API NEXX Filter Review - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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API NEXX Filter Review

Hey everyone, just set up my first ĎCanisterí filter. Thought I would give my impressions on it since there isnít a lot about this filter on the net. If you want all the specs and media and what comes in the box, API has the info on their website.

What I like

I really like the concept of what they came up with. The easy disconnect, no priming, fast cleaning really appealed to me. And it works very well. Set up the lines and put the pump in the tank and the outflow, plugged in the pump andÖ nothing happened, I could hear the pump but there was no flow. Then I realized that the canister wasnít even on the base (oops). Set it on and turned the handle to engage it and . GLUG GLUG GLUG. The pump filled up the canister in about 10 seconds and I think it holds about a gallon and a half.

This thing is really quiet, obviously since the pump is in the tank there is no vibration or noise coming from the canister except a small amount as it works all the bubbles out and then you canít even hear it, and my from what I have read that is normal for almost all canister set ups. (donít shoot me if that is wrong)

The pump has plenty of flow. Also, apparently if you upgrade it with a secondary tank the flow gets stronger so you donít have to upgrade pumps.

What I donít like

I am not sure if I would classify this as a true canister filter for two reasons. One, you have the pump right in the tank, and if you are the type of person who wants to see no equipment then this is not the set up for you. Second, there are not a lot of options for media unless you want to do just like a HOB and change out the cleaning pads on a regular basis which really nocks down the cost savings for maintenance when owning a Canister filter. Yes, the filters seem to be well built and are Ďsupposedí to be good for two months, but the replacements were 20 bones for two sets. Thatís 60 bucks a year just for the filters! I might just be cheap though.

Also, their idea of Biomedia is really a joke. You get 10, count them 10 little biostars to get your bacteria growing on, that filled up 2/3rds of ONE canister instert. An extra bag is 15 bucks! But you would have extras and that is a good thing because, if you follow the instructions then you should be throwing out some of those biostars each time you do a filter change and Ďrefreshingí your biomedia. So let me get this straight, Iím supposed to establish a very small biological filter and then throw part of it out so that I can keep filling APIís coffers by buying more and more media. Come on guys! I for one will be making some mesh bags filled with ceramic bio media to Ďfillí the section that I can do bio in.

Another thing. The prefilters do not come with this, they are a separate thing you need to buy but I would probably recommend them if for no other reason to extend the life of the filters.

Long and Short

Overall I am happy with the filter, and I have just set it up so time will tell how it performs and how well the filters do. I think you can customize the set up a little bit but since I just got it I will be letting it do itís thing for the next two months and then open it up and see how everything fared. Except the bio, that will be getting addressed soon along with prefilters. I believe if you didnít care about the charcoal filters than a person could probably fabricate a wrap around filter with filter pad which is what I am thinking. I was also thinking that if a person wanted to really go all out and do some major biological you could probably stuff a large bag in each side of the canister but I donítí know how that would effect flow.

Visually, I donít mind the pump since my background is painted black and it isnít completely in your face, but the pump is large and this is in a twenty tall. I think it would be better in a larger tank with more stuff to hide behind.

I also got this because someday when life slows down a bit I want to set up a larger tank so the fact that, assuming it has some lasting power, I can just add another canister to it (and that one I will hunt down on sale) made this all the more enticing.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 11:13 PM
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Interesting concept.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

Sump Pimp #2

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, about two weeks in and my first cleaning just to see how the basics of what came with the filter are doing.

First up, if you choose this filter make sure that you buy the extra PRE filter elements for this filter or the expensive biochem filters will get pretty dirty pretty fast, especially if you have a high bioload. the good news is that when i cleaned off the filters the materials were not starting to break down yet and seemed quite sturdy still (unlike the hob filters that seemed to get ready to disintegrate after a month).

The prefilters were pretty expensive, 15 bucks for the set for the filter. I suppose a person could cut some to fit out of filter pad for a lot cheaper.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Alright. It's been a month and went to clean it out and and the prefilters that i just purchased. Almost disaster. Almost returned the filter. Apparently when you add the prefilters you basically press them down into bottom and place everything on top. Which makes the top just a little more snug when screwing it back into place. Got it taken care of and turned it reconnected to the base. water started spraying out of one lid right where the gasket should have sealed. cleaned up the water, opened and made sure the seal was correct (the gasket is pretty small), did this multiple times and still water spraying out where it should be sealed.

