The new Borei protein skimmer from UltraReef is perhaps one of the most exciting new designs of a smaller protein skimmer that we’ve seen in quite some time. At first glance it appears to be a simple enough fractionator but with UltraReef’s name on it, we know from experience that it’s hiding more than a few tricks.
First of all, all UltraReef products are hand made with generous use of machined and lathed parts so the Borei Skimmer is the furthest from injection molded as you can possibly get. In traditional Ultra Reef fashion, all the tolerances are so tight that all the parts can assemble and disassemble without any tools, honoring the reefers among us who like to give our aquarium gear a nice deep clean from time to time.
Even if you don’t speak Spanish, in the Seadreams video above you can see how easily the Ultra Reef Borei skimmer comes together, pump and all. One neat accessory for the Borei is an in-tank hang-on bracket which looks quite nice, and even includes a shield to prevent any kind of splashing even when the skimmer cup is removed.
As far as we can tell the Ultra Reef Borei is one of the first to use a needle wheel Hydor SK DC pumps making the Borei one of the smallest skimmers with a controllable DC pump. We haven’t even seen the Hydor SK DC pump with a needle wheel impeller but the Ultra Reef configuration using a custom made venturi manages between 250 to 400 liters of air per hour, which is very respectable for a skimmer this size.
Continuing in the tradition of hand-making everything, Ultra Reef has also included a long acrylic air silencer that doubles as the air supply ‘snorkel’ reaching above the water line, and probably very effective and silent. The last fun trick of the Ultra Reef Borei skimmer is the control mechanism that features the company’s own pipeless adjustment design – a simple twist of the protein skimmer body raises or lowers the water level as needed to achieve the desired skimming performance.
The Ultra Reef Borei skimmer is quite reasonably priced for all these innovative features with a modest sticker price of only €259 which equates to roughly $279. This level of value in a handmade protein skimmer using an Italian Hydor pump is practically unheard of, so we’ll need to see how it performs in comparison to other smaller size skimmer when we get a chance to see it in person.