Used ETS Downdraft or New AquaC Pro?

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Just like everyone warned me about, I somewhat skimped on my skimmer up front and am now contemplating an upgrade. I have a Knop HO on my sumpless 120 w/ 15 refugium and can't seem to get my nitrates down below 20 to 40. I just added my refugium a couple weeks ago, but thought I would see some drop but none so far. Besides the Knop is a pain to get the collection cup on and off and with my new canopy even more so! So anyway, after the rambling into, I am looking at a used ETS 500 single stack and used Iwaki pump or one of the new AquaC Hang on Pro Models that they are pushing at
Basically the same price. Anyone with some help? Thanks, Nathan

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If it were me, I'd go with the ETS. I played around with an AquaC about 5 months ago and did not like it at all. However, I do understand that the model I played with has changed in design several times since then.

I have always liked ETS skimmers. They oxygenate the water like nothing else.

- JT
If you do go used and it has to be shipped, make sure the sender packs it really well. I just recieved a used reef devil in the mail yesterday and it was broken. The mixing tower and riser completely snapped off the base. I've got it at a local acrylic shop getting repaired right now...not all is lost. I had it insured but the insurance doesn't cover bad packing. It was loosely packaged in a box with crumpled newspaper. I believe this was the problem. I still can't believe that it broke like that. These things are solid. Sorry for rambling, had to tell someone...
Walker what other brands/models skimmers have you compaired it to? Have you compaired it to a hsa, bullet, or aerofoamer? l8r mega

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Back to top, walker's post has tweaked my interest, these aquac's are being pushed hard on another board, just wondering if anybody has ran ets 800+ (NOT reefdevil models) or a becket skimmer, and switched to the aquaC. L8r mega

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I been lookin at a AquaC remora pro. I just wanna doff the Rio provided, and get a Mag. I am curious as to the "spray induction". Sounds like a venturi like device ive installed at work. If it is, it should suck in air like mad!


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I have run both. The ETS Gemini 800 is by far the better skimmer. However, people are turned off by the pricetag, size, and pump requirement.

Saying an AquaC is the "best skimmer on the market", as someone said earlier, is utter bull****.

- JT
Hi Mega and JT,

Sorry it took me a while to get back to the board. I didn't want to make a big post, but JT has forced me to *grins*.

There are many reasons I believe the AquaC is the best skimmer on the market. I evaluate a skimmer on many different parameters, not just on raw power. Let me list them:

1. Power: They have a lot. Not as much as an ETS (does any skimmer have as much power as an ETS?), but still very strong. a freind with a HUGE ETS describes my skimmer as ETS power that fits under the stand.

2. Efficiency: The AquaC uses more modestly sized pumps than most others. That means less cost to buy the pump, and less electricity to run it.

3. Size: It fits under the stand of nearly any tank, with most models ranging fro 20 to 24 inches high. Even the 200 gallon model is only 24 inches high, I think.

4. Ease of setup and tuning: all I did was hook the pump up to the skimmer and drop it into the sump (can be run in-ine as well). We've all read the millions of posts from owners of virtually every other skimmer type asking how to tune it, tweak it, and even just make it run. I've never seen anyone post that about an AquaC.

5. Ease of maintenance: simply clean out the cup, and wipe out the foam tower. Have you ever tried to clean the bio ball tower in a ETS? The cup lifts off the tower, no screws to mess with.

6. Build Quailty: They are very well built, heavy duty and nice looking. Certainly the equal of any other skimmer

7. Price: They are reasonably priced, if that can really be said of any top of the line skimmer.

I'm sure I miss something, and all skimmers have compromises. But in my estimation, the Aqua scores among the top 1-2 skimmers in each of the listed categories.

All fine points mentioned earlier.

I will make this statement, any reasonable person will agree. Key word reasonable!

There is not one perfect skimmer for all situations.

Each skimmer has it's advantages and benefits, as well as the drawbacks.

I would like to buy an Aerofoamer, but, unless it fits under my 26" stand, I don't care what the technology buzzword of the day is, it's useless to me.

The Aqua-C for me, might be the best skimmer, I don't care for all of the features, or lack of some, but it is small and would fit under my stand in the sump and free up enough room probably for a top off system.

So, with that said, the debate will rage on, then a new skimmer will emerge next year, and everyone will be on the bandwagon raving about it even though most have never owned it or really know anything about them but from hearsay.

Two cents,

[This message has been edited by TheDonger (edited 02-09-2000).]
Walker, what I was looking for is, have you personally used a large ets, or hsa, or aerofoamer, or bullet to compare? Or are you just going by the pictures? I am still trying to find somebody that's personally used both (other than jt, I know how he feels about the aquac). In my eye's saying it's the best skimmer is a long way from the truth, the word best to me defines removes nutrients from the tank the best, ie long contact time (I think the aquaC pretty much sucks there) and amount of bubbles, this equates into what aquatic engineering books use as hits per second, and dwell time. the aquaC automatically is on the short end of the stick, because of it's short hight, but it can make up for some of this by quantity of bubbles. What I really want to know is how the injector works compaired to a becket injector, bullet vs aquaC as they are similarly sized would be the best comparison. So far from what I've seen of it, and of posts about it, is it's just another undercab skimmer, nothing makes it any better than a hsa 250, or euro, or bullet, or ets 750, the list goes on and on. I hope I was able to explain what I'm trying to learn. L8r mega

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I see what Mega is saying on the one hand. I am not defending the Aqua C because I just spent $320 on it either. I told the owner/maker, in much nicer terms of course, if this thing sucks and isn't doing the job, he will be refunding me my money. But, for the application it needs to perform, it may be the best skimmer for it's size. Who knows? There are no standardized tests or benchmarks like CPUs that are recognized.

