4628 S. Ward Way, Morrison, Colorado 80465
Phone: 303-978-0940 and 303-719-0950
E-mail: lifereef@denver.net

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NOT A SINGLE SIPHON LOSS IN 26 YEARS! NEED WE SAY MORE? YES, BECAUSE YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT MAKES A SAFE AND RELIABLE PREFILTER BOX VS A CHEAP COPY OR POOR DESIGN......

If your prefilter relies on this pump you must replace your prefilter as soon as possible! This is the weak link in your safety, and these pumps do fail and when they do you may have water problems......

Why risk thousands of dollars of fish, corals, livestock, flood damage and cleanup on a cheap (both cost and materials) prefilter box or any other prefilter box of questionable reliability and design, and there are many......

The Lifereef Prefilter Siphon Box is an original, unchanged for 26 years. Designed in 1988 (long before any current reef company) to be a safe and reliable method to transfer water from the aquarium to the sump, or wet/dry as it was back then. If it wasn't for the prefilter box being a safe component many hobbyists would not have even set up an aquarium because the reef-ready aquariums were still years away. A safe and reliable hang-on prefilter box was the only thing you could use, and a SAFE AND RELIABLE DESIGN WAS PARAMOUNT!

Then, as other companies came into the market they too wanted to make and sell a prefilter box. And rather than to study and understand how these "mystery boxes" really function they copy a Lifereef, but, add their own little "twists" to make it their brand and design. Well, you can't change a safe design and still keep it safe. When you take a safe and reliable product and make changes, you are now moving away from the perfect design and only into problems. As such there were (and still are) many unsafe prefilter boxes on the market and these unsafe prefilters gave all prefilters a bad reputation. There were some other safe and reliable designs way back when but those companies are no longer around.

So, due to all the bad reputation that the tube designs had gathered along comes the "tubeless" design making you think that it is safer because it does not use a siphon tube. However, this design is still a siphon operated prefilter and that "tube" is a built-in siphon wall. As such this design must use a cheap air-lifter pump to not only start the siphon but to suck out the air bubbles that get sucked in. If this cheap air-lifter pump fails so too will your siphon and your sump will then overflow if not large enough. If your sump doesn't overflow your aquarium will when the power comes back on. Either way you're FLOODED! Sure, they can say "our prefilter won't fail unless the air-lifter pump fails (powerheads can also be used but have you ever had a power head NOT come on when you plugged it in?) but no product should be reliant on another product and a cheap one at that, to be safe and reliable.

The Lifereef Prefilter Siphon Box uses a single siphon tube (Double prefilters use two) and the benefit of this is that the water velocity through the siphon tube vs a large siphon wall is much faster so no air bubbles get caught and no cheap going-to-fail air-lifter pump is needed. So you say just increase the pump output to make the water move faster. Won't work. The siphon wall is so large in area compared to a siphon tube that you can never move the water fast enough to keep the air bubbles moving through.

Another prefilter company (to remain nameless) is a direct copy of the Lifereef Prefilter Siphon Box. But they made one serious design error (actually three errors) and as such their prefilters do not flow what they advertise. Not only do the size of the bulkhead and siphon tube set the maximum water flow but another important design feature is required, and they missed it. The other problems are the inner box can get knocked out of alignment and this is bad news, and they have fewer slots/teeth that cause other flow and water level related problems......

Less slots/teeth on the inner box means you need more usable sump volume ("usable sump volume" defined in next paragraph) in order to have the same flow rate as a Lifereef box. Example: The more slots/teeth you have the less water you need to pump up to the aquarium, the water level will be lower on the slots/teeth, and the less water that will drain from the aquarium when power goes out. Less teeth/slots slots means the water level will be much higher on the slots requiring more sump water taken out and pumped into the aquarium to maintain the same flow rate. The Lifereef design is perfect for the smaller sumps of the nano aquarium variety where you have limited sump volume both for pumping and for backflow when power is off.

Workable Sump Volume.... Lets say you have a 20 gallon aquarium you are using for a sump. You DO NOT have 20 gallons available to pump back to your aquarium. Many overlook a DIY sump design and end up with a sump that does not have enough water volume for the pump they have chosen, or the aquariums surface area needed to fill in order to get a good flow through the overflow slots/teeth. The "workable sump volume" is that water that is available to pump up to your aquarium. This water is the water that is in the pump chamber plus the volume of water that is above the tallest sump divider. Any water held behind a sump divider that goes all the way to the sump bottom is not going to be available to pump to your aquarium. So, you have a 20 gallon DIY sump but your last sump chamber is only 6" wide and your tallest divider is 14", you have a very small workable sump volume and you may suck all the water out meaning you will have to run your pump gph at a very low rate.

