Reef Octopus has a new hang-on protein skimmer model which really breaks the mold for what we generally expect from this category. There have been plenty of hang-on protein skimmers made in a plethora of shapes and sizes in the past but we really like the direction Reef Octopus is taking with this model.
In the beginning, most hang on protein skimmers were little more than a power filter that hung on the side of the aquarium with some protein skimming features added on. Over time the hang-on filter box was adapted to become more conducive to protein skimming and some became primarily geared towards foam fractionation, and this is the approach that Reef Octopus had taken for quite some time.
Trying to adapt protein skimmer features to a hang on form factor has led to some incredibly mediocre protein skimmer designs, beginning with the SeaClone & Skilter and still going on to this day. The model that CoralVue teased in their MACNA booth seems to tackle the problem from the other direction; how to make a fully fledged protein skimmer work while hanging on the side of the aquarium.
The resulting hang-on protein skimmer that Reef Octopus ended up with is not as sleek as a self contained box but it looks like it can actually do a decent job of actually skimming proteins from the aquarium water. There’s a true surface water skimmer to feed the bottom-mounted needle wheel pump the best source of aquarium water to get the proteins out in the first place.
The air-water froth mixture is then fed into an appropriately sized diffuser plate and there’s ample height in the skimmer body to both ensure a properly long contact time and to reduce turbulence for the sake of allowing the skimmate to form. A “real” skimmer cup and a “real” wedge pipe for fine water level adjustment further reinforces the notion that this is a protein skimmer that happens to hang from the back of the aquarium, and not a compromised “hang-on” protein skimmer design.
There were so many new products in the CoralVue booth we didn’t get a chance to specifically ask about this new Reef Octopus hang on protein skimmer. Our best guess is that this is an early production or prototype that was sent to MACNA for feedback and we’ll see a formal announcement on this particular device in the future.