Best Biopellet Reactor For Your Aquarium Reviewed 2023

It goes without saying that any seasoned tank owner should always have a high-quality biopellet reactor for their tank. If you’re a first-time tank owner, you’d probably want to know what biopellet reactors are and what they’re used for.

Simply put, these devices house biopellets, which can be pretty useful because they help build bacteria colonies, the beneficial bacteria that is. This is where the bacteria in the tank will live, thrive, and multiply. It’s also where harmful materials will be filtered out of the water.

Seeing that they could be integral for the life of the inhabitants of your tank, you should get a top-notch model to ensure that the water is well filtered out, but make sure that you have sound criteria when shopping for a reactor. Otherwise, you’ll get an undesired product.

If you don’t know what to look for next time you go shopping for a biopellet reactor, you can simply read our review to find the best biopellet reactor for your needs.

TLDR – The Best Biopellet Reactors

The Reef Octopus BR70 is the best biopellet reactor for larger tanks. Accell FR-16 is best for smaller tanks with a sump and the Reef Octopus Beginner is best for small tanks without a sump.

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How to Choose a Biopellet Reactor

Before diving into the best products on the market, there are a few things you should keep in mind first. For example, the biopellet reactor should be easy to clean. While biopellet reactors do an excellent job of cleaning out any tank water, they won’t perform well if they’re not clean enough.

Next, make sure that the biopellet reactor of your choice keeps pellets tumbling consistently. Otherwise, substances such as nitrates won’t be cleaned out of the tank water.

Naturally, large amounts of water should flow through the pellets, so it’s essential that you look for a biopellet reactor with a design that increases the water flow.

Some tanks have a sump, and it’d be highly convenient if your biopellet reactor can be conveniently tucked into it. Thus, opt for designs, usually smaller designs, that could be fitted into that space.

Also, some biopellet reactors come with their own pumps, while others don’t. Unless you have specific needs when it comes to the reactor’s pump, be sure that the model you buy comes with its own pump.

In some models, incidents in which pellets come out of their chamber could happen quite frequently. This can happen if there are no screws that are tight enough to keep the pellets where they should be. 

Finally, the thing you should look for is the flow rate (GPH), which affects how much nitrates are removed from the water. Ideally, the higher the flow rate, the fewer nitrates you’ll have in the tank water.

With that said, you can now check out our review for the 5 best biopellets on the market.

5 Best Biopellet Reactors Reviewed

1. Reef Octopus BR70 Biopellet Reactor

  • Includes Pump: No
  • Dimensions: 3.875″ x 3.875″ x 19.3″
  • Required GPH: 265-400
  • Placement: In sump

If you’re looking for a reliable biopellet reactor that could last for a few years, this one’s for you. This reactor can hold a sizable amount of pellets (the reactor has a load capacity of 400 ml), which can be useful for large and medium-sized tanks. 

This reactor has a cone bottom that helps keep it suspended in the water. It also comes with lids that you can close firmly with screws. You’ll also find a mesh screen inside the reactor to keep the pellets within the reactor. Don’t worry about it restricting the flow of water, as they’re explicitly designed to let the water flow in easily.

You can’t find good carbon dosing biopellet reactors very frequently, but this is one of the best ones on the market. Luckily, you can fit this one in the tank’s sump, that’s if you have one big enough to house it.

Unfortunately, though, this reactor doesn’t come with a pump of its own, but you can still buy one separately. We recommend that you get one that can handle a flow rate of 350, considering that this reactor’s recommended flow rate falls between 265 and 400 GPH.

Some sellers might even offer a pump along with the reactors, but make sure that you check the recommended flow rate of the pump before getting it as well.

Considering the average price, the low flow rate, and the excellent tumbling action of this product, it’s safe to say that this reactor is reasonably priced and will filter your water in a few weeks.

