My $35 Current recirculating protein skimmer ($50 with shipping) review

Will

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#1
I bought this skimmer off ebay http://cgi.ebay.com/Current-Fission...emQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item2a061827ba

(I got the smaller 150 version) and it arrived today.

Positives:
Price $50 shipped
Size (rated for 150 for my ~40 gal of water volume)
recirculating pump (very quiet) and produces very fine bubbles

Negatives:
Collection cup was broken upon arrival (was able to fix it very easily with plastic epoxy)
Large footprint (is dominating my 20 gal sump)
does not come with feeder pump (although i had a maxi jet 900 left over from my backpack and this is powering it fine)
Control knob (i had to use pliers to adjust it)

I will update about how well it skims and how easy it is to tune/stays tuned
 

DWhatley

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#2
We have the same one. The collection cup will be a contining problem as you can't get it off to clean it without breaking it again, and again ... I suspect that is why the literature states (in several places) that it must be used in sump, in spite of it being designed for in or out of sump. I usually clean it in place (with a brush but I loose some of the gunk back into the skimmer) but will occassionally wiggle it until I can get it off without yet another glue fix.

We added an air pump for more bubbles after a month or two. Ours is fed directly from the outflow of the tank with a diverter into a sock filter for the excess.
 

Will

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#3
I used a plastic epoxy it the collection cup seems to be working well, is the air pump necessary? the column seem to be white as snow
(forgot to mention that the feeder pump has a venturi modification, so it is providing bubbles as well)
 

DWhatley

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#4
We did not need the air pump until it had been set up awhile (I am not sure of the timing, it seemed soon after we set it up but my sense of time for stuff like this is really bad. If I don't have a dated photo or specific memory reference I can be wayyy off) and we did not make any other mods. The additional problems with the cup will come when you try to take it off the rubber gasket. DON'T pull it by the sides. Put your hands underneath and try to rock it (be careful or when it does loosen it may pop off suddenly) without pushing on the sides. Lately it has been a little easier to remove so I am either not putting it back as tightly or the rubber has hardened a bit. Fortunately, if it leaks a little there is no harm done.
 

Will

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#5
ok now the pump has become very loud, i may take it apart later to see if there is something wrong. how hard is it to tune in? as so far it is not skimming anything, although i don't know if i have enough dissolved organics to skim out.
 

DWhatley

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#6
The pump is wierd and periodically makes noise. It seems to help quiet it when we top off (daily) but it seems to make a strange noise for a period of time every day and we have never figured out why or how to stop it. In the two years we have had it there have been no real problems and it stays adjusted pretty well (thankfully as getting to that hard to turn know is a real problem). Skimming is so/so but nothing is ever really in the cup, it collects inside the funnel.
 

DWhatley

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#8
At least! Mine is on Kooah's 60 + 35 sump. For my mercs I use a Skilter on a 15 gallon tank :tongue:.
 

Will

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#9
have you noticed that the pump puts out alot of heat (was having a hard time keeping the temp at 78, now its sitting at 80)? im starting to think that this skimmer was not such a good idea. i may end up getting a different one (asm mini)
 

DWhatley

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#10
No, heat has not been a known issue but I run a fan over the sump all but the winter months and I do have to heat it in the winter (the windows allow a lot of cold in that corner). Also, the pump is set up to be out of the water and, since we gravity feed it, there is one less pump involved.
 

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