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FAQs about Turboflotor Skimmers 

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Related Articles: Skimmers by Steven Pro, Protein Skimmer Impressions By Steven Pro, Marine Filtration, Mechanical, Physical & Chemical, and FAQs

skimmer overflowing   2/3/14
Hello Mr. F,
The lighting issue is taking care of, I really hope that I will be able to make the transition smooth enough for my corals.
I have another question maybe you can help me :
I have a AquaMedic aCone 3.0 with a ozone 100 connected to it. The system is functioning for over a year but I still have some very annoying problem: randomly the skimmer overflows.
<Some of AM's skimmers are touchy in their settings... hopefully you have yours set up where if/when it overflows there isn't a mess or too much loss of water>
I also have a Apex Neptune controller with all the probes so I measure the salinity, ph, ORP and they are all stable. The level of the skimmer is 17.5 cm so it is in the range of they`r recommendation, and it doesn't happen after feeding or in any other particular moment. It can go very well  producing nice and lots of skimmate for about a week or 10 days and then out of nowhere it overflows.
<... usually such events are related to foods/feeding, water changes, supplement use>
 I know is not precipitation either,  because I don`t use balling method, I have a calcium reactor so the Ca and alk inflow is constant.
When it overflows, if I rotate a little the air injection nozzle on the venturi pump it can calm down and it can last one hour, one day or 10 days, then it starts the problems again.
<Ah yes; the sensitivity/touchiness I alluded to>
The pump is cleaned regularly, I also cleaned the entire skimmer and now I don`t know what to do. Usually these problems are associated with cheaper and bad skimmers, but I refuse to think that a 900 euro brand new skimmer from AquaMedic is bad.. For now the problem is quite annoying and I would really appreciate some advice from you, before I go and change this skimmer.
thank you
Andrei from Romania
<You might try the hobbyist bulletin boards, even write AquaMedic for their input. IF you can't deal easily with the probable overflow eventualities, I would switch skimmers/brands. Bob Fenner>
Re: skimmer overflowing. Aqua Medic and skim. op. f's        2/4/13

Hello Mr. F.
Quoting you <Mmm> . I tried contacting them and they told me , quote : " the skimmer is not bad, is sensitive and the problem is in your water "
Well, I don't think I really have a problem in the water because the parameters I monitor are stable in a reasonable amount for a reef aquarium .The skimmer is placed in the mid sump and when it overflows is not a problem because the water just spills back in the sump, but the idea is that if the cup contains skimmate it will spill back in the tank polluting it, and this makes the skimmer pretty useless .
<I suggest you look into drilling the collection cup (half inch maybe ID) and fitting it with a thread to barb ending that you can attach some flexible poly tubing to; diverting/directing the skimmate to a larger container (perhaps a one gallon plastic jug)>
And a good skimmer is the centerpiece of a tank filtration, so...
I am just mad because I paid 1000$ + for this and is not reliable.
Any suggestions as for a brand or option?
<The above... take your time drilling the plastic... Get the fitting first. BobF>
Thank you once again,

Turboflotor 1000 Question, op.       4/29/13
Hello Crew!!!
<Hiya Shea>
I have a question for one of you. I just purchased a Turboflotor 1000 and it has been up and running for over 24 hours now. The problem is, I'm getting a lot of clear bubbles that are filling my collection cup. The cup fills in about 30-45 minutes. I have made no modifications to the pump or air intake. The water level is an inch or two below the collection cup.
<The water level in the sump or within the skimmer?>
The water intake pump is a Rio 800+. Any tips on what I can do to get this thing skimming? Or could this just be part of the initial break in period?
They say to expect it to do this for 4-12 hours.
<Is the skimmers output open all the way? Have you tried turning down the Rio? Could you send a picture of the skimmer set up? -NateG>
Re: Turboflotor 1000 Question      4/29/13

Hi Nate, thanks for the reply. The water level in the sump is about 5.5 inches.
<Hm. I was hoping that it was much higher. Would be an easier explanation as to the overflowing. Hm...>
I have the Rio turned down quite a bit. I did notice last night that my water return hose to the main display was kinked. After I addressed that issue the skimmer quit filling up quite so fast.
<K good. Take a look into reinforced vinyl hose if this continues to be an issue>
 I also added a cap to the air intake tube. Not sure what it is called. it came with my old hang on CPR skimmer.
<Its a muffler of sorts.>
It now takes a couple of hours for it to fill up.  I have attached some pictures. Also, one of my down flow tubes is not draining as quick as the other. I checked for an instruction but there doesn't appear to be anything there. I did not install the adjustment caps because the directions say that it works better without them.
<I'm curious to see what might happen should you add the adjustment caps.
Judging by the pictures in the manual it may actually fill the cup faster.
But worth a shot.>
Shea Carey
<Something that can really mess with the consistent performance of a skimmer, is the depth of the water in which it sits. It is quite ideal for that water level to be constant/stable. -NateG>
Re: Turboflotor 1000 Question     4/30/13

Hi Nate. I installed the caps to regulate the flow as per the instructions.
The cup did fill faster. I removed the muffler from the air intake and installed an adjustable air regulator valve that I used for drip acclimation. The foam level is about 1/4 of the way up the cone now and has held that level for about 22 hours. I only have a few centimeters of yellowish brown liquid in the bottom of the cup. What is "ideal" level to have this set at? I want to make sure I'm getting as much gunk out of the water as possible. Hopefully I have this dialed in and now it's just a waiting game.
<Sounds like its getting much better. You can also try making the air intake tube longer instead of using the valve. -NateG>

Turboflotor 1000 Classic Tuning Question    9/17/12
Hello, I have a 54g corner reef tank that's been set up for a few years.
Medium bio load and I hadn't been running skimmer because my metal halide lamps were heating up the tank too much if I also ran this skimmer, which has the Oceanrunner2500 pump (38w!).
<Mmm, yes; during the hotter times of the year, I'd run the tank lights "on" later in the day... maybe coming on mid to late afternoon>
So, I started having hair algae problems which I've been battling with a toothbrush for the past six months or so. I recently switched to AquaticLife T5s and the heat problem is pretty much a non-issue so I decided to hook up my Turboflotor1000 again to see if it would help reduce the algae problem. Sump is a 10g glass aquarium, so space is limited.
<I see>
Anyway, for the past two days I've been trying to get this skimmer to produce any kind of dark skimmate but all I've been getting is clear skimmate with the cup filling every six hours or so. I've taken the entire skimmer apart, cleaned it, even drilling out the venturi holes to remove salt creep/calcium buildup.
<Take care here... I'd just soak the Venturi in a vinegar solution>
I even drilled out the top opening to the venturi a bit to make the hole a little bigger thinking more air might help.
<Mmm, no. It/this won't>

