DO NOT BUY - Stops working in 4 months, Refuse warranty By Jimmy on 5/30/2017
Jimmy wouldn't recommend this product to a friend
The motor stop spinning in 4 months.
Vertex support refuse to replace it due to rust in circuit board
The support, Adam, told me:
1. Do not let the skimmer overflow
2. Do not wash it upside down
Otherwise water can get into the motor and circuit board, and will not be covered under warranty
Which is a very handy excuse to refuse warranty on any claims
This is a complete disappointment and disgrace of the reputation Vertex has built
There needs to be BIGGER disclaimer on how this $200 product is not designed for overflow or cleaning
The ironic thing is I have a 150gallon reef tank with 3 fish - it never overflows
and I only washed it once before returning for RMA
I will never buy a Vertex product again
Broke within 2mins of first clean By Patrick on 4/28/2017
Patrick wouldn't recommend this product to a friend
This is a beautifully packaged product but cheaply made. First it came with no directions, but thanks for logic and double checked on YouTube. Next I install it and fitted the squeegee part properly. Turned it on and worked well. Then I come to hear a weird rattle and the dang thing broke! Not even a couple minutes in. Looks like a cheap glue job from motor to squeegee arm?
Returning and just cleaning old school
Good idea, poor execution By Ty on 3/10/2016
Ty wouldn't recommend this product to a friend
I would really expect more out of Vertex engineering. First of all the shaft is attached with threads. On something that is spinning it will constantly unscrew itself. Had to use industrial lock tight to hold it together. Secondly, they should have used two arms on the scraper so that it applied even pressure to the top and bottom. From the cap up it is very well built, but the business end of this thing could use some major beefing up.
Bad design By Daniel on 12/17/2015
Daniel wouldn't recommend this product to a friend
Cool gadget to have. Really clean the INSIDE of he skimmer cup,
they should've made the blade double sided, don't think it was too much to add if you look at the unit you can see the possibility of having two blades, one attached to the top of the shaft for the outside cleaning and the other one on the bottom of the shaft for the inside cleaning because you still have to clean the other side of the skimmer cup which makes it really difficult to take off from the skimmer (if is under the tank )
Also you cannot unplug the transformer from the unit (bad design) the shaft of the motor that holds the blade is very weak , had to replaced it the first week I got it ,and to get it adjusted is a pain.
Not worth $200
I would like to see By Alex on 8/5/2014
Alex would recommend this product to a friend
Would like to see offered without lid. I have a brand new never used alpha 250; lid seems like a waste to me. If only the manufacturer could (A) offer their skimmer with a lid that was easily convertible to the use with cleaner or (B) offer template so existing lids could be transformed to accept cleaner.
New Little Helper By Mitchel on 4/14/2014
Mitchel would recommend this product to a friend
What more can you ask for from your skimmer? What about a little helper that reduces the need to clean it frequently. That is what this cleaner does; eliminates the need to frequently empty your skimmate. Awesome.
Works great but with Design flaws By Stephen on 3/18/2014
Stephen would recommend this product to a friend
Anything that scrapes crud out of the neck of a protein skimmer is great. And this product will do that, until it breaks. There are several design flaws. 1) Power transformer cannot be unplugged from the cleaning engine for cleaning, 2) the scraper is difficult if not impossible to get adjusted parallel to the skimmer cup, and lastly and most important, the end of the shaft that holds the "squeegee" in place is the weak link. If you put too much pressure there while cleaning the unit it will snap off making the entire cleaner useless. Mine broke during routine maintenance cleaning after only a few months of use. I ordered a replacement but feel this engine should be better designed for the price and considering its from a company like VerTex!
Saves Work By David on 8/22/2013
David would recommend this product to a friend
I pretty much hate cleaning my skimmer! I put this on a SWC Cone Skimmer and it works great! I was worried that the lid and areas the blade does not touch would end up getting super dirty and I would end up having to clean the skimmer cup anyway. So this is how I set things up and it works great.
1. I have my tank controller turn the cleaner on for just two one minute sessions.
2. In order to deal with the typical junk that collects in a skimmer cup I decided thatwhen I do water changes I will drain all of the water off of my skimmer. I essentially put a tube on the overflow port on the bottom of the skimmer cup. Then I set the skimmer to "overflow" this increased flow results in the cup ending up pretty much spotless and had the advantage of "wet skimming" for my water changes.
The scraper is fairly easy to install. The only problem that I had was that the arm that goes from the scraper to the motor shaft was too long. The length was longer than the width of the skimmer neck. It was nothing a hack saw could not solve. Once the shaft was shortened I could properly center the lid.
Overall this is working great and had improved the output of my skimmer.
I would like to see an "auxiliary" overflow container with a built in shutoff switch that would activate if it gets full. Maybe BRS can look into and review some. It would be nice to use a designated disposal cup that maybe has a carbon filter to reduce odor. In a product like this I think it would be essential to have a redundant shutoff system.