HOB Filter Question for 75 Gallon tank

  • #1
Good-day I have not posted here in quite a bit took me a couple of days to get back on as its been awhile since i posted and hotmail is banned for some reason I had to reregister with my yahoo e-mail!

Anyway with that being said I am looking for opinions on HOB filters!I am looking to set-up a 75 Gallon peacock tank in my living room it will probably have a light cleaning crew in it as well.Where the tank will be placed is going to be on a platform that we had our wood burning stove on with a rock wall back drop,I want to be as close to the wall as possible!

The logical filter would be a cannister which I really don't want to do!I've had cannisters all my life with most of my tanks and they are awesome and do a great job the issue being they are a pita to clean when it comes time.I have a 65 gallon planted community tank in my kitchen with x2 circulation pumps and yes my cannister keeps that tank really clean the circulation pumps do wonders for everything but when it comes time to drag that thing out from under my stand it is a pain to clean my wife hates when its time to clean that thing i have a kitchen full of water all over the floor she hates it as do I its a real pita I dread when it comes time to clean it.

This is the reason I would rather not go the cannister route especially with it being in my main living area carpeted no less I would rather not have to worry about cleaning another cannister I want something a bit simpler.

Another cannister would be the way to go as I want to be as close to the wall as possible with the rock wall back drop behind the tank all i would need is a little bit of room to run the hoses up from behind the tank so yes a cannister would be my best bet not really sure if I want to worry about another cannister that led me to other options.I though about adding x2 internal filters one probably would not cut it I was looking at the Fluval internals x2 should give me the filtration and circulation i'm looking for but 1)they would take up precious tank space and 2) at some point I would still have to pull them out and when i shut them all that gunk would drop back into the tank.That brought me to my last and only solution HOB's.

There are only 3 that honestly I can look at Aquaclear,tidal and marineland I looked at them in that order.If I go the HOB route I would run x2 I know its not necessary if I get a big enough HOB but I want to run 2 for a couple of reasons

1) very unlikely but if one quits on me I have a back-up

2) I like to run two to split the job and get better filtration and circulation through the tank if I have one working each end of the tank there is less of a chance of dead spots and better circulation throughout the tank with one on each end

3) with running x2 I could alternate cleanings and run different media between the two again probably not completley necessary but i can mix and match between the two filters and run different types of media

those are my 3 main reasons for running x2

the very first filter I looked at which I know is a top end filter is the AC's

pro's too many to list but top of the list is

1) proven filter no quams about it everyone raves about it
2) nice thick sponge which if it is too big i can always trim it

3) more than enough room for media

4) workhorse proven filter

5)flow control

6)they have been around forever if something breaks you can get a replacement no issues there you could always get parts


1) I rareley lose power but if I do will the filter restart on its own without priming it,its a coin flip not something im overly worried about as I rareley lose power but even a small blip will shut the filter so im not sure this is necessarily a big concern

2) as great as the media space is its also a little of a con the way the basket is designed it could initially be a little messy pulling it out I would have to probably pull the whole filter off to clean it certainly not a deal breaker at all its just something i would have to deal with

3) water rising (this honestly would only probably happen if I let the cleaning go way too long so I'm mentioning it but it probably wont be an issue)

4) lastly is the biggest hurdle the size of the filter the length does not bother me its the width its pretty wide and with me wanting to be as close to the wall as possible this will put my tank off the wall at least 6" i'm thinking

5)the AC is a hard plastic it is easy to break if you tap it at the right angle not that its going to happen but there is always that chance

next up marineland filters penguin,emperors,pro's(i combined all 3 of them they all work relativeley the same though I was intrigued more by the pro's with their flow control and the motor in the tank) this is my least favorite and probably wont go this route unless someone has used them and has a better opinion of them but most people don't like them

pro's there are not many

1) they are quite narrow this is the best thing I like about them i could get pretty close to the wall with them

2) the baskets are big enough that i can customize my media

3)this is a mixed bag some people say they run quiet while others say they get noisy after a bit

4)with the pro's not so sure about the emperor's there is waterflow control and the filter is in the water no primming issues


1) from what I could tell water flow runs top to bottom I could be wrong but if thats the case are they truly getting the right water flow

2) the bio wheels are useless they rareley work ever I think thats enough said on that

3) more negative reviews than positives

that brings me to my last one the tidal if it was not for the larger distance from the wall of the AC this filter i probably would not have even looked at but after i did really like it


1) flow control I love it in two spots

2)filter level control i like the level control with the rubber grommet no vibration from plastic

3) flexible plastic not hard plastic if I accidentally bump it no chance of it breaking

4)the basket though i think AC's is more functional I think the tidals is serviceable and slightly easier to clean when it comes time to do so being in a dedicated basket this is a slight edge to tidal as far as simplicity and less chance of a mess when cleaning no need to remove the whole filter when i need to clean it.

