Fluval 407 vs Fluval FX4 – What is the Difference?

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Are you looking for a high-quality canister filter? Canister filters are excellent for large or heavily stocked tanks. They provide top-notch chemical, mechanical, and biological filtration, all while being silent and not ruining your aquarium display.

But unsurprisingly, all the fantastic benefits come with a big price tag, usually in the range of hundreds of dollars.

Due to their high price, canister filters are a long-term investment. So, you’re probably looking for the best value for your money. In that case, keep reading.

In this article, I’ll cover two of the best models on the market. I’ll compare these two high-performance filters and give you the rundown and some recommendations for your setup.

Fluval 407 vs. FX4 Comparison

The FX4 and 407 canister filter models are both created and distributed by Fluval. This is a popular brand with a wide range of innovative and sustainable aquarium products.

They have a good reputation with many aquarists and are among the top recommendations for professional-level quality equipment.

If you want a good canister filter for your money, you can’t go wrong with Fluval.

Let’s see how their most popular filters compare!

– Dimensions

First, you’d probably want to know if the filter will fit your designed aquarium area. After all, the best part about canister filters is that they’re supposed to stay neatly tucked away.

The last thing you want is to end up with a canister filter that’s too tall for your aquarium cabinet.

The Fluval 407 model is 19.3’’ tall and measures 9.5” by 7” in length and width. As you can see, this filter is quite large but otherwise compact.

The best part is that it’s very light, weighing 9.7 pounds. Given its low weight, this filter should be easy to set up and maneuver.

The Fluval FX4 is very popular thanks to its versatile design. This filter is an excellent alternative to the other blocky-looking products out there.

It’s just 16.5” tall, so it will fit under most aquarium stands without any problems. It also measures 15.6” L by 15.6” W and weighs 14.17 pounds.

– Tank Size Rating

Both canister filters are designed for large aquariums. However, the FX4 model is more versatile in this regard.

The Fluval 407 model maintains top filtration performance for aquariums up to 100 gallons. This is the most economical choice if your tank is 100 gallons or smaller.

But for a little extra money, the Fluval FX4 is a better investment for very large tanks. This canister filter maintains great filtration for tanks up to 250 gallons.

You could also use the FX4 for smaller aquariums of around 100 gallons and under.

– Output Performance

Here comes the fun part. How much power can you expect from these two filters? Will they keep up with a high-bioload tank?

How much should you expect in energy costs? Let’s see!

The Fluval 407 can generate an output of up to 383 gallons per hour. The efficient technology design ensures constant pumping power and pressure with reduced energy consumption.

The total energy needed to run this filter comes to 23 W (in other words, less than one household lightbulb).

The Fluval FX4 model has almost double the output power. This is not surprising since it’s geared towards very large aquariums.

It can pump out up to 700 gallons per hour, making it an excellent choice for very demanding tanks. The total power consumption comes up to 30 W.

– Filtration Media

Both filters allow the use of multiple media types, and they come with a free kit. But given the different product designs, the media will stack up differently.

The Fluval 407 filter has four large media baskets stacked on top of one another. This allows you to alternate between biological, chemical, and physical media.

The center handle lets you remove all the media simultaneously for easy access.

What’s unique about this model is that it also has a vertical pre-filter. Removing and rinsing pre-filter sponges can’t get any easier than this!

If you choose the 407 model, you’ll also get a set of authentic Fluval media, which includes:

  • Activated carbon pellets (x4 bags)
  • Biomax biological media rings (x2 packs)
  • Bio-foam mechanical media (x2 pieces)
  • Quick-clear water polishing pads (x2 pieces)
  • Bio-foam max sponges (x2 pieces)
  • Biofoam+ sponges (x2 pieces)

Fluval FX4 allows for up to five stages of filtration. The secret behind this model’s short, compact design stands in the unique media layering method.

The circular, basket-in-basket media tray design lets you stack up your media in half the space needed by other canister filters.

This filter has an anti-clog strainer that allows continuous water flow and diminishes your need for a pre-filter sponge. This model also comes with a kit of all the media you need.

It contains:

  • Biomax biological media rings
  • Bio-foam mechanical media
  • Biofoam+ sponge

Furthermore, this filter is compatible with other media types, including phosphate, ammonia, and water floss pads.

– Maintenance

Working with such massive filters can be a pain in the butt. But this is not always the case.

Some canister filters have additional perks that make maintenance, water changes, and startup a breeze.

Fluval 407 is one of them. This model is specifically designed for quick, effortless maintenance.

It has a strong handle that lets you start the filter with just a few pumps. Its single-action, dual lift-lock motorhead clamps facilitate a quick lid release and attachment.

The media basket handle makes it easy to access and take out pre-filter sponges and carbon pellets for replacement.

Finally, the ergonomic water valve lets you operate the filter smoothly without worrying about annoying spills everywhere.

Fluval FX4 is not called a high-performance filter for nothing. Its design makes everything easy and efficient, including the maintenance work.

First, this filter is self-starting and self-regulating, thanks to its Smart Pump technology.

The readily-accessible utility valve makes water changes easier than ever before. All you have to do is attach some hosing, and the smart pump does all the work for you!

The anti-clog telescopic strainer also allows you to go longer between physical media cleanings, making your maintenance chores faster.

– Noise

Canister filters are a mixed bag. Some are whisper-quiet, while others produce loud vibrations and buzzing sounds.

Nobody wants an annoying background noise, especially since the aquarium is supposed to be a tranquil environment for your fish. Luckily, both of these filters are very quiet.

Fluval 407 has a precision-crafted pump, specially engineered to run up to 25% quieter than previous generation filters.

According to user reviews, this model measures up to 50 decibels. While the filter is running, you should only be able to hear a faint humming sound.

The Fluval FX4 model is slightly quieter. The sound it produces measures up to 48 decibels. This filter also has rubberized feet, which reduce vibrations considerably.

However, this model can get quite noisy when the smart pump starts auto-evacuating trapped air.

But this only happens once every 12 hours and takes no longer than a couple of minutes.

Fluval FX4 or 407 – Which Filter to Choose?

Both of these models offer excellent performance. They’re both suited for large, high-bioload aquariums.

They have similarly high outputs and low energy consumption. Like other canister filters, they also allow for multiple levels of filtration, and both filters come with a starter kit containing all the media types you need.

Choosing the best filter for you comes down to your aquarium setup and preferences.

I’d recommend the Fluval 407 if you have an aquarium no larger than 100 gallons. You can save a little under 100 bucks, and you won’t need all that extra filtration power.

This model is ready to handle anything from medium to average large tanks. Of course, this model might not work for you if your aquarium stand is too small.

So, remember to double-check the measurements first!

The Fluval FX4 is an excellent choice for all aquarium sizes and setups. You can’t go wrong with this product.

However, you’ll have to pay extra. I think the money is well worth it if you have a very large or heavily stocked tank. The FX4 is also the best choice for small aquarium cabinets.

Finally, if you really hate aquarium maintenance, this filter will make water changes a lot easier and quicker.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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