WARNING: XP3 made with a carcinogen

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Isabella

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Hello all,

Today I've received an XP3 canister filter because I've heard it is so good. And I believe it is. However, as I've read the manual, I found some very disturbing information, and thought that all of those who have XP canister filters should know about it. I also have a few other questions with regards to this filter, as you'll see shortly.

I hope this filter will provide good enough filtration for a 75 gallon tank. But I ... am actually having second thoughs as to this filter as well. I know that most of the people who have this filter are very satisfied with it. But when I looked inside the filter box ... so many compartments for filter media ... all of this looks like MUCH MUCH more work than with my beloved Aqua Clear. You need to take the whole filter apart to clean it. Literally. Plus, don't so many plastic compartments inside actually slow down the water flow? They have to. Now I am thinking that if I don't like the XP3, I'll just buy 2 large Aqua Clears, one for each end of the tank, and that's it. Besides, the XP3 manual says there are supposed to be ceramic cubes (or "Bio-Chem" stars which are also like the ceramic cubes) included with the filter. But I haven't found them anywhere. I found the foams (sponges) and "Bio-Chem Zorb" (something like activated carbon), but no ceramic media. Do the XP3s come without the ceramic media? Or should I call them to send me the ceramic media? What do I do? My Aqua Clear came with the foam, the activated carbon, and the bio-cubes - it came with everything it needed. Lastly, here is the shocker with the chemical. Look what it says in the XP3 manual:

"Warning: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm."

WOOOWWW !!! That's a very "comforting" piece of info, isn't it !!!??? They don't even tell you WHAT chemical it is !!! Nor exactly where in the filter it is located (in what part of the filter, or in which material). They don't give any specific info about this really. Perhaps because they don't want to lose business? Hmm ... This is scary. I do not want to be in contact on a daily basis with a product that is KNOWN to cause cancer. What do you folks think? What should I do?

P.S. I realize this topic should be in the FILTRATION board, and I'll move it, if that will be necessary. However, I just want to make sure that everyone sees this particular "fact" about XPs (and probably many other aquarium products which we don't even know about: for example Seachem's Flourish supposedly contains dangerous carcinogens.)
 
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Isabella

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Never mind the bio-cubes (the ceramic media). I've found out they're not supposed to come with the filter. I'll have to make a separate order.
 

Golden Fish

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Isabella,

I am pretty sure (99.99%) that the warning is for the Bio-Chem Zorb, which is essentially man made resins (like synthetic carbon). You would probably have to stay in a lot of contact before you got cancer i would think. If you use liquid tests for your water check out the warnings for the ammonia test. Thats scary!
The water flow WILL slow down as the filter gets dirty. With mine it has to be pretty nasty before you will notice a diffrence.
Yes you do have to take em apart. It is not all that hard though, you only clean it out once a month or so. The foam blocks get nasty. That and the ceramic rings or stars are for the Bio-filtration and I don't think you have to replace those as often as the manufactures would say, just my opinion though. I use only the foam and the bio media in mine, It has 3 trays for media and two for the foam pads. 1 compartment in mine is empty. I only clean mine once a month and I just rinse the foam in old water and put them back in. Every 3 months or so you have to rinse the Bio media. Yes it is a little more work than the HOB. Different strokes for different folks. I don't think I would ever use a HOB except on smaller tanks, I do like the Emperors and the Penguins from Marineland though. Never tried the Aquaclears, I am a fan of Hagen so i probably would like em.
If you want to get rid of the XP3 let me know if you can't return it. Does it come with all the stuff to plumb it also?
 
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Isabella

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Thanks for the info Golden Fish. I really do hope that it's only the Bio-Chem Zorb that contains the chemical. If so, I may keep the filter and use it without the Bio-Chem Zorb. Actually, I cannot use neither activated carbon nor any other such media as Bio-Chem Zorb in my tank, as this will be a heavily planted tank. And heavily planted tanks need water full of nutrients (AC and other such media remove the nutrients from the water). Can I buy more foams / sponges and put them in the compartment which is supposed to contain the AC or Bio-Chem Zorb? I want to have lots of space for bacteria. And I'll definitely buy the ceramic rings.

