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View Full Version : Mtc MVX skimmer review


natas
09/19/2015, 04:36 PM
Not a full blown review but I figured I would post my thoughts on this skimmer.

First some background. I recently upgraded to a 255g tank. I banged my head over and over trying to find a skimmer to match my new system. I needed something strong so most of the options that I looked at were $800 or more. I came close many times to pulling the trigger. I finally posted on the forum asking for suggestions and one person told me to check out MTC and Lifereef. I called both companies and both had very knowledgable and friendly owners. They both explained that there skimmers are built to last a long time and are workhorses. I was also told that all the new skimmer designs out there are pretty much just marketing hype and do nothing revolutionary. Once I thought about it it sort of hit me like a truck. So I ended up going with the MTC MVX. Jeff sold me on it. Jeff explained how his is made a little bit different . I had him custom size it to be exactly 34 inches tall and with the quick disconnection option. Overall with pump it was cheaper than anything I was looking at.

I remember my first skimmer from 1998 and it was pretty much the same design and worked great. It also dawned on me that most of these newer skimmers use dedicated pumps or very expensive pumps that aren't easily found at local shops. Both MTC and Lifereef are a byop (bring your own pump...did I just create that term?). Both suggested the mag pump and for good reason (workhorse pump that you can find at most lfs). I however avoided this pump like a plague. I have owned many and living in Texas you want to do everything you can to eliminate heat. So I looked for alternatives and found the fluval Sp4. And I think it was a great choice. It matches up to the Mag 18 and puts out little heat. In fact temp did not change for me. I guess that dc pump running my smaller skimmer puts out the same heat.

Ok ok enough talk, how does it perform? Well it's awesome. It took 3 days to start skimming and it's getting better and better a week and a half into owning it. The Fluval pump and skimmer together are quiet and make a great combination. It also works really well with a CO2 scrubber.

I didn't do a fancy unboxing video because I was so excited to get it setup. However one thing I want to point out is that he sends it 99% assembled. You take it out, open the lid to grab out bubble wrap and extra nylon screws, cut some tubing to fit it to your pump and bam your done. You also have the option to run it externally. For those of you struggling to find a skimmer look no further. This thing will last way longer than most of the popular skimmers out there. Don't believe the hype of all the "revolutionary" new designs...

Here is a short video and please post questions if you have any.

http://youtu.be/WaNLUs38nP8

moondoggy4
09/19/2015, 07:02 PM
Nice review and video your skimmer is one of two that I am looking at for my tank.

natas
09/19/2015, 07:04 PM
Cool. Call Jeff and talk with him....really nice guy

metalmesh
09/19/2015, 08:42 PM
Natas,
I am curious about the "hype" of all the other designs. What exactly was Jeffrey referring to? Why are his designs "better" ?

ca1ore
09/19/2015, 08:56 PM
MTC make quality stuff. Been using their skimmers almost continuously since about 1998. BTW, take seriously their suggestion to frequently back flush the venturi as it clogs with salt quite easily (true for most venturi skimmers).

natas
09/19/2015, 10:01 PM
Natas,
I am curious about the "hype" of all the other designs. What exactly was Jeffrey referring to? Why are his designs "better" ?

Dc pump, needle wheels etc. most of the newer units are short and have less contact time. The design of MTC and Lifereef are much taller so you get more contact time. Although some of the newer skimmers look fancy they mostly are made with cheap parts and thin acrylic.

I laughed when I read about a recently released skimmer that was "revolutionary". Apparently a new way to control water level inside the skimmer with a cheap gate valve is revolutionary.

Joe Kelley
09/19/2015, 10:45 PM
Great review, look forward to hearing from you down the road after more run time. I had great success using MTC HSA1000 back in the day, excellent skimmer.
How many watts is your pump drawing? Does the collection cup have a quick disconnect?

Joe

natas
09/20/2015, 07:42 AM
The pump I believe is 80 watts. No quick disconnect on the drain but my collection resivoir has one ;)

Swim
09/22/2015, 04:03 PM
Nice review, natas. I have the same skimmer on a 40 gallon acclimation tank with a model 12 mag on it. The model 12 mag does add a few degrees to the tank but since the space is air conditioned it stays 78f or less so it's not really an issue. Another difference between our setups is that I have the thumb screw head on mine as I didn't need the zero clearance head since I'm not running under a stand. I have it next to the tank. When the timer shuts the skimmer off for a minute four times a day there is just enough water to flood the venturi and prevent any salt plug forming. I've been playing around with the water entering the skimmer to see what works better and as the picture shows I have the water shooting up at a slight angel that keeps the water spinning in the skimmer tube but I think may give me a little more contact time than having the water enter at a left to right angle. My skimate is very dark and almost blocks the flashlight from getting through the waste collector tube. Is that how your skimate is? I've added a few pics for you to compare with yours. It's a great little skimmer that I find easy to maintain.

http://s38.photobucket.com/user/xyzgallery/library/MVX%20Skimmer

natas
09/22/2015, 06:05 PM
My skimmate is lighter in color but this is because I have it running fairly wet. Right now my system has a fairly high nitrate and phosphate load so I am trying to get as much out as I can. I am adding biopellets later this week.

