Besides the needle wheel impeller, the air silencer is one of the marvels of modern protein skimmer engineering. This simple device transforms out gurgling foam fractionating devices into a quasi silent saltwater filtration machine.
Air silencers deserve a lot more credit and celebration because a well-designed air silencer is the simplest way to reduce the overall noise that protein skimmers would otherwise create. The Seachem Aquavitro Division skimmers are just starting to hit the reef aquarium hobby and upon initial inspection we noticed that there is something a little different about the air silencer.
Seachem could have easily shipped the Aquavitro Division skimmer with a pretty basic air silencer but this important noise-dampening accessory is actually two air silencers built together in series. The path of air through the silencer actually travels through a primary silencer, and then another secondary air silencer, with plenty of baffles in each of them for maximum noise reduction.
The best air silencers are made of large, sometimes concentric cylinders with plenty of baffles but these usually reduce the overall noise to a very low rumble that is much harder to perceive. By using two stages of air silencing the silencer of the Aquavitro Division skimmer further reduces the sound to an almost imperceptible level, and it sure doesn’t hurt that the entire device completely disassembles for easy cleaning.
As impressive as this silencer, there is a limit to how much air it can handle while still being as quiet as it is, although we don’t know what that upper threshold is. As a test we swapped out the air silencer on our Nyos 160 and Red Sea Reefer Skimmer 900 – both with very good air silencers already – and could hear a small but noticeable reduction in the perceptible sound.
We really hope that Seachem decides to sell the dual air silencer of the Aquavitro Division skimmer because this would be a great add-on for many protein skimmers that have a very basic or outdated air silencer. We’re still in the process of fleshing out what the Aquavitro Division skimmers are all about but if the air silencer is any indication, we have great expectations when we fire them up for the first time.