At the last Reef-a-Palooza show in Costa Mesa, California, I had the absolute pleasure of bringing home the recently debuted Orphek Helix 3000 cone skimmer. If you’re anything like me, you get excited when it comes to brand new equipment, and needless to say, I was excited for this one. When you first lay eyes on the Helix, it looks like your typical cone skimmer but with a few subtle yet significant differences. Everything about it is sleek, from the white DC pump to the collection cup cover and everything in between. Rated at around 400 gallons, this skimmer has the potential of skimming a wide variety of tanks due to the controllable pump. One of first things you see notice on this skimmer is the high RPM controllable DC pump. This 3000 l/h (792gph) needle-wheel pump, at full power, draws 25 watts and has a pause mode with an automatic timer for 10 minutes. The pump basically forces bubble-enriched water through what is called the helix disk, Orphek’s take on the bubble plate. This disk directs the movement of the water in a 360 degree spiral motion up the cone to increase contact time and produce a more efficient skim MORE: Taking the Orphek Helix Protein Skimmer for a Spin

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