The Reef Octopus BioChurn reactors are some very interesting bio-pellet spinning machines. When they first announced, we were not entirely sure how exactly they were supposed to work, but from the few available videos it was clear at least something was working. Shortly available on the market Coral Vue decided to clear things up a bit about the inner workings of the BioChurn reactors, and spend some time creating an overview how exactly the BioChurn reactors are suppose to work. Surprisingly (or not surprisingly) we are actually quite impressed as the design of these Reef Octopus biopellet reactors is a lot more radical than we imagined.
One of the biggest problems biopellets users face is the loss of flow as bacterial mulm builds up in the reactor. As a result users are forced to use larger pump, which works, but is a bit inefficient. Furthermore reactors tend to push a lot of flow into one particular area, which means that you get a lot of circulation in one area, and very little in others, not to mention that colliding currents will result in very inefficient flow.
The Reef Octopus BioChurn reactors circumvents both these problems. All the BioChurn reactors are designed with a giant rotor on bottom which is powered by the water flow of the pump. Preventing the biopellets from coming in contact with the rotor an additional flow plate is strategically placed above the rotor, which with special shaped slots we assume also helps distribute the flow even more evenly. In more simple terms there is a giant vortex created in the bottom of the reactor which is then pushed through the biopellet media resulting in mass water movement and mass biopellet turnover. It is definitely clever, and might very well be the future of biopellet reactors.
There might be one downside though, the vortex design does add a lot more parts to a previously very simple reactor. This mean A. more cleaning and B. more points of failure. We’re sure Reef Octopus selected their components based on quality so the latter might not be too big of a concern, but if you’re lazy it is something to keep in mind. That said if the BioChurn reactors works as they are suppose too they might actually work quite a bit longer between cleaning, cancelling out any cleaning concerns.
Like we mentioned in our previous post the reactor will come in four different flavors and a lot of different sizes. For those of you that like to run the reacotr in your sump there is an internal variation, there is an external variation for those that like to save sump space, there is a hang on back series for those without a sump, and there are some super sized models for all but the largest tank. We won’t go into detail about each and every size offered in each type, but it all can be found on the Reef Octopus website.