- MBR127 Macroalgae Reactor - Skimz
Grow macroalgae without a refugium!
Growing algae like chaetomorpha will greatly help your reef aquarium with nutrient issues like nitrate and phosphate. The Skimz MBR127 Macroalgae reactor is designed to be placed in any sump and includes a LED lighting system designed for algae growth.
Dimensions - 7" L x 7" W x 17" H
- DC Controllable Quiet Pro Pump
- Quartz Sleeve
- LED Lighting System
- Integrated algae containment plates
Refugiums are a proven nutrient reduction method that grow specific algae like chaetomorpha that intake nutrients such as nitrate and phosphate. However, refugiums take up a lot of space, usually make a mess of your sump, and they are not efficient at directing flow through the algae. The Skimz MBR127 Macroalgae Reactor allows you to grow algae within a contained system, letting you have full control of the flow rate through the reactor and direct contact with the LED lighting system.
All Skimz Macroalgae Reactors include a high power LED lighting system that is encased in a crystal clear quartz sleeve. Quartz sleeves provide the highest optical clarity allowing much more light to pass through when compared to typical glass. The LEDs were selected to provide excellent nutrient intake while providing rapid growth. As water flows through the reactor and contacts the quartz sleeve, it will actively cool the LED lights. We do not recommend turning the light on without water flow through the reactor.
Controllable Quiet Pro DC Pump
The included DC pump gives you full control of the flow through the algae. The highly efficient Quiet Pro DC pumps run extremely quiet, using a brushless 6-pole synchronous motor. They also utilize a slow start-up mode that gradually builds up speed over the duration of about 20 seconds. With 9 different speed settings, dialing in the reactor is as simple as pushing up or down on the pump controller.
Max Tank Volume Recommendation - 100 Gallons
The size of macroalgae reactor your aquarium requires will vary depending on the amount of nutrient reduction needed. We suggest using the largest macroalgae reactor you can fit in your sump.
Dimensions - 7" x 7" x 17"
Min Water Level - 2.75"
Reactor Total Volume - 0.85 Gallons (approx)
Number of LEDs - 36 LEDs
LED Colors - Red, Blue, White
Pump Max Flow - 320 GPH
Pump Max Power - 13W
1x MBR127 Reactor
1x QP1.2 Skimz Quiet Pro Pump
1x Pump Controller
1x LED Lighting System
1x LED Power Supply
1x Pump Power Supply
No luck with chaeto, but caulerpa grows like mad in mine By chris on 12/29/2018chris would recommend this product to a friendI've had the large version running in the sump of my 120 gallon reef tank for around a year now.
My solution to the o-ring was to place a little dot of thin cyanoacrylate (super glue) at 4 spots around the o-ring while everything was dry, spray a little accelerator on it to ensure it set completely, and then rinse everything off. O-ring stays put fine and seals good. I've had no issues with the LED array or the pump in the time it's been running.
At first and I cut off the GFO and carbon dosing to let some NO3 and PO4 build, then I tried three golfball sized pieces of chaeto in the reactor. The chaeto didn't grow, and after a few weeks it died off. In that time I had NO3 / PO4 rising, so I reinstated my GFO and vinegar dosing to keep it under control.
When I cleaned the dead chaeto out, I substituted some caulerpa 'sea grape' and restarted the reactor. That stuff has grown vigorously, along with some coarse filimentatious 'hair' algae. I've continued to run GFO and vinegar dosing, but the reactor frowing full of caulerpa every 3 weeks has to be pulling a significant amount of nutrients from the water. I throw out a good couple pounds of caulerpa every 3rd weekend. All those nutrients are not ending up saturating the GFO.
Great reactor By Reefphd on 9/24/2018Reefphd would recommend this product to a friendI’ve been using this reactor for about 6 months. Every month both trays on this reactor fill with chaeto. I remove all of it and leave behind a few strands of chaeto. If I wait till week 5 or 6, the unit of littlerslly choking with chaeto.
I definitely recommend this unit.
The O ring is terrible. I just don’t use it and the tiny amounts of water that drips out the top go right back into my sump anyway.
Also, check the dimensions of your sump to make sure you have room. I barely had room for this thing.
