7 Best HOB Filters For Aquarium Review [Foolproof Buyer’s Guide]

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Keeping your aquarium water clean and clear is essential for the health of your fish and plants. Hang-on-back (HOB) filters are a popular and effective way to achieve this. With so many options available, it can be challenging to choose the best HOB filter for your aquarium.

In this article, we will explore some of the top HOB filters, including the Fluval C Series filter, which features a 5-stage filtration system, the Fluval C Power filter, ideal for saltwater tanks, and the Hagen AquaClear, which has been a trusted brand since 1978.

Cleaning a fish tank often is a lot of work. It’s like making an appointment before going to the doctor. You have to be prepared for the day. And not to mention the mess you will be creating along the way.

But just like every other problem, this one has a solution too. And that is using a filter that will free you of all the extra tasks.

An unclean aquarium can lead to fish health issues and can even cause death. That’s why the best way to ensure a clean and healthy environment is to use a filter. Many people think using a filter means an endless buzzing sound through the day and night.

You can also read "HOB filter VS Canister Filter - Which is best for your Fish Tank"

While looking for the best HOB filters, our research team came across several comparatively quiet filters. That’s why, for today’s best HOB aquarium filters, we will introduce you to some of the best and quietest models.

Best Hang-onBack Filters For Aquarium:

Comparison Table

ImageProductDetails  Price
backpacAquaClear Fish Tank
Filter (A620A1)
Flow Rate: 80 to 500 GPH
Capacity: 60 to 110 Gallon
Dimension: 13.5 X 6.75 X 6.75 inches
Weight: 4.52 Pounds
Check Price
backpacFluval C Series Power FilterFlow Rate: Up to 264 GPH
Capacity: 10 to 70 Gallon
Dimension: 11 x 7.5 x 10 inches
Weight: 2.73 Pounds
Check Price
backpacMarineland 350 Penguin
Power Filter (PF0350B)
Flow Rate: Up to 350 GPH
Capacity: 50 to 70 Gallon
Dimension: 15.25 x 6.12 x 8 inches
Weight: 3.52 pounds
Check Price
backpacSeaChem Large Aquarium
Fish Tank Filter
Flow Rate: Up to 350 GPH
Capacity: 55 to 75 Gallon
Dimension: 15 x 6 x 15 inches
Weight: 2.2 Pounds
Check Price
backpacPenn-Plax Cascade HOB Filters
with Quad Filtration System
(CPF 1 to 6)
Flow Rate: 20 to 300 GPH
Capacity: 7 to 100 Gallon
Dimension: 9 x 6.5 x 11 inches
Weight: 3.92 Pounds
Check Price
backpacTetra Whisper EX Silent Multi-Stage Power FilterFlow Rate: 110 to 340 GPH
Capacity: 10 to 70 Gallon
Dimension: 6.31 x 12.88 x 9.5 inches
Weight: 2.43 Pounds
Check Price
backpacAQUA-TECH Power Filter for AquariumsFlow Rate: Up to 200 GPH
Capacity: 5 to 50 Gallon
Dimension: 6.19 x 14.31 x 7.81 inches
Weight: 2.78 Pounds
Check Price

7- Best HOB Filters (Hang On The Back Filters) Reviewed

Before you purchase an aquarium filter, there should be one question in your mind; what are the best filters for aquariums? If you don’t know what to look for, our best HOB filter review can be your guideline.

Our team also searched for the quietest HOB filter to ensure you end up with a two-in-one package deal. Besides, checking out these filters and comparing their features will help you choose the suitable HOB filter for your aquarium.

(1). AquaClear Power Filter

Aquaclear Power filter

Premium Choice

Best HOB Filter | Product Highlights

  • Dimension : 13.5 X 6.75 X 6.75 inch
  • Weight: 4.52 Pounds
  • Flow Rate: 80 to 500 GPH
  • Capacity: 60 to 110 Gallon
Check Price On Amazon

The first one from our best HOB filters list is the AquaClear Power Filter. It starts with a 5 to 20-gallon capacity and ends at 60 to 110 gallons.

