Best Skimmer under $250 for a medium sized tank?

Discussion in 'General Equipment, Hardware, Filtration' started by Dodgersfan, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. Dodgersfan

    Dodgersfan Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Hey Guys,

    I'm finalizing my equipment list for my new 90 Gallon (48"x18"x21") and I'm having a hard time settling on a skimmer. my budget is around $250 bucks, but i don't necessarily have to spend all of it, if I come in under budget then i can splurge somewhere else. I'm going to stock mainly fairy wrasses for fish, corals will prominently be LPS & Zoas i have an eshoppes ADV-200 sump, there are two compartments i could use for the skimmer, one is 9"x 30" the other is 6.5"x 13". ideally I'd like to use the 9x30 as a refugium but it'll limit me on skimmer size. (see my thread on sump set up here: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/sump-fuge-layout-help.325960/ )

    a couple of skimmer's I've been looking at:
    • Bubble Magus NAC5.5 - $180 - fits in the smaller skimmer section
    • Reef Octopus 2000 HOB $240 - its a HOB, but seems to be the best one out there? I'm curious how it stacks up vs the Bubble Magus.
    • Reef Octopus Classic 150 - $240 - I'm sure this is the best one of the three I'm looking at, but can anyone quantify how much better it is? is it a 10% improvement? 25%? 50%? I'm not really finding any stats to easily compare performance between various skimmers.

    is there anything else that i should be looking at in this price range?

    thanks for the help!
     
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  2. gcarroll

    gcarroll Well-Known Member R2R Supporter SCMAS Member

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  3. Bouncingsoul39

    Bouncingsoul39 Well-Known Member

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    This is the best compact value Skimmer with the same Sicce pump as the Somatic but without the pointless and costly features. One looks fancy, the other is utilitarian but functional. Save yourself $60:
    https://www.marinedepot.com/ASM_Min...er-ASM_Protein_Skimmers-AG2111-FIPSNS-vi.html

    You will not find any hard data on which skimmers perform better than others. Forums are filled with anecdotes of "I have this, I like this, this is the one you should get."
     
  4. Denisk

    Denisk Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Well the somatic 60s will be underrated. I recommend going with the SCA skimmer if you really don’t want to spend a lot on a skimmer.
     
  5. ash9965

    ash9965 Well-Known Member

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    Just got my simplicity 120 last night for 199 its already killing on my 95 Gallon

    Skimmer.jpg
     
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  6. ash9965

    ash9965 Well-Known Member

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    they also have a larger 240 model for about 249 I believe
     
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  7. gcarroll

    gcarroll Well-Known Member R2R Supporter SCMAS Member

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    Really, you are trying to convince the OP that that 4.5" skimmer is going to perform just as well as a 6" skimmer? On a 90g? And what gave you the idea that they have the same pump? You do realize that Sicce makes several sizes of skimmer pumps?

    How do you come to the conclusion that the somatic 60s would be underrated?. What are the stats for the SCA for comparison? The only real way to compare needle wheel skimmers is to compare body size, height, and air intake. You certainly can't go by the rating that the manufacturer gives it.
     
  8. spiraling

    spiraling Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    If you have room in your sump don't do the HOB. You can get much better for ones that are in-sump for your money. Plus the HOB is a pain to take off and clean. I have a HOB 1000 on a 40 breeder and its a bit noisy with the vibration against the tank.
     
  9. Denisk

    Denisk Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Well there is a larger sca (180 dollars amazon prime) that is rated up to 180 gallons which I think is quite a stretch however I suggested based on his price. As far as why I said the 60s would be maybe be underated because of course I’m looking at the manufacture ratings. It’s a starting point for all of us when looking at any product. Usually they are overrated not underrated. So it says light stocking 80 gallons and since his is a 90 gallon plus sump, I think it’s a stretch. Personal experience, I ran a curve 5 on my reefer 350 and it couldn’t compete so I threw it on a 20 gallon frag tank. It was entirely off past experiences and manufacture ratings . If you disagree, that is completely fine with me. I’d rather have opinions than none at all.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  10. Jgeebs413

    Jgeebs413 Well-Known Member

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    I vote the simplicity line. Mine took about 2 weeks to breakin completely but works amazing and removing my chaeto now that it has completely stopped growing
     
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  11. Dodgersfan

    Dodgersfan Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    So are the brs tank size ratings totally worthless? I've been looking at them on a few different skimmers and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to them. Two skimmiers will be the same dianiter and about the same draw and be rated for very different tank sizes...
     
