The reason why aquarium enthusiasts should add reactors to their systems is simple: optimize the use of filter materials! One of the often underestimated aspects of using resins in socks is the channeling effect. The water tends to travel the path of least resistance, this leads to the formation of channels through the material. The formation of preferential channels causes the filtering material to reach an apparent saturation, having actually worked only partially. The waste of material obviously leads to higher costs and more frequent maintenance. Resins are highly polluting materials, rational and optimized consumption will also bring environmental benefits.
Characteristics of the Media reactor
The media reactors have very simple characteristics, generally comparable to a vertical cylinder. The dimensions logically vary according to the aquarium for which they will have to work. The most important aspect is related to the flow, vertical and upward. These two characteristics are essential to avoid, as previously mentioned, a channeling effect that would nullify the use of the Media reactor. Horizontally, the water would pass through the filter material only on one side, a similar fate would occur if the flow were directed from top to bottom. There is another parameter to be considered in the best possible way, the flow rate and, consequently, the pump to be mounted on our reactor. Each filter material has an ideal flow, usually specified on the package itself.
Let's see a practical case
Some time ago I got this reactor, an AF 110 Media reactor. The main reason for my choice was the possibility of being able to insert any filter material, from carbons to zeolites. Pay attention only to the use of zeolite in fluid beds, as it should be shaken regularly for optimal use, if you want more details on the subject let me know in the comments, maybe I will write a dedicated article.
The reactor in question has both the in let and outflow union on the upper part, an important aspect for the positioning in the sump (it is in fact less bulky). The water is brought, thanks to a transparent tube, to the bottom of the fluid bed, and then rises gently. There are also dividers, made up of sponge and acrylic grid that prevent them from deforming over time. This allows you not to use socks or bags that could hinder the optimal flow of water. In the video below I will report the last practical aspects, the assembly of the external pump and the pipe.