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FAQs about Skimmer Operation/Maintenance 17

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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,

ASM Protein Skimmer Bubble Problem 1/20/08 Hello Crew <Hello Peter.> I have a Skimmer question for you. First off there is not a lot of info out there on the operation of the ASM G series skimmers. I emailed the company at support@asmskimmer.com and It does not go through? <That is not the actual manufacturer. Check out http://allseasmarineinc.com/contactus.asp > Any ways, I have just recently purchased an ASM G3 Protein skimmer with Sedra 5000 pump. <A good skimmer.> I think there is a problem. I have had other protein skimmers before and the bubbles produced in the skimmer body look very fine and small filling the entire skimmer body. I activated my ASM G3 Protein skimmer and I am getting large spaced out bubbles in the skimmer body. I have read that water depth should be around 8 inches. <Sounds about right.> I have tried several depths with no change. Any information would be appreciated. <I would check the pump/air intakes for any obstructions. Also, the residual compounds left in skimmers from manufacturing can cause this for a period of time (a few days or so). Does it produce a skimmate? If all else fails please contact the manufacturer listed above. > Thanks in advance Peter <Welcome, good luck, Scott V.>

Re: ASM Protein Skimmer Bubble Problem 1/21/08 Hello <Peter.> Thank you for your response. I tried to contact the manufacturer with no success (email and phone). Could be the holiday. <Most likely.> I figured some pictures of the protein skimmer in action would be better then words so here it is. What do you think? Proper function or problem? <Definite problem herethis is not freshwater is it? If you are testing it in freshwater you will have completely different results when run with saltwater.> Once again thank you Peter
<Welcome, good luck, Scott V.>

Skimmer Malfunction 1/10/08 Hi <Hello.> I've run an AquaC EV-120 on my 75g for several years and it's been great. The other day it stopped foaming. Water and air are still bubbling at the base of the foam tower, but no foam. This has happened occasionally in the past and it's usually because the water-intake valve gets gunk caught in it where it pinches down to create the spray. <Happens.> No problem; it's easy to pull out and clean (water and a dedicated brush are all I use). However, it did not resume foaming as usual. In thinking about the problem, I realized that I threw a sponge filter from my brand new quarantine tank into the sump at about the same time it stopped foaming. Is this the cause? Were there oils on the synthetic sponge that are temporarily changing the surface tension of my aquarium water? <This could be the cause, it can happen.> And if so, is this a temporary problem that I can wait out or should I do something about it? <Should just be temporary. Maybe even pull the new foam out and your skimmer should start working within a day or so if this is the cause.> Your thoughts are appreciated. <Other factors could be anything else new to the tank (of course). Also certain foods or additives can cause this. I would also take a look at the skimmers feed pump to make sure the flow is unobstructed. You may even consider cleaning the impeller/magnet in some vinegar to decalcify. > Thanks! Ed <Welcome, I hope this helps out, Scott V.>

