Fish Tank Filter Showdown! Sponge Filter vs. Hang on Back

Hello Everyone,
We have another comparison – sponge filters vs hang on the back! We have used both so we talk a little about which one is better. Feel free to share your thoughts on both in the comments section below – which one do you like better?

Thanks for watching!


Xiar says:

I prefer internal filters. They’re typically pretty quite and easy to use. Mine has a wave maker on it and allows me to filter water and move the water properly.

Michael Wells says:

I use both in the same tanks.

AL Lan says:

I use hang on the back. Made my own cartridge which is basically a sponge and simply clean it off in the sink. 2 years running on 2 separate 10 gallon tanks planted tanks with at least 20 full size guppies in each tank. The population is 4 years old and thriving/overpopulating.

Toolguy03 says:

What would the difference be with just running a HOB filter with just a sponge as the filter? would it not be a very similar filtration ?

C Phillip Hightower says:

I can’t speak for sponge filters, but I can hang ons. I’ve used aquaclear, fluval c series, and the Seachem tidal. Aquaclear has a lot of in filter area for media, but a little loud in my experience. The fluval c series are basically a hang on wet dry filter due to the trickle plate. A nice design. The tidal filters have almost the same area as the aquaclear filters, but incorporate an internal pump (manufactured by Sicce) so you don’t have to worry about power outages. Has a built-in surface skimmer as an added bonus.

Hfghgh Ytytuuy says:

As much as I love being mesmerized by that beard I think showing your tanks would increase the amount of views.

Also thanks for the info


My first fish tank had an under gravel filter powered by an air pump, it also had a reservoir on the top that held carbon for chemical filtration, you might explore that as an addition to your sponge filter.

Hope K says:

Can you use sponge filters with turtles?

michael thomey says:

Thank you.
Nice to the point, facual , from experience.
Been a fish keeper over 50 years.
I agree on every point. Learned a few things I can use. Hope you make some money and save thousands of fish in your

to om says:

The King of filters on bang for the buck are HMF filters. Big surface area, don’t clogg, highly biological active, easy to buy or to build your self, fry, Shrimp proof, no moving parts, low electricity use.

steven greer says:

Great video. I personally use hob filters and canisters, but I resently got a breeding pair of angel fish and was looking for another type of filtration. Sponge filters was the answer. They are good for the fry and allow a tube for the angels to lay there eggs on.

Phantom Assassin says:

its people like you who should be called saints thankyou Sir!

Alex Smart says:

I believe each have theyre purposes, I use a sponge in my 20g breeding tank to keep water movement lower allowing better conditions for egg fertilization and fry to handle better. i use two hang on the backs in my 80g community tank. and for the 10$ it costs (where I live at least) i buy the intake sponges for both because more places for good bacteria sounds good to me and it really saves on having to clean the inside of the hang on back

NuKeD Koala says:

Canister filter master race

Magali says:

Once I had a Kuhli loach that managed to get inside a HOB filter and die inside but that’s the only major issue I’ve had with them.

Gysselle Ordonez says:

Great video! So informative!

tony kaiser says:

Question why is it that you see people use 3 or 4 sponges rated for 60 gallon tanks instead of using 2 that are rated 120 gallons. I see it all over youtube is there a advantage or a reason? What’s your opinion?

brummie pc gamer says:

hi jason can you tell me if these sponge fillters are good for fantail gold fish?

holysocks says:

canister vs over-tank wet/dry trickle pls

ErnieDoesThings says:

I get a sponge and skrunch it up into a hob and hoom 2 in 1

Hellish Underwater Harmonica says:

Great! Now…. Will you do another?… UGF VS cannister? Ta.

Mostlyharmless1985 says:

I love sponge filters, especially for people who are just getting started because they are dead nuts simple. There isn’t many things you can say “get this, put it in your tank and your fish will do better” and sponge filters are one of them. I keep one running in my sump at all times in case I need to quickly set up a tank for whatever reason, their utility as an instant cycle filter is awesome. My experience with hang on back filters is not the same. They rattle, gurgle, slurp, splash, they have expensive cartridges that always seem to get clogged up whenever you don’t have spares, necessitating a trip to the fish store to buy another, breaking them down and cleaning them is a chore.
I would rather having that sponge filter working in a corner with a few bits of val in front of it than a hang on back. You take it out, you squeeze it in some tank water, you put it back. Simple and easy.

Rick Stalker says:

Very good

Catfish Cave says:

Aquaclear 70 uses 6 watts; so 300 40 gallon tanks can run off of one 15 amp circuit; assuming lights/heaters on other circuits. If you add the sponge filter to HOB intake, you now have both filters. Cost is the biggest issue. If you set up 100 tanks at once, you’ll always go the cheaper route. If you buy your tanks slowly, you won’t notice the cost of another HOB. I prefer HOBs… but then I currently run canisters on all my tanks – go figure. 🙂

Rath Man says:

What category are canister filters in?


You’ll never get the great water flow of a HOB with a sponge. See the vids with a couple bubbles rising from a lift tube – minimal filtration at best. Great for fry tanks tho.

Stealth Bobber says:

I have a 75 gallon planted rainbow/angel tank. I was so worried when I got into the hobby that I wasn’t going to have enough filtration. Started with a canister filter, then got an aquaclear 70 HOB, and then I got two sponge filters. Oh and every intake has a sponge on it. At first I was thinking that it was all way too much but it has allowed me to put tons of chemical/mechanical filtration in the canister filter and load up the HOB with bio filtration. It’s total overkill but it cracks me up watching it all.

Side note: I have a few different Aqueon quietflow HOB filters and they always start after a power outage. Obviously they don’t have the media bin like an Aquaclear but you can still hot rod them really well.

infamous freak says:

will the hang on filter be enough for a 70 gallon with a flowerhorn or do u suggest a canister filter?

addar1989 says:

why choosing between these two ?? canister master race 😛

Gamer central says:

How many sponges can be ran on 1 air pump? Thanks and great video

Munizzera a says:

thanks!!! Amazing video

Brian R says:

can i get away with a sponge filter ONLY in a 10 gallon with a betta

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