So I've had my current Aqua-Clear filter for 7 years and sometimes it's super loud and rattling, sometimes not. Therefore I've decided to play with modifying it because if I mess it up, I feel it had a good long life as aquarium equipment. Anyhoo, I'm thinking of modifying the media holding area something like this:

I plan to move my heater into the filter once it's set up sort of like above. Would this cause any water pressure or motor over working issues?

I've also noticed that the intake tube DOES NOT blend in with anything. It's kind of clear, but at the same time it's not and it's not a "natural" color so no matter what I put in front of it it manages to peak through. Therefore I plan to remedy this by getting rid of the hard plastic intake tube all together and instead use a black piece of large diameter rubber tubing that I would cap and drill holes all around from the bottom to about 1.5" up of the tubing. I figure if it's soft, I can bend it gently to better hide it in the piece of driftwood that currently hides my heater. Is there large diameter aquarium safe rubber tubing available? Would I be better off with a hard plastic black intake tube? The reason I want it to be black is because I have a black backed tank. Opinions? Suggestions?