View Full Version : My AQUA MAXX HOB-1 review

07/10/2010, 09:32 PM
Well I have had my tank up and running for about 2 years. It a 20 gall reef tank with a good size bio load. When I set up my tank the first skimmer i had was a euro-reef in tank skimmer, and it has been working very well. But the company has changed manes, lots of problems with the mesh wheel. And I am running out of room in the tank and hate looking at some skimmer hanging in my tank :mad: . So I have looked at all the skimmer that are out there (also I have no sump). And for the money the WM skimmers looked like the one i was going to get. But by the time I got around to getting one WM was no longer distributing them :fun5: . And I spent a LOT of time looking into this and was very upset. Well I started looking and came across THIS :rollface:


Well well. aqua maxx has a skimmer that is very close to the same thing as the WM skimmer. I was told about this skimmer by the people at WM (cool people in my book) It comes with a very nice sicce pump. A little bit nicer than the WM pump. I know they are all made by the same people JNS from china. But the 2 are a little different. The WM H1 and H2 have a round tube in the skimmer box and the collection cup is round, The aquamaxx is all square. I have read a lot on skimmer and a round reaction chamber is more efficient. But the aqua maxx has the nicer pump. I just placed the order today so ill keep you all updated with pics when I get the skimmer next week

07/13/2010, 01:43 PM
Look forward to see how it goes!

07/13/2010, 08:55 PM
I should get the skimmer thursday

07/15/2010, 08:27 PM
Ok I got the skimmer tonight, and its very well built. (if warner marine was still making HOB skimmers this would be the newest one out. I only say this so you can get an idea of the build quality, (and it is manufactured by the same people who made the WM HOB skimmers.) I got a few pics of it to give you all an idea.

marinedepot.com is the only one selling them at this time (I think) and it was boxed very vell

For me one of the few selling points that made me get this skimmer. 1 no longer in the tank and 2 On of the few things that i was a little worried about when it came to the HOB skimmer was the chance of the skimmer over flowing. With this skimmer it cant take place because of a little drain in the cup that drains it back into the skimmer


Its still breaking in but this is a shot of it running. And right from the starts no bubbles in the tank. I am very happy with the skimmer and cant weight to see it start skimming.


07/16/2010, 05:17 AM
I know it will be hard to see because of the blue tint and the way the skimmer is positioned on your tank... but could u snap a shot of the bubbles in the chamber?

07/16/2010, 07:53 AM
I'll try when I get home today. The pic above was also taken with just the night time lights on. But I can say the skimmer is milkie white and right from the start there were no bubbles getting back into the tank, I was verry happy with that

Sugar Magnolia
07/16/2010, 08:59 AM
Nice looking little skimmer. How much did it cost?

07/16/2010, 09:09 AM
Right around $180 they are 10% of at marine depot right now

07/17/2010, 12:04 PM
Well I moved some things around so I could try to get some better pics of the skimmer


So far the skimmer is breaking in nicely. The only thing that i am having an issue with is the water level in the skimmer. It keeps going up and down, So at this time I have not been able to adjust the cup to a correct hight. I think it will calm down in a few days as it breaks in.

07/17/2010, 12:18 PM
It might go u and down because the water level in your tank is not constant.

07/17/2010, 12:38 PM
I have an ato unit on the tank so it stays level

07/17/2010, 01:50 PM
Hopefully it just needs to break in

07/18/2010, 07:33 AM
How's it breaking in?

...I have one arriving on Friday

07/18/2010, 01:06 PM
The foam head is very thick. But the water level is still moving around in the skimmer more than I would like, but is getting better each day. I looked at the instruction and found that Im going to have to drop the water level in the tank a little (per the instruction ) but I am very confident that once I get the water level problem worked out this thing should skimme very well

07/18/2010, 06:34 PM
OK!!! I think I have fixed the water level problem by removing the second "L" pipe from the return. I think it was just causing some kinda back presure by trapping air bubbles I the L section and then when enough built up it would pop and the water flow would increase, and in turn cause the water level to drop in the skimmer. It might have stopped by itself as it broke in. Im still very happy with the skimmer. I should get a skimate pic in a day or 2 if all goes well. The neck of the cup gets real dirty in about 3-5 hours, so after everything settles down this should be one awesome skimmer.

