I'm sort of in between - in a 10 gal. tank I have an AquaClear 30 (adjustable from 10 to 30) at about 20 and I just have a sponge in there that I wash in tap water every week for mechanical filtration. I want the nitrifying bacteria to be in the tank with the plants, where all the action should be.
MY TANK: Planted 10g; 2 x 10W CFL; Fluval U2 internal filter; MGOCPM/black sand cap
A Silent Cycled Tank