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10 Best Hang On Back Filter Reviews, Buying Guide & Maintenance Tips (2019)


Having a nice aquarium says a lot about the owner. You do not just have a nice looking aquarium without working on it. This means that you take the time to maintain it. Such involves getting the right accessories first. The hob filter is one of the accessories you have to get right now. The filter will be responsible for making sure that your aquarium water is cleaned always. The aquarium will not have cleaner and clearer water as compared to those aquariums that are never filtered.

As much as we advocate for having the best hob filter, it is not always that easy to pick one. There are lots of these hob filters, but choosing the right one needs some guidance. Sometimes you might get a filter thinking it will work great, but it ends up being a lemon. So, how do you make sure that no more such mistakes are made?

It is the reason we came up with this guide. It has all the tips, tricks, and reviews that you will need for buying the best hob filter. We did not have to write reviews on every existing hob filter, but rather only those that are the best. Let’s find the best hob filter.

Best Hob Filters Comparison: Finding The Best Hang on Back Filter
Product Aquarium Capacity Water Flow Rate Media Filtration Stages Ratings
AquarClear 110 Hang On Back Filter

AquarClear 110 Hang On Back Filter

60 to 110 gallons

500 gallons per hour

Foam, activated carbon, bio-max


4.5 of 5
Fluval C4 Hang On ack Filter

Fluval C4 Hang On ack Filter

40 to 70 gallons

264 gallons per hour

Poly foam pad, activated carbon, c-nods, bio-screen


4.4 of 5
Marineland Penguin Hang On Back Filter

Marineland Penguin Hang On Back Filter

50 to 70 gallons

350 gallons per hour

Penguin rite-size C filter cartridge


4.4 of 5
Marineland Emperor 400 Pro Series Hang On Back Filter

Marineland Emperor 400 Pro Series Hang On Back Filter

80 gallons

400 gallons per hour

Two Rite-size E filter cartridges/p>


4.4 of 5
Aqueon  QuietFlow LED PRO Hang On Back Filter

Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Hang On Back Filter

50 gallons

250 gallons per hour

Aqueon cartridge


4.3 of 5
Tetra Whisper Hang On Back Filter

Tetra Whisper Hang On Back Filter

40 gallons

200 gallons per hour

Large whisper bio-bag cartridges


4.3 of 5
Seachem Tidal Hang On Back Filter

Seachem Tidal Hang On Back Filter

55 to 110 gallons

250 gallons per hour

Seachem’s matrix bio-media and a foam filter


4.3 of 5
Penn Plax Cascade Hang On Back Filter

Penn Plax Cascade Hang On Back Filter

55 to 100 gallons

300 gallons per hour

Activated carbon, internal sponge, bio-floss


4.3 of 5
Marina S10 Hang On Back Filter

Marina S10 Hang On Back Filter

10 gallons

55 gallons per hour

Bio-carb and bio-clear


4.2 of 5
Aquatop PF40-UV Hang On Back Filter

Aquatop PF40-UV Hang On Back Filter

15 to 40 gallons

128 gallons per hour

Filter pad, ceramic rings


4.2 of 5

Top-Rated Products: What’s The Best Hob Filter For Saltwater?

1. AquaClear 110 Hang On Back Filter Review

1. AquaClear 110 Hang On Back Filter

To be among the best hang on back filter, this AquaClear hob had to be different. It shows its uniqueness when it comes to the performance. It is one of the most versatile hob filters that you can buy today. The model is here to provide you with the best performance for all the popular aquarium sizes. It is without a doubt you will always find uses for such type of filter.

The unique design of the filter allows it to filter up to 6 times since it allows more time for the water to be in contact with the media. The flow is impressive as it will reduce the chances of harming the filter impeller by 50%. When the other filters will easily break down, that is not what will happen with this one.p>

Another thing you will love should be the recirculation grid and multi filter media stacking. This allows for better versatility when it comes to using this type of AquaClear hang on back filter. The re-circulation grid will allow the water to be passed through the filter media at a slower speed and make adjustments when needed. This will always improve the water quality.