Was: Cherub Angelfish Question... Now Skimmer op., Frag tank set-up Good day Bob, <Eric> Thank you for the quick response. I really appreciate it. I have another question. Well, actually, two questions. One is related to my skimmer. It has been up and running continuously for about 3 weeks, and is still creating about 1-2 cups of skimmate per day, however it's a lighter green to light-medium shade brown color. It's not the "dark coffee" colored, thick skimmate that I have been expecting. I have adjusted the height so that the skimmer cup is about as high as it can go (the O-ring is as low as it can go on said cup) and it's still producing the above colored skimmate. I don't think I'm too low on the stocking level.. Is this normal? I know that the skimmate production is different for different folks as well... Do you have any suggestions? <This may be about all that the given make/model skimmer can do with the present conditions in your tank... There are means to change this... by adding ozone for instance... But I would not be concerned> The second question is in regard to a "Frag Tank". I have been thinking of setting up a 20 Gallon Long tank to have some "easy" polyps and (mainly LPS) corals. I am in the exciting planning stage, and here's what I have so far: -Power Compact Lighting, somewhere between 80-100 watts, 60 (or so) 10,000K and (20 or so) watts 6,700K (or 20 watts Actinic). -An over sized filter (rated for 30-50 gallon tank) -An extra powerhead with rotating deflector. (Flow will be toward the filter. One will be on left side of the tank, the other will be on the right hand side) -plastic egg crating or similar, set up on different levels ( like a few stairs.. from West to East) so that I can have 2 or 3 different heights for acclimation and differing light requirements. -a few pounds of live rock set under the egg crating. - There won't be any fish (...If you think it will be "better" I could add a small goby or similar) Questions: How does the above sound so far? Should I add a sand bed? Would a 3-5 inch plenum type help here, or should I leave this out.. Maybe have a 1 inch sand bed if I decide to add some inverts? If yes, I will add part live sand and part "non live" sand to the mix. <Okay, I would and no... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/corlpropfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Have you seen Anthony Calfo's (new 2d. ed.) Coral Propagation book?> Also, I am a bit concerned with the nitrification process, especially in the beginning, and will be reading more about that in the meantime. I am familiar with setting up a FOWLR or Fish-Only set up in this regard, but not a "coral/polyp only tank, with some inverts" <Best to fast-start with water, substrate from an established system, use make-up water from there...> Once again, Thank You for the Help! Eric <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Aqua C Remora, op./noise issue  12/15/2007 Hey guys, love the site. I have a 26 gallon bow front FOWLR. I bought an Aqua C Remora with the MaxiJet 1200 3 weeks ago because of the info I found on your site. While it seems to be working well, about a half cup of gunk every few days. My issue is with the noise, in the instructions it says the noise and bubbles will decrease over time but has not. Being that the tank is in my bedroom the noise can get quite annoying. Is there anyway to decrease the noise? <Mmm, possibly... by adjusting the flow, mix... or possibly switching out the pump (if this is the source of most the noise) for an Eheim hobby pump (MUCH quieter)...> Or would it be ok to put the unit on a timer, maybe 12 hours on 12 hours off. Would it still be effective? <Yes, might be the best idea here> And would it cut down the life of the pump? <Not appreciably> Thanks for your help. -Joe <Lastly, though it is not likely, this unit might be defective. If in doubt, do call on Jason or Steve at Aqua-C... they are both very customer service oriented... and fine young gentlemen as well. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Quick Skimmer Question, Op., Aqua-C, surface skimmer attachment  12/11/07 Hello, <<Evening>> I just have a really quick skimmer question. <<Okay>> I have read on the WetWeb site, however have not found an answer... <<I see>> I just bought a brand new AquaC Remora Skimmer w/ the Maxi Jet 1200 upgraded pump for my 55gal. <<A most worthwhile investment>> I'm definitely excited about this upgrade, and it should be here within the week. My question is this: Can I attach the standard "surface skimmer" (not the item you can purchase from AquaC) but the "In store" version? <<Im not familiar with this device, but yes, it will probably serve>> It's simply an intake tube connected to a regulator that, when attached to the pump/filter/etc. brings in water from the top and middle/bottom of the aquarium. (They sell for about $12 in most LFS's). I hope that's a good description. <<Good enough, yes>> I already own one, and don't think it will hurt to add, correct? <<Agreedas long as it allows the pump to pull in enough water/does not starve the pump>> Also, I went into the LFS the other day and saw one of the best looking aquariums I have seen... It's the "Current Solana Aquarium Systems 34gal tank." <<Ah yesI saw one of these just this past week>> This comes with a globe shaped silver housing for a metal halide light fixture. <<Yeslooks quite interesting>> Have you heard of these? <<Only just>> They're expensive, (at about $550 for all above) but they look great. <<It is an attractive unitthough I do take issue with these all in one back-of-the-tank filtration systems as the filters/skimmers are usually lacking>> Thanks in advance for your help! Eric <<My pleasure to provide. Eric Russell>>

Turboflotor Multi 1000 HOT Skimmer questions 11/20/07 Hello Crew, <Hi Eric> This is part question and part comment/etc. I recently purchased a used Turboflotor 1000 Multi Hang on Top skimmer for my 55 gallon FOWLR system. The skimmer did not come with a pump, so I ordered the Ocean Runner OR2500 from Liveaquaria.com, which appeared to be the smallest Ocean Runner pump they had available, and appeared to be the recommended pump. The pump was connected to the skimmer with the supplied hose, and when I turned it on, the skimmer simply filled with water. There were no bubbles. I researched the WWM site, www.google.com searched for info, and looked over the Aqua-Medic website. With the gained knowledge, I looked at the setup, and saw the skimmer itself was fine and not missing anything, however there was no way for any air bubbles to enter the skimmer.. the pictures showed the air intake should be on the intake side of the pump. I wrote Aqua-Medic to see if there was a way to retro-fit the system, or rig something up somehow. They said the pump was too strong, and I needed to return the pump and order the correct 1700 model. I later learned that this exact model was not available on the Liveaquaria website, however it is also sold as the PH2500. I returned the pump and ordered the correct one. This pump has an airline intake hose similar to those of the MaxiJet powerhead fame, however it's on the intake side of the pump. I was excited to get the skimmer going, having read on many different sites that the skimmer is a quality one. (I am still convinced this is so) ...Once everything was setup, I did see bubbles, however those created were very wet, and turned into water in the collection cup. The amount collected will definitely overflow the cup within minutes. I then tried to adjust the length of the tubing between the skimmer and pump. First I cut the tubing in half, and tried that. Same result as before. Second, I bought about a foot of tubing, effectively doubling the original length, connected that, then watched the same, wet, bubbles enter the collection cup. My question is as follows: am I doing anything else wrong? Something is clearly amiss, however I'm out of productive ideas. I have heard there's a slight break in period, however the collection cup will overflow within minutes, so that is a long time to deal with that, to say the least. Is this pump too strong as well? I wrote to Aqua-Medic with the above question over a week ago, and have not received a reply.... If I hear from them first, I will relay the message. Okay I guess that's a few questions. Thank you, as always for all the help! <Eric, you need to purchase an air line regulator valve to control the air being mixed with the water from the pump. Making the air line tube shorter or longer won't accomplish too much. Start out with the regulator being completely closed, then open 1/4 of a turn. Let it run at least 15 minutes and if no froth is moving up to the collection cup, go another 1/4 turn or more until a dry foam is created. This should take care of the problem. James (Salty Dog)> Eric

