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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.

The IN-100 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.

Plumbing components  Pump inlet assembly which fits right on to the pump outlet. Turbulence reducing bubble plate.

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 corrected.

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.


Assembled skimmer

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.


The Pros

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 zirconium.

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 indicate this.

Poor instruction manual but this is being corrected.

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 is superb.

Contact Info

Vertex website upcoming at  www.vertexaquaristik.com

Premium Aquatics:  jeremy@premiumaquatics.com

Web site:  www.premiumaquatics.com

Proline Aquatics:  albert@prolineaquatics.com

Web site:  www.prolineaquatics.com

Proline Aquatics is a distributor only.

Protein Skimmers/Selection 12/26/09
<Hello Werner>
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 wish.
Thank 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 operations :P
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.
Best regards,
Albert Dao
Proline Aquatics
Operations/New Accounts
<OK Albert,
Will forward this to Bob and the crew.
<<Thank you for your efforts Albert. Bob Fenner>>

Vertex IN 100 Skimmer/FYI 2/4/09
Bob and Crew,
 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.  Photo attached.

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
Hi Bob,
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>
<<Fixed. RMF>> 

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.
Hey James,
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 corrected."
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.
Best regards,
Albert Dao
Proline Aquatics
Operations/New Accounts
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 wasted.
Thanks James... truth to it, I don't consider myself all that organized, driven, or focused... though I do stay busy. Be seeing you, BobF.  

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 Vertex.
< With a price difference of that amount ,it is worth looking into.>
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
Hi again,
<Hello Steve>
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 problem is?
<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:

Skimmer Articles: 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 SkimBest Skimmer FAQs, Skimmers in General 1, Skimmers 2Skimmer 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. 8Skimmer Op/Maint 9Skimmer Op/Maint 10Skimmer Op/Maint 11Skimmer Op/Maint 12, Skimmer Op/Maint 13, Skimmer Op/Maint 14,

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