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FAQs about Skimmer Operation/Maintenance 16

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 15, 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 SkimmersSkimmers 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,

If you use wooden airstones... be mindful of how often/easily they clog... replace often... let "old" ones air dry out and re-use

Skimmer Mod Question 08/08/07 Hello, thanks for your time. I have what appears to be an old PM skimmer. I thinks it a pm because the faint hint of their round sticker is still on the skimmer and its built similar to the bullets/etss in looks. I acquired this skimmer for next to nothing and was going to use it with an Iwaki. The thing is, someone drilled the tube a little more then halfway up like they were doing a recirculation mod on it, but didn't drill another whole below it to recirc. Maybe they recirculated it back into the plumbing that pushed water into the skimmer in the first place. It appeared to be retroed with a venturi outlet to draw air in it. That mod has my mind going. I am thinking about drilling this skimmer a second hole and trying to run it as a recirculating skimmer that is gravity fed. I can find no information here or on the other major sites about anyone doing a recirc mod on a bullet type skimmer. I believe after reading about other recirculating skimmers, it will work. The water enter and exits out the bottom area but other then that, once the water is in the main skimmer body, its similar to my ASM skimmer (I have been reading about the recirc mod on that as well, but this is larger then my ASM). Do you think this is would work? Its a six inch diameter, 14 in to the neck. What size pump would you suggest for the recirculation pump? Thanks in advance, I have gotten alot of information from your site. I have spent many many hours reading on here! Jill in TX. <hi Jill> <Here is a link to a DIY skimmer mod. It is for an ASM skimmer but they are similar and will help you figure out how to do what you want. http://www.asmskimmer.com/modifications.htm > <Thanks Rich aka Mr. Firemouth>

ViaAqua Multi-Skimmer 8/7/07 Hi! This is a great website, and I have always been able to find the answers to my questions here! I have a 55 gallon FOWLR (and one Condy) running a Rena xp3. I have been running this setup for quite awhile with great success, but decided it was time to get my protein skimmer. I need a hang on model, and chose the ViaAqua multi-skimmer with the uv sterilizer. This thing is noisy!! Is there anyway to run it quietly? <None that I know... this product is a clunker> I was also curious if maybe the CPR Bak Pak would have been a better choice. Thanks for the help!! Jarod <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm scan down to the black tray... Bob Fenner>

ASM Skimmer Adjustment...Quite Simple Really 07/19/07 Good afternoon! <<Greetings Jodi!>> I've been reading and reading and reading your website and I just can't grasp the issue/operation of my skimmer. <<Oh?>> I have an ASM that is similar to the Euro Reef RS-80 that is not producing any skimmate (I just learned these terms). <<Ah, well...at least you are learning>> I guess I just don't understand the terminology enough to use your page without asking directly. <<Okay>> The tank is 150g w/ a 40g refugium. We have about 110lb LR, 3-4 inch sand bed and the refugium is separated into 3 compartments - the first is where the water drains from the tank and holds the skimmer, the second has live rock and sand, the third has two return pumps. <<Mmm, yes...redundant systems...excellent>> I have lots of livestock, mostly fish with a few corals. <<You need a bigger skimmer...>> The tank is 2.5 years old and I have had very few fatalities :) I don't understand the suggestions to raise the height of the skimmer to approx. 9 inches - does this mean the amount of water the skimmer is in and to place a block under the skimmer and pump? <<Indeed...this is in reference to the height of the water in which the skimmer sits. If the water is higher than this, then the skimmer should be elevated by constructing a platform from a reef-safe/inert material>> Where are the "adjustments"? I can't find any valves or knobs to adjust... <<Any adjustments are made by raising or lowering the riser pipe to change the height of the water column within the skimmer. The riser pipe is the vertical pipe with the sponge around it and emanating from near the base of the skimmer body>> I cleaned the skinner part of the top of the skimmer to see if this would help and still nothing. There seems to be lots of small bubbles that turn to bigger bubbles but they never turn to "foam" or reach to collection cup. <<Sounds like you need to raise the riser pipe until the bubbles are about one-half to two-thirds of the way up the neck of the skimmer cup>> The water level is constant in this compartment. <<Good...this is important to the performance of the skimmer>> The bubbles do appear to swirl. I know the tank is in need of its skimmer and I'm tired of the algae outbreaks (hair algae..ggrrrrr). <<Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/avoidingalgaeproblesm.htm >> Can you help with a "Skimmer for Dummies" answer? <<I hope I have. If the skimmer is new, there may be a film on the plastic/acrylic that is hindering bubble formation. This is not unusual and will usually resolve itself in a few days to a week or so (often referred to as breaking in the skimmer). Keep an eye on the skimmer and keep making adjustments with the riser pipe until the skimmer settles in and you find the best working height for the riser pipe>> Thanks - - Jodi <<Regards, EricR>>  

