One of the most important aspects of setting up an aquarium is finding the right filtering system. A filtering system is a must for aquariums. Fish, like all animals, carry germs and these germs can make you sick – though, it is rare. The germs can also contaminate the water your fish lives in, which can make your fish sick.
Table of Contents
- Comparison of Best HOB Filter in 2019
- Types of filtration
- How to Set Up Your Freshwater Aquarium
- 7 Best HOB Filters Reviews in 2019
- Final Thoughts
A HOB filter is simply a filter that Hang On the Back of your aquarium. This type of filter is one of the most used systems because it is easy to maintain simply because it is easier to reach.
Comparison of Best HOB Filter in 2019
|Brand||Tank Size||Type of Filtration||GPH Rate (Gallons Per Hour)||View on Amazon|
|MarineLand Penguin||Up to 20 Gallons||Mechanical, chemical, and biological||100||Check Price
|Aqua Clear Power Filter||10-30 Gallons||Mechanical, chemical, and biological||150||Check Price
|Seachem Tidal Filter||55 Gallons||Mechanical and biological||250||Check Price
|Penn Plax Cascade||150 Gallons||Mechanical, chemical, and biological||300||Check Price
|Fluval C Power||70 Gallons||Mechanical, chemical, and biological||264||Check Price
|Aqueon QuietFlow||Up to 50 Gallons||Mechanical, chemical, and biological||250||Check Price
|Tetra Whisper EX||10-20 Gallons||Mechanical, chemical, and biological||110||Check Price
Types of filtration
Biological – Fish tanks MUST have biological filtering. This type of filtering rids the tank of toxic ammonia that is in the waste products of fish.
- Chemical – Chemical filters include chemicals such as zeolite and activated carbon. This type of filter can remove substances such as dissolved organics and ammonia but are recommended for dealing with short-term problems rather than use as a long-term stand-alone solution.
- Mechanical – This type of filter traps small particles so they can be removed from the tank before they decompose, which causes the ammonia in the tank. Mechanical filters remove uneaten food and small plant leaves to keep the water in your aquarium clean.
How to Set Up Your Freshwater Aquarium
What You Will Need
- Aquarium Stand
- Filtering System
- Decorations – ornaments; live or artificial plants
- Water Conditioner
- Step 1 – Wash gravel, rocks, and artificial ornaments in warm water (no detergents or soaps). Use a colander to rinse gravel until the water coming from the gravel is thoroughly clean.
- Step 2 – Clean aquarium inside and out with a clean, damp cloth (no detergents or soaps).
- Step 3 – Place aquarium on aquarium stand (do not try to move aquarium once you begin filling with water).
- Step 4 – Place gravel in bottom of aquarium. (1.5-2 pounds of gravel per gallon of water)
- Step 5 – Place a clean plate on top of gravel. This will be used to pour water into the tank without disturbing the gravel bed.
- Step 6 – Fill tank to 1/3 full.
- Step 7 – Add water conditioner – this step is important because fish do not do well in chlorinated water.
- Step 8 – Set up air pump.
- Step 9 – Place decorations in tank.
- Step 10 – Fill tank.
- Step 11 – Set up filtering system.
- Step 12 – Set up lighting and heating system.
- Step 13 – Add fish one at a time using a clean net.
- Step 14 – Enjoy your aquarium.
7 Best HOB Filters Reviews in 2019
#1. Best HOB Filter for 10 Gallon Tank
The MarineLand Penguin Power Filter is one of the best HOB filters for your 10-gallon tank. This filtering system filters water at a rate of 100 gallons per hour and performs all three types of filtration – mechanical, chemical, and biological.
10-gallon aquariums are great for beginners. The small size allows you to learn how to set up and maintain an aquarium without becoming overwhelmed. 10-gallon tanks also work well as specie specific tanks, such as ghost shrimp and red cherry shrimp.
*Note – 10-gallon tanks are not the best aquariums for goldfish because goldfish will cause the water quality to decrease rapidly in smaller settings.
#2. Best HOB Filter for 20 Gallon Tank
The Aqua Clear Power Filter is one of the best HOB filters for 20-gallon tanks. It has a three-step filtering system that works as the water moves through the filtering system – step 1 is mechanical filtration; step 2 is chemical filtration; step 3 is biological filtration. The biological filtration step provides a place for beneficial bacteria to grow. These beneficial bacteria help to remove toxic materials such as nitrite and ammonia.
A division of the Hagen Company, Aqua Clear has been providing quality HOB filtration systems since 1978. Hagen was founded in 1955 by Rolf C. Hagen and the company is dedicated to providing innovative and practical products that will boost the welfare and health of your pets. Hagen strives to provide pet owners with products that are safe, convenient, dependable, practical, provide value, and are durable.
#3. Best HOB Filter for 55 Gallon Tank
A 55-gallon aquarium is one of the most popular choices for the home. A 55-gallon aquarium will give you many options for a lively community environment. There are a variety of choices for each zone of your 55-gallon aquarium.
