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FAQs about Skimmer Operation/Maintenance 15

Related FAQs: Best Skimmer Op./Maint. FAQs, Skimmer MaintenanceSkimmer Operation/Maintenance 2, Skimmer Op/Maint. 3, Skimmer Op/Maint. 4, Skimmer Op/Maint. 5, Skimmer Op/Maint. 6, Skimmer Op/Maint 7, Skimmer Op/Maint. 8, Skimmer Selection 9, Skimmer Op/Maint 10, Skimmer Op/Maint 11Skimmer Op/Maint 12, Skimmer Op/Maint 13, Skimmer Op/Maint 14, Skimmer Op/Maint 16, Skimmer Op/Maint 17, Skimmer Op/Maint 18, Skimmer Op/Maint 19, & Best Skimmer FAQs, Skimmers 2, To Skim or Not to Skim, Best Skimmer Selection FAQs, Skimmer Selection, Skimmer Selection 2, Skimmer Selection 3, Skimmer Selection 4, Skimmer Selection 5, Skimmer Selection 6, Skimmer Selection 7, DIY Skimmers, Hang-On Models, Algae Control, CPR Skimmers, Deltec Skimmers, ETSS Skimmers, Euro-Reef Skimmers, Prizm Skimmers, SeaClone Skimmers Skimmers for Eclipse Systems, Skimmers for Small SystemsSkilter Skimmers, Tunze Skimmers, Algae Control

Related Articles: Skimmers by Steven Pro, Protein Skimmer Impressions By Steven Pro, Marine Filtration, Mechanical, Physical & Chemical, and FAQs, Tiny Bubbles (not the Don Ho classic) and Larger Ones & FAQs, Bubble Troubles 2,

Plumbing Skimmer to Overflow 2/2/07 Dear Crew, <Hello, Paul. GrahamT here with a (belated) reply for you.> I am planning for the installation of an external recirculating skimmer directly to a "T" on an overflow.  Normally, a feed pump is used in order to ensure a steady water flow through the skimmer. <This is true. Using the pump will ensure that the flow is regulated/constant.> (1) With a direct gravity feed from the overflow, what must I do to ensure a steady water flow? <That can be a toughie. To make sure that the feed from the skimmer-box is not inundated with frequent air-bubbles, the line will need to be fitted at a point that keeps the end submerged and a good distance from the water's surface. In addition, another task would be to keep the bubbles from the lift tube (connecting the tank to the overflow) from entering the feed line. Both of these scenarios would cause uneven flow-rate into the skimmer apparatus, and possibly make fine-tuning of the air/water mix unpredictable, to say the least. I suppose that by regulating the out-flow from the skimmer body with a sort of ball-valve would be as good as any way of maintaining proper level inside the skimmer. Another way to regulate the water-flow/level would be to raise or lower the skimmer relative to the overflow.> (2) Are there other problems that a feed pump solves besides ensuring a steady water flow through the skimmer? <Mmm, no, that's the main impetus for a dedicated feed-pump. You want regular/regulated flow through the body of the skimmer in order to "tune" the air/water-column ratio required for optimum foam fractionation inside any given skimmer. I say, go for it. If it becomes to problematic given your specific application, then you can always convert to a dedicated feed pump without much ado. P.S. Sorry for the delay in my reply. I set this message aside for answering, and subsequently went on a house-searching mission that took most of my weekend... -GrahamT> <<Mmm, RMF would NOT arrange a skimmer in this fashion... too hard to regulate, too much chance for a disaster>> Thanks, Paul.

Turboflotor skimmer   1/31/07 Hi crew I have a question about my TurboFlotor hang on skimmer. I have 120 reef. I have heard people saying this skimmer is only adept at running on small tanks <Mmm, not so... or not just a matter of "size" of a given skimmer, but bio-load, other conditions, factors> and I would hate to change it because it is producing the darkest of the darkest skimmate, (almost black) and a good quantity. I have also seen a lot of people saying on your sight <site> they have to lengthen there <their> hose <.> I shortened mine I have it siting <sitting> in the sump and that's <that's> when I got the best results. But anyways just wanted to know if my skimmer was ok for my size tank thank you. <If all else checks out to your satisfaction... concentration of removable metabolites, health of your livestock, amount of maintenance... I wouldn't switch this skimmer out. Bob Fenner>

Skimmer advice...but what type?  - 01/24/2007 I have a 72 bow saltwater reef tank. I find that my protein skimmer works best if I take the adjustment regulator off completely. Skimmer becomes a little noisy but works great. Am I hurting the skimmer? I am using a Aqua Clear 110 for filtration, seems to be fine. I am told that I should be on a sump. <Virginia I would love to answer this question but without more detail I don't think I can give you the information you are looking for...what type of skimmer (brand? design? size? pump model/size?) Also how is the skimmate production...tank parameters?> Virginia <Adam J.>

Re: Skimmer Advice, Cyano   1/28/07 The skimmer is a Sea Clone 100 Instant Ocean by marine land. <One of the most infamous skimmers in the marine hobby, it notoriously difficult to tune this machine to be consistent and reliable'¦.to put it lightly.  By having the adjustment valve removed I would assume you are allowing the maximum amount of air/oxygen possible in this machine'¦.but as I mentioned it's just historically not a highly praised piece of machinery.> All water conditions such as nitrite, nitrate, pH., ammonia, alk etc. are all well. My problem is that I developed a purple slime on my sand and have discovered that is not a Algae but is a bacteria. little concerned.   <Search WWM re: cyanbacterium/blue-green (red) hair algae'¦.there is likely a root problem here either dealing with the chemistry (phosphates/dissolved organics) or even improper (old) bulbs lighting schemes'¦water flow is to be considered as well.> :-(   Virginia <Adam J.> Watchman goby and Nori, and skimmer op.   1/16/07 For about 4 years I have maintained a 90 gallon, with 30 gallon sump, soft coral reef tank with 125 lbs of live rock. The residents are one Maroon Clown (Premnas biaculeatus), one Orange line Cardinal (Apogon cyanosoma), one Pink Damsel (Chrysiptera rex), one Half Black Pygmy Angel (Centropyge vroliki), a recent addition one Purple Tang (Zebrasoma xanthurum), that is healing slowly but surely from HLLE that had overrun him in the pet store, <Good way to put this> one Blue Spotted Watchman Goby (Cryptocentrus leptocephalus), one Coral Banded Shrimp, two feather dusters, various micro-verts and worms. My question is three part.   1. Since I have introduced the Purple tang, I have kept him with an almost constant supply of Nori to help combat the HLLE. <Do soak this... Selcon, Microvit or such...> Recently the watchman goby has been tearing and making off with LARGE pieces then greedily and aggressively defending and eating the Nori until he is packed solid. I know he is eating other foods because I see him sift sand, grab small 'pods, and even take the occasional flake that floats by. Is this typical? <Mmm, no> Is he just trying to eat the micropods that take up residence in the seaweed that is left unattended for a few hours? <Don't know... is this fish coming to the surface... is this where the clip is? Very unusual> I assume this isn't too dangerous as almost all creatures of the sea eat greens some way or another. <Yes>   2. My nitrates are less than 5ppm (another assumption since my test starts at ten and there appears to be some very minor nitrate discoloration in the test but for the most part is almost unnoticeable) which I believe is due to the 125lbs of very seeded live rock and the hair algae and macroalgae I grow and harvest freely. I do not run a protein skimmer as the impeller broke two years ago and I never replaced it. My fish never seemed to suffer. <Not likely an issue in a well-balanced, established, maintained system as yours> All other parameters are always well within limits. I am interested in adding a Foxface Lo (Siganus vulpinus) which I know may be too many fish with no skimmer (also aware of potential aggression issues with tang). Is this a worthy add or will I need to add a skimmer? <Mmm, yes, I would>   3. If I were to add a skimmer would this be a big impact on my filter feeders? <Yes, likely so...> My feather dusters, which I know are difficult to feed, have been eating naturally in the tank for quite some time and I would hate to inadvertently take their food away from them. I would prefer not to have to target feed.    <Perhaps an under-sized unit... or running the skimmer on a punctuated basis... on a timer... every few hours to days>   Thanks for the site, time, and sharing the passion.  Nashville <Thank you. Bob Fenner>

