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Old 07/21/2009, 01:03 PM   #1
herozero
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SWC Xtreme Hang on tank skimmer review

After months of convincing, begging, saving, and massive research, I upgraded the protein skimmer on my 40G aquarium. I replaced my Tunze 9002 with a Saltwater Connection's (SWC) Extreme Hang on Tank skimmer, purchased from Reef Filtration . Luke is a great guy to work with and was great in answering all my questions.

At the beginning of this summer I decided to replace my 9002, which was purchased in February. I didn't feel I was getting very good performance out of it. Dry skimming on the unit seemed useless as all the gunk would built-up in the neck and never spill over. Wet skimming gave me an overflowing collection cup full of clear water. The unit also sat in the "sump" section of my AIO tank, and it just didn't have the power to pull out the big gunk, which sits at the bottom and it just a cesspool of bacteria. Ironically the pump in the Tunze died the day I ordered the SWC and I've been happier with the old backup BakPak I put on in the interim. I have a primarily SPS dominated tank with 4 fish (2x clowns, Golden Tonga Blenny and a mandarin dragonnet) with a few LPS and a zoanthid rock (maybe my favorite part of the whole tank). I have a tailspot blenny and maybe a small school of chromis left on my fish list. When my mother purchased an Octopus BH-1000 for her tank and performed better than anything I've ever had, well I guess that would be the last straw.

After looking at a ton of Octopus hang ons, I narrowed it down to the 800s, and randomly found a link to the SWC. I decided on the SWC for two reasons: 1) bigger neck and 2) input and output design. The last thing I want to do on a new skimmer is mod it, and cutting off pinwheels or drilling holes in the skimmer body - which it seems everyone with an 800s has to do - was not very attractive. The SWC has a much larger neck (3"x5", essentially a 4" stretched SWC 160 neck) that eliminates the overflow story heard by EVERY 800s owner I've ever spoken with.

If you take a look at the input and output design of the SWC, it is just ingenious! The preskimmer can be adjusted up or down depending on your water level. The output bends into a bubble trap before entering the tank. Yes the part in the tank is white and we would all prefer black, but that just means more corals to purchase to cover it up . . .

The Deltec MCE600 fell out of favor, numerous reviews I found thought it was a good skimmer but not for the money. An ATB Multi use would be at the top of my list if I had $650 to blow. But for that price I would just buy a bigger tank with a sump and a SWC/MSX in-sump.

The phone just rang from my apartment intercom, is that the UPS man?


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Old 07/21/2009, 02:10 PM   #2
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Roxy the pitbull wanted in on the camera love. She left once we started paying attention to the tank and not her.


Collection cup is as wide as a Klennex box. This thing is beasty!


Twice as tall as the Klennex box length.


Very precise, the bubble plate doesn't touch a single side of the chamber when put on correctly. Make sure to attach the airhose before the bubble plate, otherwise it gets too crowded.


A great feature but one that can make me nervous, a bulkhead that allows you to drain the skimmer. It comes with a gate valve.


While laying slightly inclined to avoid breaking the valve at the bottom, it is easily as tall as a 5 gallon water jug.



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Old 07/21/2009, 02:12 PM   #3
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I couldn't let it just work itself out in a vinegar bath (plus it holds too much liquid!), so it is on the tank. I will wait for a day or two to check on it working itself out. Lots of bubbles in the chamber.


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Old 07/21/2009, 02:22 PM   #4
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Very nice, I love the dog, I have a 17 year old pit named pumpkin.

That skimmer is really big, certainly big enough for a 120 SPS system


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Old 07/21/2009, 02:24 PM   #5
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I never thought you could get away with an HOB with a 90+ gallon system, but you could easily do it with this.

Dog is a rescue, cute (and spoiled) as can be.


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Old 07/21/2009, 04:00 PM   #6
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Nice, cool looking HOB. I will be waiting for more reviews.


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Old 07/21/2009, 04:38 PM   #7
coryjac0b
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Best selection of reading material on the coffee table, fish and playboy.


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Old 07/21/2009, 04:40 PM   #8
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I saw that in the picture and was waiting for someone to chime in. I'll let you guess which one the fiancee reads


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Old 07/21/2009, 04:55 PM   #9
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lol great pictures cant wait for mine to be here. It is suppose to come Friday Until then let me know how it is doing.


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Old 07/21/2009, 06:12 PM   #10
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I'm still trying to figure out how to get the water level above the t connector on the return side. Simply adding water isn't doing it.



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Old 07/21/2009, 06:54 PM   #11
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Well you should hurry and figure it out so when I get mine you can just tell me how :P. Is it a siphon start?