Total Loss of my $200 By Bertha on 8/7/2018Bertha wouldn't recommend this product to a friendSo,, I finally pulled the plug and removed this reactor from my sump tank ,, and will write the $200 I spent on it as a loss ,, The light bar in this thing just isn't any good ,,, at least mine isn't ,,, It was when I first plugged the reactor in ,, I couldn't have been more happier ,, the reactor was growing Chatto ,, everything was right in my world ,, after the first Chatto removal from the reactor ,, the light never worked right again ,, it just won't put out enough light to grow the Chatto ,,, I am now back to growing Chatto in a floating tray in my sump ,,, My plan is to build a stand alone Chatto reactor and buy one of those new Hallo Chatto grow lights over it ,,,
Good product for the money By Reef-a-holic on 7/14/2018Reef-a-holic would recommend this product to a friendSo I have two of these units. One I bought through a friend when he was placing an order and one I bought on ebay but the sale is filled by BRS. The construction of the unit is pretty good. The only bad thing I have to say is the gasket keeps popping off. there is a trick but its still a pain. Based on how often this is sited on the internet its time for Skimz to do something about this.
The init does suck a very small amount of cheato through the output and it seems almost impossible to stop this without modifying the unit. This is the number 2 complaint on the internet. I think this can be addressed with adding a third plate to the unit. It still may sick some through the hole under the mid plate, but overall I think it would be an improvement.
The light tube works well and puts out a lot of light. But I think they should have a better choice of "grow" spectrum. I am not sure why there are ANY white LED's in the unit. The whites should be replaced with reds. Also the cost of the light tube should you break it is $100, so be careful.
I am glad the unit uses a DC pump but you will need to have two of the big AC adaptors on your Apex power bar. I would have preferred the type with a standard PC cord and mount the brick somewhere out of site.
The unit performs great. Cheato grows crazy fast and the rest of the sump stays nice and clean. Like you would suspect you do get some cyano inside.
So yes I have some complaints, but for the price they are all tolerable. Most og the units on the market use external LED strips. I like the light tube method best. So in comparison to the ARID, this is a great deal because of the ridiculous price of the ARID. So the Skimz serves its purpose well and achieves that you want for half the price. So its a recommendation from me.
Waste of money By Oscar on 6/29/2018Oscar wouldn't recommend this product to a friendDo not buy! I’ve only had this product for 6 months and I had to replace the pump once and I just ordered a new LED strip for the reactor.. this is the 3rd LED strip I’m going through and brs won’t give me a full refund.. this product is a rip off. So disappointed
Decent unit By ReeferNY on 5/29/2018ReeferNY would recommend this product to a friendWas going back and forth between this and the Marine Depot unit. I liked that this unit has the black cylinder, less light growing algae in the sump.
The O ring is useless. I tightened the lid without it and I have no leaks with the pump running full speed. It’s nicely made, compact, and my Cheato is growing.
Good build quality! By Asif on 5/10/2018Asif would recommend this product to a friendI was debating between cheaper marinedepot DIY type solution and this one. I am so glad I ordered this... So far so good.
The O ring was a pain.. but you figure out how to work with it. The adapter wire is labelled as to which one is for the light.
Problems addressed, solid unit, other reviews seem a bit nitpicky By justin on 4/13/2018justin would recommend this product to a friendThe reactor does come with silicone grease for installing the light fixture into the reactor which I didn't use...salt water and common sense were sufficient. The reactor body tube is slightly taller than the flange where the o-ring sits, so the reactor body now holds the o-ring in place on the flange. This reactor or a fuge may not grow tons of chaeto depending on your tanks nutrients, which I don't believe is this products fault. The build quality is good, the design seems solid, and it's too early to tell how long the pump will last but that's not really a huge concern of mine since a replacement/different pump is neither expensive or hard to find and I could just plumb it into my return manifold down the road if need be. Currently best bang for your buck in plug-and-play chaeto reactors. Running mine on a 92 gallon mixed reef where space is at a premium in my sump.
Don't Buy By Redfish on 4/8/2018Redfish wouldn't recommend this product to a friendThis gasket problem needs to be addressed by the the maker of this reactor,,, you chase your tail trying to get it on ,,,, don't buy this reactor until its been fixed ,,,,,,,
Nice alternative to microalgae production with caveats By Lawrence on 3/1/2018Lawrence would recommend this product to a friendPreviously I had chaeto in my sump that was escaping and getting caught in pumps and I was looking to avoid a catastrophic incident accordingly. In addition with the refugium light-I also had a nasty cyano outbreak in the sump area. I got this to resolve both and so far it's working.
