a year ago when first set up, and just nine months ago when I first removed the big decor piece, and had serious algae issues. It's come a long way!
silicone job was failing. Coming loose, peeling off, a section of the crack already exposed. So I took off that elbow piece. I'm going to order a new prefilter kit, to replace those two pieces (part that the sponge fits over had a crack so for a long time now I've had the sponge sews into place). For now, the intake is horizontal. It doesn't seem to make much difference to the filter efficiency (as far as I can tell) and actually looks a little less obtrusive.
I've found the vallisneria corner is a great spot to drop sinking food to favor the kuhlis. All can reach it, but the barbs don't seem to like being crowded down among the val stems. They will reach it a few at a time, then turn and squirm back out into open water again. It seems to make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe to be down among the dense plants in that area. Kuhlis have no problem about it, they are always wiggling around among the val stems of their own accord. So when I want to make sure the kuhlis feed well, I drop the pellet or wafer into the vallisneria. The kuhlis definitely get most of it. I'll have to get a picture of that activity.