Can you spot the difference? Bubble King Protein Skimmer Spotlight – Royal Exclusiv

Can you spot the difference? Bubble King Protein Skimmer Spotlight – Royal Exclusiv

– Today we’re gonna do
something pretty cool. We’re gonna do a spotlight
on the Bubble King. A Royal Exclusive line of skimmers. We’ll kind of talk about
some of the features that are there, what to do, don’t do. As well as why each one
of these four different types of models exists on the planet. And even if you’re not
really in the market for a high end skimmer, I
think you’re going to see some pretty cool concepts. – So these are the Bugatti
of proteins skimmers. I mean, they’ve been
around for like 30 years. Triple the amount of time
I’ve been in the hobby. – Yeah, for me like double the
time I’ve been in the hobby. So 30 years is a long time. So, they’re all over the forums, everybody shared their
experience with them, and you know they’re
actually kind of copied by almost every scheme or company out there. Really, in some cases,
almost one for one replicas. And really man, like they
represent the best of the best. – Actually this current
generation of these Bubble King replicas, you know, copied
Bubble Kings innovations so well, that they actually offer
a pretty good value for the same type of design. Probably why they did so well in our 2019 Best of Protein Skimmers. – And the story here, I
don’t think anybody questions the 30 years of success and performance has come out of these skimmers. The question really is is more about cost. All right, so what is
the thousand dollar plus skimmer actually get you? – German made pumps, Red Dragon. So, these are the Red Dragon
DC pumps in the four models different sizes, what have you. Also, you know the heavy
duty PVC/ acrylic build. That means like, hand welded you know, seams on some of these
larger models over here. So just high quality. – So, a lot of this stuff
just ends up in like kind of longevity and some
elements of performance. You know, and that’s kind of
what you get when you go into like a German made product, rather than a cheap imported product designed to be as cheap
as humanly possible. But really for me, actually it isn’t about
all the little things. You can go into the PVC build and go into how heavy every piece of it
is and how heavy duty is. But really for me, this is
about getting a skimmer from people who make skimmers for a
living and actually use them. So, this is really all
about getting the right tool for the right job and one of
the first steps to that is actually believing that
the people that built it, actually know how to size it properly and you’re not just slapping
on a pump on the side of an acrylic tube and call it done. Yeah it’s, I mean you go look
at some of the gallon ratings, heavy bio load, medium
bio load, light bio load. One, I don’t even know what that means and a lot of times those numbers are arbitrary and can be super spaced apart. – Yeah, so for after 30 years of doing it, you kind of hone in and
what actually works. And so for them heavy bio load means that it’s half inch of
fish per gallon water. So in 100 gallon tank, that’s
a good rule of thumb of about 50 inches of total fish. But more importantly to me
that it’s conservatively rated because they’ll openly state
that oversized doesn’t work. Don’t get too big. – Yeah, I mean for for a
company that’s trying to sell skimmers for them to tell you not to get the biggest most expensive skimmer. I mean that’s something,
that’s something I can rely on. – Yeah, basically if you get
too big, there’s not enough organics inside the tank to
fill the huge tube full of foam and it just doesn’t work. So you’re better off going
smaller than bigger in most cases, but even better
than going smaller bigger, right tool right job
and following guidelines from somebody that you trust. – They actually tell you
to step down your skimmer, not just because bigger is
not better, but actually because your filtration and
other filtration approaches, So using filter socks, using like fleece matte type material. You experience this one firsthand, they told you in your for your
360 to not get the properly rated sized skimmer, but go a step down. – Yeah, so if you’re
pulling all of the waste or not all of it, like more
than half of the waste out just with change on your filter
socks, you know like daily, or every couple of days, or if you got an automatic fleece roller that just rolls all the
finished waste and uneaten food right out, there’s way
less load on the skimmer. Which means there’s
less fuel for this game or there’s less organics in the water, and to make it work
properly you go down one. – Yeah – Okay, so this is again, you
know advice that comes from somebody that has been
doing this for a long time, and can help you select the
right tool for the right job, not just trying to sell you
the biggest thing out there. – Yeah, and in this case,
you know, we’re going to talk about the four
models that we have here and a reason why each one
exists in the universe. – Yeah, so for me, I have a
lot experience in skimmers and you go look at all the lines, and it is not clear why
all of these exists, and actually for this one too. Yeah, I looked at it,
there’s the Supermarin, there’s the mini, there’s the deluxe, there’s the double cone Which one would I want for what reason? And you know what, there
