According to fellow aquarium bloggers at Glassbox Design, the ATI grid impellers that are being released with the all new ATI PowerCone protein skimmers will be available to purchase as an upgrade for current Bubble Master protein skimmer owners. As you can tell from the image above, this new impeller is remarkably different than your average needlwheel or meshwheel impellers. The Grid features a simple lattice-structure that will increase surface area, contact time, bubble production and air intake of the pump.
Unfortunately, the newly redesigned Sicce pump also featured on the new Power Cones (which draws in air from the center of the venturi as opposed to the outside) will not be available to purchase separately. For those who want this pump, you will probably have to buy a Power Cone or find a Power Cone owner that decides he or she no longer needs the pump. Keeping this in mind, I wonder how ATI Aquaristik will handle those users who experience malfunctioning pumps. I assume they will approach this on a case-by-case basis, but I’m hoping it won’t be much hassle to get a replacement if something goes awry. I’m not knocking the quality of the pump or skimmer, but there are a whole myriad of things that can fry or damage a pump to the point it no longer functions. Even a brief lightning storm or power surge could wreak havoc on any electronic equipment.