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AquaTop CF500UV Canister Filter

What is the AquaTop CF500UV canister filter?

AquaTop CF500UV is a canister filter designed for both fresh and saltwater aquariums. CF500UV shares general design features, like filter media baskets, with other canister aquariums.

The CF500UV sits outside the aquarium, giving you greater flexibility when it comes to the positioning of the filter. You could even tuck it away from view, under your aquarium cabinet.

CF500UV’s canister filter is designed to be easier to perform maintenance on. Because it is located outside the tank, you should not have to remove any parts from the inside of your aquarium.

That’s how CF500UV looks at first glance, but let's dive in a little deeper and really understand whether it’s good or not just yet. We need to go through the filter’s features.

AquaTop CF500UV Canister Filter Features

Aquatop CF500UV 5Stage Canister Filter with UV 9W 525 gph

Need a great canister filter with a built in UV light? Then the AquaTop CF500UV just might be the canister filter you have been looking for.

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Supports up to 175-Gallon Aquariums
CF500UV is designed to support aquariums with up to 175 gallons of capacity. Combined with a flow rate of 525 gallons per hour, this aquarium filter should clean your tank rather quickly. And if your fish tank is smaller, shoot, you should see results even faster.

Multistage Filtration System
CF500UV has a 4+1 filtration system. This filter includes 4 filter media baskets plus a UV sterilizer, which together make that 4+1 filtration mechanism. Thanks to the 4 filter media baskets, you could set up CF500UV any way you want.

Each of the baskets comes with top carrying handles, which allow for their easier removal from the filter during maintenance. The handles are somewhat delicate though and could also suffer from debris buildup during filtering.

Unfortunately, AquaTop CF500UV comes with only mechanical filter media from the manufacturer. That may not be sufficient to ensure the complete filtration of your aquarium water.

To be precise, AquaTop includes 4 foam filters for fine debris and 1 coarse sponge filter for larger debris. At this price point, it is typical though that canister filters come with minimal filter media.

So you if you need chemical or other biological filtration, you will need to buy that on your own.

UV Sterilizer Lamp
Now we get to the reason this canister filter stands out! The switchable 9W sterilizer UV lamp is the main reason many people choose CF500UV.

It is designed to eliminate germs and algae from the aquarium water. With 525 gallons per hour being cycled and zapped with UV rays, bacteria and algae should be a thing of the past. Note that algae formation could be caused by a variety of reasons. So if algae is still a persistent problem, look for root causes of algae. A UV light can only do so much!

Automatic Priming
Like the majority of modern aquarium filters, CF500UV comes with an auto priming feature. Instead of siphoning the filter manually, you do it by pushing the large button located at the top of the device.

While the button priming is certainly more convenient than manual siphoning, it also requires some effort, so keep that in mind.

Quiet Operation
Many users praised CF500UV for its exceptionally quiet operation. Once you get it running, it should not produce any significant noise that would disturb you. If a quiet aquarium filter is a thing you are looking for, then CF500UV may be an ideal choice.

Adjustable In/Out Nozzles
What adds to the degree of CF500UV’s versatility is the swiveling input and output nozzles on the valve assembly. It will allow you to angle the hosing a bit more conveniently without having to flex it too much.

Although swiveling nozzles can be very useful. If you will be putting the filter under the aquarium, it is nice to have some more setup flexibility.

Let's Look At The Downsides

Delicate In/Out Bars, Valve and Media Baskets
According to user reviews, the CF500UV has flimsy plastic components, such as the output/input bars, the baskets, and the valve assembly.

The plastic parts of the valve assembly especially leave a lot to be desired in terms of sturdiness. They could be delicate, so one should be very careful when operating with them.

Only Mechanical Filter Media Included
CF500UV only comes with mechanical filter media. You will have to do some research to find appropriate biological and chemical filter media. Then spend additional money on it, which always poses inconvenience.

Lower Flow Rate than Expected
Some users complain that CF500UV delivers a much lower flow rate than the expected 525 gallons per hour.

The causes for the difference could vary. Keep in mind that manufacturers sometimes indicate the flow rate for the filter with empty media baskets. So check the manufacturers testing specifications.

When you put filter media in the canister filter, depending on what you use, the flow rate could be somewhat reduced. Especially if the filter hasn’t been cleaned for some time.

Poorly Written Manual
The manual of CF500UV also appears to be poorly written, which could become a bigger problem for those who buy their first aquarium filter.

Fortunately, there are lots of resources online, like our tropical fish forum, where you can ask questions and get support. Still, we feel, the user should be able to assemble the filter without resorting to the help of other people.

What are CF500UV’s Owners Saying?

When it comes to the pros of CF500UV, users particularly praise how quietly it works. Aside from that, people like the level of performance CF500UV delivers. The affordable price of this filter is also an advantage of this filter.

When reading reviews, owners were satisfied with the UV sterilizer since it helped them remove algae from their aquariums.

Not all users have enjoyed this benefit though: as we already noted, the causes for algae buildup could vary greatly.

As for the complaints, some owners didn’t like the poor instruction manual and faced issues with the flow rate and less than sturdy plastic parts.

However, a prevailing percentage of the buyers were satisfied with the product.

AquaTop CF500UV Canister Filter Right for You?

AquaTop CF500UV definitely is a remarkable canister filter model. The UV light makes it stand out among its competition, while the rest of its features makes it a great pick for those who want performance.

Aside from the manufactures slim filter media offering. The fact that this canister filter comes with a built UV light and several media baskets, creates a great combination offering for your home aquarium.

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