API Filstar XPL Review (Rena XP3)

Hello and thank you for reading my review on the API Filstar XPL Canister Filter. This filter was formerly known as the Rena XP3 Canister Filter but has recently been re-branded under the API name. There are some differences though, but only in the accessories the filter comes with.


  • Flow Rate: 350 Gallons per hour (GPH) / 1350 Liters per hour (LPH)
  • Loaded Flow Rate: 187 Gallons per hour (GPH) / 706 Liters per hour (LPH)
  • Aquarium Size: Up to 175 Gallons (660 Liters)
  • Power: 28 Watts

Included in box:

  • XPL Canister Filter with 3 media baskets
  • Two 59″ lengths of flexible tubing
  • Intake tubing with suction cups
  • Output nozzle with suction cups
  • One 30 ppi foam square
  • One 20 ppi foam square
  • One fine filter pad
  • Five Bio-Chem Stars
  • One bag of Bio-Chem Zorb (Activated Carbon)
  • Instructions Continue reading

Why are live aquarium plants important?

If you are reading this article you must be interested in having live plants in your aquarium but are not quite sure where to start with them. You may not even know if they’re worth it or not. They are. Live plants are the holy grail of aquariums. They are simply the very best thing you can add to an aquarium to make everything better for your fish. Yes, they are that good! The first question you may ask is why are they so important. Continue reading

Series on Live Plants

I’m putting together my own version of a guide to using live plants in an aquarium. I’m only part way through writing it, but it is turning out to be quite lengthy so I figured it might be best to break it up into a bunch of shorter articles on each topic rather than a single super long article.

So keep an eye out for my series on live plants! I’ll be starting with an article on why plants are useful, and from there I will give my advice on how to grow them and keep them alive.

  1. Why are Live Plants Important?
  2. What substrate choices are there, and what is best?
  3. What kind of lighting do I need?
  4. Do I need fertilizer? What kind?
  5. What plants can I not have with my fish?
  6. What about pH, GH, KH? Do these affect plants?

How to Clean the API Filstar XPL (Rena XP3) Canister Filter

I’m in the process of writing up a review of my new API Filstar XPL (use to be called Rena XP3) Canister Filter when I thought I could also share how I go about cleaning the thing. This can be helpful for people who have never owned a canister filter and are interested in knowing what is involved in cleaning them. I know for myself I was a bit hesitant in thinking it would be pretty complex compared to the basic HOB (Hang on Back) filters. Continue reading