Vertex Alpha 170 Protein Skimmer

Vertex Alpha 170 Protein Skimmer
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  • Vertex Alpha 170 Protein Skimmer
  • Vertex Alpha Protein Skimmer

Vertex Alpha 170 Protein Skimmer

78% Recommend this to a friend (7 of 9)

SKU: 207007
In Stock: 4
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Quick Overview

Why does BRS recommend this?

When it comes to the best skimmers that we have to offer our minds go straight to the Alpha line of skimmers.  For a serious workhorse of a skimmer while being a beautiful piece of art at the same time, the Vertex Alpha skimmers are the way to go.  There are going to be cheaper skimmers on the market however none of them will compare to the build quality of the Alpha skimmers.

The Vertex Alpha 170 Protein Skimmer combines technology, performance and convenience to create a high-quality needlewheel design at a great value.

  • Designed and assembled in Germany

  • Tank Size: up to 220 Gallons

  • High performing, super quiet Askol-based pinwheel pump

  • Full body cone chamber enables stable foam formation


Full Details


  • Tank Size: 140 - 220 Gallons (550 - 850 L)
  • Footprint: 9.5" x 15"
  • Height: 23"
  • Air Draw: Adjustable 1000 to 1400 LPH
  • V-170 Skimmer Pump: approx. 26W


  • 100% cast-acrylic, PET-G and PVC construction
  • Full body cone chamber markedly enables stable foam formation
  • Super quiet, high-performance skimmer Askol-based pump - most powerful and efficient motor blocks in the industry
  • Accommodate different set ups and sump spaces with Dual Pump Input ports
  • Oversized, CNC-milled bubble plate eliminates turbulence
  • Bayonet-style neck provides a secure, leak-free coupling between the cup and body
  • Easily accessible Ozone port
  • Built in skimmate drain
  • Easy maintenance - all parts can be disassembled
  • Grade II titanium screws - corrosion resistant
  • Silicone O-rings


9 Items

  • Does not work if you don't have the right sump height By RG on 5/21/2017

    If your water level stays the exact height all of the time you will be okay, if not this thing is a piece of junk! I spend more time adjusting the skimmer then anything else on my custom 200 gal acrylic .
  • Great Skimmer until Pump went out... By Laurie on 5/22/2014

    If the red dragon pump had not gone out a couple months after purchasing, I would be giving this skimmer 5 stars. It has taken 6+ weeks dealing with the Vertex US sales rep to get the pump replaced since it is a warranty issue. My back up skimmer (the one I was replacing!) is not keeping up, and I have been watching my corals die slowly one by one.

    Pros: When it worked, it worked amazingly well!
    Cons: It has taken 6+ weeks to get a replacement pump since this is a warranty issue. I am not the first person to have this problem with the US sales rep (just look online!).
  • Great if you have the correct sump level By Neely on 5/7/2014

    I bought this skimmer a week ago and just got it installed a few days ago.

    I have a Red Sea Max S 650 with the standard sump that it comes with. The water level in that sump is designed to be about 8". Well after the skimmer arrived I was reading the instructions they clearly state that you need a water level of 9"-10". Due to this disparity I've had a hard time getting the correct foam level in the skimmer.

    Now I may have to exchange this model for something that will work in shallower sumps.
  • Best money I've ever spent. By Michael on 2/14/2014

    It's worth it. For years I thought that if I could just find the right maintenence schedule I could cheaply manage a sps heavy reef tank. It's not worth the hassle. If you want sps, you have to spend the money, and this is one of the first things you should get. This skimmer is outstanding.

    A tip: while reassembling the pump after cleaning, the bearing gasket would always pop off the bearing when I reinserted it. I have learned to use needle nose pliers to get the bearing into place (as is stated in the manual), but then use a long skinny screwdriver to push the gasket onto the bearing. Works every time.
  • Very nice but with a serious flaw to plan for By Don on 12/23/2013

