As we prepare ourselves for the biennial voyage to Singapore for the Aquarama conference, we can’t help but reflect on one of Singapore’s key players in the marine aquarium manufacturing market, Skimz. Every year, whether leading up to Aquarama in odd years or InterZoo in even years, Skimz always has something new in the works, some crazy spin on the biopellet reactor, the protein skimmer, or components thereof.
Skimz has been relatively quiet leading up to this year’s big conference, and that can only mean one of two things. Perhaps they are keeping a really nice and juicy product to surprise us with, or they’ve run out of new geometric shapes to apply to the things we use in our aquariums.
While Skimz has enjoyed very little market penetration in Europe and America, their products have a broad global reach outside of these markets. Either way, our curiosity has led us to reflect on the innovative products that Skimz has launched almost every year, and the creative ways that Skimz has sought to differentiate its product line.
Skimz Monzter E and Kone series
It seems like just yesterday we were breaking the news of the Skimz Monzter protein skimmers, and the Kone models which followed shortly thereafter. 2010 was a very different time when people were still very skeptical of cone protein skimmers, and hobbyists debated endlessly about whether the conical design really mattered.
Whether or not cones or cylinders won the battle, it’s safe to say that the majority of smaller protein skimmer designs have gone full Cone but Skimz still hedged its bets with great skimmer models in both configuration. The Monzter protein skimmers were really unique at the time for being one of the first Asian-manufactured protein skimmer to offer a bevy of features, high quality design and materials, as well as reliable needle wheel pumps to power it all.
Skimz Leopard Inverted cone diffuser
The Skimz Leopard was highly teased before its final reveal at Aquarama 2013. The Leopard was virtually identical to the top of the line Skimz Monzter protein skimmers, but it featured a highly reworked diffuser plate which borrowed a couple ideas and added its own flair.
The bubble plate diffuser was originally introduced by Royal Exclusiv more than a decade prior. Then in 2009 Warner Marine released their K1 protein skimmer which featured a channel directly centered in the bubble plate to allow water to flow counter current to the upflow of air bubbles.
In a stroke of inspiration Skimz took these two ideas, and refined them with an inverted cone to further reduce turbulence of the upwelling bubbles and to channel even more water through the diffuser plate. The resulting advanced bubble plate diffuser culminated in the Leopard protein skimmer which really has some of the least turbulent motion we’ve ever seen in any protein skimmer, and we are surprised more manufacturers have not been ‘inspired’ by this approach.
Skimz Oval Protein Skimmer
Skimz’s most recent protein skimmer release involved some ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, and an interesting design on their part. The Oval Protein skimmer by Skimz is the world’s first foam fractionator to feature an oval cylinder or cone of any kind. While the oval shape of the Skimz Oval didn’t do anything to really help the protein skimming, the combination of the smaller footprint together with the open volute DC pump assembly makes the Oval one of the most powerful, space-saving protein skimmer designs on the market.