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API Filstar XP-L Canister Filter

by API
3.8 out of 5 stars 220 customer reviews
| 26 answered questions

Price: $154.03 & FREE Shipping. Details
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
  • Powerful, easy to use filter
  • Silent operation
  • Self-priming
9 new from $129.99 2 used from $138.63

$154.03 & FREE Shipping. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • API Filstar XP-L Canister Filter
  • +
  • API Bio-Chem Stars, 20-Count
  • +
  • API Filstar XP Filter Filtration Foam 30, 2-Count
Total price: $173.80
Buy the selected items together

Product Description

Product Description

Powerful, easy to use aquarium filter has an anti-airlock system for continuous, silent operation; media baskets hold mechanical, chemical and/or biological filtration; self-locking water shutoff system; self-priming easy startup. For aquariums up to 175 gal. Please refer to the instruction manual for any troubleshooting.


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API history


  • Uses BIO-CHEM ZORB® an exclusive research grade resin-carbon blend.
  • BIO-CHEM ZORB® removes compounds that carbon alone cannot remove.
  • Primes in seconds with only a cupful of water.
  • Does not require hand-pumping or manual siphoning to start.
  • Patented anti-airlock system eliminates the need to re-prime.
  • Centralized control of all functions to remove canister without losing prime.
  • Self-locking water shutoff system prevents accidental flow during maintenance.
  • Holds any combination of filtration media: mechanical, chemical and biological.
  • Maximum capacity baskets. Each basket holds up to 4 different media pouches.
  • Inner dividers allow maximum flexibility.


The superior design of the API FILSTAR XP makes it one of the most reliable canister filters. Its solid construction ensures a trouble free and quiet operation. Strong flow rates and superior filtration media provide optimal filtration results with very easy maintenance.

Filtration Media

API FILSTAR XP comes with efficient media* for powerful 3-stage filtration:

  • Step 1: Filtration pads of 20 ppi and 30 ppi remove debris (mechanical filtration)
  • Step 2: API BIO-CHEM STARS quickly establish the biological filter. They provide 4 times more surface area than ceramic rings for massive bacterial colonization (biological filtration)
  • Step 3: API BIO-CHEM ZORB makes water clean and clear. It removes colors and odors as well as compounds that carbon alone cannot remove
* The exact contents of the box can vary depending on the filter model.


Filter Size Aquarium Size Flow-Rate
(Gallons per hour)
xP-S Up to 45 U.S. GAL 250 U.S. GPH
xP-M Up to 75 U.S. GAL 300 U.S. GPH
xP-L Up to 175 U.S. GAL 350 U.S. GPH
xP-XL Up to 265 U.S. GAL 450 U.S. GPH


All API FILSTAR XP are guaranteed for 2 years.

Other Items To Consider

  • Makes water clean and clear.
  • Removes colors and odors.
  • Removes compounds that carbon alone cannot remove


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Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 13.5 x 18 inches ; 14 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 10.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • Shipping Advisory: This item must be shipped separately from other items in your order. Additional shipping charges will not apply.
  • ASIN: B000260FX4
  • Item model number: 722
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,927 in Pet Supplies (See Top 100 in Pet Supplies)
  • Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
Searched long to find the right filter. These Bio filters with multiple chambers for media is the way to go with turtles. We have a female red ear slider about 7 inches front to back of shell (she was about the size of a silver dollar when we got her two years ago). She is very messy and the in tank filter was just not handling it. This filter with fresh water and a good shell scrubbing of our baby has worked fine. We used to have to clean her tank and change water every week to keep her water from getting too filthy. This filter in a forty gallon aquarium has been set up for three months now and other than adding water as it evaporates and cleaning her rocks we haven't had to do anything else except feed her. We did clean out the filter once because she made a mess of some fresh aquatic plants we bought for her. She chewed up fifteen dollars worth of plants in just two days. She probably ate some but most of them were chewed and left floating. The filter clogged from all the plant material. But I can't blame the filter for that. The water is always crystal clear. She seems to love her environment now.

