Here is my first review of the Rena Filstar XP2 canister filter. Before purchasing this canister I was using the Eheim 2213 Classic. While I really liked the Eheim 2213, I was interested in something with more flow (GPH) and more media capacity.
In my search for this I looked very seriously as the Eheim Professional and the Eheim Professional II series of filters. Both of these were quite a bit more expensive than the Filstar and I could not find any reason (besides the Eheim name) that made them any better of a filter.
With that said, let me give you my first impression of the Filstar XP2. Before we get into details let me say I will follow up this review in the coming weeks as the filter is put to good use.
Opening the box reveals what many refer to as the ďLego setĒ that is included with the Filstar series of canister filters. Every possible piece of pipe you need to make a spray bar type outlet, a power head type output are included as well as flow regulators, extension pipes, suction cups, ect. If you canít find what you need to make a customized solution for your tank in this ďLego setĒ there is something wrong. Itís all here.
The clear/frosted hose/tubing thatís included with the Filstar is 5/8Ē and very good quality. I was very impressed. It was hard to kink yet flexible enough to maneuver.
The instructions that come with the Filstar series are very easy to understand and follow. There is a step by step setup of the canister including a list of all parts and what they are used for. Iíve heard other people say they find the documentation lacking. Compared to the documentation I got with my Eheim Classic itís excellent, but could still use some minor improvement.
Priming the filter was easy, though time consuming. It took me about 15 minutes but I was being very careful as to not spill water all over my living room floor. To prime all you do is pour water down the inlet house with the funnel Rena includes. Easier to prime than the Eheim Classic series and you donít have to suck fish water!
The noise levelÖ Iím sure many of you are waiting to hear what I am going to say here. Iím going to be very honestÖ itís no Eheim. (Sorry Filstar Pimps!) Itís by no means loud but I can hear it running, which I expected. Even when I close the glass door on my stand I know its running. Again, itís by no means loud though. When the fans are on in my CSL power compact they make more noise then the Filstar. Itís not something I have a problem with as I donít have the tank setup in my bedroom, and to be honest even if I did I donít think it would bother me.
The 2 media baskets that are included with the XP2 (1 media basket in the XP1, 3 media baskets in the XP3) and easy to remove and fill with media. The only thing I added was the ceramic rings. 2 types of sponges fill the first basket; ceramic rings and a floss sponge are in my second basket. A carbon pack (included in the box) was supposed to go in the second basket but I opted to use the ceramic rings in its place. Cleaning the filter should be extremely easy since the Filstar has a double disconnect value built into the canister.
I canít comment on the filters effectiveness or performance at this time since Iíve only had it running for a day. I will follow up this review later which this information.
I would highly recommend the Filstar series to others with no hesitation. Its ease of use, included accessories, and price make this filter a very attractive offering in the somewhat crowed market of aquarium canister filters. Rena has been in the aquarium business since the 1950ís and I believe itís a solid piece of equipment that will last, though time will tell.
AJ ■ Oceanic 30G Cube ■ Filstar XP2 ■ CSL Power Compact with Moon ■ Hagen CO2