I could go on with more horror stories, failed siphon walls due to failed air-lifter pumps or powerheads that fail to come on, or gaskets that leak (our fittings are bonded on), boxes knocked out of alignment, difficult if not impossible areas to clean, etc., etc, etc. JUST BE ASSURED THAT YOU ARE GETTING A PREFILTER SIPHON BOX THAT HAS NOT FAILED, IT CAN'T FAIL IF YOU FOLLOW THE PHYSICS AND SCIENCE THAT ARE INVOLVED IN MAKING A SAFE PRODUCT.

FEATURES OF ALL THE LIFEREEF PREFILTER SIPHON BOX DESIGNS:

It is the cheap copies and "tubeless" designs that have given all the good prefilter boxes a bad reputation. The Lifereef Prefilter Siphon Box is the original and only safely designed prefilter still being made today!

If you get any other prefilter box, make sure you get a wet-vac as part of your aquarium maintenance equipment, it will be needed eventually, some sooner than others......

Single Prefilter, Single Slimline Prefilter, Double Prefilter, and Double Slimline Prefilter


SLIMLINE VS STANDARD
The difference between the Slimline and Standard is the distance the prefilter box sticks out behind your aquarium: 3 1/4" for Slimline, 4 1/4" for Standard, that's it. Flow rates are identical for both, and of course the filter foam is narrower on the Slimline. If the Silencer is used the filter foam cannot, but most sumps have a mechanical filter section.
Prefilter Box, SingleSingle Prefilter Box The Single design is recommended for aquariums up to 48" long or flow rates up to 600 gph.

There have been some incorrect test reports on the bulletin boards stating that this flow can't be achieved, they are wrong. They were making their test using another prefilter box of poor design.
Lifereef Prefilter Boxes will flow the stated flow rates and more in some cases.


Available in a Single and Slimline version.

Flow rates up to 600 gph+ for both Standard and Slimline.

You DO NOT have to match your pump to the flow rate. These prefilters are self-governing meaning it will remove water at the exact same rate as you are pumping it into the aquarium. A ball valve or some other pump output control is required to adjust the pump output so as to not overpower the prefilter and adjust to your sumps Workable Sump Volume.

Outer box measures 6 1/2" wide x 11" tall

Inner box measures 8" wide x 8" tall x 3"

Required tank-to-wall clearance for Standard is 4"

Required tank-to-wall clearance for Slimline is 3 1/4"

1" male threaded output, 1" hosebarb connector supplied.

Vacuum hose style connector supplied upon request.

Recommended pump size is 900 gph. This is because there will be some head loss and the next pump size down is usually too small. Having a larger pump gives you a wider range of flow adjustments and it does NO harm to a water pump to regulate the output. A pump too small is a pump to small, but a pump larger than needed can be adjusted to your requirements.
Even More Features:
  • AUTO-RESTART when power resumes, always 100%.
  • No aqua-lifter pump or other device needed!
  • All edges rounded so you or your fish won't harm themselves on sharp edges.
  • No nipples or other connectors on siphon tube that could allow siphon to break causing flood.
  • 1 1/2" of up/down adjustment of inner box.
  • Inner box cannot be knocked out of vertical alignment.
  • Long lasting and easily cleaned foam filter element.
  • Will not overflow, even if foam element becomes dirty.
  • 1" male thread output and included 1" hose-barb fitting, Double Prefilters have two 1" outputs
  • Fits aquarium rims up to 1 1/2" wide and can also be made to fit acrylic aquarium rims or "Euro" style rims.
  • Lifereef Silencer available as an option if needed
  • Colors available: clear, black, and blue (inner box only)
Prices:  Order

Single $129.00
Single Slimline $129.00
Lifereef Silencer $19.00

Double $219.00
Double Slimline $219.00
Lifereef Silencers $29.00
(includes two Silencers)

Spare Siphon Tubes $13.00
HIGHLY recommended to have a spare siphon or two on hand, they will easily break if dropped on the floor and the box refuses to function without this part. The siphon tubes will need cleaned so if you drop it, it's done.

