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The Best Hang-On-Back Aquarium Accessories

  • Brennen Lahn
  • Jan 14, 2021
Best Hang-On-Back Aquarium Equipment
Best Hang-On-Back Aquarium Equipment

Oftentimes, drilling an aquarium can cause more stress than it’s even worth. Without a sump, hobbyists must be creative in finding accessories that can operate properly on their aquariums. Luckily, as time has gone by, more and more manufacturers are bringing hang-on-back accessories to the market. While our most popular accessories tend to be ones that can operate within a sump, the items mentioned in this article have not been compromised in terms of quality and durability. If you prefer to operate your tank without a traditional sump, this blog will be filled with great product recommendations that will push you further towards achieving your aquarium goals.

Within this article we will highlight some excellent products that will operate perfectly on aquariums without a standard sump. While this guide does present a plethora of great options, there will certainly be plenty of aquarium accessories that may be a better fit for your tank. If you have any questions or are looking for a specific recommendation for your system, Our customer care team would be more than happy to assist you. 

Summary:

Our choice for your basic skimming needs: AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 Protein Skimmer
For some serious filtration: Seachem Tidal Power Filter
The power packed hang on skimmer: Reef Octopus Classic 2000 HOB Skimmer
For the full hang-on-back experience: AquaMaxx HF-M Multi Filter with Protein Skimmer
A great option for a refugium: CPR AquaFuge2 Hang-On Refugium

Our choice for your basic skimming needs: AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 Protein Skimmer

AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 Protein Skimmer
AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 Protein Skimmer

Our most proven hang-on-back protein skimmer is the AquaMaxx HOB 1.5. This is the second iteration of this model and it has been improved to be more powerful, durable and controllable. This skimmer is very easy to set up, adjust, and maintain. This model can operate on aquariums up to 75 gallons and as small as 15 gallons. We also offer a second version that includes a bubble stopper to cut down on microbubbles within the display. In order to adjust the water level on this skimmer, you will want to raise or lower the collection cup. It is important to recognize that all protein skimmers will have a break in period that can last up to a few weeks. The motor behind this workhorse is a modified Italian made Sicce pump that is built to last. For all of these excellent features, the AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 is our pick for the best hang on option for any basic skimming needs. 

For some serious filtration: Seachem Tidal Power Filter

A simple hang on back filter attached to a Ten or Twenty gallon tank is how so many of us entered the aquarium hobby. Over time, many aquarists swap out their hang on back filters for sump systems but, for those who prefer the simplicity of a HOB, the Seachem Tidal series is an excellent choice. This filter is offered in four different sizes that can operate on aquariums as small as 10 gallons and as large as 110 gallons. One of the best features of the Tidal is its oversized capacity that will allow hobbyists to load up on any media they need to maximize filtration. Additionally, this filter includes dual water intakes, a leveling device, and a maintenance monitor to know when your media should be changed out. With all of these unique details, the Seachem Tidal Power Filter is our pick for the best hang on filter on the market. 

Seachem Tidal Power Filter
Seachem Tidal Power Filter

The power packed hang on skimmer: Reef Octopus Classic 2000 HOB Skimmer

Reef Octopus Classic 2000 Skimmer

Reef Octopus has long been producing durable and high performance aquarium equipment and their Classic hang on back skimmer line is one of their most popular products. We will specifically highlight the 2000 model within this paragraph as it is our best hang on back option for those keeping large aquariums up to 150 gallons. For the level of skimming that can be squeezed out of this option, its footprint is very compact and it can fit aquariums rims up to 1.75” thick. The pump for this skimmer is a very high quality Aquatrance Pinwheel. It is difficult to find hang on back skimmers that can operate on aquariums larger than 75 gallons let alone ones that can exceed this. That makes the Reef Octopus Classic 2000 our pick for the best hang on skimmer for your large aquariums. 

For the full hang-on-back experience: AquaMaxx HF-M Multi Filter with Protein Skimmer

For those looking for an all inclusive filtration and skimming hang-on-back option, the HF-M Multi Filter from AquaMaxx is a great choice. This filter was fully designed to handle all of the filtration on an aquarium up to 60 gallons. The large space within the unit will allow for mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration to be maximized to keep your system, clean, clear, and stable. Every detail was thought of with the design of this filter as it even includes three probe holders and three dosing tube holders. This unit will fit aquarium rims up to 3/4″ thick and it will also require 4” of wall clearance to operate properly. The filter works off of a modified Sicce pump which is known to be reliable and extremely durable. For all of the great details packed into this unit, it is our pick for the best hang on multi-filter for your aquarium. 

AquaMaxx HF-M Multi Filter
AquaMaxx HF-M Multi Filter

A great option for a refugium: CPR AquaFuge2 Hang-On Refugium

CPR AquaFuge2 Refugium

Setting up a refugium is one of the best ways to naturally filter, and introduce beneficial bacteria into your system. Most aquariums that have a refugium usually have them set up in one section of their sump. Luckily, the AquaFuge from CPR allows for aquarists who don’t have a sump to still be able to create their own refugium in a hang-on-back model. These units come in three different sizes and can operate on small, medium, and large aquariums. Each size will include a powerhead to keep good water flow in the refugium. Something that is crucial to a refugium is proper lighting to maximize macro algae growth. A light fixture is not included with these units but CPR does offer their LED Refugium Light that will pair perfectly with each of the different size options. For its unique ability to create a refugium outside of a sump, the CPR AquaFuge is our pick for the best hang on refugium for a variety of aquariums.

Complete Guide to Hang-On Equipment

Final Thoughts:

We hope this guide has provided you a great look at some of the hang-on-back aquarium accessories we have available for your tanks. Regardless of if you are needing an effective protein skimmer, or a full on refugium experience, we have the tools you need to achieve your aquarium goals. The hang on back community is only growing larger and with it will come new and improved products that we look forward to providing to our customer base. If you are needing a specific recommendation or have any questions about any of our products, our customer care team would be happy to assist you. 

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