Canister Filter Media - Rena Filstar XP3

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an interest in aquariums or fish keeping!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Aquarium Advice Freak
Jan 27, 2007
Marietta, GA
I want to go ahead and order all the media/filtering materials for the whole year all at once.

I just set up my XP3 about a week ago on my 55 Gallon and my tank looks great. Currently it is only running thru the mechanical filtration pads. I need to purchase some biological filtration materials as well get enough pads to last me for the whole year.

Lets start with the biological filtration. I have two choice, the Bio-stars or the Ceramic Rings. Which is better? SHould i opt for both since i have so many free compartments as i wont be using chemical filtration (i.e. Bio-Chem Zorb)? How much of each or both do i need? The rings are sold by the liter and the stars are sold in qty's of 20.

Next is the mechanical filtering. How many of each of the pads (coarse, Fine, Micro, and Progressive-Micro) will i need to last a year?

Also i heard some people ue Filter Floss in the extra space. How much of this would i need? it is sold in 7oz increments.


I don't like the bio-stars. I use ceramic rings and bio balls, although I like the ceramic rings better because they sink. Theory is that ceramic rings break down over time, but after 6 months nearly with mine I've seen no degradation just yet. You don't need both necessarily, only 1 or the other. My vote is for the fluval ceramic rings. I run a lot of them, because that provides me with extra seed material readily available for friends or for a QT tank if I need a quick setup.

Mechanical, I run 20s then a 30 in the bottom basket, then a micro and filter floss in the very top. So far, I've only replaced the micro pad about every other month or 3, and the floss about monthly. A 7oz bag of floss has lasted me about 6 months, but I feed it to other tanks as well.

I also keep media for an AC50 HOB in there since there's so much room, to keep that seeded as well.
No need to order the filter floss. Just go to Walmart and pickup some Quilter's Polyester batting. Much cheaper and you get more of it.

I also use the ceramic rings.
I have 2 xP3's on a 125 USG and in 1.5 years I have not replaced a filter pad. The bottom tray has 2 course and 2 fine pads. I alternate cleaning the media by filter and give it a real good cleaning. I use the ceramic bio media in half the middle try and then fill it with floss. The top try is solely floss. The Walmart floss works fine, just check to make sure it has not been treated for mildew etc. I clean the filters every other month and have quite clear water in a heavily planted and well occupied tank.
Top Bottom