Return J-Tube $12.00
Required for getting water back over the aquarium rim.
Prefilter Box, DoubleDouble Prefilter Box The Double is recommended for aquariums longer than 48" or flow rates up to 1200 gph.
There have been some incorrect test reports on the bulletin boards stating that this flow can't be achieved, they are wrong. They were making their test using another prefilter box of poor design.
Lifereef Prefilter Boxes will flow the stated flow rates.

Available in a Double and Double Slimline version.
Flow rates up to 1200 gph for both Standard and Slimline Doubles.
You DO NOT have to match your pump to the flow rate. These prefilters are self-governing meaning it will remove water at the exact same rate as you are pumping it into the aquarium.

Outer box measures 14" wide x 11" tall

Inner box measures 14" wide x 8" tall x 3"

Required tank-to-wall clearance for Standard is 4 1/4"

Required tank-to-wall clearance for Slimline is 3 1/4"

2x 1" male threaded outputs, 1" hosebarb connectors supplied. Vacuum style connectors available upon request.

Recommended pump size is 1200-1700 gph. This is because there will be some head loss and the next pump size down is usually too small. Having a larger pump gives you a wider range of flow adjustments and it does NO harm to a water pump to regulate the output. A pump too small is a pump to small, but a pump larger than needed can be adjusted to your requirements.

Super Slim


The absolute narrowest the prefilter can be is 2".
This cannot use a filter foam nor can it use the Silencer. Only use this if your tank is 2" away from the wall and cannot be moved.

See Silencer photo below in Nano Prefilter Section. Photo of just the Silencer coming soon.
$19.00   Order
Lifereef Prefilter Silencer for Standard and Slimline
Not all installations will run silent so a Lifereef Silencer is offered for this purpose. You are welcome to order this with your prefilter box and if not needed you can send it back for a full refund (less shipping).
There are a number of factors that can cause any prefilter to make noise, or run silent, or somewhere in-between. You just never know until it is up and running, at various flow rates, plumbing runs, etc.
Nano-Prefilter, also used for the BioCube
Prefilter Box, Double
Nano Shown next to standard prefilter for
size comparison.
$129.00  Order
Nano Prefilter
Perfect for small reef or fish aquariums and BioCubes.
Flow rate up to 400 gph (and anything in-between 0 and 400 gph) In other words it will flow whatever gph you give it up to its maximum rate.
Outer box: 5" x 3 1/8" x 9" high
Inner box: 3 3/4 x 2 1/4" x 6 1/2"

Output connection 3/4" male thread with hosebarb connector included
   Nano Features:
  • AUTO-RESTART when power resumes, always 100%.
  • No aqua-lifter pump or other device needed!
  • All edges radiused and chamfered so you or your fish won't harm themselves on sharp edges.
  • 7/8" diameter siphon tube.
  • No nipples or other connectors on siphon tube that could allow siphon to break causing flood.
  • 1 1/2" of up/down adjustment of inner box.
  • Inner box cannot be knocked out of vertical alignment.
  • Long lasting and easily cleaned foam filter element.
  • Will not overflow, even if foam element becomes dirty.
  • 3/4" male thread output, hosebarb and clamps included
  • Fits aquarium rims up to 1 1/2" wide and can also be made to fit acrylic aquarium rims or "Euro" style rims.
  • Colors available: clear, black, and blue (inner box only)
  • Optional Nano Lifereef Silencer
Prices:  Order

For all Nano, BioCube 129.00
Lifereef Silencer $19.00
Spare Siphon Tube $11.00

HIGHLY recommended to have a spare siphon or two on hand, they will easily break if dropped on the floor and the box refuses to function without this part. The siphon tubes will need cleaned so if you drop it, it's done.

Return J-Tube $9.00
Required for getting water back over the aquarium rim.
Nano-Prefilter for Red Sea Max 130/130D and 250

Front View
Optional Lifereef Silencer shown in right prefilter but can be used in "WEDGE" version also.



Rear View
"WEDGE" version inner box
shown on right


If you will be removing your RSM protein skimmer
order the RSM NANO prefilter.

If you will keep your RSM protein skimmer in its stock position order the RSM WEDGE.prefilter.

Tank Canopy Modifications:
The top rear cover of the RSM130/130D will need a modification as shown. Instructions give dimensions for this mod.
 

For the RSM250:
Order the LRSM Nano

Tank Rim Modification:
The left rear fan opening will need modification as shown below.



