The Red Sea ReefMat Review is one of the easiest reviews we’ve ever done and in a way we’ve been working up to this moment for the better part of a decade. It’s no secret that we have been massive proponents of automatic filter rolls both as a new piece of equipment and as a radical new tool for aquarium filtration and without a doubt Red Sea really knocked it out of the park with the ReefMat.
We’ve already given you 10 Reasons to Love the ReefMat in article form and in this video we discuss many of these points in more detail as well as demonstrate both models, the ReefMat 500 and 1200, in operation auto-filtering existing reef tanks. Before we dive into our experience with the ReefMat models we have to mention that Red Sea has really thought about the user experience of installing this new device on a wide range of tanks and their Sump Modification Kit includes a tool that is a must-have for separating out panes of glass that have been siliconed together.
Aside from the readily visible hardware features we’ve previously covered, the two major distinctions between the Red Sea ReefMat and all others is that it is the first ‘Smart’ device of its kind, and perhaps most importantly it is unapologetically large. To date all other automatic filter rolls have been basic analog machines, for better or for worse, but the smart features of the ReefMat can inform users of many important details of how the machine is performing.
When connected to the ReefBeat app the ReefMat can alert users to any possible jams in the fleece material, it can log and monitor filter usage and trickiest of all, it can let you know when you’ll be using up the current roll so you can stock up before you run out! One particularly useful feature which is likely to get overlooked is a setting in the ReefBeat app which enables users to set the Mat Advance Length – when the level sensor is triggered the ReefMat will advance around one inch by default, but you can decrease this length to just a quarter of an inch or increase it to the entire wet length to encourage more nutrient export.
But as a long time user of many different models of automatic filter rolls the extra large size of the ReefMat is part of what makes it such a great mechanical filtration tool in the first place. Where others have tried to make filter rolls as small and unobtrusive as possible so they can fit into a wide range of sumps, Red Sea has eliminated these compromises by making the ReefMat as large as it needs to be for effective filtration of water passing through it.
Red Sea could easily have priced the $349 ReefMat 500 and $399 ReefMat 1200 a hundred dollars more and it would still be a very competitive machine and the $20 and $30 replacement rolls are also a really fair price. The release of the ReefMat represents the first mass-produced automatic filter roll, which makes it likely to be the first introduction of this technology for many hobbyists around the world and we can’t think of a better way to get started with this unique form of mechanical filtration and nutrient export than the Red Sea ReefMat.