When I first saw a roller filter years ago, I was simply in awe… and now, at long last, we have one in our hands waiting to be assembled. We’re talking about the Reef Roller – Manual Roller Filter by Tropical Marine Centre, or TMC. We were originally contacted by TMC, who asked us if we wanted to test one, and we enthusiastically accepted. The roller filter is a filter for sediment; it has to be placed exactly under the spot where the water topples out of the aquarium. This way the water coming from the tank has to go through a roll of filter material that blocks impurities and suspended loads. The filter’s functioning is extremely simple. It promises a rather egregious cleaning of the aquarium with minimal maintenance, since a roll is supposed to last for three months before having to be replaced. Assembling it is extremely easy and fast, and I will now be concerning myself with how to install it in the sump, since the base has to be above the water line, for obvious reasons. I’ll be installing it this week (together with some other things, but that deserves its own article) and then I’ll be able to tell you about it. There are two versions of the Reef Roller: automatic and manual, and it comes in three measurements: small, medium, and large. We have the manual medium version. The small filter handles a maximum flow of 1000 l/h, the middle one, 2000 l/h and the large one, up to 4000 l/h. The final difference that is worth mentioning about the three filters is the length of the roll they can contain. The small filter can hold 20 meters of filter material, while the medium and the large ones can hold up to a 50 meter roll. In the previous picture you can appreciate the filter material’s texture, much finer than simple socks, which is possible because it does not have to be in the water for long. Below you can see the water line, but as the filter material clogs up less and less water is able to go through, the water line will rise above the demarcation line which you can see above.
The price of all the Reef Rollers, both manual and automatic
The price of the Reef Roller M in our possession is 209,99 euros ($237 USD), while the S version costs about 199,99 euros ($226) and the L version costs about 249,99 euros ($283). The automatic versions cost respectively 289,99 ($328), 329,99 ($373) and 359,99 euros ($407). Certainly a more demanding price. The rolls cost 21,99 euros ($25 USD) for the 20 meter long Reef Roller small and 29,99 euros ($34) for the other two, which are 45 meters in length. We recommend the medium version, since paying just 50% more, gets you more than double the length. The dimensions of the medium version are 26,5 cm in width and approximately 16 cm in depth. Its height, without the glass connection module, is 29 cm. The base, which is narrower, is roughly 16×13 cm. [Translated by Matilde Capannini]