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Aquarium Pharm. Rena Filstar Xp2
Reviews Views Date of last review
8 124551 9/16/2008
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers $80.00 7.1
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Description: I never personally done a review of anything so bare with me.

I got my Rena Xp2 Filstar yesterday. This is first canister filter I am ever using and after a lot of research I made a decision to go with Rena Xp series of filters. Rena Xp comes with 2 trays. Xp1 comes with 1 tray and Xp3 comes with 3 trays. Here are the specs of Xp2

1.) 300 US GPH (Flow rate, but don’t be fooled by this)
2.) Rated for up to 75 US Gallons aquarium
3.) Canister volume is 1.4 Gallons
4.) Water flow with everything installed is 160 U.S. GPH
5.) Uses 16W of power

It came with everything the filter needed to run smoothly. It came with Foam 20 - (20 ppi - pores per inch) and Foam 30 - (30 ppi - pores per inch) that goes in the bottom tray. It also came with Bio-Chem Zorb which is for chemical filtration (useless in my opinion) and it went into my cabinet of aquarium supplies. Lastly it came with Micro-Filtration Pad that is supposed to polish the water and goes on the top. I’ll base my points out of 5….5 being the best and 1 being the worst.

So onto installation of Rena Xp.

It came with a manual with 5 different languages on how to install the Xp2. I followed the direction but had to jump back and forth with the manual on assembling the inlet pipe and outlet pipe assembly. For the outlet, you have 2 options, either go with the Spray bar option (went with this) or Power Jet nozzle. There’s an outflow regulator on the spray you can install to regulate the outflow. There’s one more option you can install on Xp series and it’s called Venturi Kit. The manual doesn’t say what it does and how to install it. You have to go online and look up how to install Venturi Kit at www.aquariumpharm.com

They also had a big label on the parts of the Xp2 kit to call AP if don’t know how to install and don’t return the product to the store.

Score – 3/5

They should really work on the Manual and tell us what is up with the Venturi kit. Oh yea, there online manual is a lot more confusing.

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Built of Xp 2.

I say the parts are of very high quality and the construction looks very sturdy.


Score 5/5
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Priming filter


I really like the self priming feature. To prime the filter, you raise the Quick Disconnect valve on the filter, open the Inlet cap, put the funnel in the inlet pipe tube, and fill it with water until the Inlet Pipe is full of water. Remove the funnel, close the Inlet valve, and then close the Quick Disconnect valve and you’re done. The filter will self prime and then you plug in the power cord.

Score 5/5

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Maintenance

To check out how easy it is to clean the filter, I did the maintenance part of it so I can learn it. Plus I wanted to put Bio Max media I had sitting in my cabinet for Biological filtering. To clean the filter, unplug the filter…raise the Quick Disconnect Valve and take it out of the filter. Take the filter to the sink or wherever, clean it, bring it back connect the Quick Disconnect Valve, and the filter automatically self prime. Plug in the power cord and you’re good to go.


Score 5/5

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Noise Factor

While I was researching the internet, I heard many different opinions on how loud or how silent it is. My filter is really silent. I mean really silent. I have put my head near the filter to listen to the motor if it’s running or not. Did I say it was silent??

Score 5/5

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Overall I am very pleased with the filter, its running in conjunction with my AquaClear 200 on my 30 gallon tank. I haven’t seen my water that clear ever, maybe its just running 2 filters together or the Micro-pad that comes with Rena Xp really work .

Why did I buy it? Because it was really good deal and also because I plan on getting a bigger tank (at least 125 gallon in near future) I probably have to buy one more filter then and I’ll look no further then Rena Filstar series of filters.

For the money I paid for it, it was a steal $77 tax = ~ $84 shipped

I don’t know how it compares to Ehiem series or Fluval 03 or 04 series. All I can say is that I probably won’t ever try Ehiem or Fluval unless they’re dirt cheap. IMO, from what I have read online, Rena is very comparable to Ehiem filters.

Bottom Line: Kick *ss product
Keywords: My Rena Xp2 Review
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Posts: 7
Registered: January 2004
Location: Virginia



Author
nfeagle5
Aquarium Advice Regular

Registered: September 2004
Location: Niagara falls, USA
Posts: 64
Review Date: 10/1/2004 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Quiet, the spraybar
Cons: Not up to the task of cleaning a 37gal all by itself.

This is a xP1 not the xP2.
The filter has been in use for about 6 or 7 weeks now.
Wasnt to hard to setup. The pictures helped more than the text did. I have seen worse manuals.
Over time the tank water was getting dirtier and dirtier. Last week I put the quickfilter/powerhead in the tank to help out. Water is back to crystal clear now. The filter works but just isnt keeping up with a 37 gal. The xP2 would be a better choice even thou the xP1 is rated at up to 45 gal. I would say the xP1 is fine for a 20 or 25 gal tank and maybe a 30 if it is kept understocked.
Noise.
The filter did make a bit of noise the first few weeks. As time passed it has gotten quieter. I dont even notice it now. Guess I will call it break-in time.
Cleaning.
Did the first filter cleaning after 3 weeks just to see how it looked. Could have gone another week or 2 so this time that is what I'm doing. The floss I put in trapped more stuff than the foam did. I like a crystal clear tank. Floss is the best for that as it catches smaller stuff that most foam would let pass thru. No problems at all priming. Easy as pie.
The spray bar is great. I love it.
Rena over states how big a tank its filters can do but so does most other filter makers. It is my fault for not going up one size to be sure. I would buy another Filstar. Thumbs up.

