Is lifereef really the best skimmer?

Subpilot

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So a couple of questions I have. Are not needle wheel pumps also utilizing a venturi to draw in air (yes) ? What is ground breaking about plumbing the air line into the collection cup? Could you not do the exact same thing with any skimmer? Would work the same to shut down airflow if water level in cup reached the air intake. Not going to make bubbles if you are sucking in water. I think there is a reason they don't do that as it sucks crap into the hose and will clog it within a short period. Perhaps the Lifereef has more suction and would maybe tend to clear clogs? Like a vacuum flush toilet maybe. Seems dubious. The fact that nobody else is following in their footsteps is odd. If it was the hot ticket everyone else would jump all over it.
 
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saf1

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So a couple of questions I have. Are not needle wheel pumps also utilizing a venturi to draw in air (yes) ? What is ground breaking about plumbing the air line into the collection cup? Could you not do the exact same thing with any skimmer? Would work the same to shut down airflow if water level in cup reached the air intake. Not going to make bubbles if you are sucking in water. I think there is a reason they don't do that as it sucks crap into the hose and will clog it within a short period. Perhaps the Lifereef has more suction and would maybe tend to clear clogs? Like a vacuum flush toilet maybe. Seems dubious. The fact that nobody else is following in their footsteps is odd. If it was the hot ticket everyone else would jump all over it.
First post to question a LIfereef skimmer? Interesting.

If you owned one then you would know why the design hasn't change. So much that when I purchased mine in 2000 for a 100 gallon tank it is working close to 19 years later on my 210 upgrade. That is why.

If it isn't broke why fix it? It just works.
 

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Don't mean to be blasphemous. Your reply does not address the questions and is just a testimonial. I am considering buying one and these things nag at me. Why after 20+ years are not everyone going this route? It is certainly not a patent issue.
 

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BTW, I have been on Reef Central since 2003 and have just never bothered to register here. This happens to be where "the" LifeReef thread is.
 

ca1ore

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Venturi is a generic term to describe any assembly that uses liquid flow and differential pressure to effect injection or suction of air or fluid. The vast majority of skimmers use some kind of Venturi. Downdraft skimmers did not, and maybe there were others, but that’s about it. Mazzei, Beckett are just different brands/designs that work on the Venturi effect principle.

Circulating moist air through the waste collector does indeed work with most skimmers. Why other skimmers have not adopted the idea I cannot say. I have on my MTC skimmer.
 

JoshH

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The sucking air from within the skimmer cup reduces noise and cleans the venturi so you don't have to. Certainly possible to do on a regular skimmer but it won't have the same effect on cleaning your pump head. My Lifereef has never clogged from sucking in crap.

Look at all the businesses making skimmers, they all change there design after a few years and discontinue either the pumps or the parts to maintain them. So if yours breaks, well, tough luck for you. You have to buy a whole new skimmer and throw the one with a broken pump or air valve, otherwise good skimmer you had right in the garbage. If my pump happens to break (doubtful being a mag drive) I'll just go out and buy another pump, doesn't matter who made it or what new fangled gadgets it has, throw it on and fire it up.
 

Scorpius

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The sucking air from within the skimmer cup reduces noise and cleans the venturi so you don't have to. Certainly possible to do on a regular skimmer but it won't have the same effect on cleaning your pump head. My Lifereef has never clogged from sucking in crap.

Look at all the businesses making skimmers, they all change there design after a few years and discontinue either the pumps or the parts to maintain them. So if yours breaks, well, tough luck for you. You have to buy a whole new skimmer and throw the one with a broken pump or air valve, otherwise good skimmer you had right in the garbage. If my pump happens to break (doubtful being a mag drive) I'll just go out and buy another pump, doesn't matter who made it or what new fangled gadgets it has, throw it on and fire it up.
Whoa there buddy, let's turn our phasers down to stun. That person only asked a question and I saw no ill intent in it. People usually ask questions when they don't understand something.
 

JoshH

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Whoa there buddy, let's turn our phasers down to stun. That person only asked a question and I saw no ill intent in it. People usually ask questions when they don't understand something.
Yeah definitely my bad, been a bit of a rough night and I kindof read a little too far into it. ;Sorry
 

Subpilot

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I take no offense with peeps being an advocate for whatever product, service or political viewpoint they may have as long as it is civil. I did not perceive things to have gotten beyond "enthusiastic". So anyway I just don't know why LifeReef stands alone with this design. After all we are talking about an assembly of pipe fittings not a SpaceX Falcon Motor.
 

JoshH

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So to tone myself down a bit and focus on the questions...

So a couple of questions I have. Are not needle wheel pumps also utilizing a venturi to draw in air (yes) ?

Yes they do, but as mentioned above, in a slightly different way than Lifereefs approach. Lifereef uses a particular design that uses flow only to produce the suction and air bubbles your skimmer needs. This design has no moving parts so nothing there to really break. And cleaning isn't necessary as the air intake from the skimmer cup uses the moist air to keep the Venturi clean.

What is ground breaking about plumbing the air line into the collection cup?

The real benefit to this design is it makes the venturi self cleaning. It also helps reduce noise and yes, if the cup got too full it would stop the production of bubbles which would stop the filling of the collection cup.

