I currently have a HOB filter on my brackish tank of a brand with many good reviews which I will give a review on it after I have talked with customer service.
After the 3 most recent water changes my filter impeller has refused to turn without extremely thorough cleaning and even then sporadically I have had to restart the impeller with a screwdriver. Since my filter is only 3 months old this very concerning. I know what some of you may be thinking "How low is the suction?" and "Sand got sucked up and jammed the impeller.". Well in interest to answer those questions before they come. I currently use a medium grade quartz gravel (Much more course than I prefer). The suction is 4 inches off the gravel and has a course sponge prefilter on it.
In expectation of future more serious problems I am looking to move my current filter to backup in favor of a canister or sump. In my home aesthetics count so I am looking at a canister or a sump that is completely contained in the stand.
The canister brand reccomended here I like is the Penn Plax cascade 700 in favor of design, good reviews, and comes with a spray bar so it saves me work. Not to mention much fewer complaints about parts that are easily broken. I don't know my own strength and break things all too often without intending to
With the sumps I would go with a 2 pump design (one suction from, one discharge to the tank) once again in favor of aesthetics. The pumps I have found so far I have not been able to make heads or tails on whether or not they prevent back flow in themselves thereby preventing siphoning my tank to the floor if the power fails or how else to prevent this with this sump design. Other than that as far as I have found with all the materials needed I would just break even on cost so the benefit needs to be high for a sump