Hence my quest to find an external/canister filter and chanced this website (www.greenchapter.com) where they were selling Eheims about 25% off! One fine day, I dropped by the shop and picked up the Eheim Classic 250 (2213) for S$117. Details about this filter can be found on http://www.eheim.asia/prod_e_extfilter_classic.html. Should be good enough for my 40 gallon tank and the power consumption of 8w is really good for its size.
I can tell that the filter is well built and simple to operate. Unfortunately, the manual was really bad, failing to explain the new user on how to set it up. I actually had to look at the box's graphics to figure out what was what. Fortunately, the filter media has already been added into the single basket so the only challenge was to figure out which was the inlet and outlet. My set did not come with the double taps (which costs S$23 each). Going to get a couple as it's going to be a difficult when I need to clean the filter. The double taps allow you to turn off the water flowing from the tank, take out the tubes from the filter, do the cleaning, and then plug it back without having to siphon the water.
Here's a quick guide of how to set it up for the first time:
1) Wash all the parts in tap water especially the filter media which should be rinse a 2-3 times.
2) Put back the basket into the canister.
3) Fill up the canister with 50% aquarium water
4) Cut the 12/16mm tubing accordingly (i just cut mine into equal halves)
5) Connect straight intake bar into the inlet (which is the bottom of the canister)
6) Connect spray bar into the outlet (which is on top of the canister)
7) For the intake tube, you need to manually siphon the water into the intake...yeah... hope you're skilled enough to drink the aquarium water...
8) Once the filter is filled with water, you can turn on the filter (you can do so after seeing some water coming out of the outlet tube)... DONE!
I've pretty happy with the Eheim. It's practically silent and the flowrate is pretty decent. It's a no frills canister filter and it gets the job done. What more can you ask? Ok, maybe Eheim should make black/dark grey rubber tubes instead of green...
Once I've dismantled the sump filter, I will get another canister filter to act as a backup to the 2213.
Here's another video of my revamped fish tank. Note the flow rate of the spray bar (yes, I removed the stopper as the trickling sound of water is quite loud).