The filter is brand new as of now. I only unpacked it and put the parts together, and nothing was ever used (just got it yesterday). The Bio-Chem Zorb, the sponges, and the fine pads are all untouched. No water touched the filter. Basically, a brand new filter. I have the boxes saved if I need to ship it back to Big Al's. Now, I will call Aquarium Pharmaceuticals and ask about the chemical. If they tell me what part (or what media) in the filter contains the chemical, and what chemical it is ... and if it turns out that it is only the Bio-Chem Zorb or another medium that contains the chemical, I will keep the filter. If, however, the filter itself is made with this chemical, I don't want the filter. So if you want it, I can ship it to you - as I've said it's brand new. If you don't want it, I'll ship it back to Big Al's. But like I said ... I may still keep it, depending on what the company will tell me over the phone.

P.S. Yes, the filter has these media included: Bio-Chem Zorb, 3 or 4 sponges/foams, plus some white and fine pads (flosses?). It has all the piping and 2 hoses as well. There's everything that's needed to set it up (plus the above mentioned media, only without the stars or ceramic cubes).
 

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Cool, I would doubt that the filter itself is made with it. But you never know!
Yeah I only use Bio media and the foam pads two of my three compartments are full of ceramic rings (Bio-Max is what it is called, I think each manufacture sells their own "name brand"). But thats all I use. Like you said, lots of bacteria! Be careful adding a lot of foam or using the "fine" and "very fine" pads. They are for water polishing and clear up the water really well by removing really small particles but they do clog quickly and when they do they will cause the flow to slow down! In my bottom compartment (the one where the water goes right after the foam pads but before the Bio media) i sometimes put in filter floss for added mechanical filtration. I goes from pure white to really nasty brown pretty quick!
 
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Isabella

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Thank you once again for the useful information. I'll keep all of it in mind Like I said, if it's only Bio-Chem Zorb that contains the chemical, I'll keep the filter. I am sure it is a good filter. If I keep it, maybe - with time - I'll simply transfer it to my 30 gallon tank. I am now leaning more towards a good Eheim (either Professional 2026 or Professional 2028). I'd eventually like to try the Eheim as well. And it looks to me (on the pictures of Eheim) that the filter media are much bigger in the Eheim canister filters than in the XPs. The media seem to be so few and so small as for such a big XP3. My Aqua Clear 70 seems to have more media (relative to its size) than the XP3 has. Eheims look like they have more abundant media. That's what I like - a really good biological and mechanical filtration (good thick sponge and lots of bio-cubes/ceramic cubes ... and not so much the activated carbon ... or the Bio-Chem Zorb. And like I said before, I don't need chemical filtration anyway since it's a planted tank.

I'll see what happens. But at least now I've had the oppportunity to see the XP3. Though Eheims are very expensive normally, you can get them quite cheap on Big Al's Online (well, "cheap" compared to their prices at normal fish stores or on websites other than Big Al's).

P.S. Anybody with an Eheim who is reading my thread? Are the media indeed large? (The way they look in pictures?) Also, do Eheims have so many plastic compartments (which I consider to cause more additional work) as well? Or are the media laid on top of each other? (The way I prefer it).
 

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Isabella-

I got some product called Chemi-pure and it is a similar product to the Bio-Chem Zorb. It scared me out of using it with the way the label read so it could very well be not the best. I truly doubt that there is anything in the plastic housing of the filter that causes cancer but the media pack could have with all the resins.

The EHEIM canisters have the plastic baskets for the media in them also and the biological media IS included for 2 fillings of the basket (at least with the model I got) You also get a carbon pad, medium grit pad, fine grit pad. Too bad the one I have in the trader's section is not big enough. I have enough accessories for that one to last a lifetime and I just want to find a home for them but it is way too small for you. I like the pads as opposed to the Chemi-pure or Bio-Chem Zorb as they would be easier to rinse and replace and with the EHEIM I really believe that the pads could just be placed on top of the balls instead of using the baskets (except you would probably want to use the bottom of one of the baskets to hold the balls for easier cleaning so you could take them out to rinse every now and again. You could just leave the top off and lay the pads on top..

I hope you find that you can use the filter as I know that you want to get your tank set-up.

