S-120 Economy Cone Skmr Review(Final Review w/ vid)

Discussion in 'Eshopps Inc.' started by reefmonkey, Jul 18, 2011.

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  1. reefmonkey

    reefmonkey Giant Squid

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    How often do you get the opportunity to read a product review from the time the product is delivered to the consumer, through set up, and into an extended period of use? My good friend at Eshopps has sent me one of the newer S-120 Economy Cone Skimmers just for that very purpose so that I am able to pass along this information to you all.

    [​IMG]

    Don't let the word "economy" in the product name give you cause for pause. It's been my experience that Eshopps products, though available at prices we all can afford, perform (and in some instances out-perform) as well as their higher priced competitors in the same product brackets.
    My idea's for this article were a little different in the beginning. I wanted to have two identical systems totaling 70 gallons each and compete the Eshopps cone against another skimmer of equal or greater reputation. Not one of the other manufacturers I contacted were willing to donate a skimmer and after a while in the writing side of the hobby I've learned very little good comes from product comparing articles. This way is far better as you will see the item from packing through use on an actual reef system. All of the "good" and none of the bad will be left out of the writing. Let's get to it.
    These cone skimmers from Eshopps come in 3 sizes with the largest rated for aquariums with up to 200 gallons in water volume.
    S-120---Sicce SK-200---40-120 gallons
    S-150---Sicce PSK-600---Up to 150 gallons
    S-200---Sicce PSK-1000---150-200 gallons

    As I stated, I'll be reviewing the S-120.
    Features
    Sicce SK-200 pump made in Italy.
    Needle wheel impeller
    Twist lock on the neck
    Bubble plate

    Dimensions
    Diameter: 5"
    Height: 17"
    Footprint: 7"X6"

    I've always been lucky when it come to good handlers and packaging of the products I've ordered. The boxes still resemble boxes when I get them and the contents are safe.
    [​IMG]
    This one is extremely well packed. Tight in the box with heavy foam rubber packing materials cut to fit 3 points of the skimmer body and the inside dimensions of the box. Cubes of the same packing material complete the task of securing the skimmer while in transit.
    [​IMG]
    One of the best changes Eshopps has made is dropping the cheap pumps made in China and adding the higher quality pumps made by Sicce. The Italian company is well known for quality, durability and energy conservation. The S-120 is driven by a Sicce PSK-200. These pumps are designed specifically for use in protein skimmers and variances of the Sicce PSK's can be found in competing brands skimmers like the Reef Octo Extreme 200 and Bubble Magnus BM-200PN just to name a couple. Since the pump is the heart of any great skimmer this was a very good move in my opinion.
    It comes packed tightly in it's own box which is then held firmly in a compartment of the skimmer product packaging with more of the foam cubes.
    [​IMG]
    Detail of the sticker on pump
    [​IMG]
    I really like the look and feel of the skimmer right out of the box. The acrylic work is up to Eshopps standards of quality that I'm familiar with. I'm looking forward to getting it set up on my new project.
    [​IMG]

    Right out of the box I see two cons with this skimmer. The instruction manual that comes with it is great and is very detailed on setting up and answering some basic trouble shooting questions. However it is apparent that English is not the first language of the writer and editor of the two pages of instructions and they can be a little confusing and hard to understand.
    The biggest issue with this skimmer is the lack of a drain on the collection cup. The cup itself is big and looks like it will hold a liter at least but I'm lazy and I don't want to be down in my stand every other day dumping a cup. I'd rather have a hose draining effluent from the cup to an old milk jug.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011
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  3. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    good write up ReefMonkey

    In your opinion, which other brands and model of skimmers, would have been good comparison models to have chosen to test against the E Shops product?

    Steve
     
  4. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Great write up Mike.

    It would appear I have gotten lucky with my Eshopps skimmer with the old style pump. I am denting my knuckles and the wood that this stays the same for some time.

    The S-120 looks like a great replacement for my PSK-150 in the future.
     
  5. WhiskyTango

    WhiskyTango Eyelash Blennie

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    Good luck 2in10, mine crapped out after 1 year.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks, I am on 14 months. I think mine is a "second" generation pump. I hope I can get it to last long enough for me to afford getting a cone skimmer.
     
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  7. reefmonkey

    reefmonkey Giant Squid

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    Steve I wanted to compare Eshopps primarily to the SWC Xtreme 120. I also contacted Aqua Euro systems, Bubble Magus, and CoralVue.
    But SWC was the main tartget.
     
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  9. reefmonkey

    reefmonkey Giant Squid

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    Same with my PSK-100H John. The person who purchased it from me loves it and has no issues with it at all. It's still running like a champ.

    In a conversation with my guy @ Eshopps the fact that the pumps they did use came up. He said, and I quote "..China has the power for mass production but when it comes to quality they are ****..". This is why Eshopps has moved to the Sicce pumps.
     
  10. Seano Hermano

    Seano Hermano Giant Squid

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    Great review Mike - on your part, as well as a pat on the back to Eshopps for making the skimmer.

    I am assuming it would void the warranty to drill a whole and install air line tubing to connect to your milk jug...just an idea though. I would have really liked to see that part on the skimmer cup.
     
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  11. reefmonkey

    reefmonkey Giant Squid

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    The review is far from over Seano. I want people to see the skimmer from receiving through break in and a few months of use.

    I don't know if a free skimmer comes with a warranty. LOL But I thought about drilling it already and adding a drain line. haven't decided if I want to risk cracking the cup though. It just takes one small chore down but I really do hate dumping cups every other day so it has to be done.
     
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  12. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Mike I think if you use new bits and work your way up the sizes you should not crack the cup.