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Lifereef or other skimmer?

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Columbus, TX
#1
Planning to purchase a new skimmer to replace the Lifereef I sold when we moved. Since I will have a fish room space is not an issue and was looking at either the Lifereef VS3-30 or 36.

The question I have is do I get another Lifereef or are the newer modern skimmers better? I have only ever had a Lifereef skimmer and I had no complaints. It had a Sicce5 pump on a SVS3-24 and was quiet and used little power. Their design is simple and I love being able to use any pump.
But Looking at newer designs with needle wheel pumps and cone shapes and even some of the recycling skimmers I must ask if this is the best choice?!?

Or am I overthinking this and as long as it makes skimmate who cares?!?
 

Cody

Secretary
Board Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Location
The Woodlands, TX
#2
Planning to purchase a new skimmer to replace the Lifereef I sold when we moved. Since I will have a fish room space is not an issue and was looking at either the Lifereef VS3-30 or 36.

The question I have is do I get another Lifereef or are the newer modern skimmers better? I have only ever had a Lifereef skimmer and I had no complaints. It had a Sicce5 pump on a SVS3-24 and was quiet and used little power. Their design is simple and I love being able to use any pump.
But Looking at newer designs with needle wheel pumps and cone shapes and even some of the recycling skimmers I must ask if this is the best choice?!?

Or am I overthinking this and as long as it makes skimmate who cares?!?
What's your time frame?
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2004
Location
Energy Corridor
#3
I’ve heard Lifereef are good but I personally prefer newer efficient skimmers.

New skimmers use lower wattage pumps and produce less heat for similar output as comparable Lifereef using a pump 2-3x wattage rated.

For reference my 40w UV generates 1 degree temp diff in my 180. I currently use a 27w pump on my skimmer. I looked into LifeReef skimmers and would need a 65w DC pump or more.

One week of skim




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

RR-MAN

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Location
Pearland
#4
For in-sump look at a newer cone style skimmer (vertex makes some awesome cone skimmers)- takes less space/compact/more efficient - On the other hand, if you have a fish room I would go with a large external life reef skimmer. Again, it's all about preference/budget.

My cone reef octopus pulls some nasty stuff... :cheers:
 

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Stickboy97

Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Location
Humble & Conroe, TX
#8
I love my lifereef. Especially like the fact that if/when the pump goes out I can replace it very easily. To me the body of a skimmer really doesn't matter they all skim. Every other skimmer I've had used specific pumps, and they were all overpriced to replace.
 

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Columbus, TX
#11
Well this is still planning stages...since my house is still 6-8 months from being done all I can do it sit around and dream of a day I can get my tank up and running again! They are spray foaming the garage so as long as my wife's car can fit, I got the rest for a fishroom! I still plan to put my 130g tank up in the garage because it is too old for me to trust in a new house. My old 80 gal oceanic tank will be my new refugium...yes, I really like watching the creepys in the fuge. And already got approval for a new 6ft tank in the house which should be around 265g. Plus I have been dreaming of keeping a 150g covered tub with rocks to grow sponges. Total water volume should be close to 500 gal which gets into pretty big skimmers.

I have heard nothing but excellent things from BK skimmers and was looking at the BK Supermarin 250 but it is double the price of a 3ft tall Lifereef......are they twice as good? I always thought that contact time with the bubbles was the very best thing that you could have with a skimmer. Or maybe I have been reading Lifereef's website too much. :)
 

Cody

Secretary
Board Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Location
The Woodlands, TX
#12
Well this is still planning stages...since my house is still 6-8 months from being done all I can do it sit around and dream of a day I can get my tank up and running again! They are spray foaming the garage so as long as my wife's car can fit, I got the rest for a fishroom! I still plan to put my 130g tank up in the garage because it is too old for me to trust in a new house. My old 80 gal oceanic tank will be my new refugium...yes, I really like watching the creepys in the fuge. And already got approval for a new 6ft tank in the house which should be around 265g. Plus I have been dreaming of keeping a 150g covered tub with rocks to grow sponges. Total water volume should be close to 500 gal which gets into pretty big skimmers.

I have heard nothing but excellent things from BK skimmers and was looking at the BK Supermarin 250 but it is double the price of a 3ft tall Lifereef......are they twice as good? I always thought that contact time with the bubbles was the very best thing that you could have with a skimmer. Or maybe I have been reading Lifereef's website too much. :)
Correct about the more contact time the better. The four main factors in a skimmer are bubble size, quantity of bubbles, contact time, and terbulence. The smaller the better (the same air volume broken into smaller bubbles has more surface area) and the more the merrier when it comes to bubbles (the more bubbles, the more surface area). The upper limit on this is around 13% of the chamber volume being bubbles before they start merging into each other to create larger bubbles. So that's your upper limit. As far as contact time, the longer the better. This is due to the fact that these molecules (or "protein" as they're commonly referred to) have certain parts that are hydrophobic and hydrophilic. The hydrophobic parts want to escape the water column, so as soon as a bubble comes by, it allows them the opportunity to pop their head through the bubble and escape. This is a function of the electric charge of particular molecules that makes this happen. The bubble it's attached to then goes to the top, where the bubble pops, and the molecule remains. As far as turbulence, in theory, the less the better. Considering how many different types of molecules there are, and each one bringing it's own strength when it comes to hydrophobia, there's no real way to calculate what constitutes "too much turbulence". I've asked multiple physicists and chemists and they all say it would take a dedicated team and a lot of time to find that answer. Considering that skimmers like a life reef have no cone nor bubble plate, yet can outcompete or perform just as well as any other large skimmer, I think it's safe to assume that whether the body has a wine bottle shape or just a flat plate on top, we aren't breaching the "too much turbulence" threshold. Otherwise skimmers that don't slope just simply wouldn't perform as well.

Let's me know if anyone has any more questions about the physics behind a skimmer. I've spent the past decade digging up as much info on foam fractioners as I could get my hands on
 

RR-MAN

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Location
Pearland
#13
Well this is still planning stages...since my house is still 6-8 months from being done all I can do it sit around and dream of a day I can get my tank up and running again! They are spray foaming the garage so as long as my wife's car can fit, I got the rest for a fishroom! I still plan to put my 130g tank up in the garage because it is too old for me to trust in a new house. My old 80 gal oceanic tank will be my new refugium...yes, I really like watching the creepys in the fuge. And already got approval for a new 6ft tank in the house which should be around 265g. Plus I have been dreaming of keeping a 150g covered tub with rocks to grow sponges. Total water volume should be close to 500 gal which gets into pretty big skimmers.

I have heard nothing but excellent things from BK skimmers and was looking at the BK Supermarin 250 but it is double the price of a 3ft tall Lifereef......are they twice as good? I always thought that contact time with the bubbles was the very best thing that you could have with a skimmer. Or maybe I have been reading Lifereef's website too much. :)
Good luck man hopefully some funds left for the reef tank after house build, furniture shopping, and who knows what else. Your skimmer budget will shrink. :rofl:
 
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