In October of 2009 ReefBuilders first reported about the new redesigned aspirator valve from My Reef Creations. A few days ago I got my hands on not only the aspirator assembly but the New Orca Pro I and Pro II as well. The former is being fitted at a local University tank while the latter was purchased to go onto my rapidly expanding 1,000+gallon system. More on that later, but for now I wanted to discuss the improvements MRC have made over the previous aspirator valve fitted to the older Reeflo Orca models. (ed. note: aspirator valves are significantly different from venturi valves in that that they are designed to be installed before a pump). Over the last few days I have begun the preliminary testing on the Pro II unit. To that end, the skimmer was assembled and run directly by a feed pump in my sump. Knowing from experience these skimmers take a few days to break in, I thought I would post a few comments regarding the aspirator performance while the skimmer settles down into production mode. From a visual inspection, the aspirator is nicely constructed and much larger than the unit on the older models. The mill work and machining are excellent and the venturi comes premounted to the elbow/union required to complete the assembly. A nice touch is the pre-tapped threaded ends since if you are like me, you have 20 rolls of teflon tape – somewhere. Assembly was a breeze, again beating the older Orca which required the venturi assembly to be screwed to the pump and then an adaptor ring assembly to allow proper alignment. While not a total pain, it was hard work to get those to line up at times without incurring a leak. Not an issue anymore, just screw in and play. So, having screwed in and played, here are a few pics of the serious foam this bad boy creates. As you can see the entire body of the Pro II is full of foam. So much so that some of it is being sucked under the base plate, which is most likely due to an undersized feed pump on my part. As for bubble density, these are microbubbles and billions of them. I have tried to capture the size as best as possible at the midpoint of the barrel of the skimmer. So far, I am extremely impressed. On the basis of the aspirator assembly and the Orca Gold pump alone, I would say that MRC and Reeflo have a winner. After the skimmer is broken in I will move it to its new home, tweak it, and post more thoughts on the performance of the Orca ProII as a whole. Follow the break for a few more images of the new aspirator valve for My Reef Creation Orca Pro line of large needle wheel protein skimmers.
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