Best HOB Filters You Should Know – Reviews and Buying Guide

The hang-on-back or HOB filter is nowadays taking an irreplaceable place among busy aquarists because of its conveniences. According to experienced aquarium hobbyists, the selection and installation of a HOB filter system are of utmost importance since they can affect the survival and development of aquarium fish. Whether your aquarium is clean or whether the aquarium fish are healthy depends much on the aquarium HOB filter.

However, there are many products with the same function in the market. How can you choose the right hob filter for your aquarium? To provide more complete information about the product for the users, this article will introduce the top 5 best HOB filters. Let’s discover now!



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Top 5 best HOB filters for you to consider 

Top 1: AquaClear Power Filter

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Good power

The AquaClear hob filter is one of the top products that are available for all kinds of the aquarium. It offers 5 models with a patented system, therefore, you can make sure about the high-quality of the product. Moreover, the channel’s extraordinary plan considers up to multiple times more media volume and the longest water to media contact time in the business. It may take few weeks for harmful bacteria to re-colonize in the environment. 

Easy installation

This product is easy and simple to install, even on your own. You do not need any support outside, just read the instructions and guidelines included after purchasing it carefully. The process may take an hour. Remember to clean the hob filter every 2 weeks.


The AquaClear brand values the importance of customer relationships. You will receive a Lifetime Guarantee on all non-replaceable parts. It means that the channel will be fixed or supplanted at the manufacturer’s discretion, complimentary when the total siphon is gotten back with evidence of procurement and postage paid. 

Minus point: It may have some broken issues during the delivery.

Top 2: MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter

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Good power

Many fish hobbyists recommend the MarineLand hob filter as the best product for freshwater tanks. It can deliver the water effectively without the problem of air pumps, valves, and tubing or air stones. Do you expect more than that? This hob filter is also good at eliminating harmful smelling salts and nitrite and always ready to work.

3-Stage Filtration

This feature is one of the most outstanding points of the product. There are 3 stages when filtering the water: Mechanical Filtration, Chemical Filtration, and Biological Filtration. In each stage, it has different functions. For instance, firstly, this hob filter screens out earth and flotsam and jetsam. Then, it eliminates smells, staining, and debasements. Finally, it dispenses with harmful smelling salts and nitrite on contact to create a great environment for your fish. 

Easy and simple

It is easy to install and maintain. If you are an inexperienced person, do not worry much. All you need to do is to read the instructions and guidelines carefully. Just eliminate and supplant the channel cartridge after roughly one month and clean the channel on a case-by-case basis. 

Minus point: this hob filter is a bit noisier than other same products due to its two-part lid.

Top 3: Fluval C4 Series Power Filter

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Adjustable flow rate

In some cases, sensitive fish and plants require a more delicate water stream. Understanding this problem, the Fluval brand produces a patented hob filter that you can control the flow rate. At the point when the stream rate is diminished, up to half of the water inside the channeling chamber is re-prepared on different occasions. More pollutants are sifted through, making a better tank with shining perfect and clear water. 

5 Stage Filtration System

It may sound different to hear a 5 stage system because most of the hob filters use 3 stages one. It is new and increases clean water to your aquarium. In more detail, the primary stage – Coarse Foam Pad, eliminates the biggest particles from the water such as fish poop. Then, the better froth tangles more modest particles and splits up miniature air pockets in the water. The third stage reduces undesirable smells, stains, or other substance contaminations. And in two final steps, it advances the development of gainful microbes to handle alkali.

Easy maintenance

Some people are often concerned about how complicated it is to maintain a machine. However, this hob filter is ready to work and only needs to clean once a year. Just remove cover, channel media, and dispose of water staying in the channel case.

Minus point: this hob filter is more suitable for tanks smaller than 70 gallons.  

Top 4: SeaChem Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter

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3 stage filtration system

This hob filter is durable due to its high-quality technology. It has many filters to facilitate the treatment of each separate water source such as brackish water, alum water, limestone contaminated water, … to help treat water in your place effectively and economically. Moreover, this product works well in both freshwater and saltwater tanks.

3-year warranty

The SeaChem brand attaches much more importance to customer experience. Therefore, it understands the problems that most users have with a hob filter and offers the best service. If anything happens to your product, do not hesitate to call the hotline and you will receive support after a few days. It is a 3-year warranty.

