When it comes to aquarium filters, there are a variety of different types available, and “hang on back” is one popular type.
The question for most people would be, which type of HOB filter should I get?
As you know, the market is filled with many types of HOB filters, but not all of them would effectively serve their purpose. Some do not do a good job at the filtration process.
To help you to choose the best HOB filter, we have highlighted some of the best models you can buy today.
These models are great for saltwater tanks, for reef tanks, and for freshwater tanks.
Go through this guide and you will find one that works for you.
Table of Contents
- Best HOB Filter Aquarium on the Market
- Best Hang On Back Filter Reviews
- HOB vs. Canister Filter
- HOB Filter FAQ
Best HOB Filter Aquarium on the Market
|Pictures||HOB Filters||For Aquariums||Links|
|Aqua Clear - Fish Tank Filter||Up to 20, 30, 50, 70, 110 Gallons|
|Fluval C Power Filter||Up to 30, 50, 70 Gallons|
|Marineland Penguin Power Filter w/ Multi-Stage Filtration||Up to 20, 30, 50, 70 Gallons|
|Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter||Up to 7, 10, 20, 35, 55, 100 Gallons|
|Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters||Up to 10, 20, 30, 75 Gallons|
|Tetra Whisper EX Silent Multi-Stage Power Filter||Up to 20, 30, 45, 70 Gallons|
|MarineLand Emperor Filter Systems||Up to 80 Gallons|
Best Hang On Back Filter Reviews
1. AquaClear Power Filter
The Aqua Clear Power Filter is one of the most versatile HOB filters you can get on the market right now. It has a higher capacity and numerous features that would make anyone want to have this filter for themselves.
This model’s unique design allows for more media volume, thus giving the water more time in contact with the filter. This in turn translates to better filtration, leaving the water crystal clean.
The control you get with this model brings reduces the flow up to 50 percent. This is important in order not to harm the impellers or motors of the filter. The innovative recirculation grid is important, helping to deliver the level of performance that you have always wanted.
The water passes through the filter media more than once so that you get cleaner water each time the water is processed through the filter media. Due to better water quality, most people are very pleased with the performance of the filters.
The filter comes with the Cycle Guard system that allows for the inclusion of ceramic media. This ensures that the best possible filtration is done, resulting in cleaner water compared to the other models. The media further supports 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 simply follow the instructions given by the manufacturer and you should be good. The same thing goes for the installation process. You receive the model with most of the hardware needed to hang it on the back of the aquarium.
- Comes with large filtration media
- Silent when in operation
- Holds a huge amount of filtration media
- Excellent filtration capabilities
- The media bags are pricey
- Debris tends to get trapped in the propeller box
2. Fluval C Power Filter
This is one of the best models, due to it having five filtration stages. Most aquarium owners would feel comfortable having such a model, confident that it would always leave their aquarium water cleaner and better than before.
The powerful filtration is regulated so that you do not have to worry about the filtration having a negative effect on the fish and plants. With the continuous flow of clean water into the tank, you can always be assured that the fish and plants are in a clean environment.
The other huge advantage of this system is that it can deliver an impressive 264 gallons of water per hour. Compare it to many other models, and it will be easy to see that this one is better. The filtration is powerful enough for both 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 it does not need to be cleaned frequently. Wait for a few months, as cleaning it more often could remove the helpful bacteria.
Clogging is often an issue with some other models, but this model will alert you when that happens so you can easily fix the problem right away. With other models, you have to open up the model just to check if there is clogging or not. But this model comes with a filter-clog indicator. When the indicator comes on, you simply open up the filter and clean the clog and put it back together.
The model provides you 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 leave the water undisturbed as compared to some other models.
The installation process is super simple, unlike other models with various complicated parts to put together. You simply 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 is the impressive durability that it has to offer to the user. Most people who have been using this model for years will say it still looks and works great. The manufacturer built it with strong parts so that the reliability can be maintained over the long term.
Each time you spend money on a product for your aquarium you should always feel that you are getting real value for your money. Compare it to other models and you will see that this one should last for a long time as compared to the others.
Another advantage of this model is its spaciousness and ease of customization. This means that it can accommodate more water for filtration and more media for filtering the water. In the end, you have a filter that can deliver better performance in terms of filtration capacity.
For many people who have been using a noisy HOB filter, it is time to change to a quieter model. This model is designed to have a great impeller that remains quiet no matter how much you use it.
This is not like those models that would start out quiet, but later on get noisy. This model continues to run at low noise levels and you will love every minute of it. Even with years of use, the model will still be quiet.
The installation part is the main concern of many people when they try to make sure this is the right model for them. If easy installation is a priority for you, opting for this model would be an excellent decision. Even as a beginner, you will find it easy to install in your aquarium.
The efficient filtration process is excellent, as it does not put any strain on the circulation of the water. The stages of filtration include the mechanical, chemical and biological media, which would combine to deliver the best, cleanest water that you could want. At the end of the process, your aquarium tank will be free from ammonia and nitrates.