I may actually run the skimmer externally. Right now the spot has my chiller but I haven't had to run it in the new tank yet....and that's saying a lot for someone living in Texas and keeping the house 78-80 in the summer.

natas
09/23/2015, 07:49 AM
Swim,

How often do you clean the collection cup of your MVX? I know the owner at Lifereef said you only need to do it once a month. Jeff told me once a week would be best. Not sure why Lifereef says 1 month....can't see how there design is that much different to limit cleaning.

azjohnny
09/23/2015, 09:02 AM
MTC make quality stuff. Been using their skimmers almost continuously since about 1998. BTW, take seriously their suggestion to frequently back flush the venturi as it clogs with salt quite easily (true for most venturi skimmers).

Life Reef skimmers are the exception, they draw moisture from the collection cup and this keeps salt from building up

I do back flush my Life reef once a month with a cup of hot RO/DI water just incase

azjohnny
09/23/2015, 09:04 AM
Swim,

How often do you clean the collection cup of your MVX? I know the owner at Lifereef said you only need to do it once a month. Jeff told me once a week would be best. Not sure why Lifereef says 1 month....can't see how there design is that much different to limit cleaning.

Unless you have a neck cleaner I would clean the collection cup and neck 1x a week. its not hard to do and keeps the skimmer running at top efficiency

azjohnny
09/23/2015, 09:06 AM
If I didn't have a Life Reef skimmer I would buy a MTC. I am sold on venturi skimmers after running my share of Beckett and pinwheel skimmers

Swim
09/24/2015, 08:31 AM
Swim,

How often do you clean the collection cup of your MVX? I know the owner at Lifereef said you only need to do it once a month. Jeff told me once a week would be best. Not sure why Lifereef says 1 month....can't see how there design is that much different to limit cleaning.

I've normally been cleaning the head and dumping the waste collector once a week while doing other regular maintenance. It depends though if I've been stirring things up in the tank or introducing/removing things from the tank I might maintain the skimmer more often than once a week.

ca1ore
09/24/2015, 09:51 AM
Life Reef skimmers are the exception, they draw moisture from the collection cup and this keeps salt from building up.

Understood, but we weren't talking about the LifeReef :confused: It's relatively easy to modify any skimmer to draw in humid air BTW (I did it years ago on a DiY ventruri skimmer)

ca1ore
09/24/2015, 09:55 AM
Unless you have a neck cleaner I would clean the collection cup and neck 1x a week. its not hard to do and keeps the skimmer running at top efficiency

Yeah, keeping the neck clear of shmutz is important to simmer performance. The actual collection cup, or external collector, is irrelevant to performance - you empty it when it's full :)

GINNY
10/01/2015, 08:28 PM
I want to go from a 1/2'' mazzei to a 3/4''. So i can get more out of my skimmer.
Do you know which 3/4'' mazzei that is ?

Was going to buy a new skimmer. But i spent to much on my LED light. So i was thinking of trying to mod my old skimmer.

fashman
10/26/2015, 08:47 PM
hello

My experience is exactly what the first post entailed.

I used ETSS forever but they closed. Used the MTC 3000 and loved it.

I am so glad this new skimmer is available for all. DUMP THOSE BUBBLE CRAP PUMP DRIVEN SKIMMERS

bayoupr
11/23/2015, 05:28 PM
I want to go from a 1/2'' mazzei to a 3/4''. So i can get more out of my skimmer.
Do you know which 3/4'' mazzei that is ?

He uses the 684 Mazzei. I have a 36" MVX coming Friday and will see how the 684 runs compared to the 784 I have. Will be running this with a Panworld 50PX pump.

GINNY
11/25/2015, 06:07 PM
He uses the 684 Mazzei. I have a 36" MVX coming Friday and will see how the 684 runs compared to the 784 I have. Will be running this with a Panworld 50PX pump.

Let me know how it works out. They get to be pretty expensive to get up here.