RK2 ID... can anyone help?    1/14/07 I am hoping someone may be able to help me to identify this system and what is used for specifically. I am looking for a breakdown on what each part is and what is does. I am new to this and so far, uneducated. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Jonathan <Hey Jonathan, JustinN with you today. The system you are looking at is a protein skimmer manufactured by RK2 Systems, from San Diego, California. It appears to be model RK25PE. More information should be available from their website, www.rk2.com. All of this information was read off of the various equipment labels in your pictures. Please do further research this skimmer on your own. -JustinN>

Not enough air bubbles in my Berlin HOB skimmer    1/10/07 First, I live in Japan right (active duty military), and I ordered the skimmer online.  I don't have anybody here to help me with my problems. <Look about... the Net? On the base, or ones close by... Hopefully there are other aquarists who can/will aid you as well> When I first got the new skimmer, I only had the usually problem with it taking a few days to run properly.  Now, about 3 months later, I don't get enough bubbles in the mixing chamber.  I took the skimmer out and ran hot water through it in the sink, and it worked right again for a day or two, but now I still don't get enough bubbles.  Are there any kinds of adjustments that I need to make, or any specific kinds of cleaning I should do?   <Perhaps the Venturi tube... do dismantle the unit, run some vinegar through this... and check for occlusion (blow through) the air line servicing it...> I have my air adjustment valve all the way open, <Oh> and I have my pump turned all the way up. <Good>   I have the pump that came with the skimmer, ordered from aquariumguys.com. <Mmm, please send along the manufacturer/brand of all... including the skimmer... Berlin is a type as well as a brand>   Also, there are no blockages in the air tube that I know of, I can physically blow into the tube and get enough bubbles in the mixing chamber. <Mmm, thank you for this>   Anyways, hopefully you can help as I've seen you help many other people.  Thank you in advance. Steven Fleming <Check the Venturi... check the pump internally... and consider upgrading the pump next... something of higher pressure, flow rate. Bob Fenner> Skimmer Placement For Optimal Performance   1/6/07 I have a 220 gal FOWLR.  The set-up is about 2-1/2 years old and has about 150 pounds of LR.  My protein skimmer is a Coralife Super Skimmer-Needle Wheel for up to a 220 gal tank. It is producing the lighter tea-colored skimmate instead of the dark stuff it should be. <As a quick aside: I'm a big believer in "dark and yucky" skimmate, but sometimes lighter material will be produced simply because that is what is being removed at the time. Obviously, if the skimmer is continuously producing weak, watery skimmate, it's time to re-evaluate the performance, placement and maintenance of the skimmer in question!> Right now, I have the skimmer feed pump inside the sump, but it doesn't get "fed" until after the tank water goes through the prefilter and the bio balls.  My understanding from reading WWM is that I should "feed" the skimmer first, before the prefilter and bio balls.   <That's the optimal placement for a skimmer, IMO.> I can make that happen with no problem by adding small tub to take the tank surface water directly and put the skimmer feed pump in there.  I can then use another pump to move that water to the sump and then back to the tank. The questions I have are as follows:  Where should I send the water that comes out of the outflow tube on the skimmer?  Can I just let it run right back in the tub where the skimmer feed pump is located, or does it need to go to the sump? <I'd have it run into the sump. There's no sense in having the skimmed water going right back into the area where the skimmer is taking in water!> Also, is 2-1/2 year-old LR still effective at filtering my tank? <The "effectiveness" of the rock is really a function of the microfauna population. Rock can be quite old and still be useful for nutrient processing if there are sufficient populations of bacteria residing within.> Thanks. <Glad to be of assistance! Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Nilsen countercurrent protein skimmer inst./op.  1/5/07 Hi Guys - <Tim> Great site. I have just built the Nilsen countercurrent protein skimmer illustrated in Anthony Calfo's Book of Coral propagation (pg 108). I am about to hitch it up to my 200g reef tank for a test and had a question about the appropriate water level inside the skimmer. Is there an optimum water column height for maximum performance? Should it be just above the outflow or closer to the inflow? <Mmm, actually, best to adjust all for maximum "frothiness" in the contactor chamber... and have the mixed water/air accumulate/rise to just below the collector cup... such that the "bursting bubbles" are responsible for foam/collectant material. Bob Fenner> Thanks Tim

Skimmer Selection...It Need Not Be "That" Expensive! - 12/28/06 Hello there :) <<Howdy>> I'm setting up a coral propagation system on my patio at the place I live.  It'll be roughly 700+ gallons of water. <<Neat!>> Planned corals to culture are xenias and leather corals with some SPS down the road if there is a demand for it. <<I see>> I had a question about a Deltec skimmer that I'd be planning to use. <<Ok>> The model in particular is an AP 1004. <<Pricey...an efficient, quality skimmer...but very pricey>> This is a pretty big model for how much water is in my system, but I plan on at least doubling the volume of water in the system with in the near future. <<Ah, but not "too big" then>> Also I'd like to put a large skimmer on there in case I do happen to do a lot of SPS. <<Mmm, indeed...as well as sufficient "chemical" filtration to deal with the noxious leather corals>> My question is, would buying the Deltec be worth the money? <<Hmm...well Chris, the Deltec is a nice piece of equipment, and owning it will certainly draw hobbyists from afar just to see your $5,000 skimmer.  But as Bob is fond of responding when asked this type of question; "Is there a better way this money could be spent?"  There are other less expensive options that would work just fine in my opinion (Euro-Reef, AquaC, H&S)>> They're awfully expensive and I'm not so sure that it'd be much better than a Euro-Reef skimmer (an RC1000 to be exact). <<Ah yes!  Am much in agreement.  I have an ER CS12-3 on my system and love it.  The only downside to the Euro-Reef skimmers in my opinion is the pumps they generally employ...though I believe they now offer Eheim pumps with some of the newer skimmers or as an upgrade>> Are Deltecs just a REALLY expensive toy or do they really kick that much more ass than other skimmers? <<A valid question...but then, "just how much ass do you need to kick?"  For my money, any of the three previously mentioned manufacturers will "get the job done" very well>> Both these skimmers are pretty similar in design, dare I say exact even. <<Pretty close...agreed>> In all honesty I can't really see a Deltec being THAT much better, however, I have zero experience with this brand.  This kinda brings me to another question...how valid would it be to use an auto-cleaning system on the Deltec? <<An expensive add-on...convenient/nice to have...but hardly a necessity>> I'd assume that it's a great idea and should potentially really increase the skimmers potential. <<Why?  Are you planning to "neglect" the skimmer? [grin]>> This auto-cleaning feature is a fairly large reason why I've been looking at the Deltecs in the first place. <<Ah...I see>> Can you suggest another type of skimmer with a self-cleaning feature or perhaps something I could use on a Euro-Reef RC1000? <<I don't know of any self-cleaning feature available for Euro-Reef skimmers...and the only other manufacturer that immediately comes to mind with this feature is RK2...yet another "very expensive" skimmer>> Thank you for your time!  I REALLY appreciate what you guys <<and gals>> are doing for the hobby...Keeping people informed or at least trying in your own way is important for the hobby to progress :) <<Thank you...indeed we "do try">> Sincerely, Chris from LA <<Regards, EricR in Columbia>>

