10 Best Hang On Back Filter For Saltwater 2022 (Consumer Reviews)

10 Best Hang On Back Filter For Saltwater

I understand that deciding on the best hang on back filter for saltwater tanks might be difficult, but with the right analysis, it gets much simpler.

A saltwater tank can be filtered in a variety of ways. Filtration is required in order to maintain your fish tank safe and healthy.

A HOB filter can be effective and useful. In this post, we’ll look at ten of the best HOB filters for saltwater aquariums.


We totally value the time of each consumer who is looking to purchase a new filter so if you don’t want to go through the whole article and you are in hurry then don’t worry as we have provided these 3 top picks from the entire list which you can purchase blindly.

What Are HOB Filters and How Do They Work?

The hang on back (HOB) aquarium filter, as previously said, is simply a filter that hangs from the rear of your tank. So, why would anybody want a large, heavy filter hanging off the rear of their tanks in plain sight?

For a variety of reasons, including the fact that: 

  • They are easily available.
  • The filter media is easily removed and changed.
  • Simple to keep up with.
  • They are low-cost.
  • They have a high level of filtration.  

Furthermore, technology has advanced significantly over the years, and many hob filters are now much quieter than previous models. If you have any tanks set up in peaceful areas, such as a bedroom, it is ideal. It’s crucial to remember, nevertheless, that one disadvantage of the hang on back filter is that the beneficial bacteria colony is destroyed each time the cartridge is changed. Despite this flaw, HOB filters are still a great choice for a high-quality filtering system. If you’re in the market for a new hob filter or this is your first, we want to put your mind at ease.

A HOB filter works by sucking water from your tank into a recirculating water pump, which then forces the water through different filter media and back into the tank.

Let’s take a closer look at how it filters the water in your tank one step at a time.

  1. The driven pump generates a magnetic current, which causes the impeller to whirl and centrifugally propel the water.
  2. Water is drawn up through the inlet tubes and into the pump by this pressure.
  3. The pump then forces the water through the filter material at a higher pressure.
  4. The purified water is then returned to the aquarium through a waterfall.

10 Best Hang On Back Filter For Saltwater (Comparison Table)

SeaChem – Large Aquarium Fish Tank FilterSeaChem – Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter


  • The pump pushes water up into the basket of the filter
  • The pump is also insulated and silent
  • A heater can be attached to the side with an optional heater clip
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Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power FilterAqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filter
  • LED indicating it's time to change the cartridge
  • Self-priming filter pump 
  • High flow rates for optimal dissolved oxygen 
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Marina S15 Power FilterMarina S15 Power Filter
  • Power filter for aquariums up to 15 gallons
  • No priming required
  • Easy to maintain
  • Adjustable flow control
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AquaClear Hagen Power FilterAquaClear Hagen Power Filter
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Provides optimal mechanical, chemical, and biological filtrations
  • Filtration volume is up to 7 times larger
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Fluval C4 Power FilterFluval C4 Power Filter
  • 5-stage clip-on power filter
  • Two mechanical stages
  • Chemical stage with activated carbon effectively removes toxins
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MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power FilterMarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter
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Tetra Whisper IQ Power Filter 20 GallonsTetra Whisper IQ Power Filter 20 Gallons
  • QUIET aquarium FILTER
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Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium FilterPenn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter
  • Revolutionary Bio-Falls Quad-Filtration system
  • Activated carbon cartridge
  • Internal sponge 
  • Adjustable flow knob 
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Tetra Whisper Power Filter for AquariumsTetra Whisper Power Filter for Aquariums
  • Whisper 20 Power Filter
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SeaChem Large Aquarium Fish Tank FilterSeaChem Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter
  • Hang on Filter for Aquariums up to 55 Gallons
  • For Freshwater or Saltwater tanks.
  • 3 Year Warranty
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10 Best Hang On Back Filter For Saltwater (Buying Guide)

1. SeaChem – Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter

Category: Best hang-on-back filter for saltwater tank with internal motor. 

