Fluval 406 vs Fluval 407: Which Canister Filter is Right for You?

Discover the key differences between Fluval 406 vs Fluval 407 canister filters in our comprehensive comparison. Make an informed choice for your aquarium filtration needs with this in-depth analysis.

Fluval 406 vs Fluval 407

Aquarium enthusiasts understand the importance of maintaining clean and healthy water for their fish and aquatic plants. Canister filters have become a popular choice due to their superior filtration capabilities. Among the top contenders in the canister filter market are the Fluval 406 and Fluval 407. Both of these filters are renowned for their reliability and high-performance, but they do have distinct differences that can impact your aquarium setup. In this article, we’ll delve into a comprehensive comparison of the Fluval 406 and Fluval 407 canister filters, helping you make an informed choice for your aquatic environment.

Comparison of Features

At first glance, the Fluval 406 and Fluval 407 share numerous features that make them standout canister filters:

  1. Powerful Pump: Both filters come equipped with a robust pump that can filter up to 400 gallons of water per hour, making them suitable for aquariums up to 100 gallons in size.
  2. Multi-Stage Filtration: The filtration system in both filters encompasses mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration, ensuring your aquarium’s water quality remains pristine.
  3. Large Capacity for Filter Media: These Fluval filters offer ample space for filter media, allowing for customization and versatility in your filtration setup.
  4. Durable and Easy-to-Maintain Design: Fluval is known for its durable construction, and both the 406 and 407 are no exceptions. They are designed for easy maintenance, ensuring you can keep your filter operating at peak performance with minimal effort.

However, the differences between these two filters are equally important to consider:

  1. Built-in Water Heater: The Fluval 407 boasts a built-in water heater, a feature absent in the Fluval 406. This can be a significant advantage if you need to maintain stable water temperature in your aquarium, especially for tropical fish and sensitive species.
  2. Self-Priming Mechanism: The Fluval 407 comes equipped with a self-priming mechanism. This feature eliminates the need for manual priming, making maintenance more straightforward and less time-consuming. In contrast, the Fluval 406 lacks this feature and requires manual priming when needed.
  3. Flow Control Valve: The Fluval 407 includes a flow control valve, allowing you to adjust the water flow rate to suit your specific aquarium requirements. The Fluval 406 does not feature this capability.

Performance Comparison

Both the Fluval 406 and Fluval 407 deliver outstanding performance. However, the Fluval 407 has a slight edge in terms of flow rate. This means it can filter a larger volume of water in a shorter time frame compared to the Fluval 406. If you have a larger aquarium or require more rapid filtration, the Fluval 407 may be the preferable choice.

Filtration Media Comparison

Both filters come with the same basic filtration media, including foam, Bio-Foam Max, and Biohome Ultimate. These media components provide effective mechanical and biological filtration, which is essential for maintaining a thriving aquatic environment.

While the included media is sufficient for most aquarium setups, you have the option to customize the media to better suit your specific needs. Whether you need additional mechanical or chemical filtration, the large media capacity in both filters allows for flexibility in tailoring your filtration system.

Ease of Use Comparison

Ease of use is a critical factor when selecting an aquarium filter. Both the Fluval 406 and Fluval 407 are designed to be user-friendly and straightforward to set up and maintain.

However, there are some notable differences in ease of use:

  • The Fluval 406 lacks a self-priming mechanism, which means you’ll need to manually fill the canister with water after maintenance or if it runs dry. This can be more labor-intensive, especially if the filter is placed in a hard-to-reach location.
  • In contrast, the Fluval 407 features a convenient self-priming mechanism, eliminating the need for manual priming. This not only saves time but also reduces the hassle of restarting the filter after maintenance.
  • Both filters come with a quick-release valve for disconnecting the hoses, making it convenient to shut off water flow during maintenance tasks.
  • The Fluval 407 goes a step further by offering a flow control valve. This feature allows you to adjust the water flow rate, which can be particularly useful if you have delicate or slow-moving fish that prefer gentler water circulation. The Fluval 406 does not include this feature.

Price Comparison

Price is often a significant consideration when purchasing aquarium equipment. In general, the Fluval 406 is priced lower than the Fluval 407. The price difference primarily stems from the additional features present in the Fluval 407, such as the built-in heater and self-priming mechanism.

While the Fluval 407 does come with a higher initial cost, it may offer added convenience and functionality, especially if you require a heater or appreciate the self-priming feature. However, the price variation may not be substantial enough to sway your decision, particularly if you already have a separate heater for your aquarium.

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In summary, both the Fluval 406 and Fluval 407 canister filters are exceptional choices for maintaining clean and healthy water in your aquarium. The decision between the two largely hinges on your specific needs and budget:

Choose the Fluval 406 if:

You are seeking an affordable canister filter without the need for additional features like a built-in heater or self-priming mechanism. You don’t mind manually priming the filter after maintenance or if it runs dry. You don’t require precise control over the water flow rate.

Choose the Fluval 407 if:

You desire the convenience of a built-in heater to maintain stable water temperature in your aquarium. You appreciate the ease of a self-priming mechanism, reducing the effort required for maintenance. You need the flexibility to adjust the water flow rate to accommodate your tank’s inhabitants.

Ultimately, both filters deliver exceptional filtration and contribute to maintaining optimal water quality for your fish and aquatic plants. Consider your specific requirements and budget to make the best choice for your aquarium setup.


Canister filters are a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts, offering efficient filtration and maintaining excellent water quality. The Fluval 406 and Fluval 407 canister filters are two top contenders in this category, each with its unique features and advantages.

Both filters share essential features, including a robust pump, multi-stage filtration, and large media capacity. However, the Fluval 407 stands out with its built-in heater, self-priming mechanism, and flow control valve.

When comparing performance, the Fluval 407 offers a slightly higher flow rate, making it suitable for larger aquariums or those requiring faster filtration.

Both filters come with the same filtration media, providing effective mechanical and biological filtration. Still, customization may be necessary to meet your specific needs.

In terms of ease of use, the Fluval 407’s self-priming mechanism and flow control valve provide added convenience during maintenance. The Fluval 406, while straightforward to use, requires manual priming.