Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Fort Myers, Floriduh
I am a big fan of HOB filters. I think that for a smaller (55g or less) tank they are a great option; they are inexpensive, there are plenty to choose from, and almost any problem that you have can be fixed easily and cheaply with stuff you probably already have in your house. They do make noise, but in my opinion the trickle of water can be nice and relaxing. Sure they splash a bit if your water gets too low, but if this bothers you just keep your tank topped off and your problem is solved. You can use a sponge or panty-hose as a pre-filter if you need to, but unless you are keeping and breeding shrimps or other really small critters, they may not even be necessary. In my tanks, I never see much of the filter beyond the intake and outflow because the rest of the filter is hidden by plants and my light fixture. As long as your filter works, then stick with it.
I even have duckweed in my water bong!