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

tcat

Silver Supporter
May 30, 2012
1,354
Austin, TX
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Edge-40
Keep the box! I keep all boxes of anything over $100 that might need returning. My B2 is going back next week. One motor is very noisy. Still doing it's job, but bearings seem shot. Hopefully just a defective one and not a sign of things to come.
 

grunky_peep

Gold Supporter
May 26, 2020
74
Sacramento, CA
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Anyone have any further comments on how it handles cleaner hoses? I’ve got a Polaris and it would be a huge PITA if I had to pull it out every morning after it was done.

Strongly considering a Betta 2 since I have a 45-foot blue oak overhanging my pool, and the neighbors have a redwood that dumps sticky needles in my pool anytime there’s a slight breeze. During fall/winter acorn and leaf season, I’ll have to empty my skimmer basket and Polaris bag 3x a day.
 

tcat

Silver Supporter
May 30, 2012
1,354
Austin, TX
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Edge-40
Anyone have any further comments on how it handles cleaner hoses? I’ve got a Polaris and it would be a huge PITA if I had to pull it out every morning after it was done.

Strongly considering a Betta 2 since I have a 45-foot blue oak overhanging my pool, and the neighbors have a redwood that dumps sticky needles in my pool anytime there’s a slight breeze. During fall/winter acorn and leaf season, I’ll have to empty my skimmer basket and Polaris bag 3x a day.
I bought a cordless Smorobot just for that reason (and not having to deal with cable).
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
2,094
Arizona
Pool Size
20500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
And the final scientific assessment is???
Like having to wait all summer to find out who killed JR? :laughblue:

p.s. A, nice job on the Youtube Vids. (y)
 

Bam Bam

Gold Supporter
Sep 14, 2019
182
Columbia, SC
Anyone have any further comments on how it handles cleaner hoses? I’ve got a Polaris and it would be a huge PITA if I had to pull it out every morning after it was done.

Strongly considering a Betta 2 since I have a 45-foot blue oak overhanging my pool, and the neighbors have a redwood that dumps sticky needles in my pool anytime there’s a slight breeze. During fall/winter acorn and leaf season, I’ll have to empty my skimmer basket and Polaris bag 3x a day.
I have a polaris 360. The only location where it has gotten parked is at the wall connector. When I first start I did some experimenting with pool items that would divert the Betta when it crashed into them or noticed them. I had the best performance attaching a polaris float at the wall connection on the hose with a tie wrap. Not 100% but almost. The most effective deterrent is raising the water level really high.

There isn’t much hose entanglement except when the polaris wants to have some fun and twists itself into a big knot. The Betta cannot escape. If the polaris is behaving as it should and Betta gets stuck on the hose when the hose goes in reverse it knocks some sense into Betta and Betta gets rolling again.

My biggest problem is Betta jamming into the skimmer. Water level seems not to help. I have a skimmer wizard but for some reason in the summer it becomes an algae sink. The skimmer wizard shows Betta whose boss and Betta has bruised it but wizard wins. For now I have the plastic end of a small skimmer with a small part of the aluminum pole jammed into the skimmer opening. This works most of the time too.

I think the Betta’s misadventures though annoying are far outweighed by how it collects the detritus that flies into the pool. The sides of my pool never looked cleaner and I think the pool sparkles more because fine particulate gets captured in the screen.

Orion who must be on vacation because he/she usually answers the bot posts has to run his Betta at different times than his floor cleaner. As I recall it’s because the cleaner uses a cord. There’s another thread about Betta where some TFPers describe their bot protocols.
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
2,242
West Palm Beach/Florida
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
The bot protocols dont work. I use the time when my bot is running to remove the Betta and clean the filter. Once the bot is done Betta goes back in. Same issue with the Ariel. They just dont mix.
 

Bam Bam

Gold Supporter
Sep 14, 2019
182
Columbia, SC
I found the picture from the early days. This attempt to foil the Betta getting stuck at the wall connection involved 2 floats and a bleach container attached to the hose. This was before I realized that raising the water level worked best. A heavy rain storm was responsible for my awakening.27E6D0AE-F444-4F9F-A6FC-BC345C0323A4.jpeg
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

grunky_peep

Gold Supporter
May 26, 2020
74
Sacramento, CA
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Hmm, my hose connector is like a foot underwater. I might be ok as long as it doesn’t get stuck on the floaty part of the hose.

