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3 Best Hang On Back (HOB) Filter for Freshwater Aquariums 2020 (Detailed Reviews)

If you are looking for the best hang on the back filter for freshwater aquarium, then you are at the right place.

In this article, I will review the best HOB filters available in the market for all aquarium sizes.

So let’s get started.

List of the Best HOB Filters for Freshwater Aquariums

We recommend Aquaclear HOB Filter. It is a very reliable and quiet filter. Check its latest price and customer reviews at Amazon here

ImageNameTank SizePrice
Aquaclear HOB FilterUp to 20, 30, 50, 70, 110 gallons

Check the latest price at Amazon here

Fluval C Power FilterUp to 30, 50, 70 gallons

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Aqueon Quieteflow Up to 10, 20, 30, 50, 75 gallons

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1. Aquaclear HOB Filter

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This filter comes in a total of six variants

Aquaclear HOB filters come in a wide range suitable for almost every size aquarium.

All the variants have similar features and there is a difference in their sizes.

The best part about this filter is it has a lot more space for media comparing to its competitor and it also provides the longest media contact time.

This filter comes with a patented re-filtration system that allows you to control the water flow without compromising the efficiency of filtration and it is a very quiet filter. 

This filter also comes with a Recycle guard multi-stage filtration system that allows you to preserve the beneficial bacteria. Beneficial bacteria are essential for an aquarium, and when you throw away the cartridge, you lose all the beneficial bacteria.  

But as these filters come with multiple cartridges so you can change one cartridge at a time and there will be beneficial bacteria remained on other cartridges. This way you will not lose all the beneficial bacteria.

Talking about cartridges of this filter, it comes with 3 cartridges::

The Aquaclear foam insert is settled at the bottom of the filter chamber. This filter removes debris from the water and its porous structure of foam provides sufficient space for beneficial bacteria. 

It also helps to perform other filters Efficiently by providing optimal water distribution patterns.

Above foam insert, there is an activated carbon filter insert that removes harmful toxins from the water and it also removes bad odor as well.

On the top, there is Aquaclear bio-max filter insert which contains bio-max ceramic rings 

The surface of this bio-max filter has a complex pore structure that provides an ideal environment and space to grow beneficial bacteria.

To maintain a healthy amount of beneficial bacteria, you should not change all the cartridges of this filter at once.

You should change them in the following order.

Replace the Aqua clear form filter inserts after every 2 months. 

Replace the activated carbon insert after every month and replace the bio-max filter after every 3 months.

Fill water in the filter chamber of this filter when you use it for the first time and also after an electric outage.  It cannot pull sufficient water after electric outage so if you don’t fill water in its filter chamber then it may overheat and burn.

It makes a little rattling noise but still, it is a very quiet filter comparing to its competitors.

Overall, customers are very happy with the performance of this filter. You will have to fill water in the filter chamber after the electric outage is a big problem especially if you are away from home.

Pros

  • More space for media
  • Flow controller
  • Recycle guard
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Not self-priming

Price

Check latest price and customer reviews at Amazon here

2. Fluval C Power Filter

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Fluval C series power filters come in three variants.

All three variants have similar features. There is just a difference in sizes.

Fluval is a very well known company hen it comes to an aquarium. The Fluval C series filter has all the features its competitors offer that’s why it deserves a place in the list of the best HOB filter for freshwater aquarium.

All three variants come with 5 stage filtration. Fluval C power filters are equipped with an LED indicator that lets you know when you will have to change its polyfoam. And they are self-priming filters.

5 Stage Filtration System

The first and second stage of separation is mechanical filtration, and it consists of polyfoam pads.

At this stage, the porous form traps large particles and the dense polyester foam traps fine debris.

The third stage of filtration is chemical filtration, and it consists of activated carbon inserts. 

At this stage activated carbon filter removes order and toxins from the water.

The fourth stage is biological filtration, and it consists of bio-screen. It removes the remaining debris from the water.

The fifth stage is comprised of C-nodes. The surface of the C-nodes comprises a complex pore system that provides an ideal environment for the growth of beneficial bacteria essential for a healthy aquarium environment.

Fluval C power filters are equipped with a patented re-filtration system that allows you to control the water flow of the filter.

This is a very useful feature because some plants and fishes require low water flow like bettas.

This is a self-priming filter so you don’t have to add water into its filter chamber to get it going when you use it for the first time. 

This feature is its competitive advantage over Aquaclear HOB filters.

Media replacement schedule

You should replace the polyfoam after every 4 to 6 weeks.

You should replace half the quantity of the biological C-nodes every 6 months. Here you should keep in mind that you should not replace all the C-nodes at once because it will remove all the beneficial bacteria from the water essential for a healthy aquarium environment.

You should replace the activated carbon inserts after every 2 to 4 weeks.

You should replace the bio-screen after every 2 to 3 months.

Also, replace the motor O ring once a year, which will prevent leaking.

overall users are happy with the performance of this filter, the only complaint they have about this filter is the noise. The customer complains that it makes a rattling noise and it is noisy.

Usually, all the HOB filters are more or less noisy. If you are looking for a quiet filter then consider internal filters. They are the submersible filter so their motor is submerged into the water which makes them quiet.

Pros

  • LED indicator
  • 5 Stage filtration
  • Flow controller
  • Self-priming

Cons

  • Noisy

Price

Check latest price and customer reviews at Amazon here

3. Aqueon Quieteflow

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Aqua Quietflow comes in 6 variants. All six variants have similar features.

All variants have an LED filter cartridge change indicator that flashes whenever you will have to change its cartridge.

It is a self-priming filter.

This filter also comes with a 5 stage filtration system.

1st stage

The first stage consists of dense foam, which removes the big particles and debris from the water.

2nd stage

The second stage of filtration comprises activated carbon, which removes odor, toxins, and discoloration from the water.

3rd stage

The third stage features Patented Bio-Holster which removes toxic ammonia and nitrates on the water.

4th stage

The fourth stage comprises a diffuser grid that removes remaining toxins from the water and adds oxygen to the water. It also reduces the splashing of the water.

5th stage

The fifth stage of filtration has a specialty filter pad option that acts as carbon, ammonia, and phosphate remover.

This filter doesn’t come with a flow controller which is an essential feature if you have delicate fish like betta.

Customers are happy with performing this filter, but they also complain that the LED indicator you get with this filter is useless. It flashes even if the cartridge can last for another month.

The LED indicator works on a sensor located underneath the lid. So if the lid gets wet, then it will start flashing. 

So whenever you change its cartridges, be sure to dry off the sensor with a dry cloth to reset it.

Some customers also complain that its a bit noisy though it has an internal pump design which helps to reduce the noise.

Pros

  • Self-priming
  • LED indicator
  • 5 Stage filtration
  • Flow controller

Cons

  • No flow controller
  • a bit noisy

Price

Check latest price and customer reviews at Amazon here

Conclusion

So these are the best hang on the back (HOB) filters for freshwater aquarium. On one HOB filter is perfect so I’ll advise you to go through the pros and cons and see which can be a good fit for your needs.

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