Hob Filters

They threw this word around a lot before I realized it meant ‘Hang on Back’ filter. So wow. I have a HOB filter. Now, I had an old filter I loved but it eventually died so I ran to PetsMart and looked for a replacement. Lucky for me there was a sale for a Top Fin Silentstream Filter so I grabbed it and ran home.

It has an indicator I’d never seen and neither had this presenter.  And yes, you will see red a lot. I replace mine very often.

His review: Not pretty but it’ll do the job and yes. I’ve had it since Covid started and these are my two complaints. So yes. It will do what you want it to do.  “It’s fine,” he said.  Hahaha! I love it, sir, I love it. “It’s fine.” Insert sound of an annoyed teenager saying, “It’s fine!”


The water is very clear, but if you look closely, you can see floaties in it. It was hard to photograph. It looks like little worms, but it is just tiny particles that are always there. It bothered me mildly. But really. The fish were happy and it was cheap. You get what you pay for so really, I just kept on keeping on.

If you don’t look closely, it looks like this:

Indicator Floatie Thing:

So, maybe not immediately but that red will indicate frequently. The box says one cartridge a month, but if you have plants, you’re out of luck. Cuz, this picture was after 10 days with one female betta and three corydoras catfish in a 35 gallon.

It isn’t misfiring. You can see water in the overflow spout. If this filter didn’t have an overflow, flooding would be happening after ten days on a brand new filter pad. So I popped the top:

Duckweed. Such a surprise. The water level very high, so I took out the filter:

Yes. Gross. Ready to be changed, like yesterday. But this time, I’m slipping a little backup and have a pre-filter incoming. Yes. That’s right. I’m upgrading my HOB because… 10 days?! With four fish?

Okay, I am pretty fish in-competent, but I really blame the tiny little insert cartridge.










You can see the activated carbon through the filter. If you’re busy, it’s probably worth it to change this when little red tells you to, but I want the floaties to go away. So this time I’m adding in something that has been sitting in the closet from my old filter.

So I cut some to size and put it next to the Top Fin filter for reference:

So what should be twice the time before I have to change it again? Twenty days will be nice…

So, no duckweed, and the overflow is now drying out. Now we wait a bit to see if the floaties go away.








Back to happy blue, clean, and ready to filter all the fish-plant waste.


The water hitting the tank water is the sound you will hear, which gets louder when the water level drops so it is a good indicator to top off the tank with clean, treated water. Also, if you turn down the flow rate, the water sounds decrease to almost nothing. I don’t hear the filter itself running. It does have a good flow but you can turn it down if your fish are getting pushed around.


The intake of this filter is very big. If you have small fish or shrimp, you’ll be cleaning them out of your filter like I clean out the duckweed.

I’m always cleaning plants off, so I’ve been snooping on Youtube for help. These two videos incited my latest Amazon order for supplies so stay tuned for HOB upgrades in house and enjoy these videos while I wait for my order.

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