07/18/2010, 06:43 PM
Not a true skimate pic but this cup was cleaned about 5 hours ago so it should give a little idea on how well this thing skims

07/19/2010, 09:46 AM
How's the noise level? I had an H1 I bought earlier this year from WM and it was terribly loud.

07/19/2010, 12:20 PM
neal90: How big is your tank?

07/19/2010, 12:28 PM
It's in a 20 gal tank and it make little to no sound. The pump is suspended in the water and has nothing to vibrate on.

07/19/2010, 12:30 PM
What's your stock list?

07/19/2010, 05:45 PM
Lots of corals 20+ and 3 fish all bout the size of a royal grama

07/24/2010, 08:17 AM
How's it working out?

07/24/2010, 10:13 AM
It's nice a stable now and working verry well. The akimmatr is a little on the light side so every few days I raise the cup up just a little

07/24/2010, 03:39 PM
Reeferon have you got yours eyat??? And is so how are you liking the new skimmer

07/24/2010, 03:44 PM
i ordered it from MD. It's on back order. They told me they should be shipping it out on tuesday.

07/24/2010, 03:54 PM
I was told about this skimmer by the people at WM (cool people in my book) It comes with a very nice sicce pump. A little bit nicer than the WM pump.
Thats because they are two different skimmers .The new models have the new sicce pumps.

These are JNS skimmer that are relabeled as aquamaxx/WM.

How is the skimmer performing neal 90?

More info on these skimmers

07/24/2010, 07:00 PM
Thats because they are two different skimmers .The new models have the new sicce pumps.

These are JNS skimmer that are relabeled as aquamaxx/WM.

How is the skimmer performing neal 90?

More info on these skimmers

Read page 1

07/31/2010, 08:30 PM
HOw much room does it take up in your tank? Can you post a shot looking at the tank?

08/03/2010, 07:11 PM
Hi everyone. I too just got my aquamaxx HOB 1. I looked for a while before purchasing it and I think this is the best bang for the buck. I live in an apt. so the fact it has a very good overflow system to protect my carpet is a big plus.... Which leads me to why I'm writing this.

I need some help.

Its been up and running for about 24 hours.
This is my first skimmer so forgive me if I sound stupid.

Like neal90 my water level isn't staying consistant and my cup is filling with water. The overflow releaf drain works great and doesn't overflow, but I gotta find a way to stop this from overflowing everytime I put the cup in the water.

Any ideas? Should I just wait a bit for it to brake and see what happens?

I have a 55 gallon with about 25 lbs of live rock and 1 damsel. The tank is relativaly new and I'm taking my time before add alot of livestock. My next step is to buy another 20lbs or so of live rock and then start adding fish.

Given what I have in the tank is it normal to not have alot of skimmate at this time?
I will admit the tank does look alot clearer and the film that used to be on the top of the water is now gone.

08/03/2010, 07:40 PM
The drain needs to be be a little out of the water so it wont siphon back in( I just turned mine to the side and is about a 1/3 of the way out ). And raise the cup as far you can. Mine took about 3-5 day to really break in.

08/04/2010, 08:39 AM
Nog shots please.

08/04/2010, 09:13 AM
Did you wash the parts with hot water before putting it on your tank? That will help it break in faster. Got mine yesterday afternoon and it's already starting to produce foam. Like others have said, adjust the drain output so it's not completely submerged so the air bubbles can escape which will keep the water level relatively constant.

Mine did arrive with the strainer broken off of the intake tube. I've super glued it back on, but am hoping Aquamaxx comes through and sends me a non-jerry rigged intake/strainer tube. No word yet.

