A PROMISING LINE OF SKIMMERS FROM
By James Gasta
Among the many progresses in the Marine
Aquaria hobby in recent years, the use of protein skimmers was,
by far, one of the greatest milestones in maintaining salt water
aquarium animals. Organic compounds, being bipolar in nature, provide
an opportunity for waste extraction via injection of air into the
skimmer body which served the dual function of extraction of these
compounds while aerating the water. Since their inception, there has
been much advancement in the design and functionality of protein
skimming. The Vertex IN-Series Skimmers utilize those technologies in
the most effective way, while offering you the best value for your
investment. The Vertex IN-100 will be the subject of this
review. It is designed for aquariums of up to 100 gallons.
The remaining three models are the IN-80, IN-180, and the IN-250.
The numbers indicating the size tank which they will handle.
skimmer dimensions are 20 high and 6 in diameter and has a footprint of
8 by 10. The unit comes packaged with a Resun pump providing an
output of 550gph while only drawing 40 watts of power. The
rotor/impeller assembly uses a shaft made from highly polished
zirconium which offers a very low friction level between rotor and
shaft. The venturi design is unique in that the venturi chamber
is mounted separately to the intake of the pump and the provided
silicone air line is attached to this housing. Below are pictures
of the components that make up the skimmer.
One of the cons of the manual is that there are no
exploded or line view drawings of the components as to how they are
installed. I had to go on-line and get a picture of the unit to
help out with assembly. Other than that, assembly went
smoothly. Proline Aquatics is the U.S. distributor of the Vertex
line and they tell me this problem is in the process of being
I then installed the assembled unit into the sump and
fired it up. Before plugging the unit in make sure the flow
adjustment tube is at the open position. To their credit, Vertex
does place decals on the tube to indicate position. Once running,
you can then turn the tube toward the closed position to raise the
water level in the skimmer. I set the water level at about three
inches from the top of the riser tube. Lowering the water level
will produce a dryer foam but I found leaving it at the initial setting
provided the best results.
From a maintenance standpoint this skimmer is by far
the easiest I have had to maintain. The riser tube is part of the
collection cup, so when you remove the cup to empty, you can
clean both the cup and the reaction chamber at the same time. The
hole in the skimmer body is large enough where I could put my hand in,
making cleaning of the inside of the tapered top very easy.
After about 30 hours of running, the skimmer began
producing skim mate.
My only problem with the skimmer was excessive pump
noise. After contacting Premium Aquatics regarding this, I was
told there were a few defective (warped) rotor/impeller assemblies that
got into the market and was promptly sent a new assembly. Once
that was replaced, the unit was virtually silent.
The pictures below show the skimmer after initial
start up, and after one week.
Outperforms any other skimmer Ive used in this price
range ($200.00) and some that are priced much higher than this.
Easy to clean and service. No hoses, clamps,
etc. to remove in order to remove and clean pump.
Impeller shaft made from highly polished
Large collection cup.
Enormous amount of bubbles produced by the uniquely
designed venturi housing.
One of the best-designed skimmers I have seen and
workmanship is second to none.
Sensitive to water level in sump, but most skimmers
operating on this principle are. Sump level should be checked
daily. The skimmer needs a water level of 6 to 8 inches for
efficient operation. I put low and high stickers on my sump to
Poor instruction manual but this is being
To sum it up, I have been very pleased with this unit
and can highly recommend it to others. The customer service
provided by both Premium Aquatics and the distributor, Proline Aquatics
Vertex website upcoming at www.vertexaquaristik.com
Premium Aquatics: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.premiumaquatics.com
Proline Aquatics: email@example.com
Web site: www.prolineaquatics.com
Proline Aquatics is a distributor only.
Protein Skimmers/Selection 12/26/09
I see you posted a message from Jeremy of Premium Aquatics regarding
the new line of Vertex skimmers.
Jeremy indicated the Vertex run circles around a Euro reef.
I have a Euro Reef 80 on a 75 gallon with 20 sump, 7 fish, the largest
being a Coral Beauty.
Would the Vertex be an upgrade? By what %, and is it quieter?
