Over the past decade I’ve had many small aquariums, some already coming equipped with a protein skimmer. Nevertheless, those and other small skimmers that I have acquired over the past years have left me less than 100% satisfied with their performance. They either required more maintenance to keep running somewhat effectively than they should have or they could not be set properly to stop their tiny air bubbles from entering the aquarium. Both of these situations have caused me to frequently search the Internet for newcomers that might meet my needs/requirements when it comes to a ‘properly operating and efficient’ protein skimmer for the small aquarium. And I should add I’ve seen many different brands and models with some having price tags equaling the cost of some of my small aquariums!
Recently, while searching the web came across a new entry, new in that it had just been redesigned to incorporate an air pump and airstones instead of its first generation model that used a small submerged pump that generated the air bubbles. From what I understood from CPR, the maker of this product, the small bubble-making pump was no longer available so they went to equipping their AeroForce unit with two large airstones and supplied the product with a quality air pump. Honestly, if it were not for an air pump/airstone powered skimmer in one of my other small aquariums (which required more work than it should have, yet was marginally useful), I may have never considered this product as airstone skimmers are not high on my list as overly efficient! Yet knowing CPR has many years of producing quality products and from what I could see in their ads of its design, decided it deserved a try and I’m very happy I did!
As to the design, its body is flat sided so as to easily hang on the side/back panel of aquarium and its two airstones are powered by the supplied air pump. Even though I have never been impressed with a skimmer being powered with airstones, I must say those used in the new AeroForce render an excellent supply of tiny bubbles and could not ask for a better volume or physical bubble size then what this product delivers! However, it’s the AeroForce duel body design that really caught my eye. Can’t tell you how much I have disliked cleaning the insides of past nano-type skimmer bodies, as they either required complete removal from the aquarium or in some cases were simply impossible to reach inside to adequately keep them clean and functioning correctly. Not so with the AeroForce, as its internal body simply sides out of the outer HOT body and can easily be wiped clean in less than ten seconds. Then slid back in and its Pico 400 water pump and MA 400 air pump reconnected and its good to go.
Did I find any faults with the product, yes, but only in its written instructions, as there are some text updates needed, but not anything that would interfere with its simple setup.
All-in-all, a high quality, highly efficient and solidly constructed unit that is easy to keep properly maintained and most important does not allow tiny bubbles to enter the aquarium! And last by not least, reasonably priced. If you’re in the market for a HOT protein skimmer for your small aquarium, give the new CPR AeroForce AP (Air Pump) model some thought. I did, and am very pleased I did! WWW.cprusa.com