AquaC Urchin In-Sump Protein Skimmer w/ Drain Fitting + Cobalt MJ1200 Pump

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The revolutionary AquaC protein skimmers do not use venturis, downdraft tubes, or air pumps; they employ the patented "Spray Injection System." This innovation allows the protein skimmer to efficiently draw in much more air than any other of the top protein skimmers. This coupled with the superiorly designed compact reaction chamber yields results that will literally blow the waste out of your water.

How does Spray Injection Work?

In 1998, Jason Kim (owner and founder of AquaC) developed a patented process of protein skimming which has come to be known as Spray Injection. Unlike previous forms of skimming, our spray injection method enables huge amounts of air and water to be processed with a relatively small pump. Although it is a simple process, there is still some confusion as to how the spray injector works.

Imagine that you're washing your car – you've got a bucket full of soapy water and a garden hose with a fast-moving stream of water. By placing your thumb over the end of the hose, you can disrupt the stream into a turbulent, high –pressure spray. Now direct that spray down into the bucket of water, and you'll generate a massive amount of bubbles and air flow. That is exactly how our spray injector works.

The skimmer body acts as a water reservoir – the bucket in the example above. Water is pumped through the spray injector, which has a special nozzle that fans the water out into a pressurized spray. This spray shoots into the skimmer body, generating millions of tiny air bubbles. As the bubbles are formed, more air is sucked into the skimmer as a result of the local drop in pressure and the process continues.

Most other forms of protein skimming rely on special valves or media to generate the air flow, and these parts quickly become clogged with salt, dust, or even mineral deposits. The AquaC spray injector is a relatively large nozzle that resists clogging, and when combined with a pump prefilter, can be considered maintenance free.

The Urchin is a compact sump skimmer that is designed based on the popular Remora Hang-On. These skimmers share the same internal structure and are identical in terms of performance. The Urchin is designed to sit inside of a sump, and is powered by a Maxi Jet 1200. There aren't many skimmers with such a small footprint with this level of performance.


  • The Urchin is built from translucent gray acrylic to inhibit the growth of algae and marine organisms.
  • The skimmer can be ordered with a collection drain fitting (optional).
  • The pump is attached to the skimmer via a section of flexible hose. The pump can be moved into any position you choose.
  • The collection cup is removed from the skimmer by pulling it up and out of the body. Please check that you have the required 23" of vertical clearance under you stand if you are considering the Urchin.
  • Tank Size (Gallons): 20-75
  • Dimensions: 19" tall x 6" wide x 2-3/4" deep
  • 6" x 6" footprint (pump included)
  • Minimum vertical clearance is 23"
  • Water level exit height is 12-1/4"
  • Includes nylon cleaning brush

Features and Benefits of the Maxi Jet 1200 Pro:
  • Venturi – Silent, fully adjustable aeration.
  • Rotational Output – Directs water flow to needed areas of the tank.
  • Impeller – Maximizes water flow.
  • Adaptable Intake – Allows the power head to be used with undergravel filters.
  • Omni-Directional Mount – Adjusts the pump to fit the proper current needs inside the tank.
  • Propeller –Maximizes the water flow.
  • Propeller Cage – Protects the propeller and tank inhabitants while minimizing flow restriction.
  • Flow Rate: 295/1300 GPH

Product Manuals & Documentation

AquaC Urchin In-Sump Protein Skimmer w/ Drain Fitting + Cobalt MJ1200 Pump

Owner's Manual available for download in Adobe PDF file format

Manufacturer Info

AquaC Aquarium Supplies
AquaC was founded in 1998 as a small one-man operation in San Diego, California. The company has since grown to become one of the leading protein skimmer manufacturers in the United States and sells thousands of units globally every year. AquaC`s 5,000 square foot production facility in San Diego sets the standard in technology for acrylic fabrication. They use precision CNC machined parts and advanced thermoforming techniques to build products of unmatched quality and value. The company`s focus has remained the same after more than a decade in business: to provide high-quality products and top-notch customer service to customers with each and every transaction.


Manufacturers Warranty: 90 days from date of purchase

23 Reviews



Experience Level: Intermediate

Bullet proof? Probably!

