Of all the product announcements and new releases that surfaced at MACNA 2018 in Las Vegas, none drew my attention more than the Aquaillumination Nero 5 propeller pump. Partly because of my fondness for wave making pumps and their utmost importance for the reef aquarium inhabitants’ well being, and partly for the fact that new products in this segment of the aquarium industry often come with numerous technological advancements.
Nero 5 is a perfect example of that trend. A quick glance at the pump is enough to know that it’s unlike anything we’ve seen before. Its extreme compactness combined with an advertised flow rate that maxes at 3000 gph (11000 lph) speaks volumes about the unique nature AI’s latest product brings to the table. When I say it’s compact, I mean it’s really, really small. Smaller than a hockey puck. It has a diameter of just 2.8” (71.5mm) and protrudes only 2.1” (54mm) from the base of its magnetic bracket. Most of the pump’s case interior is taken up by a gigantic (in relation to its overall size) impeller, similar in shape and form to impellers found in computer fans, with blades projecting well over the pump’s stator.
True to its compact nature, Nero 5 ships paired with a controller the size of a travel USB power bank. It features a single button operation, from powering on the pump to accessing all its functions- three different flow modes, plus a feed mode. It’s also equipped with a Bluetooth module that allows the pump(s) to be tweaked remotely, using the same myAi app (available for free in both iOS and Android versions) as all the newer lights Aquaillumination makes. I had a chance to play with the app’s interface and can report that my initial thoughts are outright positive- it’s intuitive and easy to understand, much like the AI light programming tab I am familiar with.
In my short interview with AI’s team, I brought up one important question: “What made Aquaillumination, a company known solely for their extensive catalog of aquarium LED lights, to make a propeller pump?” As you might know, AI recently merged with Ecotech Marine, and Nero 5 is the first product that both companies collaborated on. It’s only natural that Ecotech, with over 13 years of experience designing and building aquarium pumps behind them (the original Vortech hit markets in 2005), would be an excellent knowledge base for making something like Nero 5. How well did AI implement that knowledge into their product? Well, you will find out soon, because I happened to get my hands on one and will be featuring it in one of my future Definitive Reviews. Stay tuned!
Nero 5 is coming out this month and it retails for $300.
Stay tuned for more news from MACNA 2018 in Las Vegas