Re: Turboflotor Multi 1000 HOT Skimmer Questions 11/22/07 James, <Eric> Thanks for the help. <You're welcome.> I did get a response from Aqua-Medic, who said I need to give it 24 hours to allow the lipids to build up in the reaction chamber.. Which will mitigate the amount of bubble production.. So I rigged it so that the skimmer actually sits in a large tub of marine water (old and new water.. so it has waste, proteins, etc).. This allows the skimmer to operate, while the cup can overflow directly back into the tub of water, allowing the 'break in' period to take place. <Mmm, shouldn't have to break in a used skimmer.> Obviously this isn't connected at all to my fish tank, but I am attempting the '24 hour break in period' in the blue tub.... I did attempt to adjust the outtake tubing of the actual skimmer (these are adjustable, and there is a PDF manual available online that will show exactly what I'm talking about.. Sorry if this is confusing to explain via wording..) I will also look into purchasing the air flow regulator... Hopefully that will work much better. <OK> In regard to adjusting tubing length, I actually meant the tube that connects the PH2500 to the skimmer, not the air tubing.. But as a tip, I've read on the Aqua-Medic website that a shorter tube length should help to regulate pressure and make for a drier foam. The PH2500 pump should be as high in the water as practical. I also want to add that the folks at Aqua Medic are pretty helpful. Thanks again, <You're welcome, and hope your skimmer operation is improved. James (Salty Dog)> Eric

Skimmer ID (ASM) 11/20/07 Hi, <<Hello>> I'm hoping that someone here might be able to tell me what kind of skimmer this is. (see attachment) <<Ah yes, this is an ASM skimmerminus the foam piece that covers the outflow riser-tube>> It uses a Sedra 5000 pump. There is nothing written on the skimmer anywhere. <<Hmmbased on your photo and the pump size, this looks to be either a model G-3 (6.5 dia.) or G-4 (8.5 dia.)>> It was listed on Craigslist by someone who got it for free from a guy that he did some work for. The guy that sold it to me wasn't even sure what a skimmer did, but he did say that the 200 gallon reef that it was skimming was amazing. When I asked him how much he wanted for it he turned to his wife and she said "I don't know, $50?" <<A bargain>> As I looked it over some more he offered to add a Mag Drive 7 to the deal. Since I figured that the pumps alone were probably worth $50 and the skimmer couldn't possibly be any worse than my Prizm, I bought it. <<Indeedthough inferior in materials, this skimmer works/functions like a comparably sized Euro-Reef skimmer (even uses the same pump type as the early ER CS models)and will be a huge improvement over the Prizm skimmer you have>> Now I need to know what brand it is so I can order the seal that goes where the pump attachment enters the skimmer. <<This piece is called a uniseal slip fittingfinding an ASM replacement part, specifically, may prove difficult as there doesnt seem to be an up-to-date ASM parts website anymore since asmskimmer.com now pushes the Octopus brand of skimmers (yeahI know). But if you can determine the size, you can order uniseals here (http://www.tank-depot.com/product.aspx?id=161) or from just about any other plumbing supply house >> Thanks, Ruben <<Hope this helps. Eric Russell>>

Light Hanging Question 11/18/07 Thanks for all the help on the issue of overheating. Leaving the top off and raising the light has helped and I've got a desk fan on the way to lower it even more. <Awesome, am glad to help.> I am probably going to have to build an automatic top off device to go with the sump though, as I'm having to top up about every 2 days or so (any advice on how to do that would also be appreciated). <There are many do it yourself plans on the internet, one can be found at http://ozreef.org/diy_plans/electronic_projects/water_level_switch.html . Just keep in mind that you will be dealing with 110, not 240. I personally use and am a huge advocate of the Tunze water top off system. It is kind of pricey, but well worth it. It has an optical sensor that keeps your water level super consistent, an overflow sensor that shuts the unit off if activated, and it shuts the unit down if it is on for more than ten minutes at a time. Also, it comes with a 12V pump that will pump from a reservoir to the sump to top off. This limits your top off capacity to the reservoir, limiting flooding capacity. All this adds up to an extremely reliable top off system. I have personally replaced the pump in the kit with a 12V liquid solenoid hooked directly to my RO unit, I dont like hauling water if I dont have to.> My primary question, though, is a rather simple one and I feel a bit ridiculous that I'm even asking given that there's probably a very easy explanation. I have the Current-USA Outer Orbit T5HO lamp hanging from my ceiling by the kit that it came with. In my zealousness to lower the temperature, I hoisted the thing up and it's now about 11 inches above the tank. It looks like there's a UFO hovering in my living room. So I'd like to lower it back down a little bit towards the 7-8 in. range and monitor to prevent overheating, but I can't seem to figure out how to do that. I know product questions aren't your usual schtick, but I thought one of you guys might have this setup and know what I'm talking about. As it is, I'm contemplating heading back to my LFS and getting another hanging kit for 10-20 bucks just so the family doesn't flip when they come over for Thanksgiving at the big THING floating in the air over the living room. <That can certainly be unappealing, not to mention the value of being able to adjust the height of your light. The bracket that mounts to the ceiling has a little wire outlet in it. By pressing the wire outlet into the mount you should be able to slide the cable in and out to adjust the length. A PDF with instructions for the mount can be found at http://www.marineandreef.com/shoppro/metal_SunPod.htm I hope this helps, have a nice Thanksgiving, Scott V.>

