Friday, February 22, 2013

Sneak Peak: Innovative Marine MiniMax Reactor

I got a sneak peak at the latest gadget from Innovative Marine, the Innovative Marine MiniMax All-In-One Media Reactor. They are quite... Innovative.
MiniMax Reactor w/ packaging.
ReefBuilders released news of the item early this week, and I was certainly impressed by what I saw. Well, today I got to see this new filter in person. In the images, the reactor was installed on a JBJ RL 14 Gallon aquarium for display purposes only. It was not installed into a live reef system.

The reactor was filled with biopellets (a.k.a. bio plastics). This is a great media to test the reactor with as it's heavy and needs to tumble. If the reactor can easily tumble bioplastics, it should have no problem with carbon or GFO (granular feric oxide).

(More details and images after the jump...)

The reactor from below water level

The reactor tumbled the biopellets quite well. The flowed freely, but not violently. This is actually a good thing as too much tumble is also not desired. To dial the flow to match the desired rate for your media, a simply twist of the top is all that is required. Slowly turn the dial to reduce the flow. It will eventually stop the flow all together. At that point, continuing to turn will open the flow again.

Top of reactor. Notice clamp and adjustment screw to lower/raise reactor.
The reactor has a nice, solid acrylic tank mount or hanger. The holds the reactor to the back of an aquarium. There is a thumbscrew that allows to you adjust the hanger's position on the reactor's body to accomodate shorter aquariums. This is a nice feature to incorporate for shorter nano tanks.

Uses a small, efficient IM pump. Located directly under the reactor (pump IS included).
The pump is small and located directly under the reactor. This saves valuable real estate (especially when using this in the rear chamber of a nano system). This also reduces the rating of pump needed for this. Similar to protein skimmers, placing the pump directly under the reactor improves efficiency as well.
Pulling on the top removes the inner tube of the reactor. This feature makes changing or adding media a breeze.
The reactor is easy to maintenance. Lifting up the top removes the inner canister. You can easily add more media or change out media. The reactor can be used for carbon, granular feric oxide (GFO, phosphate media), and bioplastics.

There are two sponges that should be left in to prevent media escaping into the aquarium. The sponges were left in place for the addition of the biopellets, and it did not seem to slow the flow down. I would like to note that there is much more biopellets than would be required for an aquarium this size, and as mentioned, it tumbles well.

It's designed specifically to fit in the rear chamber of the Innovative Marine Nuvo Aquariums, but would work well in many other all in one aquariums. I could see this fitting nicely into the 28 gallon Nano Cube aquarium. It is currently available in two sizes, DeskTop and MidSize.

Specification comparison:
  Desktop MidSize
Dimensions 2.2" x 2.3" x 11.41" 2.6" x 3.07" x 15.75"
Power consumption 2.5 watts 8.0 watts
Pump flow rate 52 GPH 92 GPH
Maximum capacity 150 mL 350 mL

Retail prices start at $99 for the Desktop model and $129 for the MidSize. They were on preorder earlier this week, but appear to be in stock at Marine Depot and (Hint: Shop now at and save 10% using VIPCHRIS coupon!)

Overall, this is a great new product, and has been released so far to some fan fair. The reactor is built well and you can tell thought was placed into this design. For the quality, convenience, and size it's a great product at a nice entry level price.

Until next time...

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