7 Months With The Hydor Performer 2005 Recirculating Skimmer


Protein skimmers have a lot of value on a saltwater tank. They remove dissolved organic material (waste), they oxygenate your tank’s water and they help give you insight to what’s going on in your tank.

For my 235g tank build, I wanted to go in a different direction with my protein skimmer choice and try a recirculating skimmer. I chose the Hydor Performer 2005 as my test subject and here’s my review after 7 months of testing.

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Comments for this article (56)

  • Mark H. says:

    Mark, awesome review and the skimmer is the most vital part of my tank.
    I am one of those people who takes the skimmer out, disassembles and cleans every part. My skimmer is homemade and has been in service for atleast 15 years. 🙂

  • Alex says:

    Mark, I’m in the market for a new skimmer, and am really considering the hydor performer 1005 or 2005… can you recommend a reputable retailer?

  • Ehsan says:

    hey Mark love it. However i have a question is there any of them good for a 40 gallon. and if there is what is the name of them. thank you as always for all your top videos. hope to see you when you come to DC. and it was the best to see you face to face, my wife could not believe it. love your work.

  • Tan G. says:

    Hey Mark,

    I thought you were using the Vertex skimmer and liked it? When did you switch to Hydor 2005?

  • Tan…I haven’t had a Vertex skimmer since 2010 I believe. I went to a SWC on my 90g tank, then I sold the 90g tank, moved across the country and started up my 235g tank which runs the Hydor skimmer

  • Alex…I can get you one.

  • devon.vincent says:

    Do I really need one for a 29 gallon fowler system

  • Haytham Hashem says:

    Mark, great review as always.
    I did buy the Hydor 2005 skimmer and im currently planning my sump. I came across a water depth issue though. The manual advice against having the water level in the sump higher than the skimmer’s outlet level which is only 6” off the base. Since I want to discharge the skimmed water in the drain chamber in my sump where water is 16” deep, I have to raise the skimmer 10”. Now the problem is I don’t have extra 10” in my sump to raise the skimmer.
    I thought of removing the last tube from the skimmer’s outlet and leave only the 90 degree elbow pointing downwards but I’m not sure if I would only be cheating myself by doing so.
    How would you solve this if you came across such an issue?

  • George says:

    Hi all & haythem I was looking at Hydor and when I emailed Them about questions with the skimmer they where helpfull as there details on the web site was a bit out of date so they caified a couple of bits but the one thing they did tell me is u really have to be creafull with drain the water must be below this for the skimmer to work correctly but if in doubt email them they got back to me the same day

  • John says:

    Mark,
    With all the recirculating skimmers out there what help you pick this brand?

    I also like looking at your tank in the background. Can you tell me what do you have on the back glass so you do not see the wall?

  • Haytham Hashem says:

    George, thanx for your comment. I just emailed them now as you suggested. I will post their reply here when they get back to me.
    All the best.

  • Matt says:

    Nice review … So … Being a complete Uber Reef Junkie, will it be hanging around or have you found yourself eyeing up some other sexy looking skimmers?

    My better half often catches me browsing … I get yelled at a lot after the fuss I caused getting the last one 😛

  • The skimmer is staying Matt. Bridger needs more Thomas and Friends track!

  • Haytham…you don’t want the skimmer to have any back pressure so turning the elbow up would create back pressure. Is there a reason you want to discharge the skimmer into the drain section of your skimmer?

  • John…I’ve used Hydor gear in the past and have been happy with that brand. Also, I wanted to pick an international brand as a lot of my audience is outside the USA and sometime complain they can’t get the gear I review in my show. Hydor is distributed worldwide so that helps ensure everyone could get a this skimmer.

  • Haytham Hashem says:

    Yes Mark, because I’m setting the skimmer externally; it was only a coincident that the skimmer has to be located next to the drain chamber. In my case; since my return pumps are also externally installed on one side of the sump, the skimmer will have to be on the other side because I didn’t want to meddle with its return assembly that is already discharging the skimmed water very close to the skimmer. Also unfortunately, the drain chamber has the highest water level in this case since water will drain from the aquarium into a drain chamber then overflow into filter socks then pass through a perforated panel into biological filter media and so on (like in your sumps case).