Bottom Dwellers – Some fish spend all their time at the bottom of the tank. Bottom dwellers help keep your tank clean and include such species as Cory Catfish, Clown Loach, Cherry Shrimp, and Ghost Shrimp.
Mid-tank Dwellers – These are fish that spend most of their time swimming around the middle of the aquarium, through and around the décor and vegetation. These species can include Angelfish, Tetra fish (such as neons), Gourami, and cherry barbs.
Top of the Tank Dwellers – These fish stay near the surface of the aquarium and can include guppies, mollies, zebra danios, and swordtails.
Larger fish tanks require more maintenance and cleaning. The Seachem Tidal Filter by Sicce is one of the best HOB filters for 55-gallon tanks. The Seachem Tidal filter can be used for both freshwater aquariums and saltwater aquariums, which provides you with even more choices for your 55-gallon aquarium.
#4. Best HOB Filter for 100 Gallon Aquarium
For the avid aquarium lover, a 100-gallon aquarium offers you many choices of fish and décor. Not only do larger tanks provide space for a larger fish population, they are also easier to clean. You can have more fish, larger fish, and can create an entire reef system for your fish to thrive in.
One of the best HOB filters for a 100-gallon aquarium is the Penn Plax Cascade Filtration System. This filtration system has three stages (mechanical, chemical, and biological) to keep your fish aquarium crystal clear and healthy for your favorite fish.
#5. Best HOB Filter for Saltwater
Saltwater aquariums are great for people who love the exotic. Some of the rarest, and most beautiful, fish in the world thrive in a saltwater environment. Setting up a saltwater aquarium is quite an undertaking because it is imperative to create and maintain the perfect balance of salt. However, since many species that thrive in a saltwater environment are expensive, taking the time to setup the aquarium properly will save you money in the long run.
The Fluval C Power Filtration System is one of the best HOB filters for saltwater aquariums. The C Power provides a 5-stage filtration system:
Stage 1 – Mechanical
Stage 2 – Poly/Foam Pad
Stage 3 – Chemical
Stage 4 – Biological Bio-Screen
Stage 5 – Biological C-Nodes
#6. Best HOB Filter for Freshwater
One of the main differences between saltwater aquariums and freshwater aquariums is the cost. Setup and maintenance of the tank is another consideration. Freshwater tanks are usually easier to take care of than saltwater. The fish in a freshwater aquarium are less expensive and less delicate. Plus, there are a wide variety of colorful options for your freshwater tank.
Though freshwater aquariums are easier to maintain, they do require a good filtration system to keep the water clean and healthy for your fish. One of the best HOB filters for freshwater aquariums is the Aqueon QuietFlow LED Pro Aquarium Power Filters. This filtration system provides all three stages of filtration – mechanical, chemical, and biological.
#7. Best HOB Filter for Goldfish
One of the most common types of fish for small aquariums is goldfish – often a child’s first experience with a pet fish. Goldfish can live without a filter – IF you want to change the water almost daily. Like other types of fish, goldfish produce toxins via respiration and waste. If these toxins are allowed to buildup in the tank, it can cause many problems, including smelly water and unhealthy goldfish.
The Tetra Whisper EX Multi-Stage Power Filter is one of the best HOB for goldfish. The Whisper is ready-to-use right out of the box and requires minimal setup. As the name indicates, the Whisper runs quietly and is ideal for your goldfish. Multi-stage filtration combines mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration at a rate of 110 gallons per hour.
Fish are some of the easiest pets to care for. Whether your child wins a goldfish at a carnival or you pay big bucks for rare, tropical fish, the one thing that all aquariums need is a good filtration system. The best HOB aquarium filtration system will be a combination of the three common types of filtration – mechanical, chemical, and biological.
A filtration system that combines these three will keep the water in your tank clear and healthy for your fish. If you choose to setup a freshwater aquarium, follow the instructions at the beginning of the article. Setting up a saltwater aquarium requires a few more steps and a little more time.
How to Setup a Saltwater Aquarium
What You Will Need
- Aquarium Stand
- Decorations and live rocks
Step 1 – Pour sand into aquarium
Step 2 – Fill aquarium with prepared saltwater
Step 3 – Rinse live rock in a separate bucket of prepared saltwater
Step 4 – Arrange live rock in aquarium
Step 5 – Install aquarium equipment. (Do not run the lighting system during this stage)
Step 6 – For 4 weeks, change half the water each week to cure the live rock
Step 7 – During week 4, add your first live animals (snails and crabs) per acclimation guide. Wait 2 weeks.
Step 8 – During week 6, add your first corals per acclimation guide. Do a 25% water change. Wait 2 weeks.
Step 9 – Add next set of corals per acclimation guide. Wait 2 weeks.
Step 10 – Do a 25% water change and add fish per acclimation guide.
*Note: An acclimation guide simply guides you through acclimating (getting your fish accustomed to) the water in the tank.
Once your freshwater or saltwater aquarium is setup, it is vital that you perform the required maintenance to keep the water fresh and clean for a beautiful, healthy setting for your fish. Set it up and enjoy the beauty you have brought into your home.