Sunsun HW 302 Canister Filter Review by Expert in 2024

When you have a fish tank, you should pay attention to maintenance and equipment needs; however, one of the more essential elements is the filter. It does not matter how large the tank is; you must always ensure the water is clean. Dirty water quickly disrupts your tank’s chemical and pH balance, and your fish will not survive too long.

Sunsun HW 302 Canister Filter

Choosing the right filter is not always straightforward since hundreds of models exist. However, the Sunsun HW 302 Canister Filter is an excellent filter with a small price, something we all want. 

Let’s focus on the features of this device:

Sunsun HW302 Filter Features

A good filter is quiet, cleans well, is easy to maintain, and doesn’t break the bank. The Sunsun HW302 ticks all these boxes.

Silent Operation 

If you ever had a tank in your bedroom, you know the filter is usually the noisiest part. It is almost impossible to keep your aquarium in a place where you want some silence because the droning of the filter is disturbing. With this filter, you don’t have to worry about that issue.

Even if it’s built solely from plastic, the materials are high-quality, and the parts are well put together. Great design means you will not hear any noise even when you use it at maximum capacity. 

Don’t worry; this does not mean the filter is not working correctly. You can feel strong vibrations when you touch it to show it is operating.

Customizable Filtration

The Sunsun HW302 offers three-way filtration with multiple filtration trays to allow biological, chemical, and mechanical filtration for cleaner water.

Some filters don’t allow you to change the materials inside individually, and this can be a real problem if, for example, your fish cannot tolerate carbon filtration. In this case, you will have to change all of the equipment to prevent a chemical imbalance in the water or the death of your fish. 

With this filter, three flexible media trays let you clean or fill each in multiple ways. The device will work well whether you use a regular sponge or bio-balls.

Sunsun HW 302 Canister Filter 2

Setup and Installation

If you do not have much aquascaping experience, you don’t want to struggle to assemble and install a complicated device. Besides, this would also mean you must spend hours on this job whenever you want to change a sponge or filter. Well, not with the Sunsun HW 302 Canister Filter.

This device is so simple even a beginner can install it in just a few minutes. It is compact and preassembled, so all you have to do is place the intake and outlet tubes where you want and make sure it does not disturb your fish and plants

The device does not come with a flow control feature, but as long as your tank is not too small, it will not create any problems in the tank. Change the filtering media a few times per year (depending on the materials that you chose in the first place), and the device comes with a self-priming pump, so you don’t have to think about manual siphoning again. It is that simple!

Powerful Motor

The Sunsun features a powerful motor, which is a great advantage compared with other filters on the market. Most of the time, filters for small tanks (under 75 gallons) don’t flow well, and you never know if your water is clean enough. If you use this filter, you don’t have to add anything additional.

Excellent Connections and Hardware

When you want to clean or adjust your filter, you often struggle to prevent leakage, especially with a plugged-in device. This filter has an excellent shut-off valve that will close the intake and outtake tube. When done, just turn it on again and enjoy your clean tank.

Pros of Using the Sunsun HW302 External Canister Filter

There are many reasons you should use the Sunsun HW302 in your aquarium. 

  • Excellent Water Quality 

With triple filtration, the Sunsun HW302 offers exceptionally clear, clean, and biologically friendly water for your aquarium. 

  • Optimal Health for Your Fish

Since the water quality is optimal with this filter, your fish will thrive and experience fewer instances of illness, and disease won’t spread as easily.

  • Minimal Disturbance

The Sunsun HW302 is super quiet, and while this is great for you, it’s also great for the fish that are less stressed because there’s less humming in the tank.

  • Effortless Maintenance 

Cleaning the filter is a breeze. Clean all filter media trays or just the particular tray you want to clean. 

  • Budget Friendly

At a low price point, the Sunsun HW302 is very affordable and will fit into most amateur aquarists’ budgets. 

Cons of the Sunsun HW302 External Canister Filter

Of course, nothing in life is perfect, and a few users have reported minor drawbacks to the Sunsun HW302 canister filter. None of these are serious, and most can be easily overcome with the right know-how (such as how to prime the pump). 

The only serious concern is that the filter is plastic. While plastic can last a very long time, it doesn’t hold up to bumps and exposure to the elements. So, to protect your Sunsun HW302 filter ensure you place it under cover and out of the way so it doesn’t get damaged by things falling on it.  

Installing and Cleaning the Sunsun HW302 External Canister Filter

The hardest part can be the installation of the Sunsun filter. Selecting a position that is close enough for the hoses and the electrical outlet while also picking a spot that’s out of the way can be a challenge. If your tank is on an open stand, then placing the filter canister beneath the tank is the obvious choice. However, if your tank is built into a wall or mounted on a solid or covered support, it can get more tricky. 

Once your filter has been positioned in a safe space, you can go ahead and connect all the hoses. Next, fill the filter with water from your fish tank to prime the filter. 

Finally, start the filter, checking that it operates normally and that water circulates through the filter and into the tank. 

To ensure optimal functionality of your filter, you should also clean it frequently. A basic cleaning schedule should include: 

  • Weekly visual inspection of the media trays.
  • Cleaning the media trays every 4-6 weeks. (Wash and reuse the media.)
  • Replace the media every six months to ensure excellent functionality.
  • Weekly inspection of hoses for leaks or signs of wear is a good idea, especially during sudden temperature changes.
  • Inspect the impeller every six months for signs of wear.
  • Ensure the filter has optimal water levels at all times to protect the motor.
  • Never clean the tank or filter media trays with any harmful chemicals that can damage the rubber seals.

Also Read: The Aquarium Filter Guide


1. What is the flow rate of a SunSun 302 canister filter?

The Sunsun HW302 can filter a 55-gallon tank at a rate of 220 gallons per hour. This means your filter can cycle through your tank’s water at least four times in an hour. 

2. What is the best order for media in a canister filter?

The order of filtration trays in your canister filter will influence its effectiveness. The first tray should have mechanical filtration media, the second tray should have chemical filtration media, and the final tray should have biological filtration media. If a filter allows for additional filtration media, this should come after the three-way filtration in a separate filtration chamber or tray. 

3. Should I rinse my filter media?

Rinsing your media trays and filtration media every 4-6 weeks is a great idea as this allows the media trays to also receive a cleaning.
Never use soap or harmful chemicals to clean the filtration media. Simply rinse with clean water, then rinse with water from the aquarium before replacing them in the trays. 

A Good Filter is Priceless

Not many people have an unlimited budget to spend on a hobby; therefore, you have to find the best option for your tank without having to make financial efforts. The price of the Sunsun HW 302 Canister Filter is surprisingly low, even compared to other similar equipment on the market. 

At the same time, this product is so beneficial it can be used for years before having to replace anything. If you want to save even more money, you can purchase the complete kit and get everything you might need at once.

1 thought on “Sunsun HW 302 Canister Filter Review by Expert in 2024”

  1. I have a 42 g tank pf African Cichlids, can I use Sunsun 302? How long should I run this? Shall turn it off at night? There is no flow control, can it be attached separately?


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