Could you not do the exact same thing with any skimmer?

Absolutely you can, but it won't have the cleaning effects mentioned above. The other benefits I would think so.

Would work the same to shut down airflow if water level in cup reached the air intake. Not going to make bubbles if you are sucking in water. I think there is a reason they don't do that as it sucks crap into the hose and will clog it within a short period. Perhaps the Lifereef has more suction and would maybe tend to clear clogs?

I've never had my Lifereef suck detritus into the venturi itself even when it was full. Only time it's ever gotten that full is when it was skimming really wet so it was mostly water..

Like a vacuum flush toilet maybe. Seems dubious. The fact that nobody else is following in their footsteps is odd. If it was the hot ticket everyone else would jump all over it.

As mentioned above, I feel the reason most don't use this design is that it is so simple and can last for many, many years without being replaced. We live in a society where disposable items have become the norm. And let's face it, companies need to keep making money. Jeff is a one man band for the most part so to him it's more worth producing a product that will last. Verses redesigning things every few years and forcing customers to eventually upgrade when something breaks. It's just a different approach to business.

And I'm sorry if my previous response was offensive, not the tone I usually like to give to a new member, or any member for that matter.

Oh and if you do decide to go with a Lifereef, I suggest getting the flanged version. I went with the nonflanged version and I wish I had gotten the flanged version for the expansions you can purchase. And for ease of cleaning whenever I do a deep clean which has only been once in a few years but it still made it a bit of a pain.
 
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saf1

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Don't mean to be blasphemous. Your reply does not address the questions and is just a testimonial. I am considering buying one and these things nag at me. Why after 20+ years are not everyone going this route? It is certainly not a patent issue.
My suggestion is to email Jeff. He will respond and answer any questions you might have.

As to why couldn't tell you. But it wouldn't hurt to email him and ask.
 

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I don't buy "new" 2000 model cars because I know that the engineering behind cars since then has improved upon what came before. Like evolution, if an idea or design comes along that is better it will be adopted. Much of that is hype but I think in the very social world of reefkeeping it does not pay long term to make a product to fail. Sad fact is that most hobbiests retire out of the hobby long before their equipment retires. Some people collect 1960 era Muscle cars and thoroughly enjoy them but the performance of even fairly low budget modern enthusiast cars blows them away performance wise.
 

saf1

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I take no offense with peeps being an advocate for whatever product, service or political viewpoint they may have as long as it is civil. I did not perceive things to have gotten beyond "enthusiastic". So anyway I just don't know why LifeReef stands alone with this design. After all we are talking about an assembly of pipe fittings not a SpaceX Falcon Motor.
Because it works. Sort of like asking GM why they continue to run the same tried and true v8 while Ford and others go different routes.

None of us here can speculate why people use other skimmer designs. On the other hand if you have talked to Jeff at Lifereef he will tell you why he won't change his design. In fact last year I called and asked him if I needed to buy a new skimmer of his or upgrade. He could have made a easy sale, 600 bucks. Nope - looked up my name, found it in the records, said no - design hasn't changed other than including a skimmer cup drain rather than mine being optional back in the day.

Like I said - we here can't answer the question but if you want to know how it works those of us with them can.
 

saf1

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I don't buy "new" 2000 model cars because I know that the engineering behind cars since then has improved upon what came before. Like evolution, if an idea or design comes along that is better it will be adopted. Much of that is hype but I think in the very social world of reefkeeping it does not pay long term to make a product to fail. Sad fact is that most hobbiests retire out of the hobby long before their equipment retires. Some people collect 1960 era Muscle cars and thoroughly enjoy them but the performance of even fairly low budget modern enthusiast cars blows them away performance wise.
Have you ever taking a car on a track be it HPED or closed? I used to run a 2015 GT/PP with modified suspension and would always be amazed by older cars be it a 69 Boss 302 entering and exiting a corner better than me or other cars.

I'm not sure where you are going with this. New != better in all cases.
 
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Water Dog

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BTW, I have been on Reef Central since 2003 and have just never bothered to register here. This happens to be where "the" LifeReef thread is.
Then I can’t believe you missed the definitive 153 page Lifereef thread started by d2mini over there. Check it out... The Lifereef Skimmer Club
 

jeffrey holloway

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I am going absolutely crazy trying to purchase a new skimmer for my new 180g build. A buddy of mine told me about lifereef and was wondering if they are really that much better than skimmers like RO, vertex, aquamaxx, skimz, etc...

If they are then what exactly makes them that much better/worth the money?

I have a 12x12 area for my skimmer if that helps.
 

jeffrey holloway

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I have used every skimmer u mentioned over the last four years. The Lifereef Skimmer just works better and simple to use. It all about the results and lack of worrying for me. Not the sleekest looking skimmer and probable won't win any beauty
contests, But It's the only skimmer I'll ever buy agin.
 

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I have been talking to Jeff and he is great guy. I admire his personal touch and he certainly has a very loyal following. I have not decided where to go with my next skimmer. Honestly I am between the ole workhorse LifeReef and the new Maxspec Aroaqua Duo. Could not be further apart on concept.
 

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