Top 15 Best Aquarium Power Filter Reviews

test kits

Top 15 Best Aquarium Power Filter Reviews and Guide

A power filter is a droopy design filter, also called Hang on Back (HOB) filter, due to its make of hanging at the back of the aquarium.

This filtration unit distributes water in the fish tank using a pump through the system, which is then returned into the tank.

This model uses a boost tube to drag the water from the aquarium, then to the filter chamber so that it can be hard-pressed through multiple filter media. 

The Power filter models have varying filtration stages, but most have all the three steps, namely; mechanical, chemical, and biological filters that help in removing impurities and debris from aquariums.

To get more details about the HOB or Power Filter, read the reviews below:

Factors to consider when choosing an Aquarium Power Filter

  •  Flow Rate

The rate of flow repeatedly is a consideration when selecting the perfect model for an aquarium.

An individual will choose the best filter depending on their tank’s size since it is important to acquire a model with a higher flow rate to ensure faster Filtration.

  • The Filtration Media

The media that you choose to eliminate impurities in your aquarium is vital. The type and quality of media is a key factor, so don’t just look at the number of filtration media a filter has.

READ ALSO: Best Electric Heaters for RV Review

  • The Maintenance of the Filter

It is unavoidable to clean and maintain your aquarium. However, you don’t want to spend a lot of time and energy doing that, and that’s why you should go for an easily manageable model.

  • Modern Technology

It is also important to consider how much advanced the filter is—the more advanced the technology, the better the operation and efficiency of the filter.

  • The Brand

In the aquarium industry, there are those most trusted brands known to be better than their competitor.

These brands gain popularity because of their quality products such as Fluval, AquaClear, and Aqueon, among others.

But this doesn’t mean you should not support other new brands in the industry.

The Best Aquarium Power Filters

 AquaClear Power Filter – 110 V

This is one of the best multipurpose filters in the aquarium industry with five various sizes, and it integrates well with the great fish tank sizes.

The flow rate of this Aquarium Power Filter is adjustable without even interfering with its efficiency, which helps various fish and the plants acquire a calm flow.

READ ALSO: Best Top 20 Propane Grill under $200 in 2020

When the flow rate is set low, the water in the filtering system is administered numerous times. The patented pre-filtering system offers ideal results.

This filter is designed to eliminate cartridge alterations, which stress the fish tank’s environment until the bacteria gets an opportunity to resettle and start re-functioning.

The AquaClear power filter has three different media for filtering with its base, having a foam insert that eliminates debris as well as offers a perfect room for good bacteria to maintain the water colonized.

It has an active carbon in the center layer, which absorbs all the impurities in the aquarium. In contrast, the top layer entails BioMa made with a pore system to offer an ideal home for good bacteria.

All the layers together provide six times the quantity of filtration media than every filter.

What we liked:

  • provides six times amount of media than other filters
  • provide a warranty for life for all irreplaceable parts.
  • It has different sizes to fit various aquariums

What we don’t like:

  • It is not quiet
  • Adjusting filter media can be difficult.

 Fluval C Power Filter

This filter offers excellent results having five stages of filtering system. The media has a sizable surface area and optimum dwell times to guarantee an efficient filtering process.

 The first and second stage entails of a foam pad, and poly and both of them together do the mechanical filtering by eliminating all particles and debris.

The third stage involves activated carbon supplement and does the chemical filtration by eliminating impurities, smells as well as water discolorations.

The fourth stage is a biological filter, which is a display that stays on Trickle Chamber covering.

The tank water is filtered via the BioScreen from an extra hydraulic circuit where the debris is eliminated, and the water pushed back to the biological chamber.

The fifth stage entails of C-Nodes, having a room enclosed in complex pores which lets the good bacteria to succeed to continue eliminating ammonia and nitrates from the tank water.

The Fluval C Power filter has a re-filtering system that you can use to make the water flow go-slow, which is beneficial to your fish and aquarium plants that require a calm environment.

Despite the water flow reducing, it is still able to be filtered several times before returning to the fish tank, ensuring more precise and clean water.