is a super legit reason for each one of these things, and I think we’re gonna let you know. Okay, so there are four models here. But before we get into it, I just want to ask all
of you to think about it. Are you one of these four types of people? One, I just want the best, right? I wanted to skim wet,
I wanted to skim dry. I want to be able to create
that type of foam really easily. And then even better, I
want to have adjustments that allows me to collect
that foam really easy as well, whether it’s wet or dry. Just super super easy to
use and I want the best. – Or you can ask yourself,
am I just a wet skim it guy? I don’t need a whole lot of fine tuning. I just want to, you know,
get as much out as I can, and get a little cost savings too. – There’s also another model in here, which you might not know
which one it is at the moment, but I just want it to
be as cheap as possible. I want that kind of like BK performance, but I want to save as
much money as possible. I think there’s a lot
of people gonna raise their hand for that one. – Yeah – But what is the fourth? – This next one I raised
my own hand for because of my tank here in the
office and now with the one I’m going to use. But do I just need a
high performance skimmer that has the same
quality that Bubble King, but I have a small space,
and I need IT to be small? – Yeah, so they may
look like they’re just a bunch of acrylic tubes
at the pump on the side and like I know there’s a
little design differences, but why? So we’re going to dive right in that and you’re gonna see exactly
why each one of these does these things uniquely well. – If you answered that
you’re in the first category, where I want the best, I want
the ability to be wet, dry, you know, all of these types
of adjustment adjustments, this is the version for you. This is the Bubble king, deluxe versions, and you know related to
creating that dry and wet foam, DC skimmer pump, so the
Red Dragon DC pump here. Which means I can adjust
how much air goes into my skimmer body, based on the
amount of food and organics I have in my tank, where I’m
trying to find that balance between the amount of
organics and the amount of air to create the type of foam that I want. – Yeah you know it’s interesting
because I’ve talked to other skimmer manufacturers out there, and you know when DC pumps
came out they were like, why do you want DC because
isn’t more air better, right? And everybody’s like I don’t know, people want DC, they’re quieter. Actually talking to
these guys they are like, Dude, this thing is capable
of so much more air than you actually need in most tanks. You’re definitely want
to tune it down, right? And proper production of
foam and collection of it is balancing the amount of air, with the amount of organics in your tank. And if you’re wondering about
it, Randy did a whole bunch of BRStv investigates on it. We did a video on tuning and
you go watch all that stuff. It was really refreshing to
hear from these guys that they’ve already started off on that and that’s why it’s built that way, is you can actually reduce
the air and it’s built up so that it scales with
the size of your tank. So if I only have like a
few fish in the beginning, I can turn the airway down, right? And then as I get more and
more fish, just turn the air up and and keep that balance
right to get the right type of foam of you’re forward,
where it doesn’t just pop. You know, one of the things
you can see almost immediately if you have too much air. It’s just, you know, air
bubbles top to bottom, but at the top, it just
looks like it’s boiling. And that means that you
have way too much air for the amount of organics and
it can’t create a stable form and for all the last velocity of air that’s coming out the top. So this allows you to
have that adjustment, but what makes it
different, and this is the again they all have that DC pump, but what makes this one
different or the deluxe different than all the other ones
is the adjustments. So most people of you are
probably familiar with the ability to like turn
a wedge pie wedge pipe. A wedge pipe will like
raise it or lower it. However, with this one, it’s
kind of like that balance between like a recirculating
skimmer or not. Because with the recirculating
skimmer one the best things is that you don’t have to
worry about water height. – Yeah, I feel like this
is, in my mind’s eye, I picture this is like a hybrid you know single pump
sort of recirculating. In that, like the water
height that my skimmer sits in does affect you
know the where you know the head pressure on the pump. Especially in these single,
you know pump type of designs where it’s doing double duty, we’re drawing in water and air. But in this case, all I have to do is raise
where the drains out. So I can raise and lower
the amount of water in my body by using this
telescoping pipe here. – This a big big difference
and I’m surprised that other people don’t do this. Actually because normally
it’s just that wedge pipe in the waters leaving at the bottom and all that head pressure, right? In this case to leave the skimmer, the water actually has
to come up the pipe, and then come out right here. So this creates an artificial
water level in here, right? And so I can just telescope it
