For the past few years I have been using biopellets in a traditional or common media reactor. While this traditional design has been a highly effective design for media such as phosphate removers or carbon, I have found it not to work that well when with the biopellets on the market today. In my experience, it has been challenging to maintain the biopellets properly suspended in the reactor with the correct amount of flow. Clumping and uneven biopellet movement due to uneven water flow through the reactor has always remained a challenge.
I had been looking for an alternative to the common media reactors. In early 2012, Cad Lights Aquariums launch the Conic Media Reactor (CAD Lights Biopellet Reactor), which is a new reactor designed specifically for use with biopellets. The model I purchased is the BR-1
The below information is taken directly from the manufacture’s website
* NEW 3-way recirculating valve gives you the control of the Bio-reactor at your hands.
* Total space useage: 6″ x 6″ x 12″ (16″ high with plumbing)
* Capacity of 50G up to 350G
* Can hold up to 750ML of Bio-pellets.
* Compatibility: works best with Tapered edge or other non-perfectly round bio-pellets.
* Built in pump
* 11.5W of energy use.
* Standard 1/2″ SCH40 PVC can easily be extended to reach into other chambers for installation.
* Total silence.”
Base on my own experience, this design has two main features that make it different
1 The media chamber is an inverted triangle shape.
2 The pump is placed inside the reactor beneath the reactor chamber.
These two new features help to focus the right amount of flow even through the pellets keeping all pellets consistently moving within the reactor chamber while keeping the foot print of the reactor smaller. Based on a few weeks of use, I am extremely happy with the performance of this reactor. In my opinion, this design makes the Cad Lights Conic Media Reactor among the better reactors on the market right now.
I was also extremely impresses with the manufacture. The reactor cam very well packaged and they even went the extra mile to pre-wrap the threaded connection on the one fitting you have to screw onto the top of the with a good quality thread tap. This shows the company cares about quality.
The only drawback that I can see with this reactor design is that it does require more height clearance than a traditional media reactor which could be a limiting factor when using in an aquarium stand on aquariums smaller than 150 gallons.
Although I feel this reactor doesn’t work as well as the manufacture claims, it still is a very good quality reactor and I would recommended it to anyone who has the required room in their sump for it.