Unquestionably, cleaning your aquarium should be your top priority in fish keeping. It is imperative to tidy it quite well in order to effectively impede potential fish health problems in the future. Besides, a clean fish tank would often have safe and clean water which isn’t only beneficial to your aquarium dwellers but could also make your overall tank look more attractive.
The best HOB filters for fish tanks have gained massive fame over the years. This is mainly because, as the name indicates, they are a lot easier to set up for you only need to clip the filter onto the rear section of the tank and installation is accomplished. Basically, they are also capable of delivering superior performance.
Evidently, the market is filled with diverse kinds of Hang-On-Back filters; however, not all of them are adept at efficiently delivering what they were designed for. Some of them do not execute a great job at the filtration process.
Fortunately, to assist you pick the most suitable HOB filter for you, start exploring the underscored product reviews below and also make sure to go over the shopping tips and other HOB filter-related information shared in this post. You only need to delve into this guide and you would certainly end up finding the right one that will work effectively for your fish tank.
Table of Contents
- Best HOB Filter Reviews of 2021
- 1. MarineLand Penguin
- 2. Aqua Clear – Fish Tank Filter
- 3. Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter
- 4. Seachem Tidal Power Filters
- 5. Fluval C Power Filter
- 6. Azoo Mignon 150 Power Filter
- 7. Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters
- 8. Boxtech Aquarium Hang On Filter
- 9. Tetra Whisper EX Silent Multi-Stage Power Filter
- 10. Zacro Aquarium Filter for 20-50 Gal Aquarium
- What to Look for When Buying a HOB filter
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best HOB Filter Reviews of 2021
1. MarineLand Penguin
There is no need to suffer from troubling times shopping for hang on back aquarium filter at present. This model is a good choice that won’t leave you feeling disappointed. It is ideal for tanks containing 70 gallons and comes with a rate of flow of a total of 350 gallons per hour.
You will find that the cartridges are no sweat to remove and replace. In line with this, these BIO-wheels execute sterling job of efficiently clearing away nitrite and ammonia from the tank water. Please take note that the counterbalance is the maintenance that is needed to keep the device operating more efficiently.
Be that as it may, two negative aspects that need to be thoroughly checked if you plan to get this filter for you are its cartridges that need to be changed more frequently which could mean additional cost and it is not powerful enough to ensure great performance for tanks that have more vegetation and fish that produces more waste.
2. Aqua Clear – Fish Tank Filter
Are you hunting for a top quality hang on fish tank filter? If so, you may lessen the burden of your search now and see for yourself how this device can work like a charm in your aquarium needs. It is elating to note that you can consider this filter as one of the great picks to select from.
By and large, this filter can work superbly for smaller tanks. It is untroublesome to maintain and is sterling at taking in loads of water without forming a tidal wave inside the aquarium. It is also equipped with large filter media box where you could add more media, filter floss and other stuff.
However, please note that a couple of downsides that you can encounter once you get this filter for your tank are its noisy impeller and it appears to be susceptible to getting cracked sooner than expected.
3. Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter
If it is your dream to purchase the best hang on back filter, then this filter can be your most excellent bet. This is specifically designed for marine or freshwater tanks that come with twenty by up to thirty-five gallons in size. As compared to other alternatives, this is reliable in terms of delivering 150 GPH.
Be reminded that when this device is not primed with sufficient water prior to starting it, there is a tendency for it to generate noise. However, once the level of water in the filter is adequate, it works silently. It is excellent at executing its job at keeping the aquarium water clear and safe and is quite quick at removing yellow iron tint in tank water.
Notwithstanding, this filter is incapable of flowing quite properly as anticipated and the motor and other gears appear to be poorly built. These are a few of the glitches that you need to be cautious of if you purchase this model.
4. Seachem Tidal Power Filters
This HOB power filter is crafted with extra aeration slots situated in the lid and in the outflow section in order to guarantee optimum gas exchange for completely oxygenated water by up to fifty-five gallons. Its auto maintenance alert mechanism is meant to enable users pinpoint when the filter necessitates cleaning or maintenance.
Additionally, the completely removable basket is designed to aid making the cleaning method a less stressing task to manage. The surface skimmer equipped with it aims to captivate hovering detritus underneath the surface like various sorts of pollutants, algae and fish oil.