How to adjust the Skimmer?   7/19/07 Hello Bob & Co, I have a question on skimmer adjustment. I have gone through your skimmer Faq's (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bestskmopfaqs.htm and other similar pages) but am still not clear on how to go about it. <Okay> I have a 60 gallon tank and a Tsunami II Venturi Power skimmer (pic attached). It comes with a Rio 2100 phead and another small phead to pump water to the skimmer. I am cycling my tank and fired up the skimmer. The collection cup fills up in a few hours! So I reduced the air intake of the skimmer with a plug and it seems to have slowed it down. The collection is still watery and light brown. 1. Is reducing the air intake the right thing to do? <Not likely, no... The unit operates at some sort of maximum efficiency given an average mix of air and water...> 2. Or should I be reducing the water intake of the skimmer? <There should be a valve that allows for the draining off, adjustment of level of water here out of the contact chamber... You want to increase the distance/size of the air space in the contact chamber> 3. How do I determine whats the optimum setting? <Experimentation, adjustment> 4. On a another note, your book says not to run the skimmer while cycling the tank while your faq section on the website, you state otherwise? <Might be someone else who states otherwise ("the Crew") or a querier... In most cases it is best to not run such devices till a system is established bio-geo-chemically> Thanks for all your <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Skimmer Problems/Selection 7/19/07 Hey Crew. <Hello Andy> I have a question about skimmer selection. Currently, I have a Coral Life Super Skimmer rated for 125 gallons. I wish I had known about WWM when I was setting up my marine setup, because I would not have bought this skimmer, although when functioning properly (more about this below) it does produce a good amount of dark green skimmate. I have a 110g display with 65-70lbs of live rock, one 4" Sailfin Tang, one 3" Brown Combtooth Blenny (which is actually dark blue and my favorite fish), one 2" Gold Stripe Maroon Clown and paired BTA, one small Royal Gramma, 2 Cleaner Shrimp, 6 or so Hairy Green Mushrooms, a small Tree Coral, about 24 small hermits, and 12 Turbos (and a few small crabs that came in with my rock). I intend to add only one more fish--a Canary Wrasse. Water parameters are 0 for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and phosphate, pH of 8.2, calcium of 400, alk is 3.5 meq/L, and temp 77.5*-80*. Lighting is by 6 T5 HO (4 10,000K and 2 actinics). I recently added a 30 gallon refugium (probably only holding about 20 gallons of water) with 40lbs of fine aragonite sand, 4 lbs of live rock and Chaeto, with lighting by two simple fluorescent grow lights on a reverse daylight cycle. Filtration is via a wet-dry system with bioballs (which I will probably eventually remove) and the above-mentioned skimmer (and the live rock and sand). My skimmer's pump is housed in the sump, with the actual skimmer sitting next to/outside my sump but enclosed in the cabinet. In the summer months, I probably lose about 2 gallons of water per day to evaporation (fueled in part by evaporative cooling using a fan)--I top off daily with RO/DI water. I'm sure that, even at some minimal level, the return from my pump (1250 gph Little Giant) is greater than the in-flow of water from the overflow. I use a ball valve to control return flow (tank is not reef ready), and I'm sure that the in-flow and out-flow don't match up exactly. <That is why ball valves are needed, not uncommon.> This is where my problem comes in. When the water level in my sump is nice and high (4"+) (i.e., when I top it off in the morning), my skimmer works very well. However, when my water level gets low and starts to get close to the my skimmer pump intake (estimate this level to be about 3"), my skimmer is pretty much ineffective. <There are many skimmers sensitive to water level.> I have read in other posts that the Coral Life skimmer is inefficient in this same situation and WWM Crew have recommended that an alternative location be found for the pump. Now, I realize that this skimmer can hang on the back of my tank, but this setup it is REALLY an eyesore. The pump is huge and, in any event, does not rest flush against the back of the tank (which I could secure with a suction cup I'm sure). As you also know, this skimmer has a separate bubble diffuser that sits in the tank into which the output flows. Thus, this skimmer has a pretty large footprint that is not pretty, to say the least. I tried to put the skimmer in or on my fuge, but that doesn't work (water too deep and can't find a good hang-on spot, respectively) and, in any event, I'm worried about chomping up all my pods, etc. Is there a good skimmer with a smaller footprint (and a reasonable price tag) that could work in my situation? I think if I could get a pump that has a lower intake, that would solve my problem. <If you decide to keep the skimmer, you will have to incorporate an automatic top-off system to correct the problem. As for a skimmer suggestion, I would go with an AquaC. These skimmers work by spray injection and are not as sensitive to water level as your present skimmer. Go to the AquaC site, www.proteinskimmer.com and email Jason with your skimmer concerns/needs. He will be more than happy to assist you. The Urchin Pro is probably the one I'd ask about. Should fit your needs and etails for well under $200. with pump.> Also, totally unrelated, but I'll save you the e-mail--the lighting from my fuge does illuminate my display at night to some degree, as it sits on a separate stand next to the tank. I realize that, in the real world, the moon illuminates the reef, but I'm thinking that my illumination is probably a bit brighter than natural moon light. Any thoughts on whether such illumination can, in the long term, have an adverse effect on the health/happiness of my fish/inverts? <Like us, fish do need rest. I can't sleep with the lights on unless I've had a few too many beers. Try putting a divider of some kind between the two during the night.> As always, your insight is appreciated. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Andy

Why The Change In Skimmate Production? - 06/27/07 No one had reply to me before. <<Oh!...then I misunderstood>> I had just sent this email again cause I didn't ask a question for the second part. <<I see>> But no one didn't answer my first part of the question in regards to the protein skimmer. What do the colors mean? <<The change in skimmate color is likely due to a change to or the addition of something to the system (medicants, foods/feeding regimen, more/different animals...even live rock), and most likely nothing of concern re the skimmers performance. It may even be something about the skimmer itself has changed (many hobbyists believe skimmers begin to perform better after a few to several weeks "break-in" period>> First it was green liquid and me changing it once a week and now it's brown and me changing it every 2 days. Thanks again <<Sounds to me like the skimmer is working/doing as it should. EricR>>

Remora Skimmer Broken?  6/23/07 So I have a 55G reef tank with a variety of soft corals, inverts, and a small number of reef safe fish (anthias, shrimp goby, etc.) I have a HO filter that I run chem-zorb and Purigen in. Tank has been up and running for two years. No problems, no worries. Ammonia/Nitrite 0ppm Nitrate 5 ppm (But steadily Rising) Calcium 450ppm <A bit high... your alkalinity hopefully isn't suffering as a consequence... I would be testing> Anyway the core issue of this question is the protein skimmer. I have an aqua remora HO that over the course of the past month has decreased the amount of waste until it is now not producing anything. <Happens... your system is "centering" in a fashion in which there isn't much of anything to remove in this fashion> I have contacted Steve at AquaC and he is trying to help but seems to be out of options. I have cleaned and scrubbed the whole unit, <Highly unlikely it's the skimmer itself...> including removing the screw on top and cleaning that passageway. I have the optional box that the pump sits in. A few days ago I picked up a new pump praying that would solve the problem, it didn't. The water just isn't reaching the tube, it isn't really even close. According to Steve replacing the pump should solve the problem. Is there anything that can be broken, or wrong per se with the skimmer unit itself? <Nothing likely "wrong" here period> Nothing else with the tank has changed. There is no new equipment (besides the new pump), there is no new livestock. The feeding has never changed from two frozen Mysis cubes per day. I just can't figure out what the issue is with this because, as you are well aware, the skimmer is essential, vital to the health of the tank. The corals already look unhappy, I am doing frequent water changes to try to compensate. Any thoughts? Much appreciated. <I would NOT worry re... but I WOULD keep it running... and measure your alkaline reserve. If you'd like to read re other folks having the same experience you can scan the WWM FAQs re Skimmer Op./Maint... Bob Fenner> Skimmer Help, op.  6/20/07 Hi <Hello> I have recently setup a 30 gallon salt water tank, seeded with live sand and rock (Its only 5 days into the maturing process). I was looking to get a protein skimmer and accidentally ordered a WeiPro 2014 hang on, which seems to be for up to 150 Gal. I was wondering if I set this up would it over skim the tank (If there is such a thing). <Judging by what I've seen and heard of this product I don't think this will be a problem, it seems to have a poor reputation.. Previously I have successfully kept marine fish/inverts but this is my first tank since giving them up 4 years ago and a lot has changed, any advice would be greatly welcomed. Thanks Colin <I would probably try to return this and try to get a better skimmer, such as an Aqua-C, Deltec, Tunze, or even CPR BakPak.> <Chris>

