A popular way of getting the most out of a range of chemical filtration materials, fluidising media reactors are now a common fixture on many reef-keepers systems. With a variety of different models to choose from, each with a subtly different feature-set, we jumped at the chance to investigate one particularly attractive looking model recently launched by Cologne-based Vertex Aquaristik. We couldn’t find any existing reviews on this model, so let’s be the first to take a close look the Rx-U 1.5!
Well to start let’s just mention how impressive the packaging for this item is. As well as ‘looking the business’ this packaging also means that the likelihood of damage in transit is minimized which is great as there’s nothing more frustrating than waiting for that new item to arrive only to find it has been damaged in transit. Moving on, once unpacked we aren’t disappointed as this unit really does feel quality in the hand with a solid, heavy cast acrylic tube, titanium screws and sturdy PVC base. The unit oozes quality actually, with the precision-machined parts fitting together beautifully. There’s a real satisfaction to be had in screwing on the QUICK-LOC lid and, thanks to a silicone O-ring, you can be confident that this thing isn’t going to leak whether you are running it in your sump, or externally (which is fine). Able to be integrated inline or hard-plumbed, we went for a third ‘soft-hose’ option and used the barbed hose connectors and PN16 Upvc fittings to connect some Eheim 16/22 hose onto our unit. One comment here, we did need a reducer to get our feed pump fitted (pump isn’t included).
During a wet-test, the level of fluidisation proved exceptionally easy to control thanks to the incorporation of the true union ball valve. It’s worth a word about media here and take note that while fine materials can be used in this reactor, we suggest you should confirm the unit/media compatibility before going ahead. If you do want to run a fine media we suggest that obtaining the additional sieve kit is a good idea.
So that’s wraps up our evaluation of this reactor. As you can see we were generally most impressed with the unit and think it offers a high-quality, well thought-out solution for the fluidisation of a range of media. It’s simple to use, exceptionally well put-together and does exactly what it is designed to do. Retailing for around £115 at the time of writing, this reactor is also great value, and is retailed by Marine-Aquatics in the UK. As well as the 1.5 litre model we tested, Vertex also produce 2 and 2.5 litre units that should suit those larger applications.