In like manner, this also comes with a clip that allows users to instantly add a heater to the unit in order to set up the appropriate hub for marine and freshwater fish.
Even so, this filter is priced more expensively if compared to other available options sold on the market and the skimmer is a little difficult to disable or turn off. Hence, you need to be extra cautious when feeding flakes and hovering food.
5. Fluval C Power Filter
This Fluval HOB filter is a worthwhile investment for those who are searching for a reliable and functional hang-on-back filter that is not prone to malfunctioning. It is slightly overpriced; nonetheless, it comes with admirable features that would satisfy your requirements in the long run.
Likewise, this unit comes with a re-filtration system in place in case you seriously necessitate reducing the water flow for the advantage of any plants and your finned friends in the tank that call for a more serene environment.
This device is equipped with a cleaning indicator that specifies the correct period when the polyfoam needs to be thoroughly washed. This is not complicated to put together since it can be installed in a snap and only calls for minimum maintenance. If you hope to ensure a stress-free hub for your aquatic pets, then do not miss this product. It works excellently in sustaining fresh crisp water inside the tank.
If you purchase this filter, take note that this device tends to produce audible sounds that could be disturbing for you and your pet fish and changing the media could get more expensive.
6. Azoo Mignon 150 Power Filter
Surely, many aquarium keepers prefer the quietest HOB filter and if that is what you are also looking for, then this HOB filter model can keep you satisfied. Besides the fact that it won’t break the bank if you invest in it, this device has lots of stunning features to offer.
This is a duck soup to put together and is quite effortless to maintain. It also comes with modifiable flow valve that is meant to regulate the flow. You can also replace the cartridges without any hassle and you will certainly fall in love with its upscale design. It is worthy of every single cent spent for it because it could ensure dependable operation for a very long time.
Two minor gripes that must be looked into if you decide to purchase this filter are its strong flow rate even at its lowest setting that could scare away small fish and it also calls for a little priming if you wish the water to get flowing.
7. Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters
If you are in search of high quality HOB filters for freshwater and saltwater, this device can be your right partner.
This filter is capable of starting up in an automatic mode after tidying or episodes of power interruptions. Aside from three-stage filtration, it could also provide extra assistance with the aid of its specialty filter pad. This unit is also constructed with internal pump deign that considerably aids in restraining noise and getting rid of leaks.
This is a certified practical option for tanks containing twenty gallons of water and it is backed up by a lifetime warranty that makes it a wise investment too. It is built with LED indicator light that flashes during periods when clogged cartridges need to be changes through keeping track of the actual levels of water. Its flow rates ensure well-enhanced health for fish and suitable water circulation.
Still and all, this power filter comes with a few losses of points and these include the poor quality sample filter with each unit that is included in the box once purchased and replacing the filters may mess up the beneficial bacteria colonies.
8. Boxtech Aquarium Hang On Filter
If you are fishing for a HOB filter for 10 gallon tank or small tanks, you can give this device a chance to show you how mighty it can be even if it is considered small in size. It is so affordable and is equipped with submersible hanging activated carbon, power waterfall suspension oxygen pump and wall-mounted aquarium filtration water.
This HOB filter comes in compact size and is built using combination of filters and materials. Many aquarium owners prefer its water-fall like quality and its submersible activated carbon filters as well as oxygen pump works as advertised. It can be mounted on the inside of the aquarium; on the other hand, the carbon and sponge filters are hanged over the surface. This could also be immersed in water if you like.
Howbeit, this filter can generate loud enough noise than expected and assembling it may require a bit of work.
9. Tetra Whisper EX Silent Multi-Stage Power Filter
Whether you are investing in a top-rated HOB filter for saltwater or freshwater, what matters the most is ensuring that the device is the most suitable pick that could satisfy the needs of your tank. The good news is that, this filter can handle the needs of large tanks quite well.
What is so interesting about this filter is that it looks trendy and comes in compact size. This could also be positioned to blend aesthetically with any setup. It’s a little pricey, but it is definitely a great addition that would benefit your tank in general.