Hooking up an external skimmer... needing high flow... avoiding trouble   12/19/06 I have an ETSS 600 pro skimmer and Iwaki pump that I need to install in a sump that has no bulk heads and no room for an in sump install whets the best way to plumb this thing so it will work correctly. Or is there a way. Thanks Robert <Best way... the only way I would do this... is to install said (large diameter) through-puts, two... screened... tee'd together... from and to the sump... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/plumbingmarart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Protein Skimmers...Tiny Bubbles Do Not Make Me Happy 12/8/06 I'm hoping that someone there can help out with a question in regards to protein skimmers. I have an Aqua C Urchin Pro driven by a Mag 3 pump. When I turn it on it fills the top <of the> tank with micro bubbles within minutes. I have tried turning it on with different water levels in the sump, I tried all possible cup placements, no luck. I contacted Aqua C and went back and forth with them a few times and they feel it is something in the water. <I tend to go along with them.  Some additives can/will cause this.  Have you used any additives recently?> It's a 75 gal. tank with a 37 gal. sump. I moved the water from my 50 gal. tank into this setup and filled the remainder with saltwater that I mixed from an R/O. The tank has been running for approximately 4 weeks. I can not run the skimmer because it fills the tank with micro bubbles. <Ahh, did you put any Stress Coat or similar product in the water on initial set-up?> At this point I would like to consider replacing the unit out of frustration. I have been on your site and have become very confused, some people swear by the ETSS, then others say it's too loud and cumbersome to clean because of the bio balls. Others say that Euro Reef with an Eheim motor and not the proprietary motor from the manufacturer is the way to go. <All good skimmers, and the Euro Reef/Eheim combo is a good choice.  The Eheim pumps seem to last forever.  I like skimmers that offer the least amount of adjusting/tuning, etc. I'm using a Tunze and find this skimmer to fall into that category very much.> Based on what I have described can you offer any suggestions which would make this decision easier? <I wouldn't throw the towel in yet.  Get yourself two units of Chemi-Pure and place in the sump where some water flow will go through the bags.  If there is anything in your tank that could cause the micro bubble problem, this will remove it.  I feel the Aqua C skimmers are a very good and hear very few complaints about them.> Thank you very much in advance for your help, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Ron Kennedy

Re: Protein Skimmers...Tiny Bubbles Do Not Make Me Happy 12/11/06 Sorry I just noticed a typo, I meant to say that I did use stress coat <Stress Coat> when I made up the water. <This will definitely cause your bubble problem.> On 12/8/06, Ron Kennedy wrote: >> Thank you for the quick response, I did use Chemi pure <Chemi-Pure> when I made up the > water. I actually have two new <units of> Chemi pures <Chemi-Pure> in the container. My sump is a 37 > gal. tank with a glass divider about two thirds of the way over, will it > work if I get a specimen container drill holes in the bottom and hang it > over the divider with the Chemi pure <Chemi-Pure> in it. Do <Does> the Chemi pure <Chemi-Pure> need to be > fully submerged. Also, how long do you think it will take for the Chemi pure <Chemi-Pure> > to work. ><Does need to be submerged or have water flowing through it.  The Chemi-Pure, depending on the flow rate through it, should take a couple days to remove the Stress Coat.  Please check your caps and grammar before sending so we do not have to do it.  Our time per day is very limited.> > Thank you so much for your honesty!!!!!!! ><You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Ozone use, ETSS Skimmer    11/28/06 <Bob, I assume the TraylessQs folder is unreadable messages. If I'm incorrect in this understanding, do let me know. Original email address was . Message is as follows. -JustinN> <Thank you for this Justin> Dear Mr. Fenner, <Bob> I am new to your website and find it a fabulous forum for all kinds of professional advice and information. I do have a question that you have probably been asked 1000's of times. Please forgive my asking it again. It involves me (nervously) starting to use Ozone in my tank.  I will be using a  Microzone 300 Ozone Generator and a Milwaukee OPR Monitor/Controller to control it. I have a 135gal Reef Tank (LPS and SPS mostly) with 125 lbs of live sand and 125 lbs of live rock which houses 12 fish (5 Tangs, 2 Perc Clowns, Flame Angel, Coral Beauty, Lawnmower Blenny and some other ugly fish my wife bought). <Careful here...> After reading your excellent book (The Conscientious Marine Aquarist), and many of your responses to Ozone questions, I have one question I couldn't really find an answer for. I use an ETSS 800 Protein Skimmer that empties back into the bio-ball chamber of my wet/dry sump. I want to use Ozone in the Protein Skimmer and am concerned about the return water emptying back into the bio-ball chamber. <I see> Will the return water, now 'ozonized', from the skimmer kill off anything on the bio-balls, and then will it harm my tank if I do not run the return water through carbon? <Mmm, highly unlikely to be a problem here... given the action of the ETSS unit in mixing air/water... and the rapid use therefore of this miniscule amount of O3> In other words'¦ Please tell me a definite yes or no.. Do I need to run the return water through carbon or not? <Almost 100% no> I'm very nervous about this and don't want to harm my system in any way. Please give me your advice. I would really appreciate it. One other question if I may'¦  Should I set the controller to 300 or 350? <Try the lower setting, look for/measure incipient change in pH or other... and re-adjust upward with time. Bob Fenner> Bob Drews Ft. Lauderdale , FL P.S. Is it possible to call you, or have you call me for a consultation?   <Mmm, don't "do" calls... Better for all that if an item can be put into words... that this be done, shared... But may be down near you for Xmas (Lauderdale Lakes, visiting mum-in-law)... and could meet then... Do you scuba dive? Been to Splashdown Divers in Boynton Beach? Bob Fenner>

Re: Ozone use, ETSS Skimmer  11/28/06 Hi Bob, Thanks so much for the quick response and for your expert advice (especially in calling my wife's fish "ugly" LOL). <Heeee! I did NOT. Only urged your caution in such labeling> OK.. I will run the Ozone w/o carbon and see how it goes. <Very likely will be fine> I have another question if I may. Do I have to worry about the hoses and other rubber / plastic components under the tank stand from deteriorating because of the ozone? <Mmm, no... a minor concern here> I can clearly smell ozone under there. And can that ozone I smell harm my wife, dog, and myself? <No...> I would love to meet you when you come down to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I live right near Lauderdale Lakes. If you could let me know the dates you will be in town I will gladly arrange to meet you. And Yes, I do dive. I am a PADI Dive master/AI. Would you like to go diving? <Yes... I generally do when visiting there> I can take you down to the Keys for a day trip or something like that. Thanks Again, Bob Drews <Even better! Will try to keep your email on hand in anticipation of this adventure. BobF>