Besides being one of the most popular aquarium filters, this power filter is well-known for its tank size capacity. If you haven’t considered getting your hands on this already, check out this review to know why you should.

For Medium To Small Aquariums

One of the most impressive things about the AquaClear Power Filter is that you can regard it as “one filter that fits them all.” It is the best HOB filter for a 20-gallon tank and can fit aquariums with up to 110-gallon water capacity.

Control Water Flow

When the water flow remains high, it can make the aquarium or tank environment tense. Rapid flow can even injure the fish. That’s why a filter with flow rate control is always useful.

Of course, we are talking about the AquaClear Power Filter. The filters come with an 80gph to 500gph maximum water flow rate. But you can reduce them down to 50%. Doing this will allow the filter to process the water several times.

Quiet Filtration

The endless noise of the filter can be irritating, especially if the filter and you are in a quiet room. To be honest, it can be pretty distracting sometimes. You will barely hear the filter releasing the water back into the tank.

Keeps Aquarium Environment Healthy

AquaClear Power Tank uses three filtration media: biological, mechanical, and chemical, to keep the tank environment clean and to purify the water. They help to improve the water quality, thus preventing the fish from getting sick.


We recommend this model to beginners because it requires the least of your time and effort for maintenance. Though you can do it by cleaning it once a month, cleaning it twice a month extends the filter’s lifetime.

We can easily conclude it is the best hang-on-back filter for freshwater. But it has a few drawbacks. Though it releases water quietly, the filtration process often causes the filter to vibrate a little. In that case, we recommend users keep the flow rate lower.

  • It comes in different price ranges, based on tank water capacity
  • User-friendly
  • Easy to set up and maintain
  • Purifies water with three filtration media
  • Flow rate control
  • Some users faced filter vibration issue
  • No Turn-Off switch
  • Comparatively large
  • The Impeller box needs frequent cleaning due to catching debris

(2). Fluval C Series Power Filter

Fluval C Series Power Filter, Fluval C4 ( Best HOB filters)

Editor Choice

Best HOB Filter | Product Highlights

  • Dimension : 11 x 7.5 x 10 inches
  • Weight: 2.73 Pounds
  • Flow Rate: Up to 264 GPH
  • Capacity: 10 to 70 Gallon
Check Price On Amazon

Fluval is a name that is well-known and respected for its quality products. And no aquarium filter review is complete without mentioning it. And for today’s review, we have picked the C4 power filter from its C series.

However, we will run you through the other filters from this series as well. All of these filters are high-tech and offer you a massive range of features.

For Different Tank Sizes

The C2 filter from this series is the best HOB filter for a 10-gallon tank. This filter is compatible with 10 to 30-gallon tanks, while the C3 model works best on 20 to 50-gallon tanks.

The C4 model, on the other hand, is the largest of the series. It is compatible with 40 to 70-gallon tanks with a 264gph flow rate.

5-Stage Filtration

With the five stages of filtration, the C series filters purify water with biological, chemical, and mechanical filtrations. The first and second stages contain mechanical filtrations. The surface area has a foam pad and dense polyester that collect all types of waste.

Stage three provides chemical filtration activated carbon, which helps to remove discoloration, odor, or any other toxic remaining from the water. And then, stages four and five provide biological filtrations with Bio-Screen and Ceramic Nodes. These stages allow beneficial bacteria to grow and keep the tank environment healthy.

Easy Cleaning And Maintenance

HOB filters have always been an excellent choice for their low maintenance. And most of them these days are easy to clean and maintain.

To clean the C series filters, pop up the cleaning indicator. Then you can pull out the mechanical foam. There is a draw tab to remove the chemical basket.

