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I am currently in the process of setting up my first "real" heavily planted aquarium after nearly 30 years of having tanks. I am piecing together a 55 gallon and wanted to use equipment I already have on hand (except my new CA 3x54W T5 HO and the Co2 set up, 10 lb tank and dual stage regulator from TPT member, Bettatail). The filter I currently have completely cycled on the tank is the Rena Filstar XP. This filter is rated at only 45 gallons but pumps 250 gph, which is more gph than some other brands rated for larger tanks. Here is where my question comes in. I assume it is rated at 45 gallons due to the limited size of the biomedia basket per their suggestions. However, I do not intend to use Carbon in 1/3 of the basket, since Carbon exhausts rather quickly. I will put in a bag of purigen, but there will still be a lot of room left in the basket. If I added more bio material, increasing the surface volume, will this be enough for a 55 gallon? I do understand that the biological filtration needed is really based on bio load of the aquarium itself, which will not be out of control. I will likely add a submersible pump for more water movement as well.

I noticed some Fluval 306 on Evilbay selling for around $80 New in box, shipped. I guess I could go that route if necessary.

Thoughts?
 

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Which model is it? My XP3 worked well on a 55g as a second filter.

If the bioload is light and you heavily plant, a strong filter shouldn't be needed. Enough to move the water from keeping it stagnant is enough IMO.
 

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Which model is it? My XP3 worked well on a 55g as a second filter.

If the bioload is light and you heavily plant, a strong filter shouldn't be needed. Enough to move the water from keeping it stagnant is enough IMO.
word up, i have an XP running on my 72 bow with like... 9 -11 cheapo bioballs and a foam filter pad... works just fine.
 
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