Skimmer Production/Urchin Behavior -- 11/27/06 Hello everyone, <<Howdy>> I have a 100 gal reef tank that's been up and running for 6 months now. <<Neat>> All the parameters are looking pretty good: sg-1.024, pH-8.4, KH-11, cal-440, ammonia & nitrate -0.  I run the tank at approx 80 deg +- 1.5 deg.  I just recently put in an automatic water leveling system which has kept the sump level constant. <<Excellent> That helped me get a little better production out of my Lifereef venturi 22-1/2" tall compact skimmer.  There is no adjustment on the venturi and a gate valve adjusts the output of the skimmer. <<Mmm...you could utilize a 'pinch-clamp' on the venturi tubing to make adjustments re>> A Mag 9.5 pump supplies water to the skimmer.  However I still only get a cup of dark skimmate per week.  Is there anything else I can do to improve the output? <<This may be just fine if you have a light bioload/don't overfeed/have other mechanisms for export.  If this isn't the case, then I suggest an upgrade to an AquaC or Euro-Reef skimmer>> All the inhabitants are doing fine, there is 1 yellow tang, 1 ember blenny<<...?>>, 2 Banggai cardinals, 1 Mespilia globulus, and a number of different corals.  I have about 200 lbs of rock that the urchin lives in. <<A lot of rock...>> The other day I noticed a white creamy substance coming out of some slits on the top of the urchin, I'm assuming these are gills? <<Hmm...I don't believe so, no>> Do you have any ideas what this was? <<Likely gametes, a product of sexual reproduction...I observe this with my urchins from time to time>> Also there are not a whole lot of green algae for it to dine on and I was wondering if maybe I should sell it back to the LFS?  Don't want it to die behind the rocks somewhere and poison the tank. <<In my experience these critters seem to show a preference for coralline algae, but you might try some Nori from the local grocery or some of the 'sheet' algae provided by Julian Sprung's company 'Two Little Fishies'>> As always I really enjoy WWM and the crew and thanks in advance. <<Welcome...as always.  EricR>>

Protein Skimmer Application 11/23/06 I am so confused over all this information! I ( unfortunately ) have rather small budget and size restrictions for starting up a marine system. I  was thinking that to get the best chance in this new tank (I already have a freshwater tank set up) I would go with a Aquapod 24 gallon compact florescent system I really only want live rock in it for now no fish or corals and I was wondering if I needed a protein skimmer. <If the rock is fully cured, it would not be necessary.> Is this even a good choice for what I want to do? <If this is what your budget allows, sure.> Can I even really have just live rock in the tank? <Sure, would be boring though.> If so, what will it need to thrive, <All depends on what creatures develop out of the rock.> Is the Aquapod even ok to do this with? <Sure, I have seen some very attractive nanos that got my attention.  James (Salty Dog)>

Euro Reef RS 80 "Prototype"  11/17/06 Hello to the crew from Florida, <Jeffrey> This is my first question to WWM and I love the website so I hope you can help. I am new to the saltwater aquarium world of today. I have a 120g tank with just fish and live rock. I bought a Euro Reef RS 80 today that is a little different from the standard one. ( The store closed before I had a chance to set this thing up so I am asking for your help. ) The sales person called it a 'prototype promo' and it had a great price. He told me that the size should be more than enough for my tank because they ( Euro Reef) under rate them so much. The difference between Mine and the standard RS 80 is that on the side where the elbow for the riser is instead of a pipe just going up I have a 'T'  with a pipe going up and one going down. Instead of raising or lowering the riser pipe you twist the upper pipe to open, close, or somewhere in between (limit) the amount of water that can return to the sump from the skimmer. <Okay> I put the skimmer into the sump as instructed and attached the pump, air intake hose, and riser assembly, closed the air valve and turned it on. With the riser assembly totally open the water level was about ¼' up into the skinny part of the neck which based on the sales guys description was too high. <Mmm, no... the water/air/foam level can/should be about an inch below the collector cup junction> If I sealed the upper (vent) pipe with my hand I could get the level down. This is not something I really want to do all day so the water level is where it is. Also, again with the air intake closed, I was getting ¼ to ½ inch sized bubbles coming out of the bottom part (skimmed water exit) of the riser assembly. I have no idea where they could be coming from. I thought maybe this is normal so I began to introduce some after letting it run for an hour without air as instructed. The air came into the skimmer and foam was produced. I let in enough air so the foam would rise just a little into the neck. At the same time there were just many or more tiny bubbles coming out of the skimmer return (bottom of the riser assembly) filling my sump and subsequently my tank. I am pretty sure this a bad thing. <Can be> I can't think of anything else to tell you that might help in your diagnosis of what I'm doing wrong. If there is any thing else you need to know please ask and I will try to answer the best that I can. Thank you very much, Jeff Parker <Is this set-up very new? If so, and even if it's pretty established and just the skimmer itself is new, there is likely going to be a few weeks that need to go by before much in the way of permanent setting can be done. I would count on adjusting the "foam level" to about just below the collector cup, reducing the air mixture/blend accordingly... and hopefully not having to deal much with errant micro-bubble production. Bob Fenner>

Skimmer Stopped Skimming 10/30/06 Dear Bob, <Hello John.  James for the vacationing Bob.> First off,  I purchased your book a few months ago. And let me say that I have made changes to my system for its benefit  that would never have thought of without the assistance of your book. My little 29 gallon  tank went from an algae infested overstocked, green and brown wanna-be system  to a striving  reef ecosystem with loads of soft corals and pink/ red calcareous algae everywhere, In a matter of weeks. <Mmm, knowledge has remarkable effects.> Now, the system is a drilled 29 gallon AGA with a blue internal overflow box. I ditched the sand, and put starboard on the bottom (which is now purple). I Need to scrape the glass about once a week now. The is an acrylic sump with bio balls removed, with heater and debris catching micron filter which is replaced daily, and Chemi Pure is used and replaced once every two weeks. <Certainly doesn't have to be changed that often.  I use the product myself, rinse the bag once weekly, and use for three months.> Water changes are done twice a week. <Wow, overkill.  Once weekly would be ideal.> Six gallons is taken out and replaced with Reef crystals mixed water, while blasting the bottom and rocks with a powerful pump and turkey blaster. There is a prawn goby and clownfish in the system. Now the problem is that my CPR Bak Pak 2 RR wont take out any skimmate. I have had 0 skimmate in the past few weeks. I thoroughly clean the whole unit in hot water once a week and have even tried replacing the MJ. No luck. No skimmate. What's The problem? Hopefully , with a good understanding of my system as give, you will be able to help. <Nothing is wrong here, John.  With your maintenance schedule, small bioload, and use of Chemi-Pure, there is little waste to remove.  I like to call Chemi-Pure, protein skimmer in a jar.  Very effective in removing organics.  Sounds like you have a well run system.> Thanks a lot. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Continual Skimmer Adjustment - 10/27/06 Hi guys, <<...and gals>> I have a 75 gallon reef-ready tank, with a 30 gallon sump.  I built 2 switches under my stand, one to turn on/off the skimmer and the other to turn on/off the sump pump. <<Handy>> When I feed, I shut off the sump pump and the skimmer to prevent food from draining into the sump.  I have to turn the skimmer off as well or it will overflow. <<Indeed, caused by the rise in water level in the sump...not uncommon>> When I described this to a fellow reefer he said he never heard of one doing this. <<Experiences vary...I have seen/heard this happen many times...and with all kinds/varying quality of skimmers>> I don't see how you could get away with not doing it the way I described. <<Agreed>> It is a pain when I turn the skimmer back on and have to adjust the skimmer three times a day; are there any alternatives to my method? <<Not really...the fact you have to adjust the skimmer each time says more about the quality/engineering of the skimmer I think.  Perhaps a new skimmer is in your future?>> I still don't see how one can feed their reef and not have the food sucked down the overflow.  Thanks for your help....Derick.. <<Happy to share.  EricR>>

