We have a 75 gal
. planted with a heavy fish load filtered by a Filstar XP3 that after a year has always been crystal clear and a breeze to take care of. You just rinse out and reuse the media and replace the charcoal as needed. It has been trouble free and I have taken advantage of the ability to use the baskets for other media.....our water is soft so I can add some crushed coral as needed.
1 month ago we converted the substrate from a 25 gal
. planted tank with a HOB
filter to a 65 gal
. planted discus tank. We are using a Cascade 1000 and it is also doing an incredible job. The water is crystal clear and the filters easy to clean. It is currently stocked with 3 med. Discus and 17 Neon Tetras.
It is a little more $ up front but the ease of use, the ability to add other media, and the washable filters are the selling point for the canister.
To be fair I had good luck with my HOB
filters also. I always use double the filtration recommended for the tank size.
Good luck and enjoy your tank!