Thursday, January 09, 2014

Product Review: Innovative Marine SkimMate MidSize Nano Protein Skimmer

Having an Innovative Marine 38 gallon Nuvo Aquarium, I wanted to get a skimmer I knew would fit perfect in the back chamber of my tank.

The Innovative Marine AuqaGadget Nuvo SkimMate Nano Protein Skimmer has favorable reviews and was attractively priced, so this was my choice.

My first impression of the product was positive: it seemed to be already assembled inside the package and had minimal parts. The acrylic construction was solid and each part fit together perfectly with one another.

Installation was quick and easy. You just need to plug the pump into the base of the skimmer body and run a flexible tube from the pump to the air adjustment valve up top. There is a simple adjustable piece that can slide your skimmer up or down in the back of your tank. Just slide the piece around the skimmer body and place it on the back wall. You can loosen or tighten any one of these parts with an easy-to-turn screw knob.

The protein skimmer is very compact, so I was able place it in either the overflow column or the smaller “refugium” column next to it. I initially put mine in the refugium column so I would still have dual overflow filter boxes to catch debris. The collection cup peeked just enough over the top of the tank so you could watch the cup to prevent it from overflowing. The cup has been collecting a lot of organics I didn't even know I had in my tank.

The only negative I have about this skimmer is the “break-in time.”

The skimmer released excessive micro bubbles into my tank from the outset. I read online this usually stops about the 2 week mark after the skimmer has broken in. Well, after 4 weeks, I was still experiencing the micro bubble issue. The circular sponge around the water outlet just didn't seem to catch all the micro bubbles being released.

I tried a few different things, including raising the water level in my tank and moving the skimmer to the overflow chamber, giving the bubbles more time to dissipate before hitting my return pumps.

After I relocated the skimmer to the overflow column, it produced far less micro bubbles. Any that were made were gone by the time they reached the return pump column. I love the skimmer so much more now!

Do you have an Innovative Marine protein skimmer? If so, how do you like it? Let us know in the comments.