We were recently sent an Eshopps PSK-100 protein skimmer for review, and I wanted to share our first impressions. Opening the box, which was packaged extremely well, you notice the blue acrylic accent pieces screaming out at you. Assembly is very easy, taking all of about 2 minutes. The collection cup slides right into the skimmer’s neck, the pump screws on to a small plastic adapter that attaches to the skimmer, and the venturi adapter slides onto the intake side of the pump.
This model protein skimmer can handle up to 100 gallons, according to descriptions posted by the manufacturer. Additionally, it only costs about $110, which is very conservative as far as protein skimmers go. Sure, it lacks a bubble diffusing plate and a cone shape, but I’m sure it will get the job done for the budget conscious saltwater aquarist.
Continuing reading below to see what we liked and disliked about this protein skimmer.
What we liked:
The protein skimmer was very easy to setup, but even if you have trouble there’s a very descriptive diagram and set of instructions to help you along the way. The skimmer feels very solid, with all of the pieces fitting together snugly. The collection cup easily slides in and out of the adapter on the PSK-100’s neck, allowing for very easy maintanence. The riser tube, or the output side of the skimmer, is very simple and easy to adjust. You don’t have to raise and lower the but, but merely twist it. This is becoming a very common feature among skimmers, but the Eshopps riser tube is one of the simplest I’ve seen…which is a good thing. Lastly, the price point is amazing. Who can argue with a $110 protein skimmer that can handle up to 100 gallons (according to the manufacturer)?
What we disliked:
The two things I felt could be improved were the pump/impeller choice and the difficulty to get into the skimmer. The pump was a very nondescript Chinese pump, which is common nowadays, and the impeller seemed somewhat insufficient. Instead of a traditional needlewheel, the PSK-1oo’s impeller seemed to mimic that of the old Coralife skimmers. The impeller is very flat, with needles projecting outwards instead of upwards. The second area for improvement, in my opinion, would be how the skimmer breaks down for maintenance. You can only remove the collection cup, skimmer pump, and riser tube. You can’t even get into the skimmer to clean it or replace a broken part if it occurs. The hole at the top is too narrow for any adult’s hand and no part of the body comes apart.
All in all, I was mildly impressed when initially tinkering with this skimmer. Now it’s time to see how it performs. We will be updating the skimmer’s progress and capabilities as we break it in and fine tune it.