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View Full Version : EuroReef Skimmer upgrade question, Potential new skimmer



Taqpol
04-16-2010, 01:32 PM
Hi all,

I currently have a recirculating EuroReef CS8-3. It is external of my 120 gallon SPS tank and fed by a throttled back Mag 5 (smallest pump I had on hand). Its definitely an older skimmer, so heres a picture:

http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn248/Taqpol/40709Skimmer.jpg

I think this skimmer is rated for about 300 gallons of high bioload, but it is hard to find information on it since it was discontinued so long ago. It is perfect on my 120 gallon with a heavy fish load, but this summer I am upgrading to a custom 220 gallon (72"l x 30"w x 24"t) that will have roughly the same rock and coral load, but many more fish. I want to make sure I have a powerful enough skimmer to handle the increased water volume and bioload. Here are my two options:

Option #1: Upgrade the EuroReef.

I have always wanted this skimmer to be an in sump model, and I think the dedicated feed pump idea is pretty stupid, so I had a thought about modifying it to be a two pump skimmer (the current Sedra5000 recirculating pump and an aspirating feed pump). www.reefdynamics.com sells replacement pumps for EuroReef skimmers, so I was thinking of buying a EuroReef Modified Sedra3500 (http://www.reefdynamics.com/Euro-Reef-Protein-Skimmer-Pump-Model-SP2-C-p/p-sp2-c.htm) and the associated plumbing and uniseals to connect it to the skimmer body in such a way that it would pull in water from the sump and feed it straight into the body.

The problem with this is that I have heard that skimmers are designed for a certain volume of bubbles and increasing it too much can actually decrease the skimmers performance. I was hoping the skimmer experts could tell me what they think of my plan. Would my feed pump be overpowered or not powered enough? Would I actually see an increase in my skimming efficiency by going this way? Can someone estimate or give me better numbers on what my modified skimmer would be capable of, bioload wise?

Option #2: Just buy a new skimmer.

I am interested in the newer skimmers coming out to the market today, and I think I could swing one of these SWC Cone skimmers (http://www.swcskimmers.com/product11.html) that is rated for a heavy bioload of 200 gallons. My questions about new skimmers, since I'm out of the loop, are:

Whats the best skimmer I can buy for my size tank and bioload? Which one is the most cost effective?

What makes Cone Skimmers better then the older type?

...And are cone skimmers worth the extra cost?

Sorry for all the questions!

Skimmy
04-16-2010, 02:52 PM
hmmmmph....
well, in a nut shell, sell the euro-reef...
for 220g high bioload, I would say that you want between 1000-1400lph air injection from your skimmer(500-700lph air injection for every 100g)...and you want it with low watt consumtion, and preferably pinwheel design with bubble plate and cone shape over cylinder shape (to give you a comparison, your sedra 5000 on your euroreef skimmer recirc'ed gets about 600-700lph air injection depending on sump level/or external).
say you have 2 identical pumps of the same power, one on a cylinder skimmer like the euro-reef and one on a cone body skimmer
there is an increase in performance on the skimmer with a cone shape reaction chamber when used with a well designed bubble plate and proper neck size vs. the cylinder skimmer w/o a bubble plate. there would be about a 50% increase in efficency in this scenario...
now a cylinder skimmer with a good designed bubble plate, appropriately match pump power, and neck size can be almost as efficient as a cone, and then you might be talking like a only 20% increase in efficency from the cone over the cylinder,
so it is all relative to individual models you are comparing, but the cone gets a slight edge even in the "worst case" scenario.

now for your 220g high load tank, I would look at:

SWC 250A (a cylinder skimmer with askoll pinwheel pump, 2400lph air injection @75watts) $550
...which would be slightly over kill, but very powerful and able to handle anything you could pack in that tank, or even a larger tank in the future...

then the SWC 180 (or mini s) cone skimmers, both with sicce psk 2500 pump
that will pull 1,100lph air injection @ 25watts,
which is just enough power-wise, but they have a cone body to increase efficency and can handle a stocked 220g IMO.
the mini-s cone can be had for like $300 right now(on sale, being replaced by the 180) and the 180 cone will be $380

Taqpol
04-16-2010, 04:14 PM
Do you think SWC makes the best skimmer for the money right now? What other companies would you look at?

