Which Hang On Back Filter Should I Choose?

Malachi Muthiah

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I have a 20 gallon tall aquarium that I am needing a new filter for. I've been looking at two filters. The Aquaclear 20 which is about $25 and has basically all good reviews. Although, some people have said that it is noisy and makes a loud sound. I am looking for a filter that is one of the quietest out there. The second filter is a Penn Plax Cascade 100 which is about $17. It has also gotten pretty good reviews but people have said that it is cheaper plastic and breaks more easily. Anyone have any ideas about which filter I should choose? Or, if there are any other great and quiet filters that aren't super pricey? Thanks!
 

Colin_T

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AquaClear is the best HOB filter available. The only noise they make is water splashing back into the tank and that can be reduced by raising the water level in the tank so the water coming out of the filter doesn't drop as far.

If you get an AquaClear and the motor makes a noise, that is unusual and you should get it replaced.

Try to get the next size up from the 20 and get 1 or 2 spare sponges for it. Then you can have 2 sponges and the ceramic beads or 3 sponges.
 
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Malachi Muthiah

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Ok thanks! I'll get the Aquaclear. I know that sponge filters are very quiet. But I'd like more crystal clear water and more water flow. Also, I have a carpet of dwarf baby tears so I'd have to tear those up in order to put the sponge filter in.
 

Fishmanic

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I have the aquaclear 50 .. great filter...if its not much more the AC20 then I suggest u get that one.. or at least get the AC 30
 
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seangee

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Make sure you also over filter.
I'm afraid that is one of the biggest myths in the industry. No matter how much filtration or media you provide you will only get as much BB as is required to deal with the bioload, and that is spread across the filter media, substrate and glass. But what a bigger filter will do is provide a higher flow which your fish may not appreciate. It may also tempt you to clean the media less often which will lead to more organic waste and nitrates.

I have a Seachem Tidal 30 in my 20 high, supposedly the equivalent of the AC30. It works well on full because the fish in the tank like a high flow. If I had tetras in the tank I would be running it at the minimum flow, or possibly looking for a smaller filter.
 
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I find that over-filtering is generally a good idea; I consider the ratings on most filters to be the minimum for a very thinly stocked tank. Seangee makes a valid point that some fish don't like much current, so do your research. In that case, use a smaller filter or a canister filter with a spraybar.

I've never been a fan of HOB filters, myself. I don't like the noise or the space they take up, and in my 55g I didn't like how they churned one side of the tank and left the other with no water movement at all (shouldn't be a problem in a 20 tall). I discovered canister filters years ago and have never gone back. They're so quiet!
 

PheonixKingZ

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I have a 20 gallon tall aquarium that I am needing a new filter for. I've been looking at two filters. The Aquaclear 20 which is about $25 and has basically all good reviews. Although, some people have said that it is noisy and makes a loud sound. I am looking for a filter that is one of the quietest out there. The second filter is a Penn Plax Cascade 100 which is about $17. It has also gotten pretty good reviews but people have said that it is cheaper plastic and breaks more easily. Anyone have any ideas about which filter I should choose? Or, if there are any other great and quiet filters that aren't super pricey? Thanks!
I don't really like HOB filters, as they take up a lot of space.

Tetra whisper filters are really quite. Aquen also makes a nice series as well. (Both of those are internal)
 

Metalhead88

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The aquaclear is the best hob filter out there. It's quite, efficient, holds a lot of media, and will last you for decades.

There is a myth when it comes to over filtering. There is nothing bad about overfiltering aside from flow, it's more of just being unessary and taking up space and electricity.

You'd be surprised at how little filtration you actually need.
 

Fishmanic

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I run the AC filter AND also a large sponge filter in my tank. If one were to stop working I wouldnt lose the beneficial bacteria and in a pinch I can move the sponge filter to a quaranine tank if needed for instant cycling of the quarantine tank.
 
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