Marine Technical Concepts has been around for decades over which time they’ve become known for solid product design and build quality. They may not be the best known manufacturer in the hobby but they should be right at the top of your list if you care about performance and reliability. After using various calcium reactors for several years I stumbled across their MiniCal reactor and it works so well, so much better than any reactor I’ve used or even heard about… it was an epiphany.
No more having to adjust the effluent drip rate every few days! After eight months and two chambers of media, with perfectly stable pH and alkalinity, I’m a believer. But don’t think that just because I’m a fan I’ll settle for mediocrity after plopping down five hundred bucks! Nope, when I spend a pile of cash I expect results and I won’t hesitate to cry foul. Speaking of foul:
MTC just added a second protein skimmer to their product line. That’s right – up until March of 2015 they made one protein skimmer, the venerable Beckett-powered High Speed-Powered (HSA) protein skimmer.
The new Venturi operated MVX has some great features but the first thing I noticed was the build quality. This is a heavy duty piece of equipment that my great great grandchildren will be able to use on their 22nd century aquariums. Everything about it says “built to last”.
The MVX skimmer can be ordered in 3 sizes: 26”, 30” or 36”, however they offer a bonus feature of being able to custom make whatever size main chamber you want. So this is a protein skimmer you buy once and no matter what tank size you upgrade to in the future all you need to change is the main chamber size.
It has an 8”x13” footprint but with the output gate valve being adjustable in a 120 degree arc it fits very easily in my sump- as easily as the 9”x9.8” footprint of my old skimmer that was a space saver model. The height of the output is also adjustable. Another beautiful thing is the MVX will work internally or externally, with an internal or external feed pump. For the MVX-26 MTC recommends a Danner Mag 9.5, 12 or Blueline 30HD. For the 30” or 36” models it’s Mag 12, 18 or the Blueline 30HD. I got the Mag 12 and the whole thing is very quiet.
The MVX line uses a high quality ¾” Mazzei injector. The bubbles are small and densely packed and the skimmate is dense too. The gate valve is schedule 80; robust and easy to adjust so the water level can be set with precision. There’s a 90 degree effluent drain standard, Love that. The skimmer can be completely disassembled for cleaning plus they have an optional quick release that makes it easier to remove the collection cup for cleaning.
Without it you just need to loosen the screws in the keyholes to lift it up and out. I opted for the easy quick release myself. Based on how quickly the skimmate builds up I do not regret the extra $75.
The skimmer arrived nearly completely assembled so I just gave it a good cleaning, connected the pump and put it to work. There was a nine day break-in period and since then, the skimmate has looked like what you see in the first photo. If the 9 day break in is too long for you cleaning the skimmer with vinegar is supposed to shorten that up considerably.
Without the quick release the MVX-26 sells for $425 which may seem just a little expensive but I think it’s a great deal and compares very favorably with the more popular skimmers on the market considering the skyhigh build quality and performance. Bottom line for me: worth it! [Marine Technical Concepts]
This is a guest contribution by Greg Rothschild, a well-known aquatic photographer.