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Product Review:
The Tunze 9002 DOC Skimmer

by Justin Norman


The Score-  Presentation – 3/5  Sound – 5/5  Ease of Setup – 5/5  Value – 5/5  Overall Rating – 5/5

 First Impressions...

Let me begin this review by stating that, while the ratings above may seem misplaced when talking about a skimmer, let me tell ya': they're dead on. The manual was a little confusing to deal with, the skimmer is DEAD silent, I feel it was worth every penny, and I'm already considering one for my other tank and recommending it to others with small tanks. Ok, now that that's out of the way, on to the fun. 

First, a little background. I've been in the hobby for about a year now, and the 40 gallon that this skimmer is on is my 2nd saltwater tank. When I purchased the tank and stand, I got a free Marineland Emperor 400 and Red Sea Prizm Deluxe skimmer with the setup. Obviously, I wasn't going to wait until I had exactly what I wanted on the tank to start things. So goes impatience. I ran the tank for about 9 months with the Prizm, and was simply never very happy with its production. It had to be adjusted constantly, lost its siphon fairly often, and its skimmate  production varied from very little, to none at all.

Simple, European styling on the outside with quality packaging, good instructions and everything you need to make it work.... all trademarks of Tunze.

Now, I've had the Tunze in place for 8 days, and I'll be completely honest: this thing has produced more skimmate in those 8 days than the Prizm did in the last 2 months. I've almost produced a quarter gallon of skimmate thus far. It's a beast! And according to Tunze, it's still in its "break-in" period.. I can't wait to see what it can do as time goes on! 

The packaging is simple and straightforward, exactly what you would expect from Tunze. No extra frills, nothing fancy, just the goods and the instructions in 3 languages (German, English, and French). The skimmer was very well packaged, wrapped in 2 layers of bubble wrap, securing the collection cup from slipping out and possibly being damaged in shipping. The package contained the skimmer body, the skimmer collection cup, a bag containing a cleaning brush and pipe cleaner for scrubbing out the skimmer, the mounting rail, the mounting bracket, and screws to adjust the bracket to fit about any tank arrangement. The entire skimmer was already assembled, with the exception of the mounting bracket. The instructions were a tad confusing here, when it came to assembling the mounting bracket, but in the end, there's only one logical way to assemble it, and it took me no more than 30 minutes to get it adjusted properly and ready to hang on the tank. This time included me reading the manual completely, so don't take that to mean 30 minutes to assemble 6 pieces of plastic <Editor's note: Take heart, dear readers- Tunze bracket assembly instructions for all of their products have confounded me for years!

The manual suggests mounting the skimmer with three-quarters of an inch to an inch and a quarter of the body above the surface of the water, which is very easy to achieve with the adjustments available on the mounting bracket. Adjustments for the air intake are handled using a small thumb screw on the upper body of the skimmer, just below the collection cup. This screw is very easy to manipulate, and seems very precise thus far. Tunze suggests that the first 3 days are the initial break-in period, and not to expect skimmate production until nearing the end of these days. This may be the case for some people, but it certainly was not for me! Within 36 hours, I had produced almost 200ml of green nasty tea! After the first few days, I had to dial the air down some, as after break-in, my previous adjustment was overfilling the skimmer. Since that time, I've not made any adjustments to the skimmer, outside of removing the cup every 2-3 days to empty and clean with the provided cleaning brush.

The correct mounting of the skimmer as viewed from above and below the water.  Adjustment is simple thanks to to the easy to use mounting bracket.

The design of the skimmer is simple, elegant and ingenious, from a hobbyists standpoint. The body of the skimmer contains a venturi pump, mounted at the bottom of the box, that is provided with intake from the tank. This propels the water-air mixture upwards through a series of small baffles, and into the reaction chamber body. The entire reaction chamber body is attached to the base of the collection cup, making average maintenance a breeze. Tunze recommends a periodic cleaning of the internals of the skimmer body a few times a year as well, which is almost equally as simple to do. The top of the skimmer body pops off fairly easily, and you can once again use the provided brush to get in the crevices of the skimmer. 

The proof is in the very stinky pudding!





The Tunze DOC 9002 Nano is not for all tanks, for sure. The manufacturer recommends its use in a tank of 52 American gallons or less, for most efficiency. The skimmer sells for around $130 at most online retailers, and likely comparably priced through a local vendor. When compared at this price point to the other skimmers of this size and efficiency, I feel the cost is very minimal, especially when you look at the simplicity of use and adjustment. All of my research suggested to me to trust the Tunze reputation and give this skimmer a shot, and I feel I made the right choice. 5 of 5 stars.

Skimmers on WWM:

Skimmer Articles: 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 SkimBest Skimmer FAQs, Skimmers in General 1, Skimmers 2 Skimmer Selection 1Skimmer 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 Selection 11,
Skimmer Selection 12, Skimmer Selection 13,

     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, Skilter Skimmers, Tunze Skimmers,

     FAQs about Skimmers For Specialized Use: Skimmers for Eclipse Systems, Skimmers for Small Systems, Hang-On Models,        

     Skimmer Set-up/Operation/Maintenance, Best Skimmer Op./Maint. FAQs, Skimmer Op/Maint.2, Skimmer Op/Maint. 3, Skimmer Op/Maint. 4, Skimmer Op/Maint. 5, Skimmer Op/Maint. 6, Skimmer Op/Maint 7Skimmer Op/Maint. 8 Skimmer Op/Maint 9Skimmer Op/Maint 10Skimmer Op/Maint 11Skimmer Op/Maint 12, Skimmer Op/Maint 13, Skimmer Op/Maint 14,


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