Best HOB filtration and HOB skimmer?


Ron Reefman

Lets Go Snorkeling!
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Aug 12, 2012
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SW Florida
I have 4 year old diy 40g tank (24x24x20) that I made. I tore it down 16 months ago and replace it with a new diy 90g DT. OK, so now I've been cleaning up the old 40g in the garage and thought to myself, maybe I should consider setting the 40 up as a replacement for my 16g frag/holding tank (right side of the stand). This photo is from back when I was setting up the 16g tank a year ago. So plenty of room for the 40g on top with the 16g gone. But I don't want another tank with a sump. There isn't room for one. The cabinet under the 16g tank has a 20g tank used for ATO to both tanks and a chiller.


So here is the question. If the new 40g set up is going to be mostly local stuff (fish, gorgonians, RFAs & other local anemones, snails, crabs, cucumber, urcin, a couple stars, along with a frag rack or two for my cuttings from the 90g DT that go to the LFS, or new corals I don't have placed in the 90g yet, what is the best HOB filtration unit and the best HOB skimmer I can get? Cost isn't much of an issue, I want reliability. Example, the pumps in the AquaClear HOB filters are crap! I have one on the 16g tank that is less than a year old and it's already got impeller issues.

I'm open to any ideas and suggestions.


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Jul 22, 2018
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Province of Ontario
Wow, bad experience with AquaClear, that surprises me.
I’ve have three, still running past 15 years, with a new impeller every 3 years or so, they wear, then buzz a bit.

This tank running 4 years with AquaClear and Coralife HOBs, I changed nothing on either, but the air intake in the skimmer requires cleaning every two months.

Fine them easy to keep clean.
Skimmer on the right, aqua clear left.



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Mar 2, 2020
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Aquamaxx hf-m is not bad. It's a hang on back filter with protein skimmer, a large filter media cup, and refugium/media reactor. The protein skimmer is just a build in version of Aquamaxx HOB 1.5 which uses Shark 1.0 (modified and upgraded Sicce pump). However, it doesn't do surface skimming.

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