Red Sea is seeing out a productive 2022 with news of two significant new product ranges – DC return pumps, and new DC-powered Self-Leveling protein skimmers. The DC return pumps represent the most obvious missing piece from the Powered-By-Red-Sea puzzle, but the Self Levelling Feature on the new Reefer DC Skimmers is something so unique, we’ve never seen anything like it before.
ReefRun DC Return Pumps
There’s a lot to take in on this surprise dual product launch, but let’s start with the return pumps. Named the ReefRun DC Pumps, Red Sea has unashamedly had them manufactured by Sicce for their proven quality and reliability in the field, and each one comes with a five-year warranty. They will come in three sizes with controllable flow rates of up to 5500, 7000, and 9000lph/1450, 1900, and 2500gph. Each one comes with a 10’ long power cable, a rotating outlet for ease of fitting to flexy hoses, and a rotating inlet to prevent air from being sucked in from the surface of the pump chamber.
Red Sea has taken its own route for the return pump’s control, however, building its own controller from the ground up and as you’d expect, fully integrating the pump into its own ReefBeat app. The first thing to note about the controller is that it’s a dual controller, meaning that it will control any two ReefRun DC pumps, including that in the skimmer (more on that in a moment,) but unlike most DC pumps available right now you purchase the pump and the required controller separately.
By way of the app, the ReefRun DC is fully controllable in terms of output and programs, and can of course be set to one continuous, reliable output or reduced/increased outputs at times of your choosing throughout the day. It will also send a notification if it becomes blocked or importantly if it runs dry. For the largest Red Sea tanks with dual outlets, two pumps can be run side by side for increased flow, but on one dual controller. You can also now hit Feed Mode inside the app and control all Red Sea wave pumps, DC return pumps, and the DC skimmer pump as you desire.
The new Reefer DC Skimmer
The piece de resistance in the ReefRun rollout though is the skimmer. The Reefer DC skimmer is an evolution of the existing AC pump-powered Reefer Skimmer, promising quieter performance from a more economical pump. The new DC skimmer pump is also made by Sicce, also proven and reliable but also now controllable via the Dual Controller and the ReefBeat app. That means if you’re investing in Red Sea from new you purchase one ReefRun DC pump, one Reefer DC skimmer, and one Dual Controller, saving money versus purchasing two DC controllers, and if you buy the three items together there’s a further saving when buying as a bundle.
The Reefer DC is exactly the same body as the existing AC model and comes just as before in the same three 300, 600, and 900 sizes. That means that existing AC Reefer owners will be able to purchase an upgrade kit to turn their AC Red Sea Skimmer into a ReefRun Family DC-powered, app-controllable skimmer without having to buy a whole new skimmer body. That’s a nice touch.
Now for the really new bit, the sensors. The Reefer DC Skimmer is fitted with not one but two unique sensors mounted inside the cup. The first is a full-cup sensor, something we have welcomed from other brands before but unlike every other float sensor which switches off the skimmer pump if the cup becomes full, Red Sea’s turns the DC pump down instead, preventing the cup from overfilling while still providing gaseous exchange from inside the skimmer body. It will also give you a notification that the skimmer is full.
Next though is the device we are most excited about, and the one that has the most positive implications for our tanks and the way that we skim them. The Reefer DC Skimmer also comes fitted with a self-leveling feature. This comes in the form of a sensor fitted in the lid that reaches down inside the center of the collection cup and tests how wet the foam is. Then using the controllable DC skimmer pump, it regulates the flow to get the optimum skimmate height, consistency, and air/water mix for that particular Reefer Skimmer model and holds it there 24 hours per day, autonomously, making incremental changes in regard to load and the surface tension of the water as and when they happen.
No more going haywire
In times gone by you could add a certain buffer or oily food and the skimmer would go haywire, overflow, jettison its collected skimmate back into the system, filling the cup with clean water, and spraying everywhere. You return from work or vacation and open the cabinet to find a dysfunctional, overflowing skimmer. That or one that may have float-switched off entirely days or weeks before.
With Red Sea’s new self-leveling feature however it should work to prevent such events, turning the pump down when the foam becomes erratic and then slowly building it back up to optimum again and returning to the point where it provides a consistent, collectible skimmate. If you neglected it entirely it should then fill the cup over time, cutting the flow down once more while sending you a notification that the cup needs emptying. It’s revolutionary.
The word Smart is overused in our industry but the Self Levelling Feature on Red Sea’s new Reefer DC Skimmer does appear to be the first genuinely smart feature we’ve ever seen in a protein skimmer. It’s not just on/off smart or notification/alarm smart, it’s self-regulating skimmate smart. So smart in fact that it’s Patent Pending. Red Sea fans will delight in the launch of the return pump, the new skimmer, and the upgrade path for the old skimmers, but you don’t need to own a Red Sea tank in order to enjoy either new device.
Reefer DC Skimmer 300, (excluding controller,) £349/$429/€400
Reefer DC Skimmer 600, (excluding controller,) £399/$529/€450
Reefer DC Skimmer 900, (excluding controller,) £509/$639/€570
Reefer Skimmer Upgrade Kit £179/$179/€199
ReefRun DC Pump 5500 (excluding controller,) £165/$199/€195
ReefRun DC Pump 7000 (excluding controller,) £215/$249/€275
ReefRun DC Pump 9000 (excluding controller,) £265/$299/€305
ReefRun Dual Controller £150/$150/€165
The ReefRun Family of products is expected to ship in early 2023.