The Alexloga A&C skimmers are a very interesting line of foam fractionators from Ukraine that are engineered to have a very small footprint but are also quite short compared to modern protein skimmer models. This ultra compact size is achieved by using an open volute needle wheel pump design and lots of 3D printed elements where it makes sense, including the bubble diffuser plate and the 3D printed grid-wheel impeller.
We had quite modest and restrained expectations of how the Alexloga skimmers would perform but we were blown away when we fired up the largest single pump model, the 300XXsql on our newly setup 400 gallon reef tank. We didn’t think that the A&C 300 would have much protein to skim on 400 gallons of newly mixed seawater but the best skimmers will still work on clean water, our salt mixes are not completely free of nutrients, and the Alexloga is right there with them producing thick, very dry foam within minutes.
The beating heart of the A&C 300 is a Jebao DCP-10000 which has revisited the open volute design that was once all the rage in the saltwater aquarium hobby, making for tricky access for maintenance but has a number of discrete advantages. For starters the open volute design enables the air and water contact to begin at the very bottom of the protein skimmer, starting with very vigorous centrifugal motion that is quickly slowed down through one of the finest bubble diffuser plates we’ve ever seen.
This very fine mesh of perforations of the 3D printed diffuser plate will quickly clog in all but the best filtered reef aquarium sumps but there’s no question that it instantly eliminates any semblance of turbulence and large bubbles never have a chance to disrupt the fine head of stable foam. Equally surprising is that the design of the A&C 300 eliminates any microbubbles from leaving the skimmer body and entering the sump so users can take full advantage of its protein skimming headroom.
Adding to the soup of innovative features the A&C 300 also uses a pipeless outflow design which is controlled by a side-mounted control knob. This knob connects to an outflow control ring located at the very base of the protein skimmer which is smooth on a brand new skimmer in a fresh new tank, but we have some concerns about how well it will be able to rotate once some biofouling has occurred inside.
We do love the performance of the Alexloga 300 protein skimmer but it’s going to be a real chore to give it a deep clean since you need to pull the entire skimmer out to access the bottom mounted screws and the overall assembly. For simple cleaning of the impeller there is a little bit of slack on the power cord to release the Jebao pump and clean the impeller, but for anything else, especially cleaning the outflow control ring you’re looking at removing the entire skimmer.
Priced at 19,200 Ukrainian Hryvnia or around $650 you probably can’t get more sheer protein skimming performance per dollar than the Alexloga & Co 300 from Eastern Europe. While the open volute and short body design does have some quirks, especially for long term maintenance and upkeep, what we care about the most is how well it works and based on the whipped cream that the A&C 300 has been pulling from our new 400 gallon reef tank before we’ve even started adding any fish or feeding it, we’ll be sticking with this unique protein skimmer for a little while.
We still have a few smaller models of A&C skimmers to try out but in the meantime you can see more about the A&C 300 and the tank on which we are using it in our latest video featuring the Hardline Acropora reef tank below.