I am supplying water via a maxijet1200. I have a control value on this water feed and have gradually turned it almost all the way shut
<A question, actually two: How high in the contact chamber is the water level w/ this valve nearly closed, even closed?... the bubbles, how high are they up to (the gap) the collection cup?>
because of the skimmer cup overflowing clear water and I'm still getting clear skimmate filling the cup every six hours or so. Skimmer is sitting in about 7 inches of water (water line is about 1.5 inches above the top of the OceanRunner pump). I've completely removed the grey flow restrictors (called throttle caps in the owners manual) to reduce the amount of water stays in the skimmer body.
<This, these measures is about all that can be done...>
I'm not sure if there is something wrong with the skimmer, the setup, or it's still in it's break in period after a few years of non-use. I don't sense anything wrong with the operation of the unit outside of the quality of the skimmate. The reaction chamber is full of white bubbles,
very turbulent, with lots of small bubbles forming in the bottom 1/4 of the collection cup neck and larger bubbles above.
<Am thinking this is a break in period issue then>
It seems with the algae problem I'm having there has to be dissolved organics in the water, but this skimmer isn't doing anything useful at this point and I've been doing tons of research on this site and others on how to setup and tune this particular skimmer. Very frustrated and considering buying a new skimmer as this one is 13 years old (a holdover from a 90g setup I had years ago).
<It may well be that the Venturi is shot...>

Many thanks in advance.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Turboflotor 1000 Classic Tuning Question    9/17/12

Bob, I checked my water level in the skimmer body by blocking the air intake with my finger. Both the maxijet1200 and Oceanrunner2500 are running and the water level was a few inches below the top of the clear part of the skimmer body. So, I adjusted the gate valve on the MaxiJet to set the water level so it's about an inch below the top of the black ring where the collection cup attaches to the skimmer body.
 <Mmm okay>
This seems to be the appropriate water level based on what I've read online and in the owner's manual. However, this creates massive overflow into the skimmer cup (fills in less than a minute) so I put an air valve on the air intake hose and dialed it down until I was getting a nice consistent amount of foam going into the cup. This was at 10pm last night. As of 8am this morning, I have about 1/4" of light brown skim in the collection cup, a nice foam head, and the neck of the cup is coated in light brown slime.
So, it appears this is producing some skim but I'd hope for more than this eventually. Seems like I should be able to get a dark, stinky nog instead of this light brown stuff that doesn't have any smell or solid chunks (it's just brown water at this point).
 <I'd give all time here>
Do I need to be more patient or do you think this weak skim output is a sign that my skimmer needs replacement? I figure I should wait at least a few more days with the current setting to see what kind of skimmate I get before deciding on a potential replacement. Again, this unit is 13 years old, so I know it's both obsolete compared to current designs and might also be wearing out. The OR2500 is only about 5 years old as I've replaced it once.
The Turboflotor seems to be extremely touchy compared to many other skimmers from what I've read.
<It is>
With all the talk of people doing mesh mods and other things to get their pumps to pull maximum air, it seems counterintuitive that I would need to dial down my air flow to give this skimmer to work. Still confused as to how to tune this thing, but hopeful I'm making progress. At least it's not overflowing the cup every five minutes.
<Thank goodness. Thanks for the follow-up Bry. BobF>

Protein skimmer Turboflotor blue 3000 (tuning advice)    4/16/12
<Hello Arb>
I have a question regarding my protein skimmer which is the AquaMedic Turboflotor blue 3000, I'm currently using it in my sump and my display tank is a 200 gal FOWLR for 6 years. Inhabitants are 3 adult fish comprise of a Naso, Blue and Koran (all around 9 inch long), 3 medium size fish comprise of a another blue tang, yellow tang and Lamarck Angel (around 5inch long).
Add in the mix is a pair of false Perculas.
I feed twice a day and I don't consider myself overfeeding my tank but enough to keep all fish plump.
Back to my question, I suspect my skimmer is under performing as I only get about slightly less than 1 cm of wet skim mate every week and my nitrates is around 40ppm constantly. I have tried many ways to tune the skimmer but all comes back to the same result, lowering the pump(increase water level), heighten the pump(both reducing water level or put egg crates under the pump), cut the air intake hose shorter, reduce air intake, various water output valve settings.
Now I'm seriously considering changing to another brand, but before I take the plunge I would like to seek your advice on whether there's other ways of fine tuning it that I haven't try yet.
<Two things to check. The venturi inlet on the pump should be free of any buildup. A drill bit the same size as the inlet diameter is a good tool to clean this. Any restriction here will seriously affect the efficiency of the skimmer. Also check the needle wheel in the pump for algae or any debris trapped within the needles on the impeller. You may be importing more nutrients in the system than the skimmer is able to remove. My other thought is that you have a lot of fish mass for a 200 gallon tank and you may very well need a larger skimmer. If you replace the skimmer, look for a recirculating type skimmer that is rated for at least twice the volume of your tank. These type of skimmers are more efficient, especially with the bio-load you have....your tank is overstocked.>
Many thanks!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Turboflotor skim faqs questions   8/10/11
Hi, I was skimming through the Turboflotor faqs and came across this issue I was having... the water does not go past half way on my skimmer either.
I was wondering if you plug the hole where the overflow water comes in... how does water get inside the pump and into the skimmer?
<Mmm, occluding, partially blocking the exit (not the intake to the contact chamber) is the route to go to raise the water level here. Bob Fenner>
"Turboflotor setup
Hi Bob,
It's me again. I was reading through the skimmer FAQs again and noticed a lot of people were still having trouble with the Turboflotor setup. I just wanted to throw in my 2 centavos worth and show how I setup the skimmer running only one pump. Most people either run 2 pumps OR one pump and water getting fed to the skimmer through an overflow. I thought both of these methods were inconvenient so I ran only one pump, but could never get the water to rise more than 1/2 way up the skimmer column, no matter how much I adjusted the two valves. The solution was simple, just remove the pipe used to connect to the overflow hose and plug up the hole at the bottom of the skimmer column that goes from inside the skimmer to the pipe you just removed. I did that and my skimmer has been working great using only one Rio 2100. Hope this helps. We can hop on the forum if I wasn't clear enough. Hope you have a good day.
<Ah, another lesson (for me) in personal "arrogance"... I would have sworn most everyone would have known of this modification... Thank you. Bob Fenner>"
Re: Turboflotor skim FAQs questions   8/10/11

