The reef aquarium hobby is truly a global community and every major region has its own specialties in how they build reefs, and how they design reef aquarium gear. Eastern Europe is an insular hotspot with influence from both Europe and Asia, and more than its fair share of DIY ethos.
Case in point is the new A&C 150xxsQ protein skimmer designed by Aleksandr Loginov which is bursting at the seams with innovation. Few of the individual features on their own are industry firsts per se, but how they are all incorporated into an extremely space-saving design using original 3D printed parts is the real novelty.
The A&C 150 includes an open volute needle wheel pump, a 3D printed needle wheel, pipeless water level adjustment, and a controllable DC motor enhanced with basic wireless speed control. Just by looking at the skimmer body it seems like it’s missing a lot of parts compared to a typical protein skimmer, but the use of 3D printed components has allowed Loginov to pack everything this skimmer needs to run properly.
The inlet and outlet are neatly separated within the base of the skimmer itself, while the water level adjustment plate is controlled by a simple twist of the lid, connected by a centrally mounted shaft but still removable. The adjustable water level together with the wireless needle wheel pump gives users very precise adjustment of the foam production which is capable of producing up to 600 liters of air per hour.
If there’s just one little detail we’d love to see experimented with is that since the needle wheel is 3D printed, why not experiment a little bit with the design? The needle wheel impeller used in this skimmer is fairly contemporary, and that very well might be the best design for a reason.
However we’ve always been interested in seeing more gridwheel style impellers that are only possible with 3D printing. And while he’s at it, Mr. Loginov ought to spend some of his creative energy on making a better air silencer, maybe one with successive chambers, spiral shaped noise reduction, or some other combination of baffles to completely eradicate the noise that the air draw creates.
The various features necessary to make an ideal, extremely optimized protein skimmer design really lends itself well to creativity and the imagination, and the A&C 150xxsQ is a tour de force of what is possible.