It's my first protein skimmer, so I cannot really compare. I bought this one because it is designed for my Nuvo 40 IM AIO tank. It is noisy! In fact, I just bought a separate surge for it so I can turn it off when I am sitting in the room. Right now the microbubbles are a disaster but I know there is a break-in period so I am not judging it for that. For me, it's just a loud motor.
2 months until death
Arrived in one piece and worked well for about 2 months and then the pump just stopped working. Wasn't really dirty but tried cleaning anyways and still nothing. Haven't bothered getting replacement pump as I have lost faith in the skimmer. I own 2 of the dc return pumps and they work great. Not sure why they could t make a reliable skimmer pump.
Update: Noise not so bad, microbubbles virtually gone.
After a couple days the microbubbles are virtually gone and the unit actually seems a little quieter, skimmer seems fully broken in at this point, I am a little concerned about the rubber o-ring that holds the cup in place, it seems to already be losing its shape and letting bubbles slip through, probably just a fractional loss of efficiency but seems like a design flaw nonetheless.
Skims great but microbubbles and noise are real.
TL;DR: Skims well but kinda noisy and microbubbly.
Stopped working after 4 days
After break in period, did not even make it 1 week before it stopped working.
I thought the ghost skimmer before this was ineffective and a waste of money, so I was really hesitant about this one. But after using it for about a month now I couldn’t be happier. Water quality seems better and the corals seem much happier. I notice a lot more polyp extension from my sps. The skimmate is a nasty dark brown color which tells me it’s doing what it needs to, and there was about a 15 minute break in period. After that no micro bubbles.
For the most part, I do like the skimmer - it produces lots of bubbles/skimmate, it looks good, and it fits my IM nuvo20 tank perfectly. The biggest problem I am having is that the rubber collection cup gasket (which is designed to slide on the outside of the collection cup for adjusting the height of the cup...) does not keep the bubbles inside the skimmer. To me, it seems as though the collection cup is not tight enough inside the skimmer body, and the cup doesn't weigh enough to produce a good 'seal' between the gasket and the skimmer body. The leaking bubbles are noisy and ugly. I am trying to figure out a way to make it work as there really aren't many skimmer options for these desktop sized tanks.
This is the best nano skimmer I've used and I've tried a lot of them. It produces good foam and easy to adjust. It's not the quietest skimmer but not too bad.
As compared to the reviews I have heard about the older IM skimmers this newer iteration is a workhorse. Was producing skimmate within an hour of being plugged in and now its been up for a week its pulling some nasty stuff, good dark tea colored skimmate.
I'll upate my review if anything develops overtime but its relatively quiet for skimmer, not a distraction by any means, works great with my lagoon 25, and was at a decent price point.