Best Hang on Back Filters in 2020 – Top HOB Models Compared!

If you are thinking of owning an aquarium or already have one, a hang on filter is a must have accessory. Why? Because as the name suggests, they are useful for filtering. You can't clean water so you need to have a device that can. There are different methods of filtration; from mechanical, biological and chemical, each of them with its advantages and disadvantages.

Some filters can do filtration through all those stages and more while there are some that can only handle one type of filtration. There are many various brands of filters in the market. Choosing one may end up being a difficult task. These reviews will look at the best hang on back filters in the market.

Top 9 Hang on Back Filters - Comparisons

9 Best Hang on Back Filters - Reviews

1. ​Aqua Clear - Fish Tank Filter

Aqua Clear - Fish Tank Filter

If your current filter has a tendency of harming its motors or impellers when in use, it's time to make a change to a better one. The AquaClear Power Filter – 110V is the best hang on back filter for you. Not only does it reduce flow by up to 50%, the company is known to manufacture versatile filters.

Aquariums consist of very delicate plants and fish which most times require gentle water flow.

The AquaClear Power Filter has a Patented re-filtration system that allows you to control the flow rate of water without interfering with its efficiency. For an even healthy aquarium, the AquaClear Power Filter comes with a multi-stage filtration system. This is important to ensure that a significant amount of beneficial bacteria remain. 

It also comes equipped with AquaClear Foam, Activated Carbon and Biomax and cycle guard for a continuous biological filtration. The filtration volume of this filter is up to 7times larger compared to other filters in the market. In addition to these amazing features, this filter is easy to maintain and install. The manual comes with a complete guide on how to clean it after use and also how to install it.


  • Patented re-filtration system for control of water flow
  • Multi-stage filtration system
  • AquaClear foam activated carbon and Biomax cycle guard for biological filtration
  • 7times large filtration volume
  • Easy to maintain and install


  • Noisy when in use
  • Very delicate. Requires extra care
Fluval C Power Filter

For fish and plants in your aquarium to thrive, you need a filter that will offer superior water quality. Not only will it ensure the health of your aquarium but also will be aesthetically pleasing to you or your customers. The Fluval C Power Filter is the best hang on back filter to offer these outstanding results

The Fluval C Power Filter comes complete with a 5-stage filtration system. This makes this filter very efficient for you and your aquarium.

Stage 1and2 is mechanical where the porous poly/foam pad traps large and fine particles and debris. Stage 3 is chemical where there's absorption of undesirable impurities. Stage 4and5 are biologically important for the preservation of beneficial bacteria

If you have a small aquarium, this is the filter for you. It's useful for aquariums between 40 to 70gallons and filters 264gallons per hour.

The filter comes equipped with a cleaning indicator for when the polyfoam needs to be rinsed. With a clip on the filter, makes it quick and easy to maintain. This provides a stress-free environment for your fish and plants.


  • 5-stage filtration system
  • Useful for aquariums between 40-70gallons and filters 264gallons per hour
  • Equipped with a cleaning indicator
  • Clip on filter that makes it quick and easy to maintain
  • Maintains a refreshing, crisp water


  • Foam pads need to be often replaced
  • Crevices in the motor make cleaning difficult
SeaChem Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter,

Hang on back filters in the market may fail to deliver the desired results probably from the low-quality materials used to make them. The Seachem Laboratories 6500 55gallon/ 208 1/120V/60Hz Tidal Filter will make you see the hang on back filters in the most positive light.

This filter comes with a list of unique features. A self-priming pump allows this filter to clean itself. When it does, it provides your aquarium with high-quality, comprehensive filtration.

For a filter to be able to clean itself and ultimately be easy to maintain, it needs to have sufficient supply of water. This filter has a dual water intake with a surface skimmer. This means that water goes through the filter twice as much and is cleaned fast before it's released back into the aquarium. The skimmer scraps off dirt from the inner walls of the aquarium.

Sometimes controlling the flow of water in an aquarium can prove to be difficult especially if the filter is aggressive. The Tidal filter comes with an adjustable flow such that the control of water is in your hands.

Another outstanding feature is the self-cleaning impeller that is very convenient since impellers are difficult to clean. This filter is suited to a wide variety of aquarium setups from saltwater to freshwater.


  • Self-priming pump for comprehensive filtration
  • Dual water intake with a surface skimmer
  • Adjustable flow for control of water
  • Self-cleaning impeller
  • Suited for both freshwater and saltwater set-ups


  • The filter chamber is small hence can't hold enough filtering materials
  • The cord placement is delicate
Marineland Penguin Power Filter

Are you a first-time aquarium owner? If your answer is positive, this is the right place. You're probably wondering what kind of filter will be efficient for your aquarium and one that won't stress you out. The Marineland Penguin Power Filter is the best hang on back filter for beginners.