The manufacturer also had to keep in mind the fish and plants in the aquarium. This is where the patented re-filtration system comes in. The system allows for having the right water flow without necessarily affecting the filtration efficiency. The water is also processed multiple times so that you have the best water quality always.

This is one of the best hob filters for saltwater and is good in terms of the water flow rate. It can handle up to 500 gallons per hour with ease. It is the reason you will find it mostly recommended for 110-gallon aquariums. You can have clean water within a short time compared to the other types of hob filters.

For you to have the best performance from the hob aquarium filter, it is needed that you give it a bit of maintenance. It is therefore important to do regular cleaning. The manufacturer recommends that you clean it after two weeks. Twice monthly should not be considered as a lot of work. The best part is that you will not have to spend a lot of time doing so. Within a couple of minutes, you should be done with the maintenance. Make sure to have the media placed in the filter in the correct order. All in all, even AquaClear 70 hob filter is a good choice, but the 110 version is just excellent.

  • Can hold a large amount of media
  • It is highly efficient for quality water
  • It has a reduced flow pressure
  • It is easy to install
  • It is pricey for some people

2. Fluval C4 Hang On Back Filter Review

Fluval C4 Hang On Back Filter Review

You will find that this is another best hob filter on the market right now. One thing that always gets people excited about it should be the filtration stages. You get up to 5 stages to filter your aquarium. This simply shows that this Fluval hob filter will give you the best water quality. In the end, you will always end up with crystal clear water without impurity issues. On a lighter note, people love it because it is also easy to install. Just within a few steps, you should be done.

The stages of filtration contain a polyfoam sponge. The sponge is designed to catch large and smaller debris in the water. This just shows that it is good for mechanical filtration. The water is then sent to the third stage of filtration. The stage comes with an activated carbon insert. This stage will easily remove the odors, discoloration, and other many impurities that might be in the water. When it comes to the final two stages, it is now all about biological filtration. The stages come with bio C Nodes so as to remove traces of nitrites, ammonia, and also to allow for the proper growth of beneficial bacteria. As you can see, it is possible to end up with clean water that the fish can enjoy. This filter also comes with a filter indicator that shows you if the polyfoam needs cleaning. This is because it holds quite a large amount of dirt at the end.

Having a powerful hob filter is always something desirable. This Fluval hob filter is something you get if you need a powerful filter. The manufacturer has made it ideal for aquariums with capacity up to 70 gallons. The best part is that it will easily handle over 250 gallons of water per hour. With such a capacity, many aquariums will always be cleaned in a short time. The filter also gives you the option of changing the water flow pressure. This is when your aquarium has delicate plants and fish. No more using strong currents when it is possible to avoid them. Even when you have the flow rate reduced, you can still have the water re-filtered multiple times so that you always get clean water.

Just like any other type of filter, you are supposed to do some maintenance on it. It is recommended that you get to clean the impeller cover assembly at least once per year. The motor is then supposed to be cleaned about every three months. You can see that cleaning does not have to be weekly. You also have to check the filter media more often just to make sure they are in the right condition to keep working.

  • It comes with a 5-stage filtration system
  • It is equipped with the cleaning indicator
  • The installation process is faster
  • The filtered water is always crystal clear
  • The foam pad might need regular replacing in a short time

3. Marineland Penguin Hang On Back Filter Review

Marineland Penguin Hang On Back Filter Review

Marineland has been part of making the best filters for aquariums for over 40 years now. The company uses some of the best methods when it comes to building the best filters. It is the reason you will find many people buying the best hang on back filter for saltwater from them. This filter lives up to the name of the company by delivering the users with some of the best performances ever.