SeaChem – Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter, Tidal 110 Gallon (400 Liters) by Sicce
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The Seachem Tidal Hang-on-Back filter offers a lot of power and a lot of room for you to personalize your filter material. On principle, the seachem tidal hob seems amazing, so I decided to put it to the test and evaluate it to other filter media in the genre. I was blown away, and I believe you will be as well. However, even though this filter is fantastic does not mean it is right for you. Continue reading to find out.

  • Features: This Seachem Tidal Hang-on-Back have following features as follow:
  • This filter uses an internal (inside-the-tank) motor rather than an exterior (outside-the-tank) motor. An internal motor does not require priming during installation or maintenance.
  • This filter will automatically start up for as long as the water level is over the threshold water line. It’s fantastic.    
  • : In a nutshell, bio media capacity is tremendous! The basket is rather large. This filtration system has more area for bio media than all the other four HOB filters I examined. In addition to being quieter than external motors, the internal motor offers another advantage.  
  • Clean the medium and put it in the rear of the filtration system, hang it on the back of the aquarium, and connect it to the power. A large plastic screw is also used as a levelling mechanism on the Tidal. It enables adjusting the filter level simpler than almost any hang-on-the-back I’ve tried. I particularly like how the screw isn’t readily driven off the filter, unlike other filter makers’ levelling mechanisms, which fall off if you simply look at them strange.
  • Great flow rate
  • Maintenance is easier
  • No priming is required
  • Durable design
  • Quiet operation
  • Does not have chemical media

2. Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filter

Category: best hang-on-back filter for saltwater tank with LED.

Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filter, Size 10
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QuietFlow LED Pro tank power filter line from Aqueon is the pinnacle of HOB filters. The level of water in the filter is monitored, and a red LED indication light illuminates when the filter requires replacement.     

  • Features: The QuietFlow LED Pro tank power filter has following features:
  • They’ve also got a pump within the tank that’s connected to the inlet tubes. This allows devices to self-prime and operate when connected to power or in the event of a power loss.
  • This filter features a 5-stage filtration technique that is unique. This multi-stage filtering system simplifies filter replacements while also preventing the loss of beneficial microorganisms when the filter media is replaced.  
  • The activated carbon-filled thick floss filter cartridge is meant to effectively eliminate all dirt particles and poisons, as well as smells and improve clarity.
  • Capacity and noise: The honeycomb structure on the diffuser grid give greater surface area for bacteria to thrive on while also increasing dissolved oxygen in the water. It also reduces splashing sounds from the water cascading back into your aquarium. The filter’s flow rate is likewise outstanding, at 100 gph. The filter can handle a tank of up to 20 gallons. The filter is quite silent if the pump is submerged properly.
  • Installation: Because the device is self-priming, installation is a breeze. The filter has a cartridge change indication to make maintenance easy.   
  • Nominal price
  • Comes with replacement filtering media
  • Easy to maintain
  • Self-priming
  • Cartridge replacement is easy
  • Consumers complained about the quality

3. Marina Power Filter

Category: Best affordable hang-on-back filter for saltwater tank.

Marina S15 Power Filter
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Because to its distinctive shape, the Slim S15 Power Filter takes up less room behind your tank. You can manage the water flow level in your tank using the adjustable flow control included with the filter.  Its filter box has a low profile to assist produce a minimalist, elegant appearance.

  • Features: It has following features:
  • This filter holds two filter cartridges, one Bio-Clear and one Bio-Carb, both of which are packed with Marina’s Ceramitek porous medium for optimum biological filtering.
  • It also includes a circular foam pad pre-filter to cover the pump’s intake, which helps to prevent fish sucking and filter out big particles.  
  • Noise and capacity: The Marina Slim S10 filter is designed for tanks with a capacity of up to ten gallons. Rather than being linked to the exterior of the filter like other HOB filters, the Marina Slim S10 has the pump connected to the inlet tube within the tank. This helps to minimize the pump’s noise output, making it significantly quieter than other filter manufacturers.   
  • Installation:  Installing the pump in the tank also makes it easier for the pump to prime itself after a power loss or maintenance. With its flow control valve, the flow may be readily regulated.  
  • Quite operation
  • Affordable option
  • Self-priming
  • Can be used for years to come
  • Not reliable

Also Read : 10 Best Protein Skimmer For Biocube 32

4. AquaClear Hagen Power Filter

Category: Best saltwater hang-on-back filter for planted tank.

