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Old 04-01-2005, 08:42 AM   #1
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Which of these canister filters are better?

Hey all,
Planning on buying a canister filter this weekend for my 29 gallon. Just wondering what you all thought which of these 2 would be better, and why? Please keep in my reliability, media capacity, etc.

I'm debating on:

Rena Filstar xp2/xp3

or

Fluval 304/404

Which is better and why?

TIA
-Stewie
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Old 04-01-2005, 08:50 AM   #2
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Well, lots of people use the Fluval's, but i've always liked the XP series, they seem to be quieter and well more effective, I think they also filter more GPH, not sure though, might have to check on google and post back.

Have fun
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:13 AM   #3
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I have a review of the 304 in the review section. I used to like Fluvals a lot. Until the last one I had lasted a little over a year. Too expensive for that short of a life. NOt sure if it's true, but when I went to LFS to get a new canister, they told me they hear my story a lot. Currently using Ecco without a problem. If that's an option.
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:20 AM   #4
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I use an xp1, and have been very pleased with it.
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:48 AM   #5
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OK thanks for the info guys.. Can anyone tell me of the fluval/filstar users how the media in the canister works out for them? It appears as tho the fluvals have a better choice for media. I'm still tossed up on it right now.. someone write something thats going to make me choose! lol
TIA
-Stewie
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:22 AM   #6
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well, i f i am not mistaken, the filter medias in both can be interchanged quite easily. Personally, i have seen a fluval work and it was louder and i didn't think it did that great of a job. Now, i actually spend the cash on an eheim canister filter and oh my goodness what a difference. The eheims may be a lesser GPH then others, but that is easily made up by the cleaning they do on the water. easy to clean and the newer models come with lots of nice toys on them.

But then again, that is all just my opinion
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:22 AM   #7
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I work at a LFS and we sell both types of filters there. All of my customers tell me how much they love their Fluvals. Most LFS carry lots of different media (carbon, ammonia reducer, etc.) but I haven't seen much media for the XPs on our shelves. I hope some of this helped!
Good Luck with your choice.
PS, what type of fish do you have in your 30? :P
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Old 04-01-2005, 11:16 AM   #8
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I have an XP3 on my 70 and so far its great. Its fairly quiet and very easy to get going. There are separate media baskets that make it simple to change/clean the media. I was also considering a Fluval 404.....upon doing my research, I read quite a bit about potential by-pass issues with the way the media baskets were configured.....that swayed me to the XP3.

Alan
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Old 04-01-2005, 12:30 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies guys. I have 8 corys, 3 albino bn plecs (bout 2 inches) 7 glo light tetras, a neon tetra, and 2 head/tail light tetras. I used to have just 1 cory, 3 plecs, 2 head/tail lights but i picked up some fish from a girl that wanted to get rid of them. I know its over stocked, but the nitrates/ammonia/nitrites are fine.

Its still up in the air as to which kind i'm going to go with. I'm looking at a few things, but not noise. I have 4 comps, 29 gal filter, 10 gal filter and a UGF in my room, so noise is not an issue. What i'm looking for here is reliability, as well as how well the media works with each one. I'm still planning on running my HOB filter in the tank for extra cleaning purposes, but i do need better bio filtration. I'm leaning towards the fluval even tho most ppl who have replied liked the xp's. There are pros and cons about each, so until i get to the LFS to check each of them out, I guess its still a toss up. If anyone has any other experiences/things to say, state them now!
I'm planning on going to get one tomorrow afternoon.
Thanks
-Stewie
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Old 04-01-2005, 02:08 PM   #10
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Media is not really an issue when it comes to filters. They are empty boxes with motors, and the media is completely up to you. The filters have baskets so you can put in there what you want. I use Eheim ehfisubstrat pro in several of my filters, not just in the Eheims, so mixing and matching is not a problem. The XPs come with reusable sponges and usually ceramic noodles, also reusable, and I use loose filter floss that comes in a bag, and that gets changed regularly.

I like the XP series because I think they are marvelous filters for a very reasonable price, and otherwise I have only Eheims. The XP's have very easy to clean media baskets, so maintenance is pretty simple. If you did go with the Filstar series then I think an XP1 would be plenty.
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Old 04-01-2005, 02:21 PM   #11
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My vote ois with the Rena Filstar....I used to like Fluvals (more back in the earlier days of the 03 series), but the Filstars really shine and are getting rave reviews from just about everybody.
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Old 04-01-2005, 07:28 PM   #12
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Well, I voted for fluvals with my dollars, I have three of them. The fluval 404 has four baskets to put whatever youwant in. Fluval ceramic rings, floss, charcoal, or even another manufacturers media. If it fits in the basket , you can use it.

I like the fluval better than the magnum. I had one of each, and when I wanted to buy new filters, I knew i liked the fluvals a lot better than the magnum so bought 3 fluvals. I can't comment on the other filters for direct comparison. I suppose I should have bought some other brands when I was buying three to try them out, but I wanted to economize on parts and supplies by having three of the same filters.
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Old 04-01-2005, 08:22 PM   #13
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Here's a pic of my newly installed Fluval 404:



It is amazing and I'm very pleased with it!
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Old 04-01-2005, 08:47 PM   #14
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again i will vote for the eheim. It is relieable, does an AWESOME cleaning job. The media works really well for them and the media can be interchanged with most on the market.

But if i had to vote, i would go with a filstar
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Old 04-02-2005, 03:32 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the helpful replies guys. I'm still up in the air, however I won't be getting it tomorrow. I had a trip planned to go to the pgh zoo & aquarium and stop at 2 fish shops, but I see the one places that sells the canisters only carries fluvals, and they are a bit pricey at that. They want $122.99 for a 304 when I can get one from Big Al's for $69.99 + shipping. It says THAT page hasn't been updated since 7/04 so a phone call would tell me.

Some people have mentioned Eheim's. I know they are probably the best filter, but money is a semi - issue here.

I think what i'll do is this:
I"ll order a fluval 304 and a filstar xp2 from Big Al's. My girlfriend needs a better filtration on her 55 gallon, so I"ll tell her its a new/slightly used gift from me. I"ll test them both out, and which ever I like better will be the one I keep.
Thanks again for all the helpful replies.

-Stewie
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Old 04-02-2005, 04:21 AM   #16
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I love my fluval... easy to maintain no probs at all.
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Old 04-02-2005, 04:58 AM   #17
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Filstar all the way :P
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Old 04-02-2005, 11:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
They want $122.99 for a 304 when I can get one from Big Al's for $69.99 + shipping.
Oh my, I can't believe I answered a thread about canister filters and forgot to give you that advice! I payed $100 for my xp1 at a lfs, and you could imagine my dismay when I found them online for $65! That was a turning point in my life , now all my shopping is done online first, brick and morter second.
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Old 04-02-2005, 12:09 PM   #19
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Just for the record...I paid $90 for the Fluval via BigAlsonline. My lfs wanted...hold on to your hats $180.00!!! You can't get any better than that.
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Old 04-02-2005, 12:15 PM   #20
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Yeah, I figured my thread would bring replies of mixed thoughts for the filters. I couldn't believe its almost double the price at the lfs. I'm not too sure how much shipping will be, but as always, there are other things i need as well. If i'm not mistaken the filstar has a spray bar while the fluval has a pipe outlet like in your pic jchillin. I think i'd like the spray bar better, but i guess time will tell.

-Stewie
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