|Installation and Operation ||
Installation was somewhat tricky, the directions were directly translated to English from Chinese with a translation software, (we all know how that goes)
However, after you get familiar with the skimmer, Its very simple, and I assembled my skimmer within five minutes of opening it.
This skimmer ran surprisingly quiet with a dense, thick cloud of micro bubbles in the skimmer. The skimmer came with a stock Mesh-Wheel, I HIGHLY snuggest you contact your dealer and ask if they can switch out the mesh-wheel for the Pinwheel, some will do this free of charge, others you may have to pay full price ($35.00) The foot print was awesome, At around 9" x 9" even small sumps can support this skimmer
|Performance vs. Expectations ||
Expectations: I was expecting it to work well... and live yup to what I've read on the internet.
Performance: Exceptional! I was worried about the performance because the pump took around half of the skimmer body, greatly reducing contact time. But it skimmed flawlessly, It took less than 12 hours to break in and within four days I had 1½" of skim-mate, and it was THICK BLACK NASTY STUFF! It ran quiet, not "Completely Quiet" like a certain online reef junkie said about a skimmer running with the same pump and same basic design, but it was one of the quietest skimmers I've heard. The build quality was AMAZING, Thick Acrylic build; pieces like bubble plate & cap etched with an NAC-7 Logo, it was top notch.
|Value for money ||
Value?: This is a tricky question. 3 years ago I could go online and buy this skimmer for around $139.99 Shipped. Which is an exceptional value. 2 years ago these skimmers retailed for around $169.99 Shipped. A year ago? Around $209.99 Shipped. This year (2012) they are selling for $249.99 on average & Bulk Reef Supply, an online reef retailer, sold these skimmers for $249.99, just within the past few weeks raised the price to $289.99 (March, 2012)
The "Great Value" of this skimmer is slipping away. However, even at $289.99 this skimmer, in my option, is WORTH the price, but there may be better options out there in the same price range.
|Customer Support ||
I never had to deal with consumer support.
|Liked about it ||
- The bottom of the skimmer can come off, so I can go in the body completely and so a real good cleaning, even though my hand can fit through the nech of the skimmer, its nice to have that access available.
- Energy Efficient, the pump I is labeled and rated at 45/48 Watts, however it was originally designed as a power head pump thus named the "PH"2500, with a impeller such as the Pin-Wheel it draws much less. Under a Kill-A-Watt Meter it ran an average of 23 - 32 Watts depending on water level.
- Quality Build
- Small Sump Foot Print
- Skimms surprisingly well
|Didn't like ||
- The skimmer comes pre-installed with a drain in the collection cup, like it or not its there. I personally force myself to clean my skimmer, so I don't like the drain hoses, it can make one become lazy. What I did is I filed down the elbow coming off of the cup, and glued in a small piece of acrylic.
- From what I heard, the pump breaks around every 2 years, I never had a problem so far, just keep up with maintenance.
- The skimmer cup has that annoying "Push In place" "O" ring design, like many skimmers today. I live having a 1/2 turn union fitting like found on Reef Dynamics Skimmers.
- No air flow control valve.
- Prices are getting to the point where this skimmer is not going to be worth the money. $289.99 is at all the MOST you should pay for this skimmer
|Would consider buying it again:
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