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Old 03-25-2013, 08:26 PM   #16
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I planned to keep running the HOB filters .. maybe. One HOB is planted with filter pads, the other is stuffed with sponges, bio-media in addition to the filter pads. Would have to see how I like a canister and how it performs but really intended to have it for additional filtration.

Not sure the best way to setup a canister if I'm still using the HOBs. I planned to put the spraybar & maybe return in the back middle with the HOBs toward the sides.

I was ready to pull the trigger on the Xp3/L until I saw this thread. The problem is the now that API doesn't include some of the accessories like they used it limits my options setting up. Not to mention the value is not there anymore. If I have to buy (or make) the additional items I might as well go with another brand that already includes the items.

I would go with the Eheim Classic 2217 but not sure I like the fact they it doesn't have media trays. Sounds like a PITA to clean the bottom filter and in my tank the filter pads get muddy if the substrate gets stirred up to much. Which is probably going to happen a lot now that my bluegill started his nest building. That's why I like my HOBs .. they're quick and easy to clean the filter pads.

I dunno what I'll do now .. may try a SunSun or Aquatop.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:21 PM   #17
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The spraybar issue is why i passed on the filstar canister filter and went with a sunsun off of [Ebay Link Removed] I get crazy flow(500+ gph advertised) and four media baskets for $115 dollars. No problems and i love it. Just know it is an aquatop sold cheaper.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:30 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by meppitech View Post
The spraybar issue is why i passed on the filstar canister filter and went with a sunsun off of [Ebay Link Removed] I get crazy flow(500+ gph advertised) and four media baskets for $115 dollars. No problems and i love it. Just know it is an aquatop sold cheaper.
Is it really a SunSun or other no name knockoff. SunSun is supposed to pretty good like the Aquatops. I'm not real sure which came out first the SunSun or Aquatop.

Do you have the item number?

I can get the SunSun HW304B -$119.99 from American Aquarium Products that has some mods on it to make it better so they say. Also, comes with volcanic rock they throw in for free. But the shipping cost almost kills the deal.

EDIT: did you buy via auction bid?

Last edited by sowNreap; 03-25-2013 at 09:39 PM.. Reason: addl ?
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:38 PM   #19
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I would try setting it up with included accessories as I described earlier. On the xp3 I advise running all foam in the lower basket. It comes with 2 already but Id say put two more in addition. Then in the center run your biomedia. The bio media they give you is a joke. Put your established biomedia from your hob filter in there and add more to it if needed. Top tray put some filter floss in there for fine filtration. If you use chemical filtration like carbon or purigen you can put that up on top as well.

This will be a big improvement over the two hop filters you are currently running. If you dose Co2 this will be a huge improvement.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:11 PM   #20
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My HOB's (and sponge filters) seem to do a decent good job but they are getting old and not sure how much longer they'll last. I got them used with my tank.

I just have a low light, low tech tank so no Co2. I keep the water level really high so the outflow skims across the surface rather than splashing. I get more splashing from the sponge filters.

Appreciate your help. Not sure if the quality of the Rena's will suffer now that they are API. They've done some things already to cut cost, so they worries me. They may not be made as good as they used to. With so many choices not sure which is the best way to go now.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:48 AM   #21
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Good luck with whatever you choose

I have to say that I am very pleased with the Rena still. It was just a shock to me when I opened the box. I thought it was "missing parts." Well it was ,but not really I guess.

This is great filter for a planted tank. I don't know about the Sun Sun. I think you take your chances with an off brand. Yeah it has more out of the box, but I would wonder about what you do when a part goes bad...and this happens with all filters-- even the best of them. At least the rena is tried and true for many years so you can't go wrong and you can get all the parts easily.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:29 AM   #22
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I know you said how you have yours setup but let me ask you this. In my setup with the 2 HOBs on the back how would you position the input/output on the tank with that new "gooseneck" thing. I could put 1 HOB on the end but not the other .. it would have to stay on back or remove one altogether.