AquaClear, Fish Tank Filter, 20 to 50 Gallons, 50v, A610
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The Aquaclear power filter is a no-brainer if you are searching for a hang-on back filter for your potted tank.   

  • Features: This is Aquaclear power filter comes with all the amazing features such as:
  • It’s one of my favorite filters, and I’m confident you’ll enjoy it as well. It performs an excellent work of ensuring the water in your tank is clean.
  •  Its style has a good reputation, which is supported by its efficiency, sturdiness, and general quality.
  • After installing this filtration system, the clean water in your aquarium will testify on its own.
  • All of your water goes through the filter material thanks to a bottom-up mechanism found only in canister filters.
  • Capacity and noise: They come highly recommended since they are quiet, efficient, dependable, and cost-effective. Because of the capacious and simple-to-access compartment, it’s easy to custom fit bespoke media.
  • Installation: This filtration system also requires extremely minimal upkeep.       
  • Nontoxic and safe
  • Dependable and high capacity
  • Easy to use
  • Crystal clear water
  • Expensive

5. Fluval C4 Power Filter

Category: Best large capacity hang-on-back filter for saltwater tank.

Fluval C4 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for Aquariums up to 70 Gal., 14003
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The Fluval C4 Power Filter is a Hang-On-Back filter with a 5-stage filtering system and a wet/dry drip filter that is extremely well constructed. The Fluval C Series Power Filters are essentially the improved version of the AquaClear Power Filters, as Fluval and AquaClear items are manufactured by the same firm.  

  • Features: This is Fluval C4 Power Filter comes with all the amazing features such as:
  • The mechanical filter media of the Fluval C4 is dual, with one foam pad for big particles and one thick floss pad for small debris.
  • The Fluval C4 uses the same unique refiltration mechanism as the AquaClear filters, diverting 50 percent of the total water to circulate again through the stage 1 mechanical filter pads.
  • These two filters are slipped into a simple-to-pull plastic cage, making filter maintenance a breeze.    
  • Installation: A pop-up cleaning indication is a distinctive feature of this motorized media basket. Whenever the water flow increases, this tab will appear, suggesting that the water is redirecting to the foam filter pads, which are blocked and need to be rinsed or removed. 
  • Capacity and noise: This filter also includes telescopic inlet tubes with an adjustable flow control valve on top, making it simple to mount, quick to execute weekly maintenance with its simple fast filter release design.   
  • Adjustable flow rate
  • Nominal price
  • Motorized media basket
  • 5-stage filtration system
  • Limited use

6. MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter

Category: best hang-on-back filter for saltwater tank with five stage filtration. 

MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter 50 - 75 Gallon Aquarium, 350 GPH
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 This Marineland Penguin Power Filter is known for its crystal clear water and thriving fish. Marineland is also one of my preferences, and it guarantees crystal clean water at all times. The Marineland Emperor 400 Pro Series Bio-Wheel Power Filter is the ideal choice if you want speed, high water flow, and the finest in beneficial microorganisms and biological filtering.   

  • Features: This Marineland Emperor 400 Pro Series Bio-Wheel Power Filter has following features:
  • The Penguin 350 power filter from Marineland is a traditional big HOB filter with a wet/dry filtering technique. The pump is attached to the filter container that hangs just outside of the tank, and it features a simple 3-stage HOB filter design.
  • The two wet/dry Bio-Wheels that whirl as the water is pumped over them are the most unique stage of filtration on the Penguin 350 power filtration system. Spinning when wet increases oxygen levels and encourages the growth of beneficial nitrifying bacteria, which helps to enhance the nitrogen cycle.  
  • Capacity and noise: It also feature a convenient mid-level inlet flow valve that not only provides for flow control but also aids circulation in big tanks. This filtration system is one of the best in town because to its high gallons per hour, effective filtration, and twin Bio-wheels. It is comparatively louder than other filters.
  • Installation: This filter also requires extremely minimal upkeep.   
  • Efficient
  • Increases the growth of nitrifying bacteria
  • Can be used in all types of tanks
  • Easy to maintain
  • Loud

7. Whisper IQ Power Filter for Aquariums

Category: Best ultra-quiet hang-on-back filter for saltwater tank.

