As some may recall, we received a PM-1 bio-pellet reactor from Bashsea last week, and over the weekend we got to spend a great deal of time with it. We disassembled the reactor and tossed in a box of NP-Active Pearls from DrTim’s Aquatics. The lid to the reactor is held in place with thumbscrews that slide into keyhole openings. It was removed with ease and replaced just the same, requiring a few turns of each of the screws. Once we loaded the PM-1 with the pellets, we plugged in the feed pump and watched the pellets tumble away.
As you might recall from our initial hands-on with the Bashsea PM-1 reactor, the one thing we were concerned about was the holes, or lack thereof, in the base plate. While most reactors have elaborate designs to move water in circular patterns and tumble the pellets in an erratic fashion, this reactor that we reviewed kept it simple. The base plate merely had a single row of holes, and to be honest, it worked extremely well. The outermost pellets get pushed upward, causing the rest of the pellets to be drawn into the current. This circular water flow, which can be seen in the video, allows the pellets moved around rather violently.
So far, in our limited use, we’re impressed with the reactor’s abilities to throw the pellets around. We are using a Rio 6HF feed pump, which pushes 350 gallons per hour and keeps the pellets moving all the time. We did tried a smaller feed pump, the MaxiJet 400, just for kicks and it didn’t do nearly as well. It did move some of the media, but it stuck together in this much lower flow rate. A MaxiJet 1200 might suffice in this situation, but we haven’t gotten a chance to try that pump out on the pellets quite yet.