Vertex is expanding on their popular Omega protein skimmer line once again, this time adding internal pumps to the mix. As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago,Vertex was already teasing an Omega 180 skimmer ahead of Interzoo, but little did we know that the line would also include the Omega 200, and both would feature internal pumps. The original Omega protein skimmer, the Omega 150, debuted in 2012 and featured a Sicce pump placed external to the skimmer’s wind glass shaped body, vibration reducing feet, an adjustable pump volute, and rock solid build. The skimmer seemed to be an instant hit, prompting the smaller Omega 130 to be released the following year. Continuing on with the success, two larger models were added, which also introduced new features…primarily a space saving design that placed the pump under the bubble plate. Stepping it up even further, the 200i also gets a pump upgrade, moving from the Sicce to an Askoll motor block. The move for the space saving design comes as no surprise. Sumps seems to never have enough real estate for big bodied protein skimmers, but large tanks still need the firepower to handle those large bio-loads.
Interzoo is the largest international aquarium-based trade show on the planet, and it just so happens to be right around the corner. With the date quickly approaching, we’re starting to hear rumblings of new products that will be announced at the massive event, leading off with a new item from Vertex Aquaristik. In a move that shouldn’t even remotely come as a surprise, Vertex looks as though they will be announcing a larger model to their popular Omega protein skimmer line. While we don’t have any specifics about the products, as Vertex wouldn’t immediately address our questions, we do know that it will be the Omega 180 based on the engraving on what is very likely the skimmer’s lid. We assume the Omega 180 will utilize the same wine glass body, Sicce Syncra pump, bubble diffuser plate, vibration dampening pads, and other features found in the rest of the lineup, only beefed up to handle a heavier bioload. We did notice that large red fish, part of the Vertex branding, on the skimmer lid, which is absent in the original design of the Omega. Perhaps this is the only subtle change, but perhaps there is more. We’ll know more about the Omega 180 as the show draws closer.
One of the many goodies we got from Vertex a few weeks ago was a Vectra and Vectra Lid to go with our Omega 150 protein skimmer. This device is one of the many accessories designed to make the day-to-day life of the average hobbyists a bit easier, as it is designed to keep the neck of the skimmer clean so that it can operate at maximum efficiency for as long as possible. It does this by rotating a silicone blade on the inside of the neck and collection cup, knocking significant amounts of crud that has built up in the skimmer. So how do we like the Vectra from Vertex Aquaristik? Well, if our unboxing is any indication of how things will go during our long term tests, then we expect it to be a solid performer. The Vectra is well built, with extra care given to protect all of the sensitive electronic components to keep them high and dry.
Have you ever had a piece of equipment that you thought just looked too darned pretty to be in that nasty saltwater with fish poop and gross algae? Well, such is the case for the Omega 150 protein skimmer, which Vertex so kindly sent our way. Unfortunately for the skimmer, we don’t plan on letting it stay eye candy for long, as we’ll put it through the ringer as we review it in an everyday aquarium environment. To start our review, we’ll first dive into a little product history. The Omega line of skimmers was first introduced at MACNA 2012 in Dallas, and we were told that it was meant to completely replace the Vertex IN skimmers. To keep its price down around that of the IN series and to better distinguish itself from the Vertex Alpha skimmers, the Omega used a Sicce pump instead of the Red Dragon. Additionally, the straight cone shape was ditched for the more elegant “whine glass” cone body.
Vertex Aquaristik, a German company known in USA mainly for their top-shelf line of skimmers and pumps engineered and manufactured with an incredible attention to details, has debuted, amongst other things, it’s brand new line of skimmers- the Omega...