Equipment Review and Discussion :: Rena Filstar XP Series Canister Filters

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Post Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:46 pm   Re: Rena Filstar XP Series Canister Filters

steve wrote:Ah. Those were the first thing I took out too. It's been so long, I forgot about those :roll:


Yeah, I think most everyone that buys an XP series filter sees those and says, "What the ?!?! What a waste of space." then flings them in the trash immediately.
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:46 pm   Re: Rena Filstar XP Series Canister Filters

I have an XP3 which I doesn't have the intake suction I had expected before purchasing. I can sometimes see minute particles floating right past its basket without even so much as a dip in the direction of the intake. All the media is clean and new, the pump is primed and operating, and water is being returned to the tank, but I've noticed an accumulation of waste all about the bottom of the tank. I previously had a sand and river rock substrate, so I think just never noticed the filter's usefulness, but I recently went substrateless, and I've noticed the issue.

I think my problem is that my stand height only puts the bottom of the intake about 8 inches from the top of canister itself, while the manual states 24" inches minimum. I did read some posts in this thread which seemed to imply height is not an issue, but as someone else said these types of filters essentially work on gravity and that height is an issue, i thought I'd post my situation here, and perhaps gain some guidance.

Thanks!
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:37 pm   Re: Rena Filstar XP Series Canister Filters

Yes other than the API Nexx filter which puts a pump in your tank, these canisters work on a gravity fed siphon. The pump does not create a vacuum - if it did, the canister would be capable of self priming and you wouldn't have to pour water into that primer hole on the intake line. The reason you are pouring water there is to prime the siphon. The filter pump pushes water up and out the return line and creates space in the body of the canister for the siphon to replenish. This is a continuous process. Height does play a factor with a canister filter as it affects the siphon... if the canister is too high, the siphon may not flow.
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:48 pm   Re: Rena Filstar XP Series Canister Filters

Thanks VC - I guess I need a taller stand if I want more intake suction.

I currently have a 24" stand, and I'm all over CL trying to find something taller. Does anyone think an extra 5" inches would make a significant difference? There's a 29" stand for very cheap, and then a much less cheap 30" - I'm willing to pay more to get more, but I'm a little out of my (no pun) depth.
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:20 pm   Re: Rena Filstar XP Series Canister Filters

CaseFam wrote:Thanks VC - I guess I need a taller stand if I want more intake suction.

I currently have a 24" stand, and I'm all over CL trying to find something taller. Does anyone think an extra 5" inches would make a significant difference? There's a 29" stand for very cheap, and then a much less cheap 30" - I'm willing to pay more to get more, but I'm a little out of my (no pun) depth.


Sorry for the late reply. The higher the stand, the slower the flow rate. I should have been more clear on this. So the higher the pump has to push the return water, the more water there is in the tube and the more weight caused by gravity is pushing back on the pump. IE The pump has to fight this weight. This is called head. The taller the head, the less flow rate from the pump. The less flow rate from the pump, the slower the siphon intake into the canister. Remember the intake siphon flow rate will equal the output flowrate. Slow down the pump pushing water out of the canister and you slow down the intake side to match as there's no where for the water to go.
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:13 pm   Re: Rena Filstar XP Series Canister Filters

I recently acquired the XP4 (XL) and I have to say my only complaint is the poor quality of plastic. Both the intake and output nozzles are very easy to mishandle and I could see someone accidentally snapping them due to frustration. In addition, the gaskets and O rings have to be routinely changed which I find to be an annoyance and a flaw in it's design. They suggest a couple years but depends on the product I guess. I just bought one off craigslist and the thing looks practically brand new and was leaking as soon as I plugged it in (O rings). Also, the priming system is a setup for failure to the untrained eye. If you look closely, it doesn't fully fill the canister, which can lead to excessive air bubbles and even burn out the motor. Overall, I do love it, as it is practically silent compared to my fluval 304. The output is tremendous and really makes a strong current. I'll give a better review on it's performance once it settles in.
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:08 pm   Re: Rena Filstar XP Series Canister Filters

I agree on all the flaws of the Rena XP's. The rings and seals actually hold up quite well. Not sure how old you rena is but my seals held up perfectly for close to 6 years now.
Fred - 24 year old RES
55 gal. tank, Rena XP3, 200w Jager heater, Aqueon 700 circulation pump
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:08 am   Re: Rena Filstar XP Series Canister Filters

I picked mine up for $80 so I really can't complain about just swapping out the O rings.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:51 am   Re: Rena Filstar XP Series Canister Filters

You'll want to apply some petroleum jelly to those o-rings once or twice a year to keep them from drying out, cracking and leaking. I use food grade petroleum jelly on mine, but I'd think Vaseline would work just as well.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:29 pm   Re: Rena Filstar XP Series Canister Filters

Yeah before I installed the new ones I lubed them up with pure veggie oil, did the trick. I think its a real minor inconvenience because I have never had to worry about any quirky things with my fluval, just ran the motor till its breaking point. When I first acquired my RES he was a little guy and I had a really old style fluval, the black cylindrical. Well it had enough after about a year and a half and conked out lol. At that point I realized turtles DO mess around when it comes to crap.
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:25 am   Re: Rena Filstar XP Series Canister Filters

I'm with Devil Duck... my filter has required no maintenance (except for a media cleaning) over the last 6-7 years I've been using them. The only two problems I've had is that one of them won't start after priming. I need to open it up and add water all the way to the top, then she'll run normally even after power outages. The other problem is that intake tubes have small stress cracks on them. Small enough that the filters still run fine, though they are due for replacement.

I do agree with plastic comment. It's a hard plastic that can crack or snap off, but take your time when handling it and make sure all the parts are where they should be before closing it.
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:03 pm   Re: Rena Filstar XP Series Canister Filters

Steve, are you aware of the trick to get it to the top without removing the motor housing? Sounds like your referring to the infamous water line below the pump on the XP? After the priming stops, it leaves about 3 inches of space between the top media basket and the top of the water housing. Simply lift one of the snap brackets slowly until air starts to seep in and forces the water level to the top. Once it climbs high enough quick snap it shut. Boom, problem solved.
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:41 am   Re: Rena Filstar XP Series Canister Filters

Very interesting... I will give it a shot the next time I clean it out. Thanks!
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Post Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:42 am   Re: Rena Filstar XP Series Canister Filters

Have had the Rena (now API) XP4 for a little over a month in my 40g tank with two RES (one @ 4in, other @ 3in) and i'm blown away by how well it works and how quite it is. Bought the larger XP4 with future plans on tank size upgrades (damn these guys grow fast!) And would highly recommend this filter to anyone in the market. Super easy set up and cleaning.
Only question I have is if I fill to the max two of the trays with bio-chem stars (3 pkgs. 60 pieces rinsed with only tank water) is it necessary to also have a carbon, purigen or biochem zorb layer also? I'm adding a 3rd 30ppi filter and a 3rd 20ppi filter and may remove the microfiltration pad as suggested here.
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Post Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:46 am   Re: Rena Filstar XP Series Canister Filters

Carbon, purigen or biochem zorb will help keep the water clearer but are not required. With carbon you will have to change it monthly, it will remove oder and chlorine. Purigen is a resin that removes organics and keeps the water clear, it can be regenerated in a bleach solution. Zorb is a combo of the two.

I recommend the carbon and purigen combo. Keeps the water spotless.
Fred - 24 year old RES
55 gal. tank, Rena XP3, 200w Jager heater, Aqueon 700 circulation pump
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