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Polar Aurora Canister Filter | 2020 Updated Review 525 GPH

If you are looking for a canister filter to suit a larger aquarium that works, but won’t break the bank, then the Polar Aurora may just be the one for you. It comes with an impressive range of features, is easy to maintain, and works like a dream!

I know what you’re thinking. You’ve never heard of Polar Aurora, Right?

Wait! Just take a few minutes to see how good this Polar Aurora aquarium canister filter really is. Especially when you compare it to the price of a Fluval or other well-known brand.

But can it stand up to the big boys?

Let’s take a look!

Polar Aurora Canister Filter | 2020 Updated Review 525 GPH 1

Here is the full range from Polar Aurora to compare!

Polar Aurora Free Media 3-Stage External Aquarium Filter 265gph with Builtin Pump Kit Canister (265 GPH with Media)

$52.99  in stock
1 new from $52.99
Buy Now
Polar Aurora Canister Filter | 2020 Updated Review 525 GPH 2 Amazon.com
as of August 12, 2020 8:28 am

Features

  • Good for up to 75 gallon fish tanks SunSun parts can be applied Flow rate: 264 GPH (1000L/hr) Pump Power: 18W Hose size: 3/4" Max-H: 4.6 feet
  • 3 media trays capable of handling your choice of filtration media; Comes with an adjustable spray bar. This is a helpful feature if you want to adjust the output flow from the filter. No Light!!!
  • Convenient self-priming pump that eliminates the need for manual siphoning; Single valve disconnect & priming pump ease routine maintenance
  • Canister filters for aquariums use high water pressure, from a properly powered pump, to force water through the dense filter media. A pump can draw water from an under-gravel filter, and run it into a canister for double filtration
  • The three flexible media trays allow you to add other filtration media such as SunSun's activated carbons, ceramic rings or bio-balls to achieve excellent mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.

Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter 525GPH with 9-watt UV Sterilizer New(525GPH)

$76.99  in stock
1 new from $76.99
Buy Now
Polar Aurora Canister Filter | 2020 Updated Review 525 GPH 2 Amazon.com
as of August 12, 2020 8:28 am

Features

  • Good for up to 200 gallon fish tanks.Maximum flow rate of 525GPH from built in pump
  • 4 media trays capable of handling your choice of filtration media; Comes with an adjustable spray bar. This is a helpful feature if you want to adjust the output flow from the filter
  • Convenient self-priming pump that eliminates the need for manual siphoning; Single valve disconnect & priming pump ease routine maintenance
  • Built in 9 Watt Light for controlling algae spores/bacteria and promoting clear water
  • The four flexible media trays allow you to add other filtration media such as SunSun's activated carbons, ceramic rings or bio-balls to achieve excellent mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.

SunSun Hw302 265GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit

$63.45  in stock
1 new from $63.45
Free shipping
Buy Now
Polar Aurora Canister Filter | 2020 Updated Review 525 GPH 2 Amazon.com
as of August 12, 2020 8:28 am

Features

  • HW-302 Pro Filtration Kit, Good for up to 75 gallon aquariums
  • Flow rate: 265 GPH (1000L/Hr)
  • Dimension: 9" L X 9" W X 15.5" H
  • Pro Kit Includes Canister Filter, 3 White Filter Pads and 3 Media Baskets
  • Includes 1lb of Premium Filter Carbon, 1lb of Ceramic Rings and 1 Set of Bio Balls

SunSun Hw303B 370GPH Pro Canister Filter Kit with 9-watt UV Sterilizer

$93.58  in stock
2 new from $93.58
Free shipping
Buy Now
Polar Aurora Canister Filter | 2020 Updated Review 525 GPH 2 Amazon.com
as of August 12, 2020 8:28 am

Features

  • HW-303B Pro Filtration Kit, Good for up to 100 gallon aquariums
  • Flow rate: 370 GPH (1400L/Hr)
  • Dimension: 10.5" L X 10.5" W X 16" H
  • Pro Kit Includes Canister Filter w/9 Watt UV, 3 White Filter Pads, 1 Blue Coarse Pad, 3 Media Baskets
  • Includes 1lb of Premium Filter Carbon, 1lb of Ceramic Rings and 1 Set of Bio Balls

The Polar Aurora At A Glance

For this review, we have chosen to concentrate on the Polar Aurora 4 stage 525GPH canister filter. However, this is not the only size available. The Polar Aurora also comes in a 3 stage version with capabilities of 265 or 370GPH.

Polar Aurora 525GPH Specifications

  • Filter Capacity – 200 gallons (750 liters)
  • Flow Rate – 525 gallons per hour (1980 liters per hour)
  • Media Stages – 4, including mechanical, biological, chemical
  • Priming – Self-priming
  • Weight – 17lbs
  • Dimensions – 11 x 17 x 11 inches
  • Warranty – 1 year

Polar Aurora Features

  • 4 media stages
  • 9 watt UV sterilizer
  • Self-priming pump
  • O-ring
  • Quiet operation
  • Inexpensive
  • Easily available spare parts
  • Integrated UV kill switch
Polar Aurora Canister Filter | 2020 Updated Review 525 GPH 6
Perfect for Freshwater or Saltwater Aquariums

What’s In The Box

  • Filter canister
  • Barrelhead
  • Input and output
  • 9W light bulb
  • 2 x 5ft flexible tubing
  • Draining cover
  • 4 x draining trays
  • Output and input curvy bars
  • 2 x connector bars
  • 2 x spray bars
  • Spray bar cover
  • 3 x input bars
  • Input cover
  • 3 x cotton pads
  • Blue coarse filter sponge
  • 1lb activated carbon
  • 1lb ceramic rings
  • 50 bio-balls

Why Choose The Polar Aurora?

