AquaClear HOB Filter Review – Should You Use It?

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Are you looking for a great hang on back water filter for your aquarium? Then you arrived on the right web post. I will talk about the AquaClear hang on back (HOB) water filter.

You’ll find out what the benefits of using this filter are, and also some of the cons that come with. Also, I will tell you how it functions, and how the maintenance is being handled. This way, you’ll know if this product is what you’re looking for.

Let’s start with a quick overview of the AquaClear filter and see what it’s all about.

The AquaClear HOB Filter

The AquaClear filter is a hang on back water filter used for all types and sizes of aquariums. A hang on back filter is a simple and easy to use device that works for most people’s needs. How can you install it?

It’s very simple actually. Any HOB filter can be simply clipped to the back of the fish tank. That’s why it’s called hang on back filter. When you clip the AquaClear filter to your aquarium, a tube will lift the water from the aquarium into the device for filtration.

This product comes in multiple different version depending on the aquarium at hand. More exactly, it depends on the size of your specific fish tank. For instance, you can get this device in the following types:

  • AquaClear 20: for aquariums between 5 to 20 gallons capacity
  • AquaClear 30: works with aquariums of 10 to 30 gallons of capacity
  • AquaClear 50: aquariums with a capacity between 20 and 50 gallons will work just fine
  • AquaClear 70: this is made for fish tanks with a capacity between 40 and 70 gallons
  • AquaClear 110: this is the last and biggest, that works from 60 up to 110 gallons

AquaClear Unboxing and Setup

For most people who own a small personal aquarium, the 20 or 30 versions will do great. But you should know that all the others will perform well, if you have a bigger fish tank, or maybe multiple smaller ones.

What can the filter do? What are some of the features? Let’s see!

At first, I must mention that this device can do all 3 types of water filtration that a modern filter is expected to do: mechanical, chemical and biological filtration.

The biological filtration system is especially well-made. It includes all the following media used to clean the water: AquaClear Foam, Cycle Guard and Activated Carbon and BioMax. All these bio-media parts will help get rid of the nitrates and ammonia that fish are leaving behind.

The device also includes a refiltration system. This helps clean the water more efficiently, and also provides a superior contact time between the water and the filter media. This way, even more residue will be left in the filter, and the water will be much cleaner.

The pump used by the filter is also well-crafted. That’s because they used an energy efficient pump, that will lower the operating and maintenance costs for the filter.

Now it’s time to talk about some of the pros and cons of this water filter.

Setup AquaClear the Right Way

Here is a short video which explains how to setup the filter media in AquaClear Filter the best way:

AquaClear Filter – Pros and Cons

As a first advantage that I must mention, is the fact that the filter comes in 5 different versions, as I listed them all above. Why is this an advantage? Just think about it.

Let’s say you have a 20-gallon fish tank. For this volume you need a specific filter that can handle this amount of water, right? That’s true, yes.

But also, you need a filter that isn’t too big for your aquarium either. Why? Because a bigger filter than needed, could raise the operating costs quite a bit. So, it’s best to choose a filter that is specifically created to work with your aquarium.

As you can see above, the AquaClear comes in 5 different version, all made to work with different aquarium sizes. For a 20-gallon aquarium, the AquaClear 30 is best suited.

The next advantage of the AquaClear filter is the fact that you can use it with both fresh and salt water. You don’t need to do any further research to find a good salt water filter, if you have a marine aquarium. The AquaClear will do the job just fine. On the other hand, a fresh water fish tank is also suited for this filter. So, it doesn’t matter what type of aquarium you may own.

The second-last advantage I want to mention here is the 2-year warranty that comes with any version of the AquaClear water filter. This can be very helpful if for some reason the filter stops working, or you experience some performance issues. Just send it back, they will take care of it.

The last benefit of the AquaClear HOB filter is that it’s very compact and easy to use. I already mentioned above that the installation of the filter is as simple as it can get. You don’t need any technical knowledge to get it working.

But it’s also worth mentioning that the AquaClear filter is quite small, depending on the version. This is great, because you don’t need to have a lot of space beside your aquarium to be able to fit the filter. This is one of the main advantages why smaller tank owners like this model so much.

But it’s time to mention a few cons of this product too.

For example, many people have experienced a problem with the water flow. This is more likely to happen with the smaller models, like the AquaClear 20 or 30. However, not every single device comes with this issue, so you might be ok. But be aware of it, before you make the purchase.

Also, if this is a problem that occurs with your device, you can send it back any time. They will take care of the problem right away.

Another negative that happens mostly when you begin using the product, is that it creates vibrational sounds. This can become quite annoying, especially if you have your aquarium placed in your office, or some other quieter room.

But I should also mention that this doesn’t happen all the time. And even if it does, it could go away all of a sudden.

How to Clean the Filter?

Any water filter needs maintenance. Luckily, the AquaClear is easily cleaned from the residues left inside the device from the dirty water. Let’s see how you can clean the device easily.

You should know from the start, that a regular cleaning is needed to maintain a top cleaning efficiency of the filter. If you clean the device every 2 weeks, it will be all good.

First, always unplug the filter from the power source. Don’t ever forget this step.

Next, remove the cover on the device, the filter basket and also the remaining water inside the case. Rinse the collected debris thoroughly from the case, impeller cover and assembly. It’s important that you use lukewarm water at this step.

The ‘’U’’ tube is easily cleaned using a small brush to remove all the remaining dirt built up inside it.

When you did all that’s described above, you can reassemble the filter properly and fill it with aquarium water. The final step is to plug the device back to the power source.

The filter media should also be replaced accordingly, to maintain a clean water in the fish tank.

Is AquaClear Filter for You?

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So, should you choose the AquaClear water filter for yourself? The answer depends mostly on your needs. If you own a personal aquarium, that needs a proper filter, this device is one of the best choices on the market.

Also, if you want something that’s easy to install and clean, the AquaClear filter is great in that regard. As you can see from above, it doesn’t require any special knowledge to operate, so a beginner aquarium enthusiast will easily handle it.

On the other side, if you own a shop with multiple bigger aquariums, a canister filter might be a better choice. That’s because, those are built for bigger volumes, and can do an even better job without the need to clean them so often. Also, if you buy the right canister filter, you could use it with multiple aquariums as well.

All in all, the choice is yours to make. Think well about what you want from a reliable filter, and you’ll know if the AquaClear is good for your needs.


In the end, you should have a pretty good idea about the AquaClear HOB filter. I covered what this product is in essence, and how it works. Also, I listed multiple pros and cons that come with it.

Also, you could see how easy it is to do the maintenance work at every 2 weeks.

The rest is up to you. Take all that you’ve read above into consideration, and you’ll surely make a good decision about this device.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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