Skimming too much  10/26/06 Hey all. <Jas> I have an Aqua-C Remora Pro hang-on skimmer.  I have been using it for a few months now and have seen some good results.  But lately it has been skimming too much and just filling up with water. <Needs adjusting> I have the o-ring as low as it can go on the collection cup and after about 8 hours, it is full of fairly clear water.  Sure, there is a little green to the water, but not the coffee-black stuff we like to see. <Need to raise the collection cup up... leave a gap for the bubbles to coalesce... pop upward...> I can hardly get the water to stink.  I miss that, sort of. I am using the mag drive that came with the skimmer.  The folks at Aqua-C say I must have got some kind of soapy/oily substance in the water.  I suggested maybe it was the petroleum jelly that I put around the o-ring as the directions advised. <... What? No to using such solvents on O-rings... No petroleum products period. Silicone lube solamente por favor. Petrolatum will dissolve the material>   Maybe that got into the water.  But anyway, this has been going on for about a month now and I'm getting tired of paying big bucks to get the "good stuff" that should be trouble and maintenance free. Only to have more problems.  I know, wah-wah. I have a 120 with a fuge and 200 lbs live rock.  Several corals and three clams.  Everything looks great, but for how long who knows.  With that o-ring being the only point of adjustment, I don't know what else to do. <I'd give Jason Kim at Aqua-C (another) ringy dingy or email... he can/will explain the simple adjustment here> Can you offer any suggestions please and thank you. Jason <Bob Fenner>

Skimmers...Performance Question 10/20/06 I have a 90-gallon reef tank (Oceanic bow-front w/ internal overflow) with a 29-gallon sump/refugium in the stand below.  I recently upgraded my return pump in the sump which increased the actual water flow from 500GPH to about 750GPH.  Since changing return pumps, I have noticed a big drop in the production of the skimmer.  Here is the plumbing situation in the sump - *  1st compartment - raw water from the display goes through the overflow in the display, through a Durso stand-pipe, and then down to the 1st compartment in the sump (via 1.25" ID flexible tubing).  The raw water pipe terminates about 8" below the water level in the sump to cut down on noise & splashing.  This 1st compartment also houses the skimmer (Amiracle w/ Mag-7 pump).    *  2nd compartment - contains passive carbon, and acts to remove bubbles *  3rd compartment - contains sand, live rock and Chaetomorpha (lighted by 18W PC) *  4th compartment - contains the heater, return pump, and the sensors & input line from auto-top-off device  The larger flow of raw water into the 1st sump compartment is creating a huge number of bubbles, many of which are being sucked into the pump for the protein skimmer.  Could these bubbles cut down on the water flow through the skimmer, or is there some other problem here? <Yes, the increase in bubbles can/could cause this reduction due to cavitation in the impeller chamber of the pump.  Is best to place the skimmer away from this area, preferable in the last chamber.  Very important to clean the reaction chamber in the skimmer on a weekly basis. Failure to do so will also cause a drop in skimmate production.> Thank you, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Steve Re:  Skimmers...Performance Question 10/23/06 Isn't the skimmer best placed where it will receive raw water?  If I put it in the 4th compartment, this will be after the water has been filtered by carbon, Chaetomorpha, and live rock. <Isn't absolutely necessary in your situation.  Let the Chaeto and carbon have a go at it first, then let the skimmer have the leftovers.  As you know, skimmers aren't going to remove every nasty from the water.  I'd try my suggestion and first see if that doesn't help.  It may not be the problem...process of elimination.> Any suggestions on how to cut down on the number of bubbles being sucked into the skimmer pump while still providing raw water? <May want to read FAQ's here on subject, see what suggestions are out there.  Also read "Bubble Troubles 1" in linked file above.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bubtroubfaq2.htm James (Salty Dog)> Gravity Drain to Feed a Downdraft Skimmer? - 10/20/06 In the quest to make my reef setup as efficient as possible, I came up with this idea and was wondering if it's been done and what possible problems there could be.  The idea is to route my main return into a homemade downdraft skimmer vs. using a pump. <<I don't think this will work>> It seems like a reasonable idea given that I have roughly 1000 gph that would use gravity as the main engine into the skimmer vs. another pump. <<And there lies the problem...the downdraft skimmer requires the water to enter under great force in order to provide enough turbulence to "froth" the water...regardless of the flow rate, I don't see a gravity drain providing adequate force>> I'm trying hard to see a downside and I can't except for maintenance which I would see as acceptable versus using another electrical device that could clog, quit or otherwise shock and add heat to a system.  Your thoughts... <<As stated.  Regards EricR>>

Gravity Drain to Feed a Downdraft Skimmer? - II - 10/20/06 Thank you. <<Welcome>> After I sent the e-mail I did wonder about the lack of force... <<Ah yes...>> What would you think about the same setup using recirculating pumps as in the Euro Reef RC series? <<I love needle-wheel skimmers (have the ER CS12-3), this would be my choice for the way to go.  Eric Russell>> Jay P. Marzullo Skimmer Slowing Down 10/14/06 I have an ASM G2 Skimmer on a 125 Gallon Tank.  I notice is that it used to gather a bit of dark fluid similar to motor oil. <Quite normal> Now, while the water in the tank is clear, the skimming is producing just a little dry dark foam and not even depositing any liquid in the plastic cup.  It just foams a little at the top.  What can I do to get it to work the way it was?  I have tried moving the bar up and down with no real changes. The tank is about 1.5 year old and has a lot of corals and 16 tropical fish. <Ahh'¦a well established tank> I use the two part B-IONIC treatment and feed the fish formula one, two tabs 2X per day.  I would appreciate any advice on this matter. Steve S. <Steve - as your tank ages, the biological filtration can get to the point where it is working flawlessly.  As long as your levels are fine, I wouldn't worry about the skimmer not pulling much out'¦there might not be anything there to pull out.  Cheers! -- Dr. J>

