Marineland Emperor 400 Review: Should You Buy?

Are you looking for a good filter for your new aquarium or fish tank? Or, do you wish to replace an inefficient unit with a better one?

Whatever the case may be, you probably want to invest on a product that will provide the best value for your money, not one that will break down after a few months of use.

This is the only way to maintain a conducive environment within the aquarium and guarantee the safety of the inhabitants.

Given the huge number of brands in the market, finding a filter that will best serve your purpose and tank size can be somewhat overwhelming especially if you are inexperienced in fishkeeping.

Luckily, you don’t have to look further. With a product like the Marineland Emperor 400 Canister Filter, you can bring your worries to rest.

Loaded with tons of media capacity, this unit is a great choice if you’ve got a tank that’s fairly heavily stocked. It boosts of a high processing power and a large cartridge capacity which doesn’t only get the job done but puts it ahead of many similar models.

While this might not be the biggest or fanciest units out there, it definitely brings a lot to the table to get the job done. The purpose of this article is to take an in-depth look at the product to help you determine if it’s a filter that’s really worth your money.

Marineland Emperor 400 Pro Series Bio-wheel Power Filter - Up to 80 gallon, Rite Size "E"
  • WITH ROTATING BIO-WHEEL: Patented Bio-Wheel technology provides excellent wet/dry biological filtration
  • MULTI-STAGE FILTRATION: Delivers mechanical, chemical and biological aquarium filtration to maintain a clean aquatic environment.
  • POWERFUL: Certified flow rate of 400 GPH in aquariums up to 80 gallons.
  • MARINELAND FILTRATION PRODUCTS: Count on Marineland brand for the most reliable, technically advanced aquariums and accessories on the market.
  • REPLACEMENT CARTRIDGES: Use with two Marineland Rite-Size E Filter Cartridges (purple label).


  • High flow rate
  • Great processing power
  • Arrives with dual intake pump
  • Comes with spray bar
  • Huge media capacity
  • Easy to change filter media
  • Space saving
  • Affordable price


  • Needs a lot of clearance
  • A bit loud
  • Impeller and motor may be defective

Features and Benefits

Let’s take a closer look at the fact and figures of this Marineland filter so we can see all that it really offers.

High Processing Power

One of the first things you will notice about the Marineland 400 when purchasing it for the first time is its high power. Unlike many conventional standard aquarium filters, this one is big and meant for specifically designed for big applications.

To be more exact, this unit is built to handle aquariums that have up to 80-gallon capacity. So if you have a large tank that needs to be brought back to life, then the Emperor 400 is your brand.

Inspite of its bogusness, this machine still boasts of a high processing power of 400 gallons of water per hour. Isn’t that amazing?

This simply means that if you have an aquarium that is 50-gallons in size, this filtration system will process the total water volume in the tank for 8 times in every single hour. You don’t find many filters in the market with such power, not even the most expensive ones.

That said, we must point out that this unit is a bit loud. So apart from taking up some considerable space “outside the aquarium”, it might be a bit noisy. And given its high processing power, it will require a bit of energy too.

Notwithstanding, all these are nothing compared to the great value you get for your money.

More so, these shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the enormous work the machine does.

Huge Filter Cartridge Capacity

The Emperor 400 also boosts of a large filter cartridge capacity, which can be extremely useful if you have a tank that is fairly stocked.

While most canister filters can only boast of being able to handle only one cartridge, this unit can support twice the amount. This is why the machine is suitable for removing debris and chemicals, especially in big applications.

The cartridges used in the filter are usually those that serve for chemical and mechanical filtration. These cartridges are quite durable and very easy to replace. They also contain good quality filter media that gets the job done.

Interestingly, this unit also features extra chemical and mechanical capacity, which gives you the option to purchase more media.

Biological filtration is also taken care of by an efficient spray driven bio-wheel to remove ammonia and other harmful chemicals.

All these ensure the filter delivers clean and clear water, much to the delight of your guppies.

It is important to note that bio-wheel requires frequent cleaning to maintain its efficiency. It’s also essential for the mechanical filter to always be in good working condition to prevent the wheel from getting stuck.

Solid Body Construction

The most basic indication that a system will last lies in the kind of material used for the body construction. Without a solid casing, there’s no guarantee you won’t replace your canister filter after few months of use.

Luckily, you don’t have anything to worry about durability when you are using the Emperor 400 because it comes with a solid body construction that ensures it lasts you for a good number of years. It is not everyday you come across a filter with such a reliable casing in the market.

Although the impeller and motor might not be as strong as the outside, this doesn’t change the fact that they still get the job done. So don’t hesitate to make the move if you feel the unit will serve your aquarium size and purpose.

Hang On Back

It’s is also important to mention the hang on back feature of this device because not many models have such a design.

The reason why a hang on back is laudable for any canister filter is that it is space saving for your aquarium environment.

Some filters usually need to be installed inside the water tank thereby taking useful space meant for your little buddies. No matter how powerful such filters are, they usually work best for fish tanks that are lightly stocked.

Thankfully, this Marineland filter comes with a hang on back which means it’s meant to be hanged at the back of your aquarium. So no space is taken inside the tank, which means more space for your fish and plants.

However, it’s worth mentioning this unit is fairly large so you will need a bit of clearance to hang on the rear of your aquarium. Usually, you will need about 5 inches of depth and 12 inches of width.

Once you get the clearance, just go ahead and hang the filter right behind your tank. Then secure it with the appropriate equipment provided, and you are good to go.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can it work for a 75-gallon tank?

Yes, the emperor 400 is great for a 75-gallon tank.

2. Does the filter come with a cartridge?

Yes, it comes with a set of two replaceable cartridges.

3. Can this filter be submersed?

No, this filter is not submersible. It is hung on back.

4. How many volt is suitably for the emperor 400?

120 volts.

5. Can this filter work for a corner aquarium?

All you need is a clearance of about 4-6 inches behind the tank and 10-12 wide opening. If you have this, you are good to go.

The Bottom Line

Overall, the Emperor 400 is a good filter for the money. It might not be the most sophisticated unit around, but it gets the job done and well too. It has a bio-filter that is second to none and boosts of a high flow rate and processing power.

It can handle dirty water doesn’t take up any space in your aquarium. For its price this is definitely a great bet especially if you’ve got a medium sized tank.

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