Red Sea Reefer Protein Skimmers - BRStv Saltwater Tank Gear Reviews
The NEW Red Sea Protein Skimmers are available in three models. In terms of the price point you are looking at a middle of the road skimmer that is packed with high-end features for your reef aquarium.
- Red Sea RSK 300 Reefer Internal Protein Skimmer - $299.00
- Red Sea RSK 600 Reefer Internal Protein Skimmer - $449.00
- Red Sea RSK 900 Reefer Internal Protein Skimmer - $549.00
High Performance Sicce Pump
Starting with the heart of any skimmer, the pump, Red Sea chose the hobby favorite Sicce brand PSK needle wheel pump to drive foam production. Sicce brand pumps are made in Italy by a company that specializes in pumps which is why this brand has such a long standing reputation of producing top-notch pumps that deliver reliable performance day in and day out.
Injection Molded Components
Beyond the pump, the entire skimmer is made of injection molded plastic and acrylic which is far different from the machined or CNC manufactured protein skimmers that dominate the internal skimmer market. Although the process is expensive, the benefit of getting very precise components means assembly will be easy and consistent performance can be expected from each and every skimmer that comes off the production line.
The base of the skimmer features a secure pump mount that allows you to easily snap the PSK pump in and out of place without the need of pesky thumb screws or difficult clamps. You will also notice a rubber
pad that sits below the pump and reduces vibration contributing to the overall quiet operation.
The clever gear powered water level control is something we have seen before but Red Sea has really refined the function and operation. The ability to make very gradual adjustments without the need for multiple revolutions results in very precise and quick foam level adjustments.
The precision parts coming from the injection mold process makes for a very smooth turn that can easily be done with one hand. It includes a convenient +/- label so you won’t be guessing where your minimum and maximum foam level would be.They also labeled the exact submersion depth for optimal performance with a little sticker on the outlet adjustment handle.
Re-configurable Pump Position
Something that we found to be quite thoughtful is the ability to position the pump and venturi to be facing out towards the side or towards the front by simply removing the pump plate and turning it to suit your needs. Every sump is different and often limited with space so being able to position the venturi in such a way that sits nicely in your sump was a clever addition.
This also means you can further increase the overall performance by positioning the intake of the skimmer to pull raw water directly from your drains and prevent the skimmer from recirculating the same water. You can also reduce the effect of your skimmer removing desired elements and additives by facing it away for your dosing tube lines.
Effective Bubble Plate
On top of the pump, you have a bubble plate or “hydrodynamically efficient bubble diffusion chamber” which helps reduce turbulence and increase contact time inside the skimmer body. Something that surprised us was the removable red clip that can be positioned around the outside ring and is designed to prevent micro-bubbles from exiting the skimmer no matter which pump position you choose. It actually work too!
At this point it is quite obvious that the working brains at Red Sea really put some thought into this skimmer and went far beyond your typical in-sump protein skimmer. The venturi, base plate, and pump bracket are all fitted with rubber components to reduce the transfer of vibration resulting in very quiet operation.
The effective air silencer also features something a little extra with a small drain hole and secured rubber cap that allows you to empty water from the inside easily, without any disassembly or risk of dropping the small cap into your sump.
Attaching the body is quick, with only four thumb screws and the venturi presses into place with a rubber Uniseal type grommet to hold it in place without vibrations. The exact length of air tubing is pre-cut so you don't have to deal with excess that kinks or measuring it yourself.
Moving onto the collection cup we found a myriad of upgrades to make your life easy. The clear foam view window allows you to easily see the foam level at a glance with the use of the optional manual neck cleaner. With a quick turn of the lid, the neck cleaner will remove built up skimmate from the neck making it easy to see what is going on inside the skimmer and also keep your skimmer pulling maximum organics with each and every pass through.
Drain fittings on skimmer collection cups are common these days but Red Sea actually provided us with a secure flexible connection elbow, tubing and a valve which is far beyond the stem and rubber cap found on most other skimmers. The combination of the neck cleaner and drain tube can really make your life easy because you won’t have to constantly pull the cup to clean and drain it. Simply turn the neck cleaner every so often and then use the drain tube and ball valve to drain the cup into a bucket for disposal.
Put It To The Test
Ryan and Randy placed the skimmer in a 20 gallon tall tank to see how loud it operates and go through a little time lapse to see how quick it can remove nutrients.
Although subjective, both of them were impressed and went as far as saying it was amongst the quietest of the AC pump driven skimmers we have tested and believe me, we have tested a TON of skimmers.
We then dumped a cup of liquid skim that was collected from the #BRS160 aquarium into this 20 gallon tank in order to see how fast it would remove nutrients and test any sort of required break in period.
As expected the results were great, the skimmer immediately removed the organics with no break-in period. After the short time lapse we came back and noticed it was considerably quieter, assuming the parts had some time to settle, further reducing noisy vibrations.
REAL Reefer Value Rating
In the name of providing all of you with a usable rating system, on a scale from 1- 10, Randy gives it an 8.5 because of the fact that with the proper use of the neck cleaner and drain tube, the skimmer will likely not require very regular maintenance tasks of removing and cleaning the cup.
Ryan gave it a 9 because of the high quality Sicce brand pump, thoughtful features, and reasonable price point compared to other skimmers in its class.
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