Some beginners to the fish keeping hobby may not understand what HOB stands for. HOB simply means Hang on Back aquarium filter.
Acronyms can be funny but they can also be confusing!
Below we hope to clear up some of the confusion with HOB filters and provide you with the right information so you can get the best HOB filter for your aquarium.
First let’s start with our list of the Best Hang on Back aquarium filters.
- Seachem Laboratories Tidal Power Filter
- Marineland Emperor 400 Pro Series Bio-wheel HOB Filter
- Fluval C4 HOB Filter
- AquaClear HOB Filter
- Tetra Whisper Power Filter
- Aqueon QuietFlow Aquarium Power Filter
- What Is A HOB Filter
- Top 4 HOB Aquarium Filter Brands and Models Compared
- Fluval C4 Power Filter
- AquaClear 70 Power Filter
- Emperor 400 Pro Series Bio-Wheel Power Filter
- Tetra Whisper Power Filter
- How to Set Up A HOB Filter
- How to Clean A HOB Filter
- Our Recommended Best Hang On Back Aquarium Filter
What Is A HOB Filter
As we mentioned above the hang on back (HOB) aquarium filter is simply a filter that is hung off the back side of your aquarium.
So why would anyone want to have a large bulky filter in plain sight hanging off the back of your tank.
Well, for a few reasons;
- They are easily accessible.
- The filter media can quickly be removed/replaced.
- Easy maintenance.
- They are inexpensive.
- They provide great filtration.
Plus, over the years the technology has improved a great deal and many hob filters are very quiet when compared to earlier versions.
Which is great if you have your tank set up in your bedroom!
However, it’s important to note one downfall of the hang on back filter. Which is that the good bacteria colony is removed every time the cartridge is replaced.
Regardless of this one disadvantage HOB filters are still a powerful choice for a great filtration system.
If you’re looking for a new hob filter, or this is your first, We hope to give you piece of mind.
Top 4 HOB Aquarium Filter Brands and Models Compared
We reviewed a few brands below and ranked them based on the benefits noted above. Just click the links below to see the full reviews for all HOB filter models and types;
- Fluval C4 Power Filter Review
- AquaClear 70 Power Filter Review
- Emperor 400 Pro Series Bio-Wheel Power Filter Review
- Tetra Whisper Power Filter Review
The Top Aquarium Filter Brands;
Comparison Chart Of 8 Best HOB Fitlers
Fluval C4 Power Filter
The Fluval C4 combines the greater volume for media capacity and higher flow rate of a canister filter with the lower price and easier cleaning of an HOB aquarium filter to give you the best of both worlds.
Instead of the standard 3-stage filtration (Mechanical, Biological, chemical) The C-4 provide 5-stages for optimal filtration to remove any unwanted debris, waste, ammonia and everything else.
It’s also super easy to use and easy to clean.
The C-series is available in a size for every tank and a step up from the excellent AquaClear line of filters by Hagen, which Fluval also owns.
While both are great filters, if you have a couple extra dollars to spend, the C4 is a better choice than the AquaClear for most people.
If you’re in the market for a filter for your 40-70 gallon tank, the Fluval C4 Power Filter should be at the top of your list.
AquaClear 70 Power Filter
Its design has a great reputation that is backed up by its efficiency, durability and overall quality. The clear water you’ll have in your tank after installing this filter will speak for itself.
If you have a few more dollars to spend, you could also consider the Fluval C-Series, Hagen’s other line of high-quality hang-on-back filters.
The C-Series offers maximum filtration and some additional features and upgrades over the AquaClear filters. But, at the end of the day, you really can’t go wrong with the AquaClear 70 Power Filter.
Emperor 400 Pro Series Bio-Wheel Power Filter
Crystal clear water and healthy fish are a hallmark of this Marineland Power Filter. The strong flow rate (gph), efficient filtration, and dual Bio-wheels combine to make this one of the best filters on the market.
If you’re looking for efficiency, high water flow, and the best in biological filtration available, then you should be looking at the Marineland Emperor 400 Pro Series Bio-Wheel Power Filter.
Tetra Whisper Power Filter
If you’re on a budget, need a solid backup filter, or are just getting into the fishkeeping hobby, the Tetra Whisper HOB Filter is a great choice and one of the quietest filters.
It may not have all the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive filters out there, like adjustable output and control, but it’s solid, it works, and it’s easy to clean and maintain.
Because of its solid performance and low price, the Whisper power filter may just be the best HOB filter for those needing a quality filter that doesn’t cost a whole lot.
How to Set Up A HOB Filter
Here is a great video from Big Al’s that shows exactly how to set up the Marineland Emperor 400 HOB Filter which happens to be our top rated hob aquarium filter.
How to Clean A HOB Filter
Cleaning your hob filter is simple and listed the general steps below. However, this great forum post over at Aquaria Central really goes into detail and provides some awesome tips for beginners.
Here are the steps;
Step 1. Unplug the filter and remove it from the back of your aquarium.
Step 2. Remove lid and take out the filter basket or cartridges that contains your filter media. This will typically be a sponge, carbon bag (charcoal), and some form of biological media (beads).
Step 3. Clean your beads and sponge in some of your old aquarium water placed in a bucket. If you do this during a water change it simplifies things.
Do not use tap water to clean the sponge/beads as it will kill off any beneficial bacteria that have built up in your media.
Step 4. Replace your carbon bag every 3 weeks.
Step 5. Then remove the filter intake stem, clean the inside with a cleaning brush to remove algae. Do the same to the intake tube. This will keep your tubes clear to maximize water flow which is key to your filtration.
Step 6. Then remove the motor and clean the impeller with a brush, replace it and add lubricant to reseal the gasket of the motor.
Step 7.Then reassemble the filter and hang it back on the back of your aquarium and fill the cartridge up with your aquarium water using a cup, then plug it in.
If you do this at least once a month when you do your monthly water change it will ensure your tank will be healthy and clean for years to come.
Our Recommended Best Hang On Back Aquarium Filter
Based on its low price, its ability to filter 400 gallons per hour and an overall rating of 4.2/5.
We are confident the Marineland Emperor 400 HOB Filter would be a great choice for anyone looking for a solid hang on back aquarium filter.
The biggest selling point for these filters is the fact that they have bio-wheels exposed to oxygen, which are fibrous wheels that rotate and skim on the surface of the water as the last stage of filtration before the water returns to the aquarium. – Land of Fish.
If you don’t think a hob filter will suit your needs?