Please bear in mind that there are a couple of bad marks that go with this HOB filter and these include its tendency to produce intense and annoying noise and it could be quite strong that your tiny fish pets can get scared or disturbed.
10. Zacro Aquarium Filter for 20-50 Gal Aquarium
This device is especially designed to help get rid of waste, foul smell and discoloration in tank water. Aquarium keepers could completely bank on it because it does well in terms of efficiently enhancing the amount of oxygen on the surface and in increasing the illumination of the fish tank.
Please be reminded that since the water would evaporate in the air in a natural approach, it is highly suggested to inspect the level of water and make sure to replenish the water so you could ensure that the unit operates accordingly. Tidying this unit is a simple task to handle, you only need to lift the filter boxes, wash thoroughly and properly return to its intended place.
A few minor issues that you need to unveil once you bought this filter are its potentiality to produce sudden grinding sounds after a couple of weeks and at first the pump would not prime and you’ll need to wait for a short time for it to do so.
What to Look for When Buying a HOB filter
When getting the right HOB filter for your aquarium, you don’t just buy anything that you come across with. Of course, there are certain features that must be carefully looked into before making the final shopping decision. If you wish to end up feeling grateful for buying the right brand and model for you, it would be practical for you if you would consider the following shopping guides:
What features to search for when getting the most suitable HOB filter for your tank?
- Filtration Media. This is primarily utilized to effectively clear away dirt particles and detritus from the tank water. Take in mind that having more filter media does not often imply more outstanding filtration- rather it is the kind of media utilized that is more valuable.
In essence, even if a certain model is designed with more filter media than the other, see to it that it makes use of merely the second to none kind and quality of media. Truth is, it is unnecessary to have filters that may not aid with filtration at all.
- The flow rate. This is generally a very vital deciding factor to mull over specifically when the user is deciding whether or not to utilize a specific model. Be reminded that your particular requirements for a premium quality filter would differ hinging on the size of the tank. It is vital to invest in a model that is capable of delivering a more superior rate of flow so that the filtration could go as instantly as feasible.
- New Technology. For sure, countless of manufacturers commonly consider including the latest technology into their filters so they can lure consumers to choose them over other options. This is meant to improve the functionality of the device and to make it more effective as compared to other similar models.
That said, you must always take the time to carefully inspect the distinction between models prior to picking which one to invest in.
- The maintenance of the device. Cleaning and maintenance are unquestionably very vital with any filter. The most valuable to consider are the amount of effort and time you would devote in performing these tasks.
In substance, distinct models come with distinct instructions and methodologies for cleaning, so this clearly conveys the significance of picking a model that would be less burdening to clean and maintain.
- Brand. You must be well aware of the reality that not all brands would often deliver the superior level of performance and filtration that aquarium owners prefer nowadays. There are a few brands that are popular within the filtration field to be more exceptional as compared to others.
Be sure to search at brands that are known to be trustworthy and have been in the filtration industry for some time now.
Now that you have the most important factors to reckon with when shopping for the right HOB filter for your tank, there is no need to worry about wasting your hard-earned money in a useless device.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is a hang on back filter? How does it work?
HOB filters are types of filter especially designed for fish tanks that are hanged on the rear wall of the aquarium. In addition to this, these are commonly categorized as simple external filters. Be that as it may, these devices are typically not as heavy as compared to canister filters and could be utilized in a broad array of aquariums.
It is worth noting that the pump, filtering materials as well as all the mechanisms are kept in an embedded case. Indeed, these are at times called as backpack filters- this is obviously where the name was derived.
Hang-On-Back filters function in the following process:
- A water intake tube displaces water through the aid of a nozzle from the aquarium to the filter.
- Afterward, within the case, the water is seeped through by the any filter object or sponge.
- Lastly, the strained water then returns to the aquarium through the channels, forming a waterfall-like type of flow. Such flow aids in mixing the water more efficiently and this also does a good job of oxygenating it.
Please be guided that this method is what nearly all hang-on-back filters utilized and this is also referred to as the waterfall approach. Moreover, a few versions come with options that keep track of the water flow and this is highly suggested for anyone who considers the sound of water streaming into the aquarium very irking.
Virtually, ease of operation as well as maintenance is the reason why HOB filters are quite well-known in the field of aquarium keeping hobby.
