Top [2023] 10 Best HOB (Hang On Back) Filter For Aquariums, Planted, Reef Tanks

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Of all the filter systems on the market, there is not a single style that is more popular with a wide spectrum of users than the unassuming reclining type known as HOB filters. There are also probably more versions of this filter available than any other type, which can be a problem for beginners: how do you choose the Best HOB (Hang On Back) Filter for your aquarium?

Aquarium filtration is one of the most important components required to maintain a healthy aquarium and clear water. The most common type of filter is the one that hangs from the rear flow filter, and for good reason!

Comparison Table

CustomSiteStripe ImageTitleReviewBuy
Top PerformanceMarineLand Penguin 350 BIO-Wheel Power Filter4.5/5.0Check Price
cheapest Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters4.5/5.0Check Price

The Hanging Rear Aquarium Filter (HOB) is the hobby’s workhorse. HOB filters have been around for over 35 years. The first models were often noisy and not very reliable. But there have been many new designs and updates over the years that have resulted in the refined filters we have today.

Cleaning your aquarium is inevitable. It is essential that you clean these properly so that you do not have any problems with the health of your fish. Also, a clean aquarium always has clean, clear water, which is quite attractive.

The best hanging filters for aquariums have gained popularity over the years. Many people use them now because they are easy to install and offer excellent performance.

With the name, we understand that the installation process involves simply placing the filter in the back of the aquarium and everything is ready.

Keeping your aquarium clean is essential when it comes to a successful aquarium.

That’s why it’s natural to want a filter with an excellent filtration process that replaces the nasty bacteria with the good bacteria your fish need to stay happy and healthy.

Hang-on-the-back (HOB) filters are one of the most popular filters because they are easy to install, effective and require little maintenance.

This article explains what you need to know when choosing your HOB filter. And then check out reviews of some of the Best HOB (Hang On Back) Filter you can buy.


How to Choose the Right HOB (Hang On Back) Filter for Aquarium?

Flow rate

The flow rate is often a deciding factor when the user chooses whether or not to use a particular model.

Your specific needs for a large filter will vary based on the size of the aquarium. It is essential to get a model that offers a higher flow rate so that the filtration can be done as quickly as possible.

Filtration media

The filter medium is used to remove impurities from the water. Having more filter media does not always mean better filtration; what is important is the type of medium used.

Even if one model has more filter media than another, make sure to use only the best kind and quality of media. There is no need to have filters that don’t help with filtering at all.

Filter maintenance

Cleaning and maintenance are inevitable with any filter. What matters now is how much time and effort you will have to put into maintenance.

Different models have different cleaning methods and instructions; Always choose a model that is easy to clean and maintain.

New technology

To impress customers, manufacturers often try to incorporate new technology into their filters.

The new technology aims to improve the functionality of the filter and make it more efficient than other comparable models. You should always take the time to check the differences between the models before choosing which one to buy.


Not all brands always provide the high level of filtration that users want today. Some brands are known within the filtration industry for being better than others.

You should look for brands such as Fluval, AquaClear, Aqueon and others of your quality level.

Read reviews of the models you are considering to learn more about what you get with each model.


Top [2022] 10 Best HOB (Hang On Back) Filters For Aquariums


Best HOB (Hang On Back) Filter Reviews

1. Aqua Clear Fish Tank Filter

The model represents a company that has been making the Best HOB (Hang On Back) Filter for some time now. This model is designed to be very versatile so that it can meet the needs of different users.

In this series you get five different models that offer different flow rates. This means that you just have to choose the one that works best in your tank.

The unique design of this model gives it an impressive filtering capacity compared to other models in its category. Using the flow control technique helps to reduce the effect of the flow so as not to damage motors or impellers.

The model also comes with a recirculation grille that allows the water to pass through the filter a second time to ensure the quality of the water coming out at the end is the best it can be.

The design of the multi-stage filtration process is critical to the beneficial bacteria needed for the aquarium. You no longer have to worry about a sudden depletion of beneficial bacteria.

