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noy
02-20-2013, 02:36 AM
Bought this last week at reefsupplies.ca thought i share my thoughts for everyone's benefit. Price was $499. The dimensions are 9.2"x 9.2 and 21.9" high. The collection cup is about 4.5" high (so as far as fitting it in a sump you need to clear about 17"). It has a sicce PSK1200 pump which has a rated intake of 840l/h (222 gal). Its rated for 300g. I looked at the new Vertex, Reef Octupus but settled on this relatively unknown (to me or anyone I know) skimmer. I really liked the PSK1200 pump and this was one of the few skimmers with it.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8088/8486176621_d5503d6bb6.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486176621/)
IMG_4398 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486176621/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8230/8486177823_ddc0c0a670_n.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486177823/)
IMG_4397 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486177823/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr
The plastic and acrylic has a heavy solid feel to it and it just feels very solidly put together. Mine came with the pump and bubble plate already assembled. So all i had to do was connect the air intake chamber, airline and gate valve for the unit. You can see above the bubble plate is assembled incorrectly - no big deal. The bottom of the unit/base is held together by 4 plastic thumbscrews. Once you disassemble them you can remove the bottom and get at the pump. You would clean the unit the same way. I read that the pump intake blocks one the thumbscrews but the pump intake just pops off so you can get to the screws easily.
Close up of the collection cup
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8529/8487270912_683ce58e17_n.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8487270912/)
IMG_4396 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8487270912/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr
Underside of Collection Cup showing teeth that fit onto body of skimmer. Its a simple push and turn onto fitting o-rings.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8105/8486180637_0d6ccf6a2a_n.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486180637/)
IMG_4395 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486180637/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr
The mouth of the skimmer
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8379/8486181601_9c30c2df68_n.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486181601/)
IMG_4394 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486181601/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr
Air Intake Chamber
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8521/8487273982_d3706a60a2_n.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8487273982/)
IMG_4392 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8487273982/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr
- top of chamber has air intake outlet you can connect an ozone generator or use tubing to draw air from a "fresher" source (less CO2)
Closeup - Pump Intake
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8514/8486183403_e3ab3ff82d_n.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486183403/)
IMG_4391 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486183403/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr
- the outer piece fits through the body of the skimmer and onto the pump inside.
The pump
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8513/8486185719_98ee8772d5_n.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486185719/)
IMG_4388 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486185719/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr

Gate Valve (adjustment knob at top)
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8519/8487275834_4947684386_n.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8487275834/)
IMG_4390 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8487275834/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr
Gate valve itself
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8378/8487276584_54386095bf_n.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8487276584/)
IMG_4389 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8487276584/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr
- turning the knob moves the gate value up and down. This part of the skimmer is pretty flimsy. I find the lock screw keeps coming loose at the top.
The most disappointing part was the my skimmer came with a manufacturing defect - you will see the crack inside the collection cup. It doesn't affect function at all but nonetheless its bad Quality Control.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8515/8487278316_09b60c11d1_n.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8487278316/)
IMG_4387 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8487278316/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8374/8486187607_54027d9fa9_n.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486187607/)
IMG_4386 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486187607/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr
- I called reefsupplies.ca and Ray there was really good - took care of it and they will ship a new cup but i have to ship old one back (vendor will take care of shipping). I have to say if i have to pay 1 cent extra to remedy this it will be a problem but lets wait and see.

