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Old 08-05-2005, 08:02 AM   #1
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Rena FilStar XP1 vs Eheim ECCO 2232 Comfort

I am trying to decide which canister filter to upgrade to for my 30 gallon planted freshwater aquarium. I'm currently considering the two filters mentioned in the subject heading and would like some feedback from the members of this forum. Both units come with filter media plus I already have some Seachem Matrix to use.

The FilStar XP1 is slightly cheaper and appears to come with more accessories. I'm concerned that the single media basket doesn't give me enough room to add biological media when there are already the filtration pads and Bio-Chem Zorb present. I asked technical support at Aquarium Pharmaceuticals about this several days ago but they haven't responded yet. I like the output options this filter offers. How do the input and output pipes attach to the aquarium? Do they use suction cups inside the tank or does something attach to the outside? How long was the hose included with the filter and how difficult was the filter to set up? How does the venturi work on the output?

The ECCO 2232 Comfort looks like it has plenty of room for media and is supposed to be quieter. There is no question in my mind that the quality is better. I've read elsewhere though that the ECCO models are somewhat under powered. Are there any hidden "gotchas" with this filter (i.e. something that needs to be purchased to make it complete)? How long was the hose included with the filter? How far down inside the tank does the outlet elbow extend? I want to know if the output is under the surface of the water or not.

If anyone has used either of these particular models I'd appreciate their input. I've already decided that whichever filter I buy I am also going to get the Hydor ETH external tank heater to go with it. I know that the FilStar requires the ETH 201 (5/8") while the ECCO uses the ETH 200 (1/2"). Eventually I am going to add a CO2 tank to the aquarium as well.
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Old 08-05-2005, 10:46 AM   #2
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I use an XP2, which just has a little more media space. IMO the biozorb is unnecessary, so skip it and you'll have room for some ceramic rings or similar bio media.

They give you something like 2 picees of hose that are 5' long each.
Inside the tank it uses suction cups.

XP's reprime themeselves after a water change, though I prefer to manually refill mine.

you are correct that the ID of the XP hoses is 5/8" as well.

Eheim is a fine company, but since I do not drive a Cadallic myself, I refuse to buy the 'Cadallic' of canisters for my tanks...and have yet to regret that decision.
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Old 08-05-2005, 01:46 PM   #3
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I forgot to mention that I have found the FilStar XP2 on sale for the same price that I can get the ECCO 2232. Would the XP2 create too much current for a planted 30 gallon tank if I got that instead of the XP1?
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Old 08-05-2005, 04:10 PM   #4
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my personal opinion, is the XP2 is for 55gals and up.
you could make a new spraybar, or modify the one that comes with the XP2, and bore more holes into it, diffusing the flow a great deal to the point it might not be too much for a 30gal. cross currents cancelling each other out and such.
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Old 08-07-2005, 05:08 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input. I'll get the XP1 as I was inclined to do originally. Did you install the venturi valve? Does it really serve any purpose?
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Old 08-07-2005, 06:38 AM   #6
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It serves to put air bubbles in the tank like a airstone.. If that is a desired effect (ie. no CO2 injection) then go ahead and install it. :P
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Old 08-07-2005, 07:16 AM   #7
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Good choice going with the xp1, I have had the xp1 on my 30 gallon for a couple years now--you will not be let down.

Make sure you don't spend more than $65 for it though.
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Old 08-07-2005, 05:24 PM   #8
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I found the XP1 on sale for $52.49 at www.drsfostersmith.com. They also have the Hydor ETH 201 external tank heater (200W, 5/8") on sale for only $37.49.
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Old 08-21-2005, 03:15 AM   #9
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I got my Filstar xP1 filter and ETH 201 heater Friday and set them up that night. I really like the xP1 which replaced the Penguin BIO-Wheel 330 that was previously used. I took the Matrix biological media from the Penguin and put it in the Filstar's media basket in place of the Bio-Chem Zorb that came with the filter.

I really like the canister filter (this is my first) and was impressed with the ease of setup and the various output options (I used the spray bar just under the water's surface). The tank is so much quieter now without any of the splashing normally associated with HOB filters. The hardest part of the setup was getting a new glass top because the one I had broke.

The temperature is high enough that I don't have any impression of how the new heater works but I do like the fact that the only hardware going into my tank are the input and output for the filter and the CO2 line.
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