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Treebeard
02-18-2014, 07:34 PM
I've had it with this Cadlights biopellet reactor and ready to try something else. I am looking for input and opinions on what everyone else is using. I am thinking of going cheap with a TLF 150.

Delphinus
02-18-2014, 07:49 PM
I use a TLF150 on my 65g for pellets because I had one onhand. It does the job OK but you really can't fill it much beyond 2/3 full (if even there) because you won't get enough pellet movement otherwise to prevent a clog or partial clog. My opinion is that for pellets, a slightly wider diameter is better. The 2 other reactors I've used for pellets are 4" diameter and they are literally set and forget.

I'd consider using the bigger TLF reactor over the 150 because apparently it uses a 4" diameter. I can't speak from experience that it's any better as I've never used one of these though.

On my bigger tank I am using a Vertex reactor and it's basically "fill, set and forget (and occasionally refill)". I don't know what it is about it that makes it work, but I think it's a combination of the 4" diameter chamber, and the drilled bottom plate giving an even upflow. The exact model I'm using is discontinued but has been replaced with this: http://www.jlaquatics.com/phpstore/store_pages/product-info.php?product_ID=vt-uf15p1

... which seems to be more or less the same, except for cosmetic changes and larger diameter inlets/outlets (to give less flow restriction, which probably helps as well).

....

What is happening with your Cadlights?

Seriak
02-18-2014, 08:10 PM
If you go the other route of "Not so cheap", I highly recommend the following. I have been using it for over a year with no issues.

http://www.coralvue.com/reef-octopus-br2000ss-spacesaver-biopellet-reactor

Treebeard
02-18-2014, 08:42 PM
There are two drilled diffuser plates on the Cadlights reactor, top and bottom that seem to clog too easily. I spent an hour yesterday, taking it apart and cleaning the plates and the pump, put it back together and it worked great. This morning it is barely tumbling again. And it is a pita to take apart and clean.

I was also looking at the Vertex RX-U. What pump are you using with it, or are you running it off the return?


I use a TLF150 on my 65g for pellets because I had one onhand. It does the job OK but you really can't fill it much beyond 2/3 full (if even there) because you won't get enough pellet movement otherwise to prevent a clog or partial clog. My opinion is that for pellets, a slightly wider diameter is better. The 2 other reactors I've used for pellets are 4" diameter and they are literally set and forget.

I'd consider using the bigger TLF reactor over the 150 because apparently it uses a 4" diameter. I can't speak from experience that it's any better as I've never used one of these though.

On my bigger tank I am using a Vertex reactor and it's basically "fill, set and forget (and occasionally refill)". I don't know what it is about it that makes it work, but I think it's a combination of the 4" diameter chamber, and the drilled bottom plate giving an even upflow. The exact model I'm using is discontinued but has been replaced with this: http://www.jlaquatics.com/phpstore/store_pages/product-info.php?product_ID=vt-uf15p1

... which seems to be more or less the same, except for cosmetic changes and larger diameter inlets/outlets (to give less flow restriction, which probably helps as well).

....

What is happening with your Cadlights?

kien
02-18-2014, 08:47 PM
+1 vote for the Vertex reactors. I've been using one for over 3 years now ! And the older model even. Apparently there's a newer fancier model. I'd upgrade except that my old Vertex is still running like a champ.

Reef Pilot
02-18-2014, 08:56 PM
I also use a Vertex, the older UF20 model. Only have to touch it when topping up bio pellets, never for cleaning. Since my nitrates have been consistently at zero for such a long time, my bio pellet consumption has almost stopped. Last time I had mine open (to add pellets) was in Nov/2012, which is well over a year ago.

I used to fill it almost to the top, which is a complete 1000 ml bag. Now there is only about 1/2 cup on the bottom left, and just keep a gentle tumble going with that. I use a mesh screen filter from Michael's to keep the pellets from exiting the reactor. You can also get a Vertex screen designed for this reactor to do the same.

I don't use a separate pump. The input line is T'ed off my return pump and flow and tumble is controlled by the reactor's ball valve on the input side.

Delphinus
02-18-2014, 09:03 PM
(UF-20 is the model I'm using as well. There is also a smaller UF-15 that would probably work well if you want to look around for a used one..) Off the top of my head, I don't remember the pump I'm using to drive it, it was just some inexpensive thing that was recommended at the time. (Kien, do you have the same one still? Do you remember what it is?) In any case I would imagine any pump will do, maybe even a Maxijet1200 would work well.

As for the Cadlights, could you drill out the holes of the diffuser to make them bigger and less prone to clogging? That might be something to try. Even if you mess up and make the holes too big, you can fix that by getting the plastic screen mesh from Michaels to put over top of it.