Does modifying the EuroReef make any sense? Would adding an aspirating pump in the configuration I mentioned make any sense and would it actually increase skimming efficiency?

NaTe R
04-16-2010, 06:25 PM
Royal-Exclusiv Alpha 250 Cone Skimmer

why buy a corvette when you can have a Farari?

I have the same size tank you do now and want to upgrade in the future as well. this is the skimmer i would recommend

Taqpol
04-16-2010, 07:37 PM
Wasn't it at this years MACNA when they had the one speaker who demonstrated that most skimmers performed the same within their bioload class and style? From reading reviews it seems like the Royal-Exclusiv is a lot quieter then comparable skimmers, but this is not as big of an issue for me since I will have a fish room. I have also heard that Red Dragon pumps produce a lot more heat then their counterparts.

I don't want to be that guy who buys the super expensive custom tank and then puts a bad skimmer on it, but while I do have the money for a Royal Exclusiv it is out of my self imposed budget limit. With all technology (cars, computers, fish tanks) I feel that you can still get almost as good if not as good performance out of "one step below top end" products for sometimes 50% of the cost of the top of the line model.

roscoe
04-16-2010, 09:06 PM
Why get the Royal-Exclusiv Alpha 250 Cone Skimmer when you have a skimmer that is a good $400+ less and the SWC 250A also outperforms the Royal-Exclusiv Alpha 250 Cone Skimmer. The REA gets 1500LPH while the SWC 250A gets over 2100+LPH. I don't know..... it is simple math too me and the obvious choice for me would be the SWC. IMHO the only thing good about the REA is that it can be fully disasemble for cleaning oh yeah it does look pretty sexy too but what is that if she can't perform as well as the cheaper counterpart?

robthorn
04-16-2010, 11:49 PM
Cones have less contact time.
The extra water and space inside your cylinder skimmer actually means it acts more efficient . More contact time has always been said to be better. Meaning 600lph of air will do more work in a cylinder than 600 lph air in a cone. I guess it is whatever your meaning of efficient is. My sedra 9000 on my euro reef cs8-2 is drawing 34 watts compared to 50 watts on a vertex 200 or Itech400. The 8-2 pulls out approximately the same skimmate as the Itech and more than the vertex.
The neck transition is a natural turbulence diffuser. It's why they don't have or need bubble plates. The bubble plates were designed for Bubble kings because the bodies were fat and short. Notice how bubble king scrapped the cone shape and stuck with cylindrical bodies? There is a reason. Talk to Klaus
Just my opinion since there is no real way to measure which skimmer is truely more efficient. Efficiency to me is same amount of work for less power consumption.

robthorn
04-16-2010, 11:54 PM
Having said that I forgot to say call Jeff at ER and he will help you. I would most likely recirc the 5000 and feed with another 5000. Your feeding the skimmer with a mag 5 anyway so you shouldn't use any more power than you already are but it should skim like mad.

Skimmy
04-17-2010, 01:33 AM
Cones have less contact time.
The extra water and space inside your cylinder skimmer actually means it acts more efficient . More contact time has always been said to be better. Meaning 600lph of air will do more work in a cylinder than 600 lph air in a cone.

completly untrue...
contact time would have to do more with how much water your pump is processing after air injection through the reaction chamber.
as long as the amount of water the processed by the pump is matched to the size of the skimmer reaction chamber, then the dwell time within a cone could be as much as a cylinder, if not more...completly dependant on the individual pump used for that particular size reaction chamber.

also, you wont be getting a hold of jeff at euro-reef any time soon, because euro-reef doesnt exist anymore...FYI ...try reef dynamics, Jeff's new company.
and dont even get me started on the vertex cone, RE or "advice" from klown.... I mean klaus. :)

Skimmy
04-17-2010, 01:47 AM
Do you think SWC makes the best skimmer for the money right now? What other companies would you look at?

