When companies aim to make a budget friendly or value conscious brand they often have to make a lot of compromises to get the total cost down in the final product but this trend doesn’t seem to apply to Maxspect’s Jump equipment including pump, lights, and especially the Jump protein skimmers. Nearly all foam fractionators have enjoyed steady improvements over the last three decades and although Maxspect has only been in the skimmer game for a few years, they’ve made some major refinements to their unique dual impeller powered protein skimmers.
Maxspect’s opening salvo was with the widely popular Aeraqua Duo, a fully fledged skimmer with every bell and whistle a skimmer could have (except for a neck cleaner) and they followed it up with a smaller more budget-friendly model under the Jump brand called the SK-400 in early 2020. As we suspected Maxspect worked to design a larger version of the Jump skimmer called the SK-800 first revealed later last year which we did a full hands-on with earlier this year but now it’s time for the full review and video.
As we discussed in our first impressions the Jump SK-800 skimmer is nearly identical in every way to the SK-400 except for the size, and the orientation of the dual inlets for the needle wheel pump. While the SK-400 has the inlets located at the corners of the square base, the SK-800 has them directly on the sides which means that you’ll need a little more clearance than the actual footprint of the skimmer to allow for water to be drawn inside.
The height of both models is nearly identical and only differs by an extra inch in the larger model although the reaction volume inside the SK-800 skimmer body is probably about double that of the SK-400. One small detail that everyday aquarists will never really notice is that the ratcheting mechanism has been beefed up with thicker, larger teeth in the SK-800 but you’ll likely never notice the difference in every day use.
At the heart of the Jump SK-800 is a 45 watt needle wheel version of the Maxspect Turbine Duo which has been enhanced with the use of the secondary needle ring to further chop up the air water mixture into the kind of fine foam which helps create a very stable overflow of skimmed proteins. The entire device from the pump to air intake is extremely silent and you almost have to look for the rising water level and air bubble to confirm that the pump is running and we go into much more detail in the video above.
It might sound a bit unusual to describe our experience with the Jump SK-800 as ‘unremarkable’ but we simply put the skimmer in the sump, turned it up to 100% and just let the creamy foam do its job and have emptied the cup once a week. With a suggested retail price of around $650 the new larger Jump skimmer is setting the bar for larger models of value protein skimmers intended for marine and reef tanks of 120 to 250 gallons (depending on bioload) and we hope to see these models reaching American shores in late Spring or early Summer.