Thanks for all the input! You might have cost me $500 you jerks!
 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
1,241
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Yikes. It seems like everyone's breaks within the first year O_O

Maybe I'll just keep making my kids clean the pool for now...
It is the original betas that keep breaking. I think we only know of a couple of beta 2s that had to go back for repair. Stay away from the original betas, they had a lot of kinks they had to work out with those.
 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
1,241
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Orion who must be on vacation because he/she usually answers the bot posts has to run his Betta at different times than his floor cleaner. As I recall it’s because the cleaner uses a cord. There’s another thread about Betta where some TFPers describe their bot protocols.
Lol! I was at the beach with the family! :) My wife and sons all said they like our pool better then the resorts pool so we swam in it once, then the ocean for the rest of the time :) Didn’t see any sharks this time…
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
2,242
West Palm Beach/Florida
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Well, I never finished the side by side comparison so here goes.

Winner: Betta 2

While both will skim the surface of your pool the edge goes to Betta primarily due to battery life.

Battery Life: Betta by a landslide. The Betta will run all day and night for most of the year. As long as your pool gets good sun during the day. This time of year, and probably through to January it stops sometime in the night and will start up again around 9am. The Ariel has about 3 hours of battery life after a full charge.

Basket Size: Betta by a hair. The Betta does have a bigger baskets but the Ariel is not small by any means. This probably not a deciding factor unless you have an enormous amount of debris that falls in your pool (some members here do). Also the Betta mesh is plastic while the Ariel uses steel (the steel has just a touch of rust).

Maneuvering: Betta by a hair. Both steer to avoid obstacles but the Betta seems to do it a little better. If your pool has a lot of corners this will make a difference, in a free form pool not so much.

Stuck on steps: Ariel by a hair. The Betta rides lower in the back and requires my pool to be at the highest level. It has pegs to help it not get stuck but they are more of pain to use. There is some real room for improvement here and I know some members have modified their legs.

Longevity: Tie. They both break. I have had to send my Ariel back a few times (their service is pretty good with shipping a new one and returning the old). Although my Betta has not broken down yet, many other members have.

Warranty: Betta by a year. You can negotiate a 2 year warranty with the Ariel, but you can buy a 3 year warranty with the Betta 2. Based on the longevity comment above you want the longest warranty you can possible get. You will use it. I also recommend using a credit card that will extend the warranty with any of these purchases.

Noise: Personal preference. The Betta is quieter, it uses propellers and the Ariel uses paddles. The paddles make a splashing sound, it’s not unpleasant but it is there. It depends on whether you like noise coming from you pool or not. Also as the Betta starts to fail, its motors start making more noise.

Power: Advantage Ariel. The paddles on the Ariel drive more power. It is less affected by the wind. It is also rare but the Betta will occasionally get stuck in my skimmers when the water is lower. The Ariel does have enough power to dislodge itself or just not get stuck at all.
 
Last edited:

gvc

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2010
78
i agree with your comprehesive comparison. this time of year with windy weather & more extensive leaf drop, i end up using both units for extendended usage. arial seems to pick up a bit more debris as i believe the paddle design allows it more power to navigate rough waters during windy conditions, but betta wins overall due to its battery capacity. imo, this was the biggest mistake made by the solar breeze people when "upgrading" the older nx model.
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
2,242
West Palm Beach/Florida
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
@gvc you actually bring up a good point that I had forgotten. The Ariel is slightly more powerful. I have updated the comparison and added the power section.

And the summary is also correct, if it were not for the battery life these two units would be a virtual tie.

Also if they added the ability to charge outside of solar that would be a big plus for the company that did that first.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MyAZPool

tcat

Silver Supporter
May 30, 2012
1,354
Austin, TX
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Edge-40
@gvc you actually bring up a good point that I had forgotten. The Ariel is slightly more powerful. I have updated the comparison and added the power section.

And the summary is also correct, if it were not for the battery life these two units would be a virtual tie.

Also if they added the ability to charge outside of solar that would be a big plus for the company that did that first.
I'd buy the next one with a charger!
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support
Thread Status
Hello , This is an inactive thread. Any new postings here are unlikely to be seen or responded to by other members. You will get much more visibility by Starting A New Thread