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2. AquaMaxx BioMaxx XL BioPellet Reactor

  • Includes Pump: No
  • Dimensions: 5.5″ x 5.5″ x 22″
  • Required GPH: 300-600
  • Placement: In sump

Get ready to get rid of nitrates in algae in your tank with this biopellet reactor. With the computer-designed fluidizing plates in this reactor, the biopellet should be evenly dispersed and suspended.

When it comes to security, it’s also designed with a special and secure plate on its lid to keep the pellets inside the reactor and omitting the need for any sponges. 

The A-classic acrylic construction should house as many pellets as you need. Its relatively small dimensions should also fit into the sump of your tank. However, you can also install it externally if you want to. It’s entirely up to you and the size of your tank.

When it comes to the pump, this reactor also doesn’t come with one, but you can find one by the same manufacturer sold separately, and it’ll enable you to plumb the reactor. Be sure to use a ball valve, as it’ll help you set the right flow rate, which, in this case, is 300-600 GPH.

You might also want to get a hang-on adapter if you’re having trouble mounting the reactor. This adapter is also sold separately, but it’ll be of great help, especially if you have a certain mounting configuration in your mind.

This reactor has an inlet and outlet hose fittings. You can either use a ¾ flexible tubing or a ½ Male Pipe Thread (MPT).

With 0.66-gallon capacity, this reactor should get rid of all nitrates and phosphates, given that you start slowly with the pellets. It’s highly efficient, affordable, and reliable. It’s also easy to install and maintain, so you won’t face much trouble even when cleaning it.

3. Accel Aquatics Biopellet Reactor FR-45

  • Includes Pump: No
  • Dimensions: 5.5″ x 5.5″ x 20.5″
  • Required GPH: 250-500
  • Placement: In sump

This is one of the reactors that’ll give immediate results once it’s up and running. In about 2 or 3 weeks, you’ll start to notice that nitrate levels are falling steadily. This probably due to the unique design of this reactor.

Unlike other reactors, this one comes with a nozzle that shoots water directly into the media and has a conically-designed bottom so that the water would churn in the media, preventing them from clumping together and settling at the bottom.

Similar to the past two reactors, this one doesn’t come with a pump of its own, but luckily, you don’t need to buy a highly-efficient one to get the reactor to function well. In fact, you can use a small pump, and you’d still get efficient water circulation.

This reactor is explicitly designed for nitrate-reducing pellet media, but you can still use just about any media you want, such as carbon media, GFO, or any media that needs fluidization.

Ensure that you’re controlling the water flow with the valve on this reactor to dial it to the recommended flow rate of this media. Generally, the recommended flow rate for this reactor is 150-300 GPH.

With the media capacity on this unit (500-1200ml), 205-inch height, 5.5-inch base diameter, you’d probably be able to place it in the sump, though you can still use it externally if there’s not enough space. Also, the inlet allows ½ or ¾ vinyl tubing.

You can easily assemble the parts and set them up at your convenience. Cleaning this reactor shouldn’t be a hassle in the long run. Additionally, it’s quite affordable when compared to its performance and effectiveness.

4. Accel Aquatics BioPellet Reactor FR-16

  • Includes Pump: Yes
  • Dimensions: 5.5″ x 5.5″ x 10″
  • Required GPH: 150-300
  • Placement: In sump

Having a strong reactor doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a strong pump to work effectively. This is what you’ll find in the Accel Aquatics biopellet reactor FR-16.

In this reactor, you’ll find a penductor or a “flow accelerator. This tiny device will help create strong movements in the water, which will effectively keep the biopellets suspended, unclumping, and moving, something that you’ll need in any reactor for the pellets to work effectively.

This model also has an inverted conical bottom, which will further help keep the pellets moving, suspended to prevent them from clumping together. Naturally, this should achieve maximum water-to-media contact; thus, achieve optimal performance without needing a powerful pump.