Is the Eheim jet nozzle you're using the same or similar to the Rena/API gooseneck nozzle. Did you try the Rena gooseneck to notice a difference between it and your Eheim nozzle? Just trying to figure out whether that gooseneck is going to suit my needs or if I'll have to spend more money buying parts to do what I need.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:24 AM   #23
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I purchased a sunsun 304Boff off of [Ebay Link Removed] Started out at $99 but had to bid a little. I got it for $116 shipped. When it arrived it was an aquatop. If you want more info pm me.
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:14 AM   #24
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I know you said how you have yours setup but let me ask you this. In my setup with the 2 HOBs on the back how would you position the input/output on the tank with that new "gooseneck" thing. I could put 1 HOB on the end but not the other .. it would have to stay on back or remove one altogether.

Is the Eheim jet nozzle you're using the same or similar to the Rena/API gooseneck nozzle. Did you try the Rena gooseneck to notice a difference between it and your Eheim nozzle? Just trying to figure out whether that gooseneck is going to suit my needs or if I'll have to spend more money buying parts to do what I need.
You misunderstood or I didn't explain clearly enough. I am using the Eheim intake -just because it is longer for my 24 inch deep tank... with the included jet nozzle from the Rena filter. Both are on the left side of the tank (or right no matter) with the output blowing along the length of the tank. I found the velocity of the output too much for my tank. It was so powerful that all my fish were getting blown to one side!! Think of the stream setting on a garden hose as opposed to just an open end. (same flow, but less force) You can modify the output so it's not as forceful if you need. I just used a dremmel tool to open it up quite a bit. I'd say try the supplied stuff to see if it works for you and then go from there if you don't think it's good enough. As far as the HOB I wouldnt bother with them once you get the filter set up. Just transfer your established bio media to the new filter to jump start it.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:12 AM   #25
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Yes I did misunderstand, sorry. That definitely makes me feel better about the output. I've heard so much good about them I'd really like to go with the Rena/API but the lack of spraybar really concerned me. You've helped put my mind at ease.

Sorry for being a pest about this but just trying to make the right decision. And since BigAl's has it on sale right now (+10% off code) trying to figure it out quick.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:26 AM   #26
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I purchased a sunsun 304Boff off of [Ebay Link Removed] Started out at $99 but had to bid a little. I got it for $116 shipped. When it arrived it was an aquatop. If you want more info pm me.
Ok. Thanks for the info. I didn't see any that was Buy It Now is why I asked.

I'd probably just go with the American Aquarium Products SunSun in that case. If I decide to go that route.

Haven't quite made up my mind yet but leaning toward the Rena.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:00 AM   #27
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If you do go with Rena you can always buy a spraybar(about $10), make your own or buy 'accessory kit' ($30) that includes both intake and spraybar plumbing.

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Old 03-27-2013, 07:40 AM   #28
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If you do go with Rena you can always buy a spraybar(about $10), make your own or buy 'accessory kit' ($30) that includes both intake and spraybar plumbing.

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Yeah .. I'd probably try to make my own. Planetrena has the spraybar but it's $29 just for the spraybar!! And says it doesn't fit the new API filters .. you either need to buy the old accessory kit or the parts needed to make it work. Problem is the kit is discontinued, out of stock, it's $60, AND I can't find it for sale anywhere. The new API accessory kit only includes the in/out tubes and clamps, etc .. as seen here: http://www.planetrenadirect.com/prod...ries-Tray.html. That's what irritated me so much about the change. At least make the old kit available for purchase.

Figure it should be fairly easy to make a spraybar if needed. Just time consuming and hate to have to do that with a new filter.

EDIT: makes me feel bad to know that ThatPetPlace used to sell the old accessory tray for $25.50. Now you can't even buy the spray bar for that amount. Maybe if I google long enough I can find one in stock somewhere.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:32 AM   #29
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If they started charging THAT much for a simple part maybe you should consider another brand: just think what a replacement impeller or gasket would cost you ...

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Old 03-27-2013, 04:29 PM   #30
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When I bought my new Rena/API Xp3 I was surprised by not having the spray bar as well since in the older version I have had the spray bar. Right now I'm working with the stock tube they gave.
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