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Old 07/21/2009, 07:05 PM   #12
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It is a siphon start. Works like a charm. I just filled it up and then started it. I have turned it on and off, no problems whatsoever. Just trying to get the water level up on that return side.


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Old 07/21/2009, 08:31 PM   #13
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Any bubbles going into the tank?


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Old 07/21/2009, 08:44 PM   #14
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Not many. I'm sure it is break in bubbles. I've been told that you don't want the water above the drain, it is for ER situations and the water level rises unexpectedly. I'll play with outlet plate and see if I can decrease it.


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Old 07/21/2009, 11:06 PM   #15
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The pump is really easy to get in and pit of the skimmer body. How often do put clean a sicce pump?


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Old 07/22/2009, 04:48 PM   #16
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Just over 24 hours, and it is breaking in nicely. Bubbles are rising to the top and the gunk is starting to show.


Bubbles are thick and creamy! The whole chamber is full and size is extremely consistent.


Micro-bubbles in the tank have dropped significantly and I have been playing around with the height of the outlet plate a bit too. I think this will break-in in under a week, this could easily handle a tank twice as big as mine without skipping a beat.

I can't say anything negative about it, with the exception of the drain valve. It hasn't failed nor do I think it will, it is something that just sits in the back of my mind for some reason: "I have a closed valve at the bottom of the skimmer chamber, I hope something out of this world hasn't happened and it opened." It isn't enough to stop me from telling anyone to buy it though.

Not a loud skimmer, but the top covers of the inlet and outlet chambers need to stay on, cuts down on noise a lot. Convenient wire holes in the corner for probes or heaters.

The thing rocks my socks off.


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Old 07/22/2009, 04:58 PM   #17
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Looks like an Octo 800s re make to me...

Whats the price?


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Old 07/22/2009, 05:00 PM   #18
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So many people know which one came first or didn't, I'm over trying to figure it out. Cost just over 300 USD. First post explains why I didn't go with the 800s, I haven't had a single cup overflow, bad siphon start or anything that lots of people seem to have with the 800s.


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Old 07/22/2009, 05:59 PM   #19
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I must be lucky, I bought one that was modded from a guy on here(CrashRat), I have never had any overflowing issues or siphon problems either. (knock on wood for that comment!) Best hang on skimmer bought to date for me!

It looks nice and the larger neck will work better, no doubt.

The sicce pumps are a beast! You will find that out shortly!

Enjoy! Happy Reefing!


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Old 07/22/2009, 06:03 PM   #20
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That thing looks pretty awesome!


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Old 07/22/2009, 07:55 PM   #21
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which one

Quote:
Originally posted by herozero
I saw that in the picture and was waiting for someone to chime in. I'll let you guess which one the fiancee reads
I would say Playboy until at least you get married LOL Nice review I guess that skimmer is out for my son's 33 gallon tank.


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Old 07/23/2009, 10:21 AM   #22
herozero
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Glad to hear! What mods came with it? The SWC definitely carries a price premium over the 800s. I'm glad you got a great unit though, brand is just a brand to me, it's gotta work or I couldn't care less who made it.

The sicce is absolutely a beast! So far everything has gone really well.

Quote:
Originally posted by Nereaga
I must be lucky, I bought one that was modded from a guy on here(CrashRat), I have never had any overflowing issues or siphon problems either. (knock on wood for that comment!) Best hang on skimmer bought to date for me!

It looks nice and the larger neck will work better, no doubt.

The sicce pumps are a beast! You will find that out shortly!

Enjoy! Happy Reefing!



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Old 07/23/2009, 10:30 AM   #23
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BTW, 33 hours in, no bubbles in the tank anymore from the return. Clear as can be.


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Old 07/23/2009, 10:36 AM   #24
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Re: which one

It's a lot to handle for my 40G! It might just suck up everything in your son's tank.

And I think even married she will enjoy a nice looking lady versus reading about growing plankton and rotifers

Quote:
Originally posted by moondoggy4
I would say Playboy until at least you get married LOL Nice review I guess that skimmer is out for my son's 33 gallon tank.



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Old 07/23/2009, 11:06 AM   #25
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Re: Re: which one

Quote:
Originally posted by herozero
.

And I think even married she will enjoy a nice looking lady versus reading about growing plankton and rotifers
I know I will.


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Current Tank Info: 48"x27"x14" Envision Acrylic rimless, 6x39w ATi Sunpower, Custom ATB Deluxe Skimmer, 4x tunze nano stream,ATB flowstar 1500, ACJR, Tunze osmolator.
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