I haven't really seen a reason or need to modify mine yet. The filter seems to be just right (flow wise) for the tank, and it has a huge amount of media compared to filters with similar flow rates. I also see no point in replacing a built in hidden filter compartment with a HOB filter. I also haven't had much of an issue with shrimp getting into the filter compartment, but the easiest way to fix the issue is by lowering the water level so that it is barely above the overflow strainer. That would likely reduce the flow of the filter, so it might be a good idea to put stainless steel mesh or something behind the strainer.
That filter compartment isn't the issue. It is the small one towards the bottom. Yes, the best idea is to block it With mesh or plastic.
The issue with the filter in general is it is a closed unit. Doesn't remove any mulm. My canister now effectively removes the mulm.
Lots of people enjoy modifying their specs, but I'm glad you enjoy yours the way it is.
MABJ's iDevice used for this message :p