    I have had it about 2 weeks. It works very well. It is much better than my old system. But.... When I assembled it I noticed that the hose tensions would make the gray and white intake pop out of the pump. I kept tinkering with it and trying it over and over. Finally I thought I had it where it would stay and if it popped out, I did not see any harm other than it would stop skimming. This was wrong. It fell out during the night. When it comes out, the volume of water the pump moves to the chamber is multiplied massively. The result was it filled up and lifted the lid. It then sprayed out like a sprinkler. It splashed beyond my sump but missed my auto top off kill switch. It kept spraying out and refilling the sump all night. It flooded the room and the salinity in my 180 gallon tank went down to 1.020. I had to remove and throw away the carpet and padding in the entire room. I have had it set up for 7 years without incident. Now I look at things differently. I recommend this skimmer but suggest taking the action I am. Glue the intake into the impeller housing. Bad things can happen if you don't.
  • Love the build and quality By ROGERWILCO357 on 9/8/2013

    Well the name says it all . Built to last love the pumps they are champs no issues in 4 years. Love the price compared to the units made in the same warehouse that cost a lot more. They skim and they never fail at least for me going on year 3 with this model on my 120 heavy stocked fish and sps and no issues. Buy it you won’t be disappointed . Now if we can get them to bundle it with the automatic neck cleaner for added discount instead of buying one separately by another maker that would make me A 5 star for sure.
  • BEST skimmer on the market By Dennis on 7/6/2013

    If you are running a reef tank with heavy fish load, you want this skimmer, as it will pull the proteins out of the water. More expensive than other options, but well worth the investment if you want the bets looking corals.
  • Well Worth the Price By Todd on 6/16/2013

    Easy to adjust, works better than any skimmer I've had. You can feel the high quality construction as well as the red dragon pump is second to none.
  • great skimmer and well worth the price By fidofence on 1/25/2013

    this skimmer is well constructed. The red dragon pump is built like a tank and you can see and feel the quality. This skimmer works great as soon as you hook it up and is one of the best equipment purchases I made


Ask a question

Product Questions

i am looking for a replacement pump for my Vertex alpha 170 skimmer. do you sell them direct, or are you able to direct me where to go, as these pumps i have not been able to locate.
thank you
Jeff Flynn
Question by: Jeff Flynn on Mar 18, 2016 8:59:00 PM
Great question!
We do not have the Vertex skimmer pumps available. They can be purchased directly through Vertex Technologies North America. I have included their contact information below. Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions!
Vertex and Korallen Zucht - 714-274-6544
Answer by: Connor (Admin) on Mar 21, 2016 10:50:00 AM
I am setting up a 210g with a 50g sump. Will this be able to handle the load or should i go up to the Vertex 200? Is bigger better?
Question by: Matt Matulonis on Mar 19, 2016 2:29:00 PM
Great question!
For best performance with a 220 with sump ideally the Vertex 200 would be a better fit when the bio-load begins to catch up with the tank. Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions!
Answer by: Connor (Admin) on Mar 21, 2016 11:53:00 AM
What is the recommended sump level for the 170 to run in?
Question by: Michael on Apr 30, 2016 10:18:00 PM
Great question! The Alpha 170 seems to best in 9-11" of water.
Answer by: Carter (Admin) on May 3, 2016 4:31:00 PM
What's the air draw on the Vertex Alpha 170. The Product Description says - Air Draw: Adjustable 1000 to 1400 LPH - the pictured pump says: 800 < Air Intake < 1000 ?
Question by: Michael on May 1, 2016 5:02:00 PM
Great question!
The Alpha 170 ( from the manufacturers manual) will have 1000-1200 LPH. The results of course will vary which may lead to different answers depending on the strain on the pump. water height and many other factors. I have included a link to the manufacturers manual.
Answer by: Connor (Admin) on May 3, 2016 6:10:00 PM
I am interested in putting this in a sump where the compartment is 12" x 15.5" (this skimmer footprint is listed as 9.5" x 15"). Would this be a reasonable fit? I'd like to be able to sneak a filter sock or two in but otherwise shouldn't need anything else in that compartment.
Question by: Josh O. on Apr 8, 2016 11:33:00 PM
Great question!
This certainly will be a good fit for the section of your sump! The sides would allow for some room to mount a filter sock. Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions!
Answer by: Connor (Admin) on Apr 13, 2016 6:26:00 PM
Will this work ok with a 120g system?
Question by: Albert on Jun 13, 2014 8:02:00 PM
Hi Albert,
It sure would!
Answer by: Bulk Reef Supply on Jun 13, 2014 8:02:00 PM