What we liked:

  • It has five Stages of the Filtration System
  • The media provides huge surface areas and optimum dwell durations
  • Presence of a re-filtration system
  • It has a dual-stage mechanical filtration.
  • Has a cleaning indicator.

What we don’t like:

  • Noisy
  • This filter is pricey compared to other filters.

Marineland Emperor Filter Systems

This unit uniquely hangs on the back of the aquarium. It comes with two distinct pumps for excellent flow and Filtration and has a single size, suitable for tanks of up to 80 gallons.

Designed similarly, the filters lie on the sides and operate together to form 400 gallons per hour.

It has a Bio-Pump through which water is forced and filtered via quick-acting Black Diamond Carbon possessing a 45-percentage greater mechanical filtration surface.

Every side filter consists of two slits where you can add a filter. Once Filtration is done, the water is compelled via five various holes that spin and offer water to Bio-Wheel.

Bio-wheel is mainly made to provide a favorable environment for beneficial bacteria to flourish.

While this unit is very effective, unfortunately, it is moderately large size and needs 9.5 inches of space a down the back of the tank, but if you own a large aquarium.

With a small-sized tank, it will appear unappealing.

What we liked:

  • It has two different water pumps.
  • Has a huge mechanical filter surface
  • It has two Bio-Wheels to keep a sufficient bacteria settlement.

What we don’t like:

  • It is large, taking a space of up to 9.5 inches of space
  • It is noisy.

 Aqueon Quiet Flow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters

The Aqueon Quiet Flow features a Led illumination that signals when the cartridge clogs and with the essence to change it.

The pump has a design that maintains the least noise. The pump is self-primed.

Thus it is easy to set up, and it is made to secure from leaks and offers an increased rate of flow for advanced oxygen content, which is suitable for the fish.

The pump provides clean and crystal clear water via the five stages of filtering to make the aquatic healthy for the fish.

The 1st stage consists of a dense floss to eliminate large particles and debris while the 2nd stage entails activated charcoal that removes impurities, smells, and all discolorations.

The 3rd stage is the biological Filtration for removing ammonia and nitrates with patented Bio Holster of Aqueon.

The extra contaminants are eliminated, and oxygen is added in the 4th stage.

The last or 5th stage that consists of a noncompulsory pad removes any additional impurities such as carbon and phosphate.

What we liked:

  • It is silent
  • Has five filtration stages
  • Available LED light indicator that helps the owner to when to change the filter cartridge
  • Its spare parts can be easily found
  • Offers a three years warranty

What we don’t like:

  • The beneficial bacteria groups are disturbed when replacing the filter.

Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter for 20 Gallon Aquarium

The Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter is the ideal selection for customers looking for fish tank with 20 gallons and still offering effectual Filtration.

This a product from Aqueon, which is well-known to be a stable platform with customers from all over the globe.

This is one of the premium filters that operate effectively to maintain the aquarium super clean.

This unit achieves efficient cleaning through chemical, biological, and mechanical Filtration to enhance the lives of fish in your aquarium.

The model operates with self-priming and runs mechanically after power outage or maintenance is done.

Its installation and use are easy with only hang droopy clips or pressure cups, making it a majority choice.

Besides, this power filter is supported by a controlled life warrant for added benefit.

What we like:

  • Perpendicular orientation to allow adequate cleaning
  • It is simple to use and install
  • Offers three Stages of Filtration
  • It has an automated start pump and is self-priming.
  • Has a limited lifetime guarantee.

What we don’t like:

  • It has a noisy motor

Tetra Whisper Power Filter

Tetra is a famous and valued brand in the aquarium industry with a great experience of over 50 years in the business.

Their customers get to enjoy affordable services and other features such as easy, hang on back style, the effortlessly adjusted rate of water flow, and very little maintenance essence.

This is the best power filter to pick if you have a new aquarium or new in the industry. Although they are not that fancy, they have shown to be reliable in the many years it has been in the market.

The Tetra Whisper comes in five various designs suitable for tanks between 10 and 60 gallons.

