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Blue Z Reef

Skimming on a budget: GoAquarium CG160 DC Skimmer Review

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Hey reefers!
I’m always on the lookout for deals and DIYs that can save us all some cash (we all know this hobby is expensive as it is..)! I randomly stumbled upon this skimmer on eBay while searching for one for my friends tank. The main thing I was drawn to was the body shape, nice smooth wine glass like we are used to seeing on most higher end skimmers (and now trickling down). I figured even if the pump sucked, I could retrofit it with something else.
Here’s the limited stats listed on the add:
Quiet operation with powerful & fast internal 50W DC pumps
Easy water level adjustment with an unique spiral design
Needle wheel system producing small, compact bubbles for greater cleaning efficiency
DC powered pump made with a durable zirconium axis


Type: Protein Skimmer
Model: CG-160
Tank Capacity: Up to 140 Gallons
Water Flow Rate: 680gal/hr (2600L/hr)
Water Type: Marine
Filter Location: Internal
Pump Power: 50W, DC Powered
Voltage: 110V/220V (Transformer Build-In)
Color: White/Clear
Dimension: 20.3"H x 14.7"L x 7.4"W (53cm x 36cm x 19cm)
The only photos shown in the listing were these CAD drawings, so I had no idea what to really expect, was a bit of a gamble!
I waited till the last second and bid! Won it for....an amazing....$100 shipping included! I figured this was cheap enough to totally roll the dice on, so I waited for it to show up. Just an FYI, the seller has these for BIN $200 all the time but seems to put them up for bid at $100 regularly...
Seems the guy doesn’t like me getting such a deal and priced them up $10 haha:
It showed up about a week later. The guy paid $36 to ship the beast! LOL
Overall I am super impressed with it! It has a lot of nice details. It isn’t super thick walled like that of a Vertex or Reef Octopus, but the collection cup has some flex and seems sturdy overall (molded instead of acrylic tube I believe). It is able to be completely disassembled via plastic screws on the base (one thing I wish my Vertex did!). Lid is a short 1/4 twist to remove, sealed with an oring. The only part that I find a bit weird is the inlet to the skimmer from the pump. It is rubber all the way, a bit awkward to put in but likely won’t bother most once in use (this is nice if it needs a pump retrofit in the future however!). Also has a drain for the cup with ball valve (similar to that of the Red Sea skimmers that just came out).
Here’s some pics of it when it arrived.
I put it through a vinegar bath for a few days, definitely a must, some black dust seems to have come off of somewhere but wiped out fine after the bath. Always clean your stuff first!
Pump was slightly noisy at first but calmed down and is quiet as I would expect a DC pump to be. At 50% power it is silent, starts to get the DC hum once you move higher into the power range (also, I had it in a Rubbermaid with an uneven bottom so we’ll see how it fairs in a sump). Controller also has feed mode with 10/20/30 min intervals.
My friend is traveling and back this coming week, will update this as it is put into service on his tank! It is replacing an SCA301, which is dwarfed in comparison to this puppy!
I was so impressed I bought the CG200 model to have as a backup/spare skimmer around! Paid a whopping $110 for that one today. I believe the only difference is the body diameter is slightly larger (uses same pump).


Edited by Blue Z Reef
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