The Marineland Penguin Power Filter doesn't need any set-up. After buying it, remove it from its package and mount it in your aquarium.

This makes this filter perfect for newbies and even those fish lovers. Just ensure you follow instructions on how to use it For even more convenience, the Marineland Penguin Power Filter comes with a 3-stage filtration system.

Mechanical; rite-size filter cartridge floss screens out dirt and debris. Chemical; with the dark diamond premium activated carbon removes odors, discoloration, and impurities. Biological; with the patented Bio-Wheel it eliminates toxic ammonia and nitrate to allow for the growth of beneficial bacteria.

This filter has a Certified flow rate of 350 GPH which makes it perfect for all aquariums up to 70 gallon. It uses two Rite-Size C" filter ridges. In addition to this, the filter has convenient Penguin Rite-Size Cartridges that come ready to be used with each filter.


  • It doesn't need any set-up
  • 3-stage filtration system
  • Certified flow rate of 350GPH
  • Can handle aquariums up to 70gallon
  • Penguin Rite-Size cartridges ready to be used with each filter


  • It needs to be cleaned frequently for it to be efficient
  • The Bio-Wheel for the 3rd stage of filtration is delicate. It needs extra care
Tetra Whisper Power Filter for Aquariums

If you have a small aquarium and wondering where you will get a hang on back filter that will suit it and at the same time be convenient for you. The Tetra Whisper Power Filter is the best hang on back filter for those with small aquariums.

While using a normal sized hang on back filters can be effective especially if you have a small tank, smaller filters are highly recommended mainly because they can regulate water flow in your small tank. 

The Tetra Whisper filter is designed for use in smaller aquariums up to 40gallons. The unique feature of this filter is that it uses large Bio-bag cartridges. These cartridges can be easily replaced after the filters' continuous use. They're readily available in local retailers and supermarkets.

Cleaning a small aquarium is a difficult task especially when you're trying to reach those hidden corners. The Tetra Whisper filter has three filters in one. It provides for cleaner water and healthier fish.


  • Perfect for small aquariums up to 40gallons
  • Uses large Bio-bag cartridges
  • Has three filters in one for cleaner water and healthier fish
  • Comes with a dial to allow you to adjust intake and output of water
  • Makes little to no noise


  • Complaints of the filter leaking
  • The cartridges need replacing
EHEIM Liberty 200 Hang On Filter for up to 50 US Gallons

If you're a newbie to aquatic lifestyles and are confident that you have done a comprehensive research on filters, hold your horses. There's one more left. The EHEIM Liberty 200 Hang on Filter is perfect for you. It's invention with uncomplicated technology perfect for beginners.

As a newbie, you're cautious enough to not hurt your aquatic life especially when you're installing your filter.

This EHEIM Liberty 200 Hang on Filter has an easy installation process. All you need to do is simply hang over the tank edge. In addition to easy installation, the filter comes complete with filter media. This makes it immediate and ready for operation.

The best way for the filter to clean itself is by the biological process. This filter put this into consideration. A new large filter sponge allows for a high biological filter efficiency and ultimately longer life.

Its phenol-free cellular foam cartridge is for a reliable removal of solved pollutants. With a cellular foam cartridge in the intake area makes it ideal for nursery tanks.


  • Easy installation
  • Comes with a filter media
  • New large filter sponge for a high biological filter
  • Phenol-free cellular foam cartridge for removal of pollutants
  • Cellular foam cartridge ideal for nursery tanks


  • The intake tube is short
  • Finding replacements for the filtration media isn't easy
Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters

Just as the name suggests, this hang on back filter is quiet. When in use, you will not even realize it's on. If you like silence or circumstances such as a newborn force you to be quiet and you have an aquarium, you'll need the AqueonQuietflow 50 Filter. It's the best hang on back filter that is quiet.

The AqueonQuietflow filter features a four-stage filtration system. Mechanical, chemical, biological and wet/dry.

This allows for a clean, clear and healthy water which in turn allows for healthy fish and plants. Other filters in the market may end up disappointing you as they don't perform well enough to keep your fish healthy and alive. The filtration system is made in a way that it allows for higher flow rates. This ensures for higher dissolved oxygen content for healthier, more active fish.

How exactly is the filter quiet? This hang on back filter has an internal pump design that helps dampen noise. This same pump also eliminates leaks and starts up automatically after cleaning or if there are power interruptions.


  • Four stage filtration system
  • High flow rates for higher dissolving of oxygen
  • Internal pump that dampens noise
  • Pump eliminates leaks and start automatically
  • Ensures a clean, clear and healthy aquarium


  • Complaints of the filter being cheaply made
  • The impeller gets noisy after prolonged use
Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter with Quad Filtration System

If you're looking for a more recent hang on back filter, look no further. The Penn Plax Cascade Hang on Power Aquarium Filter is what you need. It has revolutionized the hang on back filter as we know it with its recent and more improved technology.

