Sea side Aquatics has been bringing in the popular Bubble Magus line of skimmers for a while now. The one thing about the Bubble Magus series that could use improvement was the skimmer pump. Some folks were having issues with the Atman branded pump. So what you do you get when you take a Bubble Magus Skimmer and substitute in the reliable and reputable Sicce brand pumps? You get a Sea Side Aquatics labelled skimmer. And with the ES series, Sea Side incorporated the sexy new curve body, akin to the Vertex ‘Wine Glass’ series.
Let’s start with the packaging. It is well protected and disassembled to reduce shipping breakage. Assembly was easy and quick, and didn’t require the manual for any reason. The body is made of a fairly thin material acrylic or plastic. Dropping it would be the end of it. But everything fit together really well.
At a retail price of $250, this skimmer packs a lot of features. Cleaning is made easy breezy by the ability to take every piece of the skimmer apart with thumb screws. The bubble plate is does a fantastic job keeping turbulence at a minimum. Water level is adjusted by twisting the standpipe. That’s pretty common among skimmers these days, but it’s nice that this model has numbered increments to help you dial it in. The lid has an inverted cone to help herd the foam over the threshold and into the cup. The collection cup has a drain, as well as a plug for that drain. Overall, it is an attractive looking skimmer, and has a nice small footprint(7.28″ * 7.08″).
After a quick vinegar bath, it was put to work on a new 70 gallon reef. Despite the light bioload, it started collecting a nasty amount of gunk within hours. What’s more impressive is that is extremely quiet. Unless you are staring at it, you’d have no idea it is even turned on. There are rubber feet on the skimmer, a foam pad for the pump, and a muffler for the air intake. Clearly, noise was a factor in it’s design.
The Bubble Magus/Sea Side skimmers obviously take a lot of design cues from the Vertex and Bubble King skimmers. Some folks might have beef with that. But this hobby is expensive, and there’s certainly a barrier of entry into the Bubble King line. It’s hard to not like a skimmer that packs so much performance, features, and appearance into such an affordable package.