up and down until I find the right way to take out the
foam that I’m looking for. Again, we’ve created the
type of foam that we wanted, dry or wet. And now we’re adjusting how
we collect that type of foam. So the cool part is is actually
it’s a dual adjustment. So I’m gonna get like largely
really close and it’s stable there right, and then in
here is the wedge pipe. So I’m gonna tune it
to where I want it and then fine tune it with the wedge pipe, but I can like not grossly mess this up. And that’s why not only is it
the most tuneable wet and dry, but it’s also the easiest because I got three things that I know
exactly what you’re doing. I’m creating the type of foam, I can visually see it inside of here when I picked the right type of foam, then I’m adjusting to pretty
close, and then fine tuning. So, that is why this one
is the easiest to tune and why it’s ideal for
wet and dry applications. – Along with that, this
is the hand welded seams on this one right here. And you know the really
interesting part to me is where the drain the water
drains out of the body. If you look, it’s
underneath the bubble plate. So all of the air and
bubbles is happening up here, and the water drains out here. So making it probably
the least likely to have micro bubbles or bubbles
escaping the body. – Yeah, I don’t think
you’re gonna see that a lot with any of these designs. But you know it’s that added effort. You know that like eliminates anything that you might be unhappy with. You can look at this, you know, other things also just like
simple things like not hard, connecting the pump to the body. You know there’s a silicone
piece here that eliminates any vibration or noise and it
just shows attention to detail that really separates it from the pack. – So the Supermarin is for
those of you who answered that second question, where I’m just
a wet skimming kind of guy. I want to get the job done. I want to get as much
out as I possibly can and do it at a lower cost. – In fact, if you look at the website, they actually call this guy,
the sledgehammer, right? (Laughter) I mean wet skimming is kind
of like a sledgehammer, man. I don’t care I’m pulling out
some extra water whatever but I’m probably the most
waste at the same time. And in that case, it’s just
a little easier to adjust as well, so get the type of
phone that you’re looking for, which is wet, it flows over really easy. I don’t need as many
fine tuned adjustments. And so I can just use the wedge pipe here. And you know what, because
the whole design is simpler, I can actually save a few hundred bucks. – Yeah, I mean, it’s similar
to the Deluxe version, except I don’t have the
telescoping, you know, adjustment I just have the wedge pipe. But in this case, you know I
get bottom to top reaction. You know, you see the
injection port of the pump is absolutely at the most bottom and very well could be in the body. So, top to bottom I get
that reaction chamber and a bit cheaper than the deluxe. Three to four-hundred bucks, you’re going to save by
going with this version. – Yeah, so if you’re a wet
skimmer and you know it and that’s just the way that you roll, you might as well save the
three to four hundred bucks and just get the Supermarin. – This is the double cone and
this one is for those of you who answered that third question, where you want to get into that BK family, but you want to do it at a more
cost effective price point. You can see it’s extruded, so that’s where some of the savings you know comes from. We’re not hand welding seams. You can see that you’ve got
some nice pressed edges, but what you’re, you’re also getting, you’re not like skimping on performance. Probably the you know similar
performance of the Supermarin, but just in a way that does
it more cost effectively. – Actually that’s the exact goal, right? They shared with me that the
goal here is to get almost the exact same performance
you get out of the Supermarin, but let’s like make it
a little easier to build so we can pass those savings on, right? And so instead of building another cone and welding it on the top
it’s in one form piece. And there’s a bunch of different
areas where it just made it a lot easier for them to
build, so they’re going to shave three to four
hundred bucks on the cost, which means like what six
to eight hundred bucks off of the larger brother, with the Deluxe? – Yeah – So you save a lot of money. There are a couple of different
things though about it. One is you’ll notice that when
you made it into one piece, the reaction chamber actually
gets a little smaller. – Yeah – It has to, you know,
kind of form up as it goes up. – Yeah, it’s not as heavy duty,
so it’s different material also but still the same performance. Also, you know, it’s
smaller reaction chamber but you know it’s in the same fashion. Sort of like a smaller footprint too. – So if I’m in that kind of pocket, where I want like a really
sweet skimmer, right? But so I kind of want to
look for wherever that like intersection of value is, where cost is going to
intersect with performance, I’m probably gonna get
really similar performance, but I’m going to reduce the cost. And so, the Double Cone here
fits the bill perfectly. – This one’s for me the Bubble King Mini, this is for you if you