This is to ensure that the biological filtration of the filter remains optimal at all times.


  • Installation is quick and easy
  • The filter volume offered is up to seven times higher than other models
  • The design always keeps the biological filtration at an optimal level
  • It has a reduced flow pressure to prevent damage to the motor and impeller.


  • It beeps during use.
  • It is not easy to clean and you could break it.
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2. MarineLand Penguin 350 BIO-Wheel Power Filter

If you are a first time aquarium owner, you will sometimes find that the water filter you purchased was not a good choice.

With the Marineland Penguin Power Filter, even a beginner or hobbyist can handle it perfectly.

The model is available in four different sizes so you can choose the one that is perfect for your aquarium. Regardless of the size you use, this model generally does a superior job, thanks to the bioburden included in it.

Fish food residues and other organic matter easily disappear in no time thanks to the high-quality filter cartridges. Ultimately, you will discover that you have created the best and cleanest environment for aquarium life.

This model comes with a simple and efficient three-step filtration process, and the three main filter media are included with the purchase: mechanical, chemical and biological.

The biological wheel in this model will provide you with the beneficial bacteria that are so important to a complete filtration process. The tank is now free of toxic nitrates and ammonia.


  • This filter offers powerful performance
  • It is made with an amazing durable construction.
  • It has a long shelf life.
  • The biofiltration medium is excellent.


  • The biological wheel feels fragile
  • The filter needs to be cleaned more often than comparable models
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3. Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters

Everyone wants a better filtering process, and that’s what you get by choosing this model. It offers you a four stage filtration process that will always provide you with clean and clear aquarium water.

These filtration stages include passage of the aquarium water through mechanical, biological and chemical filters and a wet / dry diffuser screen.

With the high flow rates you can always be sure that the dissolved oxygen will reach the fish in no time. This leads to healthier and more active fish.

This model is also designed with an internal pump, which dampens operating noise, eliminates the causes of leakage and restarts automatically in the event of a power failure.


  • It can be used for fresh and salt water aquariums.
  • Comes with a four stage filtration system for better performance
  • It has a higher flow rate to ensure that it dissolves and provides more oxygen to the fish.
  • The internal pump helps muffle the sound.


  • It does not have the best durability because it is made of lower quality materials.
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4. Aqua-Tech ML90740-00 Power Aquarium Filter

An excellent option for a hanging filter is this model from Aqua-Tech. It is designed for 30 to 60 gallon tanks and uses three stage filtration to remove dirt and impurities. An EX-Change filter n is included. 3, so you’re ready to install right away.

One of the reasons this filter is so effective is because it is designed to work with filter cartridges to provide maximum carbon contact. The longer the contact, the more efficient the filtration.

This filter comes with a two-year warranty. The filter cartridge should be replaced every month. The included Bio-Tech Biological Grid never needs to be replaced. The unique design allows beneficial bacteria to grow without clogging.


  • This filter fits 30 to 60 gallon tanks
  • The three-step filtration system removes dirt and impurities. A filter cartridge is included
  • It is backed by a two-year warranty.


  • This filter can be noisy at times
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5. Whisper IQ Power Filter for Aquariums

Another great product from Tetra, this filter is easy to set up. When the engine is submerged, it starts itself and starts immediately. A noise barrier keeps the noise below 40 dB and vibration damping ensures that it is also quiet.

This filter is made from better materials and an improved impeller, so it’s built to last. It uses cleaning technology to maintain a healthy pH and a bio-scrubber to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.

A wide range of sizes are also available for tanks between 10 and 60 liters. The filter and cartridges are color-coded, so you always know the right size when it’s time to reorder or pick up more.


  • The self-priming filter is easy to install and maintain.
  • Uses a noise barrier and vibration dampening to keep it as quiet as possible
  • Improved impeller and better materials make this filter last for a long time


  • The motor is not flush with the housing to reduce noise, but some people don’t mind this part of the design.
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6. Tidal Power Filters

There are many good things about this Seachem filter. The surface foamer catches any debris floating just below the surface to keep the water as clean as possible and the lid features aeration slots for maximum gas exchange to ensure the water is fully oxygenated.