I don't know if partially blocking the exit would make sense here either.
Because the problem is my water level inside the skimmer is not rising high enough to start the skimming process and reach the exiting pipes. So if I partially block the exit pipes it would not do anything. However, if I plug the overflow hole with my finger, the water level does rise, I just don't get where the water is coming from to make it rise. I attached the Aqua Medic 1000 online manual and in the troubleshooting section it says with the pump off the water level should reach the neck of the skimmer
body, I can't even get it that close with the pump on. The skimmer is sitting in about 6" of water and the water level inside the skimmer body is about 7".
<Mmm, it may be your pump impeller has issues (broken vanes)... do take it apart and check... And I'd try blocking both "exits" and see. B>

Question re. Modifications To Turboflotor 1000 Protein Skimmer 10/25/10
Hi there.
<Hello Andrew>
It's been a while since I've written, but that's only because your FAQ's are so detailed that they answer most of the questions I have. I realize you get a lot of similar questions, and think it's only fair that I put in a little bit of effort researching your site before I ask for your help.
Your time and service is too valuable for us to waste in this way. My question today is about some modifications I am making to my Aqua Medic protein skimmer. I'll focus on the facts I think are relevant, but please let me know if you need more details about my system. Anyway, after the Ocean Runner that was supplied with the skimmer crapped out on me (can I say that?)
I thought I would take your advice and upgrade to an Eheim 1260. After reading your FAQ's, I used rigid PVC to connect the pump to the skimmer while also making a venturi on the intake side and adding a ball valve on the output side to moderate the flow. I built the venturi by reducing down to 1/2 inch PVC into a Tee, with the top branch/hole of the Tee extending above the water level where a ball valve helps regulate the air that was pulled in. On the output side, the 3/4 inch pump hole is also reduced down to 1/2 inch PVC where it travels about 2 feet into another sump where the protein skimmer hangs and water is discharged. I thought I would pull from and discharge into different sumps because I always thought it strange that the skimmer discharged right next to the pump that drew water into the unit. Anyway, I was quite proud of myself until I turned the unit on and the water rushed into the skimmer quickly filling up the cup with tank water. I cranked open the venturi ball valve and throttled down the one on the output side, but find that there are either too many bubbles (which quickly overflows the reservoir) or none at all (which causes water to just cycle through the skimmer). It's gotten to the point where I am afraid to leave the skimmer alone when on for fear of it overflowing and even draining my sump. Not sure if I gave you enough information, but before I pull out what little is left of my hair and/or redo things completely, I hope you can help me problem-solve. Only thing I can think of is that I shouldn't have reduced the input (which would allow more air to be drawn into the pump) or that the skimmer is too far from the pump. A least one of your FAQ's mentions placing the venturi on the output side of the pump, but I am not sure how this could work. In this configuration, wouldn't the pump just push water out of this pipe rather than sucking in the necessary air?
<If I am reading/understanding you correctly, using a 1/2" PVC tube as the venturi makes it very difficult to control/fine tune that large a volume of air. I would cap the tee, then drill it out to accept a standard air line barbed fitting, then attach a piece of air line tubing to it to supply the air to the pump. You should then be able to adjust the water height in the skimmer more precisely with the output ball valve. See if this works out for you, keep us posted.>
Thanks in advance for your help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Question re. Modifications To Turboflotor 1000 Protein Skimmer 10/25/10
Thanks for the quick response.
<You're welcome.>
To clarify, I am able to adjust the volume of air going into the pump using the ball valve that I put on the top of the 1/2 inch PVC leading to the Tee on the input side of the pump.
<I understand this.>
What I have found, though, is that I have to open this ball valve all the way to generate bubbles in the lower portion of the skimmer, which essentially means that I am drawing air through the full diameter of the 1/2 inch PVC pipe. If I understand you correctly, I will try capping the PVC and running an airline tube into a hole in the cap to see if it makes a difference.
<OK, and you likely will have much better results keeping the pump as close to the skimmer as possible. James (Salty Dog)>

Protein Skimmer Performance Question 6/18/08 WWM Crew, <Hello.> I have a Turboflotor 1000 Multi currently installed as a hang-on in my sump. Tank overflow feeds directly into the side of the sump that the skimmer is installed on so the water level remains constant with the skimmer pump sitting approximately 4-5" under the water. The problem I'm experiencing is, after I empty and clean the skimmer cup (1-2 X's per week), the skimmer will produce about 1" of nice dark skimmate in the cup but it seems to stop after that (The level of skimmate never rises). It does go from a weak tea color to dark (literally almost black) color but the level of production never seems to increase. <OK> From a clean, dry cup I will have that 1" of weak colored tea within 24 hours; after that, the only "production" I see is the color of the skimmate getting darker and darker. I think foam is no longer entering the cup because when I remove the cup to clean it, there is very thick, dry foam all the way up the center of the cup and attached to the lid of the cup as well. Could this dry foam be preventing new foam from entering the cup or is this normal production? <Your skimmate production will decrease, in this case go toward the drier end, as the neck of the cup get dirty.> I clean the needle-wheel pump, venturi, & air lines once a month . <All good practice.> I've had other skimmers before this one, most recently a Coralife Super Needle-Wheel 125 and while it didn't produce this dark colored skimmate, the level of production in the cup did slowly rise each day as more foam entered the cup. <The darker the skimmate, the lower in volume it will be, not necessarily a bad thing.> I've read several pages of your skimmer FAQ's and have been unable to find any other symptom similar to this. <Sounds like normal skimmer operation. If you would like a wet foam, raise the water level in the skimmer. Another option is to clean the collection cup daily to get the wet skimmate. Best of luck, Scott V.>

