I'm a big fan of wooden blocks and use them frequently in cichlid tanks. I find that an $8 air pump and wooden air block can often replace the large canister or hang on the back filters at prices ranging from $50 to $400.
I am in the minority around here... :lol:
Most cichlid enthusiasts seem to be as much about bigger better badder equipment as they are about the fish! :wink:
I find that in big tanks, the tiny bubbles that stay suspended tend to make the tank look cloudy/dirty. If the water level gets a little low in my large tank, the filters start to splash and I notice this. My little brother's 280 reef tank is set up as a peninsula, and it's especially noticeable.
There are bubbles in my breeder and grow out tanks.