Among the menagerie of pets in our house we have 2 Red Eared Slider turtles (that were a gift to my Mom from her boyfriend). Since I have the most time on my hands (HAHAHA!), I am the one who did all the research about tank requirements and purchased all the things they needed. For filtration I chose a canister filter because it would be able to handle cleaning up after two turtles pretty easily. The filter I chose to go with is a Rena Filstar XP3 canister purchased from my favorite online pet store BigALsPets.com. The first filter I received back in April 2012 was defective out of the box, after contacting Big AL’s they quickly sent a replacement that worked no problem.
Fast forward almost 10 months to Christmas morning, when I was woken up my my Mother telling me that there was water all over the dining room floor from a leak in the filter and that she didn’t know how to stop it. After turning the power off to the filter and pulling the quick release valve yet, there was still water pouring out of the tank and onto the floor so I pulled all the tubes out of the tank and stuck them in a bucket. When I looked closely at the quick release valve what did I see?
Since this happened on Christmas I wasn’t able to contact Mars Fishcare about the two year warranty because they were closed but, the next day I called their customer service number and the only option for support is to leave a voice mail message. Really? After leaving a voicemail message and waiting days for a call back I couldn’t wait any longer. I went online and purchased a replacement quick release valve and tubing (for $50). Not only have I never been able to figure out what caused the problem but, I never heard back from their customer service people either.
I have not had any further problems with the replacement valve (knock on wood) in the past year that I have had it. Other than that the only thing that I don’t like is that the suction cups used to attach the in & out tubes to the tank really don’t hold up well. With just a few months of use they became stiff and would no longer adhere to the glass.
The moral of the story? While I love my Rena Filstar XP3 filter, the customer service provided by this company could be much improved. Also, when it comes to dealing with mechanical devices for water be prepared for the worst!