- It is a powerful model
- It has a durable construction
- The filtration media is excellent
- Many say the bio wheel feels fragile
4. Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter
This is another high-performing model that most users feel is well worth what they pay for it. This model is made to work quietly, providing a peaceful environment for both the fish and for any person in the room when the filter is running. The quiet nature of the model makes it appealing to more people who feel that it is worth having for their aquarium.
The model can further deliver an impressive filtration rate of 300 gallons per hour. The crystal clear water you get from this filter should keep you motivated to keep using it. If you previously had trouble with cloudy water, all that can be eliminated now.
The manufacturer built it with a revolutionary filtration media that performs all the work. The Bio-Falls Quad-Filtration system will provide the outstanding filtration you need for your aquarium.
This filter has been proved to be efficient, especially when you have to filter the ammonia and nitrates from the aquarium water. Let the filter run for a while and you will see that the water quickly becomes clearer, and smells better too.
The activated carbon cartridge in the filter is important for removing the harmful chemicals and toxins common in the aquarium water. It is also important for removing discoloration and other similar contaminants from 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 to live in. There is also the addition of the poly fiber floss cartridge, important for trapping the floating matter so that your water remains clear and looking good.
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 of your tank.
The slow speeds should be used when it is feeding time and other scenarios when the water should not be disturbed. Thanks to its features and construction, this model is recommended for use with both 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
There is no doubt that you would love this aquarium filter, as it is made to be high-quality on all levels. Purchasing from a top brand is a sure way of ending up with the best model every time.
This model comes from a brand with an excellent reputation, which means you can feel confident this model will last for a long time and make buyers feel they received real value for their money.
This size filter will work great for 75-gallon aquarium tanks. The capacity is large enough to handle most of the aquariums that people have today. It further delivers an impressive 400 gallons per hour of 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 offer such an impressive amount of water filtration per hour.
This model is truly a great power filter as it is made to deliver the best possible performance when it comes to the filtration process. For most people, it will make it easier to clear the cloudy water in the aquarium so that you get to enjoy a clean and attractive aquarium.
Another great thing to note is the ease of performing maintenance on the model. The way the filter material is mounted makes it just so easy to swap it out and do the maintenance. This is unlike other models where you would have to open up the whole unit just to access the filter media. With such easy maintenance, you can be sure more people are interested in such a model.
There is another smart feature that the manufacturer has included in this model. There is an LED indicator that will 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 won’t have to worry about the filter not working when needed.
Included with this filter you get cartridges for standard filtration plus a specialty filter pad important for removing the ammonia 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 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. It is really something different and comes with more power. This 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, it is readily usable the moment you take it out of the box. No more worries about having to fiddle around with the different parts before you get to install the filter on your aquarium. All you have to do is prime the model and it will be ready to use.
The unit 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 used in these filtration media makes this model absolutely the best. It will always leave the water looking clean and healthy for your aquarium inhabitants.
The manufacturer designed the model to be compact and fit easily on the aquarium. People often feel that the HOB filters can be too big and take up space that is meant for the fish. Well, you do not have to worry about that anymore.
The manufacturer has equipped the model with some clever ways of alerting the user when it is time to change the cartridges. One of these is called time strips; these strips come in handy as a way of letting you know when it is time for maintenance. When the strip turns red, then you know that you need to replace the cartridges.
The model further boasts of quiet operation. You can stay in the room with the model powered on and operating 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.
This model is overall just so easy to use compared to other models. Simply lower it into your aquarium and sit back and let it handle the filtration process. Even with so many useful features, it is amazing to see how the model is kept very affordable. You do not have to spend a lot to enjoy using it.
- It can handle larger aquariums
- It is easy to install
- Easy maintenance
- Ready to use out of the box
- It is not very strongly constructed
7. Marineland Emperor 400 Pro Series Bio-wheel Power Filter
As a top brand, you can also expect great quality from the products you get from Marineland. That is exactly what you get when you opt for this model. One advantage is that the model comes with a long intake tube. The intake is important to be 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,” this model is a great option. The long intake tube will eliminate such issues so that you can enjoy having a clean aquarium.
In addition, the long intake tube has two intake sections. You get one at the bottom of the tube and the other in the middle. This helps with completely filtering all the water in the aquarium. No water would be left unfiltered, keeping the tank full of clean, clear water always.
You get special filter pads for filtering of the water. There are extra slots, so you have the option of including more media installed so that filtration is even better. Even if you remain with the manufacturer’s included media, which is enough to easily clean the water thoroughly.
The pads are also important for capturing the debris that might be in the water before it gets 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 this model further improve the filtration process. The material is known for being quite effective in filtering aquarium water.
It also helps with the growth of the beneficial bacteria that aid in keeping the plants and fish healthy at all times. Because the filters are durable, you would not have to replace the media very often.
- Great filtration
- Extra filter pad slots
- Long intake tube
- The spray bars clog easily
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 than 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 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.
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 others 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.