I put the skimmer in a 10 gallon tank and let it run for about a day with tank water. This was to minimize the break-in period once I put it into sump. I have a fairly large bioload so didn't want to chance not having a skimmer in action. I saw it was fractionating after a day so I put it into the sump.
Here it is after I put it into the sump. I took the top cover off for the photo.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8520/8486171507_61800399f1_n.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486171507/)
IMG_4670 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486171507/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr
Another shot
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8246/8487262008_825584aac3_n.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8487262008/)
IMG_4674 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8487262008/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr
Here is the pump showing the microbubbles generated.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8104/8486170635_8e7e3279e0_n.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486170635/)
IMG_4675 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486170635/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr
Collection Cup after about an hour in my sump. Foam fractionation already.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8091/8486172671_d5597d1994.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486172671/)
IMG_4669 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486172671/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr
And this is the collection cup after 1 day of skimming
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8512/8486169925_c1560bc8dc.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486169925/)
IMG_4676 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8486169925/) by fydordostoy (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/), on Flickr
Conclusions
As far as actual functioning I couldn't be happier with how quickly the skimmer broke-in and it seems to be skimming pretty good (right now i clean the cup daily and get about the same as above picture). The PSK1200 pump is VERY QUIET and moves a large volume of water through.
I'll wait and see how CSC handles the quality problem and this will go a long way towards whether I would recommend them. I really think if you spend $500 for a skimmer you shouldn't have to settle. It really isn't too much to ask for a piece of equipment without any defect.
As far fine-tuning. This is a combination of adjusting the gate valve, air intake control screw and height of water. If you open up the gate too much then you will see the pump creating a lot of turbulence that pushes the mircobubbles out of the gate and into your sump - so you have to be careful about that.
I'll report on things as I continue to use this but so far so good (except for the defect).

subman
02-20-2013, 03:50 AM
Very well written review.
Thank you

Aqua-Digital
02-20-2013, 04:09 PM
Hi
Thanks for the review.

In regards to a quality problem, the units are 100% inspected by me personally before leaving us, the damage is a shipping issue not a quality issue, and it will be 100% rectified at zero cost to you as reef supplies indicated. :wink:

I am really pleased you love the skimmer and look forward to reading further entries. You will also find quite a few other very positive reviews of the skimmer on the forum.

A few people that have not been following the development of this skimmer range and are confused by the name. It is of course manufactured by Skimz, but under our guidance and feedback from users to modify the unit to use Sicce pumps instead of the original Eden. So the skimmers come with great pedigree, build quality and renowned name (just with a better pump :) )

noy
03-16-2013, 03:25 PM
just thought i'd follow up on this thread.
Got my replacement cup from Aqua-Digital without any fuss. So that was great they followed up on a problem quickly. Ray (goreef.ca) and Aqua-Digital was great.

The recommended water depth for this skimmer is 180mm (7") to 240mm (9.4"). I started off with a 9" depth because that was the natural depth of my sump w/o any raising of the skimmer. I have a ATO system in place to keep the water at a consistent depth (very crucuial for efficient operation of skimmer - imo). I find that for me the optimum depth is about 7.5 inches. At 9" - the gate is wide open and if you have anything that cause the skimmer to react (like using putty to put in a bunch of corals) - the skimmer overflows and you can't do much about it (short of turning it off an emptying the cup). I ran it at different depths and just found 7.5 inches seems to be the best depth. The gate is about 1/2 opened and i have a fair bit of control over how dry/wet i want to run it. I noticed if you run the gate wide open there is a bit of turbulence in the water under the pump (from looking at the movement of the bubbles) so i think that reduced that contact time the water has and in effect is less effective (in a very minimal fashion).

A useful tip i would offer is to mark off a spot on the control for the gate valve and the direction of control. I keep bumping the control when i take the cup out and the reference lets me know what my setting was before:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8088/8561383427_0272357c00_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8561383427/)
IMG_4767 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8561383427/) by

No review of a skimmer would be complete without a picture of skimmate in a collection cup so here it is:
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8561384553/]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8249/8561384553_6040d32d4d.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/)
IMG_4766 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93342758@N02/8561384553/) by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/93342758@N02/]

I consistently get a dark skimmate on a daily basis. I'm a bit lazy so i only empty the cup ever other day or so.

So all in all i would highly recommend this skimmer. The pump is whisper slient and powerful. The design of the skimmer is great - the acrylic used is very thick and high quality.

The distributers and retailers give great service and fixed a shipping defect problem right away.