This reactor’s ideal flow rate is 150-300, and it requires ½ or ¾ vinyl tubing. Due to its smaller size, this particular reactor is designed for smaller tanks, so it’ll fit in smaller sumps. However, you’ll still be able to install externally if there’s a need to.

Fortunately, this reactor comes with a pump of its own; though it might not be the best performing one on the market, but it’ll still work well for this Accel reactor, considering that it doesn’t need much pump action.

When compared to other reactors, this is probably the most affordable biopellet reactor on this list. Considering that it performs quite well, it should clean the tank water quite well for an extended period of time, given that you maintain the recommended flow rate. 

The downside is that it’s only designed only for smaller tanks.

Accel Aquatics BioPellet and Filter Media Reactor - FR-16
Accel Aquatics BioPellet and Filter Media Reactor - FR-16

Last update on 2023-01-28 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Reef Octopus Beginner OCT-MF300B 2.5 Inch Media Reactor

  • Includes Pump: Yes
  • Dimensions: 2.5″ x 2.5″ x 14″
  • Required GPH: 95
  • Placement: Hang-on-the-back or in sump

If you’re looking for a full media filter kit with pumps, customizable set-up, a hose, foam, and media, then this product is for you! You can change any of these parts for the ones you desire if you want to.

Although this product comes with a pump, it might not be the most high-performing one out there. In fact, you might opt to get a more powerful one instead if you need to increase the flow rate. 

Unfortunately, this reactor doesn’t come with assembly instructions. Assembling the reactor parts isn’t really that hard, but you might spend hours trying to figure it out if you don’t have prior experience with assembling reactors, especially ones from Reef Octopus.

What’s great about this biopellet reactor, though, is that you can change its usage depending on what type of media you’re using and its requirements. 

However, as mentioned earlier, the pump that comes with this Media Reactor isn’t very powerful, especially with larger tanks. You might find that the pump doesn’t keep the pellets tumbling; therefore, no maximum water-to-media contact is achieved.

To sum it up, you should get this biopellet reactor only if you have a small tank. In that case, the recommended flow rate would be 95 GPH. 

Due to this reactor’s small size, you can house it in your small tank’s sump, or you can hang it to the wall of the tank, but make sure that the walls are not less than 1-inch thick.

This is one of the most affordable reactors out there, considering its versatility, size, and customizability. Make sure that you adjust the pump to the recommended 95 GPH flow rate and attach it to a small tank only to garner the full benefits of this reactor. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting media pellets.

OCTO OCT-MF300B 2.5 Inch Media Reactor
OCTO OCT-MF300B 2.5 Inch Media Reactor

Last update on 2023-01-28 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Which Biopellet Reactor To Pick?

Now that you’ve made it to the end of this review, we’d like to remind you of a few integral things. Choosing the most expensive product isn’t the best practice when getting a new biopellet reactor. 

Choosing the one that’s best for you depends on your tank, the material you need to cleanse the water off, and the size of the tank.  A reactor that works for a 20 gallon tank won’t work effectively for a 100 gallon tank and vice versa.

Take the Reef Octopus BR70, for instance. This biopellet reactor is highly efficient for larger tanks, but this might not be the case for smaller ones. Likewise, the Accel FR-16 is great for smaller tanks that have a sump, and the Reef Octopus Beginner is great for smaller tanks that don’t have a sump.

To make things easier, make sure to put the size of your tank and the type of media you’re planning to use at the forefront of your mind. This should help you pick the one that’s best for you!

Preview Product
Accel Aquatics BioPellet and Filter Media Reactor - FR-16 Accel Aquatics BioPellet and Filter Media Reactor - FR-16
OCTO OCT-MF300B 2.5 Inch Media Reactor OCTO OCT-MF300B 2.5 Inch Media Reactor

Last update on 2023-01-28 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Christopher Adams
Christopher Adams

Hey there, my name is Christopher and I'm the creator and editor of this site. I've owned successful aquariums for the past 23 years. My mission is to educate, inform, and entertain on everything that's fish.

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