    Regarding the elbow; I didn’t mean that I will turn it up; what I meant was; by eliminating the last segment tube (pointing down) of the skimmer’s return assembly; the elbow (also still pointing down) will be the last discharge point which is naturally higher. As I said, I don’t know if this will work anyways. I’m just brain storming solutions.

  • Devon…while one of the hydor recirculating skimmers might not make sense for a 29g tank, I do recommend a protein skimmer, even on a small FOWLR system

  • Lisa says:

    Excellent review…….we will upsizing soon and have just started our shopping list. Thanks so much.

    Aside….did you ever review the performance of the SWC Xtreme 160 Cone Protein Skimmer; currently using on a 55G and have mixed feelings about skimmate production. Perhaps I have the air/water mix incorrect.

    Thanks much and happy holidays!

  • dave from brooklyn says:

    Mark you’ve done well this week with good videos as usually. You deserve time off. MERRY CHRISTMAS… You have time to put up a tree?(kenya tree)…

  • Dave…kenya tree! Ha! That’s funny. I could find some underwater LEDs and make it light up!

  • Lisa…I used the SWC 160 on my 90g tank and had great results. I would not hesitate recommending it again and I use it on my clients tanks when it makes sense

  • Alex says:

    I took your advise Mark. I bought the same skimmer you had for your 90 gallon. The SWC cone skimmer. I cant set it up until i convert to a sump. That skimmer worked good for you. Correct??

  • Alex…the SWC 160 worked great for me and I still use it on clients tanks when it makes sense.

  • paul harter says:

    I’m at a crossroads for our 125 gallon reef tank, do we go with a skimmer or is the aquaripure system a better choice? We’re leaning toward the aquaripure, but no one seems to know anything about other than the vendor. If you’re not familiar with it here’s the url http://www.aquaripure.com/ Thanks in advance

  • Paul…do NOT get the Aquaripure. IT is not needed if you set your tank up correctly. Save your money and don’t buy that garbage.

  • Mark H. says:

    Paul, please listen to Mark on this one. Stick with the basics and start with a good skimmer.

  • Renate S. says:

    I, unfortunately, spent money on the Aquaripure filter when I was fighting an algae outbreak. It cleared the tank, but now I’m having problems with diatoms and the filter does not help. If I would have been aware of this website prior to my purchase I don’t think I would have bought it!
    Mark, could you please mention the food you feed. I missed the brand you use that you said did not break down in your tank. My fish get a mix of dry and wet food and I’m looking for a new dry food. Thanks for having information available for use newbies!

  • Renate…I’ve been using the New Era food with great results.

  • Renate S. says:

    Thanks for answering I will give it a try!!

  • Pam Nachel says:

    I am getting ready to set up a 90 gal. I have a 75gal I have a diablo skimmer on it rated for 160 to 250. On the new tank do they make a recirculating skimmer for the 90? I don’t have much head room un der the tank and we are going to put a 55 gallon refugium sump, so i can have my copods for my fish. thanks Pam watch all your videos great job I have learned so much thank you

  • Paul Harter says:

    Ok Mark,
    I took your advice and have ordered a Hydor 505 and Hydor L20 pump due to arrive early next week. I’m not a plumber however and am wondering how difficult it is going to be to plumb the 505 externaly from the sump on my 125 gal tank.

  • Paul Harter says:

    Just a follow up, the Hydor 505 arrived and plumbing it is a breeze. All that worry for nothing.

  • Paul…glad to hear it. Let us know your impressions of it after you’ve had time to break it in.

  • Rob Melo says:

    Mark… how much water (gph) would you say your pushing through the skimmer?

  • Rob…I really have no idea. I’d guess around 300 gph and that’s purely a guess

  • Ryan says:

    Hi Mark, question for you do you like the fit and finish of the product? Is the CNC and acrylic strong like your 2010 vertex or the SMC one you had before? Does the cup detach and attach easy with out headaches and leaking upon reattaching? Thanks

  • Ryan…I feel that the fit and finish of the Hydor is just as good as the Vertex and SWC. The cup has a locking mechanism that keeps it firmly in place and prevent leaks.

