Budget-Friendly Vs. High-End: Battle of GFO Reactors

comparing costs gfo reactors

When it comes to maintaining optimal water quality in coral aquariums, GFO reactors have emerged as a popular choice. These devices efficiently remove phosphates and ensure a healthy environment for corals to thrive.

However, the market is flooded with a plethora of options, ranging from budget-friendly to high-end GFO reactors. Making the right choice can be a daunting task, especially for those new to the hobby.

In this article, we will delve into the battle between budget-friendly and high-end GFO reactors, comparing their features, advantages, and disadvantages.

By the end of this discussion, you will have a clearer understanding of which GFO reactor suits your needs, leaving you eager to explore further into the world of GFO reactors and their impact on your coral aquarium.

Key Takeaways

  • The Two Little Fishies Phosban Filter Media Reactor is a budget-friendly option with a large media space, making it a good choice for those looking to save money.
  • The Reef Octopus Beginner Media Filter is a high-end option that is easy to use and comes with a pump and tubes included, making it convenient for those who want a complete package.
  • The ACCEL AQUATICS Filter Media Reactor has unique flow patterns and prevents clumping, making it a high-end option that offers advanced features.
  • The Innovative Marine Minimax Pro Series Media Reactor is a compact and efficient option suitable for small tanks, making it a good choice for those with limited space.

Two Little Fishies Phosban Reactor

reactor for phosban media

The Two Little Fishies Phosban Filter Media Reactor is a budget-friendly option that offers a large media space for efficient phosphate removal in coral aquariums. With dimensions of 14 x 3 x 3 inches, this reactor provides ample room for media placement.

It is reasonably priced and comes with flexible connections, allowing for easy installation. The pros of the Phosban Reactor include its affordability, flexible connections, and large media space.

However, one downside is its slow-speed power. To ensure proper installation, it is recommended to carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines.

Despite its limitations, the Two Little Fishies Phosban Filter Media Reactor remains a popular choice for those seeking an economical solution for phosphate removal in their coral aquariums.

Reef Octopus Beginner Media Filter

For those seeking a user-friendly option for their coral aquarium, the Reef Octopus Beginner Media Filter provides an efficient solution with its included pump and tubes.

Here are the pros and cons of the Reef Octopus Beginner Media Filter:


  1. Easy to use: The Reef Octopus Beginner Media Filter is designed with simplicity in mind, making it perfect for beginners.
  2. Pump included: The included pump ensures proper water circulation and filtration.
  3. Tubes included: The filter comes with tubes that allow for easy installation and operation.


  1. Quite expensive: Compared to other GFO reactors on the market, the Reef Octopus Beginner Media Filter may be considered pricey.


water flow reactor for aquariums

Continuing the exploration of GFO reactors, the focus now shifts to the ACCEL AQUATICS Reactor.

This reactor offers unique flow patterns and prevents clumping, resulting in improved water flow and media efficiency.

The ACCEL AQUATICS Reactor stands out among other reactors due to its ability to provide impressive capacity and prevent media clumping.

Its unique flow patterns ensure efficient contact between the media and water, enhancing its effectiveness in removing phosphates from the tank.

Although external parts are not included, the benefits of using the ACCEL AQUATICS Reactor include improved water flow, media efficiency, and prevention of clumping.

When comparing flow patterns in different reactors, the ACCEL AQUATICS Reactor stands out as a reliable option for maintaining water quality in a coral aquarium.

Innovative Marine Minimax Pro Reactor

The Innovative Marine Minimax Pro Reactor is a compact and efficient solution for maintaining water quality in small tanks. Its benefits of compact design include:

  1. Space-saving: The Minimax Pro Reactor's dimensions of 11.8 x 4.4 x 4.4 inches make it ideal for small tanks where space is limited. It can easily fit into tight spaces without compromising its effectiveness.
  2. Easy installation: The reactor is designed for easy installation, allowing users to quickly set it up without any hassle. This is especially beneficial for aquarists who want a hassle-free solution for maintaining water quality.
  3. Efficient media contact: The Minimax Pro Reactor ensures efficient contact between the media and water, maximizing its effectiveness in removing phosphates and other impurities. This helps to promote a healthy and balanced environment for coral and other marine life.

AQUATOP MR-20 Multimedia Reactor

efficient media filtration system

Moving on from discussing the Innovative Marine Minimax Pro Reactor, let's now focus our attention on the AQUATOP MR-20 Multimedia Reactor. This compact reactor is designed to be affordable and suitable for small to medium tanks. The AQUATOP MR-20 has a compact design, measuring 15 x 2.5 x 3.5 inches, making it easy to fit into tight spaces. However, its smaller size does come with a disadvantage of limited media capacity.

To help you understand the AQUATOP MR-20 Multimedia Reactor better, here is a table highlighting its advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages Disadvantages
Affordable price Limited media capacity
Compact design
Easy to set up
Suitable for small to medium tanks

The AQUATOP MR-20 Multimedia Reactor, with its compact design and affordability, is a good option for those with smaller tanks. However, it is important to consider the media capacity that will be suitable for your specific tank size.

