Battle of the Solar Skimmers: Ariel vs Betta 2 Bake off!!!

Orion7319

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Jul 1, 2020
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well decided to get the betta 2 to try out. put it in the pool and the right propeller fell off and sank to bottom. evidently the fastening screw was either missing or loose enough to fall out with initial use. bummer. i was anxious to see its performance during our next wind event this weekend. they are sending replacement screw, but in the mean time I can scrounge around the garage and find something small enough to work.
Yeah sometimes they have bad days at the factory. I had one sent to me with either two right propellors or two left propellors (can’t remember). It just went in circles. They sent me the correct propellor quickly. There is a reason I recommend getting the extended warranty. The original betas broke down all the time. I think I had 4 of them break down on me while still under the 1 year warranty. No one here has reported the beta 2 breaking down yet though and at least 3 of us have one from their original run of those…. But yeah get the three year warranty if you haven’t yet! They are good at honoring their warranties, otherwise I couldn’t recommend buying one until the beta 2s prove their durability.
 

Katodude

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Aug 22, 2017
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Landscaper day!!!

Grass got mowed yesterday and of course most of it gets blown into the pool. So a few findings.

First, Ariel produces a forward wake (so does the Betta but it is smaller). On larger debris it does not make a difference, but on the very fine debris the Ariel will push it forward for a while before she captures it (and some times she does not). The betta does not seem to have this problem. I tried to video this but it did not come out well since the debris is very fine. I may try to replicate this later to try to capture it on video.

Another observation is when the forward paddle stops spinning they both release some debris back in the pool. That may explain the next few pictures. For you Betta owners do you remove the Betta from the pool or just remove the basket when you want to clean out the basket? The Ariel needs to be removed from the pool. You also need to hose down the inside of the Ariel as she captures a lot of debris there. The Betta does also but to a much lesser degree.

I am pretty sure the Ariel captured more debris than this, but probably released a lot of it overnight when the batteries died.
Basket pictures this morning:
 

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tcat

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The Betta2 is much smarter with battery conservation and travel! Some mornings the Betta is still moving at 7am, some it has red lights, and some it appears dead (no lights) but give it a few minutes red lights come on and it moves a few feet (looking for more light). By 9am it's green and moving in the shade! It's pretty good at knowing when it will hit a wall and starts turning a foot or two before the wall. The top basket alone is worth it over the others. I always remove, turn off, then empty. I do set on pool ledge in the sun, turn on, sometimes while swimming.
 

Katodude

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Aug 22, 2017
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Part Deux of the terrain avoidance system.

Silicon glued (cuz thats what I had in the garage) the BBQ skewer to a piece of plastic and zip tied it to the legs. Let’s see how that holds up.
 

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Sanford35000

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Jun 23, 2021
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Excellent thread here, Katodude. Thanks for all of the information.

I have an original Solar Breeze NX and an NX2 as well, and have been very happy with both. Since I’ve been satisfied with Solar Breeze products, I would lean towards the Ariel as my next solar skimmer, but the run time is a deal breaker. The NX2 just keeps going and going and going and…

What’s your final conclusion as to which is better, the Ariel or the Betta 2?
 

tcat

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Excellent thread here, Katodude. Thanks for all of the information.

I have an original Solar Breeze NX and an NX2 as well, and have been very happy with both. Since I’ve been satisfied with Solar Breeze products, I would lean towards the Ariel as my next solar skimmer, but the run time is a deal breaker. The NX2 just keeps going and going and going and…

What’s your final conclusion as to which is better, the Ariel or the Betta 2?
My NX [email protected] out in 3 seasons. A couple of repairs during. I know my Betta2 goes MUCH longer if you have lots of trees. It's also MUCH easier to empty the MUCH larger basket. Time will tell, and if it dies in 3 years, I'd buy a new one, did not feel the same about the NX. The Betta2 is also cheaper than what I paid for the NX in 2017!
 

gvc

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2010
74
I too was an original owner of the solar breeze & nx(2) versions and was generally satisfied with their performance so I did upgrade to Ariel version but was very disappointed in it's run time as compared with previous versions. So I was very interested in reading all betta 2 reviews. I have a large 835 sf surface area to clean so it's important to me that a skimmer robot investment performs to save me the manual labor of cleaning the pool surface more than the skimmers can provide. Based on others here that reviewed the betta 2, I decided to give the betta 2 a trial.
As mentioned earlier, I had a missing or loose propeller screw that cause the betta right propeller to come off. customer service responded really fast and sending me replacement screw but i was able to find a small enough screw to reattach it myself. So I put betta to work for the first time today. in calm morning waters it seemed to be pretty fast and intelligent navigating my pool, although , as with ariel, the sensors that allow it to avoid obstacles ( my pool edge is about 50% rockscape) doesnt let it grab debris that clings to the pool wall surfaces as much as my previous solor breeze nx(2) units, but at least they didnt get stuck in the waterfall rock areas. Betta 2 had no problems with my skimmers or steps, so I was happy about that.
Later in the day when the winds started to pick up I noticed the betta 2 struggling a bit navigating the turbulent water , so I put Ariel in the pool too. Ariel's paddle drive design seems to cut through the turbulent water better than betta 2's propellers but not by a great deal. At one point , they were side by side,pretty even with each other ,but Ariel did edge out betta 2 in forging through the headwind water flow. As I type this , the wind speeds are predicted to increase as the day goes into night. I know Ariel will die out shortly after nightfall. I anxioulsy wait to see how long betta 2 will last and how my pool surface looks in the morning after overnight winds. will report back. sorry for the long post....also as previously reported, betta 2 propeller navigation much quieter than ariel's paddles
 
