Pump is not easily replaced By Jeff on 9/28/2016
Jeff wouldn't recommend this product to a friend
The unit is VERY easy to agitate but the provided aquabee pump is NOT sold in america by anyone. So you have to email vertex who will sell you one for over $100 and you will be down for a while. Not a product that should be sold in the US since it has no real support or warranty.
Better than I thought. By Brian on 1/23/2015
Brian would recommend this product to a friend
I have never owned the Vertex so can't comment on the ease of use for that one.
I had wondered why this one cost so much more.
From what I can tell the Vertex doesn't have magnets?
If you look at the photo there is a white area in the middle bottom sticking up. Above that meets another spot on the removable internal basket. Inside of those two white areas are very powerful magnets that are set with opposing force. So the basket is basically levitating on a magnetic force. (note the gap between those two parts) It's pure genius. It does move easily with one finger empty but with stones and water it takes a little effort but I would imagine without the magnet would be quite a heavy lift up and down.
Build quality is what you would expect from the Germans. Pump is small but feel heavy like a quality piece. Rubber O-ring is high quality.
One thing I think could have been better was a built in valve to control the pump. Also mine is the 2L and it could easily hold 3L and plenty of room on top for carbon bag.
Is it worth that much more money? Not sure but now that I've seen the magnets in action I would have to buy again.
Do it right the first time. By Greg on 12/9/2013
Greg would recommend this product to a friend
I bought this to replace my vertex reactor. This reactor is so much easier to pump it literally takes no effort. The craftsmanship is top notch and it's looks great in my sump.