Re: Light Hanging Question 11/18/07 Miracle workers, all of you ;) <Have just battled the same woes.> Can't believe I hadn't figured out the lights before, but it worked and they look fantastic. <Excellent, good to hear! > Sent an e-mail off to Aqua-C about this last question since I know that's what you recommend, but in the meantime, just wondering if you have any advice. I set up a new Aqua-C EV120 in the same tank. I have a problem though. I've set it up and have it operating for bout 2 days now and after the first day, it started producing MASSIVE amounts of wet foam. So much so that I had to do what they initially suggested and put the outlet hose back into the sump. I figured this might be part of the break in process, but opened the gate valve all the way and it's still producing this volcano of wet foam a day later. Any advice? Is this normal? Thanks! Frank PS Using a Mag 5 with it, for reference. <Is it normal? Sometimes. Many times you will see the opposite during break in. You may want to try restricting the air intake on the skimmer and check the water level the skimmer sits in to see if it is within the recommended range. If you add supplements to your water or vitamins to your food it will very often make the skimmer go nuts like this. If all of the above is in order then just give it some time to settle in. Happy reefing, Scott V.>

Skimmer adjustment, Euro-Reef   11/16/07 Dear Crew, <Josh> I have read many posts and articles about skimming on your site but can't seem to grasp on this concept. My question(s) relate to adjustments on my protein skimmer. I have a Euro Reef Rs100 skimmer in my sump and I maintain 9" of water. I am not sure if the way I have it set is correct. <Let's see> As I am sure you know, the skimmer has a "foam level" adjustment and a "air intake" control valve. Please correct me if I'm wrong; with a venturi type skimmer if the "air intake" valve is wide open, than I should be creating the "most" foam? This would defy what I seem to be encountering. <One would think this would be the case... but much depends on physical properties of the water being skimmed... I.e., there is such a thing as too much air mixed in> My tank is not heavily stocked but I do produce some foam. In order to get foam up into the neck and into the collection cup I have been running the unit with the "foam adjustment" pipe close to the "closed" position and the air intake valve about 1/3 closed. The more I close the foam adjustment valve the higher the foam rises in the column. <Bingo> Is running the unit with the foam adjustment "closed" a concern or a problem? <Not a problem or concern... Is there for this very purpose> Interpreting what I have read about skimmers, I would expect the most foam when the air intake is wide open. <Uh, no. IF there is little to skim let's say, it's "hard" for the air/water to mix in a proportion to "float" phobic molecules upward...> I read somewhere about removing the valve entirely. However based on my experience I get more foam production when I start to close down the valve.  <Often the case> Closing down this valve seems to create more turbulence that forces the foam up into the chamber. If I leave the valve wide open the foam production is minimal and remains down low in the chamber. Based on the owners manual I might/should get too much foam with the air valve wide open and then would have to start closing it to control the over production. My personal experience here has been quite the contrary. <Happens> I have yet to contact Euro Reef about this but thought you may offer some insights. <I would contact the fine folks there... Have known the Macares for many years...> One other question I have relates to cleaning the skimmer. My past experience has been with air stone skimmers where you "never" clean the upper neck of the skimmer. Does the same principle apply here? Thanks for your assistance. Josh <Does not... I would clean the entire contact chamber every month or two... on a regular basis... This, along with "standardizing" the depth of water, valve settings, should give/render you consistent results. Bob Fenner>