Minus point: it is difficult to install, especially for inexperienced hobbyists.  

Top 5: Fluval C2 Series Power Filter

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Adjustable flow rate

The Fluval brand creates a protected hob filter that you can handle the stream rate. It cares more about the environment of sensitive fish and plants in your aquarium. Exactly when the stream rate is lessened, up to half of the water inside the channeling chamber is re-arranged on various events. 

5 stage filtration system

5 stage filtration system is better because it is improved and makes water cleaner and clearer. In more detail, the essential stage – Coarse Foam Pad, wipes out the greatest particles from the water, for example, fish crap. At that point, the better foam tangles more unassuming particles and separates smaller than usual air pockets in the water. The third stage lessens unwanted scents, stains, or other substance pollution. What’s more, in two last advances, it progresses the improvement of productive microorganisms to deal with soluble bases.

Easy maintenance

This hob channel is prepared to work and just requirements to clean once every year. Simply eliminate cover, channel media, and discard water remaining in the channel case. You do not need to worry about how much time and effort will take in the maintenance process. 

Minus point: this hob filter brings noise when working.

Why should I buy best HOB filters?

Habitat plays a very important role in the development of aquarium fish. For the best quality of water and living environment for aquarium fish, there is no shortage of hob filters to ensure. An aquarium is like a pond or miniature ecosystem and it also needs the most basic requirements to help the organisms within to grow in a natural way. The requirements are the circulation, the microflora handling impurities, waste treatment, and finally light. 

In the water environment, if there is no continuous circulation, water exchange, the possibility of contamination leading to pathogens and lack of oxygen is very large. Therefore, we must meet this miniature environmental circulation, metabolism, and purification by installing aquarium hob filters.

All aquariums, small to large aquariums are indispensable for hob filter equipment. The aquarium water purifier will help create circulatory currents for the production of oxygen and beneficial microorganisms. The beneficial oxygen, absorbing organic matter, making in water, … are all in the role of the hob filter. If you do not use a hob filter, you can only keep a few types of easy-to-keep aquarium fish that do not require oxygen and will still need to change the water on a regular basis.

How can I choose the best HOB filters for my aquarium?

The most suitable hob filter depends on many factors such as the size of the aquarium or the fish. Here are the things you need to consider first before purchasing any products:

  • The type of aquarium fish: If you are planning on keeping small fish species, a foam hob filter or waterfall hob filter is a great option. Small or large tanks can use this type of filter and the price is cheap so you can equip it immediately without any hesitation. On the other hand, if you want to keep large fish species, you should use the bottom filter or barrel filter, or overflow filter because this filter has a more powerful capacity, can suck and treat fish waste from the bottom of the lake
  • The size of the aquarium: for some mini aquariums, you do not need to install the hob filter since small fish are easy to live without needing much oxygen. However, for an aquatic tank, you should use a filter barrel or overflow filter that does not affect aquatic plants.
  • Engine capacity: The higher the capacity, the greater the water flow per hour. For a normal hob filter, it is best to treat a water flow of 6 times the volume of the aquarium in an hour.


How does a HOB filter work?

By and large, HOB channels work by drawing water through an admission tube into the channeling chamber. Inside the channeling chamber, the water goes through a progression of channel media prior to being gotten back to the tank. The channel media give mechanical, substance, and natural filtration to clean the water.

Can I use a HOB Filter for a Saltwater Tank?

The answer is YES! It can still work effectively in saltwater just as in freshwater tanks. The principle distinction is the organic filtration being done in a reef tank by the live shakes. However, there are many products in the market that are special for saltwater or freshwater tanks. It is better because it understands the differences of each aquarium. 

What is the difference between a canister filter and a HOB filter?

A canister channel sits underneath or close to the tank and is associated with hoses. For the most part, canister channels are bigger and contain more channel media. This improves them at keeping the water boundaries (like pH and hardness) stable. They can likewise be utilized for bigger aquariums. In any case, they additionally require more force, are somewhat harder to set up, and can be considerably more costly.

Along these lines, in the event that you need better water quality for your tank, and cash and upkeep are not issues, pick a canister channel. In the event that your tank needn’t bother with a ton of water filtration or you need a less expensive and simple to-support channel, a hob filter is your better decision.

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