Maintenance is easy too. Automatic alert lets you know when it’s time for a new filter cartridge, and you can remove the filter basket so that cleaning and replacing the filter doesn’t get dirty.

You can adjust the suction line and flow to your configuration. It is self-priming, has a double water absorption and is safe for fresh and salt water. In addition, it includes a clip so that you can attach a heater if necessary.

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7. Fluval C Power HOB Filter

Available for 10 to 70 gallon tanks, it uses an incredible 5-stage filtration process. With a large surface, it is fantastic to clean up fine dirt.

The final filtration process is a separate container for your C-Nodes.

This does a great job of removing ammonia and nitrates and creating an environment for the bacteria you want to thrive.

Fluval C Power filters come with their patented refiltration system. This allows you to control the water flow without compromising efficiency.

You can adjust the flow for fish and plants that do not have high flow rates.

Reduce the flow by 50% and your filter water will be processed several times. Filter more impurities.

The motor is durable, very quiet and your impeller is protected from debris that could damage it.

It’s super easy to set up and maintain, you even get a handy indicator that pops up when it’s time to clean.


  • Very easy to clean and install.
  • Tells you when to clean it
  • Fantastic 5-stage filtration process
  • Powerful filter works silently
  • Adjustable water flow without compromising the filtration process
  • It comes with medium and activated carbon.


  • Nooks and crannies around the fan can make cleaning difficult.
  • Water dripping on the C nodes can get clogged
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8. Seachem Tidal Power Filter

I rarely get this excited about a HOB filter, but this feature-rich one gets the attention.

There is much to discuss.

Suitable for fresh and salt water aquariums, available for 55, 75 and 100 gallon tanks. It is made with a SICCE pump, an Italian company known for making quality pumps.

It’s very powerful and what’s great is that it sits below the waterline.

You never have to prime it.

It has a telescopic entrance so you can adjust the length, and there is a blue dial that allows you to cover the entrance.


Because the filter comes with a surface skimmer! I’ve never seen one on a counter.

Either way, with the blue dial you can adjust the amount of water flowing through the inlet compared to the skimmer. So if you need more surface, you can adjust the dial and vice versa.

There is even a clip on this filter for your stove. You don’t have to worry about annoying suction cups always losing suction.

You can adjust the flow rate to accommodate delicate fish and plants that don’t like strong currents.

She is given a large media basket and the lid turns into a tray for her! So you can take it with you or put it aside without making a mess.

The lid also uses vents to prevent condensation. It’s a good turnaround.

The overflow chamber prevents water from collecting and uses a blue float to tell you when it’s time to clean.

There is another dial on the back that moves the filter closer to or further from your glass for a perfect fit.

It even has a rubber ring so it won’t damage your aquarium.

Overall, the filter operates quietly and does an excellent job of maintaining a clean and healthy environment in your aquarium.


  • Powerful filter
  • 3-stage filtration
  • Surface skimmer
  • Adjustable flow
  • Blue float valve to let you know when it’s time to clean.
  • Very quiet, reliable and durable
  • You can extend the warranty from 3 years to 5 years by registering


  • The media basket can easily get clogged
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9. Most Affordable: Penn Plax Filter

The Penn Plax Cascade Filter Series is ideal for aquariums from 5 to 100 gallons and provides crystal clear water for both fresh and saltwater aquariums.

This filter comes in 6 sizes for tanks from 5 gallon to 100 gallon.

The flow varies, depending on the model you choose, between 20 and 300 liters of water per hour. The model number you choose indicates the flow rate. For example, the waterfall 20 filters 20 liters of water per hour.

Each model has a four stage filtration system to meet all of your biological, chemical and mechanical filtration needs.

It has a self-leveling housing that maintains the filter level in almost all aquariums. It also has an adjustable flow rate and inlet tube that allows you to create the perfect system for your setup.

In addition to being powerful, it is also very light and quiet.