  • Five-stage filtration purifies water
  • Easy to clean
  • Facility to customize media
  • Excellent durability
  • Telescopic intake tube
  • Allows you to adjust the water flow rate
  • Affordable price
  • It can be loud sometimes
  • The foam pad requires frequent replacement

(3). MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter (PF0350B)

MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter ( Best HOB Filters)

Best Value

Best HOB Filter | Product Highlights

  • Dimension : 15.25 x 6.12 x 8 inches
  • Weight: 3.52 pounds
  • Flow Rate: Up to 350 GPH
  • Capacity: 50 to 70 Gallon
Check Price On Amazon

MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter is an all-rounder, both quality and quantity-wise. Suitable for both beginners and hobbyists, this filter can ensure proper filtration.

The rotating wheels provide excellent biological filtration, while chemical and mechanical filtration also help keep the tank clean. Along with these, the budget-friendly price is another reason why you should get it.

Suitable For Small Aquariums

The MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter comes in four different tank size capacities. This 350 Power Filter fits well for an aquarium with up to 70-gallon water capacity. Other than this, you can choose this model for smaller fish tanks with 20, 30, and 50-gallon tank sizes.

Three-Stage Filtration

The filtration technique of this filter is excellent to clean up the tank while letting the beneficial bacterias grow. You will notice rotating bio-wheels in the filtration area. These wheels provide biological filtration as it removes toxic ammonia and nitrite.

It also performs chemical and mechanical filtration. Chemical filtration removes all sorts of odor and discoloration while mechanical filtration traps fish waste and leftover foods.

Easy Setup

The filter does not require any assembling before set up. That’s why we say it is the perfect aquarium filter for beginners. All you have to do is to follow the instructions to set the filter on the back of your fish tank.

It is advisable to prime the filter with tank water before you plug it in. You can adjust the water flow after that.


There isn’t much to do after you have initially set up the filter. It barely requires frequent cleanup or maintenance. However, you need to replace the cartridge at least once a month.

And if there is any blockage or dirt stuck in the medium, clean them too. To ensure the filter purifies the water efficiently, you must keep the water at an adequate level.


Not all excellent-quality HOB filters will cost you a fortune. This MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter comes at a budget-friendly price.

While many filters are only for freshwater, this filter is also the best hang-on-back filter for saltwater. However, the drawback includes frequent cleaning of the rotating wheels as they stop working if dirt and debris get stuck.

Filter SizeCertified Flow RateAquarium Size
Penguin 100100 GPHUp to 20 gallons
Penguin 150150 GPHUp to 30 gallons
Penguin 200200 GPHUp to 50 gallons
Penguin 350350 GPHUp to 70 gallon
  • Budget-friendly
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Purifies water with three types of filtration
  • It does not need assembling
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Durable construction
  • Not suitable for a large tank
  • Bio-wheels need frequent cleaning

(4). SeaChem Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter

SeaChem HOB filter

Large Tank HOB

Best HOB Filter | Product Highlights

  • Dimension : 15 x 6 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 Pounds
  • Flow Rate: Up to 350 GPH
  • Capacity: 55 to 75 Gallon
Check Price On Amazon

For high-quality and comprehensive tank water filtration, SeaChem Aquarium Fish Tank Filter is an excellent choice. This SeaChem Large model is from the Tidal series. The filter is self-priming, which makes it less noisy than other filters.

The filter’s basket is wide enough to prevent water from bypassing. And if that doesn’t seem enough for you to check out this filter, reading this review might do the trick.


From saltwater to freshwater, the Tidal series is compatible with different aquarium sizes. While most miniature model is suitable for a 55-gallon fish tank, the large model works perfectly on a 110-gallon tank. So, the filter’s capacity is comparatively excellent based on tank sizes.

Easy Maintenance

Maintaining this filter is not time-consuming. It has some unique features that you barely come across often. Other than the self-priming pump, it has dual water intake with a surface skimmer.

Most of its work gets done automatically, and it barely leaves much for you to do. Besides, the media is easy to remove, which means less hassle for you.

Alert Feature

As we have mentioned above, it has some unique features, and one of them is the alert system. If there’s a need for adjustment or maintenance, the filter will alert you immediately to take care of the matter.

For example, if the filter pipe gets clogged or the water flow rate drops, the alert indicator will light up. But don’t worry about overflow because the filter will redirect the water back into the aquarium to prevent that.

