Thursday 29 May 2014

Product Review - Ocean Free Surf Clear

While shopping for aquarium supplies recently, i chanced upon this new surface skimmer from Ocean Free called the Surf Clear. It seems to be a new model so i figured it'll be interesting to try it out and do a review on it.

I have used the Eheim 350 surface skimmer before, so my review will include some comparisons with that model.

The Surf Clear product box and its contents...

It operates on the popular design of a floating skimmer head and motorized pump at the bottom.

The overall build quality is quite good and all the parts fit together well. Its design does somewhat resemble the Eheim 350, and in some ways it also matches the design and color scheme of the Ocean Free Hydra internal filters too.

The inflow speed can be controlled by turning the blue skimmer container's collar left or right. The skimmer head also has grill guards which help to prevent small fishes or shrimps from being pulled into the skimmer (but tiny fry or shrimplets may still get pulled in so do check it regularly).

It comes with an innovative feature which allows users to simply lift the skimmer head and container straight out of the main casing to clean it, without removing the whole unit from the tank. The sponge filter media is housed in the blue skimmer container (not in the main unit). I like this particular feature as it helps to reduce the chances of drips and spills during regular maintenance.

The motorized pump can be easily removed for cleaning whenever necessary. The power consumption and flow rate of the Surf Clear is 3W and 200 l/ph (compared to the Eheim 350 which is 5W and 300 l/ph).

Instead of a conventional single nozzle outflow design, the Surf Clear has a grate style outflow design instead, this disperses the flow to a wider area and directs a more gentle current towards its surroundings.

Here is the Surf Clear operating in one of my tanks...

I've used it in a few tanks and it worked effectively to clear up the surface oil layers.

Overall, my experience with the Surf Clear has been positive so far. I think its worth a look at if you are also in the market for a surface skimmer too. :)