Monday, March 10, 2014

Hydra Aquatics FR-45 BioPellet Reactor: It's all about the tumble!

As a follow-up to my last post about the Hydra Aquatics Twist, here is another great application for a penductor.

Biopellet reactors are becoming increasingly popular as more and more hobbyists discover how biopellets work. They are a powerful and cost-effective way to lower your nitrates (and phosphates, to a lesser degree) and require very little maintenance.

Hydra Aquatics BioPellet Reactors, in particular, are amazingly efficient, easy to set up and easy to use.
The short version of how biopellets work is that they are a food source for certain strains of bacteria in your aquarium.

Bacteria will begin to populate on biopellets once they are added to your system. While consuming biopellets, the bacteria also consumes nitrate and phosphate and forms a "biofilm."

As biopellets tumble inside the reactor, the biofilm continually falls off the biopellets. This sheared-off biofilm is then removed by your protein skimmer, removing the nitrates and phosphates from your aquarium.

The amount of biopellets inside the reactor will decrease over time as they are consumed by bacteria. You will simply need to top-off the biopellet media every six months or so.
The key to getting biopellets to work properly is to make sure all the biopellets are gently tumbling. If they tumble too violently, bacteria will not have the opportunity to grow and consume the biopellets. If they don't tumble enough (or at all), the biofilm will not shed off and you will end up with a big, stinky, slimy mess.

Hydra Aquatics did a wonderful job with their biopellet reactors by incorporating a penductor (also known as a flow accelerator) as well as a conical base to assist with the tumbling. The penductor speeds up and disperses water flow to tumble the biopellets while the conical base helps ensure there is no clumping at the base of the reactor.

The result is a very even and controllable tumble and a very efficient reactor that required a much smaller pump compared to others. With just a 530GPH pump, the Hydra Aquatics FR-45 BioPellet Reactor can easily tumble 1200mL of biopellets! Most reactors require a significantly larger pump to tumble this many biopellets. By installing an inline ball valve, I was able to dial in the appropriate tumble rate I wanted for my tank.
Additional features of the Hydra Aquatics BioPellet Reactor include a twist-off lid for easy servicing, a filling port to easily add more media and a hang-on bracket for more installation options. The ½” MPT and step hose barb inlet also make installation a cinch with just about any water pump.
Hydra Aquatics BioPellet Reators are extremely easy to install, ultra-efficient and do an excellent job tumbling biopellets. There are three sizes available: the FR-30 hold up to 600mL of biopellets, the FR-45 that holds up to 1200mL and the FR-100 that hold up to 2400mL.

If you are looking for a way lower your nitrates and are in the market for a biopellet reactor, make sure to add the Hydra Aquatics BioPellet Reactor to your shopping list!

video