When it comes to aquarium filters, you would expect to find different types of filters available and hang on back is one great type. The question for most people would be, which type of HOB filter to get. As you know, the market is filled with many types of HOB filters, but not all of them would serve the purpose. Some are not any good for the filtration process.
To help you with choosing the best HOB filter, we have highlighted some of the best models you can buy today. The models are great for saltwater tanks, for reef tanks, and for freshwater tanks. Go through the guide and you should find one that works for you.
Table of Contents
- HOB vs. Canister Filter
- Best HOB filter aquarium on the market
- Best hang on back filter reviews
- HOB Filter FAQ
HOB vs. Canister Filter
This is quite a subject that gets people talking. Some might be looking for the best filter for their aquarium and then end up asking themselves such questions. HOB vs. Canister filters is not something new. Many people have had this debate previously and it is often a matter of preference for the users to choose what they like. Let us get to understand what you can get from each model.
The canister filters on overall would be better that most other common types because of having a better flow rate and capacity. Due to the large size, they can allow for customizable filter media. Having to customize the filtration media is important for better cleaning of the water. With such changes, you can already see why someone would opt for a canister model.
Even with such positives, the canister filters would be really a huge pain when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. You would have to take them out just to open and start cleaning. You will have to spend another 30 minutes just scrubbing and replacing some of the filter material to keep the model rubbing smoothly. The trick is to always clean in time so that you do not have to work extra hard to get it looking great.
The HOB filter types on the other hand have their own pros too. One thing you should not should be the ease of installation. You would not need the brackets and so much other hardware just to mount it in position. The cleaning of the HOB filters is also easy. It comes with a few parts and sometimes to get to the filter media is simple. If you have to remove it, you simply swap it out for a new one. Depending on the model, they also fairly have a huge flow rate and filtration capacity. You should easily clean the aquarium in less time too.
Some might have complained about the HOB filters having less media, but that is something that would be different from one model to another. Some would even come with bigger spaces for accommodating more filter media.
In general, the HOB models would be cheaper than the Canister filters, so if you are on a budget and still need a great aquarium filter, you can always opt for the HOB filter. You will never be disappointed.
Best HOB filter aquarium on the market
|AquaClear Power Filter - 110 V||More sizes for all Aquariums
up to 110 Gallons
|Fluval C Power Filter||More sizes for all Aquariums
up to 70 Gallons
|Marineland Penguin Power Filter||More sizes for all Aquariums
up to 70 Gallons
|Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter||For Fresh or Marine Aquariums
from 55 to 100 Gallons
|Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters||For Fresh or Saltwater Aquariums 20 Gallons|
|Tetra Whisper EX Power Filter||More sizes for all Aquariums
up to 70 Gallons
|Marineland Emperor 400 Pro Series Bio-wheel Power Filter||For all Aquariums up to 80 Gallons|
Best hang on back filter reviews
1. AquaClear Power Filter
The Aqua Clear power is one of the most versatile HOB filters you can get on the market right now. It comes with better capacity and more features that would make anyone want to have it for themselves. The unique design that comes with the model allows for more media volume thus giving more time for the water to stay in contact with the filter. This in turn translates to having better filtration done to the water leaving it clean.
The control you get with model brings down the flow up to 50 percent. This is important not to harm the impellers or motors of the filter. The innovative recirculation grid is important to deliver better performance that you have always wanted. The water would be passed through the filter media more than once so that you get clean water with each session that the water is passed through the filter media. With better water quality, most people often feel great about using the filters.
The filter comes with cycle Guard system that allows for ceramic media inserting. This ensures that all the filtration would be done properly to end up with clean water and better compared to the other models. The media further allows for supporting the re-establishment of some of the essential bacteria important for the growth of plants and fish too.
When it comes to media replacement, the process is fairly simple. You have to follow the instructions given by the manufacturer and you should be good. The same thing goes for the installation process. You get the model with most of the hardware needed to hang it on the back of the aquarium.