Treebeard
02-18-2014, 09:19 PM
I just watched Kien's videos on YouTube. Looks like the Vertex works really good.
I supposed I could try drilling the holes a bit bigger. I also think a larger pump would help.

(UF-20 is the model I'm using as well. There is also a smaller UF-15 that would probably work well if you want to look around for a used one..) Off the top of my head, I don't remember the pump I'm using to drive it, it was just some inexpensive thing that was recommended at the time. (Kien, do you have the same one still? Do you remember what it is?) In any case I would imagine any pump will do, maybe even a Maxijet1200 would work well.

As for the Cadlights, could you drill out the holes of the diffuser to make them bigger and less prone to clogging? That might be something to try. Even if you mess up and make the holes too big, you can fix that by getting the plastic screen mesh from Michaels to put over top of it.

kien
02-18-2014, 09:48 PM
I'm using a cheap Odyssea pump. Here's my posting on my biopellet reactor and pump plumbing.
(http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=512952&postcount=398)

Tom R
02-18-2014, 11:28 PM
I also use a Vertex, the older UF20 model. Only have to touch it when topping up bio pellets, never for cleaning. Since my nitrates have been consistently at zero for such a long time, my bio pellet consumption has almost stopped. Last time I had mine open (to add pellets) was in Nov/2012, which is well over a year ago.

I used to fill it almost to the top, which is a complete 1000 ml bag. Now there is only about 1/2 cup on the bottom left, and just keep a gentle tumble going with that. I use a mesh screen filter from Michael's to keep the pellets from exiting the reactor. You can also get a Vertex screen designed for this reactor to do the same.

I don't use a separate pump. The input line is T'ed off my return pump and flow and tumble is controlled by the reactor's ball valve on the input side.

I use the same with a Mag 9 pump and the water volume set by the ball valve on the input side.

Tom R

WarDog
02-19-2014, 01:26 AM
Kien has videos on YouTube?!

Treebeard
03-15-2014, 05:43 PM
So I picked up the Vertex and it works great, however one small problem is I am using the sponge filter at the top end which eventually plugs and needs to be cleaned. What is this mesh screen from Michaels you refer to?

I also use a Vertex, the older UF20 model. Only have to touch it when topping up bio pellets, never for cleaning. Since my nitrates have been consistently at zero for such a long time, my bio pellet consumption has almost stopped. Last time I had mine open (to add pellets) was in Nov/2012, which is well over a year ago.

I used to fill it almost to the top, which is a complete 1000 ml bag. Now there is only about 1/2 cup on the bottom left, and just keep a gentle tumble going with that. I use a mesh screen filter from Michael's to keep the pellets from exiting the reactor. You can also get a Vertex screen designed for this reactor to do the same.

I don't use a separate pump. The input line is T'ed off my return pump and flow and tumble is controlled by the reactor's ball valve on the input side.

reefwars
03-15-2014, 05:48 PM
So I picked up the Vertex and it works great, however one small problem is I am using the sponge filter at the top end which eventually plugs and needs to be cleaned. What is this mesh screen from Michaels you refer to?

i dont use the sponges in a bio pellet reactor and its not needed , basically the tumble shouldnt be near the top anyways:) since the output is directed to your skimmer the skimmer takes the mulm out:)

the mesh is for the bottom to keep the balls from clogging the outtake:) i guess yuou can use one for the top too but i never seen the need:)

the mesh is plastic crochet mesh grid i believe is what hes taking about?

kien
03-15-2014, 05:52 PM
I don't use the sponges either. However, I do use knitting mesh at the bottom. Doesn't clog as easily and allows for better flow. Just go to the knitting dept at Michael's and you'll see mesh/perforated sheets that people use to make knitting patterns. Or just ask a sales rep. That's what I did as I had no idea what knitting screen was.

Reef Pilot
03-15-2014, 06:06 PM
So I picked up the Vertex and it works great, however one small problem is I am using the sponge filter at the top end which eventually plugs and needs to be cleaned. What is this mesh screen from Michaels you refer to?
No, you can't use the sponges for bio pellets. Unfortunately can't remember what they are called at Michaels. But they are round plastic mesh screens that you cut to size. I used them for both the top and bottoms.

apexifd
03-15-2014, 09:07 PM
No, you can't use the sponges for bio pellets. Unfortunately can't remember what they are called at Michaels. But they are round plastic mesh screens that you cut to size. I used them for both the top and bottoms.

It's at the knitting section.

straightrazorguy
03-15-2014, 10:20 PM
It's called "Cross-stitching plastic canvas". It's a couple of bucks on ebay, or available at any sewing-cross-stitching supplies store. They come in different sizes and mesh sizes. You cut them to size.