<I personally use the Vertex IN100 on my 80 long and I feel it is
one of the best skimmers out there for the money. It is one of the
quieter skimmers I've used and I especially like the way it
assembles/disassembles for cleaning.....very convenient. As being an
upgrade, you may want to contact Jeremy yourself, as they test every
skimmer they sell, and in that regard, he could give you a more
accurate "side by side" than I. I have no user experience
with Euro Reef skimmers to give a fair evaluation/comparison.
You can contact him here and feel free to mention my name if you
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Vertex Ad 2/11/09
A while back, Albert Dao asked me if he could use some content of the
Vertex review for an ad he is going to place in a catalog. I told him I
had no problem with him doing so as no one has any rights to it. Today
he sent me a draft of the ad and I thought I'd better get an OK
from you as your site name appears in the ad. I emailed Albert and
asked him to hold off submitting this until you have a chance to view
it and respond. The email and attachment is below. Albert Dao is the
head cheese of Proline Aquatics, a distributor for Vertex and other
brands of aquarium products.
<I see the ad, and am mighty fine with it, and your being associated
with WWM. BobF>
Re: Vertex Ad 2/11/09
Thanks James, but I'm not the head cheese, just manager of
In any case, again I'd like to thank you for writing the review and
giving me permission to use your name. I'd also like to extend this
to Bob and the rest of the WWM crew as well.
Will forward this to Bob and the crew.
<<Thank you for your efforts Albert. Bob Fenner>>
Vertex IN 100 Skimmer/FYI 2/4/09
Have been running this skimmer now well past the break-in
period. Just to attest to it's performance, the
collection cup was emptied 24 hours ago. Keep in mind
that the collection cup diameter is 6 1/2 inches.
Mail... Vertex... input... set-up/skimmers in sumps
JamesG/BobF/ScottV... 2/2/09 Bob, In regards to: Re:
Skimmer - Vertex IN80I've read on WWM the head height should be
about 1" below the junction where the collection cup goes in (I
think it was a EuroReef reference, which looks very similar to the
Vertex). Can you verify? I realize it's not an exact science, just
trying to get a ball park since I'm new at this. <That is the
ball park, yes, a good place to start.> Much too high a water level
for the Vertex IN80. With the IN100 which I use, the suggested water
level measures close to 71/2", leaving another 7" of open air
between the water surface and the collection cup junction. Wondering if
he read the manual, it does state the recommended water level. J
<James... why send this to me here? Please just use the WWM
webmail... as this will be sent there for posting. B> <<James,
this fellow is referring to the water level inside the skimmer, not the
water level around the skimmer in the sump. The manual has been read. I
mean a sump level at the collection cup union would be an absurdly high
level for most every sump. Scott V.>> Agreed, and is why I
mistakenly defined head height as water height in the sump. I have the
IN 100, and am very familiar with it's operation. James
Vertex Skimmer Review/Photo Problem 3/18/09
I see the review has been placed in the "new articles and
FAQ's" section of the homepage. None of the photos in the
review appear. I've talked to Sara about this and she checked into
it. Sara replied that the pics show up on the server but not on the
actual page, believe she was stumped. Did she mention this to you or
whomever handles this?
<Is... just me... I just looked from "the outside" and I
don't see the images... and can't check from the inside as am
running a very long back-up routine... will save this note to look on
the morrow. Do you still have the
images if they can't be found on the site? B>
Re: Vertex review fixed... TBD 03/19/2009
Will forward to Mr. Fenner to correct. It will read "manager of
operations", no more weird looks.
Looks good man!
Just a quick footnote that I kinda caught (a bit late, I know) - could
you change the sentence:
"Albert Dao of Proline Aquatics is the U.S. distributor of the
Vertex line and he tells me this problem is in the process of being
Gets rid of any awkward associations with me being the sole proprietor
of Proline. Jason and Shane gave me weird look on that one, haha.
Thanks, no hurry Bob. My wife asked me last night, where does Bob find
all the time to do all these things...WWW job, writing, giving pitches,
caring for properties in HI, diving....
All I could mention was that there must not be a minute of his day
Thanks James... truth to it, I don't consider myself all that
organized, driven, or focused... though I do stay busy. Be seeing you,
Skimmer Upgrade? 7/12/09
< Hello! >
I was just wondering if you can help me make up my mind.
