Rene filstar xp2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2010, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Rene filstar xp2

Can anybody help me please? i have just bought a 200 liter tank which came with a filstar xp2. I am setting up a marine tank which i bought the salt water from the shop. I have fitted the filter and primed it like it says. After 8 days the water does not seem to be filtering as the glass is starting to go brown and i can see waste passing about 1 cm from the inlet valve without it being sucked up. I have looked t the trouble shooting section and i have followed everything to the book.I WAS JUST GOING TO PUT IT DOWN TO BEING A BAD FILTER BUT AFTER READING POSTS ON WEB SITES I DONT THINK THIS CAN BE TRUE. Please could you help as i have lost a clown fish already.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2010, 12:57 PM
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Have you put your hand in front ot the spraybar to feel water movement?
It sounds like it it not primed properly.
When an XP is primed correctly, the canister will fill automatically from the tank when the disconnect handle is engaged.
Did the operating instructions come with the filter? If not, please send me an email at [email protected] and I will scan the section you need.

This website may help you:
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2010, 01:06 PM
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SW systems are a completely different type of system, compared to FW.

Now this post is going to sound a bit like I'm tearing apart someone because they are new to SW systems. This is not the case. I want you to have a great tank, but your doing a lot of things wrong.

The Rena XP2 is an ok filter system, but it is a canister filter. Canister filters in general are less than ideal for SW systems. In addition, I would consider an XP2 to be a bit undersized. Manufacturers tend to be very "optimistic" about how large a tank their equipment can handle.

Canister filters in SW tend to become dirt traps. This is because they usually don't get cleaned often enough. At that point they tend to create a lot of nitrates, which is not wanted in a SW system, and can often lead to massive algae outbreaks. Generally a canister filter in SW should be cleaned weekly.

This doesn't mean you can't use the canister filter, but there are better ways.

Biological filtration in a SW system is best done by using live rock in the tank. The amount of biological activity that can be maintained in a canister filter is limited. You do not mention if your using any live rock or not. Typical amounts for your tank would be about 23 kg to about 34 kg. Yea, this stuff can get expensive. There are alternatives, but that's a whole other subject.

Your tank has been set up only for 8 days. It's far too new to be adding fish or other livestock. While all aquarium systems go through an initial cycle, in SW it's critical. This is most likely why you have seen fish losses. You need to have the tank set up, usually with live rock, introduce some sort of organic matter to decay (most use a single uncooked shrimp purchased from the sea food store), and wait. You'll see ammonia go up, peak and then fall, followed closely by nitrite. When both get back down to 0 the tank is initially cycled. This usually takes 3 to 4 weeks. There is no short cut. Yes, you will need your own test kits.

The brown algae you are seeing is most likely a diatom bloom, and usually will pass quickly. Keep an eye on the tank, because you don't want outbreaks of other unwanted algaes.

Addition things I recommend -

If you don't already have one, get a good quality skimmer. I would recommend something like an AquaC Remora Pro, or similar skimmer. Yea, I know, yet another item to buy. You need not get that skimmer, but use it's price as a guideline as far as how much you'll need to spend. There are a lot of junk skimmers out there, especially on the low end. If your not sure, ask about your intended purchase first.

Get yourself a few good books on state of the art SW reef systems, even if you don't plan a reef system as such. Then read and study them, so you have some idea about what your are doing.

Here are two to start with -

The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert Fenner
The New Marine Aquarium by Michael Paleta <---This book has an especially good section on fish suited to someone starting off in the hobby.

This is information that you can not easily obtain from the net. While it's out there, it's all over the place, and there is a massive volume of information. You need something to get you started.

Join one of the forums devoted to SW systems. I don't usually recommend one forum on another one, but since this is a planted tank forum, and not really involved in SW systems I don't feel bad about doing this. For someone starting out, you might try Reef Sanctuary (offsite link) - They are usually helpful to beginners. Plus you'll get to read all my "erudite posts" Reef Central is the largest forum, and there is a lot of high end information, but it's sometimes noted for being harsh on beginners (offsite link) -

Hopefully, this information will get you started.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2010, 04:10 PM
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I would suggest investing in a sump or a Wet/dry filter as like DaveK said canisters are not ideal for SW and I would also agree that you should look at a Protein skimmer to go in your Wet/Dry or Sump.
You will also need to get a high powered pump to power your system because salt setups need a Lot of flow to stay healthy.

You will find out VERY quickly why a few people here including me went Planted instead of a saltwater tank as the money is never enough. You save up for one thing and you find out there are 10 things that you need to buy to use the piece you are saving up for. And all that's before you get to your livestock which will cost you another pretty penny.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2010, 06:17 PM
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The thing is that we are talking about a tank that is 200l or about 50 US gal. A sump on that size system is ok, but it's not quite a requirement. You could go either way. However use a sump, you would also need to get an external overflow or have the tank drilled for an internal overflow. That gets expensive fast, and drilling the tank would mean tearing the tank down.

Wet/dry filters are also not considered ideal today. Because they are very good at the conversion of ammonia --> nitrite --> nitrate, you tend to get a build up of nitrates in the system. If you have a fish only system with dim light, your not too bad off, but in a reef you get an algae farm.

Generally in SW system you want only a modest flow of water through the filtration system. If your using a sump, you are going to be limited to about 600 to 1200 gph per overflow, depending upon the type overflows in use. To get the extremely high flow rated desired, you usually add pumps such as Hydor Koralia Magnum Circulation Pumps or Tunze streams.

Like any aquarium hobby there are a few vendors that make great stuff but it's extremely expensive. Planted aquarium people have ADA, salt water people have Giesemann and Deltec. I will say the there is a tremendous amount of products for the SW hobby that are good products, but should only be put on a system when you need them and for a specific reason. Yes, it is possible to desire one new toy after another.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2010, 09:32 PM
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My LFS runs sumps on all their SW tanks and a few Wet/Dry's on their 600g display reef along with a sump.

OP, check the impeller and make sure it isn't jammed second thing you need to do is make sure there is no air trapped in there the way I release the air is by undoing one of the clamps holding down the top until I see water streaming out. Rena filters from my experience are good at getting air trapped in them it's a pain
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-01-2010, 05:13 PM
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I have no SW experience but could the brown stuff on the glass be diatoms? Is that common in newly set up SW like it is in FW?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-02-2010, 12:00 AM
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I think you're getting some good advice so far, but you're going to get more input on a forum that has more saltwater hobbyists than on a planted tank (freshwater) forum. TFH also has a saltwater forum, and is a little more "user-friendly" than Reef Central-

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