What are the different types of HOB filters?
Majority of today’s types of hang-on-back filters combine top quality filtration media, superior filtration capacity and ease of maintenance and operation. These are also designed with a lot of distinct power classes and sizes to perfectly fit the requirements of different fish tank owners.
Hang-on-back filters must have all three forms of media. Even so, it is indispensable to thoroughly check the quality of the included media prior to making the final buying decision. It is highly suggested to opt for a filter that is designed with 1 or 2 media than a type of filter that contains all 3 filtration methods but executes unsatisfactory operation.
By the same token, HOB filters are portable and reasonably priced to the more intricate in-tank type of filters. These are stellar at providing wonderful performance and are compact in size and do not generate more irking noise when operating. They are practical to utilize for small to medium-sized aquariums.
Regardless, for bigger-sized aquariums, it is still suggested to opt for those that are built with more powerful filtration system. Clearly, it is beneficial to select a HOB filter that fits the requirements of your aquarium. And, look into the kinds and quality of filtration media that comes with it, how uncomplicated it is to set up and maintain and the level of noise it generates.
Why do you need a hang on back filter? (Benefits)
It cannot be denied that more and more aquarium hobbyists these days go for HOB filters because they can provide more benefits in the long run. And these perks consist of the following:
- Aside from the reality that HOB filters are not sold so costly, they are perceived as one of the easiest forms of regular filter to utilize. You solely have to install your HOB filter by putting the filter cartridge and intake tube together, hang the filter on the rear wall of the aquarium and you can start to plug it.
- HOB filters are undemanding to maintain. Since the filter media is easy to access, it helps make the cleaning process and replacement task a simpler task to deal with. For a fact, they are designed to make cleaning the filter interior less complicated and it is good to know that there are no intricate methods to break it down.
- These are accessible. Since HOB filters are positioned on the above section of the tank, they are quite easy to reach. These devices do not require being stocked underneath the aquarium or on a separate stand. Also, there is no need to reach into the aquarium.
- Due to the fact that the only immersed section of the filter is the inlet hose, there is no way to disrupt your aquarium dwellers when doing some maintenance work.
In addition to all these, HOB filters serve a vital role when it comes to providing wonderful oxygenation of water as it is seeped through. And, it could also offer all forms of filtration making it an even more cost-effective and practical choice to ponder on.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted HOB filter brands?
When investing in HOB filters, it is best if you buy those versions that were manufactured by the most trusted and reputable brands in the world of fish and aquarium keeping. This is because these have been tested and proven to be superior in terms of delivering satisfying performance. While it is true that some of them are priced a little higher, their quality and practical features are more than enough to get the real worth of your hard-earned money.
Some of the HOB filter brands that you could fully rely on include the following:
- Aqua Clear
How to set up and use?
When it comes to installing HOB filters, these are luckily quite smooth sailing to set up and operate. As a matter of fact, even beginners won’t need to suffer from intricate installation instructions.
Take in mind that prior to installing anything, it is a must to think about the size of the aquarium and look for the suitably-sized filter model. From there, you have to decide the right spot where you are going to set it up. Basically, it would look more appealing if you consider using an impressive fish tank backdrop or a colored covering sheet where the filter is positioned.
You can set up the filter in a span of short period by doing the following methods:
- Add the filter media. Be reminded that a few filters come with individual baskets that pinpoints where each kind of media must go.
- Then, be sure to properly hang the filter in a secure mode. Typically, there is a cut on the aquarium lid that displays where to position the filter. Alternatively, you can choose where the filter would go if there is not available cut out.
- Afterward, see to it to prime the filter. As you might already know, priming the filter calls for filling the filter with water in a manual approach; nevertheless, a few filters come with self-priming system as well.
- And, the last phase would be to plug the filter in and you are all set!
How often to change HOB filter?
HOB filter must be cleaned properly whenever it gets filthy. Take note that tidying it and changing it are not the same thing. It is a must to change it when it begins to display indications of wear and tear. In the same way, if you are running carbon in the filter, it is also necessary to replace it every two by up to four weeks.
Essentially, carbon would not merely attract dirt till it has filled up and it is not going to execute anything till you replace it with a brand new one. It is good to know that there is no need to run carbon in a full time approach if the system is operating without any trouble.
