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Old 10-04-2008, 05:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SpeedEuphoria View Post
The xp4, I have a Fluval 304 on my 55G and like it, its not a perfect filter, it can bypass in a sense by the design. I got mine b/c it was the cheapest one and for me its great.

Manufacturer ratings are way overrated, many like XP3's on like 55G size tanks, or XP2's and a Koralia #2 powerhead if its highly planted. I just added a Koralia #1 to my 55G and like it and prob should have gotten the #2.

If you want a Fluval 404, you can get new ones on ebay for cheap, $85 shipped. If you paying money for a new model deff get the XP4 instead.

Last I knew Ken;s had great prices on Rena filters:
filstarcanisterfilters
Well I made my filter choice and due to the choice being between the fluval 405 and the Rena filstar XP3 OR 4, I chose the Rena XP-4 bigger the better. It has 4 media trays and the instructions are not as clear as i would like them. Can a Rena Filstar owner here give me some assistance on the CORRECT way to load the media trays ? there are 4 black foam pads those i see go in the bottom the very top tray holds the white polishing pad & it says to put the bag of black BIO-CHEM ZORB & it looks like that goes somewhere under the white pad. NOW, the 3 remaining trays, each has a lift out divider that covers the bio-media you choose to put in there, I am saving 1 tray for a yet undetermined media. the box came with a handful of STARS. MY question is, do you lift out the divider, put bio media in, put the divider back in THEN, put a new tray on top of that one OR do you put the bio media in put the divider back in AND add more media "on top" of the divider THEN put a new tray on top ? I am probably not making sence . The picture on the box shows double layers of media in each tray the instruction book does not. what is the correct way to fill these trays and what other kinds of bio media can you put in a rena filstar, can you use fluval bio- media ? or must it be rena media only ? ( not talking about the pads) thanks, the filter is still in the box and i won't be setting the aquarium up for another week or 2.
Bert
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Old 10-04-2008, 08:28 PM   #12
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You can use any generic bio media in the trays.

Normally you want the finest/polishing pads/media at the top. You can buy 100% polyester batting(pillow stuffing) to serve the same purpose instead of buying more expensive specific media/pads.

The bottom you want a coarse foam pad, to stop the bigger debris

Then in the middle tray(s) put whatever kind of biomedia you want, bio balls, ceramic noodles, stars , whatever.
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Old 10-04-2008, 09:52 PM   #13
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I have an XP2 and an XP3. I use ceramic media (left over from the previous filter) and have it in the center basket of the XP3, below the "divider". I don't think it really matters, although you do want to sandwich the micro filtration pad between two dividers in that top basket.

I think you make a good choice. I have the XP3 on a 55 and it is about right. Would probably be OK for a 75 but a little small. The XP2 is on a 36 corner and I have to turn the flow rate way down, so it's a little big for that tank. There really isn't much difference in flow rate between the filters, it's more the volume of the filter to hold stuff.
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Old 10-05-2008, 07:38 AM   #14
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I run 2 XP4s on my 125 planted with the 4 sponges in the bottom, and floss on the top, and that's it.

For a community tank, I'd recommend the 4 sponges in the bottom, just some ceramic rings in the middle basket (I prefer the fluval rings myself), and floss as necessary up on top, and that should be it.

The more media you put in there, the more reduced your flow will be.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:13 AM   #15
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what is the correct way to load the baskets ? I know you remove the divider and insert the media bio stuff then put the divider back in BUT is the media suppossed to be under the divider and a NEW basket placed on top of it OR, can you put more bio stuff ontop of the divider & then put another basket on top ? I think the space above the divider would be better left empty then put the next basket on top of it, how do you do it ? I got the XP-4 for my 100 gallon plexi that is 4 ft. long, I am debating if i want to use the spray bar or the jet nozzle. How powerful is the outflow with the spraybar & jet ?
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Old 10-07-2008, 04:41 PM   #16
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In my XP3 I run the coarse pads in the bottom basket (20s and 30s) then the bio rings in the middle basket (bottom part) with floss in the top part of the middle basket. In the top basket I just have floss but sometimes will add Seachem Purigen after big rescapes (planted tank).
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:03 AM   #17
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thanks SMN723, i am thinking that loading the bottom half of the trays is the right way to load them. what is the difference in the BIO-CHEM ZORB & ordinary carbon , is it the same stuff ? which outflow do you use, spraybar or jet nozzle ?
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:04 AM   #18
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What is Seachem Purigen ?
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:47 PM   #19
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My own experience is with a Rena XP3 on a 120 that is 6 ft long. I put the inlet to the filter on one end of the tank and used the spray bar on the other end. It has been running that tank for 4 years with no troubles. I do not care about changing filter media every few days as somone suggested with the AC filters, I clean mine every 3 month whether it needs it or not. Usually it does not. The filter is dead quiet and the only way that I know it is on is by looking for the flow disturbance near the spray bar. I do not expect my filter to create enough current to sweep fish wastes off the gravel and up into the filter inlet so I use a gravel vac to take care of that. My filter is there to takecare of suspended solids, which it does nicely, and to provide biofiltration , which it also does nicely. It is simplicity itself to prime after you clean it. Once the hoses are back on the unit you wait for it to prime itself then after about a minute you plug in the filter motor. I also have used a Marineland C-series filter that works quite well but is much less convenient to service because after the second cleaning the shutoff valves in the hoses stopped sealing right. What it means is that I need to prop the hose ends at the tank's water level while I have the filter off being cleaned so I don't drain the tank through the hoses. That makes it a bit of a PITA to clean.
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Old 10-11-2008, 04:37 AM   #20
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Thanks Oldman, it sounds like your XP3 gives you plenty of power for your 120 so it should be safe to say that the XP4 will have plenty of power for my 100. How do you load your media trays ? what i mean is do you put the media in the bottom half of the tray only or, do you put it in the bottom half, replace the divider & then add more media on top of the divider before stacking the next tray on top ? this is my first true canister filter since my magnum 350 only had the filter carbon basket with the wrap around floss sleeve. I see with the XP4 there is a choice of spray bar or jet & there are also 3 choices as to what depth you can choose to place the return outflow, which depth do you find works best ?
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