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

Re: 55 gal saltwater Compatibility 10/24/07 Hello again, <Hi Eric> I can say that after a busy and stressful morning at work, your answer about the 30 pack and cigars made me laugh on my lunch break. So thank you! <Is good to mix a little humor with work.> I was out last night shopping and came across a rather unique find: a Turboflotor 1000 Multi - HOT variety skimmer, along with a 30 gal tank and complete stand, and a Bio-Wheel 280 filter.. All for $99 (this was at a Salvation army store... I was shopping for a Halloween Costume.. Haha) <Not a bad deal considering these skimmers etail for over $200.00.> The Turbo does not come with a pump, so I'd need to purchase (probably an Ocean Runner 2500.. unless you have an alternate suggestion.. <Is the pump that is sold with the units, go for it.> Also, about a month ago I was looking for a skimmer and was researching all the different models, so I am familiar w/ the Turbo.. however, last night I did a 'refresher course'... and I spent about 2 hours reading about the Turbos on this site, and others, and have come to the conclusion that they are good skimmers, although rather finicky to 'perfect').... <Probably a little less finicky with the HOT model.> But I'm patient. So, my plan is to buy the whole package, clean out the skimmer, buy a pump separately, use the Bio Wheel filter for my 20 gal freshwater tank (along with other filtration), and sell the tank and stand online. (This should be a bit over budget, but not by much, and I'm OK with that...) <A good investment.> Here's my question(s): the skimmer does have a lot of dried-on algae, etc. on the inside (quite thick in some spots) and I've read that I should soak overnight using a vinegar and water solution... <I'd start with about 80/20 vinegar/water.> (let's hope that's enough to work. if not I could use the water and bleach to soak it.. Actually.. I could follow the article on Powerhead Maintenance and cleaning listed in WWM.. Correct?).. <Don't think I'd try this with acrylic/plastic, bleach tends to fog these materials.> My question is that if I end up having to scrape the gunk off, could there be mini-abrasions that would effect the skimmer's production? <I'd let it soak a couple days before I'd resort to this. Would be good if you had an old air pump laying around and use this to agitate the water/vinegar mix in the skimmer.> I'm going to be researching this at home tonight as well.. but so far have not been able to find an answer to my specific question. Also, about my stocking list, if I have this skimmer along with the other mechanics listed, will the 55 gal still be a bit overstocked? I know the Mono doesn't 'fit in' w/ the tank.. but... as I'm sure you've heard before.. my Girlfriend LOVES that fish.. it's her favorite... (and when I mentioned in the earlier email about 'moving into a house and buying a larger tank'.. that means I'll be moving in w/ her... So I really have no room to budge, until the Mono grows too large.. at which point I'll have to just use the fish to justify the purchase of a bigger tank. <OK, girlfriend wins I guess, but do not add any more fish to this system and lets see how it goes. Do monitor nitrate levels.> I read a number of weeks ago about the overall flow of water, and that it should be at least 10x that of the tank, which would be 550 gals/hour. I have calculated the total gph to be apprx. 960, not including skimmer. <Sounds good to me.> After all this, are there any suggestions about this (other than to read more, which of course I will...) <I think this link would be a good place to start. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/marineMaint.htm> Thanks again, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Eric

Turboflotor skimmer problems  8/23/07 Hi Guys, <Darren> Thank you so much for your site. It is so refreshing to get some unbiased and down to earth advice for a change. <Welcome> I apologise in advance if the answer to this question is available already but I have searched and not found one. My problem is almost identical to Ian's from England (Turboflotor Skimmer FAQs) in that I have owned two Turboflotor skimmers during the past year and in each case the pump has cyclically turned on and off for about 3 months before eventually failing. Despite living in Australia, both skimmers have come with European plugs indicating that they may be from the same batch as those that Ian was having problems with. Perhaps there is a more widespread problem with these pumps? <Yes... there have been "bad runs"...> Having had a T5 unit from Aqua Medic that was also faulty, I am unlikely to ever purchase products from this manufacturer again and am interested in Bob's suggestion to replace the PH2500 with an Eheim 1260 and insert my own venturi valve in between the pump and the skimmer. <Or the venturi first, then the Eheim, then the skimmer> What I don't understand is how to actually build an effective venturi valve. I was wondering if you could provide a "dummies" explanation or point me to somewhere that describes this? <FWIW I would just buy one that has been re-labeled by a "pet-fish" company... Here's an example: http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_ViewItem~SearchStr~venturi~action~view~idProduct~KM2851~idCategory~ FIPSAC~category~Kent_Marine_Black_Turbo_Venturi___3_4_inch_ Saltwater_Aquarium_Supplies_Protein_Skimmers_Accessories~vendor~.html> I am also happy to purchase one if you feel this will give better results. Of course the other option is to simply cut my losses and buy an AquaC 180. I would love to hear your thoughts on which way I should go? <Mmm, up to you... if money is/were dear...> Thank you in advance for your help. It is really appreciated. Darren. <Pleased to meet, assist you. Bob Fenner, on down to Perth... perhaps diving elsewhere enroute next year for the HHH>

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)>

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

Solution - Turboflotor 1000 and bubbles in sump/tank I was able to get rid of 90% of the bubbles. I "invented" a device. Maybe I should market it! Since my overflows use 1" PVC and output from Turboflotor are 5/8", I made a bubble trap with a 2" piece of PVC with cap on bottom. I made it about an inch higher than normal sump level. I then inserted this into a Marineland filter material (filter in outside). I then flow water from overflows and from skimmer into top of the PVC traps (overflow and skimmer returns extend about 2/3 of the way down into the traps). The water flows in, cascades out of top (which dissipates some bubbles) and then flows through filter material. The filter material removes most of the remaining bubbles. This has eliminated 90% of the bubbles - the only one that remain are extremely fine and evidently pass through the filter material. There are still bubbles but they are greatly reduced. If I could find a finer filter material I am sure I would eliminate almost all of them (something like a sponge-type filter with a 2"-2.25" opening in middle to fit 2" PVC trap). <Emperor Aquatics makes micron filter bags that maybe just what you are looking for. They are extremely efficient at trapping debris, but must be rinsed out almost daily, for fear of becoming a home for nitrifying bacteria.> Will the remaining 10% bubbles and of very fine/smaller nature pose much of a danger now? <Probably not much> They are hard to see anymore and most evident under the 2 x 96 compact fluorescent lights. You can't see them coming out of the return anymore - before it looked tons of dust blowing out into the water. They are very very fine and smaller now and don't seem to stick to everything anymore. - Mark <Do look at the micron bags as another option. If you clean them regularly, they are very effective at removing large amounts of detritus. -Steven Pro>

