View Full Version : Cone Vs. Cylinder

01-07-2010, 02:05 AM
Ok, I imagine this topic has been talked about a bit but I'm looking at a pretty specific comparison.

My example

Cone: The soon to be released SWC 160 cone skimmer: $250
Rating on a HEAVY bio-load: 90gallons
Amount of air pulled with modified meshwheel impeller: up to 21scfh

Cylinder: SWC extreme 160 cylinder skimmer: $270
Rating on a HEAVY bio-load: 125gallons
Amount of air pulled with modified meshwheel impeller: up to 50scfh.

So my question is, What is the point of getting a cone? When clearly by this comparison of the same manufacturer's skimmers for a mere $20 more you can go with a cylinder that only has a very slightly bigger footprint but has a dramatic amount more power. Does the cone skimmers being the shape they are cause them to be much more efficient then that of their cylinder counterpart?


01-07-2010, 08:08 AM
In a nutshell, yes.

How much more could be debated per individual cone, based upon pump, reaction chamber and neck size.

The basic thing that is going on here that makes it so good is the combination of a bubble plate with the cone shape reaction chamber.

The bubble plate allows for more air, without adding the extra turbulence that comes from moving the amount of water needed to inject that much air.
So you have air and water moving upwards out of the bubble plate at a decreased speed compared to injecting directly from the pump into the skimmer body.

Next we have the tapered shape of the cone reation chamber matched with a neck that is identical to the size at the top of the cone, so there is no restriction going from the reaction chamber into the neck. this way the slower moving foam produces a more stable foam head in the neck of the skimmer, thus making the skimmer more "productive".
having a skimmer designed this way also lets you get away with using less air than a similar sized cylinder skimmer while acheiving the same or very similar skimmate production (all things being equal).

there you go...cone skimmers 101 :)

01-07-2010, 08:26 AM
but to answer your question, is the SWC extreme 160 with sicce that gets roughly 1200-1300lph air injection with the meshwheel
a better choice than the SWC 160 cone that gets 600-700lph of air??
I'm guessing luke who has used both skimmers might say yes.

taken from a pm from him about the new SWC cones;

"The 160, 200 they are great skimmers but these two new cone's are straight up pimps. The 160 is pulling 22scfh at 23w in 7" water. The foam head is HUGE and the transition is money, no taper, neck is perfect for the air pull."

as for myself? I think that getting the correct pump matched up to the correct size reaction chamber and neck is just as important, and can make a cylinder skimmer just as good as a nice cone...
case in point the new SWC 250A an incredible skimmer!!! but not a cone.

as for the SWC extreme 160, it has been mentioned that the reaction chamber might be a little small for that amount of air and water, so I would say that the extreme 200 is a better choice than the SWC 160 cone, but that the SWC 160 cone is a better choice than the SWC extreme 160, despite the decrease in power. I bet you would see similar amounts of skimmate from both skimmers.

01-07-2010, 10:26 AM
Hmmm, thats good info mark. Thanks

The main reason i'm even looking at skimmers is because I need an upgrade for my frag system and figured I could upgrade both my display and frag tank at the same time by upsizing the skimmer on the display. All though honestly i'm very very happy with the swc built NW-150 thats on my display. Even with just a pinwheel installed (haven't modded the volute yet) it pulls some great nog. If I were to find another one of those for cheap I'd probably just pick that up, put a pinwheel in and increase the volute size and call it a day.


01-07-2010, 09:30 PM
Great info. Makes a lot of sense.

01-07-2010, 09:55 PM
I was about to start a similar thread comparing the same two skimmers. Either one will fit into my sump for the new 75-gallon tank.


01-20-2010, 11:55 PM
The only question IMO is the longevity of the new pumps used on the cone, while the sicce on the 160 can be extremely finicky at least mine is (its shredded three PPW now) they are good pumps

01-25-2010, 01:33 PM
Personally i think the 160 cone will outskim the swc160 or swc200. I have ran all three and the cone will pull out more skimmate. Pro's on the cone are obviously transition, build is good, neck and air pull are matched well and the footprint is small. Dang near everyone can fit it. No start up issues and its silent as an askoll skimmer. If you run the swc160 or swc200 with a pw the cone will outskim them both. Mesh and the swc160 isn't a good idea as its to much for the neck and body. Mesh on the swc200 will really make it skim well, but may burn up your pump and won't startup so both are cons. All are good skimmers. I plan on swapping out my askoll skimmer for one of the 160 cone's on my 125g tank. Not because it will outskim an askoll but the cone will be better suited for my size of tank. The askoll is just to big.