Bio Pellet reactor reviews (3)

Discussion in 'Filters, Pumps, etc..' started by tom.n.day, Oct 25, 2012.

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  1. tom.n.day

    tom.n.day Eyelash Blennie

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    I know I had a lot of confusion when I first hit the Bio Pellet scene. There have been many good reviews on here of the Pellets themselves but I wanted to start one on Reactors. Please feel free to chime in with your experiences on Reactors especially on ones I have not owned!

    BRS Bio Pellet Reactor

    Pros:

    Cost- 49 bucks without pump
    Name- BRS offers the best instructions on bio-pellets i have seen in the industry
    Build- it seems to use the same high quality construction you could expect from more expensive Reactors
    Moddable- at this price range- why not cut it up!

    Cons:

    Capacity- with only one size a too large tank couldn't get the proper bio pellet coverage
    Functionality- I had some serious issues with the pellets tumbling correctly (see below).
    Pump- it seemed to really need a mag drive 3 or above pushing it, I did not experience success with a MJ

    Overall- This was my first Bio-pellet reactor and it did what was advertised-reduce nitrate/pho which helped prevent algae. As mentioned above, its low price and availability from a company you probably order from anyways makes the product appealing. The Major challenge i experienced was not getting enough flow from the MJ pump (one of 2 recommended) and needing to upgrade to a mag drive. I also struggled with this pump and algae getting stuck in the pre-screen and clogging it often. I found I would have to change this weekly. I saw an article on here from Vinny (thanks Vnny) with a great mod to help with this but I still seemed to have to clean it bi-weekly or better to keep the flow going at proper rates (Key with pellets). Disclaimer, i do have a ton of algae in that tank at the time this was occuring so you may not experience this frustration. All in all, I would say the BRS Bio-Pellet reactor is akin to a eshoppes type skimmer- gets the job done for cheap but at some point you will likely want to upgrade.
     

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  3. tom.n.day

    tom.n.day Eyelash Blennie

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    Reef Octopus 1000ml Bio-Pellet Reactor

    Pros:

    Capacity- this thing is enormous and can hold well over 1000ML pellets, maybe I won't have to upgrade when i get a bigger tank!
    Functionality- I put the pellets in and they started spinning. One of the keys here is the distance between the pellets and the top of the unit possibly eliminating some of the issues I experienced with smaller units. Flow was very strong
    Build- the unit is very well thought out and is built with high quality material. Easier to access the pellets etc. for maintenance then other models

    Cons:

    Cost- in comparison with the other two units reviewed. at 150 without pump it was nearly 3 times the cost of the BRS
    Pump- you need a big boy to run this guy- Mag 5 is the recommened pump
    Size- while also a pro, if you don't have a large sump area you might want to go with the space saving model
    Restraint- it is hard not to dump the amount of pellets your Reactor can hold but remember you might reek havoc on your system!

    Overall- I was like a kid on Christmas when this bad boy arrived. I replaced my BRS Reactor with this unit and have been very happy with the upgrade. I would recommend going with the 1000ml unit as the next size down (400ml) could limit you at some point and the next step up (2000ml) would be outrageous for most set ups. Make sure you get a big pump for this unit as flow is the most critical part. I can't say enough positive about this unit.
     

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  4. tom.n.day

    tom.n.day Eyelash Blennie

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    Two little fishies Phosban reactor used for bio pellets

    Pros:

    Cost- very cheap! On Dr. Fosters and smith you can find it with pump for 59!
    Functionality- this straight forward and small reactor will keep your pellets tumbling
    Pump- this unit can use a very small MJ pump and run like a champ.

    Cons:

    Capacity- This is by far the smallest of the 3 and I wouldn't recommend it for anything over 55 gal
    Quality- is a bit lower then the other two but as of yet hasn't been an issue

    Overall- a great cheap alternative for this with smaller tanks. The Pellets really spin even through algae issues. This would be the go to model if you have an old cheap pump lying around and want to fire up some pellets. Capacity really becomes the limiter here and at some point you may want to step up to something larger. This has been a set and forget type of Reactor for me so no complaints there.
     

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  5. ivanbosk

    ivanbosk Fire Worm

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    Location:
    Savannah GA
    Just picked up a Two little fish reactor from Fosters/Smith. Figured at that price I can't go wrong.
     
  6. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    Tom forgot the biggest + for the SRO reactor.. the bottom of it is shaped like a cone to get a great flow distribution. The little curve at the bottom of that reactor is what makes it the best IMO.
     
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  7. rc_mcwaters3

    rc_mcwaters3 Tassled File Fish

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    Location:
    Valdosta, Ga
    I also have the TLF reactor is the small one(150) not the big one(550).

    PRO_they offer it in a bigger model(550) but I did not need it on my 75 gallon tank with a 30 gallon sump, around 100 gallons total volume. I run 250+ml of ECOBAK in it and have not ahd any issues yet. it was quick to get running and really easy to but togther. another thing I likes was the fact that is is real easy to clean when it needs to be cleaned. another good thing is I can split a mag 7 to a UV light and this reactor and do not have any issues as far as tumble, works great and I save money and heat on pumps.

    CON_If I ever go to a bigger tank,a 90 or bigger I will have to go to a bigger reactor mine if really quite full for my volume of water. it also does not come biopellet ready, you are recomended to replace the foam pads with a pastic mesh pad. I did not I still run the foam pads but clean them at least once a week and recivegood tumble. If you dont clean them they really start to slow down and will eventually stop tumbling all togther.

    HTH
     
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  9. tom.n.day

    tom.n.day Eyelash Blennie

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    Good points- anyone else have an experience?
     
  10. PierceEye

    PierceEye Aiptasia Anemone

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Tampa Florida
    Just picked up a TLF 150 w/ NPX bio-plastics and will hook it up tomorrow.
    I bought a Sicce 2.0 565gph and will run it outside my sump as mine is full

    Will let you know how its going as I play with it
     
  11. jpfishfan09

    jpfishfan09 Plankton

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    Lincoln, NE
    The AquaMaxx looks like a good brand, I'm thinking of getting it on black friday
     
  12. jpfishfan09

    jpfishfan09 Plankton

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    Lincoln, NE