So what is the "It" skimmer nowadays?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Vincerama2, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    So, I've been out of the loop for a bit in terms of equipment (My AquaC EV120 still works well!) but I thought I'd ask what the cool kids are using nowadays?

    When I started my 58g 10 years ago, EuroReef and AquaC were the standards, with other companies making decent skimmers.... all around the $300 mark.

    Before I lost track, I bought a Coralife Super Skimmer 65 for a frag tank (and I have an AquaC Remora, and probably another one). CookieJar gave me an old skimmer body, which is Euroreef style and I'm dropping $20 on it to get a venturi pump on it since my EV120 is still on the 58 for now.

    The SS65 actually works amazing, for it's little size, great for a 50g or less I'd say...I have it running on a 100g fish holding tank at the moment.

    Anyway .... what's the cool skimmer nowadays? I'm not really looking to buy one, but I just want to keep up with the young reefer folk.

  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well I've seen the trends shy away from power hog pumps on skimmers (Sedra or Eheim) and more towards the lower wattage side of things like Sicce. There are all such of designs out there with bubble plates, cones, inverted cones, etc. DC pumps are kind of a newer "in" thing for the affordable market, used to be you'd see only on something like a Bubble King that's so damn expensive it'll permanently put you in the dog house if your wife found out :D

    FYI, Saw a EuroReef (or the company which bought it, didn't pay that much attention) and the design is exactly the same as it was 10-15 years ago. I mean the design still works, it's missing some little tweeks and what not but it still works.
  3. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    It's reef dynamics now. Still dig the old euroreefs! As for new I love the super reef octopus xp line. They are not cheap, but they perform! The bubble blaster pump they use is sweet! Aquatic collection has a couple old euroreefs for sale used cheap. May need pumps though...
  4. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    The AquaC I have uses a Mag5 pump, which is rated at 49W. I guess "efficient" in a practical sense means which skimmer pulls more crap per watt!
  5. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Reef Octopus Diablo series is "it"!
    Already one of the top skimmer company in general. Good quality cast acrylic. Good design.
    Diablo series adds a controllable DC pump for power savings.
    And that red color scheme!!!
    Pretty hard to beat.

    (I use a regular reef octopus)
  6. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well it's all relative sure. Something like a Sedra 5000 will pull 50 or so watts, a similar sized Sicce will pull maybe 30. Tiny amounts to be sure but it is something that's on 24-7, so those 20 watts translates to almost 15 kWh a month off your bill. It's also not just the pump's power, it's how much air they can pull.

    Overall it's enough random crap out there to make one's head spin, find a skimmer that makes your tank happy and you're good to go :D
  7. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Also another thing to look at, since your post in my sump/refugium thread just made me think of it, quite a few skimmers now with the pump in the base as opposed to the side. Nice for space savings design.

    The Skimz Monster DC series interested me briefly, however I find it hard to trust tank size ratings on some of these guys.
  8. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Yeah, I see the Reef Octopus has a small footprint version. Holy crap they are pricey though!

    Well, I mean, I also paid $300 for my AquaC a decade ago and it still runs. It doesn't need a special pump or anythning, so maybe upgrading it with one of those Sicce DC pumps you mentioned would "modernize" it a bit!
  9. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    matt (the bigger matt) at AquaExotic was putting together a space saving skimmer (the pump at the base, can't remember brand), and when i mentioned that's a great design he mentioned it has it's drawbacks.

    he didn't elaborate.
  10. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    When the pump is below, it typcially raises the bubble plate up, which means there is less room between the bubble plate and the start of the cone (assuming the skimmer height is about the same). Less contact time for the bubbles and I guess a little more turbulence.

    My reefoctopus spacesaver 110 skims like a champ though and it only uses 8 watts. I wouldnt hesitate to buy another one.
    neuro likes this.
  11. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    ^^ Wow, only 8 watts? Might be worth looking into! As I mentioned, my skimmer uses 49W !!

    Is the pump IN the bubble chamber, or is it below the chamber ( as if the pump was simply under the skimmer?)

    One thing that bugs me about my AquaC is that the cup is removable, but it's the neck that builds up a huge layer of scum and when I try to clean it, often it falls off in a clump back into the skimmer body. ie the neck is fixed to the skimmer body. It could be I'm running it too dry though.
  12. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    on my skimmer, the pump is inside the enclosure of the skimmer (which is just an acrylic tube), but the bubble chamber attaches directly to the outlet on top of the pump and everything sits inside the skimmer enclosure. The cone on the spacesaver model is actually is integral to the bottom of the skimmer cup and that whole assembly sits on top of the skimmer enclosure and seals with a rubber gasket. When I dump the cup I usually spray everything down to remove the gunk. It's actually a pretty good design that's easy to clean. I'll have to disasemble everything to clean the pump eventually, but that is really easy to do too.

    This is how I justify new purchases: ((49 watts x 24 hours x 365days)/1000 watts) *$0.15/Kwh = $64 operating costs per year. New skimmer should pay itself off in four years. In my case, my electricity usage is higher than normal (probably applies to all reefers), so my electricity rate jumps up to $0.18 - $0.20 most months. Anything that I can do to reduce that tends to make economic sense.
  13. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    > $0.15 / KwH
    Wow, I wish my costs were that low.

    Note that you can buy a new pump and impeller, and use it on your current skimmer.
    Check fittings of course, but they are relatively standard. Height adjustment might be needed though.
    Pump = DC-4000 = $170
    Replacement skimmer type impeller = $30
    And if you go with Jaebo, which is basically the same, it is even cheaper.
    Only $80 for a DC-3000
    And I bet you could find a cheaper replacement impeller as well.
  14. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    You would also need a properly sized venturi as well. Looking at the Diablo 5500 DC skimmer pump (aquacave), it pulls 2400 L/H of air, which is pretty damn impressive. I think that's about same as about 2 of the Sicce PSK-2500 pumps.
  15. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    The AquaC doesn't use a special pump impeller, it basically has a patentent "injector", which is basically a piece of acrylic tube, with one end pinched into a 3 leaf clover affair. The water flies out of that and hits the water in the skimmer body, making bubbles. Imagine spraying a garden hose into a bucket of water, with your thumb partially over the garden hose mouth to make a jet.

    The Mag5 is about 500 gph, so I guess any efficient DC pump with that rating would work to upgrade for me. The fitting is literally a 3/4" vinyl tube... the skimmer body has a 3/4" hose barb on it, so any pump should fit.

    The reason I went AquaC instead of EuroReef was so that I didn't need a needle wheel pump.
  16. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    It's not so much about water flow it's about air pull. While the patented "injector" technology will certainly suck... air, how much it pulls is another matter, as well as how large the bubbles are which is what needle wheels/mesh mods/etc all help in doing, plus they kind of suck for moving water which is actually more useful less water = more air :D
  17. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Mike, the AquaC doesn't work that way... the injector is actually above the surface of the water, pointed straight down. So the stream hits the water surface like a jet and that's what pulls air into the water. Euroreefs mix air in at the needlewheel, so yes, a venturi/needlewheel skimmer needs a needlewheel for more efficiency. The aquaC just needs water velocity to hit the surface hard and fast.

    I mean, not to argue, you are right for venturi skimmers, but aquac ones are kind weird.

    What I don't like about it is the neck really builds up a layer of poo.
  18. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    that style is called a "downdraft" skimmer I believe.
  19. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    Man have skimmers gotten better.
    My first was a 54" tall beckett skimmer powered by a PCX-70, sucking 400w day and night. Thankfully power was only $0.05 where I came from. Lol, ironically my power bill here is still lower than it was in the prairies though.

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