Rena Filstar XP series Review - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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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
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 06:04 PM
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One little hint here. Assemble the filter, then fill it though the holes where the hoses attach. Takes about 2 minutes that way. I just treat some water put a funnel in the hole and pour. Then attach the hoses let it sit for a minute or two and go. What you don't want to do is fill the cannister and then try and attach the pump unit. The baskets will float up, become mis-aligned and may cause you to break off a latch as you force them closed.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 07:04 PM
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Nice review AJ, I agree with everything you said (including the noise). This is one important difference to the apparently silent Eheims.

I haven't had the problem of misaligning baskets, perhaps because the noodles/lava rock I am using weight them down. Plus you can see the baskets through the canister housing. Just need to be careful when putting on the motor housing, if it doesn't seem to fit... something isn't sitting right.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 08:31 PM
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Nice review, this is my first canister so far I am happy with it. I have had a lot of questions, mostly because I am new to using canisters. I would agree about the noise, but it in my living room as well so it not that bad.

AJ did you get any type of whistle sound from the spray bar? Just wondering because I had to make the spray bar holes larger to resolve that problem. Also if you put your hand on the intake do you feel much Suction? I don't with mine, just wondering because I know if I do that with my HOB filter I can feel it, though i know it working because i see waste from the tank going into the filstar intake, plus it pumping water out of the spray bar.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Broken, no I did not. I've read others having this problem but I did not have any problem. Once it was primmed I waited the 2 minutes according to the manual and plugged it in. No whistle.

AJ ■ Oceanic 30G Cube ■ Filstar XP2 ■ CSL Power Compact with Moon ■ Hagen CO2
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 10:07 PM
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I have the whistling with my XP1 and not with my XP2. This only happens when I run at 100% flow. Someone suggested drilling some more holes in the spray bar...i'll have to try then soon
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-01-2004, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Someone suggested drilling some more holes in the spray bar
Though I did not have the whistle, I added another set of holes in my sparbar this weekend to help increase water circulation. I just drilled more holes under the orignal holes and I'm very happy with the results. Much better water flow!

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2004, 03:56 AM
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It took you 15 minutes to prime? Serisouly, you must have done something wrong! I set my XP2 up tonight (and I have never touched a canaster filter before). It took me all of 2 minutes and 30 seconds to prme it, and that includes waiting the 2 minutes specified. I dumped in probably 3/4 cup of water, put the cap on, and let it rip!

I also disagree with the noise level. When I first started it, it was louder than I expected. But after about an hour (basically getting all the air worked out of the system) i nocited that the noise was significantly lower. Sitting right next to the aquarium, one barely can hear it.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2004, 04:02 AM Thread Starter
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I dumped in probably 3/4 cup of water, put the cap on, and let it rip!
Sorry but you did not prime it correct. 3/4 cup of water would not fill the canister, unless you filled it before hand?

I know it was not primed correct if you said it took an hour to get the air out of it.

Not work for word but... Reading the manual tells you to continue filling the hose until the water reachs the cap, then replace the cap, wait 2 minutes and power up.

AJ ■ Oceanic 30G Cube ■ Filstar XP2 ■ CSL Power Compact with Moon ■ Hagen CO2
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2004, 01:04 PM
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I would have to say mine took about 5 mins to prime, which is waiting them 2 mins it says, and the canister itself fill up. As for it being loud, lets just say I am glad I don't have an open stand other wise it would be really loud. When I stand in front of the tank I can hear it very clear.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2004, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ_Wave
Quote:
I dumped in probably 3/4 cup of water, put the cap on, and let it rip!
Sorry but you did not prime it correct. 3/4 cup of water would not fill the canister, unless you filled it before hand?
AJ,
No offence, but I do believe you primed the system wrong. You don't have to fill the canister yourself, the priming does that for you! Read the directions again. What you do is you leave the hose disconnect handle in the UP position. You unscrew the cap from the top of the inlet side, and use the funnel to fill the tube, and it only takes about a 3/4 cup of water. Then you screw the cap back on, and then push down on the disconnect handle. What happens is the water in the tube is fed downward by gravity, and because of that it starts pulling in the water from the aquarium via suction. It's just like sucking water through a tube from a bucket when filling your aquarium. The canister fills itself pushing out all the air. The reason they tell you to wait the two minutes is to make sure all the air has been pushed out. If you filled the canuister manually, then you really don't need to wait the two minutes. At that point you fill the tube and turn the system on.

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2004, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
No offence, but I do believe you primed the system wrong.
None taken and you could be correct. It was 1 in the morning when I did this. I'll have to re-read the manual... what you said makes sense.

AJ ■ Oceanic 30G Cube ■ Filstar XP2 ■ CSL Power Compact with Moon ■ Hagen CO2
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-02-2004, 09:21 PM
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Ok, I own a Filstar Xp2. Priming doesn't take more than a couple mins, as you just fill the intake hose. Once you lock the connector down, it siphons from the intake and fills the cannister fully. This is why you wait 2 mins.

As for the noise level, i've never owned an Eheim, but I can tell you the XP2 isn't very noisy. All the people complaining about it have obviously never had an air pump. My 2 output rena air pump is easily 5 times louder than the Xp2. Hell, my AC300 "waterfall" outlet is noisier than the XP2.

(FYI - I'm a perfectionist, and LOVE my filstar. If i was a millionaire, I'd buy Eheims)

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-03-2004, 03:28 AM
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I have a Rena 400 and and the xp 3 is louder than it. I have heard both sides of this, several reviews I have read say it very loud other say it does not make a sound. Since mine is only a few weeks old I called the place where I purchased it online today and they are going to send me a replacement so I will keep you posted if the new one is any better. I think it been great so far, but from the sounds of it maybe something is wrong with mine.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 11:44 PM
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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.
I have an XP3 that came with my 380 litre Rena aquarium. It was really noisy to start with , possibly an air bubble, but has since stteld and is quiet enough. I mean you can hear it running, but its not a nuisence.
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