The manufacturer made this saltwater hang on back filter to be easy to use all the time. Whenever you feel like it is time for you to clean the aquarium, this filter is now available. The manufacturer has also utilized only 3 filtration stages to filter the water. They might just be three, but the outcome of the filtration process makes you love it even more. You will not have to worry about the air pumps or tubes to work with this model. With the overall process being easy, you can start using it in the shortest time possible. The first stage of the filter is the mechanical filtration. This stage comes with the Penguin rite-size cartridge. The work of this stage is to screen all the dirt and debris that might be in the water. It also utilizes the patented ribbed back. This will allow for the maximum contact of the water with carbon.

Chemical filtration is what follows in the second stage. The presence of the diamond premium activated carbon comes in handy to clean the water further. This stage involves the removal of odor, discoloration, and many other impurities. This stage further makes the water cleaner than it was before.

The biological filtration is the third step in this filter. This stage has the BIO-wheel important for cleaning the water. This stage will help eliminate ammonia and nitrites in the water. It also helps the beneficial bacteria to grow at this point. By now the water is crystal clear and ready to be put back in the aquarium. The company offers the clients with a variety of options when it comes to the penguin line. The Penguin 100 is the smallest with 100 gallons per hour flow rate. The highest is the Penguin 350 with a flow rate of 350 gallons per hour. It works great for various aquariums of up to 70 gallons.

There is no doubt you will always have it easy setting up the filter. Since it does not have any tubing that needs mounting, there is virtually no set-up that is needed. If you are a newbie, you should find that it is easy to have the aquarium filter up and running in no time. The manual that comes with the model has all the instructions need to have it operational.

  • It does not take time to set up
  • It has 3 filtration stages
  • It offers impressive water flow rate
  • Can handle the large aquariums
  • It needs frequent cleaning to remain effective

4. Marineland Emperor 400 Pro Series Hang On Back Filter Review

Marineland Emperor 400 Pro Series Hang On Back Filter

The Marineland Emperor 400 is one of the top high capacity aquarium filters you could buy today. Its high capacity has always made it the best hob power filter to buy for yourself. It is amazing how it can easily work for aquariums of up to 80 gallons in size. From the 400 number in the title, you can possibly guess what that stands for. Well, it simply means that the model can deliver a flow rate of up to 400 gallons per hour. Such a flow rate makes the filter to be highly effective at its job.

There is still the two pump design. The work of these pumps ensures there are better water intake and output at the same time. Also, the pumps help the water to be delivered to the filter at the right pressure for the optimal filtration to occur. The filter also features a simple design. You simply insert the filter media and hang it on the tank for it to get started. Well, have it plugged in to the power. It is still the best hob for having more capacity. The capacity in the sense that it can hold up to twice the filter cartridges as compared to the other filters with the same size. This means that it could easily provide you with a really powerful filtration. Talking of filtration, the model comes with up to 3 filtration stages. They include the mechanical, biological, and chemical stages. You can now be sure that at the other end of the filter, clean water will always be coming out. The large spray bar that is driven by the bio-wheel ensures that there is the excellent removal of the unwanted compounds. You also get to create space for the beneficial bacteria to grow. The cleaning of this fluval hob is also easy. The manufacturer has outlined the stages that you have to follow when it comes to cleaning it. If you get to do it properly, you should be done in a short time. This is mostly because the media would be placed on trays. It is as simple as sliding them out for a quick wash and then put them back in their respective positions.

As much as it is powered, it will not take up a lot of energy. Its amazing low energy consumption is what drives more people to think about picking this as the best filter. Getting the parts to replace in case anything has broken is not hard. The company has dealers everywhere, which makes access to their parts easier. While this is not a nano hob filter, it does an excellent job!

  • It comes with impressive flow rate of 400 GPH
  • It has a two-pump design
  • It comes with impressive filter capacity
  • It is easy to operate
  • The bio-wheel is highly delicate

5. Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Hang On Back Filter Review

Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Hang On Back Filter

This is one of the best hob filters you can use for your tank. It might be a small hang on back filter, but it packs a lot of performance. One thing that drives more people to pick it is because it can work for both the salt and freshwater aquarium. This makes you save money as you do not have to spend extra money to buy a filter for each aquarium.

