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Eheim filtration for a 45 gal, low stock, underwater forest

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Hi there!

This forum was a great resource to me back over a decade ago when I was fishkeeping on a shoestring budget, and now I'm back planning to start up my tank again. As the title suggests, it's a 45 gallon tank (36" long, 12" wide, 24" high) that I want to turn into an underwater forest. The plan for fish is: a school of tetras, a school of corydoras, and one pleco. I'm wrestling with a lot of things, but I'll keep this post to only the filtration question.

I have an Eheim 2213 (Classic 250, I think?), as well as a few HOB filters (Marineland Emperor 400 and Penguins 150 and 250). I used to use the Eheim and one HOB together. However, I'd really like to simplify all the wires and moving parts, and streamline my maintenance plan. Here are my options:

1. Get an Eheim pre-filter and hook it up in line with the Eheim 250. Use one mechanical filter pad (or the Eheim mech?) at the bottom of the Eheim 250 and fill the rest with Biohome Ultimate (or some other biological media). The hope is I'd mostly be cleaning the Eheim pre-filter and wouldn't touch the Eheim 250 often. (Is that true?)

2. Get a used Eheim 600. (Or Eheim 600 + Eheim pre-filter).

3. Use the Eheim 250 with an HOB like I did before (not ideal because of the extra wires, moving parts, and an extra thing to clean).

Thoughts? How much filtration do I realistically need if I'm going with a planted tank and not keeping cichlids? I know you can never have too much, but at the same time: a) I already have one perfectly functional filter, b) I don't want to add much more maintenance and running two separate filters adds to that. But I want to set myself up for success. I plan to take my time on this...get the plants going well and stabilized over 2 months or so and then slowly add fish.

Thank you in advance!
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