5)the pump inside the water is a pro on one hand as it is submerged in the water no priming involved it could be a little bit of a negative though as far as the skimmer goes its an ok touch but is it absolutely necessary I don't think I will need to worry about Fry or shrimp for that matter with peacocks.no blocking the vents or causing that horrible noise with plants neither as I'm not sure if I am going to plant many plants in this tank its going to me more of a cichlid tank with caves and open swimming area. my experience with cichlids you need good hearty plants or they will dig them right up so any plants i have will be thick,good and hearty if I have any at all!i would worry more about the skimmer in my planted tank than this one so this is not really a pro or a con only because of the type of fish I am keeping in this tank!

6) I think this filter is slim enough to not have the tank so far off the wall i think its only about an 1" or so narrower than the AC but that can make a big difference especially with the construction of the filter the tidal is more of a flexible plastic so if I accidentally hit the rock wall less chance of tit cracking so I could inch it a little closer I really need to be careful how close i put that AC to the wall


1) not many here but one con would have to be that skimmer again and no way of shutting it down it is constantly running so if something does block it well you will have that load gurgle until its unblocked

2) though its better than seeing x2 internal filters in my tank the black box with those blue buttons sitting in my tank well lets face it you will still see some kind of filtration in the tank not as bad as x2 internals as they will be flat against the back wall but I will be running x2 of them and with the lack of plants that I will have it will be hard to hide them i think its something I could deal with but I do need to list it as a con

3) lastly is replacement parts I know i would never need to worry about replacement parts for a AC A tidal not so sure and that intake tube the AC has extensions you can always get i like to run my intakes as close to the bottom as possible without pulling up sand (my 65) or in the case of this tank crushed coral not quite sure if I will be able to extend it far enough down where I am comfortable i will have to get a true measurement of the extension if I go this route

Well thats my story sorry so long but if nothing else someone who is taking a look at these filters for maybe a smaller tank or another tank could see what I see as far as pro's and con's go with these filter's

I may still eventually go with a cannister but at this point I am heavily leaning towards A HOB filter once I get this thing up and running I'm still a couple of weeks out the tank has been sitting for a little bit so I just want to pressure test the tank with water for leaks before placing it permanently.

thanks for your patience this was quite a long post and quite a read I tried to come to my points the best I could without rambling about.


  • #2
I have always used AC before. I had 2 running on mine as well. I had a AC 50/70 for a 40 gallon tank. It kept the water clear and also if one died, I'd have a backup, as you mentioned for yourself.

I loved that they had a filter flow control, but I hated the fact they needed to be primed again when the power went out. They couldn't do it themselves, and there was a time that my power went out while I wasn't home. It didn't burn out the motors but I'm surprised that it didn't and it gets expensive to replace 2.

When I started up my tank again, it came with the aqueon quiet flow filters. I took out the cartridges and I put in foam and biomedia in the back. I am running 2 30's on my tank now. The downside is that there is no flow control so I had to create my own using a pop bottle, but I do love that they prime themselves immediately with nothing required from me as long as the water levels are high enough. I know people don't have high reviews if these, but mine are quiet and working great so far. The priming was key for me in this case, as I love somewhere now where the power goes out more often than where I was living before. You could get yourself a UPS for your tank if you're concerned about that. I did with my tank. It will buy me an extra 1.5 hours of power.

I have never used canisters so I cannot speak to that and with replacement parts, once one thing went it's probably just easier to replace the whole filter lol. At least that's what I did with mine.

  • #3
AC: I've run several, from 20's to 70's for decades. For me, they always restart if the power goes off / is turned off, or even if I allow the water level to drop below the intake tube while doing a water change. (I leave 'em running during water changes) Of course they stop flowing when doing this but always restart on their own once the tank is refilled.

The only time they need a prime is when I pull out the intake tube completely, or empty the water out of the box for cleaning. I honestly don't understand why this differs for others.

Marineland with bio wheel: My wheel used to stop early on but has since gone years without issue. Mine doesn't have flow control and is over 25 years old. I like the babbling brook water fall sounds but others don't. Bio wheels do aid biological filtration and aeration too. These always restart after power down for me too, unless I allowed the impeller to gunk up too much. I hope you find what works best for you.