Eheim or Aqua Medic Pump?  12/20/06 <Hi Matthew, JustinN with you today> I have a Turboflotor 1000 Multi protein skimmer.  The Ocean Runner 2500 pump that is included with the skimmer is not operating correctly.  Despite cleaning it per the manufacturer suggestions, the pump remains noisy and is not moving water like it should.  Thus, I believe that I need a new pump.   <Is this skimmer still under factory warranty? A noisy, ineffective pump is likely a defect.> Due to several glowing reviews from the WWW Media crew, I am considering purchasing a Eheim 1260 Pump.  It has 634 gph max with a 12.1' head.  Since the Ocean Runner 2500 has a 650 gph max with a 8.4', I thought that the Eheim 1260 would be an adequate replacement in terms of gph.  Is this correct? <I would think they would be very close, yes> Another concern is that the Turboflotor skimmer uses a needle wheel.   How does this work if I purchase another brand of pump? <Contact the manufacturer for information on this.> Will the Eheim 1260 be an good replacement for the Ocean Runner 2500 for use with the Turboflotor 1000 Multi?  Is there anything special I need to do to make it compatible? <Again, you should contact the manufacturer in reference to these questions. They will know their hardware better than anyone, and will be able to tell you compatibilities with other pumps.> Thanks for your help. Sincerely, Matthew     <No problems, Matthew. Happy holidays! -JustinN> Turboflotor T1000 Skimmer and appropriate gph return pump   12/18/06 Hi! <Hello there> I have a 150 gallon tank and recently purchased a Turboflotor T1000 skimmer with a RIO 2100 pump.  I plan to use the skimmer in sump and I have a couple of questions:  The directions for the skimmer said that it included a needle wheel to convert the RIO 2100 pump + powerhead.  However, no needlewheel was included in the box. <Mmm, do look inside the pump volute itself (screwdriver...)... is likely already installed... looks like a bunch of plastic spikes coming from the central spindle...> I looked at the pump (which I purchased separately) and I see a needle wheel already installed. <Oh!> Do you think that will work or should I contact the manufacturer? <I would use the needle-wheel one if available... though I do want to make a comment re the Rio line, the 2100 model in particular, and its application here (on/with skimmers)... This pump "suffers" from this application... "spinning" too quickly w/o the engineered resistance it might otherwise encounter... and often "burns out" prematurely... if/when yours does, I would replace it w/ another brand... See WWM re...> I'm not sure if AquaMedic didn't update their directions or if I still need a part. <Me neither... they have had some big changes in the West the last couple of years...> I also intend to use an overflow box to feed water into the skimmer. It appears they have a T-valve that connects the overflow input to the protein skimmer input.  It looks like the purpose of the RIO pump is to agitate the water in the skimmer.   <Yes... to mix air and water, deliver this to the contactor...> Do I need a pump to return water to the tank? <Mmm... how do you have this skimmer arranged? Can be placed to "dump" back into a tank, but many folks situate with their sump/refugium> And if so, how many gph should it be capable of handling? <... is rated... but a good "upper number" would be a hundred gallons or so... for the system itself... depending on other gear, livestock, feeding...> Thank you for any assistance you can provide. Laura <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/turboskimfaqs.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pumpselmar.htm and the files linked at top. Bob Fenner>

Which Skimmer Is The Winner?   9/30/06 Hello Bob, <Scott F. in tonight!> At the outset, I would like to compliment you for the excellent website It has loads of info which has been so useful for me and for my hobby. <We're thrilled to hear that. We have a lot of talented hobbyists here who graciously volunteer their time to help fellow fish geeks, and I'm proud to be associated with them!> I am installing a 900 litre reef tank. I would like your help in choosing a skimmer for my tank. <Sure, will try!> What is your impression about the TUNZE DOC Comline 9010 skimmer and Aqua Medic Turboflotor 1000 Multi SL with OR2500 pump? Which is a better choice among the two? I want your opinion so I can make choice! Thanks again. <Well, you've chosen two excellent skimmers from reputable manufacturers. The Turboflotor has been around for a while, and is a proven, reliable unit. It can be just a bit finicky, in terms of adjustment, but once you get it dialed in, it's really a joy to use. I can't say anything bad about the Tunze, either. Tunze Comline DOC skimmers are absolutely quiet, easy to set up (I mean, REALLY easy), and do a fine job, like all Tunze products. They are consistent and easy to clean. Bottom line- you really cannot go wrong with either, IMO. I'd probably try the 9015 for this sized aquarium, however. My edge might be to the Tunze, as it uses less energy, is a little easier to set up, and is very quiet. On the other hand, you'll be just fine with the Turboflotor. Gee, I'm not being too much help here, huh? Seriously, get the one that fits your needs and budget, and rest easy that you have a fine unit. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Turbo Flotor Multi SL  - 08/26/06 I recently purchased this skimmer off eBay, brand new for 100 bucks less than my LFS yay for me!  Anyway, I cut an old salt bucket in half so that the bottom half holds the skimmer outside of the sump and the pump and return are all that's in the sump.  My problem is that with the second return box attached to the skimmer, it's still about 4 inches above the water, and very noisy, I'm not into the whole waterfall sound coming from the tank. <Me neither> What I'm wondering is can I use pvc glue on this material and glue two elbows and a down pipe just below the surface of the water to stop the noise? and if I do this will there be anything I have to worry about? <Mmm, am not so sure re the solvent properties and connecting to what ever the type of material this skimmer is made of. I don't think PVC glue will work... MEK would likely, but this in turn would require the use of acrylic/Perspex... tubing... You might try reading on Ozreef.org and on WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/pbnoisefaqs.htm re various means of lessening "down splash" noise. Bob Fenner>

