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I also have a 38 gallon, maybe its a 37 (same as yours). I'm also fairlly new to this site and the 38 is my first planted tank, although I've started two smaller ones since.

You are right, that most people on this site would recommend a canister filter and express passionate opinions about which is the best canister filter for you. :) Others will report success using a HOB filter.

I still have the HOB filter on mine, but am also running a used Eheim canister filter and hope to remove the HOB at some time, when I'm sure the canister filter is working correctly.

For me, the main reasons for switching to canister filter are 1) less clutter on back of tank 2) less aeration of my CO2 into the air through the turbulence created by HOB filter. 3) I am experimenting with some floating plants, which move around too much with the current generated by HOB filter.

I'm finding that I can pretty much keep my drop checker green (meaning I have enough CO2) with my DIY CO2 system, so that is not really an issue. Plus, the HOB filter actually diminishes the potential that I might get too much CO2 in tank at night, because of the aeration that it creates. Also, HOB filters are cheaper and some people find them easier to maintain.

In short, I suggest reading the various arguments, weighing the pro's and con's, and choosing what you think is best for your situation.

Hope this helps,
 
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