Tetra Whisper IQ Power Filter 20 Gallons, 130 GPH, with Stay Clean Technology
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Tetra’s Whisper IQ Power Filter uses medium filter cartridges for a 20 gallons tank. This filter’s Stay Clean Technology ensures healthy fish and simpler upkeep.   

  • Features: This Tetra’s Whisper IQ Power Filter comes with all the amazing features such as:
  •  For Bettas, plants, and other low-flow demands, the flow may be decreased from 130 GPH to 10 GPH.   
  • The motor system, tube assembly, dampeners, turbine, and bio-grid will be included.
  • It has a three-stage filtration system with a double-sided thick net filter cartridge packed with Ultra-activated carbon and a bacterial filtration Bio-foam pad.  
  • Capacity and noise: To separate the motor from the filtration system, Whisper IQ employs a barrier for sound. The loudness is kept below 40 decibels thanks to this, as well as vibration dampening technology.
  • Installation: The submerged motor does not require priming to operate. The inlet may be adjusted to fit the demands of your aquarium.  
  • Long lifespan
  • Quiet (< 40db)
  • No priming required
  • Adjustable inlet
  • Vibrational noises are produces occasionally.

8. Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter

Category: Best bio-balls hang-on-back filter for saltwater tank.

Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter With Quad Filtration System Cleans Up to 100 Gallon Tank (CPF5),Cascade 300
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Penn Plax’s Cascade HOB is one of their most popular filters. The filter is unobtrusive and gentle, but it can move enough water to fill most tanks. Ultimately, the Penn Plax is a great saltwater filter with a lot of details that help it well worth the money, although you will have to update this every few years. This filter will be perfect for any saltwater tank due to its customizable flow rate and enough media area for sponges and beneficial bacteria.

  • Features: This has following amazing features such as:
  • This filter comes with an adjustable flow, allowing you to tailor the flow intensity to your individual tank requirements, making it suitable for both freshwater and saltwater tanks.
  • The material used to make this filter is one concern. The polymers look to be fragile, and if touched or dropped, they are liable to shatter. However, the cost of this filter is lower than normal, so you get what you pay for.   
  • Capacity and noise: The filter media capacity is also among the finest in the industry. The operation is on quieter side.
  • Installation: It is easy to install. This type of filter does not come with self-priming options.     
  • Easy to install
  • Bio-falls for the removal of ammonia
  • Comes in multiple capacity
  • Large surface area
  • Material is very fragile.

9. Tetra Whisper Power Filter for Aquariums

Category: Best inexpensive hang-on-back filter for saltwater tank.

Tetra Whisper Power Filter for Aquariums, 3 Filters in 1, Up to 20-Gallons
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Tetra has been in the aquarium market since 1951 and is currently one of the biggest makers of aquatic products. They also say that the Whisper EX was created with convenience and comfort in mind. I was eager to put it through some tests and see how it fared against the competition.    

  • Features: It has following features:
  • Featuring two easy-to-replace multi-dense carbon canisters (size big) and 2 Bio-Scrubber filtration which never require changing, this filter features a multi-stage filtering system.  
  • T A coarse floss pad, a carbon foam pad, and a multi-dense floss pad make up the Whisper filter cartridge. 
  • The product works twice as fast as standard filter material to keep the water in the aquarium clean.  
  • Capacity and noise: The Bio-Scrubber filter is intended to be clog-free while also providing enough of surface area for helpful bacteria to thrive and eliminate ammonia and nitrites.  
  • Installation: All of this is contained behind a rounded-edge chassis that makes replacement simple and hassle-free.
  • Easy to prime
  • Quiet operation
  • Filter media is low quality
  • Cartridges are expensive
  • Cheaply made

10. SeaChem Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter

Category: best luxurious hang-on-back filter for saltwater tank.

