The Vertex Supra C+ filter is a feat of reef sump design the likes of which we’ve never seen before. We’ve seen individual reefers take their sumps to the next level but nothing can prepare you for how complex and sophisticated the new Vertex Supra Filters are.
Vertex has been relatively quiet over the last year, and the first (and last) we heard about the Vertex Aquaristik sump design was last year in Germany at InterZoo 2014. In the interim Vertex has been secretly developing their new Supra Filter reef sump concept to be one hard core reef aquarium filtration machine with a veritable kitchen sink approach.
There’s so many unexpected and one of a kind accessories on the Vertex Supra C+ filter that even after looking at it for a while, we didn’t see all of the bells and whistles until certain things were pointed out to us. At its core, the Supra C Filter has the standard three-part filter chambers of a typical sump, with a prefilter area, a protein skimmer and reactor chamber, and a final section for the pump and return water to the tank.
The prefilter area includes two drains to the filter, but only one of which is outfitted with a filter sock holder. There’s an extremely endowed probe holder with seven holes ranging in size from large to small to accomodate the smallest temperature sensor, to the largest conductivity probe. all of which have a unique wire channeling system to keep everything nice and neat. The first really different addition to the Supra Filter’s first chamber is a dedicated Cell-Pore/CerMedia holder for stashing a couple slabs of dedicated biological filter media.
The second chamber of the Vertex Supra Filter has plenty of space for placing an internal Vertex Omega protein skimmer, a media reactor and an Rx-Z zeolite reactor. There’s a dedicated small powerhead section built right in to this ‘action’ chamber specifically for draining this chamber to easily and completely clean this part of the sump.
The baffles leading to the third and final section of the Vertex Supra C+ Filter are adjustable with titanium screws so you can dial in the water level height in which the protein skimmer is operating. On the last baffle wall there’s a specific float switch holder, complete with conduit to channel the wiring to this sensor.
And finally, the third and last chamber of the Supra Filter includes a powerful Vertex V6 pump which is pre-plumbed with two bypasses, one on the intake of the pump and one on the outlet. The first bypass actually routes the intake of the V6 Pump from the first chamber of the Supra Filter, completely circumventing the second chamber so that you can work in the second chamber without stirring up any detritus.
The intake bypass works with the built in draining pump so you can more easily keep your Supra Filter in peak working order. And when your sump looks like the Vertex Supra, you’ll want to keep it clean so you can show it off to visitors. The second bypass of the Vertex V6 routes a small amount of the water to the included media reactor so you can reduce the need for so many pumps inside the sump.
Lastly, the Vertex Supra Filter includes a profuse amount of channeling; there’s a split pipe inside the sump for channeling the cords out of the sump keeping it all nice and neat and there’s a bevy of small clips to keep the wires flush with the back wall. The final touch we could make out from the Vertex Supra is the included dosing line channeling which routes around the back and right edges of the supra, leading all the tubing right into the final chamber of the filter. Phew!
It goes without saying that there’s true union ball valves everywhere you look in the Vertex Supra C+ Filter, the entire sump is made of white PVC, clear acrylic with plastic welded seams for unnecessary degrees of strength and durability. Vertex will be offering the Vertex Supra Filter in a C and a C+ configuration, with a fully loaded sump retailing for around $3500.
The Vertex Supra C+ filter is the only all in one sump on the market that offers anywhere near this level of attention to detail and OCD levels of control, except, it feels a tiny bit lacking for not having controllable protein skimmer pump, return pump, and reactor pump. There’s no question that Vertex’s skimmer and pump are extremely capable at what they do. But for north of three grand, you’d expect that the kitchen sink would have all the bells and whistles, and that includes being able to digitally dial in the flowrate of the pumps that are the heartbeat of any aquarium filter.