Such is the type of versatility would want to see in a top product such as this one.

The capacity, on the other hand, is something also worth noting for this filter hob. It has an amazing filter capacity of 300 gallons per hour. The manufacturer has made it great for aquariums up to 50 gallons in size. With many popular aquariums of this size, then you can be sure to find many people going for it.

Many people would also be looking at its filtration capabilities. No one wants a model that will not remove all the necessary contaminants from the water. There is no need to worry about this model’s performance. It comes with 4 stages of filtration. The result is that you will always have crystal clear water in the end. It is not just about clarity, but also clean water with all the contaminants being removed.

The first stage of the model comes packed with a dense floss so as to help with removing the huge particles and any debris. Then the water is passed onto the next stage, which has activated carbon. The carbon will easily remove the toxins, colors, and odors. At this point, any odor would have been removed, leaving the water smelling better.

The third stage consists of a bio-holster. This is important for removing the ammonia and nitrites. With these two removed, you should have the beneficial bacteria growing in the water. The water is now in the fourth stage for the final filtration. The fourth stage comes with a diffuser grid. This grid will help to remove any additional toxins in the water. It also helps with oxygenating the water also. The other thing worth mentioning includes the internal pump that comes with the noise dampening features. The result is that you end up with a product that works quietly and smoothly. You will not have to worry about a rattling noise when the filter is working. The special design is another way of making the model work even better. It will always eliminate cases of leaks so that you do not have to worry about spills.

  • It comes with advanced 4 filtration stages
  • It is easy to maintain
  • It is very quiet
  • No leaks
  • A few issues with the impeller

6. Tetra Whisper Hang On Back Filter Review

Tetra Whisper Hang On Back Filter Review

For those with small aquariums, you do not have to spend the big bucks just to get the right filter. You can always opt for the Tetra Whisper hang on back filter. Sometimes big things come in small packages. It might be small, but it will deliver the best performance you will ever need. Most of the users are happy to get it as the best hob for their aquariums. Since it also comes from a top brand, you are assured of top quality product always.

Another thing you will love about this filter is that it is quiet. Being a quiet hob filter makes it stand out from the rest. Sometimes you can have a filter, but it does not always deliver on the performance you want. You are in luck with this one as it stands out as the best for homes which do not need the rattling noise of a filter.

Depending on which model that you choose, there is a lot to experience. You can get a model that can filter aquariums of capacity up to 60 gallons. As much as we started by saying it will be great for small aquariums, you can be sure that it will always be useful even for the larger ones. This just goes on to point out that the model has the best versatility.

This filter hob is quite cheap. You will not find many filters on the market today that cost as the same as this one. This has made it possible even for those on a budget to get a filter that will help them in cleaning their aquariums. Setting it up is quite a breeze. The manufacturer sends you a user manual with all the steps for setting up outlined properly. This is to ensure that you always have an easy time cleaning the aquarium. You can also check out several forums that discuss this filter. Since it is a common filter, you can always find people having more discussions about it.

The water from the aquarium will be passed through 3 stages for cleaning. This in a way means that you will always end up with clean and clear water flowing back into the aquarium. It is only when you get to use it that you can understand its impressive performance.

  • It is the best to use for small aquariums
  • It uses the large bio-bag cartridges
  • It has three filters in one for better cleaning
  • It is quiet when operating
  • Complaints about filter leaking are common

7. Seachem Tidal Hang On Back Filter Review

Seachem Tidal Hang On Back Filter

This is another top of the range product you can buy a hang on back filter. The Seachem Tidal Hang On Back filter comes with an innovative design. The innovative design is what makes it work even better as compared to the others. There are the ventilation slots that have been added to the lid of the filter. These ventilation slots and aeration grooves work together to ensure that the water returning to the aquarium is fully oxygenated. They also help in maximizing gas exchange during the filtration process.

