The new Vertex Omega 180i skimmer, first presented at Interzoo 2014, is perfectly constructed of acrylic and PVC and comes in Vertex’s quintessential red and white color scheme. There is only one pump, a modified Sicce PSK1000, which performs both air fractionation and water delivery; it moves 264 to 343 gallons of air per hour and consumes only 28 watts of power. The skimmer has a conventional high-end in-sump needle-wheel design, a large internal pump pulls in air and water, and then drives them upwards to the diffuser plate. In my in-depth review, I will report on the actual air performance of this beautiful skimmer. The body of skimmer has a diameter of 7 inches at the base, it rises cylindrically for 7.9 inches, and then tapers down to a 4 inch diameter at the cup junction. The skimmer is ozone-compatible, and in the picture above you can see the two air inlets; the silicone tube on the right is for air and the red tube on the left is for ozone. This is a very well thought out design, and one aspect that I particularly like is that the skimmer is completely disassemblable, as you can see in the picture below. This means that the skimmer can be completely and thoroughly cleaned, and one can remove all debris and calcium buildup – making it like new without too much effort. The skimmer’s base plate shows the care that has been put into designing this product. It has a beige rectangle of damping material, upon which sits the pump itself – that material, combined with the base’s rubber feet, help to maintain a very low level of noise while the skimmer is operating. To the left of the damping material is an indentation for the front cover of the rotor, constructed to insure that the pump remains perfectly horizontal while in use.
The skimmer is 23.2 inches high and has a 2 gallon capacity. Its collection cup, which screws on and is easy to use, is 0.45 gallons. The center pump design shortens the distance the water has to travel, both before and after the pump, so the mix can be shot inside the body at full velocity, with virtually no loss due to friction and no waste of space. I like it. The Vertex Omega 180i is designed for heavily stocked SPS aquariums up to 185 gallons, and right now, I am using it in my 106 gallon personal tank. I will keep you up to date about his use, and will release a full review when I have finished testing it. The price of the Vertex Omega 180i is around $499 USD or 499 Euro.