Tidal: Don't know, never had a reason to try them.
  • #4
I had a single Marineland Emperor Pro 450 on my son's 75 gallon Severum tank. I like the filter as I have several more Marineland HOB's across many of my tanks.

That being said, it couldn't keep up with the load in the tank and its not like it's over stocked. I do supercharge them - prefilter sponges, polishing media in the media trays. I switched to a Sicce Whale 500 on the tank and the change is dramatic. Not in water clarity, but just from the lack of extra "stuff" in the tank - motor housing, large thick intake, large sponge - and the "stuff" not sticking up from the tank - that large filter box..

I took the Emperor Pro 450 filter, cleaned it, and tossed it on my other son's 55 gallon peacock tank for the time being. Notice I said time being as I have plans for a canister on that one too. Reason being that I do have a second Penguin filter running on that tank and its an awful lot of "stuff" in the tank with the 2nd intake and sponge prefilter. Also a bunch of "stuff" sticking above the tank that isn't aesthetically pleasing.

Any HOB is going to have something sticking out the back of the tank. Most I've seen, including the AC's, are rather thick so they're going to be a decent distance from the wall. If you want the tank closer, your best bet is a canister...probably with intake and outflow on a side/end.
  • #5
I have had marinelands, did OK, currently have 3 AC's, i find them much quieter.
  • #6
AC: I've run several, from 20's to 70's for decades. For me, they always restart if the power goes off / is turned off, or even if I allow the water level to drop below the intake tube while doing a water change. (I leave 'em running during water changes) Of course they stop flowing when doing this but always restart on their own once the tank is refilled.

The only time they need a prime is when I pull out the intake tube completely, or empty the water out of the box for cleaning. I honestly don't understand why this differs for others.
Wow, I have never had that same experience with AC. You're right, why does that differ for others then. It makes no sense. This is why I was happy with my "garbage" Aqueon filters for the priming aspect lol


  • #7
Wow, I have never had that same experience with AC. You're right, why does that differ for others then. It makes no sense. This is why I was happy with my "garbage" Aqueon filters for the priming aspect lol
Like I said, I honestly don't understand why. Though I have thought to do some videos showing my routine experience with the self priming AC filters.
  • #8
If the motor is not in the tank, chances are good that if it loses prime, it will not restart correctly. I have an older model Penguin that requires priming once power is restored.
  • #9
Like I said, I honestly don't understand why. Though I have thought to do some videos showing my routine experience with the self priming AC filters.
It may not be a bad idea for the videos. Maybe there is something others are doing wrong. I have always promoted AC. I think their product is definitely superior over most HOBs.
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Thanks guys I guess I will have to take a look and see if I can live with the tank being off the wall some! I don't want to really roll the dice with a marineland. I think either an AC or Tidal would be a safe bet especially being i'm going to be running x2 of them.I it really comes down to if I can live with that distance off the wall.A cannister is really the way to go for my situation I just dread when it comes time to clean it I already have one that I deal with every couple of months!


  • #11
Just a thought - depending on what you do for a lid you can hang the hob off the side - an "hos" ;)
  • #12
Given your stocking levels, have you thought of a wet/dry or sump? Might be the best option.
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Given your stocking levels, have you thought of a wet/dry or sump? Might be the best option.
Doesn't A wet dry sump require drilling into the tank?I could be wrong!A sump sounds like more work than a cannister!I never thought of it or went down that road I could be completely wrong on the wet/dry sump as I know very little about them I've always ran cannisters!.I'm trying to go simpler!I'm not going to be super heavily stocked maybe 8-10 peacocks with a clean up crew nothing more than that!

I really want to keep a lid on the tank keeps all the dust and stuff out from up on top so I need to run something from behind the tank.

I'll have to see if I can live with the tank being off the wall a little bit!
  • #14
Google - No Drill Aquarium Overflow. Eshopps makes one that looks interesting. PF-800 HOB. Not cheap but they are out there.

From what I've seen of sumps...filter sock (which is easily removable for cleaning) and filled with media (which again is removable for cleaning). Toss it all in a bucket and carry to sink/tub if needed. Depending on size of the sump, could put a heater in there to get that out of the tank.

I'm not a fan of them but they are an option if you're dead set on not getting a canister. Kinda offers best of both worlds.