- Come with large filtration media
- Silent when in operation
- Holds a huge amount of filtration media
- Excellent filtration capabilities
- The media bags are pricey
- Debris tend to be trapped in the propeller box
2. Fluval C Power Filter
This is one of the best models for having five filtration stages. Most people would feel comfortable having such a model for their aquariums knowing that it would always leave their aquarium water cleaner and better than before. The powerful filtration is still regulated that you do not have to worry about the filtration having much of an effect on the fish and plants. With the continuous flow of clean water into the tank, you will always have a great assurance that the fish and plants are in a clean environment.
The other huge advantage of this system is that can deliver and impressive of 264 gallons per hour. Compare it to many other models, and you would see that this one is better. The filtration should be easily for both the small and large tanks.
If you have to clean the filter, you can simply remove the foam from the mechanical filter and clean it. The best part is that you do not have to clean it every week. Wait for a few months as cleaning it weekly could remove the helpful bacteria.
Clogging is often an issue with some other models, but for this model, it should easily alert you when that happens. With other models you have to open up the model just to check if there is clogging or not. But for this model, it comes with a filter-clogging indicator. When the indicator comes on, you simply have to open up the filter and clean the clog and put it back together.
The model is made to come with the ability to adjust the filtration rate. When it is time for the fish to reproduce or when you have to grow sensitive plants, then you can set it to the lowest filtration. It should continue filtering the water and at the same time leaving the water to undisturbed as compared to some other models.
The installation process is super simple. This is unlike other models with various complicated parts to put together. You simply have to hang it on the back of the aquarium and you are done. If you are not sure, you could always refer to the manual provided by the manufacturer.
- Better filtration media
- Ease of installation and maintenance
- Impressive amount of filtration per hour
- Adjustable filtration rate
- The impellers tend to fail fast
- Some feel that it is too loud
3. Marineland Penguin Power Filter
The main selling point of this model should be its impressive durability that it has to offer to the user. Most people have been using the model for years and it still looks and works great. The manufacturer made it to have strong parts so that the reliability can be maintained all along. Each time you spend money on such a product you would always feel that it is worth buying it. Compare it to other models and you would see just how this one would last for a long time as compared to the others.
Another advantage of this model should be its spaciousness and ease of customizing the model. This means that it can accommodate more water for filtration and more media too for filtering the water. In the end, you have a filter that can deliver on better performance in terms of filtration capacity.
For many people who have used a noisy HOB filter, then it is time to change to a quieter model. This model is designed to have a great impeller that would still be quiet each time you get to use it. This is not like those models that would start as quiet models, but later on would be noisy. This model can manage running at low noise levels and keep you loving every minute of it. Even with years of use, the model would still be quiet.
The installation part is often what many people are looking to see if the model would favor them. It is time that you opted for this model as it is made to be easy for installation. Even as a beginner, you would find it easier to install on your aquarium.
The easy filtration process is great, as it does not put any strain on the circulation of the water. The stages include the mechanical, chemical and the biological media, which would always deliver the best clean water that you like. At the end of the process, your aquarium tank would free from ammonia and nitrates.
- It is a powerful model
- It has a durable construction
- The filtration media is excellent
- The bio wheel for most feel fragile
4. Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter
This is another top model that works great that most people feel satisfied with what they pay for. For this model, it is made to work quietly. For such a model, it would be peace to the fish and still for the person in the room when the filter is running. The quiet nature of the model makes more people to like it and feel that it is worth having for the aquarium. The model can further deliver an impressive filtration of 300 gallons per hour. The crystal clear water you get from the filter should keep you intrigued to keep using it. If you previously had trouble of cloudy water, all that can be eliminated now.
The manufacturer made it to have a revolutionary filtration media that performs all the good work. The Bio-Falls Quad-Filtration system should provide the best filtration you need for the aquarium. The filter is seen to be efficient, especially when you have to filter the ammonia and nitrates you get from the aquarium water. Let the filter run for a while and you should see that the water is clearer and smells better too.