Adjust Flow Rate

This feature may not seem like a big deal, but it is an essential part of the filter. Most of these filters come with high flow speeds. As a result, the fishes become scared, or worse, they end up dead. But you can easily adjust the flow rate in this filter and still make sure the water goes through proper filtration.

  • Budget-friendly
  • Adjustable flow
  • Easy to maintain and clean
  • It comes with an alert feature
  • Self-cleaning impeller
  • Self-priming pump
  • Creates less noise
  • Some users found an issue with turning off the flow rate
  • Clogging issue

(5). Penn-Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter [with Quad Filtration System]

Penn Plax Cascade HOB filter

Budget Friendly

Best HOB Filter | Product Highlights

  • Dimension : 9 x 6.5 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 3.92 Pounds
  • Flow Rate: 20 to 300 GPH
  • Capacity: 7 to 100 Gallon
Check Price On Amazon

Penn-Plax Cascade Aquarium Filter is the filter for pros. Aquarists find this tank filter an absolute game-changer. Though the filter needs assembling before installation, it will not give you a hard time if you know how to deal with one.

Moreover, it provides all three stages of filtration and delivers pure and clean water into the tank. As for the price, it is affordable and makes buying the filter worth every penny.

Adjustable Flow

High water flow is responsible for giving your aqua pets trauma. When the water current becomes too fast, fish get stressed and keep swimming around. As a result, the unfortunate ones get injured.

This is why Penn-Plax gives you a flow adjustment knob. With this, you can increase and decrease the flow level. Lowering the rate is often very helpful, especially during feeding time.

Customizable Media

Penn Plax Cascade HOB filter flowing

This Penn-Plax Cascade Aquarium Filter purifies water with biological, mechanical, and chemical filtrations. These media are essential to ensure a healthy and clean tank environment.

The filtration media are easy to replace. And if you don’t want what comes in with the package, Penn-Plax lets you customize or pick the media of your choice.

Quad Filtration

The outflow system of this filter is interesting and impressive. The water here does not flow back to the tank. Instead, the tank separates the water flow to increase oxygenation. It improves the biological filtration stage.


So, what size of aquariums are compatible with this filter? This Penn-Plax aquarium filter competes with tanks with 7 to 100 gallons capacity. But the filter can push water at a 300gph rate.

Model 20 to 300Cascade 20Cascade 80Cascade 100Cascade 150Cascade 200Cascade 300
Gallons per Hour20 GPH80 GPH100 GPH150 GPH200 GPH300 GPH
Recommended Aquarium Sizeup to 7 gallonsup to 10 gallonsup to 20 gallonsup to 35 gallonsup to 55 gallonsup to 100 gallons
Mechanical Filtration
Chemical Filtration
Biological Filtration via Bio-Spongexx
Biological Filtration via Bio-Fallsxx
  • Flow rate adjustment knob
  • Customizable media
  • Performs biological, chemical, and mechanical filtrations
  • Quad filtration improves the aquarium environment
  • Affordable price
  • Large intake tubes are risky for smaller fishes
  • Material needs improvement

(6). Tetra Whisper EX Silent Filter [Multi-Stage Power Filter]

Tetra Whisper EX Silent Filter

Tetra Choice

Best HOB Filter | Product Highlights

  • Dimension : 6.31 x 12.88 x 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.43 Pounds
  • Flow Rate: 110 to 340 GPH
  • Capacity: 10 to 70 Gallon
Check Price On Amazon

There’s a misconception regarding HOB filters. Some people think these filters create lots of noise since they are hanging on the back of the aquarium rather than being inside it. But trust me; there are plenty of filters out there that create less to no noise.

And the Tetra Whisper EX Power Filter is one such gem! It is one of the best HOB filters that produce very little noise. Sometimes you will barely know it’s there.


The Tetra company knows what people want. That’s why they have introduced this Whisper EX Power Filter with all the essential features. And to ensure the users grab this filter, the company made sure it comes at a budget price.

That’s right! If you think our previous filters do not match your budget, you can check out this filter. We believe it will meet your expectations.