Skimmer Installation 6/8/07 Hey. <Hey!> I have a question about installing my protein skimmer. I recently purchased an AquaC Remora Pro with a Mag 3 pump for my 55 gallon mixed reef. I have a medium to high bioload so I went for the bigger skimmer. <Smart. I wish I had gotten the pro version.> I'm writing because I read somewhere that skimming is much less efficient if the water is drawn from anywhere other than the top inch of the aquarium and would like your opinion on this. <True, but may be exaggerated.> I have recently noticed quite a bit of dust and oil on the water's surface but unfortunately have no way of installing a sump or any sort of overflow in my current setup. <I threw together a siphon overflow box and a sump made from a Rubbermaid container, returning with a Maxi-jet 1200. Very simple. At a minimum, you can and should remove the dust and oil with paper towels by hand. Even a skimmer box might not get a persistent oil slick.> I wanted to run an idea by you and was wondering if this is worth doing and if it would work. I wanted to install a few elbows and a short section of pvc pipe to basically bring the prefilter up horizontally at the very top of the aquarium. This would draw the water from the top 1-2 inches of water and maybe even some from the surface, all depending on water level of course. I understand that this runs a risk of sucking in air <yes, would have to keep the perfect level constantly for this to be at all effective> and even possibly running the pump dry and burning out the motor, but I top my tank off everyday and would install it low enough to compensate for a few days evaporation. This would of course extend the length of the intake pipe and add a few turns to it. I estimated the total length of the intake pipe including the 3 elbows would be about 15 inches. Do you think this would significantly reduce the pump's output? <Yes, and this is the biggest thing affecting the performance of the AquaC skimmers.> Is this something worth doing, or am I just making things difficult? <I think this is over complicating it. They do offer a skimmer box to fit over the pump that will accomplish this for you with fewer losses. If you want to DIY, you could use the concept of a box with slits at the top as a container for your pump, instead of inline piping. I personally found that the reduction in pump efficiency from being in the box was more than the benefit of skimming from the top of the water. Mine skims best without the skimmer box. And you will have the same problem with the fluctuating water levels. When the tank water drops, the pump will suck air and you have to train any house mates and tank sitters what that means to avoid burnt out pumps, or get an automatic top off system. Much easier to install a sump.> Thank you for you input. Jon <You are welcome. Alex.> Here is a quick sketch of my idea, to help illustrate it. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ water level .......................... l prefilter l l................... l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l outflow to skimmer l l l l l l ........l......l........ l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l mag 3 l l l l l l l l.....................l l l l l l l l l l l...............l l l.............................l intake

Tunze Doc 9005 vs. Red Sea Prizm - Wouldn't Believe It 06/07/07 Evening Bob and Crew, First the obligatory, "you guys, the site, and advice and altruism are much appreciated"! <And the perfunctory, requisite courtesy acknowledgements of "welcome" and thanks> While my Snowflake Moray was in quarantine and my 90 gallon FOWLR (80 lbs Tonga and Tonga Branch LR and a 1/2 inch of Aragonite) )was going fallow, I developed a tremendous Cyno bloom. I did feed the tank a few Mysis a week to keep the biofilter going, but only a very few twice a week. During that time I noticed that my Tunze 9005 Skimmer that is in my sump stopped producing skimmate. The skimmer had worked fine during cycling and before It went fallow. <This does "happen"... not much, anything to skim...> My sump is Tidepool 2 with Pads in the top shelf, carbon pillow in the middle and a Polyfilter (Cut from the Large Polyfilter pad) in the bottom shelf. I also have Live Rock rubble and fully submerged ceramic and cellular media so Nitrates are always 0. <A clue...> I first thought production had stopped because I wasn't feeding regularly, but when I returned the Moray to the tank production didn't increase; and the BGA bloom didn't stop. <These events are related... the Cyano has modified this world... is scavenging useful molecules that otherwise would be re-ordered into materials that would be "skimmable"> Earlier this week I put my old Prizm on the tank, and lo and behold have been getting copious skimmate and the Cyno is almost gone! I can't imagine that the Prizm can out-perform the Tunze (I replaced the Prizm on my 20 Gallon Nano Reef with a Tunze Nano Doc - It is fantastic). <Ah, yes...> So, after my preamble, I guess my question is; do you think my Tunze's production would increase if I stopped using the Carbon and Polyfilter in the sump and just relied on the pads and the Bio-Wheel, Live Rock and biomedia? Look forward to your advice. Roy <Yes, and yes. Try this and see... the tide will turn on the BGA and the Tunze's performance return. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Freshwater or Saltwater To Replace Water Lost To My Skimmer? 06/05/07 Should I use RO/DI or seawater for the replacement of the waste water created by my skimmer on my 65g? Skimmer kicks out about a quart of waste every day or two. <<You pose a very good question. One of the fundamental keys to success in the hobby is the ability to provide stability to your system. Many authors have/will state that water parameters such as salinity and temperature often dont have to be spot on as long as they are stable...though small gradual changes are usually deemed acceptable. But if I may digress a moment...I have been shore-diving off the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii where great quantities of cold, fresh, water were seeping out of the rock in to the ocean. This created stratifications in the water column where the differences in both salinity and temperature were neither small nor gradual...and the fishes appeared little bothered when traversing through one to the other. This doesnt mean I advocate we as hobbyists should be making/allowing large swings in our tanks water parameters...but it is some food for thought. But more to the point of your question...You can monitor salinity on a daily basis and make adjustments using a brine solution if you wish to do so, and in some extreme cases this may even be necessary...but for the majority of aquarists, as long as you are monitoring the salinity of your system and making needed adjustments during your water changes, topping off with RO/DI water (preferably buffered) to replace both evaporation and the gradual amounts lost to skimming is perfectly acceptable...in my opinion>> Many thanks in advance. Gene <<Is my pleasure to share. EricR>>