< I can try. >
I've been running a Coralife 220 super skimmer on my 180 gallon(50
gal sump) reef tank for about 3 years and was wondering if an upgrade
would be beneficial to my system.
< It may. In my opinion the 220 is not big enough for a setup that
size without other types of filtration and lite stocking. >
My choices are between a Vertex in-sump 250 (399.00 Cdn) or an Aqua c
ev240 (690.00 Cdn). The price difference has me leaning towards the
< With a price difference of that amount ,it is worth looking
The issue is basically algae on the glass, which I have to clean off
every 3 or 4 days, and sand which gets that browny look to it about 2
days after my bi-weekly water change(RO water) and sand vacuum. I run
carbon for a week, a week after the water change until the next one. My
corals also don't look happy all the time (opening and closing),
especially my very large Colt Coral. I have about 180 lbs of Live rock.
The fish are happy, have not lost any in about a year (whenever I buy a
Goby, it disappears).
They include a Naso tang, yellow Tang, Regal tang, Tomato Clown, Maroon
Clown, Saddleback Butterfly, Coral Beauty, and Flame Angel. Thanks and
I appreciate your opinion!!!
< The Aqua C is an awesome skimmer but the price range does scare
some away. ScottV and I have actually been discussing Vertex Skimmers
over the last few days. The craftsmanship and material used in the
construction are of excellent quality. The reviews as well have been
great. The only gripes, complaints, etc. .. have been of the pumps.
They seem to be very inefficient and do not hold up well. This has
supposedly been remedied but even with a new pump you would be coming
out much cheaper. The Vertex seems like a
great deal to me but I would price a new pump to be on the safe side.
GA Jenkins >
Re Skimmer Upgrade? 7/25/09
So the Vertex in-250 has arrived and I was all excited until there was
water all over the floor Monday morning!!! The skimmer overflowed with
enough force to shoot water over the edge of the sump glass and onto my
wife's nice floor!
<Nothing worse than an angry wife.>
Needless to say she wasn't to pleased.
The skimmer is sitting in 9 inches of water in its own section of the
sump, there is one return line that empties into there and the water
level remains consistent.
I adjust the level of the bubbles to about even with the bottom of the
collection cup but it won't stay there. If I come back to look its
either way to low or its overflowing. Have any idea as to what the
<When first running in the skimmer it is best to keep a lower water
level in the skimmer itself until it is "aged". Usually a
week is enough time. I'm thinking you are keeping the water level
too high in the skimmer. The actual water level and not foam level,
should be right where the bottom of the taper begins. If the water
level in the sump rises, the level in the skimmer will proportionately
rise, so it is a good idea to shut off the skimmer when your main pump
is off as the water level in the sump will rise and can cause this to
happen. Has happened tome once when I neglected to unplug the skimmer
pump. Other than that, I've never had any problems with my Vertex
as you have experienced.>
Thanks for your time!!!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Skimmers on WWM:
Protein Skimming: An
Important Tool For a Successful Reef Aquarium by James Gasta,
Protein Skimmers: A Myriad of
Choices by Steven Pro,
Protein Skimmer Impressions
by Steven Pro, DIY
Skimmers By Anthony Calfo, & FAQs, FAQs about
Skimmer Selection: To
Skim or Not to Skim, Best Skimmer FAQs, Skimmers in General 1, Skimmers 2, Skimmer Selection 1, Skimmer Selection 2,
Skimmer Selection 3, Skimmer Selection 4, Skimmer Selection 5, Skimmer
Selection 6, Skimmer
Selection 7, Skimmer
Selection 8, Skimmer
Selection 9, Skimmer
Selection 10, Skimmer
Skimmer Selection 12,
FAQs about Skimmer
Makes/Models by Manufacturer: Aqua C Skimmers (Remora, Urchin,
EV's), Aqua C Skimmers 2, AquaMedic/Turboflotor
Skimmers, ASM Skimmers, CPR Skimmer FAQs, Corallife
Skimmers, Deltec Skimmers, Euro-Reef Skimmers, ETSS Skimmers, Red Sea Prizm Skimmers, SeaClone Skimmers,
FAQs about Skimmers For Specialized Use:
Eclipse Systems, Skimmers for Small Systems, Hang-On
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