Skimmer question, op.  10/28/07 Hi, <Hello Mike, Scott V. with you.> I have a newly set up 75 gallon tank. I just finished the plumbing, and have a ~26 gal sump. I am using a 1.5" bulkhead drain and a mag drive 7 for my return. I have a RS80 euro reef skimmer I got used from a local place. My tank consists of about 60LBS of live rock and live sand from established tanks (finishing the live rock this week) and its been running for under 2 days this way. Anyway, the skimmer has been running in the sump, however there has never been any foam production. Is there something I am doing wrong, or is this normal? The skimmer doesnt have many "adjustments" however I can move the water level up and down a bit. No matter what I try, it produces no foam. Is this simply because there is no bioload? <It is likely due to the fact that it is a new setup. Oils from manufacturing, pvc gluing and even your hands in there setting stuff up will all keep the skimmer from producing. Make sure that the airline and air valve (if your particular skimmer has one) are clean and unrestricted along with checking the pumps impeller. There should be some water height adjustment on the output pipe. It should either slide up and down (older style) or twist to restrict/open up the outlet. Either way you could consider putting a gate valve on it like the RS series has to give you infinite adjustability. If you do this, note how the output is vented to the atmosphere after the valve and make adjustments slowly, give them time. Sounds like a good setup, good luck, Scott V.> Thanks Mike

Help... skimmer op.. TMC  07/27/07 Hi all and many thanks for your previous words of wisdom, what a great and informative site ; ) <Thank you, glad you enjoy.> Well here's my tank spec ; 280 litre, 1 inch of crushed coral sand, 9 good size pieces of live rock, Fluval 405 external filter, Aquaclear 30 powerhead, v2 400 skimmer, <Tropic Marine?> Arcadia overtank luminaires t8 with white and blue tubes and a 300 watt Hydor external heater. My current livestock consists of ; 2 juvenile orange clowns, Regal Tang, Fire Shrimp, reef lobster, 2 hermit crabs and 4 turbo snails. My question is about my v2 400 skimmer and how to reduce the amount of micro bubbles returning to my tank? I have experimented with different foams and floss but it doesn't seem to work I just get a whole tank full of micro bubbles. I know there will always be some amount of micro bubbles but it would be nice to try and reduce the amount as it really is spoiling the look of my tank. Any hints or tips would be much appreciated. <Micky, I would contact support at TMC, I believe that is who makes this skimmer. I'm not familiar with their products and cannot offer you much help other than reading the FAQ's on this subject here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bubtroubfaq2.htm Some water conditioners such as Stress Coat, will cause bubble problems, discontinue using if you are, and see if the problem goes away. James (Salty Dog)> James (Salty Dog)> Thanks, Micky

Skimmer Ozone Question 10/2/07 Hi Crew, Thanks again for the great resource that is this website. Don't know what I'd do without it actually. <More reading? TV? Conversation, reflection... fooling with your tanks!?> Anyway, to the question at hand. I'll be running ozone on a new set-up I've been busy with for what seems like forever. I was thinking about connecting my two skimmers in series to each other so the outlet of the ozone skimmer runs straight into the 2nd skimmers inlet. I was hoping that this modification would allow more O3 to be blown off before it hits the carbon and then the tanks main body of water. Would this work? <Likely so... you could/might test... maybe pH, DO... see what sort of difference this makes> I was thinking that this set up would also increase contact time. What do you think? Would this be beneficial or would it be more advantageous sticking with a traditional set up where each skimmer has its own separate feed? Regards, Rafiq <Worth experimenting re... Not likely a big difference in any case here. Bob Fenner>

New Tank And How! 9/20/07 Hi Bob, <James today Bryan> You've been helping me for years, I appreciate everything. I am now ready to upgrade aquariums and I have been working with Tenecor to build a new larger tank. Have a look and tell me if you believe I am  overlooking anything or if you have any recommendations on the specs. <Wowsie, looks like you have covered the bases pretty good. I'm not familiar with the Pacific Coast Imports skimmers so I can't comment on this. I question the use of the Rio pump to feed the skimmer. Does not seem like this is anywhere near enough to run the skimmer efficiently...a 28 dollar pump? PCI usually recommends Gen-X pumps to do this. I'm assuming the Iwaki pump is being used to run the main filter. Good choice of lighting/Kelvin temperature and cooling fans. I know first hand that Tenecor makes a quality tank, very nice workmanship. A dream system for sure.> Thanks! <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Bryan Heitman