Does modifying the EuroReef make any sense? Would adding an aspirating pump in the configuration I mentioned make any sense and would it actually increase skimming efficiency?

well, if you can afford it, look at the ATB skimmers...
but that's why I like SWC, because they offer you similar design features, similar power, and great build quality for about 1/2 to 1/3rd the price.

and as far as the euro-reef???

knock knock... the 90's are here, they want their skimmer back..

just sell it and be done with it.

robthorn
04-17-2010, 01:58 AM
Not a fan of vertex myself and I was able to get a hold of jeff today and had a lengthy talk with him. Well ok it's late so technically it was yesterday.
So more water and more air through a smaller body equals more contact time?
There will be a debate for a long time about what skimmer fad is cool this week. I just find what works best for me and go back to it after I stray. Cylindrical bodies just happen to be it for me.
I guess if each of the 2 skimmers had exactly the same volume of water you are right they would not be different contact times. The thing i normally see is an 8 inch cylinder body say 24 inches tall compared to a cone with a base of 8 inches and 24 inches tall. In this instance there would be less water in the cone than in cylinder which should mean less contact time in the skimmer. If it's the same water/air entering the skimmer. From what I understand this is the reason for pumping so much air into the cones. Needing this much extra air to function properly is somewhat less efficient. To me at least.

robthorn
04-17-2010, 02:02 AM
What does time have to do with a quality product that works just as well as the next cool toy?
Oh yeah if you want to dump that skimmer for cheap like lots of other followers I will buy it.
Only issue i see with it is the 5000 is underpowered but a 9000 would work nicely. Or a 1056 I think is the current pump they use.

Skimmy
04-17-2010, 03:17 AM
cool, i got a euro-reef rs-100 posted in the for sale items.... $100 and it's yours. :)

I never said more water and more air through a smaller body equals more dwell time....
what I was connotating is that if a cone skimmer company is worth their beans, they will have taken into account the amount of water a pump processes vs. the total volume of the reaction chamber. it's not the size or shape of the reaction chamber that determines the dwell, it's how fast/much water is going through that space, which can be controlled obviously by using different pumps/impellers/venturis untilk you get a ratio of water vs air processing from the pump that is ideal for the total volume of the reaction chamber and neck size. this is why in any well designed cone skimmer with a BP the bubbles move so slowly through the cone transition up the neck and into the cup.
this is also why it is problematic to use the same pump for bubble production and to feed the skimmer process water... because most of the time, the skimmer throughput should be less water than what the pump needs to produce the amount of air that is best for a given skimmer, ands why you will see different skimmer companies using the same pump once they have discovered one with excellent water to air ratios (IE the sicce psk 2500, or askoll/laguna based skimmer pumps).

robthorn
04-17-2010, 09:12 AM
Actually I looked at your post for the rs 100. If it was the 135? I would be all over it. A.K.A 6-2. I think those are the same basic model right? I have an 8-2 so I am thinking with the blow out prices on ER's I am going to get a back up just in case.
DO you have a sedra 5000 laying around that you can try on the 100 just for the heck of it or have you already tried a bigger pump? This is the only issue I have had with ER is you had to upgrade the pump.
Actually the first thing I would do with that 8-3 would be to drill out the venturi 1 size bigger and put a larger hose on it. That alone will reallyimprove this skimmers performance
I haven't actually seen an ATB in person so I have no opinion on them.

Taqpol
04-19-2010, 06:05 PM
Ok, I am pretty sure I am going to sell my EuroReef and get a SWC. Rob, if you want first dibs on the CS8-3 just send me a pm with your offer.

My question now is about bioload and potential SWC mods. As Ive mentioned before, I will have an SPS dominated 220 with a good amount of tangs, my sargassum trigger, and various smaller fishes and wrasses. It will have a lot of messy eaters and poopers, so I need to be able to handle all the bioload. The Xtreme 250 (http://www.swcskimmers.com/product5.html) looks really good and the manufacturer rated maximum for a heavy bioload is 315 gallons. I like that number a lot because it gives a good amount of wiggle room rating wise for manufacturer padding and a potential upgrade.

As far as cones go, the 250S cone (http://www.swcskimmers.com/Xtreme-250-S-cone.htm) looks good for what I need, but its manufacturer max is only 200 gallons. The 250S2 cone (http://www.swcskimmers.com/Xtremecone-250s2.htm) is less then $100 more expensive but it is rated up to 400 gallons of heavy bioload. Its been awhile since I've done any research on skimmers, is there anything bad that can happen from severely overskimming? It seems like a 400 gallon rating on a 220 gallon tank is severely overkill.

