Help with picking skimmer

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by brettandlyndis, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. I'm wanting to buy a new skimmer for my 90 gallon mixed reef with 30 gallon sump. I would say the tank has a medium bioload and I'm running a fuge. Budget is $200. Looking at the following three and needing opinions, or new suggestions of others I haven't seen.

    Bubble magus curve 5
    Cadlights pls-100

  2. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Those are all kind of a bit small for a 120 gallon water volume. Generally people recommend getting a skimmer that's rated for twice your water volume.
  3. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    Really? I hadn't heard that but I'm no expert. I thought that they should be properly matched up based on volume and bio load so that the bubbles would travel up the neck and overflow into the cup properly. If the skimmer is too small it won't be able to handle the amount of gunk, and if it's to big there won't be enough gunk to cause it to overflow and be removed from the water. I could be wrong though. Like I said, I'm no expert on this.
  4. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    I think the issue is that most of the manufacturer volume ratings on skimmers are artificially high because they assume almost no bioload. If you check out Bulk Reef Supply's website, they give their own volume rating for each skimmer. So for example, my Reef Octopus 110 INT skimmer is manufacturer rated for up to 100 gallons. Bulk Reef Supply however only recommends it for tanks up to 75 gallon. I have it running on my 50 gallon system, which is heavily stocked and I definitely would not want a smaller skimmer. Mine is definitely not oversized. Marine Depot also has their own volume recommendations for skimmers based on whether your tank is lightly, moderately, or heavily stocked. They rate the skimmer I have for only 60 gallons if heavily stocked.

    Since you're moderately stocked, you may not need a skimmer that is rated for quite twice your volume, but you definitely will want one that's rated for larger than your total water volume. I'd guess like 50% over rated would be good. So since you have 120 gallons, I'd say you'd want a skimmer rated for 180 gallons at minimum.
    Baykes likes this.
  5. euod

    euod Supporting Member

    Ran curve7 and curve9 on two different 90 gal set ups with about the same high bio loads, and found both pulled incredible skimming. Depends on your goal and budget but I tend to get the bigger one so I can add more, and more, and more fish :)
    Baykes likes this.
  6. T.louderback

    T.louderback Guest

    Bigger is better for a skimmer, I'm looking at the BM curve 5 for my 70 gal total system. thats just me because I like a heavy bioload
  7. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Not always. You CAN get a skimmer that is too big. And not all manufacturers rate their skimmer based on a light bioload. You have to see the actual specs n design.

    Getting a skimmer that is too big will result in a skimmer that is inconsistent and difficult to tune, resulting in constant overflows and/or foam that collapses too quickly.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Coral reefer likes this.
  8. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    You might want to look at the reef octopus classic.
    Perhaps a 152-S?

    +1 on not over doing it.
    Especially be careful of neck diameter. Too large on a light bio-load will not work properly.
  9. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    @brettandlyndis I think you are going to have to bump up your budget if you want new or look into the used market. A Reef Octopus 150 SS just sold for $190 on RC.

    I do have a Cadlights PLS100 if you want to borrow and try to see if it will work for your system before you buy. I think it's too small but your are welcome to try it.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    $200 really puts you in a hard place and limits your choices at that level, and I'm not even talking high end brands either. If you could up that budget you'll make your live a lot easier. Also what do you consider a "medium" bioload. You could have 2 fish in the tank have a medium bioload if you aggressively feed multiple times a day.
  11. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

  12. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    I would echo the folks who suggest you go one size up for your tank.

    I run a similar mixed reef (90g/30g sump) with a heavy load and run a Reef Octopus 150SSS which has been great. I would recommend a BM Curve 7 or 9 or one of the Reef Octopus 150s.
  13. mediumrare

    mediumrare Guest

    I am just going to give a word of caution - I reticently bought a Curve 9 and i was really disappointing in the build quality and the noise was incredibly loud. Also the way they had the pump mounted inside the skimmer, the volute was not long enough to fit snugly on the pump through the skimmer wall. I had to use electrical tape to thicken the pump intake.
    That being said, ive run a Curve 5 on a smaller system (40 display with 20g sump) for two years without issue. Only rescently did the pump die. The Curve 5 i had was silent and felt solid and went together smoothly.

    Just a word of caution. I now have a Skimz DC skimmer and it feels like its built like a tank and is quiet and very adjustable (pump speed, skimmer gate and air intake control)
  14. euod

    euod Supporting Member

    image.jpeg Sorry to hear about your experience but my curve 9 is really quiet. As for built quality (acrylic body), I even would go as far to say that it's even better built than the vertex alpha 300 skimmer I have on hand. It's slightly thicker acrylic than the alpha but not as thick as reef octopus. This is a three days pulled on a 90 gal system.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
  15. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    FYI there is someone selling Vertex Omega 130 skimmers for $223.99 on RC
  16. T.louderback

    T.louderback Guest

    Too bad the avast skimmer kit is out of stock at the moment, seems like a cool project
  17. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    There is a brand new Cadlights PLS150 on R2R for $150. That should do ok in your system. Let me know if you are interested n I can forward you the listing.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  18. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    A Vertex Omega 130 on RC for $175! Awesome choice for your tank!
  19. nly04

    nly04 Guest

    I have a SRO-xp1000sss but the pump need a new impeller. Lmk if you want it.

    Attached Files:

  20. ifarmer

    ifarmer Guest

    There are so many skimmers and i dont think anyone have tried them all.
    I can share my experiences on these skimmer below that i have had using them. Any of them below will do well for your tank.
    The #3 reef dynamic is a.very good and #4 bubble king is also very good. They are better than reef octopus and the cup release is so much easy. Forget about the #5 aquaC

    1. Reef octopus 1000xps
    2. Reef octopus 2000
    3. Reef dynamic INS-80
    4. Bubble king 150
    5. AquaC.

    I have heard great reviews about vertex and many of my friends are using Vertex Omega 150 on their 200g tank. So my next skimmer will be vertext omega 150.
    Sent from my GT-I9192 using Tapatalk

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