Re: New Tank And How! 9/20/07 Hi James, <Hello Bryan> I heard back from Tenecor on the RIO pump situation. They are reporting the PCI skimmer is a re-circulating skimmer and the RIO is only a water transport to the skimmer, it does not actually mix the air like most skimmers. They believe since it is only delivering water to the skimmer for processing, it should be sufficient. They report some people simply use a overflow to deliver water to a re-circulating skimmer. Thoughts? <I see, also might add I could not find that particular model number on their (PCI) site, thinking it is special order only. James (Salty Dog)> Bryan Heitman Cinder Block Okay?  9/10/07 Good Day, Friends <Good evening Wes, Mich with you tonight.> (I know we've never met, but it *SEEMS* like you're my old friends), <I very much understand.> I have a quick and (probably) silly question - think I know the answer, but want to be sure. <Better safe than sorry.> I'm trying to raise my protein skimmer to sit about 8" higher in my sump than it currently does (need to make gravity work with my fuge). Is it okay to set it on a piece of cinder block? <Only if it's outside the tank.> I assume that it's non-reactive and won't leach anything harmful into my tank? <I would not assume this. I would be worried about what might leach out from the coal cinders used in making these blocks. RMF any comment?><<If cured for some time... and this volume total is of size... should be okay... Many folks have used cinder blocks in their system... Dick Perrin of Tropicorium to support his culture supports...RMF>> If cinder block isn't okay, do you have another suggestion of something that would be heavy enough, durable enough and provide a solid enough foundation to place the skimmer on? <How about a length of PVC topped with a piece of acrylic if need be?><<Or a clay flower pot. RMF>> Thanks again for all you folks do! <Welcome! Mich> Wes Re: Cinder Block Okay?  9/10/07 Hi, <Greg> Just a quick question (sorry if there are a? bunch of question marks in the text, not sure why).? <Me neither... but wish they weren't!> <<<They disappear when you change the text from plain text to HTML!>>> <I would not assume this. I would be worried about what might leach out from the coal cinders used in making these blocks. RMF any comment?><<If cured for some time... and this volume total is of size... should be okay... Many folks have used cinder blocks in their system... Dick Perrin of Tropicorium to support his culture supports...RMF>> <<<Wasn't sure, I know well cured Portland cement is ok, but didn't know what kind of compounds or partially combusted compounds might be present in the coal cinder.>>> If cinder block isn't okay, do you have another suggestion of something that would be heavy enough, durable enough and provide a solid enough foundation to place the skimmer on? <How about a length of PVC topped with a piece of acrylic if need be?><<Or a clay flower pot. RMF>> <<<Ooo! I didn't think about the flower pot. Good idea!>>> Mich Re: Cinder Block Okay? Terra Cotta is OK.   9/12/07 Thanks for this feedback, guys! <Welcome!> Just so I'm clear, a basic red clay (terra cotta) flowerpot will be non-reactive? <Yep.> The water will be passing in, through and around it in the sump before being pumped back into the tank. <Should be fine.> Just in case it makes a difference, it is a 125-gallon acrylic tank with a 40-gallon sump and soon to be 10-gallon refugium. <Sounds wonderful!> Thanks! <Welcome! Mich> Wes <<Depending on its actual make-up, a cinderblock or similar mortar-based material might elevate pH and alkalinity considerably... Could likely be leached of a good deal of the initially soluble material by being soaked in a container of water... perhaps with a bit of organic or inorganic acid... low concentration and KH... for a few weeks... RMF>>

Skimming Gelbstoff, Gilvin & CDOM. Removing water coloration ozone 09/06/07 Dear Crew, <Paul.> I've searched far and wide on WWW but can't find a reference to a skimmer that can skim yellowing compounds, such as Gelbstoff, Gilvin and Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM). Which skimmer or types of skimmers are known to be able to skim these unsightly compounds? <Every skimmer can to some extent, therefore yellow water is usually only a problem in heavy stocked systems with too few/small water changes. To maximize the efficiency of the skimmer consider a large skimmer that produces very tiny bubbles. It highly depends on your tank volume which models can be used. Compare models of different manufacturers adequate to your tank's size and read about experiences of fellow hobbyists. Anyway, your most important weapon to remove yellowing compounds is ozone. Many skimmer models can be equipped (sometimes with a little DIY skills) with an ozonizer. So, ensure your future skimmer can be used in combination with an ozonizer if your aim is to remove as much of the yellowing compounds as possible. See also http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marphysf.htm. and the linked FAQs.> I know that carbon filtration can remove these compounds but if a skimmer can remove them, I'm "killing two birds with one stone." <Even the best skimmers wont remove as much as a combination of carbon filtration with this skimmer.> Thanks, Paul. <Cheers, Marco.>

Skimmer Adjustment 9/3/07 Bob & Co, <James with you today.> Hope are you are all doing well. I am having trouble with my skimmer (pic attached, Venturi Tsunami II with Rio 2100). I have a 60gal/LR/FBD/Skimmer system, about 7wks old with a solitary Auriga in there. My skimmer does not collect anything. I have moved the water level to the highest level possible without it over flowing from the contact chamber drain, but the foam does not rise at all. <How long has the skimmer been in operation?> I recently added about 1/2 cup of carbon and the bubbling seems to have gone down even more after that. <Will happen, the carbon is absorbing dissolved waste.> At least prior to that I would collect a little dribble in the collection cup. 1. Is there not much in my water to remove or does the skimmer suck? What else can I try? <I'm guessing there isn't much to remove and the skimmer has not been in operation long enough. Use of carbon will reduce foaming also.> 2. I have only 20" clearance in my 20 gal sump. If I have to buy a new one what would you recommend? I see that you like AquaC but even the smallest model seems to be a real tight fit for my sump. <Your skimmer should work fine, it appears to be a quality unit. I would contact the manufacturer with your concerns. I'm sure they can answer your questions on this skimmer better than I could as I am not familiar with this product.> Thanks <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Gans P.S. Hope I did not make any spelling mistakes. Bob is tougher than my english teacher!! Whew.. <<Heeee! Where's my ruler?! RMF>> <Bob may be looking you up, he has a new spear gun:)>

