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AETech ETS 800 Gemini Skimmer

Brand New ETS 800 Skimmer
Stable Foam Inside Skimmer
Skimmer in need of a cleaning
Beckett Injectors Installed in ETS Manifold

ETS 800 Gemini - Clean, out of the box

This is the ETS 800 Gemini skimmer used on my 180g reef tank when it was brand new. It stands 26 inches tall. It is claimed to be the largest ETS skimmer that will fit under a tank stand. From what I have seen not many people have a stand over 26" tall. My stand happens to be 32" inches tall is taller than most.

This skimmer is known as a dual stack skimmer because it uses two shorter aeration towers instead of a single larger tower. For a more detailed skimmer description, Click Here

This is a summary of the curing process for 88 lbs. of Jumbo Fiji Show Rocks purchased from Jeff's Exotic Fish in November 1998. This rock was sent via Delta Air Cargo. If you live in a small town and can't get near a major international airport -- skip saving money on air freight. Stick with Fedex, it's a little more money, but you'll get your rocks on-time. I've recieved shipments from airports before, I wasn't new to the game, but I sure hate doing it. Delta had no clue where my order was, it seemed like they made up something to say every time I called. My shipment went from Los Angles, CA to Las Vagas, NV to Atlanta, GA, they thought it was in Cincinnati, OH a few times, but it finally got to my airport in Newburg, NY. I actually have a large airport that is closer to me in Westchester, NY but they don't allow livestock cargo to be shipped in.

ETS 800 Gemini - First Wet Run

To the left you can see the ETS 800 hooked up and running. This was a "wet-run". It was being tested on a freshwater tub to find leaks in the bulkhead, valves or any other part of the plumbing. With the MAK4 Pump running full open the water level in the Skimmer was at the top of the skimmer's black sump box. This is the setup I'm going to use to cure my live rock.

Jumbo Fiji Live Rock in Box
November 1998

To the left you can see the box just opened. It's a rather large box. Much bigger than this picture makes it look. Some of these rocks are over 20 lbs each. This is transshiped rock from Fiji to my local airport. This rock spent no time in a dealers tank curing. As you can see, it is a large cardboard box that has styrofoam insulation. It then has a plastic liner. Inside the box appears to be wet newspaper. Since the rock is not wrapped in this wet newspaper, I'm not sure what value it has. Seems to just add more work as you have to peal this wet paper off the lower rocks. The darker areas of the rock are coraline algae. It does not have a bad smell, but it still had an odd oder  to it. You could tell it would need a decent cure before it could be used.

ETS 800 Gemini - Curing Live Rock

This image shows the skimmer running with saltwater and curing some live rock. As you can see the reaction chamber is full of foam and some stiff foam can be seen in the collection cup. What you can not see in this picture is the drain hose for the collection cup. The drain hose allows any skimmate in the collection cup to drain out into a waste collector. I'm using a 5 gallon bucket as my waste collector.

This is the upper half of my cure tank in my basement. This picture was taken about 20 minutes after the rocks were rinsed and placed into the tub. As you can see the ETS 800 skimmer is already full of foam. To the lower left of the skimmer is the MAK4 pump that powers the skimmer. Next to the pump is a small APC 600 UPS to protect the pump and power a powerhead and a heater for a while incase power was to go out. Above the cure tank you can see the horizontal mount pendant for lighting. For the first week I had the light on for about 4 hours a day. This light is mainly for the caulerpa that I have in the tub to help with the cure. Attached to the pendant is a high powered 101CFM fan to keep the light cool. Above the pendant you can see the IceCap ballast and IceCap Digital Timer in the background.

Lower Rock Curing Tank

In this picture you can see the lower half of the cure tank setup. It is a second vat of water to hold the smaller chunks or junks that will need frequent cleaning. It uses a 1 inch bulkhead which will be later used for my return pump to my main tank. In the lower tub I have two MaxiJet 1000 powerheads. One is for circulation, the second is used to return water back to the main tank. In the main tank attached to the bulkhead is a stand pipe that comes just below the water surface. This pipe will prevent a complete tank drain incase the power goes out. If you look carefully, you can also see both 250w heaters used to keep the water warm in a fairly cold basement.

In summary this rock took about 3 weeks to complete the cure cycle. The ammonia peaked at about 4 ppm, and quickly dropped to 0.25ppm within a few days. The nitrite peaked at 6 ppm, and dropped by 1 ppm each day after that until it reached close to 0 ppm. During this time I didn't bother to measure nitrate. It is useless to measure nitrate if any detectable nitrite is present. Nitrite interferes with almost all test kits, and will give an unreliable nitrate reading. Once the cure was completed, I measured the Nitrate and the first reading was 16 ppm using the LaMotte Nitrate Triation Kit, this dropped down to 8 ppm where it stayed for several weeks until the rock was moved to the display tank.

3 Gallons of Skimmate

To the left shows my 5 gallon bucket with about 3 gallons of skimmate from the ETS 800. This amount of skimmate was made overnight during the live rock's first night curing. I think this skimmate is a little too light in color which means the skimmer is pulling to much water. The skimmate should be darker in color - green to black.

Example of Cured Fiji Live Rock
January 1999

If you know what your looking for you can easily see green Halimeda macro algae. The brown patch is an encrusting SPS coal, I have not identifed yet. To the top, backside of the rock you can see some small Caulerpa and brown macro algaes sprouting.

I'm not one to get to excited about the coraline algae, but this rock does have a nice array of colors.

Example of Cured Fiji Live Rock
January 1999

This is another good example of typical Fiji rock gnarled and full of holes. It has good coraline growth and this rock has alot of brown macro alage coming out of it. This is my second largest chunk (one above is bigger)

I haven't located any stony corals on this one, but it does have many, many small Zoanthids growing on it. The Zoanthids are real hard to see in this picture do to the small size of them.