Flooding Skimmer - 10/13/06 Hi again, <<Hi Adam>> I am still having problems with my skimmer flooding.  It now sits in about 4-inches of water, it does not fill the cap up as fast as it did before but it still fills it up. Thanks again , Adam D. <<Hmm...difficult to diagnose without examining the skimmer/your setup.  Make sure the air intake/venturi hose is not blocked or submerged.  If the skimmer pump is not pulling enough air this too could make it flood.  Otherwise, I suggest you contact Euro-Reef (http://www.euro-reef.com/index.shtml) and describe the issue to them to determine if the problem is with the skimmer itself.  Regards, EricR>>

Skimmer Setup 10/11/06 Hi Crew, <Hi Cathy> I currently have a 100gal saltwater tank with one overflow that empties into a trickle filter and protein skimmer.  I just bought a 125gal tank with two overflows.  I will reuse my filter and protein skimmer.  The filter system can accommodate both overflows, but the protein skimmer has only one connector.  Do I need to buy another protein skimmer for the second overflow, or is there an adaptor I can use on the protein skimmer?  I have looked all over the internet and haven't seen anything. <You don't mention the brand of skimmer you are using, so I cannot be specific.  There is no real need to plumb directly to the protein skimmer in your application.  I would feed the skimmer with a power head that matches the skimmer's capabilities.  If your skimmer is an in-sump model, then both the skimmer and power head can be placed in the sump.> Thanks in advance for any help. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Cathy

Flooding Skimmer - 10/09/06 Hi, I just have a quick question.  I have a Euro-Reef skimmer and it keeps filling the collection cup with water...  I am not sure why this is happening.  The water in the sump is just below the neck of the skimmer... <<Mmm, this is too high>> If you can help me I would appreciate it. <<I own one of these skimmers myself and have experienced this phenomenon when performing maintenance/water changes and the water height in the sump where the skimmer resides rises.  This will cause the skimmer to "flood" because the pumps become more "efficient" due to the fact the rising water level in the sump means they don't have to work as hard to raise the water level in the skimmer.  Though these skimmers will work within a "range" of water heights, a height of about 8" (in the sump/chamber where the skimmer sits) is ideal.  Having the water in the sump "just below the neck of the skimmer" is much too high.  At this height you won't be able to lower the riser tube enough to keep the skimmer from flooding...as you have discovered. If it's not practical to lower the height of the water in the sump, elevate the skimmer so it is sitting in about 8"-10" of water and this should fix your problem>> Adam D. <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

Protein Skimmer Woes  9/12/06 Hello Crew: <Hello Craig> I just wanted to get some help quick before I go out of my mind.  I purchased an Aqua C Remora to replace my Prizm.  It has been hooked up for 5 days and has not done anything.  I contacted Aqua C and they said that I should remove all of my artificial corals and rinse them off again.  Upon searching the web I have found some people that stated it took a month for the skimmer to do anything.  Do you have any experience with the Remora having a long break in period? <New skimmers can take as much as a month before effective skimming takes place.> The tank is a 55 Gallon with 2 Clowns, a Royal Gramma, a Sixline Wrasse and a Neon Goby.  I have a canister filter that I just changed the carbon in and 2 power heads that turn 180 Gallons Each.  I am so frustrated I'm ready to just give up on skimming all together.  I started with a Seaclone then went to Prizm, and then went to the Remora at this point the Prizm worked better than the Remora. <Keep in mind that the carbon is also removing dissolved organics.  And yes, I have had experience with the Remora, is an excellent skimmer.   Give it some time.> Sorry for the second request regarding this but I have not received an answer from the first time so I thought it might have gotten lost.   Thank you so much for your help. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Surface Film/Skimmer Function - 09/07/06 Should my protein skimmer be removing the film from the surface of my aquarium? <<The protein skimmer will collect organics/colloids that make up the film, but actual "removal" of the film from the surface of the water requires some type of "surface skimming" box/device.  A keyword search on our site re "surface film" will yield some info on removal methods.>> I have a 72 gallon tank running a CPR skimmer. <<Ah, I see...the CPR skimmer pulls water from "below" the water's surface.  Regards, EricR>> Turbo Flotor Multi SL  - 08/26/06 I recently purchased this skimmer off eBay, brand new for 100 bucks less than my LFS yay for me!  Anyway, I cut an old salt bucket in half so that the bottom half holds the skimmer outside of the sump and the pump and return are all that's in the sump.  My problem is that with the second return box attached to the skimmer, it's still about 4 inches above the water, and very noisy, I'm not into the whole waterfall sound coming from the tank. <Me neither> What I'm wondering is can I use pvc glue on this material and glue two elbows and a down pipe just below the surface of the water to stop the noise? and if I do this will there be anything I have to worry about? <Mmm, am not so sure re the solvent properties and connecting to what ever the type of material this skimmer is made of. I don't think PVC glue will work... MEK would likely, but this in turn would require the use of acrylic/Perspex... tubing... You might try reading on Ozreef.org and on WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/pbnoisefaqs.htm re various means of lessening "down splash" noise. Bob Fenner>

Refugium Size/Overflow Surge/Skimmer Adjustment - 08/25/06 Hi Everyone, <<Hello Diana!>> I just installed a Refugium (it is 36"x18"x13" with the refugium being 15"x13" does that seem big enough for my tank?) on my 150 Gallon reef tank. <<Whether this is "big enough" is a question that can't really be answered...bigger the better as you are probably aware.  But the fact it is there "will" provide benefit to your system>> I have two pumps in my return (one for returning water straight back to the tank the other goes thru the chiller and UV light). Now here is my problem.......When I have both pumps running the overflow on one side of the tank is putting out air thru the hose back into the skimmer area. <<Is having problems handling the volume...efficiently>> It seems like the overflow pipe is filling up to fast with water and the air hole in the overflow pipe can't keep up so it creates suction.  Does this make sense? <<Sorta <grin>.  What's happening is the volume of water traveling through the pipe with both pumps running is trapping/preventing the air in the pipe from escaping efficiently.  This are is then pushed to the sump (the bubbles you see being created there) and/or building to the point that it surges back up the overflow pipe (intermittent rushing/flushing sounds)>> My question is how it comes that it only does it on one side and when both pumps are running (I guess I answered that one already since it is putting more water into the tank with both pumps on). <<Indeed>> Now my main question would be how I can fix this problem?  Any help would be appreciated as I would like to get my water flow going again and make my fishies and corals happy. <<The easiest solution would be to install gate-valves on the "output" side of the pumps and temper the flow down to what the overflow can quietly and efficiently handle.  Another approach is to "aspirate" the return line by inserting a length of small diameter tubing (exact diameter and length of insertion will require experimentation do determine optimum performance) to help with the escape of entrained air from the line.  This method will usually yield some improvement to water flow but is no panacea on its own and will probably work best if employed with the addition of the gate-valves as mentioned previously>> One other quick question, if you don't mind. <<Not at all...>> I just hooked up an ASM G2 Skimmer in my refugium and I was wondering if there is any hints on how to get it working just right (as of now I'm only getting greenish water)? <<Simple adjustment of the riser-pipe will change the concentration of the skimmate.  If the skimmate is too thin for your liking, adjusting the riser-pipe "down" will lower the water level in the skimmer body yielding a thicker skimmate... you will likely have to "play" with the adjustment a bit to find the desired height/skimmate production>> Thank You, Diana <<Quite welcome.  EricR>>

