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View Full Version : Bubble King double cone 180, 150 or mini 160?


stevomag
11/22/2016, 09:58 PM
Hi, I have a reefer 350 (approx 90 gallons). I am looking at eventually getting a new skimmer when I increase the amount of stock in the tank. my plans for the tank will result in a medium-high bio-load.

I am choosing between the double cone 150, 180 and mini 160.

Its really hard to choose as I like the idea of the 180 coming with the RD3 speed controller, and the fact that the RD3 pump is the most silent. But is it overkill for my size tank?

I have been swayed by the mini 160, for its small size, but i keep reading that the double cone is slightly better in skimmer performance, quieter and easier for maintenance.

I am not sure about getting the 150 as it will be at its limit in my tank.

I also may upgrade my tank size (not by more than 40 gallons) in the future which is another reason why I might go the 180.

Also how quiet are these skimmers? Is there any gurgling,humming,vibrating? Could you say they are dead silent? Silence is a big deciding factor for me! My current skimmer has a gurgling noise through the air tube which is very annoying, it also has vibrating/humming noise.

So thats my dilemma...

If you could please help me decide which skimmer to get that would be awesome!

Thanks!

slief
11/22/2016, 10:13 PM
You would be best with either the Double Cone 150 or the Mini 160. These skimmers are very conservately rated so you don't need to worry about the 150 being at the limits of your system. That would not be a concern. The Double Cone 180 is an absolutely terrific skimmer but it's fairly oversized for your display and unless you have an EXTREMELY heavy fish load, it won't be very consistent unless you run it really wet. When I say heavy load, I am talking about 1/2" of fish per display gallon which is an awful of of fish in such a small system.

Both the Mini 160 and the Double Cone 150 are great skimmers. I plan on running a Mini 160 on a 100 gallon display that I just setup. In my case, that decision is due in part to my really small skimmer compartment but in terms of performance, I don't feel that I am making a sacrafice. The Mini 160 is more of a set it and forget skimmer that happens to be a terrific skimmer. The Double Cone 150 is more sensitive and requires much more fine tuning to find the sweet spot. If you load changes in the display, you may find yourself having to adjust the skimmer but once fine tuned, they are beasts. With the Mini 160, you will only have to worry about getting the level in the skimmer dialed in via the wedge pipe and or sump level where as the Double Cone, you will need to adjust the volutes nozzle which requires very fine turns and allowing the skimmer to settle in for several hours between adjustments until you find the sweet spot for your system and load. Fine tuning can really only be done after the skimmer is completely broken in which takes about a week. If you are good at tuning skimmers and don't mind making daily adjustments over the course of a couple weeks, then the Double Cone is a worth consideration. The sweet spot can be anywhere between 1.5 and 5 turns on the nozzle depending on sump depth, salinity and the amount of dissolved organics in your system and a fraction of a turn can make a big difference. Every tank is different. In the end, both skimmers will perform the same task and do it VERY well. One just requires a bit more effort and futzing where as the other is more plug and play. The only downside to the Mini is the pump being inside the body which requires removing the skimmer from the sump and taking it apart to get the pump out for routine pump cleaning which should be done ever 4-5 months. The Double Cone has the pump outside the body which makes routine maintenance much easier.

stevomag
11/22/2016, 10:43 PM
Thanks for the fast reply,

Now I will definitely either go 160 or 150. I'm probably leaning towards the 160... in terms of quietness are the two pumps the same?

Thanks

slief
11/22/2016, 11:34 PM
Thanks for the fast reply,

Now I will definitely either go 160 or 150. I'm probably leaning towards the 160... in terms of quietness are the two pumps the same?

Thanks

Yep. Both share the Red Dragon pump. The volute and impeller is different on the Mini 160 but that's about it. Blocks are the same.

Jay Ellul
04/03/2017, 12:54 AM
sorry to hi jack thread

i have a DC150 on an 80 gallon SPS reef tank with medium fish load. Would a Mini160 be an upgrade? or should i just attempt to tune the DC150 better?

slief
04/03/2017, 09:39 AM
sorry to hi jack thread

i have a DC150 on an 80 gallon SPS reef tank with medium fish load. Would a Mini160 be an upgrade? or should i just attempt to tune the DC150 better?

Both are great skimmers. I prefer the external pump vs having the pump internal to the skimmer body on the Mini as it makes routine maintenance easier since you don't need to take the skimmer apart to clean the pump. I am not sure I would consider the the MBK 160 an upgrade. Kind of a horizontal switch. The MBK requires no fine tuning. More of a set it and forget it skimmer where as the Double Cone has the adjustable nozzle for proper tuning. The Double Cone 150 is about perfect sized for your display and the MBK would also be right at home with a display and load of that size.