Having purchased and returned the newer WM H-1, I will say that this is an improvement as far as noise (pump is silent) and ease of assembly/maintenance goes. Some people will argue that the cylindrical reaction chamber of the H-1 was better, but overall I can live with the HOB-1w, especially with the addition of the drain tube which has already proved its worth while the skimmer was adjusting yesterday.

So far, I'm very happy with the skimmer. Now just have to see how there support measures up.

08/06/2010, 11:20 PM
I received my HOB skimmer from Marine Depot around the same time as some of you and had the back order issue as well. I am new to Marine aquariums as I mostly kept a lot of freshwater tanks before. I got my skimmer and put it together, mounted it on the tank and fired it up. ( I didn't use the hot water cleaning method as it was mentioned last in the instructions...yeah I know, I should have read them through first.) Anyhow, it has been running about a week now. I find it impossible to raise the cup high enough to just get foam, it is constantly filled with water which then drains out constantly and creates a lot of micro bubbles in the tank. Plus, of course with all the foam going back into the unit it is hardly doing a great job of skimming anything.

There appears to be very little if any customer support unless you want to wait for a call back.

I love the way this thing looks and sounds, or rather, doesn't sound at all. I just wish I could get the cup level right.

I should also mention that it fills with water even at the very highest level and then it is too heavy for the rubber o-ring so it slips down and then I get aquarium water everywhere. I have had it few over a week now and I don't think it should still be "breaking in". The only way I have made it manageable is to crimp the air hose so that only a little air gets through, and it still shoots the bubbles up so fast that you cannot keep them just at the top of the tube in the cup. (That is where they need to be right? Foaming and bursting just over the lip of the tube in the cup?)

I am a newbie of the purest form and maybe I have made some obvious errors here, but I think it should be working without all this fuss. Anyone have the time to smack me and tell me what I am doing wrong?:hmm5:

08/06/2010, 11:34 PM
Turn the drain to the left or right so that its about 1/2 out of the water to get rid of the back pressure. And if you have ben putting any additives in the tank stop adding.

08/08/2010, 08:57 AM

08/08/2010, 10:05 AM
I've had it running for about a week and i have to say that its a pretty good skimmer.

It's to Deltec HOB, but I would compare its performance to a Tunze nano doc.

08/08/2010, 10:51 AM
I'm not sure how well the deltec skimmers work but after about a month of skimming this thing is one of the best hob or in tank skimmers I have used. The cup fills up about 1/2 way every 2-3 days and it's nice and dark. It skimms way better than my euro-reef did

08/08/2010, 11:59 AM
**It's no Deltec...

08/08/2010, 12:08 PM
but I would compare its performance to a Tunze nano doc.

well that aint saying much. Hopefully its able to handle a little more bioload than a 9002.

08/08/2010, 12:14 PM
it does done say something if you know the skimmer

08/08/2010, 01:09 PM
I am in market for hob and almost every person who has used a mce600 said it doesn't compare to newer hob skimmers out there today including sro swc wm. Not to mention German price tag. I don't have time to go and link all of these first hand opinions but seems to be consensus out there in hob skimmer-world from my research.

Can somebody post some dry not shots with this skimmer?

08/08/2010, 01:09 PM
I am in market for hob and almost every person who has used a mce600 said it doesn't compare to newer hob skimmers out there today including sro swc wm. Not to mention German price tag. I don't have time to go and link all of these first hand opinions but seems to be consensus out there in hob skimmer-world from my research.

Can somebody post some dry not shots with this skimmer?

02/05/2011, 02:11 AM
can someone with the skimmer help me measure a few things??

1) distance from bracket (to hang on the tank) to the bottom of the skimmer - i am trying to determine minimum tank height needed

2) width (front to back) of the skimmer body? i have 4 inches due to space constraints, i cannot make the gap larger

3) max tank lip width - so i guess what is the max width the bracket (holding skimmer to the tank) can support?


