In December, we stumbled across a new line of POV protein skimmers from Reef Octopus that used a DC controllable needle wheel pump and the same open volute technology we first saw in the RLSS protein skimmers. Having seen this technology in action at MACNA, we knew just how promising it was and how well it performed in the trade show setting. For those of you who didn’t make the show, however, the concept of the open volute may not be as easy to digest. After all, it’s wildly different than what we’ve become accustomed to since manufactuers started moving away from downdraft skimmers and toward the needle wheel design. Fortunately, the crew at B-Box Aquarium released a video demonstration of how the Reef Octopus open volute skimmer functions.
The skimmer in the video is a tad different than the Reef Octopus POV Skimmer line we first wrote about. It falls under a slightly different name, called the Reef Octopus DC-X series with this particular model being the DC-X 1500sss. Still, the concept is the same. The controllable needle wheel pump is positioned vertically within the protein skimmer’s body and the volute has essentially been removed, exposing the impeller to the world. Air is drawn in just like other venturi driven needle wheel skimmers, but the water and air are mixed in a larger chamber and the water is allowed to passively flow upward instead of being forcibly pushed laterally into a bubble chamber. This improves the dwell time of the air/water mixture within the skimmer, making the collection of organic material more efficient.