Lifereef RSM Nano Prefilter Features:
  • AUTO-RESTART when power resumes, always 100%.
  • No aqua-lifter pump or other device needed!
  • All edges radiused and chamfered, no sharp corners
  • 1" diameter siphon tube.
  • No nipples or other connectors on siphon tube that could allow siphon to break causing flood.
  • 1 1/2" of up/down adjustment of inner box.
  • Inner box cannot be knocked out of vertical alignment.
  • Long lasting and easily cleaned foam filter element.
  • Will not overflow, even if foam element becomes dirty.
  • 3/4" male thread output, hosebarb and clamps included
  • Optional Lifereef Nano Silencer
You will need 3 1/4" behind your aquarium rim.
A 2" version is also available.
Priced as Follows:

RSM Nano $129.00
RSM Wedge $129.00 for older RSM-D skimmers, will not work with newer skimmers with the larger collection cup.
Lifereef Silencer $19.00

You might also want to order the following:
Modified Cover $ 25.00
       (specify color)
3/4" vinyl tubing $1.25/ft
5/8" vinyl tubing $ .95/ft
Return J-tube $9.00
Mag7 pump $83.00
3/4" ball valve/barb $5.00
Spare Siphon $11.00



    
       Return J-Tube
This is how the water gets back to your aquarium.

$19.00   Order
Lifereef Prefilter Silencers for Nano, RSM, and BioCube
Not all prefilter boxes will run silent so a Lifereef Silencer is offered for this purpose. You are welcome to order this with your prefilter box and if not needed you can send it back for a full refund.
There are a number of factors that can cause any prefilter to make noise, or run silent, or somewhere in-between. You just never know until it is up and running, at various flow rates, plumbing runs, etc.
Custom Euro-Rimmed Prefilters
Euro-rim Prefilter Boxes Custom made to fit your Euro rim tank.
Euro-style aquariums typically have a 3" to 5" wide rim. Prefilter boxes can be made to fit any rim width.
Custom Prefilter Boxes and Built-In Corner Overflows
CUSTOM PREFILTER BOXES and CORNER OVERFLOWS We can fabricate custom size hang-on prefilters or corner boxes, 3-sided, trapezoid etc to your exact requirements. Email your dimensions and/or sketch for a prompt quote.

Details unique to all of the Lifereef Prefilter Boxes:

Outer box utilizes a one-piece "backbone" bent from 1/4" thick acrylic.

Nano boxes are 3/16" but still strong enough to handle the job.
The inner slotted box is locked in a vertical position and cannot be knocked out of alignment by fish, waves, or water currents.
Inner box can be adjusted up or down a full 1 1/2" and is held together with a strong nylon wingnut and bolt.
Others use a single or multiple holes with only a few settings and making adjustment difficult and the box can be knocked out of alignment which can lead to your sump flooding.
1" male threaded fitting is permanently bonded to the bottom and is forever leakproof (3/4" on nano-prefilters).
No gaskets or o-rings that can leak. Others use gaskets or o-rings which are susceptible to salt-creep and leaks.
Can also be ordered with an adapter for vacuum hose type installations.
CNC machined slots of uniform size and spacing for even water flow.

Tab on back of inner box slides in track in outer box to maintain a permanent vertical alignment.
Nylon thumbscrew allow the entire prefilter assembly to be aligned parallel to the aquarium back.
Colors available are blue, clear, and black.
Color has no affect on algae growth.
Clear only for RSM and BioCube prefilters, you can't see it so you don't need a color.
For aquariums with wide rims such as the Euro style aquariums we can fabricate any width. The one shown will fit over a 4 1/2" wide rim.

Contrary to what you have heard or been told you do not have to match a prefilter box with the pumps gph output. The prefilter will handle from a zero flow to its maximum flow rate, and anything in-between. In fact it is better to have a pump larger than you require and then using a ball valve (does not harm a pump to cut back flow) you can adjust to your liking.

Siphon tube prefilter boxes are preferable and SAFER to use than siphon tube-less boxes for several reasons. They are easier to clean, easier to maintain, easy to start, and do not require faulty check valves or unreliable secondary powerheads or "aquapump" to remove bubbles and air from the tube.

The water velocity through a siphon tube is faster than the water velocity through a tubeless design and therefore any bubbles generated flow right through a siphon tube. Bubbles do build up in the tubeless designs, that is why they have powerheads to hopefully keep them operating. These "tubeless" designs also pump air bubbles into your aquarium ruining the view.

Once started the siphon tube will ALWAYS restart and resume flowing water after a power failure or when you turn the pump back on. There is no need to restart the siphon tube.


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