- Skimmer Set-up 8/21/06 - 2 weeks using Cascade 1200  canister filter. Fish and water quality are fine, but have a protein film  on water surface. Need to add a skimmer, but my new tank will not  allow for hang on skimmer due to factory cover design. Filter has a spray bar  attachment with filtered water spraying close to surface of tank. What type and  how should I set up a skimmer to this system? Please help! <Sounds like you may need to modify that "factory cover design".> Sincerely, Randy S. <Cheers, J -- >

He's Lost His Bioballs! - 8/10/2006 I bought a used ETSS Reef Devil Skimmer and I have noticed that it hasn't produced much foam. I took it apart and to my surprise there were no Bio Balls inside of it. The instructions say there should be 8 mini Bio Balls. I looked up mini Bio balls on the net and these seem awfully small. Can you help me choose the correct size for this skimmer? Thanks in advance for your help. <Hi Bryan- I'd contact the guys who make ETS skimmers ( www.superskimmer.com was the URL, I believe) and see what bioballs they recommend. They can probably even supply them for you. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.> Brian Reddy

Live Rock/skimmer noise - 8/1/6 Hi There, <<Hello.>> I was just wondering if you could give a newbie some advice. I have recently set up a new tank; it's a 160 litre tank with about 9 kilo of live rock in it so far (I have to buy it a bit at a time, as it's very expensive!). I have a Fluval 205 external filter and a red sea prism protein skimmer, and it is lit by a pair of Arcadia T5 bulbs, the twin tube Marine Blue Actinic variety. <<Ok.>> As yet I haven't stocked it with any fish, as I have a few concerns with the water quality. <<Best to go slowly and learn.>> At the moment I am still cycling my tank, and performing a few water changes, and it currently stands at PO4 - 0.25 ppm, NH3 - 1.3 ppm, NO2 - 3.3 ppm and NO3  - 70ppm. Now, having successfully kept tropical fresh fish in the past, I know that these are high. <<Yes.>> Does the living rock have any effect on the ammonia/nitrate/nitrite levels? <<Of course, that is one reason it is so coveted.  It contains a lot of nitrifying bacteria, <And denitrifying and habitat/space for same. RMF>and a wonderful place for more to grow.>> My tank is in my room so I have a problem with he amount of noise the skimmer is making, is there any inherent problem with switching off the skimmer at night, or will I have to just put up with it, I was planning on keeping soft coral and anemones, as well as other inverts. <<Earplugs are your best bet.>> There is no way I can move the tank. If you could help, and give your input, I would appreciate it, Many thanks, Chris <<Glad to help. Lisa.>>

Protein Skimming Power/Phosphate/DSB removal  7/15/06 Hello, Thanks for running such a great site.  I've learned so much from reading your Q&A's. < Bob and the others do a wonderful job! > I have a 55g reef tank with about 50 lbs of live rock and a 4" deep sand bed.  It's about 15 months old and so far everything has been working very well, except for a recent, steep phosphate spike.  Is that typical for a DSB? < No, that is not typical at all. >   (I don't believe it is from overfeeding.) < Are you feeding frozen foods? If you are not rinsing the foods well, the phosphate from the juices could be encouraging the spike. Another thing to consider, if the prepared foods have fish meal in the first five ingredients, the phosphates could be coming from that! >   Is an extremely high level of phosphate a possible cause for my losing a number of fish recently, a day or two after acclimation (which I normally do gradually over about 1-1/2 hours)? (It's not due to a mantis shrimp;  there is no clicking, and no sightings at night.) < I seriously doubt the phosphates would cause that kind of reaction. I would look more at temperature fluctuations, or the possibility of airborne pollutants. > After talking to a couple of LFS, I'm becoming convinced that the DSB will eventually crash, and I am planning to remove it soon.  How gradually do I have to do that? < A four inch sand bed is not deep enough to really cause a serious problem, but if you must remove some, only remove an inch or so. Remember, the sand under the first inch layer is horribly toxic. Don't stir up too much! > My main question has to do with skimming.  I have an Aqua C Remora (not Pro) with the Maxijet 1200 powerhead and overflow box (I have no room for a sump).  One LFS is saying that that is not enough skimming capacity for a 55 g tank.  Currently I have four small fish, a cleanup crew of 20 hermit crabs and 15 snails, four small colonies of mushroom polyps and two small frogspawns, but I hope to add a few more fish and many more corals.  How much skimming power do I really need with this setup, once the DSB is gone? < That is directly related to the amount of food you feed, and the frequency of partial water changes. To place exacting limitations, or requirements on such is difficult. > < Yet another thing to consider is the possibility of your source water or supplements containing phosphates. Be careful when adding anything to buffer the pH, for nearly all related products use phosphate buffering agents! > Many thanks for all your help < I hope I was indeed helpful! > Bob < RichardB > "Sponges grow in the ocean. I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be if that didn't happen." ~Steven Wright Protein skimmer, Red Sea... set-up right? Working?  7/15/06 Hi. <Hello> I'm not entirely sure my protein skimmer is working. I have a Red Sea Prizm Skimmer in my 55 galloon system. The water is always very clear and there has been no outbreak in algae. However, the collection cup is never full, there isn't any dark gunk in it. <Sometimes, some systems... acheive a sort of "non-skimmate" stasis> I have assembled it according the instructions and I have been told many times that Red Sea makes the best protein skimmers. How can I confirm that mine is working? Thank you. Albany <Mmm, really... try another make/model on the same system... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PrizmSkimrFAQs.htm and "contact Pinky" per the link in the upper right. Bob Fenner> Protein Skimmer Problem PS75   7/6/06 I have just put the skimmer together according to the horrible instructions. I plugged it in and the clear tank on the back filled up, then continued to fill up the collection cup and overflowed. The instructions are giving me nothing to work with. Do you have any suggestions. <Not familiar with "PS75".  Who is the manufacturer?  If there is an airline connected to a venturi, shut the valve off and gradually open until water level is below collection cup.  The unit will have to run a few days before a final setting can be made as the acrylic has to "season".  I would also make an effort to contact the company.> Thanks! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Katie

Skimmer Operation, Follow-up 6/25/06 - Thanks J. <My pleasure.> Will picture do? <You can if you want although it still may be hard to tell if you "did something wrong". I'm willing to extend the benefit of the doubt and stick with my original answer.>   Vinh <Cheers, J -- >

- Skimmer Operation 6/23/06 - Hello crew, <Hello.> I have a homemade Down draft skimmer ( plan from the web. The first week, it seemed to work well.  Lots of bubbles an produced kind of thickened dark green juice. I collected about 1/2 cup a day. Now, it seem to less bubbles, and the level of bubbles kind of low. If I increase the pressure (by open inlet valve bigger), it produced wet, and lots of water. The outlet is set full open and at lowest setting. So I only can control the inlet.  Is there something I have do wrong, or something I can make it works better? <Well... very difficult to "know" if you did something wrong as I can't see your skimmer. However, many times new skimmers work amazingly well in the first couple of days because the tank has never been skimmed before - only to settle down to a much lower level once dissolved organics are under control. It could very well be that your skimmer is working just fine. I'd give it some time.> Thanks, Vinh. <Cheers, J -- >