Sm. marine... maint., skimmer op.    8/30/07please help! i am new to marine set up. i have successful pond and tropical set up. i have a 90litre tank with 4 kilo live rock. set up 5 weeks. 1 with just salt water and hang on nano protein skimmer to me( looks diy) substrate and filter. 4 week with 4kg cured live rock. NEVER had any collections in protein skimmer cup. contacted seller and they said nothing in collection cup because i had no fish. is this true i think not. <It's quite possible actually. If you're not putting any food or livestock in the tank and if your live rock is "cured," you might not have much protein in the water to skim. If the skimmer is making a lot of little bubbles moving up a column, then it's working. Have you tried lowering the skimmer cup?> ph is normal ammonia is 0 nitrite is 0. i have 2 x clown fish due to arrive on Saturday . will they survive. <If the tank is ready, they should survive.> i am going to purchase another new skimmer today. should i cancel the fish coming (children will be most upset) . how long should i have skimmer in tank before i add fish. <Well, I'm not entirely convinced you needed a new skimmer. But in any case, no, you don't have to wait after adding the new skimmer. Functioning skimmers start working as soon as you turn them on.> thanks' <De nada, Sara M.>

Re: skimmer noise   8/30/07Thank you for the reply. The people that sold it to me questioned if i had enough air going through the inlet pipes it should make small whitish mass of bubbles. I then checked your site (which is fantastic). I have now turned it up and now the hang on skimmer has loads of tiny whitish bubbles in the chamber and flowing into the tank. <nice problem solving work> The only problem now is the terrible noise! <typical of skimmers> Cant here the telly unless turned up. Do you think my skimmer may work now? <If it's making a lot of little bubbles which collect up a column into a skimmer cup, then yes. But don't be too surprised if you still don't get much skimmate. As I mentioned, if there's nothing in the tank and you're not feeding anything, then there might not be much of anything to skim.> Is it possible to turn the flow of bubbles down whilst in the same room as tank and turn is back up whilst at work, sleep, etc. <Yes. That should be ok. If it's an appropriately sized skimmer for the tank, it shouldn't have to be on full force 24/7.> This is way too noisy please help. <I think you have your solution. Turn it down while you're at home and turn it up when you're at work or asleep. There are some other tricks to quieting down some types of skimmers. But if this is a "home-made" skimmer I don't know how it's built or what else might help.> x <Good luck, Sara M.> Skimming Gelbstoff   8/24/07 Dear Crew: <Paul> Are there any protein skimmers that can remove Gelbstoff (yellowing compounds) from the water column? Thanks! <Mmm, this is a German word referring to organic molecules very generally that contribute to "color" (yellowing) in water... Such material is removed (particularly phobic carbon chains) via skimming to some degree... Better skimmers, more so... Most settings, folks would/will be further served by utilizing some filter carbon in addition. Bob Fenner> Re: Skimming Gelbstoff   7/25/07 Dear Crew, What specific skimmer types or models are able to effectively filter Gelbstoff? Thanks very much! <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/skimselfaqs.htm and the linked files above. The better skimmers detailed... BobF> Protein Skimmer Woes... Umm, actually chemical algicide induced problems   8/20/07 Hello all, I have written in before and appreciate your help. I have a 125gallon fish only with live rock setup and crushed coral substrate. Fluval 405, Fluval 403, two 802 powerheads on an undergravel filter with rotating Hydor wavemakers on them, a Hydor 2 (600gph) on one side, and a Maxi jet 600 on the other side for circulation. I also have a red sea Berlin skimmer hanging on the back that has been collecting some good stuff over the past couple months since I got it ( used for $50) . For lighting I have a Custom Sea Life 72" 4x96 power compact with 2 50/50s and 2 10,000ks in it and 6 blue moon LEDs for nighttime. The lights cycle through dawn day dusk and night for 9 hours a day. I had an outbreak of Cyanobacteria, and after numerous water changes it was still persistent on covering my live rock, so I turned to some red slime powder to rid it. <... can be real trouble...> As per the directions I disconnected my skimmer, and put in two airstones for 5 days. the red slime for the most part went away, <Cycled...> when I disconnected the airstones and plugged the skimmer back in, the collection cup overflowed twice with in 2 hours, and the skimmer was dumping huge amounts of microbubbles into my tank. The liquid and foam in the cup was clear, and that never happened before either. There were always a few microbubbles before, but nothing of this magnitude. So I have disconnected the skimmer, and now there is a layer of gunk floating all across the top of my tank. I tried to run RO water through the skimmer in my sink and then reinstalled it, but it does the same thing. No matter what I do the skimmer over skims and does nothing because the foam and water in the cup are both clear. Could this be to left over red slime powder in the system? <Yep, tis> the directions on the powder said only to do a water change if the problem persists and you add more powder. <...> I am do <due> for a water change this week anyways, but I am still wondering why this is happening. <Biology, chemistry...