Finally called and checked to make sure i could still return it to the store. They said it was fine even though i was over the mark because they didn't know anything about the filters because they were so knew. Apparently i wasn't the first person to bring one back for the same reason according to the guy i bought it from.

before i went through the task of tearing my filter completely down and reboxing it for my refund i emptied out the whole canister section and saw that one of the squishable foam prefilters was twisted just a tiny bit to the side and when i replaced it correctly the majority of the water stopped. after messing with it even more i got the water to stop. HOWEVER, I can press the lid from the left to the right with minimal force and create a break in the seal where water wants to escape.

What I'm seeing is that the filter was made with a flaw, if you load the filter with the prefilter it creates a canister that is very tightly packed so that the lid is actually tough to get on. It's not like i put the prefilter in sideways and it's not ridged either. Also, the canister itself is made of material that is flexible enough where if you flex the lid in anyway it can create a leak, or the gasket is just not of the best materials. This is bad.

Sure i got the thing to quit spilling water but how will it be the next time it's opened. Looks like i have 2 months all told where i can take it in and exchange it for something else (like the ehiem i was looking at originally) before i start running into return problems. And now that I've spent 100 for the filter, an extra 15 for the correct prefilters, and 15 extra for enough biomedia to fill it. i could have easily bought that ehiem i was looking at.

Was pretty happy until this happened but now the whole idea of this thing being easier to maintian than your average canister filter (the main thing behind the sales campaign) is pretty much out the window if these are defective.

These types of things get me bent. I need to go do some oms....
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Allright, well, the filter was returned. The final nail in the coffin was that after all the filter media was added, extra biomedia, prefilters, and the biomax filters that came with it originally, the flow rate of this filter dropped almost two thirds it seemed, no matter how clean the filter media was didn't seem to matter. Couldn't take it anymore, returned it and picked up an Aquaclear 50 HOB that has way more flow and is nice and quite, and is probably what i should have gone with in the first place for this tank. And it has the customizeable media that i wanted.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 03:16 PM
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Having owned a Rena HOB filter for a couple of years when I saw the API canister used "Bio-Chem Zorb cartridge" it was a total thumbs down for me. I use batting wrapped around the holder with a couple of rubber bands instead but it's a total pain. No way I'm paying $7.50 every time I need to replace filter cartridges in a HOB or canister.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 01:45 PM
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Hello, all.

I'm an API rep, and I'm very sorry to see that you've had a bad experience with the nexx. I'd like to address some of the issues put forth in this thread.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you're considering the round foam pads as a "prefilter." That's not the case - the cartridge (and its frame) is considered a self-sufficient filtration medium, but so is the foam pad. The nexx concept is something of a hybrid between HOB-style filtration, and that of a canister. The foams are an option for those hobbyists who like to mix and match media to the specific needs of their aquariums. The filter is not designed to use both both the foam and a cartridge in one chamber (Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds as though you had both the foam and the cartridge present in each of the chambers, which could definitely lead to a leak - there's not enough room for both). The idea behind using the foam is that it provides mechanical filtration, and then the user can add to the chamber a pouch or two of Nitra-Zorb, Phos-Zorb, Activated Carbon, or even loose media that have been sealed in a media bag. One of the best things about our most popular filter line, the Filstar series of canister filters, is their versatility, and we wanted the nexx to be every bit as versatile.

I'd also like to address the Bio-Chem Stars. As an experienced aquarist, I can definitely tell you - no joke. We've done mercury intrusion tests, and the amount of surface area present in one star provides space for a bed of bacteria sufficient for five gallons of (normally stocked) aquarium water. The pore size is ideal for the formation of colonies of nitrifying bacteria throughout each star. As far as trashing them peridically...well, I'm not on board with that either. Those instructions were written using ceramic noodles as a guideline, and the stars are a different animal. You won't get the same clogging issues you would with ceramic rings, and because of that, and the durability of the resin, there should be no need to replace them as frequently as stated in the instructions. Use your own judgment on that. Here in our test facility we have some that have been in continuous use for years.