How to upgrade/ improve HOB filter?
If you would prefer to polish the tank water more effectively, all you need to do is to add a layer of poly pad that comes with very tiny pores and can work efficiently in getting rid of very small dirt particles. It is engrossing to note that similar with cartridges, these fine filter pads would sooner or later require being discarded and changed once they become soaked with detritus. Nonetheless, the benefits of these pads are that they are less costly and can be instantly cut to any size.
Improving or upgrading your filter with the aid of reusable filter media can absolutely make your fish tank system to operate more effectively and more excellently in terms of keeping the quality of tank water high. While it could be true that the initial cost might be slightly higher, reusable filter media are more inclined to last for several years of usage which makes them actually cost-effective.
How to care & clean?
When cleaning HOB filters, you can start by cleaning the tank as soon as it gets filthy. To execute this, you need to unplug the filter first and then take it apart and thoroughly tidy all the chutes, tubes and pipes.
Please note that the sponge must be taken out, be sure to clear away anything that was trapped in it and thoroughly wash the filter off in a canister of tank water. You must replace the filter media while the sponge is out.
Cleaning must be performed at least once per week or every other week; particularly when you administer 25% partial water change. This can be accomplished by taking some of the aquarium water in a canister and from there you could take the media or filter cartridge out of the holder and swirl it around in the aquarium water and press it out to get rid of the huge stuff off of it.
After that, return it in the holder and in the rear section of the filter system. Consider squeezing it a number of times more if it is clogged up with dirt particles using the replaced aquarium water canister. Furthermore, this would potentially clear away a few of the beneficial bacteria but would typically leave enough to keep your aquarium risk-free.
It is essential to understand that squeezing and swirling in replaced aquarium water method would significantly aid keep beneficial bacteria to thrive in the filter so this clearly implies that you are not causing your aquarium to cycle again.
It is not advised to allow more than a month pass between thoroughly tidying and maintaining your HOB filter because this would bring about serious accumulation of debris. This could lead to decay and might bring about nitrates to rise immediately. Tidying the filter would only consume less than half an hour and it serves as a great assurance to keep your aquarium safe and healthy
What is the warranty?
When shopping for HOB filters, one of the things that must be guaranteed is the warranty of the product. It is important to check if the product you are planning to purchase is backed up a warranty so that you can secure customer protection. As you know, sometimes there are issues that need to be resolved sooner with regards to the product bought. You would be worry-free if the product comes with a warranty.
Warranties that are generally offered for various products like HOB filters include money-back guarantee offers, replacement of defective product components or replacement of the faulty item received. Evidently, these are the reasons why it is best if you pick the one with product warranty. Luckily, world-class brands always back up their product with warranties.
Where to buy?
If you have finally decided to get a Hang-On-Back filter for your aquarium, it is delighting to know that these devices are readily available in various local and online shopping stores. You can visit the nearest specialty pet store, fish supply store or aquarium shops in your area. For sure, you’ll enjoy looking for the right pick if you are provided with numerous choices to inspect.
However, if you prefer to shop online, see to it that you only shop from legit and trusted sites like Amazon. In this site, you can be offered with lots of options to select from, and it is where you can encounter different first-class brands and manufacturers too. If you are more than lucky, you could also avail of some special offers that you would not find in local stores.
In summary, as clearly tackled in this article, the best HOB filters are ideal solutions for anyone keeping a small aquarium. Such device does not necessitate high maintenance for it is a piece of cake to set up and are not priced that expensively.
Aside from these, they are also reliable and could be utilized without any issues both by novices and expert aquarists. There are lots of different models out there and many of them are certified user-friendly. You only need to pick those that are designed with advanced technology in mind.
Fundamentally, there is no reason for your pet fish to feel suffocated since the right HOB filter can inhibit this from happening. Majority of the HOB filters reviewed in this article are capable of delivering the appropriate amount of filtration in order to keep the fish tank water clear, safe and clean.
All you need to ensure is that you select the one that could better handle the size of your fish tank as well as the amount of water in terms of the rate of flow. To do so, you may consider making careful comparison between diverse models just to ensure that it is what you really seriously require in the end.