Re: Siphoning Live Marine Sand in a EcoSystem Live Reef or NOT? Uh, skimmer f'  - 6/1/07 > Brian - Well...I did it! <Hi Geno, no Brians here... but I, Mich, will chat with you again.> This past weekend I purchased a Bermuda Aquatics BPS 3-C Skimmer with a 950gph pump. <Congrats!> > Set up was pretty easy and straight forward. <Most excellent!> > On start-up the skimmer was rather tame and didn't produce any real skimmate. But not too long after (break in it went into over drive and within a 20 minute period of time it filled the over flow canister. > After a while it settled down. It will start to run hard at different times during the day but for about an hour or so producing a lot of grayish water matter. ><OK.> > The is a small amount of very fine solid debris at the bottom of the canister. > <OK.> > How long for the slime coat to develop? I read in my research with this unit it could be as short as 72 hours. That sounds super fast but I am thinking more like a week. <Depends on many factors.> > Well I did it and I am pleased. <Very good!> These are NOT cheap equipment but well worth it in the long run by just looking at what it's producing Brian. <Not cheap, but well worth the money... I have heard stated... You can get rid of your skimmer when you're willing to drink the skimmate... I've never heard anyone accept the challenge.. YUCK! Congrats on the new investment.> > Any other thoughts? <Don't eat the yellow snow...> > Best as always, <And to you. Mich> > Geno

Oops. Protein skimmer waste back into the system!   5/22/07 Hi crew, <Elizabeth> While in the process of cleaning out my protein skimmer, all of the waste in the collection bin spilled over into the tank.  Of course my ammonia level shot up through the roof. <Yikes!> I treated the water as soon as I noticed the problem (unfortunately 4 hours later since someone else cleaned it for me).  One of my damsel fish acts like nothing happened, while the other (the shy blue) was lying on his side on the bottom of the tank gasping for air.  The ammonia is fine now, and the fish is trying to swim, but not really succeeding.  Is there any hope of saving this poor fish.  Thanks! Elizabeth <Well, there is always hope... I would try another dose of an anti-ammonia product here (my choice? Amquel)... and try to stay light on feeding for a week or two. Bob Fenner>

Skimmer dilemma??? Sel., Inst.    5/16/07 Hi there, <Ho there> We've had our  90 RR cycling for 2 weeks without our skimmer, haven't had much free time lately. <Okay...> just got around to setting up the skimmer tonight and failed to check beforehand if it'll fit inside the stand. <Yikes!> With all the space my sump & pump take up, it'll take alot <No such word> to fit it in now.  I'd have to Dremel around the square base at the bottom of my Lifereef skimmer, as well as cutting out some of the bottom inside triangles on the stand <Mmm, don't know if I'd do this...> so I can move the sump flush against the stand.  Not something I was hoping to have to do and the tools I'd need aren't so handy I also have another option but I'm not sure if it will work.  About 4 feet away from the tank I have an armoire that I was planning on installing a future refugium in, it could easily house the skimmer with no problem. Would I run into trouble with putting the skimmer that far away from the tank/sump? <Nope, no worries... though I would like to mention that you should pay attention to what moisture, spray damage this gear may cause to the furniture> The bottom of the armoire is about 3 inches off the floor, the sump is on the floor, would this be ok that they aren't on the same level surface? <No problem... as a matter of fact, likely useful to getting the water back to the sump...> Option 3 which I don't really want to do is look to trade the Lifereef for something that fits a little better. Thanks for your time <This is the best suggestion yet... Do please look into the dimensions, suitability of other lines... like Aqua-C, Euro-Reef... their dimensions are stated on their sites... Bob Fenner>

Micro-bubble Madness, chemical filtrant effects on skimmer op.    5/14/07 Hi, I recently installed a Rena Xp4, My media choices follow, included sponges, SeaChem Matrix from my previous filter and the bag of Chem-Zorb (well-rinsed) that comes with the filter. Almost immediately I noticed that something was wrong, the bubbles initially emitted by the filter were not dissipating, something was still introducing lots and lots of bubbles. Upon further inspection of my system I realized that  my skimmer,  an AquaC Remora, well past it's "break in"  was the culprit. <Mmm, likely some quality introduced/induced in your water from the new filter media> The quality of skim mate had changed drastically as well, now only frothy clear bubbles/liquid. After twenty-four hours of my micro-bubble infestation my animals looked stressed, Acropora Millepora retracting polyps, clam closing, Gorgonian not extending polyps at usual time, etc. I have since shut of my foam fractionator, I suspect an increase in surface tension is to blame, am I correct? <Don't know the result/quality of the water change/s, but I do think this was a good move> If so how do I remedy the situation. If I am incorrect any ideas. Thank you for all your time and effort, fellow friend of fish, James. <I would try turning the skimmer back on every day... the effect of the media will likely pass quickly here. Bob Fenner>

Skimmer Setup 5/10/07 Hello, hope you are fine. <Quite well, thanks.> My Question is: I have a hang on skimmer on tank, is the part that suck up the water suppose to be under the water or at the surface of the water, because the instruction said that the pump should be submerged, but Im saying to myself, if the pump is under water, how can it skim the surface. Thanks <Yes, the pump needs to be submerged completely, they rely on the water for cooling and will overheat and burn out otherwise.  Many skimmers offer an optional surface skimming add-on which will allow more surface water to pass through the unit, although skimmers will still work without it.> <Chris> Bubbles and Lips, Skimmers and Fish Injury 5/8/07 Good Morning everyone! <Good morning to you.> I have two questions that probably could be answered on the chat forums -- but I can't seem to register right now.  I hope that gets fixed soon.  <Me too.>    I was fiddling with my CPR Bak Pak protein skimmer this weekend.  It hangs directly off the back of my display tank and the little pump that came with it seems to be failing.  The original pump was a Rio 600 RVT which seemed to do an OK job, but I was never happy with the open face of it. <Standard pump that comes with it, but does not have the greatest reputation for reliability.>  Nothing ever got sucked in but I've always been concerned, so I got a Maxijet 1200 as a replacement.  This pump solves the open face problem, but the air intake tubing just being jammed in the filter screen seems a bit cheap to me.   So anyway, I was experimenting with using an air pump to force air into the intake of the pump rather than allowing venturi action and I got good results by regulating how much air was sent in ... and it was my intention to pump the rest of the air into a regular air stone in the main tank ... until I realized that I rarely if ever see air bubbles, air stones etc. in marine tanks.  So what I'm asking is if there are technical reasons why people don't put air bubbles directly into the display tank?  <A couple of reasons, one is that they get clogged very quickly especially with all the life in a marine system.  Secondly the popping bubbles make quite a mess with salt spray.  The first effects you more here, you will need to change your airstone frequently here.>   Second question is about a new acquisition, a Coral Beauty that is alone in a quarantine tank.   He eats very well and is very VERY active, spending his entire day swimming back and forth right in front of the glass-- maybe even against the glass.  He refuses to use either of the PVC caves I've provided (one white PVC the other black ABS) and prefers to sleep wedged into the suction cups from where the heater used to be (heater was moved to prevent burned CB problems).    But his upper lip is a like a thick white stripe.   It doesn't look like any sort of growth or covering like a fungus ... as much as it looks perhaps a tiny bit swollen and perhaps rubbed.  From all that swimming in front of the glass, maybe?  Does this suggest any action other than just further observation?  <Sounds like a physical trauma, maybe a shipping injury or even a burn from the heater.  Either way just keep up the water quality to prevent infection and observe.  I'm guessing with a little time this will heal.> Thanks again!!!! <Welcome> <Chris>