The MBR127 was easy to put together. I am not sure about the complaining about the O-ring-.Granted there is not a "groove" that would make it a little easier to contend with but with some silicon grease-I just plopped it on and screwed in the top (tightly -otherwise it will spew water out) and away it went. I ramped up the motor every couple weeks as instructed. Also I recommend some silicone grease the first time you insert the LED light.
Initially I had two size "golfballs" that I attached to the platforms. About 8 weeks later, it was a luscious green mat inside. And my copepod population is quite healthy and regenerates itself (which I need for my two mandarins)
That being said I would recommend the bigger one if you can. Even when "stuffed to the brim" with chaeto-I could only get my PO4 to about .10 without GFO added. Granted I probably overfeed. When I prune it about 1/2 my PO4 jumps to almost double. That being said I run GFO "counter" to the reactor in that I add new media about every 6 weeks now when I prune the chaeto. So far my PO4 is about .08 and coming down a bit.
I have not had any mechanical issues so far. If something busts within the year, I'll update accordingly.
Killed two batches of Chaeto By Patrick on 2/7/2018Patrick wouldn't recommend this product to a friendI tried twice to get this reactor up and running, just ended up killing the chaeto an polluting my tank. Defiantly would not recommend.
Setup difficulties but otherwise great By AarLis on 1/24/2018AarLis would recommend this product to a friendUse lubricant of some kind to insert the light! By the grace of God I still have both my hands when only using saltwater. The light casing exploded when I tried to insert it using only water as a lubricant.
The O-Ring as others have said is difficult to place. That is going to be a point of frustration for me as I have to pull out excess algae. Functionally everything's fairly tight, you just need to be patient with the O-ring and take extra precautions with the light insertion.
What model o-ring is used on this product if it breaks and needs replacing i cant see it listed on skimz o rings ?
Currently, we do not have replacement O-rings for this unit in house. If issues do arise with them, please reach out to us and we can get the replacement part to you.
Have a great day.
Do 7x7x17 dimensions take into account white "flower like" plates, which used to join top and bottom part or 7 is just diameter of black tube ? I've limited space in sump (emarald 26) and I had issue with skimz before, when their documented dimensions didn't include "outside" parts extending from main body
I purchased the MBR127 last week...set it up and the light only flashes and I get some kind of error message on the display (E4)...any ideas?
1) You would have to seed the reactor with Chaetomorpha?
2) Describe the water inlet and outlet.
3) The top of the reactor would have to be out of the water?
4) The picture shows it lights up when in use. Is that the case or just a dramatization?
Chaetomorpha and other macro-algae do require a cutting or tissue sample to get the algae culture started. From there, the algae should grow and fill in the reactor as nutrients are available. The reactor works through an up-flow design and the water is returned back to the bottom internally and will exit at the bottom. Because the light's wiring connections are at the top of the canister, you will need to ensure that these are above the water. The reactor utilizes internal LEDs to provide light to the algae and will produce a reddish light with the idea wavelengths to promote plant/algae growth.
What macroalgae is suggested with this reactor? Have you considered having a starter kit? Is it worth a brstv episode to review this and other products which substitute for a refugium?
This reactor can be used with a variety of macro-algae types, but the most popular and easiest to find by far would be the Chaetomorpha types. I'm afraid we really don't get into selling any livestock and as a result wouldn't really be able to offer a complete starter package. There are lots of sources both locally and online that should be able to provide you with a small starter culture.
I was wondering how well pods do inside of it? I would rather have something like this than a refugium do to space saving but want to keep mandarins.
Did BRS try this out?
If so-did you run 24 hrs a day or counter time to dt lights on.
Did you see any impact to ph?
I am very pleased with this purchase. How often should I perform maintenance and what would that be? Will the algae need to be manicured at some point?
Glad to hear you're liking your new reactor! We've been very pleased with the results we've seen so far as well. The maintenance interval will depend quite a bit on your nutrient levels in your tank, but a good starting point would probably be every 1-2 weeks. You will need to periodically harvest a portion of your algae mass so that you are completing the process of exporting the bound-up nutrients in the algae bio-mass, and also providing space for new growth.
There are no instructions on how to use the digital pump controller other than "start with a pump speed of 2 and increase it as the algae grows." How many pump speeds are there? When I use the controller it gives me F1, F2 (function controls). There is no information, anywhere, that I can find with instructions on how to use the pump speed controller. None on the Skimz site, on the BRS site, YouTube, etc. HELP!
Thankfully, Skimz has made control of their QP pumps very simple. There are 20 speed settings on the pump from F1 to F20, allowing for incremental control from 5% to 100%.
Have a great day!