03/26/2011, 02:12 PM
Thinking about getting this skimmer. Can someone who owns it give a long term review?

03/30/2011, 05:32 PM
I received my Aquamaxx HOB about a month ago, and I am having problems tuning it. This is my first skimmer, but I have read a lot of reviews and suggestions for set up. My skimmer does not consistently remove waste for the tank. Certain times of the day it will bubble like crazy and my cup will be overflowing in less then 8 hrs, and other times the bubbles will drop below the bottom of the cup so there is no skimming at all. Maybe this is normal, but from what I have seen and read it doesn't seem to be.

Any advice would be appreciated.

03/30/2011, 06:37 PM
Sometimes the skimmer's "foam head" will break, like you poured a fresh beer and put your finger in the foam.

Other times, it will consistently produce foam. That is normal and the skimmer's foam head will come and go; e.g. after you feed the tank with a fine particulate food, like cyclops, the foam head usually will disappear for a few minutes to an hour.

03/30/2011, 07:32 PM
Well mine mainly runs at night. When I go to bed it will be empty and by the time I get up it's usually full. But then it can go all day without hardly any skimmate

04/21/2011, 04:03 PM
I'm considering this skimmer as well but I am concerened about the difficulty some users are having with getting a consistent water level due to the drain fitting on this model.

Can the drain be adjusted apporpriately to a tank water level, or does the tanks water level need to be adjusted to the imovable drain? If it's the later it is a problem for me as my setup where this skimmer would go doesn't have much room to adjust the water level.

I haven't been able to get a clear idea about how to adjust the water level appropriately with the drain on this unit, though the impression i've got this far is that the tanks water level needs to be adjusted.

04/21/2011, 04:18 PM
From what they say, the drain fitting now has a T on the end to combat microbubbles, and the official update supposedly says that to stabilize the water level, have the drain sitting partially out of the water with the drain tube at an angle.

This is similar to the CPR Backpak style drain fitting.

04/21/2011, 04:52 PM
Thanks for the info. This will most likely work for me, though I will need to consider modding that drain configuration to perhaps be shorter so that running it an angle will not run into issues with my side panel.

I had read the samething about the T fitting, but the latest image on the manufactures website doesn't show it.

04/21/2011, 05:36 PM
There must be a thread somewhere that reviews, definitively, all the HOB skimmers. My only issue with them is that they're really boxy, and take up a lot of space on the back of the tank.

Aren't there any HOB skimmers beside the Seaclone that are cylindrical?

04/21/2011, 06:01 PM
I just got this skimmer a few days ago seems to be working ok but not as good as others I have seen on here. My main problem with it is I cant seem to stop it from making micobubbles no matter if the outlet is all the way or half way out the water I still have the whole tank filled with bubbles. If anyone can help I would appreciated

04/21/2011, 06:34 PM
This is not good. It seems like almost everyone has an issue with this skimmer. I saw a video on youtube about it, and the guy was showing skimmate shots, it looked pale like Bud Light!

04/27/2011, 04:44 PM
Now that its been running around a week it is skimming pretty good but still have a problem with microbubbles. Does anyone else have this problem?

RG Rude
05/16/2011, 02:03 PM
I bought the Aquamaxx HOB about two months ago. Worked great. I do get bubbles from time to time. Don't know what to say, but it doesn't bother me. All of a sudden the skimmer started overflowing out of the collection cup last night. Thank goodness I just left the collection cup overflow elbow draining back into the skimmer. I fooled with the unit for an hour and couldn't figure out the problem. I had not done a water change in two months or so. I usually do them bi weekly. I did a water change as someone else suggested. Problem solved. I don't know why that worked, but it did.

05/17/2011, 06:24 AM
I've had mine fore about 6 months. I still have micro bubbles and it won't consistently skim. This skimmer is exceptionally sensitive to changes in water level. Although the quality of construction is great the design is flawed. I would not buy it again.

