Fluval 404 vs Rena Filstar XP2

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Aquarium Advice FINatic
Apr 2, 2005
I'm currently planning on setting up a 75 gallon freshwater community tank. It will consist mainly of peaceful to semi-aggressive (as some are labeled) fish with a Sailfin Pleco. I'm not planning on overstocking or having live plants or anything like that. I'll be putting in normal gravel with some rock and/or slate decorations, also probably some terra cotta pots.

I'm looking at two different canister filters, but I'm unsure of which is better and easier to maintain. I don't really mind having to set time aside to clean the filter, but at the same time I honestly have no clue how to clean a canister filter yet (I'll be reading much more on this subject).

With that said, here are the two filters that I'm currently looking at.

Rena Filstar XP2 and Fluval 404 304

Going by looks alone, I prefer the Filstar. I'd like to get your thoughts and opinions on these filters and which one would be better for my type of setup. Also, how difficult are these things to clean? How much disassembling is there? Any other words of wisdom is welcome!
I've seen demos on Rena filters and other equipment and I tend to like Rena better. Better made and easier to maintain. Worth any extra costs on their products. Have you thought about a small wet/dry or sump type filter? Easier to deal with and the heaters can go in it instead of the tank.
For a 75 gallon I would go with either the XP-3 or 404 the 304/XP-2 wouldn't be enough.On my 80 I run a 404 and a XP-2 but it is moderately planted so the 2 filters give me a little better circulation.
Thanks for the input. The XP3 won't be overkill in a 75 gallon? I don't want to overfilter my tank if it means that something may end up going wrong.

What's the main difference between a Canister Filter and a HOB?
I have an XP3 on my 75G planted. Does a great job, and with using the spraybar, the current is perfect for a planted tank.

The difference is the filter itself isn't visible, and with a cannister, you have much more media choices you can use. I have my XP3 outfitted with sponges, ceramic cylinders, lava granules, media stars, floss, and the fine micro-filter pad.
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