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Old 10-21-2013, 05:50 PM   #11
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It comes with enough bio stars to fill a moderate sized media bag, but iirc it is not enough to fill up the whole tray. You can mix the bio stars with any other media you want. All the bio max or bio stars or (insert brand name here) are just surface area for your nitrifying bacteria. I would place the sponges into the filter in the order the instructions tell you. They are placed this way for a reason (coarse sponges on bottom, then finer in the middle). For the rest, go nuts.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:45 PM   #12
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XP3 fan here too. I run XP4 and XP3 on my 125 and they work great. Its hard to compare HOB vs canister; they kind of function differently. HOB will usually have higher turnover, but hold less media. Either way, your in the ballpark.
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:20 PM   #13
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Mohican, What media do you use in your two filters?
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:27 PM   #14
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I use both brands of filters on my tanks. In the Aquaclears I use the sponge, and the rest is filled with ceramic rings. In the Filstar XP's I use the sponges in the bottom tray, and ceramic rings in the rest of the trays. I took the stars that came with the filter out. I hated how they float. Basically anything that is inert, and provides surface area can be used in the trays in the XP.
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:03 PM   #15
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I hate the filstar I have that same filter on my 55 and it manages to suck air in around the so after three days it will stop pump so u have to unplug it and break the airlock tell it let's the air out and fills with water and had the quick disconnect break after about six months
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:24 PM   #16
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I have 5 or 6 filstars now, they range in age from 2 to 8 years. I do not have any trouble with them. I have experienced what Scooter mentioned, and it turned out my hoses were simply too long. If you trim the length of the hoses to only what is necessary, without much slack, IME you will not have this problem.
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:44 PM   #17
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I've only had issues with air in the intake. The plastic pieces come loose and when water gets below it starts getting loud and the water level in the filter drops. I love my XP4 it filters my turtle perfectly and so much media room.
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