It has with all the essentials needed to get started immediately, and the encompassed filtering media gives the user a great deal to be anticipated.

Although this filter is not of that much high quality, it gives you the chance to explore various things and expands your ideas on which media will operate perfectly for your fish tank’s environment.

Notwithstanding the truth that it is a bit loud when operating, it has a decent flow rate and maintains the aquarium water crystal clear and purified.

This filter is also simple to clean and uphold.

What we liked:

  • It has a very affordable price
  • It is manufactured by a trusted and famous platform in the aquarium industry
  • Come in five dissimilar models fitting tanks from 10 to 60 gallons

What we don’t like:

  • Its media is not of good quality
  • It produces little noise when operating

Marineland Penguin Power Filter

The MarineLand Penguin Power Filter is a MarineLand product, an ideal filter for an individual new in the industry.

This filter comes in four different sizes suitable for tanks ranging from 20 to 70 gallons.

Its filtering system entails three stages, offering mechanical, chemical, and biological filtrations.

It has a Bio wheel that is made to assist the beneficial bacteria is flourishing, and it’s also efficient at eliminating ammonia and nitrate.

This model has a custom-size cartridge that handles both the mechanical and chemical filtering process to remove contaminants, debris particles, impurities as well as discolorations having a floss screen and activated carbon.

This filter has an outstanding water-media integration that results in a clean and clear aquarium.

As we said earlier that this is the perfect option for starters, it is due to the ease experienced when setting up; by simply connecting some parts and hanging it on the aquarium and ensuring to primarily prime the tube with the tank’s water.

The flow rate is easy to adjust. Maintenance, cleaning, and replacing the filter cartridge monthly is easy

What we liked:

  • Suitable for a variety of tanks as it comes in 4 different sizes
  • Easy to maintain, setup and clean
  • It has three stages Filtration

What we don’t like:

  • For top functioning, the water levels should be high
  • The filter wheel can be sticky

 Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Power Aquarium Filter

This valid selection from the Penn Plax has a hanging fish tank filter containing poly-fiber floss cartridge media that helps in eliminating debris and carbon holder to remove chemicals and smells from the aquatic.

This filter makes use of the in-house sponge to assist inhabit the good bacteria essential for the aquarium to clean ammonia and nitrates.

It is easy to maintain the aquarium, and also changing the filters is easy.

The Penn Plax is a family-possessed company which was established in 1959, focusing on manufacturing high quality and steadfast pet creations at pocket-friendly prices.

The power filter comes in numerous sizes to suit the different varieties of aquariums, as well as does a filtration of 175-gallon each hour.

Moreover, designed with good quality plastic, it offers the user a selection of putting the tank in a vertical or horizontal position, which allows him/her to work on all decorative things on the aquarium.

What we liked:

  • It is silent
  • It is a famous and trusted brand
  • Requires little maintenance
  • It is easy to adjust filters
  • It can be placed on a horizontal or vertical basis.
  • It is manufactured with excellent quality plastic

What we don’t like:

Manufactured with plastic

 Aquatop PF Power Filters Review

Aquatop PF Power Filter has become very famous over the years, offering reliable service to customers.

The filter has several suitable features, such as a surface skimmer and encompassed with a UV Sterilizer.

Although the UV is not strong, it operates extremely satisfactory to maintain the water from changing to green. It also accompanied by a sterilizer that makes the price more reasonable.

Also, this power filter is in a single filter media cartridge, meaning the user can eliminate a good quality of biological media when replacing it.

If you are looking for a parasite eliminating sterilizer, this is not a high-end tool, excluding the furthest end of sterilization that will leave the aquarium water looking remarkable.

However, if you want to solve your green water problems and want to save costs, this is the ideal selection instead of getting a separate UV sterilizer.

What we like:

  • Presence of a surface skimmer
  • It comes with a UV sterilizer which is a good clarifies

What we don’t like:

  • It can be challenging to get cartridges for filter media
  • The UV is not of good quality
  • When you replace the cartridges, it is similar to removing Biological Filtration

Hagen AquaClear Power Filter Review

The Hagen AquaClear has managed to stay in the aquarium industry for ages from the 1980s due to its reliability relevantly.