There is a couple of things to keep in mind when using the filter for turtles. The intake tubing inside the tank comes in sections that have to be pushed together. They tend to loose prime at the connections because turtle tanks are only about half full and some of the connections are above the water level. I had to glue them together to keep the prime. The filter has to absolutely be at least 16 inches below the tank bottom. I set ours on the floor and the tank on the top of a 29 inch high credenza. When priming remember to fill the tube with water with the filter hose valve in the off position (the instructions will explain).
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6 Comments 54 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Length: 0:17 Mins
Note for video: This is what an XP3 sounds like (not much at all), and the appearance of water running into the intake side when properly primed. The hum in the background is mainly from the air pump nearby. The couple of loud clicks at the beginning are unrelated to the filter.

Enough has been said about the performance of the XP3, which is highly dependent on media setup, environment, tank specifics, etc. This will focus on the little things that will hopefully help out other owners/prospective buyers.

With any canister filter, there are a few major concerns.

1. Setup (get it to work/how do I know it is working)
2. Reliability (no leaks/consistent performance)
3. Maintenance (cleaning/disassembly/replacement parts)
4. Tweaks and optimizations

Point by point:

1. Setup

The most difficult issues most will encounter center on two things: A) Pulling the tubing over the connectors and B) Getting the quick-disconnect to easily lock. Point A is trivial provided you have the proper diameter tubing (the stuff that comes in the box or comparable 5/8" ID 11/32" OD or thicker tubing) and Super Lube Synthetic Grease with Syncolon Multi Purpose Lubricant 3 oz or a similar silicone-based lubricant. Simply apply lube to the ends of the filter pieces that need to be covered, wipe your hands dry, and apply moderate force, twisting a bit as needed. Heat can also help (warm water), but the lubricant should make this unnecessary.
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3 Comments 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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The XP3 is a very good canister filter.

The good? 3 decent sized trays, "priming" intake tube, configurable outflow tubes, all-you-need-in-a-box package (with exception of biomedia).

The bad? The quick disconnect is not heavy duty and can be distorted by any tension on one of the tubes (especially the output)--resulting in a leak because the O-rings do not seat. Also, the o-ring are not a "tight" fit and cannot handle much pressure. If you have any inline accessories that constitute a significant load (ie. uv sterilizers, CO2 reactors, etc), water will leak past the disconnect o-rings and onto your floor after flooding the top unit on the inside! Worst of all, this happens after about an hour or so and is not readily apparent!

Bottom line: I would much rather NOT have the convenience of the quick disconnect and instead have some external ball valves. My XP3 leaked on my the first time I used it. I searched online and this is a common problem.
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Sorry to the 1 star reviewers, they seem like they are a little instruction-inhibited. Priming yes, took a minute but get the valve right and it works fine. You're right, no tension in the tubes but who places their filter in the bedroom when the tank is in the living room? I think they provided AMPLE tubing and i have a 75 gallon tank sitting on a standard 75 gallon stand with inflow on one side and outflow on the other.


Cleaning cleaning cleaning and more cleaning. I have a 75gal tank and will have 53 live plants and several fish as soon as the water is completely conditioned. Needless to say, as you're conditioning water, you clean the filter daily for a few weeks (except the bio filter, more on that in a minute). This filter is incredibly simple to clean. You unplug the power, raise the shutoff valve and carry the entire filter to the sink or bathtub. Wipe down each piece, rinse the particle filters and you're done. Attach the shutoff valve and turn it back on. you only have to prime this thing once, right out of the box. then every week when you routinely clean it's MINIMAL water spilling, if any. the hoses remain full of water so no more priming necessary. This is hands down without a doubt the most genius design; it actually makes the "hastle" of filter cleaning a piece of cake.

The design of the filter is also genius. it pumps water to the bottom and then sucks upwards through the filters, using gravity as an advantage for extra filtering. instead of shoving water through a filter and discharging to the tank, it sends the unfiltered water to the bottom and "pulls" it upwards. Large trash sits completely in the bottom of the bucket, before ever entering the filter systems.
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