The activated cartridge in the filter is important for removing the harmful chemicals and toxins common in the aquarium water. They are also important for removing discoloration and other similar contaminants in the water. You should easily see that this type of filter would be the best thing to get for your aquarium today.
There is also the internal sponge that optimizes the colonization of the beneficial bacteria. With the beneficial bacteria in place, the fish should have a great environment where they can live. There is also the addition of the polyfiber floss cartridge important for trapping the floating matter so that your water remains clear and looking better.
The presence of an adjustable flow knob is a nice additional feature. This means that you get to reduce or increase the speed of filtration depending on the needs. The slow speeds would be used when it is feeding time and other related scenarios where the water should not be disturbed. Thanks to its features and constructions, the model is recommended to be used by both the freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
- Impressive filtration capacity
- It removes harmful chemicals
- It is great for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums
- It has an adjustable flow rate
- Poor construction
5. Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters
It is no doubt that you would love to use this type of aquarium filter as it is made to be great on all levels. Coming from a top brand is a sure way of ending up with the best model at all times. Most people would feel comfortable buying this model as it is from a reputable brand. It would be a sure way of knowing that the model would last for long and make them feel the worth of their money.
For this size, it can work great for the 75-gallon aquarium tanks. This capacity should be enough to handle most of the aquariums that people have today. It further delivers an impressive 400 gallons per hour in terms of the filtration. This is better for those who might be looking for a model that can filter their aquariums faster when the need arises. Not many models would offer such an impressive amount of water to be filtered per hour.
From the power filter, it is truly a great power filter as it is made to deliver on the best performance when it comes to handling the filtration process. For most people, it will make it easier on clearing the cloudy water in the aquarium so that you get to enjoy a clean and better aquarium. Another great thing to note should be the ability to perform maintenance on the model. The way the filter material is mounted is just easy to swap it out and do the maintenance. This is unlike those models you would have to open up the whole model just to access the filter media. With the maintenance easier, you should find more people interested in such a model.
There is another smart feature that the manufacturer has included in the model. There is an LED indicator that would start flashing when it is time to replace your clogged cartridges. This is important so that you do not miss any maintenance to the filter. With the cartridges changed and working well, you should no longer have to worry about the filter not working when needed.
You get cartridges for filtration and Ammonia specialty filter pad important for removing the odor, water cloudiness and debris from the water. With such stuff removed, you should have a great time enjoying crystal clear water in your aquarium.
- Ease of operation
- LED cartridge indicator for clogged cartridges
- Easy to maintain
- Top brand
- Impeller bushings wear out fast
6. Tetra Whisper EX Power Filter
This model is one of a kind for most people. This something different and comes with more power. From its design, the model is suitable for both beginners and those with experience in the field of handling aquariums. With most of its parts assembled by the manufacturer, the model is readily usable the moment you get it out of the box. No more worries that you would probably have to fiddle around with the different parts before you get to install the model. What you have to do is prime the model and you should be ready to use it.
The model comes with two large patented carbon filters. These filters are important for cleaning the water in the aquarium. The model further comes with two bacteria growth plates. These are the kind of beneficial bacterial important for the health of the plants and fish. The combination of various materials as the filtration media makes the model quite the best. It will always leave the water looking clean and still healthy for your aquarium inhabitants.
The manufacturer the model to be compact enough for easy fitting on the aquarium. Some people often feel that the HOB filters can be too big that they take up more space that would be meant for the fish. Well, you do not have to worry about that any more. As part of the maintenance, the manufacturer has equipped the model with some clever ways of alerting the user when to change the cartridges. The use of the time strips comes in handy as a way of letting you know it is time for maintenance. When the strips turn read, then you know that you have to replace the cartridges.
The model further boasts of having a quiet operation. You can stay in the room with the model powered and you would not even notice it. This should be convenient for most people who are not looking to encounter issues with their HOB filters. The model on overall is just so easy to use as compared to other models. Simply lower it into your aquarium and sit back to let it handle the filtration process. Even with such many features, it is amazing to see how the model is made to be cheaper. You do not have to spend a lot just to enjoy using it.