But, if contact time is the answer, neither ETS RD3, Aerofomaer 24" model or any other skimmer is really any better than the other for the same size. They all have short contact time in relation to a 6 foot tall skimmer. I think what the Aqua C and HSA/Aerofoamer/Bullet designs are trying to capitalize on is massive bubbles in a small chamber. There are too many different philosophies regarding skimmer designs. Most driven by making $$$. High flow through rates, slow flow through, maximum efficiency per bubble, maximum efficiency per volume, it goes on and on, you need a standard, and until their is a independent third party to analyze and rate the skimmers, we will sit here and ramble out theories on why brand X is the best. The fact is there is no such skimmer that performs the best for every application and situation out there.

That is exactly what the aerofoamer, HSA, Bullet and Aqua C are all doing for the small models. So contact time is going to suck on all of them. You can only get so much contact time out of a 24" skimmer and maximize every single bubble.

If you read Aqua-C web site, have you? You will read the philosophy of their design. For me it fit my situation, too small a space and that is the only one that would fit and do the job.

Well, my two cents. You have heard that saying: "Opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one and they all stink."

I think Becket type skimmers use big pumps to blast water through the becket and this is how it makes all the bubbles? Spray induction might just have smaller holes since it's using a smaller pump. But being 4" shorter than the Bullet that is alot for a compact skimmer. Etss 750 has 2 small towers 25" plus the main chamber to help increase contact time with the big pump.So skimmers in the compact size I would imagine these 2 would be better than the Aqua c for big tanks in theory. I don't have any of these skimmers so I really don't know.
ACtually the neat thing about the becket injectors is it doesnt take that big a pump, but it does need a pump that can handle presure. The more pump you give it the better they work, really what I'm after is how the aquaC injector compares to the becket injectors, or to keep it even, the dual stack ets 750. L8r mega

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skimmer, shmimmer....ok...the real bottom line here is, what do you want to remove from the water? some like a lot of bubbles, long contact, high flow, but what it comes down to is the skimmate itself, right? if you're runnin' a skimmer its cause you want to strip the water of its goodies. examine the skimmate of a tall CC skimmer ie. Ron Hunsickers. . how much do you want to strip, corals dont grow in a sterile environment...disgruntled skilter user....Mike
maybe i can shed some light on this "spray induction" system employed by the Aqua-c, and compare it to the beckett...the beckett head is a foaming nozzle which is essentailly a 4-holed venturi. The beckett heads mixes tremendous amounts of air per given volume of water, and as noted above requires backpressure to work best. AS backpressure ensures consistant bubble size (this is the downside of beckett heads), SO the smallest pump to run a beckett would be a SENS900, however the beckett skimmer will work better using a mak-4 type pump. The aqua-c induction is quite is essentially a spray barb (like the downdraft), w/ a clover shaped piece of plastic stuffed into the nozzle. Air is suxed into the sides of this clover by a false top of the skimmer box (its not sealed around the foam tube-air sneaks in here), and bubbles are formed by water pulling in air thru this clovershape. Like a downdraft spray barb this skimmer works better w/ more backpressure as well, but does work fine w/ a smallish pump.
Both skimmer types work, and seem to work well, and both work on the premise that longer dwell times in the reaction column can be overcome by multiple trips thru the skimmer they all have high water turnover, and shorter contact times....hope this helps

[This message has been edited by FMarini (edited 02-09-2000).]
Hi Mega,

Nope, haven't run it side by side or switched from a beckett type injector.

My observations are from watching friends skimmers (a big ETS and a turbofloater) extensively, and watching some of the others running at LFS's (darn near all of them). Is my opinion exhaustive or the bottom line? Absolutely not. Its just a great skimmer. Are there more powerfl skimmers? Yes. More efficient? Yes. Cheaper? Yes.

I am aware that owning and living with them is different from watching them run.

I understand your definition of best being longest contact time. I think that definition is overly simple. That definition means a 10 foot (or 100 foot, or 1000 foot)tall tower is the best (injection sytstems set aside). That is simply not possible for most people. I think a clear majority have wives or significant others who will not put up with a 4 or 6 foot tall ETS in the living room. Everytime I see one, I wonder what the guy did for his wife to pull that off, *laughs*!

Am I correct that you personally have no problem with a 5 foot tower standing next to your tank?

I thought it was clear in my post that I believe for raw power, I think the ETS is the best. I also know that my wife won't let me have one in my house, and that is costs more to purchase, power, and buy pumps for.

Anyway, sorry I can't help you with your specific question regarding beckett injectors.

MY hsa 1000 stands as tall as I do, as it sits on a stand to elivate it higher than the sump top. It's behind the tank, can cannot be seen unless you walk around the 2 tanks, and behind them. My wife woudltn know it was there if she didnt see me bring it into the house. Yes, taller wider and airstone are probably the best skimmers at removing a lot of nutrients, right down to almost nothing. But, the key is max air into smaller more reasonable sized skimmers. That's what most people want, I simply cannot get over how wonderfull the becket heads perform, it's nothing short of phenomenal, if I had to buy one today I would buy a aerofoamer, 2nd choice would be a bullet, that said, I would love to see a aquaC running next to a becket skimmer to compare airflow's

Another note, I have a airfilter on my skimmer intake, do the AquaC have a way to do this? You would not believe how much dust and other unknown things enter the tank via the skimmer. L8r mega

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[This message has been edited by MegaDeTH (edited 02-10-2000).]
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