This hang on aquarium filter quietly delivers 300gallons per hour of crystal clear water for your fresh or marine aquariums. This filter comes in different sizes that can handle aquariums from 55 to 100gallons.

Its revolutionary Bio-falls Quad-filtration system provides efficient filtration. This type of filtration creates a conducive environment for anaerobic bacteria to thrive. They're responsible for removal of ammonia and nitrate providing maximum oxygen flow.

It comes with an activated carbon cartridge that removes harmful chemicals, toxins, odors, discoloration and other contaminants. The internal sponge optimizes colonization of beneficial anaerobic bacteria and polyfiber floss to tap floating particulate matter.

An adjustable flow knob in the filter allows you to reduce filtration during feeding times recommended for freshwater and saltwater aquariums.


  • Suaquariums of up to 55 to 100gallons
  • Bio-falls Quad-filtration system for efficient filtration
  • Activated carbon that remove harmful chemicals
  • Adjustable flow knob to reduce filtration
  • Used in freshwater and saltwater aquariums


  • The filter gets noisy when in use
  • Doesn't come with an attachment to lengthen the filter.
Marina Power Filter

There those aquarium enthusiasts who prefer relatively large hang on back filters. However, if you're one of those people who prefer the small, slim and compact one, the Marina Power Filter is the best hang on back filter for you.

It's known for reducing space behind your aquarium. So if you are low on space, this is the filter you need

The filter comes complete with an adjustable flow control. This makes it easy for you to control the water flow level in your tank. This is convenient especially if you have a relatively large or small aquarium.

Other motors of other filters are usually visible when operational. This can sometimes result in a lot of noise. The Marine Power Filter's motor is submerged in the tank allowing for a quiet operation and an easy start-up since no priming is required.

For a filter to be useful, it has to be installed first. This filter is easy to install as it comes with a manual. Maintenance is also quick, easy and convenient. This filter comes with 2filter cartridges, 1Bio-carb and 1Bio-clear. Both are engineered to optimize biological filtration for a healthy aquarium.


  • Adjustable flow control
  • Motor is fully submerged in the tank
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • Comes with 2filter cartridges for an added convenience
  • Optimized for biological filtration for a healthy aquarium


  • Complaints of the filter being noisy
  • Not appropriate for sensitive aquatic animals

How To Choose The Best Hang On Filter

Before you buy any hang on back filter from whichever source, you need to consider a few points to guide you on the type, brand, and size of filter you'll get.

Aquarium Size

This is one of the primary considerations when you're buying a hang on back filter for your aquarium. Size encompasses the actual size and the volume of water the aquarium holds. The size of your aquarium is the base of choice for your filter.

Large tanks will require slightly larger filters to be able to handle the amount of water flow. Smaller filters would not filter the water in your aquarium, or if it would, it would take a lot of time, and the motors would get worn out fast. The vice versa is true for smaller tanks. Large filters in small tanks would end up killing your fish and the aquatic plants.


This is the second determinant on the type of filter you will get. Different hang on back filters cost differently depending on the brand, manufacturer or features. Those with additional features for your convenience will cost more compared to those with the standard features.

While most of the filters are affordable, you should choose one that easily fits in your budget. You may spend more money on the one you think is safe and efficient only for it to end up being catastrophic. If you're a newbie, start with the cheapest one so that you get the hang of filters before you graduate to the more expensive ones.


Cleaning and maintaining hang on back filters is essential as it determines the durability of the same. The deciding factor would probably be the amount of time and effort you'd be willing to spend cleaning and maintaining your filter.

Just like the size of the filters, different models have various methods you can use to clean the filters. Some brands require you to disassemble the whole filter so that you clean it part by part. Other brands are self-rinsing. They clean themselves with the in-built technology. Always settle for a model that will not be a hassle cleaning.

New Improvements

To be able to stay relevant in the market, most manufacturers of hang on back filters have continued improving their brands for the realization of their goals and your convenience. These new improvements vary from size to performance.

Some are built to operate without noise while others are meant to be slim and compact. Before you settle for one, go through the improvements made in order to please you as their consumer.

Other Indirect Factors

These are those things you can't control or if you can you need to be extra cautious. Before you settle for a filter, have your pet in mind. This can be in number, their levels of sensitivity and the type of pet. There are those pets that need complete silence, you can't get a noisy filter.

You also need to think about kids or other pets in the house if you have them. They can get into the tank and touch the filters that may end up hurting them. They may also trip and fall onto the filters. For this reason, you can choose either internal or external filters.

Final Verdict

Aquarium filters are sensitive as they are the bedrock of your aquarium. Therefore, before you choose one, do a whole lot of research from every source you can so that you, your household, your aquatic fish and plants are safe.

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David Valle

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!