I know... I did break the bank! I couldn't help myself.
$700-800 later... I ordered the Mr Aqua 48... as well as new Do!Aqua Lily Pipes and 27L of Amazonia.
I am going to scrap the auto water changer for now. I may add in later.
PS - I still hold out hope that I won't end up with a nice tank and super crappy scape! Time will tell.