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CAD Lights' affordable Conic Skimmers

By Leonard Ho - Posted Oct 24, 2011 10:00 AM
CAD lights showcased their new lineup of Conic Skimmers at RAP 2011: three affordable, true cone, needlewheel, extremely quiet, cast-acrylic skimmers starting at $225. And they're all made in the USA. Chinese manufacturers, eat your heart out.

Three new models of CAD Lights 2nd generation conic skimmers were on display at Reef-A-Palooza 2011.  These skimmers are designed with needle-wheels pumps seated inside the skimmer reaction chamber, resulting in a very small footprint and extremely quiet operation.  The bottom plate sits atop four rubber feet, further reducing noise and vibration.  The plate is removable when you need to service the pump.  We can also confirm the CAD Lights skimmers emitted virtually no micro-bubbles back into the sump, as advertised.

For all the quality components, design features, and the fact these skimmers are manufactured in California, the low prices ($225 to $440) was a welcomed surprise.  With all the quality products CAD Lights now fabricates (aquariums, cabinets, and protein skimmers), it might be time for them to drop "Lights" from their name!

The following information is supplied by CAD Lights.

All three models feature:

  • Perfectly insulated to feature silent operations, only 5 Decibels of audible sound.
  • High quality water pumps for long lasting high performance, minimal vibrations and silent operation.
  • Flex-Plastic injection molded pin-wheel impellers for extended life and designed for high volume air draw.
  • Liquid extruded Cell-Cast Acrylic body, Solid seamless with no joints. Extra thick Acrylic construction.
  • Attractive Semi-gloss Porcelain color Acrylic.
  • Newest built-in micro-bubble trapping mechanisms eliminates the micro-bubbles in the exhaust.
  • Laser cut bubble plate dramatically reduces turbulence and improves direction of foam production.
  • Easily disassembles completely for simple maintenance and cleaning.
  • 1 Year Warranty covers the entire skimmer from top to bottom (including pump).

The lineup:

TIA-1105 ($224.99 USD)

  • Dimensions: 9.75" x 6.5" x 18.5"
  • GPH:  375GPH
  • Wattage: 20W
  • Rated for 120g "medium bio-load"

TIA-1220 ($329.99 USD)

  • Dimensions: 12.75" x 9" x 20"
  • GPH: 470GPH
  • Wattage: 35W
  • Rated for 200g "medium bio-load"

TIA-1350 ($439.99 USD)

  • Dimensions: 12.75" x 9" x 25"
  • GPH:  815GPH
  • Wattage: 90W
  • Rated for 300g "medium bio-load"

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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