Can anyone recommend a good high quality canister filter that has a SHORT main canister section?
I read this thread: Short Canister Filter Recommendation?
... which is, of course, similar, but it's a bit old so perhaps new options and information has come to light since.
I currently have a Finnex PX-360
which has served me well, but I have a larger tank than before and I would like a little more flow than it offers me. It's rated at 96 gallons per minute and up to a 25 gal tank (I have 17), but it's less than full rated flow with the canister on a shelf below the tank, of course. So what I need is a new, similarly small canister with a higher flow rate than I have.
The spray bar I had before gave me a little better flow, but I like the aesthetics of glass lily pipes in a rimless tank (ADA 60P style) better. Perhaps a glass lily pipe would work but I haven't found one. (one, actually, on eBay, but it's not very good, and only vertical seemed to work better in my tank)
So now I'm looking for canister with a higher flow rate so I can get the water moving more. I'm trying to get as much equipment as possible out of the tank, so I want to add an inline heater soon, which will drop the already-a-touch-too-low flow rate a smidge further, even. (So clearly adding a powerhead to increase flow is the opposite of what I want to accomplish, visually.) A canister upgrade should give me all I need.
Which bring us to the problem: My tank is on a side table (side table/credenza) with an open shelf under the main top, but that shelf only has 12 7/8" clearance below the top, max, but with a trim panel, so the opening is only 10.5" to get the canister into place. See below for photos which will make this wordiness more clear.
Worse, the hoses have to get up and out the back, so you really need room to curve them back then up, else they would have curve down several inches then turn to go back up to the tank, to get around that trim panel. The shelf is 32" below the top of the tank (the highest level the canister needs to pump the water). (There is a mini-stand for the tank that might
go away, which would drop that by about 3.5") My Finnex canister is only about 8" tall, and it BARELY fits, once the hoses have a chance to curve to get out the back. The hoses have to curve over 45 degrees back, and then back up vertical, to get out the back of the table and up to the tank. So a taller canister probably won't work. I could technically put one on the floor, but I'd rather not, and only gains a couple inches of vertical room, but adds a lot more lift for the filter to overcome. Plus it wouldn't look as nice. I have my co2 canister there now, and it's visually annoying to see under the open table legs (per my wife, who cares more about such things).
A picture is worth a thousand words, so here you are:
Current Finnex filter: (yes, that's on a dish, which keeps random water drops off the wood and offers a small degree of safety in the event of minor leaks... which so far have not happened, other than a little water while removing the canister for cleaning
Side table and shelf: (ugh, flash made the tank look horrible, but it shows the shelf well)
Showing the underside of the shelf (trying to clean up the wiring, and partway through I realized I need to look for a new canister to really resolve these issues):
I plan to put more of the storage boxes (you can see part of one to the left) in front of the filter to hide it further, but I still have the height issue to deal with it.
The thread I linked above mentioned the Eheim Ecco Pro 2232 at 12" high and the Fluval 205 at 10.5" high, but I'm not so sure either will work for my setup (especially the Ecco, since it might not even fit onto the shelf without turning it sideways and rotating it and hoping! Worse, canister height is only part of the issue since the hoses have to fit as well.
Can anyone offer some advice?