Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Filter


I have . . . well, had . . . been a fluval canister enthusiast for a long time. They do a good job, catch lots of debris and work efficiently. There is plenty of space for media, they run quietly (when clean) and I have never had a problem with them leaking as long as the O ring was replaced when worn. They are however a pain to use. I always have had a hard time priming them. If I was lucky enough water would catch in the hoses that it would prime itself once I hooked them back on and opened them up, however if the hoses need cleaning I was in for a good long time of pumping. Well, last week I finally had it. After trying to get the filter to prime for a good hour, taking it apart, putting it back together, pumping, filling it firt, trying it empty, trying to tilt it to get air out . . . I just had a enough. I called up my good old LFS and talked with them and they agreed to let me bring it in and they would give me a little bit of store credit for it, and resale it for cheap to someone who wanted to play with it.


Now it was time to make a decision, what kind of filter do I want? I wanted a canister filter, I like having them stored under the tank and I like that they don't make a lot of water noise from the return. I also wanted one that would be quiet as the tank is in my bedroom. I wanted one that was easy to take apart and clean and easy to prime. After reading different boxes and talking to a few different employees on their experiences I decided on a rena filstar XP2. I made my purchase and went home.

Rena Filstar XP2

The XP2 does up to 75 gallons according to the manufacturer. Normally I probably would have gone one more size up (my tank is 60 gallons) but the store was out, and I don't really need the extra filtration as I only have small fish now.

Setting Up

Setting up the filter was overall very easy. The only trouble I encountered was getting the flexible tubing over the pipes. It involved hot water and a lot of pushing on my part, but once they were on everything else was easy. At least I know the tubes are on nice and tight! Everything else was easy to assemble and get on. There are two different choices for the return flow, a spray bar or just a spicket type pipe. You can also attach a peice that has a flow adjuster, or you can leave it off. I was dissapointed that there does not seem to be a way to put the return down at the bottom of the tank. The intake tube allows you have different lengths, but each section is about 4 to 5 inches long, so my intake is a bit higher than I would normally like it, but that is a small price to pay for the ease with which everything went together. Overall I am very pleased with how easy it was to put together.


Priming was a breeze! Once all the hoses are hooked up, you twist off a cap from the top of the intake and pour some water in. Once the water has filled the hose you recap the top, open the tubes to the canister and water wonderfully flows into the filter and fills it. According to the directions you wait 2 minutes to ensure air has left. I found after 2 minutes a tiny amount of air was left in the filter, gently tipping it to the side got it out. Then I plugged it in and it ran beautifully. I was surprised at how powerful it was, generally I have found that filters are usually not quite as strong as the box would lead you to believe, however this one was better than I expected.

After A Week

After a week of running I am still pleased with my rena filstar XP2 filter. It is running silently and seems to be catching a lot of debris. I love that it is clear and you can see into it. The fluvals have always been dark so you never new what state it was in. This one I can see wether it needs to be cleaned rather than guess. The flow is still going strong, infact I had to turn it down just a bit.


So far I really like the rena, it seems to work good and most of it was easy to assemble. The only bit of trouble I had was getting the tubing over the pipes, but once they are on there they shouldn't need to come off for a good long time. Priming was a breeze.

So far so good! I will report back in a month on how it was to clean!

Fluval image from:

Rena image from: