For aquarium hobby, besides an aquarium, you have to invest in some equipment to support the lives of fish and other residents. Among them, it is impossible not to mention a filter.
Filters are devices that help maintain a clean environment and remove potential pathogens for aquarium residents. This device can filter waste, pollutants and pathogens out of the aquarium and return it to the cleanest environment possible.
There are many types of filters, but hang on back (HOB) filters are the most common. The best HOB filter has many outstanding advantages such as ease of installation, ease of use and does not require much effort for maintenance.
However, there are many types of HOB filters on the market so you may have difficulty choosing the best HOB filters. Especially for beginners, not having much experience, choosing the best filter is quite a challenge.
To save you time and effort, we’ve put together a list of the best HOB filters and a buying guide so you can easily choose to buy one.
- Top 5 Best Hang On Back filter Review 2020
- How to choose the best Hang On Back filter?
Top 5 Best Hang On Back filter Review 2020
#1 AquaClear – Fish Tank Filter [Best Rated]
When you search for aquarium supplies, you should never ignore the Aqua Clear products. This is a typical manufacturer in the field of providing aquarium products and always receives high praise from customers. And this filter of the company is also one of the products that many people trust.
This filter has many options so that you can choose one that fits your tank size, it can integrate with tanks from 20 gallons to 110 gallons. To choose a filter that is compatible with the aquarium size, pay attention to the number printed by the manufacturer on the packaging, which is printed quite large and clearly.
This HOB filter works with a multi-stage filtration mechanism so that it will filter the water in the aquarium very carefully and the water will be mechanically, chemically and even biological filtered. The filtration time will be longer so that it will have enough time to remove all impurities and decompose ammonia. And don’t forget that pathogenic bacteria or nitrites will also be removed through this filter.
You can also adjust the water flow of the filter easily while not compromising on the quality of the filter. Changing the water flow makes it easier to care for and clean the tank, but this change only allows the speed of the water to change and does not affect the filter’s ability to remove impurities.
This filter is also easy to install and maintain, and you can easily replace the activated carbon packages that can be purchased at any aquarium store. Quiet and affordable running engines are outstanding advantages of the product.
However, the downside of this product is that it does not have a self-priming mode and this is an unfortunate regret.
#2 Marineland PF0350B Penguin Power Filter [Best Budget]
This list cannot fail to mention the Marineland HOB filter. Like AquaClear, Marineland is also a well-known manufacturer for quality aquarium products and is trusted by many customers.
This hang on back filter is also one of the leading products currently on the market. And especially, PF0350B Penguin Power Filter is a very attractive budget option, it is quite cheap compared to the overall good quality. You can hardly find a good price filter like this that can work an outstanding.
The water in the aquarium will go through 3 stages of filtration to give the best results. This three-stage controller is very powerful, completely eliminating dirt and harmful bacteria. Especially, the bio-wheel is not only capable of biological filtration but also has the role of providing more oxygen to the aquarium.
The Rite-size filter box filters dust and debris, and it can also disperse ammonia. After the water has gone through this first step, it will be passed through activated carbon to remove impurities. And finally will go through the bio-wheel.
With three such filters, this filter ensures the water in the tank will be completely removed from dirt and impurities. However, the downside of this product is that the bio-wheel is not always moving and it is only for tanks under 70 gallons.
#3 Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter [Best warranty]
Penn Plax is also a familiar face in the market and you can count on this product’s quality. The Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter is an outstanding product not only because it works well, but also because of the longest warranty period among the HOB filters currently available on the market.
This filter has many options for compatibility with tank sizes, from aquariums only a few gallons to larger tanks of around 100 gallons. So that even the smallest aquarium can use this filter to clean the living environment for the residents in the tank.
You can also adjust the flow rate to suit the conditions of the fish in the tank, as well as to make cleaning the tank easier. The ability to adjust the water flow is essential and is the element that every filter should have. For small fish, for example, the large flow of water will make them scared and will not be able to swim comfortably.
This product is also a three-stage filter so the water in the aquarium will also be carefully filtered. The three filter layers are sponges, activated carbon and finally quad bio-falls.
However, this filter does not have a clog indicator that will signal when you need to change the filter and clean it. And this is also the factor that many people expect this product to develop further in the future.
#4 Fluval C Power Filter [Best filtration stage]
Never forget that we still have Fluval, one of the trusted names when searching for aquarium supplies today. Fluval C Power Filter is one of the best-selling and reputable product lines that you can find in any aquatic store or online store at an affordable price.