Skimmers 5/8/07 Will the skimmer take away some of the nutrients out of the tank or will it do more positive then negative.  <Removing nutrients is an overblown issue in my opinion.  The positives in increased water quality vastly outweigh the negatives.> Also will the skimmer be affected by the chemicals that are added to the tank daily. For example Kent marine nano reef part A and part B. Part A (increases alkalinity and maintains pH), part B ( ionically balanced buffer).  <Will be fine with these.> <Chris>

New Skimmer Selection and Skimmer Set-Up    5/7/07 Hey guys, <Hello Rich!.> love the site! <Thank you.> First, my set-up: 75 gal fish only ESHOPPS-100 wet/dry with Rio-2500 return pump <Watch the Rio my friend...> TurboTwist UV (on the return line) SeaClone 100 in sump (yes, I've learned my lesson) <I bet!> Stock: Dog Face Puffer, Small humu, Tomato Clown, Threadfin Butterfly, Queen Angel, Dwarf Golden Moray and Baby Snowflake <Big and messy fellows...you'll be needing new homes for most of these critters down the road.> My question: <On to it...> My skimmer is in sump and simply drawing from the bottom, post-bio media. Is this set-up effective or do I need to re-plumb to draw off prior to the bio-media.  If so, suggestions? <Well as you elude to above and again below...the first problem is the skimmer itself...the one you have isn't much more than an expensive bubble maker. Anyway, to increase the effectiveness of your skimmer, if possible, you should always have it in-line first  to process raw overflow water.  In this case you have the bio-media first, now personally I don't like using bio-media at all in your typical marine-home aquarium but that's another story.> Yes, I'm going to replace the SeaClone.  Big mistake. <A lesson though, an expensive one but still a lesson.> Seems you guys favor either the EuroReef or AquaC. <Those are both great brands, both are easy to set-up...am not using one at the moment but have in the past.  If your deciding between an Aqua-C and a Euro-reef you'll be happy with either one, both have superb customer service.> Looks like either is a good choice.  Appreciate any insight. <If your going to replumb the system when you get the new skimmer, you can set it up (depending on the skimmer model) in-line with the sump (not actually in the sump), you can T-off your overflow line and allow the skimmer to be fed directly with overflow water.> Regards, Richard <Good luck, and let me know what you decide and how it turns out, AJ.>

Re: New Skimmer Selection/Set-Up AND Some plastic Bio-media issues...    5/7/07 Thanks guys, <Welcome.> appreciate the quick response. <Of course.> From what you are describing, sounds like it may be simpler to plumb a hang on (Remora Pro??), then to rearrange everything under the tank. <Simpler yes, as effective as a larger skimmer though?...no.> I'll probably go that route unless there is some other pitfall I'm missing. Interested in your thoughts on why the bio-media is not a favorite of yours. <Use the search engine on the WWM home page and search re: plastic bio-media in marine aquarium and also look into refugiums (hint-hint).> I'm learning every day! <Cool.> Thanks again, Richard <Anytime, Adam J.> Coralife Skimmer Won't "Skim" - 04/30/07 I am new to the world of saltwater tanks but have worked with freshwater for the past ten years. <<Some new wonders to discover...just be sure to do your homework [grin]>> Recently I set up a 155 bow front. <<Neat>> I have live rock, live sand and all the necessary equipment but I've run into a slight problem that you can probably help me with. <<Well let's see>> I set up a Coralife Super Skimmer on the outside of my wet/dry but for some reason I can't get it working. <<Can't say as I'm surprised mate...not a great product>> I've checked the setup with the instructions repeatedly and the pump is fine.  So I was wondering if you had any suggestions for what else could be wrong? <<Aside from the inherent quality issues, part of the problem may be the placement/position of the skimmer.  I'm thinking the water level in the wet/dry is not "high" enough...try a test run with the skimmer mounted on the display tank itself and see if its performance improves>> I would greatly appreciate any input because I want to get it working so I can start putting fish in my tank. <<Mmm...patience Grasshopper [grin]>> Thank you, Robin in Delaware <<Happy to assist, EricR in South Carolina>> Skimmer Stops Working After Feeding 4/16/07 Guys, <Hello> I have got what could be considered a bit of a silly question, but I would be much obliged if you could answer it anyway. <Will try.> I have noticed, whenever I feed the fish in my tank, my skimmer that was foaming so well suddenly just dies out, from what looked like a cappuccino machine producing foam to a can of soda-water.  The same amount of bubbles are generated, but it just stops foaming immediately. Is this normal or do I have some problem with my skimmer or water. <Normal>  This used to happen with my old skimmer so I bought another one about 2 days ago, and I am experience the same thing.  Obviously on putting food into the tank changes the water chemistry, but do all skimmers behave like this? Or have I just picked up 2 duds. Regards, Bruce <The oils, fats, what have you in the food causes the surface tension of the water to change to a point where the bubbles do not last long enough to rise to the top of the collection column.  This is fairly normal and you would most likely see this in any skimmer.> <Chris>

