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Alpha 250 Protein Skimmer

 
A conical body paired with a Red Dragon pump creates a potent combination of exceptional waste extraction, whisper quiet operation and energy conservation.


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Vertex/Royal Exclusiv Alpha 250 Cone Protein Skimmer featured

Installation and Operation The Royal Exclusiv/Vertex Alpha 250 Protein Skimmer is an incredibly well engineered piece of essential reef equipment that performs better than it looks… and it looks fantastic!

The skimmer and components come very well packed in over sized double packaging with formed foam to ensure safety during shipment. During removal of the skimmer parts and components from the packaging, it's very obvious that the skimmer is a true piece of fine craftsmanship. Assembly of the skimmer and connecting the pump is fairly straight forward, although there are no instructions included in the box. Once the unit is assembled and the pump is attached, it simply needs to be installed into the skimmer chamber of your sump and then plugged in.

From the start of unpacking everything to the time of starting it up in my sump took approximately an hour. This time included building an egg crate stand for the skimmer to sit on (the 250's perform best in ~10" of water) as well as time taken to snap some much needed pictures prior to putting it in service. :D

Once the skimmer is running, it's very simple to make adjustments to the water level as needed. A small twist of the wedge pipe allows you to adjust the foam head level up or down in the skimmer and a thumb screw allows you to lock the setting in to prevent it from drifting. Adjustment of wet or dry skimming is easily achieved and the built in cup drain is a great feature for wet skimming. Most skimmers require a few days (some up to a week) to break in and start forming a good foam head. Within an hour of starting it up the Alpha had formed a nice thick foam head. It was fully broken in within 48 hours and was already pulling out some nasty dark skimmate.

As far as maintenance, I've owned the skimmer for around 8 months now. I clean the cup out about once a week which is fairly simple, it screws off the neck very easily. The cup and lid are very large and due to the quality of the materials used they're fairly heavy, so care must be taken not to drop or hit them on anything during the cleaning process. I've pulled the skimmer completely out of my sump twice to do a full cleaning. Since every component and piece of the skimmer and pump are able to be disassembled, a detailed cleaning is much easier and more thorough than on any other skimmer I've owned previously.


Performance vs. Expectations As far as performance, this is by far the best skimmer I've ever owned… and I've owned several. The Red Dragon pump is extremely quiet, it's virtually silent. It draws very low wattage compared to most pumps and does not raise my tank temp at all. Every component of the skimmer is made of quality materials that are thick, sturdy and machined to perfection... very reminiscent of a mil-spec piece of equipment.

The skimmer continues to pull nasty, dark skimmate from my tank on a daily basis... it keeps my water clean and tank inhabitants happy. Since putting it in service, my ORP has climbed as high as the 330’s and consistently stays above 300 (I don't run ozone). I have 18 fish in my 180gal SPS dominant reef and I feed heavily at least once a day, the Alpha has no problem handling the bio-load.


Liked about it One of the key features of the Alpha 250 that's valuable to me is the build quality. It’s hard to put into words how high the quality is on this skimmer, the fine craftsmanship and attention to detail really sets it apart from others. Another plus is its size. The body is much larger than I expected and easily handles anything I can throw at it. But the best part is it's so quiet… you hardly even know it's there.


Didn't like About the only thing that I've found that I dislike on the skimmer is that salt creep can start to form at the neck/cup connection if the cup isn't secure enough. Not a big deal, just have to make sure it's tightened all the way after cleaning.


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By Big D
Jan 07, 2010
 
Last updated: January 18, 2010
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