05/26/2011, 10:11 AM
I have zero issues with microbubbles. Have an ATO so water level is a non-issue. I do know that the pump air intake just inside the pump where the air hose attaches to the pump needs to be cleaned regularly due to build up that restricts air flow and reduces skimming power.

10/31/2011, 10:20 PM
I am considering getting one. Any update?

11/01/2011, 09:44 AM
It's still a solid skimmer for the price.

12/23/2011, 01:41 AM
I'm not sure if you would call me a noob or just a old salt that has stopped and let the hobby pass him by, (last reef tank was in 1993, and followed just about everything that Theil said, and ran just about every theil aqua tech device on the market on my 300gal reef tank), however, this skimmer is nothing like what I "used to use" which was a 6" diameter tube about 60" high running 1000gph feed into it at the bottom with a piston pump and 3 wood air stones (regardless to say, my sump could barley hold this during a power outage), anyways sorry to ramble, I got this skimmer because the input/output just fit perfect onto my jbj led 28g, input tube fits right into the OEM "skimmer area" with the output dropping right into the left side pump column, I didn't have any issues setting it up or "tuning it", for the first couple of hours I had to run the collection cup as high as I could, and it did fill with water, but the overflow design allowed it to fall right back into the skimmer. Over the next couple of hours, you could see it starting to do what it is supposed to do, and by the 4th hour, I was able to push the collection "box" down into the main chamber with the o-ring about 1" high on the collection box. Luckily, no excessive bubbles are injected into the system (I do have the T fitting on the output), and as far as water level goes, I've yet to see that really effect the unit as well, I can literary change the water level in my nano by running both sump pumps at once or staggered, and it will lower/raise the tank level 1/4 of a inch, which doesn't seem to affect the unit, that's at least someones gnarly evaporation right?

I didnt wash mine in warm water, I did nothing more than pour natural saltwater into the unit and swish it around to try to remove dust that might have settled. Nothing more, nothing less. Maybe the manufacture has changed procedures post assembly and its not as "oily" or whatever it was in its infancy? Anyways, just providing my experience to attempt to assist others, It was a costly gamble to order and hope it would fit in my all-in-one compartments, sure, if someone I knew had one, or my LFS has one in stock, I could see, but that wasn't the case, so just posting that it fits perfect.

12/26/2011, 10:57 PM
I have one. It worked good for a couple of months, then it quit making skimate. I cleaned the pump and it worked 2 more weeks. I would not buy it again. :(

04/04/2012, 02:41 PM
I have 2 of these so I'll chime in. I love these things. I have had experience with other HOB skimmers and they are all crap compared to the Aquamaxx. This skimmer makes the HOB concept very workable. It is extremely well made, completely silent, and works like a champ. I started out with a 29 gallon system and moved up to a 40 gallon. Was plenty effective for both. Then I upgraded to a 90 gallon and so I bought a 2nd Aquamaxx. Heavily stocked with fish, soft corals, shallow sand bed. I have no sump or refugium. I just use about 120lbs of live rock, circulation pumps, a HOB mechanical filter with carbon and the 2 HOB skimmers. It's not your typical setup but I never have an issue with water quality.

Be aware:
1. clean it really good out of the box with vinegar or you will greatly increase break-in time.

2. When you first get it, it will overflow constantly for about a week. Even with cleaning it good it will take a good month before running at peak efficiency. I don't know why but this was the case with both of mine.

3. I had to use "All purpose PVC cement" for the intake pipes so that it wouldn't suck air and produce micro bubbles.

04/04/2012, 04:05 PM
Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes! It's true!! :lol:

04/04/2012, 04:16 PM
Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes! It's true!! :lol:

Ha, wasn't sure if anyone got the reference.

05/03/2012, 06:13 PM
3. I had to use "All purpose PVC cement" for the intake pipes so that it wouldn't suck air and produce micro bubbles.

I am thinking of getting one of these to replace a noisey bubbling SWC HoT I have. WOuld you be able to elaborate on where you had to glue to stop the leaks?

