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.
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.
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.
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!