Turboflotor 1000 Multi-Pump  - Initial set-up problems   6/13/06 Hi, <Hello there>     I just upgraded from a Berlin Skimmer but my new Turboflotor 1000 Multi-Pump isn't behaving the way I expected.  I have the supplied pump situated underwater in the sump and the skimmer sits next to the sump.  The skimmer came with a short clear piece of tubing (I think 3/4 inch) to connect the pump to the skimmer intake.  This tubing fails to reach the intake in my setup by several inches.  So I bought a longer piece of tubing and made the connection.  When I turn on the skimmer it is sort of like Mt. Vesuvius as millions of tiny bubbles mixed with water ascend into the collection cup causing an overflow situation.   <Mmm...> The instruction booklet suggested a 24 hour break-in period for things to equalize but it shows no signs of abating ( the only way I can deal with the overflow is by rigging up a piece of tubing that serves as a continuous siphon.  There is no sign of the typical "dirty" sludge or foam - just clean looking bubbles.  I have tried adding the supplied 5cm extension piece and have also made various adjustments to the control valves but nothing seems to help.  In my set-up this is the only place I can locate the pump and skimmer.  Do you have any ideas?  Would somehow restricting the inflow to the skimmer help?  Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.     Ken <Sounds like you have two issues here (and this make/model can be a pain to adjust...). One is the replacement of the connector twixt the pump and the skimmer... I suspect by making this longer, pumping the water higher, you've changed the make-up of the mixed air/water being fed to the skimmer... You need to somehow decrease the relative depth of water/column height between the source of water being fed to the skimmer and the height of water in the contact column itself (to make it less foamy). Secondly, the level of water in the contactor sounds like it's too high. You can/should adjust this by opening the overflow valve to keep this level an inch or so below the collector cup's bottom... If it were me/mine, I would first try hooking all up with the original shorter tubing, and secondly adjust the overflow. Bob Fenner> Re: Turboflotor 1000 Multi-Pump  - Initial set-up problems   6/13/06 Bob,    <Ken>   Thanks for your quick reply.  I will take another look at shortening the tube from the pump to the skimmer but the store I bought it at told me that the supplied hose is almost always too short and they have to use a longer piece on in almost every set-up situation.  Right now, the base of the skimmer is higher up than the pump by a little bit.  Could that be an issue?    <Yes... not really the length of the tubing, but the differential in "head" or pressure/flow characteristic of the pump in this setting... per the height of water it is pumping...>   Regarding the overflow, maybe I am missing something but it isn't clear to me where this is located on the skimmer or how I engage it.  I will have to re-examine upon my return home this evening.  Should it be obvious?      Thanks! <Mmm, please take a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/turboskimfaqs.htm Bob Fenner> Better Pump for Turboflotor Skimmer? - 06/11/06 Hello Crew <<WS>> I couldn't find any answers to this question on your site.  So I hope you can give me some help. <<Let's see>> I have a 120 FOWLR with some softies, and a 40 gal refugium.  I use RODI water, ppms are '0'.  Right now, I only have a Lionfish 7", Snowflake eel 8", and a damsel.  Despite doing weekly 15 gal water changes and thorough siphoning, that tank started to develop what I believe is Blue Green Algae. <<Happens to many/all of us, one time or another>> I'm pointing to my skimmer as the culprit.  I have a Turboflotor 1000 Multi that came with the Aquabee pump. <<Generally considered a quite satisfactory skimmer>> Do you think replacing the pump with an Ocean Runner 2700 would be better? <<Your disappointment in the pump might be due to the design of the needle wheel impeller.  It might be worthwhile to see if you can get one of the impellers Deltec uses in the Aquabee pumps on their skimmers.  Else, give the Ocean Runner a try>> I'm not looking to "Mod" the skimmer, I've just seen more current versions of the Turboflotor 1000 Multi being sold with the OR 2700. <<Maybe a worthy upgrade then>> The skimmer puts out about 1/3 cup (8oz) of black sludge daily.  Considering I only have 3 fish, is this production about right?  Too low?  Too High? <<Sounds fine to me>> Please help.  Thanks a ton!  You folks are great! WS <<Regards, EricR>>

Noisy skimmer pump  12/13/05 Hi all. I have got a 30 gal reef tank and have just brought a aqua medic BioStar flotor that came with a Oceanrunner 2000ltr pump and the problem is with the pump, it is very noisy which I can only describe as a very loud hum and it is also vibrating too much. Is it a problem with the pump where it needs taking back to the shop or can it be fixed. <I'd talk to the horse himself.  Contact here.  www.aqua-medic.com  James (Salty Dog)>

Turboflotor confusion 7/15/05 Hello again WWM crew, My setup is running along pretty good in its cycling process. The tank is up, live rock, live aragonite, power compact light, Tunze pump, sump, and return header powered by a MagDrive 9.5. The problem is with my TurboFlotor 1000. I have read the various responses you have given to the setup problems and I have a few questions based on your answers. Mine came with the Ocean Runner 2500 as seems to be the trend. I have tried to include a very crude drawing below for other people who may have the same problem. The chamber never fills up more than a few inches above the waterline because the pump pulls water through its intake from the TurboFlotor chamber(1) and a tee leading out into the sump(2). This circular path of the water [i.e. from the pump to the chamber and back again(3)]is clearly the problem.  I am going to try to get the TurboFlotor to work by switching the plumbing around before going to buy a new pump.    Turboflotor What I intend to do is to disconnect the return line from the TurboFlotor chamber(1). I am then going to cap off the reaction chamber in order to force the water from the sump/pump into the TurboFlotor and then out of its two exhaust tubes or the collection cup (hopefully in foam form). My question is this: Should the tee that I install to pull air into the system be on the suction side of the pump or the discharge side? Also is it a good idea to put a valve on the discharge side of the pump to control the flow of water to the TurboFlotor, or do the two control valves on the skimmer do this well enough? Finally if I end up having to upgrade the pump, is the Eheim 1260 a suitable replacement for the 1060, or should I shop around trying to find a place that still has some 1060's in stock? Thanks, Cory P.S. The Fish Store and More in Atlanta was one of the nicest stocked and informative LFS's that I have ever visited. <Uhh, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/turboskimfaqs.htm Methinks your info. is there. Bob Fenner> Turboflotor 1000 06/07/2005 I purchased a used TurboFlotor 1000 last week , with a ocean runner 2500 pump. So far not a lot of skimming which is a surprise to me. <Skimmers do take some time to break in.  Make sure to clean the needle wheel. So take the pump apart and pull the needle wheel out and soak it in some vinegar mixed with water overnight.  Also pull the Venturi intake tubing out of the pump and skimmer and make sure this is not plugged at all.  I guess the main thing is to make sure the pump is getting as much air as it needs> I had a CPR backpack on before this purchase and it was pulling out a lot of junk. it's a75 gallon fish only with live rock i wanted a sump skimmer I know that you guys like these skimmers so what can I do to help this skimmer work better. is the air valve need to be open all the way, and how high should water levels be. < This will take some adjusting.  I would start with the air valve wide open.  Also there are 2 plastic knobs on top to control flow.  Make sure those are wide open to start as well.  If you are getting a bunch of small bubbles in the chamber then you are doing ok.  Just wait till your skimmer breaks in a little longer before adjusting more> thanks Ron from R.I.  <No problem EricS>