Moving sump to basement, Increasing Bulkhead Size/Plumbing a Skimmer and Chiller - 04/15/07 Hello Crew, <<Hi Jerry>> Thanks for your help in the past on lighting, now I could use your help on planning plumbing. <<Let's see what we can do>> I want to move my sump, skimmer and pump (and new chiller) in the basement. <<Ok>> It would run through wall with 2x4 studs and 2x4 plates which limits pipes to 1.5 or less.  My current 110 acrylic reef tank has overflow 1" and 3/4 return with Little Giant 4 pump.  Can the 1" be enlarged with Roto-Zip or Dremel tool or a file to accommodate a 2" bulkhead? <<It can (using the Roto/Dremel tool), or even with an appropriately sized hole saw like those meant for cutting holes in wood (the "bi-metal" blades work the best IMO)>> Will the 3/4 return be enough for GenX Mak 4 (1200gph) after 12' lift and split for chiller and skimmer? <<It will, though I would increase this to 1", since you're recutting new holes anyway.  Also, I don't recommend "splitting" the pump to feed the skimmer and chiller.  This sort of "balancing act" just doesnt work.  It's not so much an issue with the chiller, but you will find yourself having to constantly fiddle with the skimmer to keep it "tuned" due to the almost constant variations in flow because of fluctuating fluid dynamicsbest to use a dedicated pump for the skimmer in my opinion>> Would you recommend turning both bulkheads into overflow to sump and return over the tank? <<Since the sump will be located remote from the display/out of the living area and if your intent is to maximize flow through the sump to reduce the need for ancillary water flow devices...absolutely>> Thanks so much, Jerry <<Happy to assist.  EricR>>

Seaclone Cleaning? And not a fan of proper English 4/9/07 I have no idea how to clean my Seaclone100. There is the basic care they have put on the manual, but after a while, junk builds up in-between those tubes, (you know, that tiny space thats impossible to get to?). <I used to have one also, and did not have any luck getting it apart for thorough cleaning.> Well, I have been running it on my 40g stretch hex and my dilemma is whether to switch to another skimmer, or to buy a new one, or to deal with the crud, or to not run it at all, or what! Space is limited on the tank. <I would replace with another, perhaps an Aqua-C Remora.  Here is a nice comparison of several: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/proskimrart2.htm > I was able to squeeze the Seaclone on by cutting out a 5 in. piece of glass on the lid, but I cant find any other skimmer with dimensions that would fit, and I am afraid cutting any more of the glass wouldn't leave enough support for the equipment, e.g. the lighting. <My Remora needs 5.5 inches of space for the tube coming from the pump and for the return. That is close to the space you have.> I'm trying to avoid a submersible skimmer, as it wouldn't look too attractive and, again, space is limited. Is it really necessary to have a skimmer in my case? <A skimmer is never a bad idea.  And a better skimmer might surprise you with what it will pull out of the tank.> Running on an Emperor 400, it currently houses: 1 maroon clown 2 cardinals 1 neon goby 12 snails 4 blue hermits 2 sand sifters 1 brittlestar 1 long tentacled anemone colt, mushroom, xenia, trumpet, and vase coral Also have an Aquaclear powerhead 50 hooked up. If you have any suggestions, that would be great. <This is a fairly low bio-load, so if you change water appropriately, and are not having any problems with algae or any of your corals being unhappy, you could try it without a skimmer for a while.  But I would be prepared to get a Remora, or some other small quality skimmer if you want to keep your water quality up.> Thanks! <You are welcome!> Just as an fyi, proper English isn't stressed when you are on the internet. Just in case you haven't gotten around the web. Brooke <Well, we are aware that most of the web does not have any standards about typing shortcuts and poor English.  However, we dont ask for any payment for the hours of volunteer time we dedicate here, except for a little effort to make the posts readable.  We answer many messages each day, and it takes a lot of time to correct every one.  We try to have respect for our language and expect others to try a little.  The queries here are posted for posterity, and we try to make them as correct as possible.  It is hard enough to gain clear understanding when correct English is used. Thanks for correcting your original query. Alex> <<Well-stated Alex... am caused by vain memory to re-call my mothers frequent admonition re "if others are/were jumping off of bridges"... I care less what others do... this is our site... And should you want our assistance, you will write us in proper English, or not waste y/our time writing period. BobF>>

Re: Seaclone Cleaning? And not a fan of proper English 4/10/07 Thanks! I'll be sure to check out the Remora as soon as I click send. <You will be amazed at how much more gunk it will get out of your tank than the SeaClone. And it is so easy to set up nothing to adjust!> And my apologies for my first message. <It happens. Thanks for trying again.  Enjoy your tank Alex>

Skimmer Pump Replacement 3/28/07 Hi Crew, I have a (hopefully) quick question. I currently own an Excalibur (SV2) protein skimmer with a Rio 10HF (Hyper flow) pump. The pump is rated with a 660gph flow. After struggling to keep this pump running (impeller, other issues), I'm really frustrated with this brand and would like to swap it out. <Yes, there are many aquarists who do not favor the Rio brand.> My question is do I have to stick with an equivalent 660gph rating for this skimmer to work properly, or will going with a little higher flow rate potentially increase my skimmate production? I would stick with something close or a little higher, you can always throttle it down.> Since these skimmers run the pumps full blast and I adjust the water level, I know I can't go too much higher in flow rate. My initial searches didn't come up with pumps that had an exact 660gph like the one I currently own, so I'm hoping I can get a little stronger (may 700gph?) and better brand pump that will work for me. Your input is greatly appreciated! <Ian, my choice in your situation would be the Eheim 1260 (634gpm).  Is very well made and long lasting.  Don't think you will be disappointed.> Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Ian

Skimmer/Refugium Question 3/20/07 Hello! <Hi Rob> Thank you all so much for your knowledge! <You're welcome.> I know of no other place to get reliable, accurate answers to my, sometimes stupid questions! <No stupid questions, just stupid answers.> So Its your fault that I keep bugging you!! <I/we accept the blame.> I have a pond liner tank beneath a south facing window. This tank has live sand/rock, coral and a few inverts. It is connected to a reverse light cycle refuge with Chaeto and a skimmer. My plan is to place a 75 gallon next to this tank connected by an overflow. The 75 will contain a few fish, sand and live rock. Making the pond liner tank my refuge. It will remain fish free. I am planning on making another diy skimmer to connect to the overflow. It will then dump it's out-flow into a ten gallon tank with the Chaeto. The skimmer will have two limewood airstones, <I'd rather use a venturi, the limewood airstones do produce a fine bubble mist, but do clog easily and need to be cleaned/replaced often.> and be about three feet tall. Powered only by the overflow. <Different.> My thought is to make this a low flow system to get the best out of the skimmer and Chaeto before it reaches the coral tank. Does this make sense? <All depends on how well your DIY skimmer works.> I have heard," the higher flow rate, the better" when it comes to skimmers. This doesn't make absolute sense to me. <We are talking powered skimmers here where higher flow rates process more water per hour.> I would think, the longer the water stays in the skimmer <Yes, contact time is important.  Generally, the larger the contact chamber, the better.> and in contact with the Chaeto, the better the results. <The water in the ten gallon tank will always be in contact with the Chaeto.  No skimmer will completely remove all nutrients in one pass.> Please help! I would like to, for once, do this right the first time!! <Do read here and linked files above for more help in your decision making.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/proskimrart2.htm> Not sure what fish I will be putting in the 75 gallon yet. They wont be big messy fish, but don't want to have to worry about them being reef safe! I want a small niger trigger for sure, and then we will see! Thanks a lot! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Rob Coralife 220g Super Skimmer  3/19/07 <Hi Amir, Pufferpunk here> I recently picked up a used 220g Coralife Super venture needle Skimmer to replace my old 65g. The problem that I am having is that there seems to be no bubbles being produced in the main chamber ... The pump is sucking the water and it is flowing back in the tank from the other side but no skimming is happening as there are no bubbles. The water seems to be rotating but again no bubbles. There are couple of interesting things... 1. On the output pipe, there is a small vent which the guy has siliconed but I am pretty sure that has nothing to do with the bubbles. <That vent should be open.> 2. There is that small airline which is going in the pump and has a small oval cylinder attached to it. As per the seller, I have to play around with the cylinder and adjust the height to get the bubbles working. I have tried many different heights but no success. <That cylinder is just to reduce bubble noise.  No adjustments needed.  All the adjustments should be done with the red knob.> When I blow air (manually or orally) :-) , the bubbles show up in the main chamber, so I think what is happening is that for some reason the air is not being sucked up.  Any help as always, would be highly appreciated. <I found that when the pump wasn't tight against the intake tube, it wouldn't produce many bubbles inside the skimmer.  When I tightened the connection, it worked great.  I suggest contacting the manufacturer.  They were very helpful with I had problems with my CSS 125.  ~PP> Many thanks, Amir