How about its operation? The model works by having the water pushed up into the basket of the filter. The water enters at the bottom of the basket and then pushed up through the filtration media. The use of the bottom-to-top flow ensures that the tank water will have more contact with the filtration media. More contact makes it easy for you to clean the water effectively removing all the contaminants. Some of you might be worried about the noise that comes from a filter when it is working. Well, not for this one. The model comes with an insulated pump. The aim is to make it work without producing a lot of noise. Sometimes you might not even hear it working unless you get close to the tank. For this reason, you should find that the filter will be perfect for the office where the noise has to be down. It also uses less power so that you do not have to worry that it will mess you up when it comes to power use.

The manufacturer (which is probably better than SunSun hob filter) had to make sure that you know when it is time to do some maintenance on your filter. This is thanks to the blue maintenance indicator at the top of the filter. The indicator is turned on when the water does not flow through the filter because it is clogged. At this point, the water will be directed back to the tank through a different outlet thus triggering the indicator.

When it comes to cleaning, you do not have to worry much. The basket with the filtration media comes with raised slots. You simply get them out and clean before putting them back. Within a couple of minutes, you should be done with the cleaning process of the media. The filter will then work as it is needed.

The filter is also highly versatile. This is thanks to the adjustable telescoping intake. It allows the water to be taken from any level without necessarily stopping the filter. All in all, this might be the best hob aquarium filter.

  • It is a powerful filter
  • It offers impressive water flow rate
  • It has an adjustable flow rate
  • The model has an indicator for clogged filter
  • It is very quiet
  • The media basket clogs easily

8. Penn Plax Cascade Hang On Back Filter Review

Penn Plax Cascade Hang On Back Filter Review

The Penn Plax Cascade 300 is one of the best hob filters to buy right now for the aquarium. The first reason will be, it is simply a powerful model. It is here to make a difference in how you usually filter your aquarium water. The manufacturer has given it a flow rate of 300 gallons per hour. Not many models would have such a capacity. This means that it will be suitable for aquariums of size 55 to 100 gallons. If you have a large tank, then you now know what you have to use next time.

The quad filtration system is also here to revolutionize the way you filter the water. You will always be sure that you can end up with the best clear and clean water as it will go through 4 stages. The efficient filtration is what you need when you have to remove contaminants such as ammonia and nitrites. Once they are removed, you get clean water that will be good for your fish.

In order to clean the water further, you get activated carbon being part of the filtration media. What this does is to help with removing of the harmful chemicals leaving the water cleaner. The carbon is also responsible for removing odors from the water. The same material is still important for removing color in the water. It is why you will now end up with clearer water than it was before. The presence of the internal sponge is to help with creating an environment for the growth of beneficial bacteria. You can now have a thriving environment for your fish or plants once the water has been cleaned by this filter. The polyfiber floss cartridge is another important part of the filter. It will help in trapping the large to small debris. It is the one however that might need regular cleaning because of the things it has to trap.

This filter gives you more versatility by having an adjustable flow knob. The aim is that you can reduce the filtration when it is feeding time or when it is needed. Sometimes you might have delicate fish and plants. This feature is important to help protect them always. The best part is that the filter is still recommended for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums. You will also like this filter for being light and quiet when operating. You will not hear it working unless you see the power switch turned on. This means that your fish will always have a good environment.

  • It is powerful
  • It comes with more filtration media
  • It has an adjustable flow knob
  • It works for both fresh and saltwater tanks
  • Lacks an attachment to lengthen the filter

9. Marina S10 Hang On Back Filter Review

Marina S10 Hang On Back Filter Review

The Marina S10 is for those who need a small aquarium filter for their small-sized aquariums too. The manufacturer has made it have a small design so that those with aquariums of capacity 10 gallons can have an easy time filtering them. Yes, it is possible that you might have such aquarium, so instead of spending more money to get the larger models, you have the option of using the small one today. The best part is that you will not spend a lot on it as it is really affordable. The S10 model comes from a top brand that has been making some of the top aquarist products over the years. Its unique design and aesthetics always attract more clients to think in the line of getting it for themselves today. The model is compact and lightweight. You will not feel as if it is a burden to use it on your aquarium. It might be small, but the filtering capabilities are on another level. You can be sure to end up with clean and clear water always.