This is the Honda Accord of power filters being the blockbusting hang of back filter reasonably.

This power filter with many years of experience it has gained several practical recommendations .

it is reputed to have attained all-start in freshwater, freshwater as well as turtle tanks. It is best recommended for saltwater aquariums due to its versatility and reliability.

It is versatile because the Hagen AquaClear is a large tank of filter media, and you can as well select the chemical filtration or advance with the biological media.

If you desire to advance to a greater carbon, you can just purchase some quality carbon while for enhanced biological media such as the Bio-Home, trust me; you already got it.

It also has numerous third-party mods that be easily accessed, including the inTank that causes the mods that change the filter to a single unit. You can also make algae scrubbers and hang on refugium using them.

The filter runs off froth for mechanical filtering. This foam can be reused; therefore, you don’t have to think about getting a new one, which helps in saving the maintenance cost of the aquarium.

Although it appears traditional having clear tubing and retro design filter box, it has still been firm over year, earning ownership of the best-selling power filter unsurpassed.

What we like:

  • It has very versatile chambers with countless third-party mods accessible
  • It has proved to be reliable for many years
  • It has a reusable Aquarium Power Filter media with carbon only being disposable.

What we don’t like:

  • It has an exposed input.
  • It has an outdated style.
  • It is noisy.

Marineland Penguin Biowheel Review

The Penguin Biowheel power filter provides both wet and dry biological Filtration.

This offers excellent biological Filtration compared to other Aquarium Power Filter on this list. As it develops, it changes its color in the freshwater aquariums.

It is reasonably priced for its reliable services, and the substitute cartridges are affordable and simple to find, thus lowering your maintenance cost.

These tanks come in several sizes suitable for both small and large aquariums.

 The key disadvantage with the Penguin Biowheel is the lack of space for adding extra chemical media.

That means you are forced to use the Rite-Size cart, which is a limitation since you can only use carbon accompanied by cartridges.

Moreover, its Biowheel gets stuck eventually and causes difficulties in the biological filtering functioning. This adds more expenses in maintenance.

What we like:

  • It has both the Wet and Dry Filtration
  • It comes with spare cartridges
  • It is priced, very sensibly.
  • The cost is excellent because of its reliable features.

What we don’t like:

  • It is not flexible when placing other filter media with little space
  • Its Biowheel can get stuck and becomes noisy eventually.

 Marineland Emperor Power Filter Review

This MarineLand Emperor Biowheel is an advancement version of the Penguin Biowheel, having a variety of advanced features.

The main difference being that MarineLand Emperor Filters entails of chambers for the user to put an elective media.

The filter is controlled to ensure that you can’t use heavier media, but it shows the foremost concern of Penguin products.

The Emperor uses superior bio-wheel, meaning that you got more biological Filtration accessible and a somewhat healthier developed wheel axel.

They also have senior flow rates compared to penguin Biowheel.

The advancements can be accessed at a higher price placing this in the best class of power filters.

The smallest Emperor 280 model can be obtained, but it is still big for small 20-gallon tanks. Generally, this is an inclusive filter.

 What we like:

  • Offers both the wet and dry Filtration
  • You can add noncompulsory filter media.

What we don’t like:

  • It is costly compared to the penguin Biowheel
  • They are so big for smaller fish tank

Seachem Tidal Power Filter Review

Seachem Tidal is one of the latest brands in the jam-packed power filter market as a massively advanced AquaClear duplicate.

This is an exclusively top power filter that betters on each single feature that makes Hagen AquaClear very famous.

Its design is created by the Sicce, which is an Italian business that develops the best long-lasting products.

The Seachem Tidal filter accurately conquered all features making AquaClear great, and further advanced it.

This filter has heater storage (though not found in small tanks) where you can keep your heater near the filter to ensure that the heated water has flowed to the fish tank.