Important Factors to Consider

When selecting a GFO reactor for your coral aquarium, there are several important factors to consider:

  1. Size and capacity: Consider the size of your tank and choose a reactor that can handle the capacity. Ensure that the reactor has enough space to hold an adequate amount of GFO media.
  2. Installation tips: Look for reactors with flexible connections for easy installation. This will allow you to easily connect the reactor to your existing plumbing system without any hassle.
  3. Pros and cons of different GFO reactors: Read reviews and consider the pros and cons of each reactor before making a decision. Factors such as price, ease of use, included accessories, media capacity, and noise level should be taken into account.

Installation and Setup Tips

practical tips for installation

For optimal installation and setup of a GFO reactor, consider the following tips:

Installation Techniques Troubleshooting Tips Maintenance Tips
Properly position the reactor in the sump or hang-on back filter. Regularly check for leaks and ensure all connections are secure. Rinse the media before placing it in the reactor to remove any dust or debris.
Connect the reactor to the water pump or powerhead using flexible tubing. Monitor the flow rate and adjust if necessary to ensure proper contact between the media and water. Clean the reactor regularly to prevent clogging and maintain optimal performance.
Prime the reactor by filling it with water before adding the media. If the reactor is not effectively reducing phosphates, consider increasing the media quantity or changing to a different brand. Replace the GFO media as needed based on phosphate levels and manufacturer recommendations.

Following these installation techniques and troubleshooting tips will help ensure that your GFO reactor is properly set up and functioning optimally. Regular maintenance and monitoring will also help to maintain the efficiency of the reactor and keep your aquarium water clean and healthy.

Maintaining and Replacing Filter Media

To maintain optimal performance of your GFO reactor, regular maintenance and timely replacement of the filter media are essential. Here are some key points to consider regarding the maintenance requirements and lifespan of GFO media:

  1. GFO Media Lifespan: The lifespan of GFO media can vary depending on factors such as the amount of phosphates in your aquarium and the flow rate through the reactor. Generally, GFO media can last anywhere from 2 to 6 months before it needs to be replaced.
  2. Inspection and Cleaning: Regularly inspect the GFO media for signs of clogging, clumping, or deterioration. If you notice any of these issues, it is recommended to clean or replace the media to ensure proper functioning of the reactor.
  3. Timely Replacement: It is crucial to replace the GFO media before it becomes fully exhausted. A depleted GFO media will no longer effectively remove phosphates from the water, potentially leading to poor water quality and negative effects on coral health.

Common Questions and Answers

faqs about various topics

GFO reactors commonly raise questions among coral aquarium enthusiasts seeking to optimize their tank's water quality and nutrient balance. Some common questions include:

  1. Can GFO reactors be used in tanks of all sizes?

Yes, GFO reactors can be used in tanks of various sizes. However, it is important to choose a reactor that can handle the capacity of your tank.

  1. Are there any specific maintenance requirements for GFO reactors?

GFO reactors require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. Maintenance tips include rinsing the media before use, regular monitoring of phosphate levels, and periodically replacing the filter media.

  1. How often should the filter media be replaced in a GFO reactor?

The frequency of filter media replacement will depend on the phosphate levels in your tank. It is recommended to replace the media every 3-6 months or as needed.

  1. Does GFO remove nitrate?

GFO primarily removes phosphate from the water, but it can indirectly help reduce nitrate levels by reducing the nutrient imbalance in the tank.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Average Lifespan of a GFO Reactor?

The average lifespan of a GFO reactor depends on factors such as maintenance and usage. With proper care and regular maintenance, GFO media can last anywhere from 6-12 months before needing replacement. Regular cleaning and monitoring of flow rates are essential for optimal performance.

Are There Any Specific Safety Precautions to Take When Using a GFO Reactor?

When using a GFO reactor, it is important to take safety precautions such as wearing gloves and goggles, as GFO can be harmful if it comes into contact with the skin or eyes. Regular maintenance, including cleaning and replacing the filter media, is also necessary to ensure optimal performance.

Can GFO Reactors Be Used in Freshwater Aquariums?

Yes, GFO reactors can be used in saltwater aquariums. The benefits of using GFO reactors in aquarium maintenance include removing phosphates, improving water quality, and promoting the health and growth of corals and other marine organisms.

What Are Some Common Signs That Indicate the Need to Replace the Filter Media in a GFO Reactor?

Signs of filter media replacement in GFO reactors include decreased water clarity, high phosphate levels, and reduced effectiveness in removing phosphates. To maintain efficiency, regularly test water parameters and replace media when it becomes exhausted.

Are There Any Additional Accessories or Parts That Are Recommended to Enhance the Performance of a GFO Reactor?

Recommended accessories for enhancing the performance of a GFO reactor include a reliable and efficient pump, high-quality filter media, and additional tubing for improved water flow. These accessories can optimize the reactor's effectiveness in removing phosphates from the tank.