> I have pretty much given up on the red sea Berlin ( mostly due to the noise it makes, but now due to the microbubbles, because they are very unsightly) and am considering purchasing a remora pro to replace it as I don't have a sump and the remora pro looks like a good option. What else can I do??? <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maralgcidefaqs.htm and the linked files above> There has never been a coating on the surface like this before ( even when I had no skimmer ) and it worries me. <Me too> Oh for livestock I have a yellow tang, Bluefaced angel, <Needs more room than this> flame angel, yellow tail damsel, 2 green Chromis, a stars and stripes puffer, <Much more room> a small zebra moray, <Ditto> and I am saving up for a harlequin tusk ( they are soooo cool! ) I feed krill, Mysis, Spirulina, and seaweed once daily, and feeder crabs and ghost shrimp 1-2 times a week. Any tips you can give me would be much appreciated as I am in the process of gathering equipment to set up a 29 gallon reef tank, and I want to get as much info and get my 125FOWLR skimming good before I jump into the reef tank :-) Thanks, and keep up the good work, your site is the best! Douglas M. Payne Jr. (DJ) <Consider adding a refugium of size... give up on chemical algicides... and keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Re: Protein Skimmer Woes     8/22/07 Thanks again for all your help guys.... <Welcome> Of course I came up with a few more points and questions, and I appreciate the effort on your part. So yesterday I went and got me a Fluval surface skimmer and hooked it up to the intake of one of my canister filters. I read about it and people said it worked, so for $20 I figured I would try it. I had been concerned with the white film on the top of my water and decided to scrap the red sea Berlin skimmer because it is ugly, noisy, and was overreacting after I treated my tank with red slime powder ( I know I know horrible Idea, but you live and learn right? <In some ways... hopefully> I will never do that again! ). I am planning on a remora pro as soon as I can afford it. within 30 minutes, the surface film cleared right up. Have you heard anything about these surface skimmers?? <Oh yes. Have used the Eheim ones for decades> I am sure it does not do nearly the same thing as a real protein skimmer because it just sucks the water into the canister filter and you aren't subtracting anything, but it did clear the film up really quickly. It worked so well I ordered another one off of EBay and plan on hooking it up to the other canister filter on the other side of the tank, do you think that would be beneficial?? <Yes> My thoughts are that there is no such things as overfiltering is there?? <Not practically> I also performed about a 12% water change to see if I could get things back to normal. I also tested my water, all the levels were ok according to the guy at the LFS except nitrates. I am not sure what the numeric value is, but my nitrates were red in color in the test tube, and I know this is high. Nothing has died or is rotting that I know of, at least all my livestock is accounted for and swimming and behaving normally. I do not have a cleaner crew or snails due to P Diddy my puffer and his never ending appetite. Any ideas about the nitrates?? <... please... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm and the linked files above> I also had a question regarding the comments you made about my overcrowding. The largest fish I have in the tank is the Bluefaced angel, who is about 5-6" <Needs a few hundred gallons...> and then the puffer who is about 5" <... see WWM...> Flame angel 3" Yellow tang 4" 5 damsels equaling 10" total or less, and a 10" zebra moray ( not sure that he is actually a zebra, because the pictures I have seen of a zebra moray do not look like him, he is white and black/grey ) . According to what I have read, 1" per 3 gallons would put me at 41" max of fish, and I currently have 38-40" or less ( approximate measure ) is this really overcrowded, or right at the limit?? I fully intend to switch things out if they get too big, such as the puffer and eel. The eel rarely eats, so I don't foresee him to get too big too fast, but the puffer seems to grow daily lol. If I add another fish I would be getting rid of the Yellow Tang to do so, because I have my eyes on a Harlequin tusk. Do you see any problems with a Harlequin in my setup if I traded out my yellow tang?? Again you guys are awesome, and a way better source of advice than my LFS, they have two guys that know what they are doing, but the rest of the kids in there seem a little clueless. I do like the store though because unlike other stores in AZ, they are not out to only turn a profit. Its nice to have an unbiased opinion from you. one last thing, I will be adding more live rock as soon as I can afford it, but the skimmer comes first. I also am piecing together equipment to start a 29 gallon reef setup, as I have truly been bitten by the bug and have 2 empty 29 gallon tanks to mess around with, what size sump should I use on my 29?? I have two 29 gallon tanks, but the sump should be smaller than the main tank right??? Plus the other 29 will not fit in the stand. I am planning a DIY sump, just was wondering what size tank I should use to make it out of. I was planning on using my red sea Berlin in the sump of the 29 gallon reef tank, with an overflow box and refugium. I also plan to do sand instead of crushed coral, and lots and lots of live rock! Any suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for all your help, and I apologize for the windy letter...... DJ <Have just skipped down. Your answers and much more you need to know that is related to these, are archived on WWM... Learn to/use the indices, search tool. BobF>

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