Rose
 
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Isabella

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Thank you very much Rose. Yes, maybe it's just the bio-chemical medium that has carcinogen(s) in it. I am going to call Aquarium Pharmaceuticals to inquire about it. If so, then probably every other similar medium, in any other filter, contains the carcinogens as well (just as yours did). I hope activated carbon doesn't contain carcinogens ... as I've used it regularly in my Aqua Clear 70 in the beginning (now that I know I don't need it, I don't use it - good water changes is all you need). As for the Eheim ... not that I have anything against XP3 (except for the Bio-Chem Zorb) - as I know it IS a good filter - but I am having these second thoughts after all. I'll think about it. Maybe I should return the XP3 and order Eheim? I'd love to have Eheim Professional 2026, or even better: the 2028 model.

If I decide to return the XP3, do you think they'll return all of my money? As I've said above, I haven't used this filter, haven't opened the package with the Bio-Chem Zorb (the rest of the media were already inside the filter), and so it is basically brand new. Does opening the filter box and the box with the pipes classify the filter as "used"? If I return it, they'll get ALL the parts back. Anything else I should be paying attention to when I return the product to an online store? Do they return the cost of S&H too? Or do I have to cover this expense? How do they return the money? Back on to my credit card or via some check or money order?

Sorry for all of these questions ... :-\
 

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In my experience they will return money for the purchase cost of the electrical or other product as long as it is not used in the tank and is in the original packaging. The shipping and handling is gone and I am afraid that since the product will be returned for the reason of you not wanting it instead of it being defective, you will probably have to pay to return it also. If it had been defective they would probably have sent you a shipment label to return it postage paid. You will also have to call the place you received it from and get a shipping number probably or they can refuse to accept a return. Just call them and tell them what you want to do and they will guide you through it.

I wish I could be more optimistic in relation to the pocketbook but it is an expensive thing to order things and then change your mind but in this case, I would not blame you. I am just sorry you are having all this trouble.

I realize that the shippers have mostly raised their prices but check all of them UPS, FedEx, DHL and USPS before shipping it back. You may be very surprised at the difference in the cost of the shipping. Sometimes the Post Office is the cheapest but sometimes the others will be surprisingly cheaper.


Rose
 
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Isabella

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You know, I just want a really good filter for my plants and fish to be happy and healthy. If I will have to return it, so be it. After all, it was my choice to buy it, and not Big Al's. Big Al's is a GREAT store. The product is in excellent condition and it is not defective in any way. I don't blame them. They can't possibly know what my personal tastes are, and I have to admit that I tend to be a picky person. So if I will be returning it, I won't mind if they don't return the price of S&H. And Rose, I am patient with this tank. I'll take whatever the time is necessary to set it up properly. The worst thing to do in fish-keeping is to rush. Besides, I didn't say I am returning this filter. Yes, it is a possibility, but nothing is final yet
 

Golden Fish

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I am sorry you are having troubles Isabella. I know how frustrating stuff like this is.
is their anyway you could post like a "review" of this filter, with some pics of the media tray sizes, how it hooks up, etc? You said the media trays seem small. I would love to see how this one looks inside. The internet only shows the outside, very helpful..... If you don't get rid of it of course!
 

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Isabella,
I have had my XP filters running in my 100 gal. tank for 2 years with no problems. I think you should give the filter a try. Mine have been great!
 
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Isabella

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Gunnie, it's not about me not believing in the quality of this filter. I DO believe it is good Only, like I said above, relative to the size of this filter (at least 2 gallons, I think it may be even more), the media it has seem so small. My Aqua Clear has no compartments, but the media are laid on top of each other. And they fill the ENTIRE filter box. In my XP3, there is more empty space inside than there are media. As for the size of the Aqua Clear, the media it has are HUGE. The sponge the Aqua Clear has is thicker (or the same) from all of the 3 or 4 foams from the XP3 combined. Keep in mind the Aqua Clear is only for a 30 gallon tank, while the XP3 is supposed to be for a 75 gallon tank. This is what makes no sense to me. If I were to use activated carbon or the Bio-Chem Zorb, I have to tell you that the activated carbon from the Aqua Clear is almost TWICE as large as the Bio-Chem Zorb from from the XP3. Also, the Aqua Clear's intake tube is thicker than that of the XP3. The XP3's outflow tube also seems small compared to the amount of water being poured into my 30 gallon tank from the Aqua Clear filter. Once again, I know the XP3s have a good reputation, and I believe they're good. However, I had to enumerate all the things I am seeing with this filter as compared to a simple HOB filter (the Aqua Clear).