Filter Cartridge Carrier

We know you don’t want a mess. No one does. And, to rub salt on your wound, there’s the dirty cartridge dripping on your floor or sink or wherever you decide to clean the filter.

The Tetra Whisper EX power filter comes with a cartridge carrier or frame to help you keep your hands clean. When cleaning, you can pull out the frame and squeeze it to remove the cartridge without making your hands dirty.

Easy Installation

You can install the filter in the following ways:

  • Step 1: Assemble the filter and attach the strainer. The strainer should be at least 2 inches far from the aquarium gravel.
  • Step 2: Hang the filter on the aquarium frame. Keep the water at a minimum water level.
  • Step 3: Once everything is set, plug the filter system into the outlet.
EX20 to EX70Tetra Whisper Power Filter EX20Tetra Whisper Power Filter EX30Tetra Whisper Power Filter EX45Tetra Whisper Power Filter EX70
Bio-Bag Filter SizeMedium CartridgeLarge CartridgeLarge CartridgeLarge Cartridge
Aquarium SizeUp to 20 GallonsUp to 30 GallonsUp to 45 GallonsUp to 70 Gallons
Certified Flow Rate (gph/lph)110/416160/605240/908340/1287
PriceCheck priceCheck priceCheck priceCheck price
  • Affordable price
  • Easy to install
  • Cartridge carrier prevents dirty dripping
  • Suitable for 45 to 70-gallon tank size
  • It does not require priming
  • Three types of filtrations to purify water and tank environment
  • Does not have a flow adjustment system
  • Durability needs improvement

(7). Aqua-Tech Power Aquarium Filter [3-Stage Filtration]

Aqua-Tech Power Aquarium Filter

Quite Choice

Best HOB Filter | Product Highlights

  • Dimension : 6.19 x 14.31 x 7.81 inches
  • Weight: 2.78 Pounds
  • Flow Rate: Up to 200 GPH
  • Capacity: 5 to 50 Gallon
Check Price On Amazon

If you want a filter for a smaller aquarium, check out our last pick from the best HOB filters list. It is another budget-friendly HOB filter with maximum filtration performance. And, it is also another budget-friendly aquarium filter.

Three-Stage Filtration

Two is better than one, and three is better than two. The more filtration system your filter has, the better cleaning it will do. This Aqua-Tech power filter is satisfying in this case as the filter provides biological, chemical, and mechanical filtrations.

The first stage has coarse floss, which removes large partridges. Then comes the carbon filtration that eliminates odor, discoloration, and any other impurities the tank water has. Finally, the Biotech biological grid removes toxic elements from the water and releases clear water.

For Small And Medium Tanks

You can install this filter in any aquarium between 30 to 60 gallons capacity. It is the largest tank capacity for this filter. But if you have a smaller tank with a 5 to 40 gallons capacity, you can try the smaller-capacity filter models from Aqua-Tech.

Fountain-Like Waterflow

The waterfall-like feature is quite fascinating to watch. If you have a small tank, you will enjoy the sight of it. However, this feature does not go well with larger aquariums.

  • Budget-friendly
  • Three-stage filtration for a better tank environment
  • Easy installation and low-maintenance filter
  • Ideal for small fish tanks
  • Good for betta tanks and small fish tank
  • Not for larger filters
  • Some users found an issue with flow rate adjustment


How To Choose The Right HOB Filter For Your Aquarium?

Have you considered which aquarium filter you want to purchase from our best HOB filters list? Or, do you have something else in mind?

No matter which one you want to buy, there are a few things to consider to get the best HOB filter. So, how do you know what is the best HOB filter? Check the following info to find out.

Required Flow

The flow rate is an essential feature for an ideal aquarium filter. It is measured by gallons per hour or GPH. And it refers to how many gallons of water the filter can purify each hour.

You will notice that the filters come with a GPH rate. But how do you know which rate is ideal for your tank? Then know this; a perfect filter will filtrate tank water three-four times every hour. So if you have a 50-gallon tank, your filter flow rate should be 150-200 GPH.

