I am looking to see if I can find a filter with all or as many of the requirements I need. I am building a paludarium with roughly 28 US gallons of water space. Everything or as much as possible should be out of the aquarium or small as possible to work. However the only space I have to store things is above the enclosure. The total enclosure is 40w x 18 D x 36 high, in inches, there is probably another 12 inches of space above it for all the lighting, heating, ventilation and so on.

This will also have a waterfall, most people at local pet stores pointed me toward various devices, a heater, a thermometer, pump and submerisble fluval filter. However I got to thinking why cant many of these be condensed into 1 device? And better yet why is this not common place? It seems consolidation has been happening in most of the pet trade. And I saw I could make canister filters myself with a pump and some PVC pipe with filter materials.

So the ideal product would be something that is able to lay horizontally probably no more than 6 inches high, water can be pumped all the way up to it, almost 40 inches high at max and still have enough flow for a 28 gallon setup. Then water would be moved back into the top of the paludarium and dumped into a top resevoir which is the start of a cascading water fall. The water would be heated inside or around the filter so as to keep all that out of the aquarium part.

The main problems I see are, will a siphon form that will cause uneven water out put? And 2 will a pump be powerful enough to move water up that high, it seems to me almost all filters are at or lower than the tank level in most setups. Will the out going water get to hot from a heater in a confined space?

So what options are out there if any, and if none meet all the requirements what would come close?