Anyway ... I have decided to keep the XP3. If not for its quality, simply because I don't want the hassle of returning it to Big Al's Online. I will give it a try. Only I will order bio-cubes (or ceramic media) and an additional sponge. The ceramic media will sit where the Bio-Chem Zorb is supposed to be. And the additional sponge will sit where the empty compartment it (yes, there is one empty compartment). I believe the filter will be good this way I'll add a powerhead to this tank as well, as this filter alone will not circulate the water well enough.

I still would like to try Eheim 2026 or 2028. So I am planning to buy it as well. I'll wait until my tank has cycled, and until the XP3 is colonized with the beneficial bacteria. Then, I may add the Eheim to the tank and wait until it has developed bacterial colonies as well. And then I'll simply remove the XP3 and maybe use it on my 30 gallon tank. I'll see what I'll do.

Golden Fish, I will take pictures of the XP3 before I fill it with water. I'll send them to you, or post them on Fish Lore if you'd like me to. I'll take the pictures of what media the filter came with, and after I've added additional media to it.

Thank you all for your responses. You've been great, as always

P.S. I will use this filter ONLY if it is one of the media that has the carcinogen (I'll call Aquarium Pharmaceuticals this week). Otherwise, if the whole filter is made with the carcinogen, I won't use it. Sorry, but I don't want to bear disabled children in the future, nor do I want to get cancer myself. Of course, these things may still happen (for all we know) without me using the filter because there are other products that ALL OF US use on a daily basis that contain carcinogens. However, I can't use a product which I know 100% to contain a carcinogen. I'm sure you all understand.
 

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Isabella said:
Golden Fish, I will take pictures of the XP3 before I fill it with water. I'll send them to you, or post them on Fish Lore if you'd like me to. I'll take the pictures of what media the filter came with, and after I've added additional media to it.

Thank you all for your responses. You've been great, as always

P.S. I will use this filter ONLY if it is one of the media that has the carcinogen (I'll call Aquarium Pharmaceuticals this week). Otherwise, if the whole filter is made with the carcinogen, I won't use it. Sorry, but I don't want to bear disabled children in the future, nor do I want to get cancer myself. Of course, these things may still happen (for all we know) without me using the filter because there are other products that ALL OF US use on a daily basis that contain carcinogens. However, I can't use a product which I know 100% to contain a carcinogen. I'm sure you all understand.
Thanks Isabella! Good luck! How much does the XP3 hold, media wise? Do they give you measurements on that?
 

tan.b

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isabella: if carcinogenic to humans who have limited contact with the filter, what about the health of the fish who are living in the water that runs through the filter? surely its not good for them either. on the other hand, if its not harming the fish who are smaller and more sensitive than us and are living in closer proximity to it than us, then it cant be that harmful or the fish would suffer 1st? ???
 

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Hi Isabella, is there a reason why you didn't choose an Emperor 400? They are very good filters and cheap too.
 
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AlfaBetta said:
Hi Isabella, is there a reason why you didn't choose an Emperor 400? They are very good filters and cheap too.
I was told that XPs and Eheims are the best canister filters, so I bought the XP (it was much cheaper than Eheim). But I am now thinking about buying Eheim. I'll see.
 

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Thanks Atm, hehe. I didn't even know that - I've never used a filter / filters other than Aqua Clear, Whisper Tetra, and now the XP3.

I think if it's just the chemical media that contain the carcinogen in the XP3, I'll be fine because I won't use the chemical media in the first place (though I haven't called the filter's company yet, so we'll see). I've also bought a LOT more foams / sponges, and now the entire filter is filled with sponges. I'm still waiting for bio-media to arrive from Big Al's (Eheim's Substrat - 2 Liters of it). I think this should be more than enough for a good biological and mechanical filtration of a planted tank.

Now it all looks they way it should
 
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