In Search Of The Perfect Skimmate! Hello, Crew! I recently bought a Turboflotor Multi skimmer with Ocean Runner pump and after a week of running it only produces white foam that turns into a very light brown colour in the collection cup. My reef aquarium has been up and running for 6 months without a skimmer and I am wondering why I am not getting the thick, smelly stuff. Could it be that my tank water was pretty clean? <Hard to say, really. In my opinion, almost any system can yield the kind of dark, yucky skimmate that we are referring to if the skimmer is optimized. On the other hands, different models and brands of skimmers may pull compositionally different yields of skimmate from the water, so the whole "dark, yucky" skimmate thing is somewhat subjective. It's a good target to shoot for, but any skimmate is better than no skimmate, IMO. Keep tweaking the skimmer if you want, but as long as you are getting some skimmate, that's a good thing!> It was perfectly balanced before adding the skimmer, but I worried about dissolved organics building up, this I bought the skimmer. I know it is for a larger aquarium than mine, but I might want to go larger in the near future. <Nothing wrong with going with a slightly oversized skimmer, as far as I'm concerned.> Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.  Here is info about my set up: 25 gallon 30 pounds live rock sand bed 4" 2 Brittle Star 10 micro hermits 2 Scarlet hermit crab 15 snails 1 Clownfish 1 Yellow Tang 1 Sapphire Damsel 1 big Favia 1 branching Frogspawn coral and tons of various creatures in the rocks and sand; spaghetti worms, micro star fish, amphipods, etc. And a few growths of macro algae which I find keeps the more undesirable  forms at bay. Never had an algae bloom after about 2 months into this little adventure. <Glad to hear that! Your stocking level is about maxed out as far as fishes are concerned, IMO. Sounds like you've achieved a nice balance, though.> My water parameters have always been kept within natural ocean ranges and I use filtered natural sea water for water changes, and distilled for top off. After cycling, my nitrates went down to zero and have since been immeasurable with testing. 10% water change every month. <Good husbandry works wonders!> I want to get more corals and feel that now is the time. I have added life forms so slowly since starting the tank 6 months ago. This is why I added the skimmer. I find it hard to believe that all the dissolved organics are utilized by various life forms in the tank and want the skimmer to start working. Any suggestions? Thank you very much! Yishi Ben-Avraham <Well, Yishi, you have a very capable skimmer with a good reputation. My best advice is to keep tweaking it until you get better skimmate production. If you are getting a consistent yield (even if it's not "dark and yucky"!), I'd be content with that as long as the animals seem to be healthy and happy. I wouldn't go crazy trying to get the perfect nasty skimmate! Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.> 

Turboflotor problems 5/16/05 Hello there, I have had several drinks now before typing this plea for help. Hopefully you can understand me!! I have a 29 gallon reef...1 year old now, well stocked with various coral, 2 damsels and a blenny. After being overcome with hair algae, I've done a lot of research and opted to purchase an RO/DI unit and a Turboflotor multi SL (I had a Seaclone). Step 1 - I manually removed the hair algae with a toothbrush. Step 2 - I mass produced the water and did a 75% water change. Step 3 - set up the skimmer from hell. That is where I'm stuck. This thing is producing so much foam it fills the cup within 30 seconds and floods the carpet before I can unplug it. I've tried every adjustment I can think of....Including per the instructions waiting 24 hours since the water change. Is there any trick to getting this thing to slow down???? Or do I box it up and send it on its way!!! I understand my water is probably.. "rich" but the foam its producing is white.  <It really sounds like something is making the skimmer foam excessively. This can be caused by many things, but no matter how organic rich your water is, it shouldn't cause this. As a last test of your adjustments, completely block the air tube and turn on the skimmer. The water level should not rise into the clear part of the foam cone. If it does, be sure that the knobs on the outlet tubes are turned to full open. If you are sure that everything is adjusted properly, I would suggest rigging a way to allow the skimmer to run completely inside of the tank. Empty the cup as often as necessary (replacing the lost saltwater) until the excessive foaming stops. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Turboflotor adjustment follow up 5/17/05 Thank you very much Adam for the fast reply. I did try blocking the air yesterday and that made the foam rise like it was shot from a cannon (funny actually). Since that happened I'm thinking my knobs need adjusting???? Which I will try again this evening and let you know. Thanks so much... <This definitely sounds like water is not being allowed to flow freely out of the skimmer. Perhaps someone from your local fish store or aquarium society could take a look?> Turboflotor speaks....but I got the last word!!!!! After removing 1 bucket of water from my collection cup (over approximately 1 hour) I began to get a drier foam. Then, the pump started to make a loud shrieking sound!!! It was terrible, that's when it hit me....This cookie is getting boxed up and shipped back to where it came from... SeaClone is back on (I'm convinced it serves no purpose but makes me feel better). I researched your postings and ordered a Remora, its on the way. Thanks for being there.  <Yikes! Shrieking pumps are never good! Although the Turboflotor (when performing optimally) is far superior to the all but useless SeaClone, I am quite sure you will be very satisfied with the best-in-it's-class Remora. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Turboflotor Multi SL Hey guys, I do not have a question [SURPRISE!] I actually wanted to make a comment on another persons question about the Turboflotor Multi SL. I had one of these for about a month and could never get it adjusted properly. The most skimmate it ever got was 1/2 an inch in seven days! I talked to the company [ the name slips my mind] and did everything they suggested and nothing worked. I finally exchanged it for an Aqua C Remora w/ Mag 7 pump and very glad I did! The Aqua C works great and is simple to use. Maybe this will be of help. thanks, Kim <Thank you for this. Bob Fenner>

Turboflotor 1000 Multi SL Hi guys really appreciate a hand, thanks for any advice you can give me.  I am from England so some products may differ in some respect. <Yes... though these products are largely made in Germany> I purchased the Turboflotor 1000 multi SL the other day. It came with an Ocean Runner PH2500 pump, with a needle wheel. It seemed to do a good job in removing stuff; I only have LR in presently. But the pump will just keep shutting off like it is overheating or something. <... not good> Making no sound or vibration, like it has been switched off. After a few minutes it will come back on, then ten minutes later it's back off again. Ever heard of this problem? <Yes, rare, but on occasion. Do take/send this back through your store/stockist... they will replace it> It is currently hanging onto my sump which is empty and only used for equipment. I have read through the FAQ's on this skimmer but haven't seen a problem like this one as such. I returned my first skimmer believing the problem to be a dodgy pump. I then took another from the shelf got it home and have had the same problem. <This is quite/very odd... am now wondering if there is summat odd with your electrics... I would have this tested if a third pump acts the same way> I am a big fan of Eheim products and utilize their equipment, externals, on all my freshwater tanks. I noticed that many a time you recommend ditching the RIO? (is this an American Ocean Runner?)... <Heee! Well put... yes, I am a much bigger fan of the Eheim product line> ..in favour of a 1060. What model would you recommend now? I believe the 1060 is no more. <This is what I would try... even w/o the needle wheel> And I don't understand from past FAQ's how you rig an air intake to it. <Mmm, let's see... imagine a "venturi" of sorts... a "Tee" cut in between the discharge point of the pump and the way into the skimmer... with a valve on the Tee allowing you to adjust the degree of air intake... does this make sense?> It seems these Ocean Runner pumps are no good. What other factors could be causing it to shutdown? I have a reasonable understanding of skimmers, I work in a LFS. But can't get my head round the problem. <Mmm, I do believe this is an instance of a "bad run" of pumps from a manufacturer end> Gladly I have no livestock in at the moment. The tank is a small 48*18*18 and the skimmer at present is on for 10 minutes then off for 10. Will it still be capable of doing a job for me? <No... I would not continue to use this pump> Thanks mucho for any help. Any other pump replacement suggestions, bearing in mind UK resident would be most welcome. Ian PS, half way through TCMA, great read. <Ah, glad you are enjoying this book. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Turboflotor 1000 Multi SL Excellent thanks a lot for the tips. I don't fancy returning to the shop again quoting the same problem. I'd rather have an Eheim anyway. <Me too> I have seen these things run dry all night at work and there be nothing wrong with it in the morning! A true workhorse! The externals I have owned are extremely well designed; I have nothing but faith in this company. <I as well> When I said the 1060 was no more I was under the impression the model is no longer in production. I realize the 1260 is supposed to be the "new" 1060 but it also has an increased GPH. <Yes... there is still some back stock of the older model about (here in the U.S.)> Surely reducing the flow will shorten the life of the pump a fair bit! <Mmm, actually not much if at all... well-engineered to work under a range of conditions> But I suppose it would be easy enough to do from the intake side. <Mmm, no... centrifugal pumps should be valved/restricted only on their discharge sides> Is there now a more suitable one? I guess I should aim towards the 2500 litre an hour mark the Ocean Runner quotes.  I understand about the "venturi" idea now thanks. I was thinking along the lines of the intake side of the pump and allowing the paddle, although not a needle wheel, to hit the bubbles. But between the Eheim and skimmer sounds simpler and healthier for the pump. <Is so> Thanks again Ian <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

