Archive for July, 2009

SWC Xtreme HOT Review

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

After months of convincing, begging, saving, and massive research, I upgraded the protein skimmer on my 40G aquarium.  I replaced my Tunze 9002 with a Saltwater Connection’s (SWC) Extreme Hang on Tank skimmer, purchased from Reef Filtration.  Luke is a great guy to work with and was great in answering all my questions.

At the beginning of this summer I decided to replace my 9002, which was purchased in February.  I didn’t feel I was getting very good performance out of it.  Dry skimming on the unit seemed useless as all the gunk would built-up in the neck and never spill over.  Wet skimming gave me an overflowing collection cup full of clear water.  The unit also sat in the “sump” section of my AIO tank, and it just didn’t have the power to pull out the big gunk, which sits at the bottom and it just a cesspool of bacteria.  Ironically the pump in the Tunze died the day I ordered the SWC and I’ve been happier with the old backup BakPak I put on in the interim.  I have a primarily SPS dominated tank with 4 fish (2x clowns, Golden Tonga Blenny and a mandarin dragonnet) with a few LPS and a zoanthid rock (maybe my favorite part of the whole tank).  I have a tailspot blenny and maybe a small school of chromis left on my fish list.  When my mother purchased an Octopus BH-1000 for her tank and performed better than anything I’ve ever had, well I guess that would be the last straw.

After looking at a ton of Octopus hang ons, I narrowed it down to the 800s, and randomly found a link to the SWC.  I decided on the SWC for two reasons: 1) bigger neck and 2) input and output design.  The last thing I want to do on a new skimmer is mod it, and cutting off pinwheels or drilling holes in the skimmer body – which it seems everyone with an 800s has to do – was not very attractive.  The SWC has a much larger neck (3″x5″, essentially a SWC 160) that eliminates the overflow story heard by EVERY 800s owner I’ve ever spoken with.

If you take a look at the input and output design of the SWC, it is just ingenious!  The preskimmer can be adjusted up or down depending on your water level.  The output bends into a bubble trap before entering the tank.  Yes the part in the tank is white and we would all prefer black, but that just means more corals to purchase to cover it up . . .

The Deltec MCE600 fell out of favor, numerous reviews I found thought it was a good skimmer but not for the money.  An ATB Multi use would be at the top of my list if I had $650 to blow.  But for that price I would just buy a bigger tank with a sump and a SWC/MSX in-sump.

The skimmer arrives Tuesday via UPS, expect much more to come . . .