Review: Vertex Alpha Protein Skimmer Review

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by leslie hempel, 30 Aug 2012.

  1. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Model being reviewed: Vertex Alpha 200 skimmer
    Claimed skimming capacity: 1200lt
    Air-draw capacity:

    Ok guys and girls
    So I got my hands on one of these puppies a little while ago and only recently got the opportunity to build a new sump to get it running.
    I have been asked a million times why pay so much for a skimmer such as this when there are other equivalents that will (“supposedly”) do just as good a job. Have a look on the following and perhaps you will understand why!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    My personal criterion for a skimmer seeing as it is my only form of “mechanical” filtration I felt I needed to put some good cash into it, and this is based on the following reasons:

    Skimmer body Construction
    This is a extremely well constructed skimmer out of acrylic not plastic which makes it compatable for use with Ozone, I was at first put off by the “cheap” look of certain components of the skimmer when I first saw it, sighting things like no union attaching the pump to the skimmer body but a piece of silicone pipe instead, upon further investigation I learnt simpler was better, and reaslised the extreme effort that has gone into making this skimmer vibration free and silent when in operation.
    [​IMG]

    Pump construction setting versatility and air-draw capacity
    The pump is the heart of any skimmer and without it being reliable and capable of working 24/7 effortlessly, the skimmer body is purely and ornament. I have always believed the pump to be 80% of the skimmers ability to perform, the body would perform to some extent either way, the combination of this body and pump are just a bonus!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Owing to Red Dragon being one of the more sought after pumps in the overseas market, I decided to give it a go, and I am extremely happy I did, the machining of the volute is precise and the design is very well thought out allowing a massive mix section to suck in air and versatility when wanting to set air-draw with the threaded pipe which screws into the volute section. The impellor is impressive and pin wheel in design adding to some of the finest bubbles I have ever seen produced.
    [​IMG]
    Operating Silence
    Is it really that silent? The answer is YES, you cannot hear this pump draw air, yet it pulls air like a beast, it is completely vibration free owing to the rubber grommets placed under the baseplate on both the skimmer and the pump to subdue any noise against the glass. It is fitted with a silencer on the venturi, and when I first switched it on I was amazed by the air-draw vs noise which was non existent.



    Metal Screws in saltwater????
    Ok so I was a little sceptical when I saw these screws, as I’m sure anyone who keeps a reef would be… upon further investigation I found that these were infact titanium and will have no ill effect on the system. Knowing this just makes me a little more confident of the overall quality of the skimmer and the thought that has gone into it and each of its components.
    Draw backs
    Practically none but one thing I found is the inner of the cup stained easier if not washed out frequently, I’m sure with the use of a little jik it could be restored to its white look again, but this is purely cosmetic and does not affect the skimmers performance in any way.
    Threaded neck instead of bayonet:
    I’m still a little undecided on this point. It’s also not necessarily a bad point and is a design feature implemented for extremely compact cabinets where lifting the skimmer cup can be a problem, but I feel it’s neither here nor there. It’s a bit of a mission to use with the Vectra fitted, as the cables do get in the way and twisted with the taking off and putting back on of the skimmer cup, perhaps considering a plug in instead of a fixed wire into the motor could be considered for ease of use in future??
    First impressions 1 to 20 minutes into operation!
    · Wow amazing?
    · Huh is it on?
    · It’s pulling air!
    · Ah it is on….
    · Its sooo quiet….
    · Impossible!
    · Pulling skimmate on the lowest setting without even being run in!
    · Happy..

    [​IMG]

    Added Extra:
    Something I decided to add to my skimmer is a Vectra skimmer neck cleaner.
    Again the parcel arrived and was fantastically packaged, I read up on the care instructions and got the tools to modify my existing skimmer lid to take the Vectra, if I may make a suggestion I would advise the Vertex boys to put a template in as an extra for those who want to modify their own lids to fit the Vectra, for those who don’t spare predrilled lids are available. Again Titanium screws were supplied.. Awesome…
    It took me about 30 minutes to drill and fix the Vectra and whala it’s on the lid and working.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    So what now and does it work
    Well on the Vectra I’m still manually switching it on for approx. 30 seconds morning and night but I intent to add a timer to automate this process, the instructions say not to let it run more than once for every 4 hours and its supposed to run for about a minute when it does.. Is it really necessary? Maybe not but for me I have always wanted one and I love this little gadget… I have also cut so many extras out of my system so I reckoned keeping my skimmer working at peak performance at all times was a must (as it should be anyway).



