The new Unkai Protein Skimmer Neck Cleaner is the first design innovation we’ve seen in this product category in quite a number of years. Way back in 2010 Deltec introduced the manual neck cleaner which was integrated into the lid of their skimmer, and this space has been fallow ever since.
Perfect Reef Systems, also known as PRS Japan has a history of really thinking outside the box with the first flow meter on the market, Automatic Zeovit reactor and more recently with their beast of a skimmer, the hyper-engineered Unkai protein skimmer. Not content to put any old neck cleaning apparatus on their masterpiece, PRS Japan developed the Unkai Spiral Neck Cleaner.
As the name implies, instead of using squeegee blades to simply wipe down skimmate from the neck of the protein skimmer, PRS developed a 3D squeegee with a helical shape. When spinning in the right direction the angled, spiral wiper blades help to keep the neck clean, and to bring up the wastes into the skimmer cup.
Also, while most skimmer neck cleaners either run 24/7 – affecting skimming performance – or have to be plugged into an external timer, PRS has also developed their own timer to set the period and frequency of cleaning cycles. So far it seems that the spiral neck cleaner is only designed for use with the Unkai protein skimmer but hopefully we can see this innovation become compatible with many more protein skimmer models.