A few days ago someone asked us about AquaC EV-120 and asked us to review a little about it. So, in this article, we will review the AquaC EV-120 protein skimmer for you.
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AquaC EV-120 Protein Skimmer
The AquaC EV-120 protein skimmer offers a flexible design for aquariums in the 40-150 gallon range. It can be used in-sump or externally, and features AquaC’s patented Spray Injection System.
What types of aquarium owners would benefit from this protein skimmer? Anybody that wants to experience extremely efficient and no-nonsense skimming in their saltwater aquarium.
AquaC skimmers are known for requiring little ongoing maintenance and adjustments, and this model lives up to that reputation. The EV-120 that is currently available is not the original design. It has been improved in many facets to make it one heck of a powerhouse protein skimmer.
Size & Specifications
Before we get into some of the other details, let’s take a look at the general specs and size of this protein skimmer:
- Designed for tanks ranging from 40-150 gallons
- A water flow-through rate of 225 gallons per hour
- A height of 18 inches and a footprint of 4.75″ x 8.5″
- Foam tower is 4″
How about the bubbles and foam?
- Bubble size of .03-.05 mm
- Foam volume of 90 cubic inches
AquaC EV-120 Features
AquaC skimmers are very straightforward devices, and yet they have some very useful features. The current EV-120 protein skimmer has been redesigned from its initial conception, and has been improved upon in many areas:
Designed to be used in-sump or externally, adding flexibility depending on your aquarium setup constraints and limits.
Airflow is controlled using a precision ball valve, and the noise from the suction process is barely noticeable. If you like quiet hardware, this is a major positive.
A John Guest fitting, dubbed “Speed Fit”, can be ordered as an option with this model. This can be used to connect a calcium reactor to the skimmer, injecting the effluent straight into the skimmer. This can be useful to balance the negative pH effects that dosing straight into the aquarium can have.
A twist-lock collection cup that keeps the cup secure yet makes it easy to remove from the system. This also seals the foam tower to eliminate annoying salt creep.
AquaC has increased the mixing box size by about 40%, and the reaction towers are also taller and wider as well. These improvements have helped to increase contact time and therefore the overall performance is increased.
As you can see, these are some nice improvements and features.
What Type of Water Pump Is Recommended?
AquaC specifically recommends a few water pump models, these are the two most commonly recommended:
- Mag Drive 5
- Rio 2100
AquaC also recommends the use of the Dolphin 560 or the Iwaki 20 RLT. The Iwaki will require external plumbing.
Aside from what AquaC recommends, many users also like to recommend the Mag Drive 7 and other comparable pumps. Overdriving this skimmer seems to work well for some, so if you are not liking the results you are getting from a Mag Drive 5, for example, you can always try a Mag Drive 7 to see what type of difference there is.
This protein skimmer can be adjusted to produce different types of foam through two main methods:
- Adjusting the air intake
- Adjusting the internal water level
These two factors are the most important when setting this machine to produce the type of foam you want it to produce. It is possible to get watery foam, and it is also possible to generate really thick foam.
Each aquarium system is unique, so you will need to adjust these two items to find what works best for you. There is plenty of information in the manual in regards to this, so it’s easy to figure out what you need to do to adjust either way.
Don’t worry if it takes a while to get this skimmer adjusted just right for your aquarium. Once you have it tweaked properly, you probably won’t need to touch it very often again thanks to the consistency of the spray injection.
If you are an aquarium owner that doesn’t like to get bogged down by excessive maintenance, then this is a good protein skimmer for you. The technology that is used to create the foaming is very consistent and requires little maintenance, once it has been tweaked to match your aquarium needs.
The spray injector can be easily removed if you need to take it off to clean it. And the collection cup is easy to remove and reattach.
Once you have set up this skimmer, have let it break in and have adjusted the air valves and water levels as needed you will rarely, if ever, need to make further adjustments.
After Initial Setup
If you do decide to buy one of these skimmers, there are a couple of important things that you should know about the initial operation.
Many times it can take up to a couple weeks for the skimmer to begin producing any foam. Of course, this is not always the case, and many users experience excellent foaming almost immediately. But there definitely is always the possibility of a break-in period.
This is because there are a lot of oils (from manufacturing and otherwise) that may be on the surface of the materials that the skimmer is made of. These elements need to be given time to “go away”. It’s sort of a break in period for a new skimmer, and this type of break-in period is not uncommon for many different types of protein skimmers.
If your skimmer isn’t producing any foam within a day of setup, don’t sweat it. Just let it run for a few days, maybe a couple weeks. It will start to create foam eventually. And when it does, you will notice!
During initial operation, it’s also best to run the collection cup drain tube back into your sump, and AquaC specifically recommends this in the manual as well. Sometimes after a break-in, the foam is very watery and may build up quickly. You will need to adjust the air control valve after break-in to make sure that it is operating to your expectations.
Only after this initial break-in and adjustment phase is complete should you consider removing the drain tube from the sump. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Overall, this is a great protein skimmer for any medium to medium-large sized aquarium. It is a pleasure to use for anybody that doesn’t like to have to tweak hardware consistently to get it “just right”.
Be sure to pay attention to the size and specs to ensure that this skimmer is rated for your type of aquarium. If it fits your aquarium setup, you can’t go wrong with the AquaC EV-120 protein skimmer.
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