I recently purchased this filter for use on my 75 gallon planted tank. After doing lots of research on the internet, this filter seemed to be the best bang for the buck. The XP3 model in the largest size, and is rated for tanks up to 175 gallons according to Rena. They also have it listed at approx 350 gallons per hour turnover, although from many different things I have read, it appears that when loaded with filter media that rating is closer to 300 gallons per hour.
I purchased mine online from bigals.com for only $99.99 plus shipping and handling. From all the research I did prior to purchase, this was the cheapest filter you could get for the gph that it runs.
Now on to the actual filter. The XP1 comes with 1 filter basket for media, the XP2 with 2 baskets, and the XP3 with 3 baskets. My filter came packaged with four foam pieces for the bottom basket, a bag of carbon, a fine filter pad, approx 8 feet of tubing and the assembly for the intake and output. It does come with some cheap little plastic hose clamps to use when securing the tubing to the filter itself, but these seem rather flimsy to me and I chose to go to the local hardware store and pick up some hose clamps just for safety's sake. The three baskets offer you endless space options on filter media.
Putting this filter together was an absolute breeze. The trays simply stack one on top of another, and then the motor housing sits on top and clamps down. The filter also comes with a quick disconnect valve. Priming is fairly easy. Just put the disconnect valve up in the stop position, remove the cap at the top of the intake, and pour water in until the tube is filled. They give you a tiny little funnel to use, but I have found it easier to use a large turkey baster to fill the tube. Replace the cap, put down the valve and water should start pouring into the filter. Give it a few minutes to work all the air out, and plug it in. The filter runs almost silent and you really have to strain to hear it. It does have a lot of power to it, and I don't think I would recommend it for a tank under 75 gallons unless you have a species that requires a high water turnover.
A few recommendations for use:
- I had trouble a few times getting it primed as apparently my uv sterilizer which is connected after the filter was holding just enough air to keep it from priming. Make sure you get all the air out of any other devices you run in the line if you have trouble priming.
- I had heard some people complain that the filter is very loud, and ends up with a lot of air in it. This has not been the case for me. The only time I got air in mine was shortly after install, when I had left my CO2 diffuser right next to the intake. Keep anything that makes bubbles away from the intake and you'll enjoy blissful silence.
- When cleaning the empty out ALL of the water out of the canister. You'll have a really hard time priming if you don't.
- Ditch the cheap plastic hose clamps and spend 3 dollars and buy some metal ones. At least then you'll have piece of mind that it's not spilling water all over your floor while you're at work.
All in all, an excellent filter that I wouldn't hesitate to purchase again.