Back in the day, your skimmer was nothing if it wasn’t one of the powerful ETSS downdraft skimmer models. With their incredible water volume processing and avalanches of foamy, frothy air bubbles the high powered ETS Skimmer absolutely blew away the contemporary wooden airstone and venturi skimmers of the day.
The first real protein skimmer to challenge the dominance of ETS was arguably the AquaC series, with its much reduced footprint, smaller height, and much reduced power requirements. ETS’s answer to the AquaC was the ETS Evolution, a downdraft skimmer with the downdraft column located inside the protein skimmer body and the smallest footprint possible.
The ETSS Evolution seemed poised to take over the reefing world, and perhaps it would have had it not been for massive improvements in needle wheel technology and manufacture leading to much improved and more affordable models from Euro Reef and the ubiquitous ASM series. However, public aquariums are outside the sphere of influence of the consumer aquarium hobby and they’ve mostly stuck to their heavy-duty ETS guns, which is where we came across the gem you see here.
It’s been probably eight to ten years since we’ve seen an ETS Evolution in the wild, let alone running on a display at the Denver Downtown Aquarium. Seeing this ETS Evolution i action was like seeing an endangered species thriving in a small niche microhabitat. ETS still makes and sells the very capable Evolution series, for much less than they sold for when they first launched so there’s still some life in the venerable small footprint downdraft protein skimmer series.