thanks Matt!! I think patience has been key and probably the hardest thing for me to give in to as well. I'm really liking how things have started to come together in the tank and I am enjoying it on a very different level now.
and thanks for the input on the eheim too. there's just a faint difference in the noise of mine that isn't very loud...it's just performing on a different frequency. I hope I don't snap the impeller shaft again...
all the best, walter