It will probably come as no surprise after our opening to this review that we think the Polar Aurora canister filter has a lot to recommend it such as….

Being Inexpensive – At under $100 the Polar Aurora with all its features and power may seem too good an offer to be true. After all, it is far cheaper than many of its competitors in the same capacity range and even comes with the added bonus of a UV sterilizer. It can, however, live up to its claims of being powerful and full of features as you will see. It is a hidden gem well worth discovering and for a bargain price.

Easy To Set-Up – Despite the long list of ‘what’s in the box’ the Polar Aurora takes very little effort to get it up and running. Simply place media in the baskets, connect the tubing to the correct outlets, make sure the o-ring is in place, attach tubing to the aquarium, press the self-priming button and hey presto!

Pros
  • Self Priming
  • 1980 Liters Per Hour
  • 4 Stage Filter
  • 9 Watt UV Sterilizer
  • Spare Parts available
  • Quiet Operation
Cons
  • Salt can build up on O-Ring on Saltwater aquariums
  • Not as Good as A fluvial FX4 in comparison
Polar Aurora Canister Filter | 2020 Updated Review 525 GPH 7
4-Stage cleaning system

Algae Problem Reduction – This, algae reduction thanks to the UV light, is probably one of the Polar Aurora’s main selling points. Plus, not only will this light help with keeping unwanted algae at bay in your tank, but also other unwanted bacteria too. It is an incredible feature that requires little maintenance; just a bulb change once a year.

Easily Available And Affordable Parts – Whether you need full kits, part kits, or just pieces, Polar Aurora parts are easy to obtain and inexpensive. This, of course, may not seem to be much a selling point due to this filter coming with a one year warranty but it’s always nice to know for quick fixes or for after your warranty expires.

Polar Aurora Canister Filter | 2020 Updated Review 525 GPH 8
Comes with everything you’ll need

Great Choice For Beginners – Given that the Polar Aurora is inexpensive, easy to set up, and use, it makes an excellent choice of filter canister for those new to the fishkeeping hobby. After all, it can be daunting to spend a ton of money on aquarium necessities that may be difficult to run.

See more customer reviews and feedback on Amazon here!

Top Five Polar Aurora Features

At Five…

Quiet Operation – Having an aquarium should be enjoyable and relaxing and not disturbed by a noisy and irritating canister filter running 24 hours a day. Fortunately, with the Polar Aurora, annoyance will never be the case, as it is fabulously quiet. This means you have a lot of options when it comes to the placement of your tanks. Living room, dining room, office, and yes even the bedroom and still get a good night’s sleep.

At Four…

Four Media Stages – Including mechanical, chemical, and biological, the Polar Aurora has four-stage filtration to ensure that your aquarium water is as clean as possible. It even includes activated carbon, ceramic rings, bio balls, and a coarse filter sponge for your convenience.

At Three…

Self-Priming Pump – There is no doubt that those with the experience of siphoning water through a tube manually will not recommend it at all. After all, mouthfuls of yucky fish water is never going to taste nice! This, however, is all a thing of the past if you invest in the self-priming Polar Aurora as it will siphon for you. Simply press the self-priming button and away you go.

At Two…

The O-Ring – Though this may seem like an incredibly simple feature it is also a highly important one that will ensure your filter doesn’t leak. It is simply fitted around the circular opening and creates a secure and leak-proof seal when the lid of the canister is on.

At One…

9 Watt UV Steriliser – Along with the four-stages of filtration the UV sterilizer will ensure that your aquarium has the cleanest possible water. It will help eliminate algae spores, as well as any other bacteria. As an added bonus it will also provide a little light that comes in handy when you are performing maintenance on your filter or aquarium.

What size aquarium?

This filter is available in different size models to suit most aquariums but this one 4-Stage 525 GPH filter will be perfect for aquariums ranging from 100-120 Gallons.

4 Feet or bigger and you may need extra filters to move water around the full length of the aquarium. The filter can cope with this size aquarium but it may struggle to move water from one side to the other on aquariums 4 feet or bigger.

fish tank water changes
With 525 GPH filtration, the Polar Aurora is perfect for larger aquariums.

Our Verdict On The Polar Aurora

It’s incredibly difficult to find fault with this popular and inexpensive canister filter that is packed with features to highly recommend it. However, if we had to we would say that it, perhaps, lacks slightly in the power department compared to other filter canisters with the same or similar specifications.

This, however, we felt was, in reality, a small price to pay when you weighed it against what you DO get with this small and yes mighty canister filter. And when you consider they are almost 3 times more expensive!

Carl Broadbent