Some people have also mentioned easy mods that make the SWC's more efficient. Is there something I could do to make the 250S skim up to the 280-300 gallon range?

Skimmy
04-19-2010, 07:05 PM
well, I'd say the 250A is the best bang for your buck,
and if your looking at the 250 anyway, then just get the 250A.
the askoll pump is much quieter than the dual sicce's,
and just a bit more expensive.
http://www.shop.reeffiltration.com/product.sc?productId=28&categoryId=2

and if your looking at the 250s2 cone , you should just buy the askoll cone for $30 more
http://www.shop.reeffiltration.com/product.sc?productId=37&categoryId=2

Taqpol
04-19-2010, 08:19 PM
On the web page you posted they have the askoll pulling 65-70 watts, yet the PSK2500 is only supposed to draw 25 watts. Doesn't that mean that dual sicce's would be more energy efficient then the askoll? Its obviously not much of a difference, but still worth noting if both of those power consumptions are labeled correctly.

Also, it seems like if one of the sicces went out I would still have some skimming, or at least some aeration action, working for my tank while I repaired the other one. I was kinda excited for the two pumps, but maybe my thinking is skewed. Is the askoll just that much better?

Also, noise doesn't bug me as much because they will be in a dedicated fish room, but how noisy is noisy? I know my ER is the loudest thing about my entire setup.

Also, do you think running a severely oversized skimmer on the tank will be a problem?

jrgilles
04-19-2010, 09:38 PM
I have an SWC and it works awesome. Tons of bubbles, nothing bad to say about it. I have the 160 cone on my ~125 gallon setup. If you are going to buy one, I highly recommend calling a guy named Luke at reeffiltration.com

He has done extensive testing on the SWC skimmers and has extensive analysis. A good guy to talk to when debating between models. He has also tested them and analyzed them at different depths, so I would go with what he recommends for skimmer depth.

rob

fishwishmarge
04-21-2010, 11:32 AM
I think that if budget isn't an issue I would be all over a Hydor skimmer (http://allmypetsupplies.com/p-1343-hydor-performer-skimmers.aspx)......my dream setup skimmer!!! Just my 2 cents, I have only ever heard awesome things about them.

MrGone
04-22-2010, 03:36 AM
I've heard really good things about the SWC's, I have a CNC 300A which is really more of a hybrid skimmer that Luke built (has an extended neck,etc). The Askoll pump is amazing, when it was breaking in even the tea colored skimmate from the skimmer smells worse than the dark goo that my old Euro-reef pulled. I haven't been home to see the nasty stuff it's pulling off now but based on the light stuff, I'm kind of afraid to remove the collection cup :badgrin:

I would go with the SWC 300A if you can, the larger body is a little less finicky with the Askoll pump, or the cone. I was also starting to look into the Super Reef Octopus XP-5000 cone for my dad's 255 gallon, seemed to be getting good feedback and I really like the idea of the external models once I build out a fish room on my own setup. I am a huge fan of the Askoll but have heard good things about the bubble blaster and the SRO seems to be a good deal as well (plus I'm a fan of it having a gate valve vs. the "twisty tube" style adjustment)

I don't think you can really over skim the tank, I know there are arguments otherwise, but I think the bigger issue is if you get too big of a skimmer it won't maintain a consistent foam head/it surges up and down. My RS-100 did it when I had it on my 29g but when it was on my 150g it was extremely consistent, and now my Askoll based skimmer has a hard time maintaining a consistent level.

Taqpol
04-22-2010, 12:23 PM
I hope Luke doesn't mind me quoting him on here, but he gave me a LOT of good information about the SWC skimmers and what he thinks is appropriate for my 220g high bioload sps tank:


Hi Alex and thanks for the email. For a 220g tank + sump i would go with a 250a myself. Reason being it is PLENTY for a 220g tank and you don't need to spend the extra money on a cone skimmer that won't yield you any better results. Comparing two sicce's vs one askoll really isn't fair either. An askoll pump will pull the same air pull as three sicce pumps but it will be much quieter and you don't need to worry about startup issues, directional issues or noise. The askoll is the best pump on the market hands down. For your size I would definately go with an askoll. If your tank is stocked moderately to heavy you will have plenty of a bioload for the 250a to skim well. I have ran them on heavily stocked 125g tank's and they always have a foam head fwiw. Just let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks,

