September 12 2010,

The AquaMaxx hang on Back Series protein skimmer is a finely crafted acrylic box that is perfect for your nano aquarium. That is my opinion after I’ve had this running on my quaint 20 gallon aquarium. With so many nano aquarium “kits” having poorly designed protein skimmers, this $199 skimmer is well worth the investment in making your water clearer, your fish happier.

The Sicce Pump, aka the Shark 1.0

The Hang on back skimmer itself is basically a box designed to handle water. There is the pump, an Italian made wonder, the Sicce Syncra 1.5 which makes up the bulk of the beauty of this hang on back skimmer. Sicce pumps are made in Italy and in my opinion are some of the greatest in the world surpassing those of German made Eheim pumps, but that is very subjective. However, with any skimmer the pump is the heart of the operation without a quality pump your skimmer will suck, and not in a good way.

The pump is important of course, but the impeller along with the volute design is very important as well. This skimmer has a custom-made impeller that has been designed to deliver deliciously tiny bubbles that attract organic waste as they rise to the top of the skimmer chamber. When I turned the skimmer on there was an immediate wow effect. It is this reason that after the pump stars to make rotations while shooting up air and water you realize that you have a great skimmer. Looking at the bubble quality closer, you realize that you not only have a great skimmer, you have handsome device, so much so that you are tempted not to inform other aquarists as to the secret to making your water crystal clear and your fish smiling.

Beyond the pump, this AquaMaxx skimmer uses a bubble chamber that successfully mixes the water and air around into a frothy concoction worthy of any mad scientist. Bubble chambers have became increasingly popular as a great means of increasing efficiency within a protein skimmer. The theory of using a bubble chamber is to increase contact time with the air and water, mixing this way and that hopefully luring in organic wastes into the bubble molecules themselves.

The Bubble Silencer

The pump is feed with a long silicone tube of yellowness which supplies a fresh batch of air on a consistent basis. However, before the silicone tube reaches the outside, the tube is diverted into a noise reduction chamber that without might make this protein skimmer a little bothersome for your significant other. Thankfully the skimmer becomes whisper quiet which makes you forgot it exists if it weren’t for the dull hum of the Sicce pump. You’ll still hear a little noise from the noise reduction chamber, but I stuffed a little cotton balls in and it softened the noise nicely.

Besides the air supply, the water is the other necessary component to a protein skimmer. It is the water itself that we would like to strip of any organics. This is accomplished by a long tube that supplies the skimmer pump with a small strainer at the end of it. I use a nano aquarium that wasn’t the best fit for this long tube and needed to run out to the Local hardware store for a longer tube so that the water could be encouraged down into the skimmer.

The AquaMaxx Hang on Back Skimmer

One of the biggest problems I see with protein skimmers is that of microbubbles. Microbubbles, besides being an eyesore for any aquarium can eventually kill specific corals and animals if given the time. The AquaMaxx skimmer uses a unique method to help rid the outflow of the skimmer of the microbubbles. The outflow of the skimmer has an open top, with the theory being that any air through microbubbles would escape towards the top. It does work, but could be refined in a better maner the only type of bubbles that escape into the aquarium are large and less dangerous type of the two.

The AquaMaxx Bubble Chamber

The collection chamber is a large enough size so that you don’t need to empty the collection cup as often, but you might depending on your bio load and whether you choose to run either a wet or dry skim. An interestingly addition to the skimmer is an overflow outlet on the collection cup, which prevents the collection cup from overflowing.

The Collection Cup

The construction of the skimmer is suberb, with any joints clearly joined together and finished and polished off professionally. Although the AquaMax line is made in Taiwan, the quality is very high. Most people automatically scream China, but a large portion of engineered products are sourced in Taiwan as the country is able to deliver on quality while China has seems to have major problems with either hits or misses.

If you need a hang on back protein skimmer that can handle aquariums up to around 70 gallons then you need to seriously check out the AquaMax line. We have a hunch that AquaMaxx might come out with a larger Hang on back skimmer, but again that is only a hunch. What do we know?

FTC regulations require that we inform you that we were given this product for review, but our opinion of a product is never affected by how we acquire them.


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