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20 Gallon
1 Yellow Lab

55Gallon
1 Pleco
2 Algae Eaters
1 Red Tailed Shark
1 Albino Red Tailed Shark
1 White Tailed Shark
1 Gold Gourami
3 Sunset Gourami's
1 Cory Cat
6 Tiger Barbs
2 Green Tiger Barbs
1 Serpae Tetra
2 Cherry Barbs
RIP Gino the Gold Gourami
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maporsche
Aquarium Advice Regular

Registered: August 2005
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 70
Review Date: 2/27/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Good cleaning (arn't most?), easy setup
Cons: LOUD LOUD LOUD

You can hear the thing all over the house and the dealer (now) says he has heard this a number of times and is giving me credit towards the Fluval (Very quiet).
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jjt305
Aquarium Advice Newbie

Registered: October 2004
Location: Pennysylvania
Posts: 1
Review Date: 3/29/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: people ask how do I get the waer so clear. quieted down after breakin
Cons: color of parts inside the tank, a littly noisy at first

When I first got it I was disapointed with the noise as it is at the foot of my bed. After a few short weeks break in time, it became much quieter. It does a good job of polishing the tank if you stick some floss/fiber in there. The intake is an ugly aqua green. It is pretty easy to clean out, convienient lift out trays. To fully prime it, I usually let it fill by itself, then turn it on, then open one latch to let all of the air out and then let it rip.

I like this filter.-on a 60g
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LurLchosyhorn
Aquarium Advice Newbie

Registered: September 2007
Review Date: 7/18/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Setup, media options, spraybar or nozzle, quality material
Cons: Lower than expected flow

XP2 on a 55 here... Unit is Quiet, easy to setup, lots of options. Disapointed with flow, doesn't seem to keep up, with heavy debris in the water for example if you disturbed some dirty gravel, and the tank becomes full of gunk... Rarely needs maintenance, and has not come close to clogging like my old HOB's. I think the XP2 would be much more effective in a 30-45 gallon tank. Wish I had an XP3 after the fact.
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LurLchosyhorn
Aquarium Advice Newbie

Registered: September 2007
Review Date: 7/18/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Setup, media options, spraybar or nozzle, quality material
Cons: Lower than expected flow

XP2 on a 55 here... Unit is Quiet, easy to setup, lots of options. Disapointed with flow, doesn't seem to keep up, with heavy debris in the water for example if you disturbed some dirty gravel, and the tank becomes full of gunk... Rarely needs maintenance, and has not come close to clogging like my old HOB's. I think the XP2 would be much more effective in a 30-45 gallon tank. Wish I had an XP3 after the fact.
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LurLchosyhorn
Aquarium Advice Newbie

Registered: September 2007
Review Date: 7/18/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Setup, media options, spraybar or nozzle, quality material
Cons: Lower than expected flow

XP2 on a 55 here... Unit is Quiet, easy to setup, lots of options. Disapointed with flow, doesn't seem to keep up, with heavy debris in the water for example if you disturbed some dirty gravel, and the tank becomes full of gunk... Rarely needs maintenance, and has not come close to clogging like my old HOB's. I think the XP2 would be much more effective in a 30-45 gallon tank. Wish I had an XP3 after the fact.
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black hills tj
Aquarium Advice Addict

Registered: April 2007
Location: black hills, south dakota
Posts: 2373
Review Date: 9/13/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $80.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: simple setup, very quiet, price, looks cool
Cons: none

This is my first canister filter and i couldn't be more pleased with the performance. The xp2 is easy to setup with clear, easy to follow instructions. I have this canister on a 55 gallon community tank and it keeps the water crystal clear and the substrate free of settled gunk. I highly suggest using the optional spraybar as it provides excellent surface agitation. The media baskets are large enough to fit a considerable amount of your choice of media. I can not hear this filter running at all! The only indication it's on is the steady agitation of the surface water. On top of the xp2's exceptional performance is the cool factor it definately possesses. It has a unique look without being gaudy or too flashy. I will for sure be putting Rena canister filters on all my future tanks!

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<.^.>Mike<.^.>

http://www.bhtj.net
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Ruadh
Aquarium Advice Activist

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 188
Review Date: 9/16/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros: Easy to install, easy to prime, quiet
Cons: None that I can come up with.

I had a Cascade 1500 on my 175 gal. FW tank and it gradually lost volume for some unknown reason. I cleaned it, cleaned to lines, no joy.

I went to Big Al's here in Edmonton and got two of the biggest Rena's (can't remember the number) to replace the one big Cascade. Rena doesn't have one rated for a tank this big, which suited me just fine. This way if one goes down or is being cleaned, there's still the other.

I agree wholeheartedly with everything that FMZ as to say.
This is a great filter.

The reason that I write all this is because there are a couple of reviews that complained about noise.
I did have a problem with noise and the pump not working right which that I think was actually my own fault.

After a couple of days running, the pump would lose prim and make a heck of a racket. I would go through all the priming steps, take the top off and make sure the tank was full and put it all back together. It would be good for a couple of days and happen again. Then today, it wouldn't restart at all. I took the lid off and emptied all the water out so I could start from scratch. It was then that I discovered that the impeller cover had come loose. The pump won't work at all if this cover is not latched. Problem solved! She fired right up!

Now I have to admit that I didn't check to see if the pump cover was seated properly when I first installed the filter and it must have been just a little loose and worked it's way off.

Just thought I'd share this with you all so if your's makes a bunch of noise you can look at the pump cover first instead of sharing my frustrations.

Enjoy your tanks

Rick
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