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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, rule number one: this is a fun thread!

Ok, I have been a "outspoken" critic of the Remoras (AquaC in general) because of several issues. On the other hand, I have been a bit of a fan of the cheap little RedSea Prizm (for very small tanks).

So, I have a 40B that has been basically skimmer-less for the last two months. It is nutrient rich, but has little algae due to aggressive GFO use (showing that the limiting nutrient principle works). However, I have pulled the remora out (to sell eventually) and I got a new pump for the prizm.

I had an idea... lets have a skim-off between these two HOB skimmers... and I have the perfect tank to try it out on.

So, in this corner, The AquaC Remora Pro with a Mag3 pump! Coming into today's fight retailing for $225 (Marine Depot) and is rated up to a whopping 120 gallons! (Minimum rated at 40g). It uses 37watts. Will is be able to put the massive size to its advantage? We will find out! The Remora Pro has one mod, the collection cup base of the neck has a silicone strip to prevent air/water/skimmate from escaping between the neck base and the sidewalls (a serious design flaw of the stock skimmers.



In the other corner, the challenger... a RedSea Prizm Deluxe (only using the surface skimming cup). Costing a mere $125 ($99 for the basic) and is rated for a 40g tank maximum! Energy use is only 10 watts. The prizm has been modded to include a bubble plate and the air intake has been widen for more air. The pump is stock on this version )I have meshed the older pump before).




So let the skimmer battle begin!




BTW, the Remora got a 5 minute head start while I started up the prizm.
 

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Prizm, hands down.

I had one on my 20G when I first started a reef, I really liked it, seemed to perform well. I also had the AquaC urchin (in sump remora basically) and was not impressed.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So far the Remora has the advantage... but it might be a "wet" advantage. The remora is set to the driest setting it can be and has been very wet at best. However the prizm was skimming far drier (real dry foam) than the Remora so I have adjusted it. Hopefully it both skimmers will be drawing about the same amount of water per organic content now.

For non-performance reviews.... the Remora is loud! I can barely hear the TV (Baylor vs LaSalle BBall game). I can not hear the prizm nor my MSX with a BB skimmer pump. In addition, the remora is producing a lot more microbubbles (not that the prizm is perfect either but at least I can adjust the prizm).
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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15,434 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You should dry the skimmate and subtract the weight of the salt for a fair comparison. :D

Yeah, but where is the fun in that? (Ok, I would be one of those people who would find that fun... but not today, to much BB on TV)

OK, the skimmers have "calmed down" as I have seen the heads on both skimmers become a lot weaker than when started up... could they be running out of organics already?
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ding, ding ding... round one is over!!! (Mostly because the Mrs was tired of the noise.) So after 5.5 hours of skimmer battle-royal, here is the results


Remora Left, Prizm Right


Officially the Remora skimmed 15.2mL of skimmate, the Prizm had 12.5mL

Now, did the few minutes at the beginning in which the Remora ran help? Maybe... but I am not sure. The skimmate was about as wet for each skimmer although the Prizm had more bubbles in the cup (some lost organics). Still, I was amazed that the two skimmers were as equal as they were. As a result, I will let you judge and score the "winner" of this round (using any justifiable criteria).

For round two, I will restart the skimmers tomorrow. Since they have been skimming on a previous skimmerless tank, tomorrow should have less organics.... closer to a lower nutrient system. We will see which is best for that test... round two coming soon!
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh yeah, I think the prizm was slightly darker, what do you think (and I know it is close)
 

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I've got the REEF rash!
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Why not remove both and get a good skimmer like Octopus and it's quiet so you can run it all the time and it will make your tank and wife happy!
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Why not remove both and get a good skimmer like Octopus and it's quiet so you can run it all the time and it will make your tank and wife happy!

Well, the tank is going to actually stay skimmerless... I just tossed the two skimmer on there for something to do on my "day off" (My paper revisions and some applications were due on the 15th so I have not been able to do my crazy experiments for the last month). I bought a full second Prizm at my club meeting this weekend (I only needed the pump) but at $10 it was a bargain.

Dont worry, I have my MSX/Octo/Honya skimmer and a BB pump on the main tank. I would compare it but it would be like tossing a 800lb gorilla into a puppet fighting ring... it would not be 'perdy'.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok, both skimmers were plugged in at 11:30am (EST) this morning. I guess round two has begun and we will see which skimmer does better today! Fight on!
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Round two results!

Ok after skimming from 11:30am on Nov 17, 2010 to 10:00am on Nov 18, 2010, here is how much each skimmer pulled!

Remora Left, Prizm Right


I was, well, shocked!

The Remora easily produced twice as much skimmate as the Prizm. (12.6 vs 6.1 mL)I am guessing that using a much larger pump and greater water uptake was the difference. I was kinda expecting the Prizm to be better in the less nutrient environment because of the smaller neck (less organics needed) to push foam over the top. Oh well, it is good to find out something different than what was expected.

Ok, now on to Round 3!!!!
.... the PE Mysis Recovery Test!

Ok, PE (Piscine Energetics) Mysis are about as oily and nutritious as frozen food gets. The Mysis are wonderful food for marine fish and despite their large size (more like the size of krill) they are soft so even the smallest fish can bite chunks out of them. However, because PE mysis are so yummy (and oily) they can kill a skimmer's head quickly and keep it killed for a while (for those non-skimmer people, the food stops foam production for quite a while). I came up with this idea last night when I fed the tanks (the skimmers were running for round two so if the Remora recovers quickly then we know where one advantage came from). So Round three will be done in two parts. 1) Rinsed Mysis 2) Un-rinsed mysis. With PE, users rinse their mysis in water fr a while to minimize the oils added to the tank. I will test the rinsed mysis first, and then when the skimmers recover, I will add the fully oiled un-rinsed mysis for the "knockout" round.

I have cleaned each skimmer and I am waiting for the remora to rebuild a head (the prizm liked the cleaning and already has a small head) .
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK, rinsed PE mysis added, Round 3 begin!
 

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I can see this experiment being skewed on a couple of fronts. The height of the collection chamber of the Aqua C is one variable along with adjustments to the Prizm. Putting 2 skimmers on the same tank you will not get any real empirical data (evidence) of over-all capability due to the fact that, depending on the settings of each skimmer, one will pull more and make it look as if the other is less adequate. Perhaps if you could get them both set to the closest skim possible (wet/dry or in between) and then run each separately for say 72 hours and then compare, that may give you a better gage. I know you said this is a fun thread but my logic got the better of me.
 

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mrplum- If you run them separately for 72 hours each, you'll have the issue of the first one have an advantage, there will be more organic material available to skim for the first protein skimmer, then the second one will only have what the first didnt get...

I'd say running them both at the same time is the best way to do it, and based on the color of the skimmate, it would appear he has them set to a pretty equal skim...

-Scott
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok, no rebuilding of the head yet for either skimmer. I had to run out, so hopefully there will not be a result until I get back. I will respond to the method debate when I return
 
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