05/04/2012, 07:17 AM
PVC cement is not really glue. It is a cement that causes a chemical reaction that will melt the plastic of two pieces together. You can get it at home depot and it is very easy to use.

On the skimmer there is an intake tube that is made up of several pieces of tubing and elbows (one side goes in the tank, the other in the skimmer pump). At first I had no problem with micro bubbles but after awhile the joints in the inlet tubing began to suck in air. I just cemented the joints where I could see air bubbles. Never had a problem after that. The second one that I bought I have not had to cement the joints. If it starts pulling air in, then I'll do it.

05/04/2012, 10:31 AM
Thanks, skimmer ordered, hopefully have it by next weekend.

05/23/2012, 08:34 AM
Here is another tip to owning an Aquamaxx HOB but is probably true of any skimmer:

I noticed that my older Aquamaxx had less bubble production than my newer one. I have been cleaning it about every 3-4 months but it did not seem to help. This last time I cleaned it, I took the pump out and let it run for 2 days in a bucket of 50% white vinegar. When I put it back in, it runs like new. I would say this should be done about every six months, maybe more depending on how dirty your tank is.

I know this is standard practice but I was really surprised how much it really helps. If I didn't have another newer one to compare it to, I would have forgotten how good it used to be.

10/26/2014, 08:04 PM
I know this is an old post and i hope someone will still reply, but what is the body depth of this skimmer in cm? so the depth of the part that sits outside the tank?

10/28/2014, 09:10 AM
I know this is an old post and i hope someone will still reply, but what is the body depth of this skimmer in cm? so the depth of the part that sits outside the tank?

It hangs down 11" from the top of the tank. So 27.94 cm.

It sticks out 3.5" from the back of the tank. So 8.89 cm.

05/06/2015, 06:43 AM
I currently own this kind of skimmer as well. Im happy with it. im using it on cad lights 34g mini ii need very small tweak though, u need to run some Teflon tape at the bottom of the collection cup, half part the tape on the side of cup and other half at the bottom of the cup sealing it preventing some bubbles sipping up on all four sides. i have this skimmer since 2/15.

05/08/2015, 11:10 AM
Any of you running one of these on a tank closer to 46 gallons? Thinking of doing a 46 bow w/o a sump.

05/08/2015, 12:37 PM
Any of you running one of these on a tank closer to 46 gallons? Thinking of doing a 46 bow w/o a sump.

I have this on my 45g. Can't be any happier

05/08/2015, 08:33 PM
I have this on my 45g. Can't be any happier

Awesome! I've been trying to decide between the Reef Octupus HB 90 and the Aquamaxx.

Sorry to hijack.

05/09/2015, 05:58 AM
I have had the same Aquamaxx hob for nearly 5 years now on a 40 breeder, absolutely love it.

05/09/2015, 07:43 AM
Been running the Hob for 3 months with no problems. I love this skimmer, just remember to keep the air line clean. The salt build up at the bottom of the line WILL cause micro bubbles. I also purchased the bubble stopper, not sure if I needed it, but seems to work good.

09/11/2016, 09:36 AM
hi i just purchased a aquamaxx hob-1 got home installed it and a hour later found the skimmer on the floor the handle that hold on to the tank snapped off ... eny ways i was lucky to be able to return it since it only been 2 hours that i both it .... got home installed it again made a stand for it im not taking eny chances ... now i know skimmers have to be broken in but this is stupid let me explain ... it started with the over flowing with i controlled by rubbing a little olive oil on the tip where the bubbles come out of but that only good for a few hours then there the micro bubble that fill my tank up and freaks out my fish and anenamme so i got some cotton like fiber stuff guy at the pet shop said it would help so i stuffed some in the second chamber where the return is left side worked great!! for 24h .... then same thing plus the rubber ring that hold the receiving cup doesint keep the bubbles in for **** always leaking and i need to shut it off need help pls !!