It’s been more than a year and a half since Rossmont let the world know about the world’s first AC controllable protein skimmer, initially called the Skemer, and now renamed the Rossmont Skimer. Whatever you call it the team at Rossmont has been hard at work really dialing in the details of their latest project to ensure a proper balance between the pump, volute, needle wheel, air injector, bubble plate etc.
On the surface the simple combination of external pump, conical body, and wedge pipe outflow is hard to differentiate from a very saturated catalog of protein skimmers we have in the reef aquarium hobby, but a few key features do stand out. Before diving into the obvious, we’d like to point out how much we love that very generous protein skimmer cup, and the curious locking mechanism to keep in place.
Also, in a time when so many skimmers are going the space-saving or pipeless route and have the pump inside of the base of the skimmer, it’s actually refreshing to have an externally mounted pump. The air intake valve and needle wheel – as well as basic pump mechanisms – need to be cleaned on a regular basis for proper performance. Having an external pump is a very welcome design choice for ease of maintenance, as well as a larger reaction volume and longer contact time between the air & water mixture.
Despite these objectively minor benefits, the real selling point of the Rossmont Skimer is the controllability of its AC pump, precluding the need for AC/DC power supply which reduces efficiency and is one more point of failure. The Rossmont Skimer will be available in two sizes, the 30 watt SX250 for $399 and the 38 watt SX500 for $499.
Normally to unlock the true benefits of the Rossmont Skimer you’d have to spend an additional $199 for the Waver control hub but the Skimers will be available bundled for $579 and $679 respectively, and will have an additional outlet to control another Rossmont AC pump such as a Mover propeller pump or Riser return pump.
With the Waver you will not only enable control of the Rossmont Skimer’s needle wheel pump, but also program it to perform differently throughout the day – perhaps a break at night, some dry skimming during the day and a period of wet skimming following a feeding period? There’s no doubt this will be a decent skimmer for essential nutrient export but to really stand out we’re keen to test out how well this programmability works in the real world. [Rossmont]