  12. Dodgersfan

    Dodgersfan Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Definitely going to check both of these out, the small one will fit my smaller compartment and the large one will fit my larger compartment, and both are in budget, I just need to settle on a sump layout...
     
  13. AdamNC

    AdamNC Lawnmower Blenny says nom nom R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    The Somatic is actually a Vertex in case no one knows. It's just listed as a different line. I've never heard of people complaining about Vertex skimmers.
     
  14. Blue Spot Octopus

    Blue Spot Octopus Well-Known Member

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    Reef Dynamics INS135 from Aquariumsource sub 250, great skimmer.
     
  15. legionofdoon

    legionofdoon New Member

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    I know I'm new to this forum but I've been using the SCA 302 for several years with no issues. I was running an original reef octopus (the black one) with the mesh wheel mod and the stock SCA pulls out a lot more and is way more quiet.
     
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  16. USMC 4 LIFE

    USMC 4 LIFE Well-Known Member

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    Bubble magus curve 5 $200 before taxes. I have the curve 7 and it's great.

    Go Dodgers!
     
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  17. Discover411

    Discover411 New Member

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    I have the aquatop xyclone 100 in my sump. I used plastic grating stacked to get it the correct height. It is working great. Less than $100.
     
  18. Dodgersfan

    Dodgersfan Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    So i put together a quick spreadsheet with the suggestions in this thread and a few others, and got some pretty interesting results (Red highlights are the lower 50% of scores for each column, Greens are the upper 50%, cells left white are basically exactly midway for the group. cells grayed out are where i couldn't find data for that particular skimmer.

    It helped me break it into 2 groups; skimmers that will fit in either compartment in my sump, and those that will only fit in the larger compartment.

    Starting with the skimmers that i could put in the smaller compartment to free the large compartment up for a refugium, the Simplicity 120 seems to just barely edge out the Bubble Magus NAC5.5 due to the 20% higher max air intake. with the eshoppes Z160 being a wildcard as i was not able to find stats on its flow rate.

    what this really did for me was highlight how much better the skimmers that fit in the larger compartment only are, which i think has helped be settle on just abandoning the fuge idea and using the large skimmer compartment for what it was intended for. the Reef Octopus 150 seems to be the clear winner in this category, with the Simplicity 240 and Skimz SN143-QP getting honorable mention. the Exhoppes X-160 is a wild card again, as i cnat find their flow rate published anywhere, but they do look well built. even though MSRP is 300 i included them in part because fosters & smith is shipping a $45 gift card out with them right now, so for all intents and purposes that makes it a $250 skimmer in the long run...


    does anyone have any more info on the Eshoppes models or experience with them?

    book1.jpg
     
  19. Yuki Rihwa

    Yuki Rihwa Well-Known Member

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    I took the Reef Octopus 2000 HoB off my 40B, it's work great but noisy, very easy to overflow, will release ton of small bubbles into your tank, I have to DIY a form cover entire return line, and some forms in the return chamber to eliminate the small bubble get into my tank and thus will make overflow easier to occur if power on/off in event of power outage.
     
  20. ash9965

    ash9965 Well-Known Member

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    update on my simplicity 120 evidently I received the rare one with a malfunctioning pump. After 1 day it started making a rattling noise and stopped skimming. I will say they guy ( Joel with the company was nice enough offered a discount and said he could walk me through a way to repair the know issue with ceramic parts. I just felt it wasn't worth the work considering it should be brand new . I have returned item and am currently looking at different options. All in all they do get good reviews and customer service was responsive I just lucked out on receiving a bad pump. I will say in the one day that it worked it worked very well.
     
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