CAD Lights Skimmer Review - Initial Impressions (Pic Intense!)
by, 10-25-2011 at 11:08 PM (3075 Views)
Recently at Reef-A-Palooza 2011, I picked up a new CAD Lights Conical Protein Skimmer, model #TIA-1150.
Here are my initial impressions of the unit.
First the specs. From CADLights.com:
*5 Decibels of audible sound.
*1 Year Warranty covers the entire skimmer from top to bottom (including pump).
*Dimensions: 9.75" x 6.5" x 18.5"
Light bio-load (150G)
Medium bio-load (120G)
Heavy bio-load (90G)
Retails for $249.99. These are made in Ontario, California, in house at CAD Lights using 100% American parts and materials.
I must say my initial impression are that of quality. They had these skimmers running at RAP, and although it was in a very loud room, even putting your ear up to the unit and your hand on top of the skimmer, I could not even hear it running or feel any vibrations. The bubbles in the reaction chamber were thick, dense and very small. For a small skimmer it has heft, a sign of quality in my opinion. The acrylic is thick and very well cast. The cone is truly seamless, and the craftsmanship is second to none. Visually it shows no flaws, no bubbles at any seams, and feels very sturdy.
The pump was designed in-house, to accommodate the custom pin-wheel impeller, also designed and made in-house.
The main structure is two pieces; the main cone body and the inner assembly. Removing four plastic screws allows the entire inner assembly to be removed from the unit giving access to the pump and bubble plate.
Water level inside the cone is controlled by a simple swedge-design. Turning the drain pipe off center reduces outflow and raises the water level.
Now for some pics:
Removing these screws gives access to the inner workings:
I literally disassembled the entire unit in two minutes using this:
Slide the volute out to remove the pump:
The custom pump:
And bubble plate:
The acrylic is nice and thick:
The swedge-design level control:
This weekend I hope to have it in the water pulling some nog. Updates to come!