Skimmate...Stinking Up House  6/15/06 I am running a Euroreef skimmer in my new 240 gallon fish tank and it is located in our front room. As it collects skimmate throughout the day the front room of our house begins to smell bad. I empty the cup in the morning, but by the time I get home from work it is rather smelly in the front room.  Do you have any suggestions on reducing the odor? Perhaps there is some sort of air filter I can put on the vent holes of the skimmers lid? Any help is greatly appreciated. <Try placing a piece of PolyFilter over the top of the collection cup.  May want to check with Euroreef to see if a carbon cub is available to place over the collection cup.  Some companies offer this for use with ozone generators.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks! <You're welcome.>

Upgrading the Protein Skimmer and debating on where best to place the old one in the other tank   6/13/06 Hello everyone. <James> Reading (as always) the wonderful sections on protein skimmers I am getting pretty much set on the Aqua C Remora Pro for my 75 gallon mega flow tank with 20 gallon sump. I upgraded the Prizm Skimmer with the surface water attachment but though I have found it works okay I fear it really is inadequate for my set up at present (it was good enough in the 55 gallon). <Okay> I will move the Prizm to the 24 gallon JBJ nanocube tank that functions as my QT tank at present (no sense wasting it). However, as with everything there is a catch: where should it go? The side closest to the intake for the sump is in direct sunlight for part of the day. <Mmm, could build an enclosure... wrap in foil/film...> The light in the hood no longer works (removed until'¦ if fixed for reasonable $) so I picked up an external P.C. that sits over the tank on stands. However, the first chamber has a sponge that takes up the entire chamber. The second chamber has a smaller sponge and carbon while the internal pump is the third chamber. The sump faces the corner and would be the easiest place to fit the skimmer and it would be out of direct light. What can stay and what can go in the sump chambers? <IMO, the sponge in the first... best water, easiest to set height...> Should I leave these be? Oh, another note on the Prizm as a hang on: most people will find (in a Perfecto 55 gallon tank anyway) the need to cut the glass to fit the intake as it extends too far out. How are other hang on skimmers regarding intake location/orientation and modification to tank canopies? <Highly variable... Look into the Aqua-C Remora line...> I suppose another option would be to get a screen or something to block sunlight to the side closest to the intake and the skimmer water would then empty close to the intake while being in the tank. What are your thoughts on this? Moving this tank now would be difficult though not impossible. Out of curiosity; when are you going to do an update article on Protein Skimmers? <When are you going to? Not planned in the near future... am a few years out in trying to write other projects...> I am sure some things have changed since the last one (which was great!) by Steven Pro. It seems there are new add on products and new models all of which boast such great things. I went super critical on my Fission Protein Skimmer and wrote in about how bad that POS was. Thank you in advance. James Zimmer <Do consider penning this James. Bob Fenner>

Re: Upgrading the Protein Skimmer and debating on where best to place the old one in the other tank    6/14/06 Bob, thank you for your always gracious response. <Welcome James> Yes, I liked most everything written on the Aqua C Remora line of Protein Skimmers. I am now trying to find them locally but there are fewer LFSs around than there were even a year ago. <Yes... but/and Jason Kim's "master distributor" is Ken Wong... Marine Depot/Bayside... can buy from a dot.com... from them> I do like to make purchases sight seen and I also like supporting my local stores whenever possible. <I endorse this practice as well> The selection of skimmers at the stores, however, is generally poor and some of the worst representations are most widely available. This is true even in the better of the LF stores. <Yes... "can't stock everything"... and in this case it is hard to "buy from your competitors"... I have mentioned to both the above individuals re this... and urged them to "settle up"...> I am eager to see your newer projects. Sorry if I came across wrong but the article in the Conscientious Aquarist Online Magazine where I read the perceptions of the skimmers got me thinking as to what has changed since it was written and how interesting it would be to compare changes and technologies. <Not at all mistaken... I appreciate your urgings, insights... I in turn want to encourage others participation> I was also surprised by the latest issue and the thoughts on Tropic Marin Reef Pro. So many people swear by it in these parts. <"Different folks/strokes..."> Yes the Fission skimmer was junk and junk that didn't even come with a good power head. I did think I would have got more than 1/2 year out of the PCs in the hood on the 24g but it seems the ballast is shorting. <Dangerous> It was only marginally more expensive to get the removable PC fixture for the top than to replace the ballast. At least I have 'hang on' options for the Prizm out of that hood failure. When do you think you might be around NJ again? <Diana was just in Garfield and Bel Mar last week. Her two retired aunt/nuns from Sicily are visiting her mum... She's going back out August 24 for her mum's bday... am unsettled at this juncture re going w/ her at that time...> I would enjoy meeting over at DPs for a couple beers. Sincerely, James    <I see this in our future my friend. BobF> Turboflotor 1000 Multi-Pump  - Initial set-up problems   6/13/06 Hi, <Hello there>     I just upgraded from a Berlin Skimmer but my new Turboflotor 1000 Multi-Pump isn't behaving the way I expected.  I have the supplied pump situated underwater in the sump and the skimmer sits next to the sump.  The skimmer came with a short clear piece of tubing (I think 3/4 inch) to connect the pump to the skimmer intake.  This tubing fails to reach the intake in my setup by several inches.  So I bought a longer piece of tubing and made the connection.  When I turn on the skimmer it is sort of like Mt. Vesuvius as millions of tiny bubbles mixed with water ascend into the collection cup causing an overflow situation.   <Mmm...> The instruction booklet suggested a 24 hour break-in period for things to equalize but it shows no signs of abating ( the only way I can deal with the overflow is by rigging up a piece of tubing that serves as a continuous siphon.  There is no sign of the typical "dirty" sludge or foam - just clean looking bubbles.  I have tried adding the supplied 5cm extension piece and have also made various adjustments to the control valves but nothing seems to help.  In my set-up this is the only place I can locate the pump and skimmer.  Do you have any ideas?  Would somehow restricting the inflow to the skimmer help?  Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.     Ken <Sounds like you have two issues here (and this make/model can be a pain to adjust...). One is the replacement of the connector twixt the pump and the skimmer... I suspect by making this longer, pumping the water higher, you've changed the make-up of the mixed air/water being fed to the skimmer... You need to somehow decrease the relative depth of water/column height between the source of water being fed to the skimmer and the height of water in the contact column itself (to make it less foamy). Secondly, the level of water in the contactor sounds like it's too high. You can/should adjust this by opening the overflow valve to keep this level an inch or so below the collector cup's bottom... If it were me/mine, I would first try hooking all up with the original shorter tubing, and secondly adjust the overflow. Bob Fenner> Re: Turboflotor 1000 Multi-Pump  - Initial set-up problems   6/13/06 Bob,    <Ken>   Thanks for your quick reply.  I will take another look at shortening the tube from the pump to the skimmer but the store I bought it at told me that the supplied hose is almost always too short and they have to use a longer piece on in almost every set-up situation.  Right now, the base of the skimmer is higher up than the pump by a little bit.  Could that be an issue?    <Yes... not really the length of the tubing, but the differential in "head" or pressure/flow characteristic of the pump in this setting... per the height of water it is pumping...>   Regarding the overflow, maybe I am missing something but it isn't clear to me where this is located on the skimmer or how I engage it.  I will have to re-examine upon my return home this evening.  Should it be obvious?      Thanks! <Mmm, please take a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/turboskimfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

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