I hope this clears the air a bit. There are bound to be some growing pains when a new piece of hardware hits the hobby, but we're listening, and I just wanted to let you all know we're here to help if you have any questions. The original set of instructions leave a bit to be desired - this seems to be the cause of most of the problems you had with your nexx, monty67. We've fixed that, and you'll find unambiguous written instructions at marsfishcare.com

Also, don't hesitate to use the toll-free Tech. Services help line, at (800) 847-0659. You'll usually get to talk to a tech directly, but if you go into voicemail, leave a contact number and your question - we'll always call back within one business day. Everyone at that number is familiar both with aquarium keeping AND the entire product line, so no question is off-limits.

Hope this helped!
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by TheAPIGuys View Post
our most popular filter line, the Filstar series of canister filters
I'll never need anything more than this. If you want to make a better filter, make an xp2 with the motor from an xp4, and give it BLACK hardware.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 11:25 AM
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Just Bought a Nexx Filter

Hi all just bought this filter ordered it online after looking at it on and off for a week or so. Decided that it's got to be tried set it up of Friday and got no major complaints. The kit was great. I only have a 35litre tank which two months ago I changed to an aqua one canister filter but every time I cleaned it out I covered the floor with water which then went through to the ceiling below, that put my tank in the bad books.
so any way I bought the filter the pipe work is a bit big no problems there. The problems that I have with it are that it is very noisy and the flow rate is very high for my size tank but I have not yet restocked it so I am going to get some fish that live in strong currents.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 12:18 AM
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I bought one of these a month ago for my 55 gallon. I also use a AC110/500 HOB and a UGF with a Topfin 4 outlet air pump.

The nexx filter was simple to set up, very quiet and easy to clean. Problem is after two cleanings it is leaking. I cannot get it to stop. I have checked everything but it is leaking out of the base..

Looks like i will have to return it also
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 11:14 PM
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Hi, Was just about to buy a Nexx filter when I came across this thread. I have a cichlid 100litre tank with UGF and been running it fine for 5 months. However, local shop tells me fish will show brighter colours (and be healthier with better filtration. The Nexx looks nice and easy to maintain and its dimensions fit behind tank (slim design) but horrified to hear leak stories etc. Does anyone know good alternative to Nexx with a maximum width of 6" (15cm)?
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 12:18 PM
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When i returned the NEXX i got a Penn Plax Cascade 700 for around the same price. Love the Cascade but do have one gripe about it.. out of the box it does not come with any bio stars or spheres just the carbon bags, 2 fine filters and a black "bio" foam filter.

The good thing si the baskets so i can put my own media in it so I can buy the API boistars and add those to this filter and have the best of evrything.

Its only been a day so we will see after a few weeks when i do the first cleaning.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 02:45 PM
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Anyone have a build thread with good photos showing the in tank parts? System looks pretty interesting, and priced well. The filter housing looks a little playschool-like. Not sure how this flew under my radar for the last 6 months!

Somewhat similar to that new nano Eheim canister with it's motor in the tank.

I wonder how the water drippage from lifting this off compares to the drips from pulling typical disconnects apart.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 10:13 AM
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Has anyone been using this setup for any length of time?

I'm considering picking up the whole system (filter plus two add-ons) for just under $200US. With six compartments, that appears to allow one the most flexibility.

Three cylinders (one in each compartment pair) can hold their regular square-shaped media--replacing one pack on a monthly rotating schedule. As one is replaced, the other two are maintained, undisturbed in their housings.

The other three cylinders can be packed with a pre-filter and any media of my choosing using mesh bags inside each cylinder. Again, one cylinder would be replaced each month on a rotating basis.

In essence, this provides you the opportunity to replace only 1/3 of the media without disturbing the other 2/3. There is never a break in the biological cycle since only one pair of cylinders have new media at any single time.

Does this sound reasonable?
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 07:52 PM
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Seems to me like anything new that comes out where it's function is mechanical. Takes a year or two of customer concerns and a company's success level with the product in their own testing facilities to work all the bugs out.

The longer I'm involved in this hobby the more & more I'm convinced that Bio-Type species tanks are the way to go. Plants and fish/inverts live together in nature for a reason. I find the less I try to fight nature the better my tanks look.

- DogFish 1.24.12
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