or quieter operation, as desired. It can also be angled for optimum water flow.

Media Baskets
The Fluval-305 has three large media baskets. The lower one is typically for the pre-filter and activated carbon. The middle one is best for ammonia remover, peat, and possibly biological media. It is best to fill the top one with biological media and post-filter/water polisher media. Consult the manual for details.

Instant Prime System
This is another great feature of this filter. After you clean the filter, replace the media and assemble the filter, you place it under the aquariun, connect the intake and output tube assembly, lock it, and lower the aquastop. Then you just pump the Instant Prime handle a few times, and with the siphon action, the filter fills up quickly. You will see some bubbles being released from output nozzle as the filter fills with water from the aquarium. After the bubbles stop, continue to pump a few times to make sure that all the air in the filter has been replaced with water, and then you are all set! Just plug in to an electrical outlet and the filter is in action!

Lift-lock Clamps
The “lid” or the top part of the filter body is held tightly to the lower or the main part by two lift-lock clamps, one on either side. These hold securely to make sure that the filter does not accidentally open when it is running — that would be disastrous!

Rim Connector Assemblies
The intake and output tubes can be fixed very securely and neatly to the aquarium using the rim connectors. This makes it easy to manage the tubes inside your tank.

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