The Nero 5 pump from Aqua Illumination is the first new product category from the lighting company ever and they swung for the fences with ambition. With its internal motor surrounded by a broad spinning propeller, the Nero 5 is the first fundamental redesign of the propeller pump since the Vortech pumps.
The resulting water mover is an internal style water pump which is powerful, efficient, low profile but still pushes a broad cross section of water in a manner which generates the most water movement for our reef tanks. It’s one thing to build great hardware but that;s only one half of the equation for today’s smart water pumps so the inline controller follows in the style of AI’s minimal external buttons and instead opts for full wireless controllability and programmability.
Plenty of pumps and smart aquarium devices use bluetooth as a protocol for wireless connection and control but the AI Nero 5 is the first to use the newest flavor of Bluetooth called Bluetooth LE. This new wireless standard requires no discovery or pairing of associated devices and is instantly recognized by the myAI smartphone app. This results in a seamless setup and installation experience where users can immediately start dialing in the Nero 5 to their needs and ‘make it dance’ from the convenience of their smartphones.
It’s this combination of performance and smart features which compelled us to install a pair of the AI Nero 5 pumps on our personal reef tank, replacing our de facto choice for small and medium sized reefs, the Vortech MP10. We all get very comfortable with the gear that we use but after a week of adjustment the pump placement and programming we’re very pleased with the Nero 5 pumps, both in how responsive they are to wireless control, but mostly for the broad cross section of water flow they move.
The resulting water movement in this 24 inch cube is near absolute throughout the entire aquarium. Corals at every level of the tank have responded with better polyp extension, explosive development of axial tips in the Acros, and we can already observe less detritus buildup. For the full review be sure and watch our latest video above so you can see the AI Nero 5 water pump in action with a much deeper look at how this pump performs on a well stocked, high energy reef tank.