It has both input and a superficial skimmer, which doubles the filtering effectiveness higher than all the listed power filters. It has a changeable filter bracket to hold every filter media.   

It is really easy to maintain since you can just lift the bracket for simple cleaning without messing up.

This bracket includes an exposed media style that enables you to place whatsoever you want. Factually it is a hang on canister but in their style.

The normal away from the box filtration mechanisms are not wrong here. This Aquarium Power Filter offers the user reusable normal foam, Seachem Matrix Carbon, as well as Seachem Matrix Bio Media.

Carbon is the best level carbon, with the matrix being a huge beginner biological media.

The filter has a changeable flow just on the face of the filter, which can be easily accessed. It also features a maintenance warning that alerts the user on the right date to change media.

Moreover, there is a self-priming Sicce developed pump, which is a mainstay and Sicce silent.

It also has an unbelievable power usage with its most huge model of 110 model that only uses 12 watts, little enough to enhance it to a UPS, and certainly not be concerned with power outages.

This filter also has a long term warranty of 5 years and is one of the most costly power filters on this list.

What we like:

  • Manufactured by the famous Sicce
  • It has an adaptable media design
  • It has the best features

What we don’t like:

  • It is pricey.
  • The small models lack all features.

Penn Palx Cascade Power Filter Review

The Penn Plax Cascade is a worth priced power filter that is a realistically affordable four-stage brand.

This is an ideal product for small aquariums such as the Pico sized tanks starting from 7 gallons.

This filter is rather inclusive for a financial plan Aquarium Power Filter with a filtering system of 4 stages. Both the chemical and mechanical stage originates from a filter bag and a biological froth section.

The filter also has a biological filtration section with four steps that works similarly to bio-balls.

It also has a changeable nozzle to regulate the flow rate as well as a telescoping input that allows the user to regulate it to the preferred height.

Although it is not usually obtainable as the Hagen and MarineLand power filters, it is more affordable than them.

Generally, the Penn Palx Cascade is rather solid, mostly with smaller tanks.

What we like:

  • It is reasonably priced since it has a great feature.
  • It has small-sized models that are suitable for Pico sized tanks.
  • Has four filtration stages

What we don’t like:

  • It can be hard to find its replacement parts.

Whisper In-Tank Filter with BioScrubber for 20 Gallon Aquariums

The Whisper In-Tank Filter with BioScrubber for 20 Gallon Aquariums is also an ideal choice for maintaining hygiene in your aquarium.

This will help you safeguard the health of your fish as well as provide them a conducive environment to live in. 

The filtering system is made to operate efficiently for the aquariums having a size of up to 20 gallons.

Therefore with a sized tank, you are assured of receiving effective Filtration in your tank. This unit also has huge cartridges of filters for the best performance.

This Whisper In-Tank filter also provides fast installation by only using a single or double suction cups or a hanger depending on your sitting.

Moreover, this unit is perfect for both aquariums and terrariums.

What we like:

  • It has huge filter cartridges.
  • It is easy to clean and maintain.
  • It is less pricey compare to other power filters.
  • It has Bio-Scrubber.
  • Handy installation.

Easy cleaning and maintenance

What we don’t like:

  • It can stop operating eventually.

In Conclusion:

Choosing the best suitable Aquarium Power Filter is an assurance that you will be able to maintain your fish tank water healthy as well as clear.

As you can see from the list, the Hang on Back filters offers fundamental mechanical, biological, and chemical Filtration to enhance the lives of fish and plants in your aquarium.

Compared to canister filters, the Power filters are more affordable as well as easier to maintain and use.

So if you are a beginner, why don’t you get yourself a Hang on Back Filter? From the help of this guide, I hope it will be easier to select the best filter for your financial plan and not to forget to consider the needs of your aquarium.


We're here to help you find the Best Bike Guides for your bike and lifestyle. Honest reviews, tricks and guides to help you find the best Bicycles and gears in the market. We compare the top products in different categories to give you the most reliable purchasing advice. Our goal is to make it easy for you to pick the best products and be confident in your decision.

Recent Posts