- It can handle larger aquariums
- It is easy to install
- Easy maintenance
- Ready to use out of the box
- It lacks a strong construction
7. Marineland Emperor 400 Pro Series Bio-wheel Power Filter
As a top brand, you can also expect that the products you get from Marineland would be great. That is what you exactly get when you opt for this model. One advantage is that the model comes with a long intake tube. The intake is important for making sure that you can get it into any type of aquarium and let it work for you. If you had trouble with other models that would leave dead zones, then you can opt for this model. The long intake tube will eliminate such issues so that you can get to enjoy having a clean aquarium.
The long intake tube further has two intake sections. You get one at the bottom of the tube and the other in the middle. This should help with completely filtering all the water in the aquarium. No water would be left unfiltered as a way of keeping the tank balanced with clean water always.
You get filter pads for filtering of the water. Using the same type of slots, you could have more media bags installed so that filtration is even better. With more space, you have the option of including more media that could be great for treating the aquarium water to its best. Even if you remain with the manufacturer media, you should easily clean the water so as to end up with clean water. The pads are also important for capturing the debris that might be in the water before getting to the filtration media. The carbon filter is great for filtering out the particulate matter and removing odor from the water.
The BIO-wheels present in the model come in handy for the filtration process. The material is known for being quite effective with the filtration process. It also helps with the growth of the beneficial bacteria to aid in keeping the plants and fish healthy at all times. With the filters being durable, you would not have to keep replacing the media more often.
- Great in filtration
- More filter pad slots
- Long intake tube
- The spray bars easily clog
HOB Filter FAQ
What is the best hob filter?
The Marineland Emperor 400 Pro Series model seems to top the list with its features. Many people would feel comfortable spending money on it knowing that it would deliver on better flow rate and work perfectly on different aquariums.
What media to use in hob filter?
The media varies a lot depending on the model you have. Some would have the BIO-wheel, while other have a combination of several media. The best thing is to refer to your manufacturer guide if you are looking to replace or buy new media.
How does hob filter work?
One thing you have to do always is to read the instructions. Not all models would be plug and play and you are good to go. You have to prime the filter because you can start using it. In most cases, you simply have to fill some water in the storage area before turning it on. With the model primed, you can now hang it on the aquarium and turn it on. From there the operation is the same like other filters when it sucks in water, passes it through the media and the water emerges at the outlet as being clean.
How to set up a hob filter?
The setting up varies from one model to another, but it all comes to hanging the filter on the back of the aquarium. If your model needs assembly, then start by assembling the parts first and you should be ready for the installation part. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the installation part and you should be ready to go.
How to make hob filter quieter?
Most of the time, the HOB filter would be noisy because of the impeller being in a poor state of operation. You have to take out the filter and inspect the source of noise before replacing the impeller. It could be another issue that might just involve tightening some screws and you are good to go.
How to use purigen in a hob filter?
Purigen does the same job as the carbon filter you have in the HOB filters. So, you can replace it with the Purigen, which would be important for removing the ammonia, nitrates and a lot more in terms of organic wastes.
How to clean hob filter?
Depending on the model, the cleaning process would be relatively easy. Start by unplugging the model from the aquarium to clean it. Remove the top lid to expose the media for cleaning and other parts. With the cleaning done, you should be good to put together the parts and install the filter back on the aquarium.
Where to place hob filter?
From its name, you can easily know where to put the HOB filter. It is a hang on back filter, so mount it on the back of the aquarium.
From this guide, it is for sure easy now to find the best hang on back filter that you would need for your aquarium. For most people, they would be confused with the many models available on the market. Well, simply focus on what is provided here to make a great decision. All the models mentioned come from a top brand meaning that you have a better shot at finding the right model for your needs. The best part is that these models are affordable, so you would not have to spend a lot to get the best filter for your aquarium.