  • Ryan says:

    Great I have been looking at this one for months for I like the way it doesnt rely on the water line in the sump to function. I have tank on one level and sump on a another and at times the water level can easily change by at least 1″ in the sump and that changes the skimmer, I appreciate your response +1 to you.

  • Aden Seeley says:

    Hi Mr.Saltwater tank,
    I’m starting a reef for the first time and I want to get the same protein skimmer you have. I have one question though. When skimmers are rated for a certain water volume does that mean the display and the sump or just the display? I ask this because I was given a 30 gallon tank to use as a sump so that will add a lot of water volume to the tank wont it? Thanks again.
    -Aden

  • Jeff says:

    I’m thinking about getting the Hydor 705 Protein Skimmer for my 120g with 17g Refugium and was wondering can I hook it up to one of my over flow drains so I don’t have to have another pump to run it. I’v been doing some reading, other people say they do it this way and it works good. I was just wondering what you thought about it being hooked up that way. Thanks

  • George Wright says:

    I have the 1000 model I think u could do it with the down line but you would have to ensure your getting a constant flow and you would have to measure it either just before the skimmer or from the drain for it to work

  • George…if your return pump is on and the pipes are closed (no leaks) then you’ll be getting constant pressure. Also, while having a flow meter to measure the exact flow going into the skimmer would be nice, it isn’t needed to have the skimmer work correctly. I don’t have a flow meter on my skimmer and it is working fine.

  • Jeff…you’ll have to engineer the drain so that the pressure is constant as George pointed out. Drain lines aren’t 100% full of water. Therefore you’d have a lot of air getting into the skimmer via the feed line. Better to have a pump feeding the skimmer.

  • Jeff says:

    How much flow do I need to this skimmer. GPH can’t seem to find anything that will tell me how much. I’ve hear 400 gph and I have heard 250 gph just want the right amount for it to work good. Thanks for the input

  • Jeff…I’d aim for 400 gph

  • Daire says:

    Hi Mark,

    I purchased the Performer 2005 for my 240. I just set it up. I’m using a Maxi-Jet 1100 as a feed pump (adjustable up to 300 gph). When I have it set to full blast, the water level inside the skimmer isn’t even up to the level that the manual recommends. But when I turn on the recirculating pumps, the skimmer overflows. Even with the air and drain knobs turned to the lowest setting. Why do you think this is happening?

    Also, I had to raise the skimmer in the sump because the manual specifically states that the drain should not be below the water surface. In your you tube video, it looks like your drain is below the water surface. It also looks like you removed the long pipe coming our of the elbow. Can you please confirm that?

    One last question, do you think it’s possible to put a T instead of the elbow on the drain, then submerge the lower part of the drain in the sump to eliminate waterfall noise?

    Thanks as always,
    Daire

  • George Wright says:

    Daire
    I have a the next size down but still with the two pumps firstly you really have got to measure the flow going into the skimmer from your pump I did this by using a 25l container and divided the amount of water I need from a 750 -1000l per hr so it worked out I needed to fill the container in between 1:30 to 1:45 then set the height using the drain restricter know once you have that set to it sit 2cm down from the neck turn one on at a time give it about 1min before you turn the second on it will over flow the skimmer just use the drain hose and let it run into the sump it will calm down after about 5 mins and you then adjust to suit your needs you must have a small air gap between the water and drain or it effect the water height in the skimmer I am going to try a tee with a cap hole drilled like a durso

  • Daire…a couple of things:

    1) Have you tried turning down the feed pump to the skimmer? Sounds like it might be feeding too much water to the skimmer.

    2) My drain is slightly below water level. I achieved this by removing the longer piece of plastic that fits into the elbow.

    I’m not clear on your thinking about the T-fitting.

  • Daire says:

    Thanks Mark. It’s performing much better now. I think it just needed some time to settle in. I love it!

  • glad to hear it Daire!

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