IceCap 1K Skimmer 101: Assembly, Setup & Installation

The IceCap K1 series are remarkably compact skimmers that offer many of the features found in higher priced skimmer. The K1 skimmers were designed around providing proper filtration without sacrificing valuable sump space or performance.

Master crafted from robust PVC and high quality acrylic, these skimmers are built to last. All components are marine safe and refined in every aspect to provide the latest enhancements in foam fractionation.

The skimmers elegant “Beer Bottle” curved body naturally stabilizes the air and water mix and gently uplifts the organics to the surface of the foam for collection.

The skimmers feature an impressive compact footprint making them ideal for tight sump applications.

Lets not forget to mention that the skimmers disassemble completely for easy service.

At the Core of the IceCap K1 skimmers, you will find the new EVair pinwheel skimmer that provides efficient and reliable performance.

The K1s output control offers trouble free fine-tuning and quiet operation. The pipeless design not only saves on space but also allows the outgoing water to exit from the bottom of the skimmer and below the water surface providing quiet splash-free discharge.

The IceCap K1 Skimmers are now available in 4 models:

  • The K1-nano, perfect for aquarium ranging between 10 and 30 gallons which we will cover in detail in a future video.
  • The K1-130 can handle aquariums between 80 and 140 gallons.
  • The K1-160 ideal for aquariums between 120 and 200gallons.

And the K1-200 capable of filtering aquariums between 180 and 350 gallons.

IceCap K1 Skimmer Assembly

On a stable surface, place a towel or something to prevent any scratches while assembling. In order to remove the skimmer body from its base we must remove the two screws on the stabilizer for the output handle and loosen the 4 screws along the 4 corners of the base of the skimmer, twist counter clockwise and lift off.

Slide the front of the pump into the corresponding grooves of the pump mount already installed on the base of the skimmer.  

With the top of the diffusion chamber removed, place the output of the pump through the hole in the bottom plate. Thread in the output adapter and secure the chamber to the output of the pump.

Place the top on the chamber and thread in the screw and be careful not to over tighten.

Line up the skimmer body with the intake of the skimmer pump and match the screws on the base with the larger holes on the rim of the skimmer body.

Twist so that the two rims line up making a perfect square.

Tighten all thumbscrews securing the base to the skimmer body skimmer.

Insert the air venturi through the hole that is lined up with the intake of the skimmer pump.

Slip the airline over the larger barb off of the venturi.

Next, simply place the bottom stem of the silencer into the hole of the bracket and Install the airline to secure it in place.

Carefully install the skimmer in your sump at the suggested water depth.

Place the collection cup on top of the rim of the skimmer body.

The collection cup comes with a drain if you wish to run the skimmate to a collection container. To do this, remove the blue retainer clip by pulling outward.  Press the slip ring towards the drain fitting while pulling the plug outwards.

Insert the drain hose adapter into the drain elbow, re-install the retainer clip and attach drain hose.

With the output valve completely open, plug the pumps power plug into electrical socket.

To tune the skimmer to your aquarium, simply close the output valve by turning it counter clockwise until you retain pea size bubbles at the point where the collection cup mounts to the skimmer body. Allow the skimmer to acclimate to the new setting for 24hrs or more before making any further adjustments. The more closed the output valve becomes, the wetter the waste collection will become.


Do not attempt dialing in a protein skimmer any sooner than 2 weeks.   You must allow the skimmer to break in prior to tuning it.  It is common for a skimmer not to fully break in for 4weeks. During this time the skimmers performance can be very unpredictable.

We suggest that you remove the pump every 4-6months to be cleaned and inspect the impeller for wear or damage.

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:

I installed the skimmer and it overflows even with the output fully open. Is this because it is breaking in?

An overflowing skimmer can be a number of things but breaking in is not one of them. First thing I would suggest to make sure that skimmer is installed at the recommend depth and that nothing is obstructing the skimmers output.

If the skimmer continues to overflow then the most likely culprit of the overflows is the water itself. Very high nutrient, cycling tank, frag putty, dechlorinators, certain foods and or medications to list a few. The solution is to do multiple water changes and use a fresh activated carbon in a high flow area of a sump, filter or reactor. Change the carbon out every 3-5 days until the skimmer can operate without overflowing.

My skimmer is working but I can’t get it to collect anything. Is the skimmer broken?

It is normal to have inconsistent or no skimmate collection during the first 3-4 weeks of operation. Also, it is very important to make sure that the skimmer is also properly sized for your system.

My skimmer is very noisy. Is my pump damaged or is this what I should expect?

Both pump noise and air suction will be louder than normal during the break-in period which can last 3-4 weeks. If you hear a grinding noise or anything considered irregular, please remove the pump from operation and inspect the propeller for obstruction.

If you would like to learn more about the IceCap K1 protein skimmer including detailed specs, beautiful high-quality pictures and replacement parts, head on over to  

If you have any questions or issues with the product, don’t hesitate to visit our support portal at Our friendly support reps are eager to help you with any questions or issues you may have. 

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Author: Carlos

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