Skimmer/Repair 3/13/07 Hello Bob, <Hi Neil, you drew James today.> Quick skimmer question for you. I have an Aqua Med TurboFlotor skimmer which works great.  Problem is it has a slow leak from where the collection cup connects to the actual base of the skimmer.  Do you have any remedies for this?  Ideas on making the fit tighter? <Is the base intended to come off for cleaning?  If so, there may be an "O" ring that needs replacing.  If not, I'd contact Aqua Med for their advice.  www.aqua-medic.com They may very well send you some cement to repair it.> I use it as a 'hang-on' so the slow dripping has accumulated on my floor a couple times. <Not good, especially if you are married and want to stay that way.> Thanks for the time! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Neil

Re:  Skimmer/Repair, Aquamedic 3/15/07 Thanks for the quick reply James. <You're welcome.> Yes, there is definitely a O-ring.  It actually is a bit loose and comes loose pretty easy, so this just may be my problem. Do you suggest going through the Aqua Medic or maybe try the local hardware store? <You probably wouldn't find anything like that at a hardware store.  Might fair much better finding a pneumatic/hydraulic cylinder and valve distributor.  Probably be much easier just getting it from Aqua-Medic.  "O" rings have different durometer values and having a "softer" one may not work as well and/or vice versa, so better off to get the original replacement part.  When you do re-install the new "O" ring, be sure you coat it with a high viscosity silicone lubricant such as Rainbow/Lifegard's "O" Ring Silicone Lubricant.  Foster & Smith's part number is #YL-907904 @ $3.99 per bottle.  Their number is 1-800-443-1160.> Thanks very much! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

SeaClone Skimmer 3/13/07 <Hello, Brenda here> I have a new protein skimmer (SeaClone 100) with venturi injector system and have had it on my 100 gallon marine for about 2 weeks and have adjusted it according to what the manufacturer recommended. <This is typical of these skimmers.  I dont know of anyone that has had any luck with them unless they have made some modifications to them.  It is also much too small for a 100 gallon tank.> To date, it has not produced foam that has come up into the cup.  Bubbles burst and there is a light yellow liquid in the cup (1/4 inch after about 24 hours), but no foam overflow into the cup like there should be. <Im surprised you got anything into the cup.> I am new to protein skimmers and am not sure what to do. Help! <If I were you, I would try to return it.  More information here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seacloneskimfaqs.htm > Appreciate any advice, Bill <Brenda>

