Bubble Magus have had a solid following with their cost effective Curve 5 skimmers, and the new Curve A5 protein skimmer will likely keep that going. At 18.5″ tall, with a 7″ x 7.2″ footprint, the Curve A5 protein skimmer is compact and ideal for smaller sump systems.
NEW DESIGN FEATURES
The Curve A5’s most noticeable change from it’s Curve 5 predecessor is the stand pipe for adjusting the internal water height of the skimmer which is now an acrylic rod that connects to a gear at the bottom of the skimmer. The gear opens and closes the water outlet which is located on the bottom plate of the skimmer. This really isn’t the ideal location for the outlet as the skimmer only stands about a half inch off the bottom of the sump, and could restrict the outflow. However, this isn’t a deal breaker because raising the skimmer another half inch or so with silicone coasters or a DIY egg crate stand solves the issue nicely.
The adjusting rod initially looked rather flimsy, but on contact it’s quite sturdy and fits solidly to the skimmer body. The gear underneath that is used to adjust the water outlet also feels much stronger in person than we expected and seems durable. The new acrylic adjustment rod and gear system allows the water height in the skimmer to be fine tuned and delivers a smooth, controlled movement.
THE NEW HYBRID DC PUMP
The biggest change however is in the new DSP-1000 Hybrid non-controllable DC pump. This means lower power usage and less noise over the standard Rock pumps. The DSP-1000 is very quiet on startup and this one got even quieter as the unit broke in. After 6 weeks of operation, I can barely hear the skimmer which is in my tank cabinet four feet behind me in my office. Bubble Magus rate the unit for tanks between 80 gallons and 132 gallons. I personally think it’s best suited for tanks under 75 gallons, but I wouldn’t hesitate to use two of them on a 90 gallon system if I was on a budget.
Everything else about the Curve A5 protein skimmer is familiar of Bubble Magus Curve series skimmers. The quick release collection cup and bottom plate, the light weight cast acrylic body, and pump mount inside the body. These skimmers are not as ‘heavy-duty’ in their construction as some of the other brands available, but they really don’t undergo much in the way of abuse when in normal operation, so it’s not really an issue for me. However, a reasonable amount of care does need to be taken, as it can easily be damaged if dropped during a rushed assembly (we’ve all done it).
Overall, it’s an effective compact skimmer option for those with little space in their sump and it pulls out consistent skimmate without much adjusting. We did give this unit a thorough cleaning before putting it in the tank and it pulled out an inch of wet skimmate after only a couple of days. After a few weeks and some adjusting, it’s pulling out much darker skimmate and operates without any fuss on a well stocked 40 gallon mixed reef.