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View Full Version : Bubble Magus DC Curve A5 Skimmer Review


trilinearmipmap
05-21-2016, 12:15 AM
My Bubble Magus Curve A5 arrived today from J & L today well packaged:


https://dl.dropbox.com/s/nhdid68ba751e7d/Pic%201.jpeg?dl=0


https://dl.dropbox.com/s/hcans0cg9s17jbp/Pic%202.jpeg?dl=0


Here are the parts:

https://dl.dropbox.com/s/973mylss25woq11/Pic%203.jpeg?dl=0

The skimmer body is made of light weight plastic compared to the sturdy acrylic skimmers I am used to. It will still do the job.


https://dl.dropbox.com/s/x4a7hjfc4svzz02/Pic%204.jpeg?dl=0

The acrylic valve handle on the right controls the height of the water in the skimmer by adjusting the water outlet hole in the bottom of the skimmer.

https://dl.dropbox.com/s/xdvowl8f10wbiyr/Pic%205.jpeg?dl=0

This is a bottom view. The valve handle is connected by a gear to open and close the water outlet in the bottom of the skimmer. This looks like the flimsiest part of the skimmer and I expect it may break in a few years.

https://dl.dropbox.com/s/y171c6ol9fdlcsj/Pic%206.jpeg?dl=0

With the short legs of the skimmer, the water outlet is only a few mm above the floor of the sump. The space between the floor of the skimmer and the floor of the sump restricts water outflow. You want the flow here to be unrestricted so that the water outlet valve is the limiting factor in adjusting water outflow to adjust the water height in the skimmer. I will mod the skimmer by raising the feet of the skimmer an inch to fix this design flaw.

The body of the skimmer detaches easily from its base, very handy for cleaning or servicing the pump.

https://dl.dropbox.com/s/asjff8r0o99p65d/Pic%207.jpeg?dl=0

Here is the base of the skimmer with pump etc all put together. Seems like solid build quality and everything fits well.

https://dl.dropbox.com/s/3pua3j0xkqivksi/PIc%208.jpeg?dl=0


Despite the instruction manual it was easy to put the skimmer together. There is a drain hose from the collection cup with a plug for the end. I will plug the drain at the base of the cup and remove the drain hose.

https://dl.dropbox.com/s/ufje1qtrt8mkdq3/Pic%209.jpeg?dl=0

Right now the skimmer is running in some vinegar water for a few hours before I try it out. It is quiet but not silent - I can hear it from 3 feet away but not from 6 feet away. Once inside a sump and cabinet, I doubt it will be audible at all.

Pros:
* Inexpensive
* Good build quality for the price
* Almost silent / quieter than my Bubble King
* Very compact / requires little sump space
* Easy to take apart for cleaning
* Fine adjustments to skimmer height are easy with the valve handle

Cons:
* Instruction manual - hire a native English speaker to write your manual. I would do it for 50 bucks
* Please include a plug to cap the bottom of the collection cup for the 95% of us who don't use a drain hose
* Need to raise the skimmer legs to fix the outflow problem
* Lightweight plastic skimmer body - not as rugged as other skimmers

Overall to me so far the pros outweigh the cons and I like this skimmer a lot. I will post further impressions once it has been skimming for a while.

lpsreefer
05-21-2016, 12:22 AM
just curious on what you mean by
* Need to raise the skimmer legs to fix the outflow problem
???

I haven't played with the DC versions yet.
Great review!

trilinearmipmap
05-21-2016, 02:40 AM
just curious on what you mean by
* Need to raise the skimmer legs to fix the outflow problem
???

The water outlet from the skimmer is on the base of the skimmer, pointing down toward the floor of the sump. The outlet is a few mm above the floor of the sump. The narrow space between the skimmer outlet and the floor of the sump creates a restriction to outflow.

I just put the skimmer into a bucket of tank water. It is quieter now after running for a few hours, it used to be quiet but now it is almost silent. A benefit of the outflow being on the bottom of the skimmer it that there are no microbubbles at all. There will be no need for a bubble trap/baffles in the sump.

Jakegr
05-21-2016, 04:14 AM
Not including a plug for the skimmer cup seems like a pretty important over sight!

Myka
05-21-2016, 04:58 AM
Nice review! Thank you! I'm interested to see how the pumps perform as I'm looking to upgrade the old Eheim pump on my ATB skimmer.
Not including a plug for the skimmer cup seems like a pretty important over sight!
All Bubble Magus skimmers are like this. I just cut the tube so it's about 2" long and then you can cap it there. I always see people leaving that long hose attached to the cup and wonder why... :lol:

SeaHorse_Fanatic
05-21-2016, 05:08 AM
Thanks for an informative review. Looking forward to reading about how well it works on your system.

intarsiabox
06-29-2016, 01:12 AM
Any updates on how the A5 is performing? What size of tank are you running it on? Thanks!

trilinearmipmap
06-29-2016, 01:26 AM
It is sitting in a box in my basement right now - I have been delayed on a tank setup due to laziness.

intarsiabox
06-29-2016, 01:39 AM
No problem, I know all about that!

Duckhams
08-24-2016, 05:08 PM
Great review! Thank you!
Any updates on how the A5 performs?