answered question number four. And that is, I’m just limited on space, but I want the Bubble King performance. This is the one for you. It’s space saving design
in pumps in the body. – You know what, I’m not
really sure but like, I can’t think of a skimmer
that had the pump in the body in this space saving design,
before Bubbles’ one did. It is probably is one out there, but it might be actually
that they are the innovators of that actual design. They’re right up there in the
in the beginning of the people that were doing this and
people copied it afterwards. So, yeah a space saving design. Let’s say you don’t get the
actual full length reaction chamber because the pumps in there. It’s just kind of one of the
trade offs, doing it this way. But, you obviously space
save a ton a ton of space, by putting the pump inside the skim. – Yeah, I mean same Red
Dragon DC scale skimmer pumps, the valve adjustment. I mean all of the features
for the other three models are in this in a more compact version. But, and this one is
slightly cheaper as well. But that’s not what it’s about. – Yeah, it’s really not about
saving money in this case. It’s about getting the
right tool for the right job and then fitting the space. And I will say actually this
one things we didn’t mention about the Double Cone is, the
Double Cone and this one come in smaller sizes than some of
the larger brothers as well. So like if you’re just
looking for a smaller skimmer that fits in a smaller place, this is absolutely it. So one of those things
probably spoke to you, and I can kind of see like
why these things exist on the planet why they’re different. And you know what, even if
you’re in the market for a lower cost skimmer, I think
you can start to look for some of those features in other brands as well and say yeah that’s the right
tool for the right job for me. But more importantly, if
you’re actually in the market for one of these things, you
know, now you have the gift that was given to me, which is instead of just looking
at four skimmers on there. Like not knowing why I’d want any of them. It’s really clear as to
why each one of these tools exist on the planet and what they do. Alright so what’s next? Well the proof’s kind of
always is in the pudding here, so we’re going to actually test them out in a few tanks here. So that when the Best
of 2020 comes around, – I’ve got some knowledge and user base. I mean, so for me, we’re going to do that in one of three ways. One, I get this little
mini 160 Bubble King here. So it’s ritual rated from
psych 60-180 gallons. This is a 60 gallon
cube tank in my office. So I’m gonna have to have a lot of fish, heavy bio load, a lot of nutrition
input which is, you know, really, you know, feeding
that conversation here and with the DC pump, I’m excited to see how
this thing performs. – Yeah, heavy protein in,
heavy out, kind of fits that hybrid method we’ve been
talking about and actually what we’re seeing like success
with all over the place here. Alright, so the next one that
we want to test is going to be on the BRS 160, just
because that one is one of the most like closely watch tanks here. And we’re going to put
the Double Cone on there. It’s the most affordable one out there and Josh takes care of that tank. He’s gonna be watching it real closely. We’ll share with you
you know Facebook shots and all that kind of stuff. – But we’ll see our
opinion of like does it actually match up the
performance of the other models, just a lower cost point, because that’d be really
sweet to be able to share. – Yeah and then you already have, so this was kind of like set
in stone before we got there, but you already have
a Deluxe for your 360. – Yeah, so I have a Deluxe
200 for the 360 gallon tank that’s at my house. And I will be a heavy bio
load and we got a ton of fish for this tank. That’s just, that’s actually
the thing that my family’s the most excited about,
is selecting the fish. – But it’s rated lower
than your tank display? – Yeah so for heavy bio
load, for light bio load it actually goes up around that 360 range, but I’m not gonna be light. It’s going to be heavy, which only goes down to
100 and like 80 gallons so it would look like it’s way undersized, but it’s not because I’m going
to have that filter floss automatic roller in there, right? And so following their advice, I’m actually going to scale
it down a step and even though it’s heavy by load at 180, I’m going to actually do
heavy bio load with the 200. So I get to save some
money on the skimmer. I guess and get a small one because I’ve done other areas of
filtration pretty well. So that’s pretty exciting. So we’re going to share
all of that with you guys over the next year. Hopefully in the “2020 Best of”, we’ll be able to, you
know, share all of the things that we liked, and maybe pick out some
of the special models, that really rose to the
top and all of that stuff. – Yeah, so I mean, if
you want to check out what we thought of our skimmers last year, go check out the 2019 Best of Skimmers, where we give our opinions on those and watch for this one coming
up later on this year. You can find that playlist
the “Best of 2019”, right down here. – Yeah, you could actually
see some of the replicas and we did really well
on that one as well. Not surprisingly, actually. So check them all out, “Best of 2019”.