Luke


Hi Alex, i wouldn't worry about the 250a not being enough skimmer. I would feel more than confident with the 250a on a high bioload 400g tank. They are super powerful skimmers. You have high hopes, already talking of an upgrade! And your right, who knows what will be going on in 6 years. Yes the cone's do perform better because of the smoother transition and less turbulence. The askoll cone pulls 70-75scfh of air at 70w where as the 250a pulls 85-90scfh at 75ish watts. Personally you don't need the cone but it would work well on that tank as well. It would just run you more money which i would suggest using towards coral : ) Just let me know if you need anything else.
Thanks,

Luke

Taqpol
04-22-2010, 12:26 PM
I've heard really good things about the SWC's, I have a CNC 300A which is really more of a hybrid skimmer that Luke built (has an extended neck,etc). The Askoll pump is amazing, when it was breaking in even the tea colored skimmate from the skimmer smells worse than the dark goo that my old Euro-reef pulled. I haven't been home to see the nasty stuff it's pulling off now but based on the light stuff, I'm kind of afraid to remove the collection cup :badgrin:

I would go with the SWC 300A if you can, the larger body is a little less finicky with the Askoll pump, or the cone. I was also starting to look into the Super Reef Octopus XP-5000 cone for my dad's 255 gallon, seemed to be getting good feedback and I really like the idea of the external models once I build out a fish room on my own setup. I am a huge fan of the Askoll but have heard good things about the bubble blaster and the SRO seems to be a good deal as well (plus I'm a fan of it having a gate valve vs. the "twisty tube" style adjustment)

I don't think you can really over skim the tank, I know there are arguments otherwise, but I think the bigger issue is if you get too big of a skimmer it won't maintain a consistent foam head/it surges up and down. My RS-100 did it when I had it on my 29g but when it was on my 150g it was extremely consistent, and now my Askoll based skimmer has a hard time maintaining a consistent level.

Yeah, the 300A seems like a great skimmer, but after what Luke said I think I might be afraid of it not maintaining a foam head on my tank. Plus, the two inches bigger would make it so I would have to redesign my sump.

jrgilles
04-22-2010, 12:33 PM
Glad you gave luke a call before ordering. I was very happy with the assistance he gave me. He knows a lot about the SWC skimmers. You going to go with the 250a?

Taqpol
04-22-2010, 12:37 PM
I'm trying to decided between the 250A and the Askoll cone. He's right though, the Askoll cone costs $300 more and draws less air (for slightly less watts, though) then the 250A.

The Askoll cone has a smaller footprint, but what does it really give me thats better then the cylinder?

jrgilles
04-22-2010, 12:43 PM
does the 250a still fit in your sump without redoing baffles?

On my tank I went with the 160 cone, which had a perfect footprint. But, my tank is smaller and the 160 only cost $250 or so. A balance of power, price and footprint were major considerations when I got mine.

Taqpol
04-22-2010, 12:49 PM
The sump is not even built yet, but I do have a design that I like a lot. In it I have an 18"x18" skimmer compartment that will fit either the 18"x15" Askoll cone footprint or the 17"x10.5" 250A footprint. Wait......

The cone has a larger footprint then the cylinder?? I thought it was supposed to be the other way around.

MrGone
04-24-2010, 07:51 PM
I'm trying to decided between the 250A and the Askoll cone. He's right though, the Askoll cone costs $300 more and draws less air (for slightly less watts, though) then the 250A.

The Askoll cone has a smaller footprint, but what does it really give me thats better then the cylinder?

At $300 I'd stick with the 250A, Cones are still fairly new/haven't saturated the market yet, I'm sure in a couple years cones will be much cheaper and will have more options. I would use the 250A for a couple years/however long and use the $300 for rock/corals to fill the bigger tank :) or save it and use it towards whatever the 'new hotness' skimmer is out in a couple years when you need it. I think the 250A will be more than enough for what you need now and in the future, it fits, etc.

I believe the cone foot print is "wider" either because of the recirc tube or because IIRC the base itself is 14"? I'm not completely certain because I've never seen/bought the cone but it was something noticed when I was looking into when I was exploring options for another tank.