The Incredibly Small Footprint of CAD Lights' PLS-100 Protein Skimmer
Most protein skimmers have fairly large footprints since space is required for the pump, the reaction chamber and the outlet pipe.
CAD Lights has discovered an ingenious way of minimizing the footprint by incorporating the pump into the base of the skimmer and doing away with the outlet pipe altogether. This latest version of the Gen3 PLS-100 skimmer can handle aquariums from 70 to 120 gallons and has an unbelievably small footprint of just 5” x 5”.
By aligning the two sets of ports, the water level drops. Offsetting the ports allows you to raise the water level inside the skimmer. The drawback of the design is that adjusting the skimmer requires getting your hands wet since you have to physically grab the base and body of the skimmer and rotate to adjust.
However, I feel the benefit of a compact footprint outweighs this minor drawback.
The first notable upgrade is the new 2-point Tension Clamps that fasten the upper skimmer body to the base. This prevents the skimmer body from separating from the base in applications where the skimmer is set in a deep water level or when there is high buoyancy.
The second upgrade worth noting are the Tension Clamp Locks that allow you to adjust the tension of the adjustment mechanism to ‘lock’ the setting once the desired water level is set.
The third upgrade I'd like to highlight is the the larger reaction chamber. A bigger reaction chamber means more contact time for the air bubbles, which improves performance.
The skimmer is almost completely put together right out of the box. The only assembly required is attaching the air silencer, tubing and venturi volute.