When it comes to maintaining your fish tank conditions, canister filters and hang on back filter are two of the most common types of filter, especially for medium tank sixe as 50-55 gallons. If you are just transfer to this size of aquarium, you may get confuse between these two filters.
Bigger tank that houses more fishes, you would have more responsibilities to maintain the water quality. Due to my experience, I would like to recommend you to use Canister filter as best filter for 50-55 gallon aquarium. Here are the reasons that why canister filters superior to HOB filters:
#1 Canister filter have larger biomedia capacity
The biggest benefit of canister filter is that it can be able to contain much more biomedia than HOB filter. You can fit so much more biomedia into a canister filter.
The canister filter equipped with big trays that allow you to fill with different kinds of filter media as you want. Generally, you can easily get 10 times filter media into a canister filter than a HOB filter. It even can be more in compare with hang-on-the-backs units that rely on cartridges.
#2 Higher flow
One more advantage of canister filters is that they allow you to adjust and greatly increase the flow in your tank. You can place the intake hose at one end of the tank and then the outflow can be placed at the other end. This creates a current that runs from one end of the tank to the other.
While the HOB filters are designed with the intake and outflow are within inches of each other. This can make the dead sports in the tank and also the good place for the growth of unexpected bacteria. Definitely, a canister filter is so much better for water flow, especially on a long tank like a 55 gallon.
#3 Gallon per hour
GPH is the amount of water that a filter pump can move in a single hour. Canister filter offer higher GPH than a HOB filter, this is due to motors are much bigger than hang-on-the-backs and have a lot more power.
Generally speaking, it’s recommended that the filter should have a GPH that can handle at least four times the capacity of your tank. That means if you have 55 gallon tank, it should be at least 220 GLP your filter is. However, higher GPH is always better for filtration process.