  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Very interesting alot less complicated than I thought I will certainly look into that thank-you.I'm not totally against A cannister like mentioned they are a pita to clean when it comes time though thank-you for pointing this out!
  • #16
I'm not well versed in them either, I simply know enough to be dangerous :)

KGTropicals did a 2 part series on a DIY sump he setup for a large tank - it's up on Youtube. It goes through the steps of what he did and could be adapted to a smaller tank. Worth a looksee.

Others here are better versed in them and can lend a hand if needed.
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
KGtropical thats actually where I saw the first look at that Tidal HOB i was researching then AC's I kind of thought that was a no brainer and the way i was going to go!I was just interested in wall clearance for the AC's and i came across a video comparing the tidals and AC's and I was immediately drawn in on the tidals not completely sold but the more i researched on them the more it became a toss up between the two.I never even gave them a thought until watching his video on them! Now you just made things more complicated with this wrinkle LOL all kidding aside though thank-you

I will definitely give it a look thanks again
86 ssinit
  • #18
For me a 75g is an hob and an odyssea 250 or a 350. That’s just how much water you want to move. The hob for me would be a tidal 110. I’ve been running one since 19 without a problem. Internal basket is fully connected so removes as a basket no hinged sides. It also mounts on to lid upside down lid to stop spilling. Takes plenty of media and moves a good enough amount of water. I use it on a 90. The odyssea is an internal filter that costs about $20 shipped and has 2 sponges. Works great but sponges need to be rinsed weekly. I put a Tupperware under it in the tank when removing. This keeps everything in it in the Tupperware not the tank.

Next the wet/dry. I have 3 and all have overflows off the back of the tank. They look just like hobs but are just moving water to the sump. These filters run cheaper than most filters but are very big. The cleaning of these filters is mostly just squeezing out the sponges. A ball pit is the easiest to keep clean. Esshops makes a nice one for 75-125g tanks. Usually used one are found cheap on market place. These filter require a motor that doesn’t come with the filter. A dc motor will cost about $100 and move around 800-1000gph. But again it’s big.
the sump. Ball pit on right. On top of ball pit is a sponge.
83C96500-9211-4296-BC32-36B100407AA0.jpegthis is hob in back
82A46618-4E13-4DFB-AE0A-C451951612B2.jpegthere is also a sponge in overflow.
And this is the odyssea internal filter.


  • #19
Not sure if you have made a decision yet, but in my experience I ran an Aquaclear for several years and had loads of issues with it starting after an outage. I used to have to place my finger on the impeller each time to jump start it to get it going again. I have a Tidal now and it has been so much easier. Starts after outages every time. I am running the 110 on my 40 gallon breeder and have a sponge filter in it as well as a back up in case something happens to the Tidal. The Tidal is equally as quiet to the Aquaclear.
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Thanks Atomic I’m heavily leaning towards the Tidal it will save me a little space behind my tank and cleaning it out I think will be a little bit easier than the AC as the whole basket lifts out just not sure if I want to run x2 75’s or x2 110’s
  • #21
Hmm I'm not a fan of HOBs over canisters. I've never had to clean my canisters. Just fill them up with porous media and have a sponge at the end. It will never clog or reduce in flow.

You can always reverse drain it once in a while to remove a bunch of mulm. But those mulm are not detrimental, theyre just organic matter at various stages of breaking down and full of beneficial bacteria
  • #22
I only know peacocks from YouTube and they all use canisters and sumps. I don't see the point of using HOB when you will be having to overstock to control aggression with fish that eat a lot and create a ton of waste.

I probably would do 2 of those Eheim Classic 600s and just fill them with Poret 20PPI only, 100%. And hopefully you will only need to do canister maintenance once a year.

I already have whale 500s, but if could do again, when 500s fail, I will switch to Eheim Classic/Fzone types where I can just fill with sponge and have no media baskets.


  • #23
I have used AC had a problem with it not priming at first but found you need make sure that the intake tube is down hard over the intake of the impeller it will click since I did that I never had a priming problem
  • #24
Been running two AC 70s on my 40 long for years now, for the reasons you describe above-- it's great to have a failsafe. I absolutely love them. Durable, quiet, powerful water circulation. I have also had them prime themselves and continue running following a power outage, to my shock and amazement.

FWIW, the basket is very easy to lift out of the filter compartment, although I'm a barbarian who just grabs my sponges and floss out directly ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • #25
I have been use 2 marineland 300 filters for 40 years. I had to replace on once,
pros - affordable, lots of room for media. The bio wheels don't always spin,but they dont have to, as long as they are wet they hold bio bacteria, and yes they stay wet. The filters prime themselves after a power outage. Marinland customer service is awesome!

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