New pictures added!
I decided that my old power filter (Fluval C2) would get clogged way too often. It was most likely because of my pre-filter but I needed that to avoid shrimp fry from getting sucked up so that had to stay. I know when I go on vacation I have a cat sitter who will feed the fish, but I can't ask her to clean the filter haha. So ultimately I decided to get a canister filter. I decided on the Fluval G3, which is definitely overkill for a small tank like mine, but I liked the looks of it and its price has gone down a lot since it first came out. It was going to be placed in plain view on my kitchen counter so I wanted it to look nice. I added on a inline heater so I could remove the existing heater which was in the tank. Finally I lowered the water level that way I could remove the tank lid (though I plan to create a metal mesh lid for it still).
New Fluval G3:
Tank with lily pipes. Intake is the metal ADA Metal Jet Pipe - V1 (13mm), and the output is ADA Lily Pipe Outflow P-2 (13mm).
Fish and shrimp enjoy the new filtration (or don't care at all)
Lily pipe closeup
In order to use smaller 13mm lily pipes I had to convert 5/8" tubing to 1/2" tubes. I received the solution from friendly folks at Aqua Forest as they showed me they did this to their tanks. They put in 1/2" tubes 2-4 inches inside of the larger 5/8" and voila, it works. To make sure it was sealed even better, I wrapped a rubber band around the 1/2" tube's edge and then jammed that into the larger tube as far as I could have. You can see some of the rubber band sticking out in this picture.