    Would I buy another one for a future set up?
    Definatley…… but owing to the quality of this one it should last me a lifetime

    For more info visit :
    http://www.vertexaquaristik.com/Products/ProteinSkimmers/InternalSkimmers/AlphaSeries/Alpha200.aspx
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 18 Jan 2017
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  3. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    What was the price if I may ask, beautiful skimmer! Les, does that cleaner affect the performance of the skimmer at all, doesn't all the "gunk" go back into the skimmer column and possible leave it too?

    I WANT ONE!!!!:1:
     
  4. OP
    leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I cant actually commment on price as i got an offer on a damaged unit, (the collection cup was cracked in transit). so took the chance to give the skimmer a go and will look into refurbishing the cup at a later date. but these skimmers are in the R8K - R10k range.

    As for the vectra neck cleaner, it definatley breaks the foam neck when i put it on, but my skimmer has only now started to pull dark extreemly smelly gunk, so if anything i would say the little muck dropped back into the skimmer from the wiper blade if far less critical in comparision to the amount collected due to less friction when trying to push the skimmate up the neck..

    i will post an update of the skimmate and monitor the skimmers consistence over the next few weeks...
     
  5. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    I wish the vertex team would bounce a few more of these and sell one to me!:whistling:
    Will be looking forward to the write ups you give, I love my skimz 201, but always feel that it could skim that little bit extra, you know what I mean?;)
     
  6. maj

    maj

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    great write up ,but where do u get these locally?
     
    Last edited: 30 Aug 2012
  7. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Don't vertex have agents here, I don't think you need to import them directly @maj.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  8. OP
    leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  9. OP
    leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i was actually very happy with my skimz, but i did find it took some time to bed in... in my case with playing with settings 3 months or so...

    The Vertex is still an infant... and running in.. so im optomistic that it will exceed its predecessor!
     
  10. OP
    leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    shot

    Try TSR in the sponsors section.. I think he does wholesale through out the country to various sponsors and non sponsors, so be on the look out at a store near you.
     
  11. mytank

    mytank

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    I have the same setup as you both the Skimmer and the cleaner are awesome. Best Vertex equipment of all the vertex equipment I have.
     
  12. Singularity

    Singularity Hmmm amper!

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    Skimmer is still a skimmer, competition is so close now, why pay double the price for a little better build quality, for something that will take shit out of water and will be sold again in a year or two. I can't see anything here to justify R10k.
     
  13. OP
    leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I felt the same way about a merc untill i drove one...;)
     
  14. OP
    leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    some more info...

     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Apr 2016
  15. Quintin

    Quintin

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    Also got myself one of the Vectra skimmer neck cleaners.
    But not that impressed with it.
    For the money you pay you would expect this thing to have its own built in timer or something....
     
  16. mytank

    mytank

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    You should have got the profilux....
     
  17. Quintin

    Quintin

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    Does it clean your skimmer?
     
  18. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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  19. mytank

    mytank

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    Powerbar - timer - no need for cheap k@k timers.... to run the Skimmer neck cleaner
     
  20. Quintin

    Quintin

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    Uhm, yea but waiting for the new Atari system to come out from Vertex.
    Gonna kick some Profilux butt big time.... :whistling:
     
  21. allan99

    allan99

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    Beautiful tank Les!

    Hi gents, my first post. Tankless at present but hoping to change that soon. Looking through the forum to get ideas.

    Leslie, your tank is awesome. Exactly the kind of size i'd love to setup.:p

    I've owned a marine tank (fish only) before but now id like to go the full reef.

    Powa forum! so much info and inspiration here.:thumbup:

    Cheers
    Al.
     
    Last edited: 21 Sep 2012
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