Review: Skimz SK201 Kone E-Series In-Sump Protein Skimmer
The Skimz Kone E-Series In-Sump Protein skimmers feature:
- Cone shape body
- Skimz high performance ‘ES Skimmer Pump’
- Bubble plate design reduces bubble turbulence
- Micro-adjustable Valve for easy and precise setting
- SKIMZ’s latest design allowing exit of bubble-free cleaned water
- Twist-lock neck for easy cup removal
- High precision CNC machined parts
- Top quality +GF+ pipe fittings
The Skimz skimmer line is now available in the U.S. through AquaCave.com. I placed an order for mine and received it the next day.
The Skimz SK201 was boxed very well, and when you open the box, you have the feeling that a sense of pride was taken in wrapping up this skimmer. Very nice job. I just got the feeling that I was opening up a nice piece of equipment.
The skimmer tech data has the ES 2800 Eden pump rated at 13w @ 780 lph of air. Further testing showed the pump was pulling closer to 1100 lph of air at 18w. This actually suits the body of the skimmer much better than the specified lower ratings. The base of the skimmer is 8 inches and has a 4 inch neck. This is very similar to the other cones in this skimmer class. For example the ATB 840 has a 8 inch base with a 3.75 inch neck and the Super Reef Octopus 2000xp has a 8 inch base with 4 inch neck.
So what sets the Skimz skimmer apart from the competition? The biggest difference is the way the water exits the skimmer body itself. Skimz designed the skimmer so the water exits the skimmer body under the pump through a channel built into the base of the skimmer. This allows for less turbulence in the skimmer body and no micro bubbles going back into your system.
After some testing of this design, it appears to help with micro bubbles, However it really is hard to tell if there is much difference in the amount of turbulence inside the reaction chamber. One more thing I feel should be noted is that the skimmer body is a seamed body, not a seamless design like its competition. The seam does not impact the skimmer's performance; However, it will be visible. I hope that down the road, Skimz makes a seamless body just like ATB has done on there smaller skimmers over the last couple years.
The SK201 also features an air inlet adjustment with a silencer. This is basically a needle valve on the air inlet of the air silencer. This feature is coming back on more and more skimmers; This is nothing new, as some may remember the small airline valves used by Deltec and Warner Marine skimmers. Skimz just took this a step further and designed it into the air silencer itself - a nice feature for those really trying to get the most from the skimmer. This small valve allows you to choke the air off gradually, allowing you to get smaller bubbles in the neck. As you choke off the air, you also increase the water input into the skimmer, allowing you to fine tune the skimmer to your system.
After being excited to get the skimmer, it was time to fire it up and see how it worked. I can say from my past experience that some pumps are a little loud at first but then quiet down over a short period of time. This is what I experienced with the Eden 2800 pump - not the quietest out of the gate but a great performer. Testing at around 1100 lph of air and 18 watts of power, it is a great pump.
The skimmer skims very well. After just having run an Aquamaxx AM250 on the same system, I wasn't sure there would be anything left for the SK201 to remove from the system. About 24 hours after starting up the Skimz unit, I was collecting skimmate. I found that over the remainder of the week, it was consistently pulling about the same amount everyday, producing a full cup of some nasty skimmate in about 4 days.
The Skimz SK201 is priced at $459.99 retail and helps fill the void of a good mid range skimmer; It is priced just below the ATB 840 but just above the XP2000. The skimmer is built well and has all the making of a great performer. The only downside to the skimmer that I could find is the pump had a little hum to it. If having the most quiet skimmer is important to you, step up the the Skimz SM201 which uses the ES 5000 pump. The SM 201 runs almost silent. The build quality is pretty good but still not as sturdy or heavy-feeling as a Bubble King.
Overall, the Skimz has good feel and nice design. With a few refinements I feel they could be one the best skimmers in its class on the market.
Read more information about the Skimz Kone E-Series protein skimmers on Skimz's website.
More to come on the Skimz SM201 with the ES 5000 pump