Media Type

Filtration media are what create the before and after differences in your tank environment. Basically, there are three filtration media in HOB filters:

  • Biological filtration
  • Chemical filtration
  • Mechanical filtration

Some filters may not come with all three of these media. But nowadays, manufacturers let you choose and customize your filter media.

Mechanical filtration is the first stage, and it catches all the debris and waste from your tank. The most common material you will see as mechanical filtration media is sponges. They do not cost much and are available in budget-friendly filters.

Then comes the chemical filtration, which will remove any kind of toxic chemical, odor, and discoloration remaining in the tank. And finally, biological filtration will oxygenate the water by letting beneficial bacterias grow.

Size Of Tank

The filter’s filtration capacity depends mainly on the size of the tank. If the filter isn’t compatible with the tank size or water capacity, there is a high chance of the filter leaving waste and toxic chemicals in the tank even after filtration.

The best HOB filters come in different tank size capacities, and you can find them based on their GPH rate. As mentioned above, look for the flow rate and calculate it with your tank’s water capacity.

If you have a 10-30 gallons tank, you need a filter with around a 40-120GPH rate. And if the tank capacity is 100 gallons, the filter should be a 350-400GPH flow rate.


Based on material, filtration media, capacity, and brand, the price of HOB filters will be different. But, most of them are affordable and come at a budget price. However, it is advisable not to go for the cheapest deal you come across. Always pick the one that seems to be most effective for your tank.

How To Set Up And Maintain A HOB Filter?

HOB filters are less troublesome than most other filter types. From assembling the filter for setting up to maintaining it regularly, you will have to do the least amount of work. Here is a small and easy guideline on setting up and maintaining the best HOB filters.

Setting Up A HOB Filter

  • Remove all the filters and other components from the box.
  • If the filter comes assembled, take it apart and wash it thoroughly. If it does not come assembled, you still need to clean it.
  • Insert the filter media into its basket.
  • Then hang the filter on the back of the aquarium. Avoid putting it near any type of cord that would interrupt the filtrations.
  • Prime the filter with water. Some filters come with a self-priming feature.
  • Lastly, plug the filter into the nearest power outlet.

Maintaining A HOB Filter

  • Keep an eye on the intake screen so that it doesn’t get clogged with waste.
  • Always run your filter with a screen. Otherwise, fish can get sucked into the filter.
  • Replace the filter cartridge at least once a month.
  • Remove the impeller to clean it with a brush at least once every six months.
  • To clean the filter, unplug it and disassemble it.
  • Wash the parts thoroughly so that all the dirt and debris wash off.
  • After washing it, assemble the filter and hang it on the back of your aquarium.

Benefits Of Using A Hang On Back Filters

HOB or Hang On Back Aquarium Filters is one of the best filters for small to medium-sized tanks. Not only is it reliable, but it also requires very little work for maintenance. It is no wonder that users now prefer HOB filters over others.

One of the many benefits of HOB filters is that they don’t require internal aquarium space or outer space. And they are barely visible. But these aren’t the only benefits of using a HOB filter. Here are some details of these benefits and more.

  • Hang On Back filters do take lots of work to set up, maintain, or clean. If you understand how a filter works, you will understand how to handle this type of filter.
  • Setting up a HOB filter is hassle-free. Whereas many filters take lots of your time and come with many setup rules, HOB filters take only a few easy steps.
  • And unlike many aquarium filters, these filters require minimum effort for cleaning up. You only need to clean the tubes and replace the media once a month.
  • If you are anxious about the filter taking up aquarium space, stop doing that. HOB filters do not take up internal aquarium space and hamper fish movements.
  • And they do not take much external space either. These filters simply hang on the back of your aquarium and just be there. You will hardly notice it’s there.
  • While many other aquarium filter media are difficult to replace, HOB filter media are accessible. You can even customize them.
  • HOB filters come with three essential filter media: biological, chemical, and mechanical. These media gather dirt, purify the water and keep the aquarium clean.
  • You may think that a filter with so many benefits might be expensive. But it isn’t. HOB filters are affordable, and most of them come at a reasonable price.