  • This filter is easy to assemble.
  • It’s affordable and priced right.
  • It comes with a three-year warranty.
  • The medium is easy to change / replace.
  • There is enough space to place your own filter media.


  • The inlet tube has a large opening that can draw in small fish.
  • The supplied media is not of the best quality.
  • The unit is somewhat bulky.
  • Large units can be noisy.
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10. Mid-Range: Tetra Power Filter

These filters are available in four different sizes and are ready for immediate use.

This series of filters from Tetra is perfect for both beginners and hobbyists.

It uses time stripe technology and a patented carbon filter carrier to give you a simple and easy to maintain filter. The time bands indicate when the carbon filter needs to be replaced.

On top of the filter is an access door that allows you to replace the filter cartridges, and it also has a submerged motor that requires less maintenance than others.

This filter is available in four different sizes, each suitable for a different size tank.

The model number indicates the maximum tank size for which this filter is ideal, for example, the EX20 is ideal for tanks up to 20 gallons.


  • This filter has been carefully designed for maximum convenience and simplicity.
  • It is very easy to configure.
  • Tetra is known for excellent customer service.
  • It has a continuous discharge action to prevent dirt from accumulating.


  • If you have large fish, they may be able to knock over the extension tubes.
  • You will need to add additional filter media if your tank is heavily filled.
  • The spout does not cause much water movement.
  • It does not have an adjustable flow rate.
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Hang On Back Filter FAQ

What is the Best HOB (Hang On Back) Filter for a seawater aquarium?

  • You can choose the Aqua Clear Power Filter model. It is designed to be multipurpose so it can be used in fresh or salt water aquariums. With a multi-stage filtration system, you should be able to easily meet the needs of your marine aquarium.


How to configure the Hang On Back filter?

When you buy a filter to hang back, the manufacturer will often send you all the necessary parts to assemble it. Usually you start with mounting the filter material.

You can start with the biological wheels and then move on to the other. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting the filter media.

The next step is to install the inlet sump so that it can suck up the water and deliver it to the filter media. Mount your filter at the back of the tank and get ready to turn it on.

Before doing this, you usually want to fill it with water. This will help prevent squeaking from a dry filter. After you fill it up, you should be ready to turn it on and let it do the filtration.


How to clean the rear filter for hanging?

Cleaning the hanging filter can be easy or difficult depending on the model. However, there are some common methods that apply to all models. This is how you do it:

  • Start by unplugging the filter so you can easily remove it from the back of the aquarium.
  • Proceed to remove the top cover and remove the filter basket. This is where your filter media is located. You will likely find a sponge, organic media such as pearls and a bag of charcoal.
  • Clean the beads and sponge in the old aquarium water in a bucket. This should help preserve the materials and make it easier to filter the water next time.
  • Most manufacturers recommend replacing the carbon bag approximately every three weeks.
  • Check the other parts such as the motor and the impeller. Clean as specified or replace if necessary. As for the engine, make sure to add a lubricant to keep it running smoothly.
  • Continue to reassemble the filter and hang it back in the aquarium for further filtration.



It seems the make or model doesn’t matter, sometimes HOB filters make a bit of noise. If your HOB filter is buzzing, remove the cap and see if it calms down. If so, try using a piece of masking tape to lock the lid to the filter box.

Best HOB (Hang On Back) Filter are also very reliable and can be used by both experienced aquarists and beginners without any problems.

As you can see, Best HOB (Hang On Back) Filter are a great choice for freshwater and marine tanks of all sizes and are ideal for both seasoned and novice anglers. They are easy to install and maintain, and the hardest part is usually choosing the best model for your tank.

There is no reason your fish should choke if there is a chance to give them a healthy option today. All the pendant filters listed above provide the correct amount of filtration to keep the aquarium water clean.

You need to make sure to choose the one that can handle the size of your aquarium and the amount of water in terms of flow rate. The best you can do is compare different models to make sure you need it in the end.


Related Buyer’s Guides 

The Best Filter for Your Turtle Tank

The Best Substrate for Planted Tank

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