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Orion7319

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Jul 1, 2020
1,177
Rock Hill, South Carolina
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Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
My NX [email protected] out in 3 seasons. A couple of repairs during. I know my Betta2 goes MUCH longer if you have lots of trees. It's also MUCH easier to empty the MUCH larger basket. Time will tell, and if it dies in 3 years, I'd buy a new one, did not feel the same about the NX. The Betta2 is also cheaper than what I paid for the NX in 2017!
Yeah there are 3 things I know I will have to replace every few years and I would fill my pool in if I didn’t have them, so they are a must have. Dolphin, beta 2, Salt cell. When I’m spending less then $100.00 though a year on chemicals, it’s not so bad when I think it…. As long as they all don’t go at the same time…. That would stink…
 

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SteveK52

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Mar 11, 2019
181
Taylors South Carolina
Just a heads-up for those looking to buy the Betta2, I returned my unit to them under their 30 day free trial period and was told on the 15th of this month that they were having problems with their PayPal account and would send me a check out that day. Today I contacted them to ask when will I receive my check and got a response saying it would go in the mail shortly. Might have to file a dispute with my credit card company. Maybe more of you need to buy one so they have money to refund me. How do you have trouble with your PayPal account?
 

SteveK52

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Mar 11, 2019
181
Taylors South Carolina
I have also contacted Solar Breeze asking for suggestions on repairing my NX2. When I called I was greeted with an answering service who took all of my information and said someone would call me. They have not returned my call. I think as someone posted earlier, there needs to be a reputable company that comes up with a product, Maytronics getting into the buisness would be great.. These two are not very reliable.
 

tcat

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May 30, 2012
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I have also contacted Solar Breeze asking for suggestions on repairing my NX2. When I called I was greeted with an answering service who took all of my information and said someone would call me. They have not returned my call. I think as someone posted earlier, there needs to be a reputable company that comes up with a product, Maytronics getting into the buisness would be great.. These two are not very reliable.
Do they still offer the "tune-up" for a fixed price (was like $150), comes with a 1 year warranty. I gave up on mine after 3 years of fixes. Just hope my Betta2 lasts, it's much better.
 

Katodude

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Aug 22, 2017
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You should have responded to another thread I had where I offered up my NX2 for free, just shipping. But it went to another good member here, who I hope is enjoying it.

So on another note. I have been gone for two weeks and checked out the Ariel and Betta this morning. The Ariel’s basket had somehow moved forward allowing it to dump its contents. So there was nothing in the basket. The Betta has plenty of debris in its basket which I emptied. I forgot to take pictures because I am just tired from all day travel yesterday due to a bunch of flight cancellations. If you can avoid getting on an airplane these days I would. Also my pool was filthy and the water was low and a mole tore up my yard. (What does my wife do when I am gone? But that is a rant for another thread.)

Anyway I see a 3D printer on offerup for $100, I am tempted just to pick it up and start messing with it.
 
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SteveK52

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Mar 11, 2019
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Taylors South Carolina
You should have responded to another thread I had where I offered up my NX2 for free, just shipping. But it went to another good member here, who I hope is enjoying it.

So on another note. I have been gone for two weeks and checked out the Ariel and Betta this morning. The Ariel’s basket had somehow moved forward allowing it to dump its contents. So there was nothing in the basket. The Betta has plenty of debris in its basket which I emptied. I forgot to take pictures because I am just tired from all day travel yesterday due to a bunch of flight cancellations. If you can avoid getting on an airplane these days I would. Also my pool was filthy and the water was low and a mole tore up my yard. (What does my wife do when I am gone? But that is a rant for another thread.)

Anyway I see a 3D printer on offerup for $100, I am tempted just to pick it up and start messing with it.
I saw your post however I have no idea what the issue with mine is. It still works but typically makes a squeaking noise when it backs up which ususally leads to a short trip forward and then starts backing up again. All I wanted from Solar Breeze was to speak with someone who might at least give me some idea what the issue is and then I could determine if I might be able to fix it. I have taken it apart but nothing seems apparent which makes me think it might be a bad bearing. If the bearings where pressed in then I could replace them but if they are glued in probably not. They offer no repair and no repair parts.
 

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