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the water level is below the blue rim cap of the unit. in other words, i can see the water level and its not to the tip-top of the filter, not matter how much i pour in the funnel

its probably 1/4 inch or more below the top of the unit.
 

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Just set up my xp3, its making a low buzzing noise. Is this normal? It isnt awful, but makes more noise than my eheim.
Eheims are usually the quietest, so yeah an XP3 is going to be noticable louder. The question is if its normal or not which is more difficult to answer. My XP3's make a quite hum. About the same as the few powerheads I have running in the tank as well. I bought an Eheim for the tank thats by my bed, and XP3's for the one in the family room.
 

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i think its a mechanical humm in the unit, probably have to live with it. this particular tanks in my room.
the water level is below the blue rim cap of the unit. in other words, i can see the water level and its not to the tip-top of the filter, not matter how much i pour in the funnel

its probably 1/4 inch or more below the top of the unit.
Both my xp1 and xp3 are near silent. there is a slight hum of course as any motor will produce. But its not enough to distract over ambiant noise.

you should be able to fill the thing till there is water all the way up to the top of the inlet and return recepticals. If you fill it that high you will spill a little water when you put the hose interface. But just slightly below that should work. Or just put a towel under the unit when you connect the hoses to the motor head. you should be using the funnel into the little holes not the open unit. (I'm sure you know this but I figured id say it anyhow)
 
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