General Queries:

Is HOB And Power Filter Being Same?

HOB filters are considered to be the ideal filters for beginners. All you do is hang it on the back of your aquarium, and it will automatically do the filtering. These tanks have small pumps to extract water. They filter the water through multiple filtration media.

Let me elaborate a little more. HOB filters have an internal pump that draws water from the aquarium. The pumped water enters the cartridge where necessary filtration media, such as biological, chemical, and mechanical filtration.

After the filtration, the pump sends the water back to the aquarium. The power filter works in the very same way. That is why HOB filters are also known as power filters.

What You Need To Know About HOB Filters

We have noticed that plenty of newbies choose the Hang on the Back (HOB filters) for their aquariums. Of course, it’s the ideal choice to make as these filters work for small to medium-sized aquariums. But the confusion comes when they go to the store without knowing which are the best HOB filters.

To learn which one is the best hang-on-back aquarium filter, you need to know a few things. These are some of the essential features you need to count on.


When the water enters the cartridge, it goes through the filtration media. The job of this media is to purify the water. Some filters come with one or two media, while others come with all three- chemical, mechanical, and biological filtrations.

Chemical filtration eliminates harmful chemicals and contaminants from the water. It also removes the odor from the water and makes it fresh. Mechanical filtration helps to trap the dirt and debris of the aquarium water.

And biological filtration allows the beneficial bacteria to grow in the water.  These bacterias break down certain elements to help the aquarium environment be less toxic.

The Motor

The motor is an essential part of an aquarium filter mechanism. It pulls the water to the filtration cartridge and then lets it return to the filter again.

Older filter models used to have detachable motors but the newest models have built-in ones. The perk of having built-in filters is that you don’t need to remove them for cleaning. The impeller covering prevents any kind of dirt and debris from getting in the motor.

Water Spouts

Let’s ask the newbies. How do you think the HOB filter releases the filtered water back into the tank? Well, there are water spouts that do that work.

Depending on the size of the filter, there might be one or two spouts. And their only purpose is to return clean and pure water to the aquarium.

Maintenance For The Filter

Every filter needs occasional cleaning and maintenance. You cannot escape or skip this part. But one of the best parts of using a HOB filter is that it does not require frequent cleaning like other filters. It is another reason why users, especially beginners, prefer HOB filters.

Nevertheless, you will still need to replace the media every three or four weeks. And sometimes, you will have to clean the algae from the tube and inside the filter.

The instruction that comes with the filter will explain how you need to maintain your filter. It is wise to choose a filter that will be easy to clean, especially if you are a newbie.

New Technology

This era is the tech era. Everything we use is coming out in new versions with significant upgrades. And even if you think a mere part like aquarium filters has no significance, you are wrong. To make these filters more accessible and energy-efficient, manufacturers are upgrading them too.

If you compare two HOB filters that were manufactured at least five or ten years apart, you will notice significant differences. And now, filter manufacturers are launching HOB aquarium filters that produce little to no noise.

That’s why you need to be aware of the differences between HOB filters’ new and old technology. We suggest you compare the features before you purchase them.


Be careful with the brands because not all of them will provide you with what you expect. Some brands are known for having more straightforward filtration methods, while others are more modern and upgraded.

It also brings us to the price of aquarium filters. The price will always be different. But it is a mistake to think or believe that a filter model from an expensive brand will ensure the best performance.

However, some brands can be excellent for aquarium filters, whether they are expensive or cheap. Our best HOB filter review will cover it for you.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]:

Wrapping Up

Now I believe that you know what to look for when going through the best HOB filters. Make sure you know the capacity of your aquarium to understand the filter capacity it requires.

If we are to pick one or two HOB filters of our choice, we will choose the AquaClear Power Filter and MarineLand Power Filter. It’s a tough decision to make from the best picks, but these are our most voted and customer-reviewed HOB filters.

Once you get the right filter, the following steps are not complicated. Clean your HOB filter regularly so that it filters water properly. Maintaining the filter will expand its life, and it will last a long time.

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