SeaChem Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter, Tidal 55 Gallon (200 Liters) by Sicce
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The Seachem filter, which is made in Italy, is ideal for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums for a range of factors. The Seachem Tidal 55 power filter has certain distinct characteristics that distinguish it from other HOB filters. Seachem’s biological media Matrix is the sole filter media included. The remainder of the big filter chamber is free to be filled as desired.

  • Features: This has following features:
  • To begin with, it has a built-in surface skimming and a self-priming motor, which means you won’t have to refill the canister with water every time you turn it on.  
  • The filter offers a variety of settings, including the ability to choose whether to extract water predominantly from the input tube, the surface skimmer, or both. Add in the fact that the flow may be readily regulated by turning a dial. You may have the ideal filter for every aquarium.  
  • As the warmer water is drawn up the inlet tube and uniformly dispersed through the filter and into the aquarium, your aquarium temperature will always be ideal.
  • Capacity and noise: The Tidal filters are also practically silent for a HOB filter, so you won’t be disturbed if you use it in your bedroom or your child’s room.    
  • Installation: A small blue indicator placed at the top of the filter will pop up when it’s time to replace up your filter material, making maintenance a breeze. Additional feature not seen on several other filtration system is the ability to mount your heater directly on the side of the filter using built-in heater clamps. 
  • Easy to install
  • Self-priming
  • Can install heater on it
  • Expensive

Also Read : 10 Best Filter Media For Turtle Tank

Design of a basic HOB filter 

Every major tank supply manufacturer has its own HOB filter, each with its own range of attributes and price point. Learning the principles about how and why a HOB filter operates will make it much easier for you to select the best one for your tank. The filter box, a water pump, inlet tubes, and filter media are the essential design parts that all HOB filters include.

  • Filter box- A basic (mostly transparent) plastic box that hangs over the aquarium’s edge serves as a filter. The filter box’s interior area is used to store all of the filter material as well as the water that is filtered through it.
  • Water pump- Based on the model, this is usually linked to the base of the filter box or the water inlet. The majority of them have a magnetic impeller within. Before getting too technical, when electricity is given to the pump, the magnetic current produced enables the impeller to whirl and circulate the water.
  • Water inlet tubes- The main aim of these pipes is to send the water pressure further into the tank, resulting in greater water filtration and a smaller inlet flow area.
  • Filter media- Filter cartridges with foam pads (mechanical), ceramic beads or porous material media (biological), or maybe a carbon foam pad (mechanical/chemical) or a granular activated carbon bag (mechanical/chemical) are used (chemical).


The overall best HOB filter choice was SeaChem – Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter, with Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filter coming in second as the greatest return on the money. The Aquatop Hang on Back Aquarium Filter is a more expensive option. I like elegant, practical filters with adjustable settings that can help your fish and invertebrates live in a healthier, safer environment.

Your filtration requirements for a breeder or invertebrate tank will differ from those for a big goldfish aquarium. For every price and aquarium configuration, there’s something here! Use the information in these evaluations to assist you in selecting the best HOB filter for your aquarium.   


Are HOB filters effective?

Hang-on-back filters are one of the most common filters used by both amateurs and professionals. Their appeal stems from the ease with which they can be installed and maintained, as well as the fact that they are adaptable that can be used in a variety of tanks. To retain your tank’s water, clean as possible, most hob filters can provide all three phases of filtration (mechanical, biological, and chemical). These filtration systems may be cleansed and installed in less than about hour when it comes to cleaning.   

Is it possible to use a HOB filter for saltwater?

Yes, hang on back filters may be used in a saltwater aquarium. Most people would advise you to utilize a sump tank, which is just a bigger hang-on-back filter. The key is to make sure there’s enough live rock in the canister and that there’s adequate flow going through the filter and into the aquarium.

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