Bio balls, placement of skimmers, lg. ap.s   03/09/07 Hi there, <Corrine> I am pretty new to all this aquarium stuff (having worked in an aquarium many years ago). I am trying to set up a system which hasn't been used for several years. We have a number of aquarium trays on frames to be used for various research projects. This includes an Aquasonic foam fractionator and a huge tub of bio balls. They have been left dry for some time. <No worries... can be repopulated easily enough> What do I need to do to them before restarting the system. They are a bit dusty and probably need a clean - is there any other treatment I need to do? or can I get it going straight away. <Just rinse them off... I would not even go to extraordinary lengths (e.g. bleaching...) to rid them of material... install and wait a while... or avail yourself of some established culture material or commercial prep.> Also, should the tank water go through the bio balls before the foam fractitioner or the other way around - or either? many thanks Corrine <Actually, matters little in large or commercial applications as in yours. I would arrange all such that it is easiest for these areas, gear to be serviced. Bob Fenner> Pump & Stocking Advice; skimmer op., reef stkg., circ., spray-on foam inside backgrd.s    - 02/21/07 Dear Crew, <Scott> I sent the basics of this email on Saturday and didn't receive a reply, so I thought I'd send it again.  If you received it previously, I apologize.    <I don't recall seeing this. Thanks for re-sending>   Thanks again for this forum.  I cant tell you how invaluable your advice has been.  You offer great advice that saves hobbyists a lot of grief and heartache, not to mention $.  Unfortunately I got overly excited when I saw what I thought was a great sump/refugium.  I ordered it prior to measuring it and prior to receiving my Euro Reef RS-180, which I cant wait to set up.  The front compartment is too small for the skimmer.  I am going to attempt to modify it, however, if I cant I may be forced to house the skimmer in the final compartment which is where I housed it when my 150 gallon reef was set up 8 years ago but times have certainly changed since then. <Not that big of a deal...> How much of an added benefit due you feel there is to housing the skimmer in the 1st compartment versus with the return? <A few (single digit) percent>   I sincerely appreciate your passion and responsiveness.  Im establishing a 180 gallon reef which will house Acropora, Galaxea (I need to provide room for growth and to account for their stingers), <Oh yes> a torch, a yellow Sarco, zoos, and another group of soft corals such as polyps or Ricordea.  Ill also have Tridacna clams.   My fish choices are: Pr of BT Triggerfish (or Sargassum Triggers) (1) Sohal Tang (my preference, but also considering Powder Blue, Palette, or Purple) <The Sohal will be "king" here if placed> (1) 6-Line Wrasse Small school of Chrysiptera (Flavipinnis, Hemicyanea, Caeruleolineata, Cymatilis, or Chromis (Scotti or Viridis)...as these seem to be among the least aggressive (1)Yellow Assessor (1) Pseudochromis Fridmani (1) Oblique-lined Dottyback (Cypho Purpurascens) Pr of Clowns (Undecided on type) (1) Flame Angel (Unsure if this is a good choice due to the clams) <Likely okay in a setting of this size, type> (2) Shrimp Gobies (preferably Amblyeleotris Yanoi or Stonogobiops Yasha, but welcome recommendations based on the other inhabitants) with commensurate shrimp <Mmm, your triggers may consume the shrimp...  best to place these ahead of the Balistids>   (1) Mandarin (last fish WELL after the tank is established) <Mmm, may likely starve... hopefully can be moved to the refugium...> I will be including a school of either Scott's Fairy Wrasses (1 male 3/4 females) or school of Anthias (preferably Pseudanthias Bimaculatus, Fasciatus, Rubrizonatus, or Squamipinnis, .recommendations?   <Any of these, or even two species would work... one male...> What are your thoughts/concerns about including both the Anthias and the harem of the Scotts? <Can be done in a six foot long system...> If I were to go that route, what fish, if any, would you eliminate?   <Mmm, none stick out from what is listed> The last thing I want to do is overcrowd the tank.  If I go with the Anthias, I will still be adding a male Scott's.  I would appreciate your recommendations. The tank details are: 180 gallon acrylic w/ 60 gallon sump w/refugium Euro Reef RS-180 Skimmer I am contemplating adding a Calcium Reactor at a later date. <A worthwhile piece of gear>   3 MH (I dont remember the wattage still have the ballasts from a 150 reef I ran 8 years ago) and 2 Actinics (aesthetics) <I see>     I haven't decided on the pump yet.  Im leaning towards an Iwaki 70RLT (1500 gph @ 4' head) or 100RLT 2000 gph @ 4' head), although I am reconsidering the Dolphin line as well.  I need to determine what the drainage (gph) of my overflows is in order to choose the correct pump (the calculator on reefcentral.com (I believe) can help me determine the drainage flow rate. <Roughly, yes> I have one additional question concerning the Iwakis.  Although the Japanese motors are preferred, it appears that the better choice in wet/dry return pumps is the RLXT which is only available up to the 40RLXT.  Is there a significant difference in the RLXT versus RLT models?   <Not IMO> I believe that Im better off running a larger RLT than (2) smaller RLXTs. <Agreed> My preference would be a single larger pump (with a 2nd as an emergency back-up).  I am also planning on installing a Turbelle Stream Pump on both sides of the tank pointed towards the center front. <Nice units> I also have the option of running a single unit on the center overflow (5 x 16).  If I did this, what would be the best direction to direct the flow? <The two... at either end... perhaps with Tunze's timer...> I guess the more turnover, the better, so I expect that the better option would be (2) streams, one on each end of the tank. <Yes>   My LFS has been spraying black expanding foam on their tanks.  It looks great in their 180 display.  The overflows are hidden by this foam and it creates a nice wall. <Mmm... am concerned about this material in the long haul...> Theyve also attached frags to it.  Although it looks great, I have long-term concerns about the products safety. <Me too>   Apparently Foster & Smith were the first to offer it for aquatic use, but they didnt recommend it for saltwater use when I called them.  They stated it was created for pond use.  I know that Julian Sprung has mentioned the use of similar products in Europe for years, but he was unsure of the long term effects of its use as well.  Are you aware of these products?     <Am... and I expect to see Jule's "Completely revisited and revised" opinion/spiel here as well... I wouldn't use it>      Thanks once again for your expert advice.  Having this wealth of experience a mouse click away is invaluable.   Scott <Glad to share, proffer my input. Bob Fenner>

Aqua C EV 200 question   2/6/07 Hello, I have a question regarding the older Aqua C EV 200.  I recently purchased a used one of these for my future 240 gallon setup.  I am upgrading from a 135 reef.  The 240 will have SPS, LPS, and a fair fish load.  Will this skimmer be sufficient or am I in trouble? <Mmm, I'd upgrade myself> Also, I am wondering what the most efficient way to plumb this is.  I have seen the changes made to the newer EV-240 model and am wondering if the EV 200 can be modified to increase efficiency in any way. <Mmm, I'd contact Jason Kim at AquaC (addy on WWM) and ask re>   Also would like to have the Calc reactor output flow into it as the new EV 240 does.  Any thoughts or suggestions?  Thanks, -Jason <I'd have this discharge directly into the sump myself. Bob Fenner>

Kalk skimmer injection / Phosphate removal? 1/18/07 Crew- <Craig.> Just doing some reading in the Marine Reef Aquarium Handbook by Dr. Robert J. Goldstein < http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/002-2180612-6836823?%5Fencoding=UTF8&search-type=ss&index=books&field-author=Dr.%20Robert%20J.%20Goldstein> : http://www.amazon.com/Marine-Aquarium-Handbook-Complete-Owners/dp/0812095987. Excellent book. The author suggests running the Kalk drip line directly into the skimmer injector, as this process precipitates phosphate in the skimmer effluent. <This is talked about in circles every now and then, and usually results in someone reminding the others that there is no direct removal of phosphates. Phosphates themselves aren't surfactants. They are the eventual result of dissolved organic compounds that eventually form the in-organic phosphates that algae and other forms of life utilize.> The author claims this method is several hundred times more effective than other methods. <Have not read this one... Maybe Bob would like to add a double-bracket to this one... but I think the normal dosing of Kalk is still very beneficial to skimmate production.> <<Agreed on this last. RMF. I don't think the mixing here can/will result in the stated "hundred times" improvement in PO4 precipitation... but would experiment re>> This book has largely been mostly dead-on in its material and independently verified by a triangulation of numerous other sources. Can we verify this tactic? <We? ...or you? I think that would be a great experiment for you. I am currently involved in the development stages of a very exciting project with biotelemetry supplementation with Rick Oellers that takes most of my critical thinking time. I recommend it!> Additionally, can anyone describe the precipitated phosphate? Running the drip line into my skimmer does produce considerably more skimmate, but the effluent appears white and I am wondering if I am just skimming particulate calcium carbonate suspended in the solution. Need/want pictures of what I am talking about? <No need, I know exactly what you are referring to. Am not sure about actual composition of skimmate with this characteristic, but if you do some searching on "saponification" you will better understand how Kalk and skimmers work together. HTH cj

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