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I am not ashamed to admit that I’m a filtration junkie. Hi, I’m Nikki, and I’m an over-filterer. I’ve got a few pico tanks, and I’ve had great success running the API® nexx® 55 FILTER on a nine gallon tank. That’s right. Nine. Why? I’ve got goldfish in it, and they’re filthy fish – delightful, playful, and friendly – but filthy.
I’ve had my share of canister filters in my twenty-plus years as an aquarist. The nexx filter is as innovative as I’ve seen. First, it’s self-priming, which is critical. I’ve never had an issue with priming. Easy.
The nexx filter is rated for 55 gallons (110 with the extension, but I’ll get to that later), but the flow isn’t excessive, making it appropriate for a smaller tank, should you go that route.
By far the niftiest thing about the nexx is that you can change filter media and clean the filter without turning it off, without interrupting water flow, and without the typical muss and fuss of other canister filters.
How does nexx do this? With a truly ingenious design. The base routes water through the canister, but when you want to change the filter media, simply twist the yellow handle on top of the canister and pull lightly to break the suction between the canister and base. The water flow now routes through the base until you place the canister back onto it.
You can now ferry the canister to the kitchen, or wherever you’d like to clean it. A quick twist of the blue tops opens the two segments of the canister, allowing you to change out the media, which can include any number of proprietary filter media made by API.
The one drawback, if you can call it that, is that the filter is not as customizable as other canister filters – you are pretty much limited to the media made for the nexx, but that’s a small inconvenience, considering that API’s filter media products for the nexx are various and pretty great, but you’re most likely going to have to find them online, unless you live near an esoterically stocked fish store. They’ve got it all covered with NITRA-ZORB®, BIO-CHEM ZORB®, and PHOS-ZORB®, plus the BioChem Stars. Because I'm using this with goldfish, I use both the NITRA-ZORB and the BIO-CHEM ZORB at the same time, usually buying them in packs of four.
The nexx is very quiet, which is what you want in any kind of filter. It’s also so easy, that I don’t mind doing media changes (which can be a dreaded task).
There’s an extension that doubles the filter water flow rating and amount of filter. I haven’t used it, and I wonder if the water flow will be the same. Definitely curious about this.
Fins up for the nexx API filter! It’s easy, easy, easy. Did I mention easy? Twist, change media, put back on base, twist again. You don’t have to fill it with water, because it’s self-priming and will suck the water from the tank, which means you’ll have to top off your tank a bit. So far, no leaks, but I’m very careful with my aquatic equipment.
Finally, the nexx has a very competitive price. It's a very unconventional filter, but that's what I like about it. I would absolutely use this filter on other tanks, and plan on doing so.
UPDATE: Lately I've been noticing that the base unit is leaking a bit when I remove the filter unit. I put a towel underneath it to deal with this, and it's fine. It doesn't leak at all when the filter unit is secured to the base. I still very much like this filter and would purchase another for the ease of use and the self priming feature.
From the API Website:
API nexx® filters are designed to make fish owners’ life easier. Thanks to its unique features, filtration media replacement can be done in only 4 minutes, with no mess from water dripping on the floor.
Beyond aquarium hobbyists, API nexx® filters are also highly appreciated by turtle tank owners because of its independent pump.
The exclusive research grade resin-carbon blend in the BIO-CHEM ZORB cartridge removes compounds that carbon alone cannot remove, providing clean and crystal clear water like no other filter.
EASY STEPS FOR MEDIA CHANGES
SELF-PRIMING, NO DISCONNECT
The independent and submerged pump pushes water towards the filter instead of pulling it. As a result:
MODULAR SYSTEM FOR INCREASED FILTRATION
For maximum filtration flexibility, extension can be added to the nexx® filters. Adding one extension will provide additional 55 U.S gallons aquarium capacity and 2 more compartments available for filtration media.
Extensions provide flexibility to move to a bigger aquarium without changing the filtration system, to get more fish, and to use more types of media. When connecting the extension to the filter, the water flow will automatically increase.