  • scott ramos

    I need a new skimmer

  • Glenn Rudolph

    Geez I didn’t even know people had electricity 30 years ago! That skimmer is so legit.

  • nueok

    Is it just me or this looks exactly like a vertex….

  • Chosen Jacob

    @Bulk Reef Supply I've the BK Mini 160 on a 200L tank which is 3 months old. It works "ok", but it's a sledgehammer right now.
    The rating for these is absolutely spot on. It's currently running at 60%, but I'm thinking of dialling it down to 40% and see what happens.
    In a year, when heavily stocked, it'll be fine.


    I had a bubble King about 22 years ago it was the best skimmer I've ever owned.

  • RooKi3

    These or a Nyos?


    To me customer service and support after the sale is more important. The biggest thing for me is with all these over seas company is getting parts if something happens. Seemed to be the biggest problem with vertex look at them now.

  • Reef Community Worldwide

    I got the 160 amazing skimmer

  • Garage Reefer


  • Meier'sReefs

    I run the SM250 And it is a awesome skimmer. Even have one for back up lol

  • Ryans Aquariums

    When's Thomas going to start?

  • Mike B

    Ah… I was wondering when the Bubble King commercials would come out.

  • Suv Porridge

    3:52 did you guys notice the shrimp?

  • Michael Talley

    A grand + buys a lot of corals. Just saying.

  • Ryan Thompson

    I may not be a math genius but $1099 is greater than $928….meaning the mini is the cheapest not he double cone. Did I miss something?

  • Granjacia

    i think filters are better at sizes under 100 gallon. or at least for me

  • Sunny Goold

    Interesting information. Still isn't it really just a basic super solidly built product with a super high quality pump?
    For those interested in Bubble King it would have been super confusing understanding the differences until now (great simplification guys)
    And do these work with like recirculating with CO2 scrubbers, automatic neck cleaners and Ozone – be good if skimmers started coming in packs with these features (RedSea has the neck cleaner)

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