I think the "Expert" from Chicago who couldn't get this to work and threw it in the trash (instead of selling it or giving it to someone else) has greatly overstated his "qualifications". Hey, if you can throw $200 away out of anger, I guess you're an "expert" at something! Thick, green tea from the two that I have used. Very little fiddling with it to get it set, too. Far less adjustments required than my Super Reef Octopus INT-1000. This is a fantastic design that works very well. In the year that I ran them, I didn't even have to clean the injection nozzle. Very recommended!

2 out of 2 found this review helpful

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Experience Level: Beginner

Easy to Use

Setup is very simple, but if you're new to protein skimmers it might take some thought. The skimmer seems to work as described, but to be frank both the manual and web site provide very little information for users; many of the links on the web site are non-functional. From reading other users' comments I have an idea of what I'm looking for, or what I should want ( a dry foam or skim, rather than liquid), but this is very much a learn as I go process. I would say the unit does do a good job of pulling particles out of the water, and it's easy to use.

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Experience Level: Intermediate

best skimmer yet

well i wasnt sure about the urchin,i checked around on line and with this website and reviews were very good,so i got one and all i have to say is its the bomb,best skimmer yet,dont listen to the negative,you will like it.If you want a great product and service,this website is the place,these guys go the extra mile to help you out,that does not happen very often,you cant go wrong with these folks,the skimmer is producing some nasty form. BUY the aqua c urchin.

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Experience Level: Intermediate

Buy it

Best.skimmer.eveerrr. Silent, fills with fithy doo doo, easy to own. Bubbles in the display went away after several weeks..

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Experience Level: Expert

threw it out

I am not in the habit of writing product reviews, but the Aqua C Urchin was one of the bigger disappointments from my 20 years of reef-keeping experience. Obviously the Urchin is a well reviewed entity -- and I made my purchase based upon research from independent sources, as well as consumer reviewers. Perhaps I received a faulty unit. I am very tuned in to the quirks associated with skimmers, the need for patience during the break in period etc. I have never before met a skimmer that I couldn't get to function satisfactorily. This product, however, was a giant migraine from day one. Following instructions to the letter, it was still impossible to adjust the water chamber in order to get an appropriate bubble column. And the overflow of wet foam resulted in a massive quantity of micro-bubbles in my tank. AND, the unit is unduly NOISY. I am very very happy for the many fine people who have been satisfied that the Aqua C Urchin in-sump does a good job for them in the all-important protein-skimming department. As for me, I go back to the "fool me once/shame on you... fool me twice/shame on me" dictum ... and would decline to ever again purchase a product from this manufacturer. My Aqua C Urchin is currently residing in the trash. R.I.P.

1 out of 12 found this review helpful

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Experience Level: Intermediate

AquaC Urchin

Very pleased so far. Easy installation.

0 out of 1 found this review helpful

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Experience Level: Intermediate

Awesome Skimmer!

It is built very well and is quiet, efficient, compact, and essentially maintenance free. I am sure this rivals more expensive skimmers. I empty the cup nearly everyday and am sure that I will start using the drain fitting soon. I don't think you can beat the value of this skimmer.

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Experience Level: Expert


I needed a small in-sump refugium for my 65gal mixed reef tank. Its only been running overnight and its pulling out gunk already. It seems to be put together well and adjusting the neck for a thicker foam is easy and its quiet. I've had several skimmers over my 15 yrs of reef keeping and this one is among the better ones, definitley for the size and price. Buyers note the exit port is a waterfall type and is on the right side of the skimmer as you look at the pump, the drain fitting is also on the right side.

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Experience Level: Intermediate

Great skimmer

The skimmer is very easy setup. I did not have the problems others have with lots of wet foam needing to be emptied every hour or less. I feel that is a water chemistry/balance issue. It started creating a good foam the next day. I would change the location of the drain plug since it hampers the o-ring, there is an inch of space less to adjust for drier foam. You will need 1/2" ID hose to connect to the drain plug. I used the Coralife SS in the sump and the constant adjusting of the water level is not a problem with the Urchin. Check your clearence space for cup removal I would give a few extra inches than they state. The water discharge and drip valve are located on the right side of skimmer so keep that in mind.

1 out of 1 found this review helpful

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Experience Level: Intermediate

Skimming simplified

This skimmer is great for small compact sumps. The foam generated by the spray nozzle is excellent. It keeps the water very clean and is easy to use. The cup height can be adjusted easily by moving the o-ring up or down. No fiddling with gate valves and multiple pumps. Great and simple product.

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