This filter can be used in combination with tanks under 70 gallons. The special thing about this product is that the water in the aquarium will go through 5 stages of filtration instead of 3 stages as the above products. This patented filtration system will give amazing filter results to aquarium owners. It is also considered the best HOB filter for a 10-gallon tank.
First, water will be passed through a coarse foam pad to remove debris and waste. It will then turn to the fine foam pad to continue removing smaller debris. Activated carbon is the third filtration stage, where the water will be removed impurities and harmful bacteria. This is followed by bio-screens and finally C-Nodes, where beneficial bacteria will grow and break down the structure of ammonia and nitrate.
The engine of this filter is really smooth and quiet, although it works very hard but hardly creates a sound that scares the inhabitants of the tank. It also has an indicator to let you know it’s time to clean the filter.
However, some customers complain that C-Nodes do not always work well and the water may occasionally get clogged when passing through the filter.
#5 Seachem | Tidal Power Filters [Best engine]
This is the best HOB filter for saltwater and freshwater. This filter from Seachem works perfectly with both types of water and any setups of aquariums. Besides, it is also a product from a famous pump manufacturing company, so its engine works extremely well and strong.
A special feature of this filter is that it comes with a skimmer on top and thus makes it more attractive than other filters on the market. It is also very easy to install and has a user-friendly design, read the installation instructions and use it carefully to make installation simpler.
You can also change the water speed as easily as all the above products. It comes with a rubber ring to minimize the chance of a collision between the filter and the tank, so you no longer have to worry about the filter scratching the aquarium.
This product has a spill section to prevent backflow of water so that it will help you avoid unnecessary accidents. And it also has the ability to signal when you need to clean with a blue valve.
However, you need to install properly and regularly clean so that the media basket does not get easily clogged after a period of use.
How to choose the best Hang On Back filter?
The HOB filter is a filter that brings the best experience to customers, so it is becoming a popular choice. The hang on back filter does not require you to spend a lot of time to clean and maintain, the fact that it hides behind the tank will also help your tank with a more attractive appearance.
Those are the most common reasons that you should invest in a HOB filter for your aquarium. However, if you do not have much experience when investing in a filter, please refer to our buying guide below.
Here are the criteria that you should consider when choosing the best HOB filter:
#1 Flow rate
Many people do not care about the speed of the flow but this is one of the important factors that you should consider when choosing a HOB filter. The fast or slow flow rate not only affects the filtration capacity of the filter, but also directly affects the residents in the tank.
A flow rate that is too small will not cause dirt and debris to flow through the filtration stages. An excessive flow rate will affect the small sized aquarium inhabitants and scare them.
Therefore, you should choose filters that can adjust the flow rate so that you can choose the appropriate speed for your aquarium. And do not forget to consult the manufacturer’s information about the minimum and maximum speed of the filter for the best experience.
#2 Biological filtration
Filtering is also important for any filter, especially for biological filtration. Check to see if the filter you are going to choose has good bio filtering capacity, the more bio will give you the most perfect filtration results.
You should remember that even a small drop of fish needs a lot of good bacteria to handle. These bacteria can break down ammonia or nitrate, maintaining a clean and healthy living environment for tank residents.
Filters with many stages of filtration and outstanding biological filtration are always a top priority that you should keep in mind.
#3 Additional features
Additional features are not available for every filter, but they make it easier to maintain the filter and maintain a clean living environment for the fish.
A HOB filter with indicator that signals whenever the filter needs to be cleaned or it is clogged will be a great additional feature. Some may signal with lights, others use sound to signal. But whatever the filter indicator is, it’s a good feature.
Besides, a filter capable of self-priming is also not a bad choice. It will automatically fill the filter with water without any manual action from you.
The most expensive filters are not necessarily the best ones. Some well-known brands maintain a premium price, but some products work just as well, but at an affordable price.
So you should not just search for luxury brands, but expand the search area to be able to choose the most suitable product. You can also refer to HOB filter reviews of previous customers to optimize your search.
A HOB filter not only keeps your aquarium in good condition, but it also brings the best experience to the owner. You will save a lot of effort to maintain the filter as well as clean the aquarium. Not only that, your aquarium will look cleaner and more beautiful with a filter hanging from the back.
When choosing a hang on back filter, you should consider a number of factors to be able to choose the best one. Careful research will become a valuable gift for your hard work.