Is The Topfin Filter Any Good?

Sani Fabian
  • #1
Is it really as bad as my friends say it is?
Currently have 2. One for my 10 gal and 1 for my 20 gal should I get a differnt brand? Or is it really prefrence?
 
RyRyTheAquariumGuy
  • #2
I actually really love the Top Fin HOB's. The controllable flow rate is amazing! I use the one rated for up to a 15 gallon for my 5.5 gallon Betta tank. I also cut a coarse sponge out to place in front of the "replaceable" filter pad that Top Fin sells that I literally replace once a year cause after rinsing it out it flows fine. I think the key is that people don't understand the ratings that come on the boxes of these filters. For all HOB's you should aI'm for a GPH that is 10-12 times the total tank gallons in my humble opinion!
 
HORNET1
  • #3
Quite frankly, I think TopFin products are of subpar quality,
but that's just a matter of personal preference.
At the lower end of the price points, I much prefer Aqueon over TopFin.
 
Sani Fabian
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Thank you both I appreciate the feedback
 
RyRyTheAquariumGuy
  • #5
Quite frankly, I think TopFin products are of subpar quality,
but that's just a matter of personal preference.
At the lower end of the price points, I much prefer Aqueon over TopFin.

**** yeah I like Aqueon more too no doubt. I would choose the quiet flow HOB over the Top Fin if the quiet flow had an adjustable flow rate. I feel like in the end these lower end filters are all basically the same (or at least minimal differences)
 
bettabo1
  • #6
If I had a choice I certainly wouldn't buy them new over aquaclears. Keep in mind though they're not a bad filter, just there is better options. I have two topfin filters and like them.
 
Islandvic
  • #7
Everyone likes to bash these TopFin Silentstream HOB filters. Out of the box, yes they are inadequate and have overly optimistic tank size ratings.

Relying on their cartridge alone, they have no bio-media. If have seen complaints on the internet that they are prone to clog quickly and may overflow over the rim, spilling water below on the flow.

They have their uses though and actually work well, only if you know how they work and especially if you mod them the right way. RyRy posted the mods for his and it works for him. Like myself, he used a filter with mods rated for a larger tank and installed it on a smaller tank.

I started out with a TopFin 20 gallon aquarium back in February. It came with a TopFin Silent Stream 20.

I use that Top Fin 20 filter on my 10 gallon tank, along with a Lustar ATI Hydro Sponge MinI running off the 2nd output of a Fluval Q1 air pump.

I did some mods to the Top Fin 20 to boost it's mechanical and bio filtration capacity.

I first added a sponge pre-filter on the intake tube.

I then cut up an Aquaclear sponge in the shape of an "L" and shoved that into the back of the filter, so water coming out of the impeller housing from the intake tube shoots directly into the inner sponge.

I then cut open the stock cartridge filter and emptied out the carbon. I then stuffed some filter floss pillow stuffing into it. Instead of sliding the cartridge back in using the guides, I shoved it in diagonally creating a larger space between it and the discharge chute.

Finally I added small bags of already cycled Fluval Bio-Max (the small pellet looking ones, not the larger ring version).



The rating of the filter is supposed to be 100GPH. It is more like 40 GPH with all this media. Between this HOB and the small air-line driven sponge filter, my 10 gallon tank is crystal clear and my water parameters are great.

The pics are a guide how you can manipulate extra media in these (or many other HOB) filters.

So in your case, retire your filter on the 10 gallon tank and replace it with the one from your 20 gallon tank. Mod it accordingly to fit the needs of the bio-load of the tank. The filter from the 10 gallon can be saved and re-purposed for a smaller betta tank in the future.

As for your 20 gallon, if you can find a TopFin SilentStream 75 on sale for under $30, pick it up and mod it the same way. Or just pick up an Aquaclear 50 from Chewy for $35 and be set.

I use (2) AQ30's on my overstocked 20 gallon community tank and it also has crystal clear water with perfect water parameters.

Good Luck
 
NYFishGuy
  • #8
Similar mod to mine but I removed stock insert and put a larger sponge on the bottom with bio rings on top
also a piece of sponge on the intake. seems to work well so far after 3 months.

20180529_095811.jpg
 
BigManAquatics
  • #9
I have TopFin hob's on 2 of my betta tanks. Used some sponge to slow the flow a bit on the 5.5g's as my bettas were struggling mightily. Also have on a 10 gallon and 20 gallon as well. Been happy with them, but probably will upgrade eventually
 
wodesorel
  • #10
It really depends on what you have in the tank. For bettas or a couple tiny fish it's more than enough if you swap out the filter cartridges for something like foam or rings. If you are at stocking or are pushing the stocking levels then a filter with a better flow will give you fewer problems.
 
captainlextra
  • #11
It's definitely not the best filter, but I gotta give credit where credit is due. Ever since I got the filter (cheapest option and I figured it couldn't hurt to try) I was ready at any moment to order a better filter because I was ready for it to give out, but it hasn't failed me yet! Keeps my betta's water crystal clear, but with that being said I couldn't recommend it for tanks over 30 gallons because it's not the most reliable and it is pretty cheaply made
 
RyRyTheAquariumGuy
  • #12
It's definitely not the best filter, but I gotta give credit where credit is due. Ever since I got the filter (cheapest option and I figured it couldn't hurt to try) I was ready at any moment to order a better filter because I was ready for it to give out, but it hasn't failed me yet! Keeps my betta's water crystal clear, but with that being said I couldn't recommend it for tanks over 30 gallons because it's not the most reliable and it is pretty cheaply made
Facts!! Honestly I like them. If you have any reasonable experience with biological filtration you can modify this filter to kick a** on a budget. I like it a lot.
 
leftswerve
  • #13
Top Find HOB Power filters "DO" have bio media. It is the cage that covers the filter bag (not inside, outside). Agreed that it not the best, but it ain't bad if you keep up with it.
IMO the only time that filter won't keep up is if you overstock or don't keep it maintained.
Good luck
Aquaclear are my go to HOB.
 

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