TECH SECTION

UltraReef Akula uks-180 skimmer – in depth review


Functioning

The skimmer is ready to work as soon as you put it in sump and the foam fills its body starting from the diffusion plate until it reaches the end of the glass. The foam is beautiful, soapy, with pretty little bubbles.  Obviously, when you set the glass the bubbles come up through the neck and they tend to grow. Speaking visually, the foam seems really good.

Schiumatoio UltraReef Akula UKS 180: schiumato

The suggested level in sump is, as always, about 20 cm, because in this position the water pressure and the suction of the air are perfectly in equilibrium. That’s because the skimmer has been built in this way. So I suggest to keep the water level about 20 cm, and in our test it was of 21 cm.

Schiumatoio UltraReef Akula UKS 180: bicchiere sporco

The skimmer has been inserted in an aquarium dedicated, at first, to fish, but that then has been converted to SPS. Lit by 3 Maxspect Ethereal. The movement is handed to two Rossmont pumps. This wonderful aquarium has still to grow but we sure will see it as marine aquarium of the month.

Schiumatoio UltraReef Akula UKS 180: schiumazione

The foam is very soapy, the skimmer is great for color and resistance, enough wet, both for Fabio‘s choice and peculiar characteristics of the skimmer. The foam can come up in glass very easily even after a total cleaning. Obviously in this case the bubbles are a little bigger because off the cleaning just done.

Here above you can see Fabio‘s aquarium, a tank of 150 cm of width in which a lot fish, including 4 Zebrasoma flavescens, can freely swim…

After over six months of use we can confirm that the skimmer UltraReef Akula uks-180 worked perfectly.

Schiumatoio UltraReef Akula UKS 180: schiumazione nel bicchiere

Performances and Measurements

The builder declared for this skimmer a flow rate of about 1.400 l/h and an air flow between the 700 and the 800 l/h. We remind you that the numbers depend on a lot of factors, for example the water height in sump, the height of the water column inside the cylinder and most of all the salinity, that in our case was 35 per thousand. The relationship between air and water then it’s 0,57.

Schiumatoio UltraReef Akula UKS 180: la copertura del bicchiere

Due to the particular conformation of the skimmer, with the drain in the downside, we couldn’t measure the total filtered water. While we used our flowmeter Sander that measures the air from a minimum of 100 l/h to a maximum of 1000 l/h, and the measured values have to be increased by  10% in order to consider the losses of the device itself.

Schiumatoio UltraReef Akula UKS 180: aria trattata

So, we obtained a flow of the treated air of: 790 l/h (720 measured + 10%), with the air completely open. The value was pretty stable.

The aspiration of the air was virtually identical to the declared value. A great result.

This only if you keep the pump clean and efficient. In fact, we verified that if you don’t clean the pump at least every 2-3 months the quantity of treated air can decrease even to 450 l/h.

The skimmer works very quietly, we did three measurements, all of them being 1 meter distant from the aquarium and the sump, and we obtained the following results:

Schiumatoio UltraReef Akula UKS 180: misurazione del rumore

Acoustic pressure from 1 meter with all the devices of the aquarium active and doors closed: 45,8 dB

Schiumatoio UltraReef Akula UKS 180: misurazione del rumore

Acoustic pressure from 1 meter with the only return pump active and doors open: 42,2 dB

Schiumatoio UltraReef Akula UKS 180: misurazione del rumore

Acoustic pressure from 1 meter with return pump and skimmer active: 44,4 dB

The difference of acoustic pressure measured with the skimmer active and unactive it’s 2,2 dB, an appreciable value, but very little annoying speaking of absolute values.

The sound level meter it’s the usual VOLTCRAFT 320, the digital device IEC 651 of Type II that’s very reliable. Given the nature of the noise we measured all the measurements have been done with the attenuation curve dBA

The article continues on page three with the maintenance costs and our conclusions.

Final Thoughts

The UltraReef Akula uks-180 skimmer proved to be extremely valid, built in a more than perfect manner, offered at a very aggressive selling price given the technical characteristics and performance and therefore we can only highly recommend it.

Overall Score 4.5