The slim fit design of the filter will make it easy for setting it up. Once it is in position, it can filter water better thanks to the use of the cartridge systems. The setting up process is a breeze. You should be done within a couple of minutes. This is better as compared to some models that might need you taking more time on the setup part. The design also allows for the motor to be submerged. This is crucial for performance so that the motor is not primed each time you have to unplug it. You also get that the height of the filter is adjustable. This makes it easy for you to adapt it to the different water levels in the tank.

Having the adjustable flow control is another important feature you would want to know more about. The aim is to help you have an easier time controlling the water flow level in the tank. The flow also seems to diffuse across the slide when the filter is in operation. This design is crucial to lowering the force of the current even when the filter is operating on max flow. Having low currents also reduces the strain on the fish.

  • It has an adjustable flow
  • The motor can be fully submerged
  • It is easy to install and maintain
  • It offers impressive filtering options
  • It is affordable
  • Not the best for sensitive aquatic animals

10. Aquatop PF40-UV Hang On Back Filter Review

Aquatop PF40-UV Hang On Back Filter Review

To be regarded among the best filters on the market, sometimes it comes down to just how much water flow rate the filter can deliver. The Aquatop PF40-UV hang on back filter is here to change what you think about the filters. It comes with an impressive 128 gallons per hour flow rate. This means that your aquarium will get its water cleaned in the shortest time possible.

Thanks to its flow rate, you can get it being used in a variety of aquarium sizes. The manufacturer recommends that you use it for aquariums with the size from 15 to 40 gallons. Keeping in mind these are the aquariums that people will have always, you can always end up with the best filter for your aquarium now.

The pumping power is always another important aspect of choosing the big or small hob filter. This one comes with a 7-watt pumping power and 7 watt UV bulb. You will not have a problem with power consumption when using this type of product. Its design has always made it possible for more people to pick it today. They know that such pumping power is enough to drive the tank water through the filter to have it easily cleaned.

Having 5 filtration stages is good news enough to have someone thinking about getting the model today. It will always help with deep cleaning of the water. The results are that you get cleaner and clearer water always in the end. It also comes with a self-adjusting skimmer to help with cleaning the water surface. This also helps to promote gas exchange. The presence of the UV sterilizer is an added feature not all the filters have. The work of the light is to eliminate the unwanted algae blooms and keeping the aquarium water crystal clear always. You can now be sure that the aquarium water will have no contaminants in the end.

  • Impressive flow rate for its size
  • Great pumping capabilities
  • It has an adjustable water flow
  • It comes with 5-stage filtration system
  • ome complained about noisy operation


From the various reviews of the hang on back filters, it is easy to see why many people would want to own one. These filters are inexpensive to start with. Not many other types of filter are these cheap. Even if you are on a budget, there is now a chance to maintain a clean aquarium with these filters. It is not just about the price, but also the use. Setting up the hob filters is a breeze. You will not have to spend a lot of time working on the setup process. The manufacturers would often give you a detailed method to use when it comes to setting up the filter. It is still easy for you to take it out for maintenance and cleaning. On the overall, you are going to love the idea of using the hob filters.

Picking the best hob filter is always going to revolve around a few things. The first one is the aquarium size. This is the most important feature to always consider as it will affect how you get to use the filter. The water flow rate is also important. You want a flow rate that will make cleaning of your aquarium effective. Picking products from a top brand is also encouraged. This will help you end up with the best filters always.

We can easily recommend the AquaClear best hob filter among many we have reviewed. It comes out as the best for the many features it has to offer to the user. The filtration system is on another level. It will always give you the right performance to eliminate the dirt at all times. Its filtration volume is up to 7 times more than what you get the other comparable filters.