Nicely done By Kungpao on 2/14/2014
Kungpao would recommend this product to a friend
Pertaining to the item description, the unit does indeed come with a drainage elbow in the top of the collection cup. It's glued, but comes with a plug and hose. (It can lead to the skimmer body/input to prevent flooding)
So one of the pictures is correct on this page.
The pump listed is also incorrect as it's the previous model.
The pump that comes with it is the HY-2000S Bubble Blaster. (250gph, 960lph, 30w)
Also it's hard to see, but the air silencer is mounted inside the unit under a splash/noise guard that lays down over the in-tank side. It's a pretty decent feature.
The unit did not want to start the siphon originally. I removed the collection cup overflow hose from the water in the skimmer, had to bend the air hose towards the pump and hold it tight, then turn on the skimmer a few times.
This was not the case when I pulled the plug after a few hours, water did stay in the tube and the siphon started off right away when turning the power back on.
Overall it's a nicely done design. 4 points of failure are the body seams, the pump input connection, the pump output connection, the pump cover piece over the impeller(4 screws). I did not take apart the pump yet, I assume there's an oring there, then the 2 for the other connectors.
Very happy to see a flood fix for the collection cup and airline (it's mounted above the water returning to tank) as compared to just about every other skimmer. I'm coming from a garden hose skimmer (the pro-s is indeed very nice) so I really placed reliability and design to prevent flooding, above performance. Luckily this model brings that to the table, but as we all know since it has the Bubble Blaster pump, performance isn't in question.
Solid construction, fairly thick acrylic. Overall 99% perfect construction, though there are a couple slight crack marks where the collection cup lid fits on. Though it seems they're very minute and won't actually every be a problem, more of a blemish.
Instructions suck. Doesn't even give you steps to put it together, you have to look at the pictures of the diagram and figure it out. Not too hard though, just remember the 2 black orings are the gray connectors to the skimmer, the clear oring is the pump down center.
Max volume of just the bubbles that are created is about 330, 4" x 7.5" x 11" is the area that is dense with bubbles within the bubble chamber. This is quite large compared to any other hob skimmer.
Wish it was a little cheaper, but this was only about 100$ more than my preferred skimmer. The BB pump and 30w was a great appeal. Also since this is an external pump, there are concerns of longevity raised because of that, but even wrapping my hands around the pump after it's been on 24 hours, any warmth is barely noticeable.
Also it seems that the sponge included for the output flow, is just a little too dense, it quickly impedes flow and then the flow into the center chamber in the front, starts to flow a little over into the input and the output chamber, skipping the intended route. Though this could be viewed as a recirculation feature.. :)
Overall I would suggest it, people give hob skimmers grief, but if you don't want a sump, this model fits the bill. It definitely performs just as well as a cone skimmer or external model. I would wager the actual volume of the bubbles is about the same until you get to much larger models.