- Equipment Questions - Hi crew- I have been both researching your site and asking you direct questions, both have been invaluable.  I appreciate them both, as I'm sure countless others do also. The background info - I have been upgrading my entire 90 gallon reef system. I have already automated the evaporation top-off, added a closed loop with an 1800 gph pump to replace my 3 powerheads, added a 30-gallon circulating reservoir, and basically made it easier for me to keep faithful  water changes. The last 2 pieces of equipment I'm about to purchase are the halide system and the skimmer.  I've decided on a 4'- dual 250w HQI 13K halide  hood, with dual 54w T5 actinic, all made by "Won Brothers". Does this  company provide reliable equipment and good bulbs? <I honestly don't know... have never used their equipment before. This question might be better posed on one of the reef forums where you'll get a sample size greater than one.> (I shied away from  Hamilton after I read that their lights are fair at best)? My skimmer choice is a TurboFlotor 1000.  I would like your advice/opinion of these two products. <The Aqua Medic skimmers are good products - I'm sure it will treat you well.> I have a 90 gal tank, and will be keeping a lot of LPS  corals (frogspawn, flowerpot, xenia, etc) with some SPS corals, and 1 or 2 clams.  My tank is now open top. How many watts per gallon?? - (I'm kidding of  course).  Thank you so much for your time and help. James, RI <Cheers, J -- > - Hooking up a Turboflotor - Hi Marina, <Hi, Gary. Not Marina but JasonC here... she popped this email over to me in hopes that I might be able to help... let's see if she's right.> Thanks again for your response. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions during this very hectic period  as aquatic livestock do not go on vacation right :). I have been trying, unsuccessfully I might add, to get the Turboflotor 1000 up and running and hopefully you can put me in touch with one of the crew member you mention below (Scott, Anthony, Jason, Kevin, Adam) so that I can it up and running. My main confusion is that I purchased an Ocean Runner that is supposed to go with this skimmer but after connecting everything as I understood there is no water being sucked in. The pump is sending in air bubbles and mixing air and water (I manually poured some water in to test it) but not pulling in any extra water. It almost seems like I need a second pump...does that make much sense??? <Well... it does to an extent, but at the same time... I'm a bit confused. Most pumps used for aquariums will not suck water up hill - in other words, they do not self-prime, and must be at or below the water level in order to start pumping. Please do tell just a little more about where this pump is living... I have my suspicions, but you must confirm. If I'm wrong, your problem may be as simple as a bad pump.> I am hoping that my water changes will negate any problems caused by not having a skimmer for now. <They will help, yes.> You are right about the passer angel, he seems no never stop swimming around and periodically gets so active that the Imperator shows him who is boss. One more questions, with regards to the LR (FIJI Premium purchased at www.liveaquaria.com) how long does it usually take for sufficient life to develop on the rock? <A month or two.> I mean algae, sponges, mollusks, etc. What kind of life can I expect from this "pre-cured" rock? <Hard to predict - suffice to say that it will be interesting.> Well thanks again for holding down the fort while everyone else is enjoying some vacation time. By the way, I think that what you guys do is really great for our hobby. How many crewmembers are there all together? <I've lost track - more than ten...> Where are you guys located? <All over the country.> Have a great day! <You too.> Best regards, Gary <Cheers, J -- >

- Hooking up a Turboflotor, Follow-up - Hi Jason, <Hi.> Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. <My pleasure.> As it turns out I will be returning the Turboflotor because it does not fit into my sump by 1 inch :(. <Oh... bummer.> I do not really like the idea of it sitting outside the sump because that would require an additional pump or using the outflow from my UV light. In order to connect the UV outflow to the skimmer intake I would need to make the outflow narrower and I do not really want to slow down the flow through the UV. <Actually, slowing down the output of a UV is almost always useful - most folks push way too much water through them to be useful.> Also, in case there is any leakage I wouldn't want to have a flood on my hands. <This is true.> I have been looking at the Berlin Turbo as a possible replacement. What is your opinion regarding this skimmer? <I think they're ok... will do the job.> How long does it take for LR to start functioning as a filter (it was cured for about 1.5 weeks before I added it to the tank). <Is probably there already.> My Tank is 175 gallons with 45 lbs of Fiji LR and the following inhabitants: 5" Clown Trigger 5" Emperor Angel (changing from juvenile to adult) 5" Passer Angel 3-4" Huma Trigger 4" Yellow Tang 3" Volitans Lionfish Would it be a good idea to add one more fish, possible an Eel? <I wouldn't - you're pretty much at the limit with mess-making fish of this size.> Thanks again for your advice and keep up the good work. <Cheers, J -- > 

Flow directly to the skimmer? 4/9/04 Howdy All, I have had problems with the Rio 2100 pump that came with my Turboflotor Skimmer (T-1000).  I had anticipated this problem from perusing the articles on WWM before purchasing it a few years ago.  I have done my research (on WWM mostly) and purchased a reliable pump as a replacement.  The new pump is much bigger than the Rio and will not fit in the sump of my Tidepool Wet Dry (maybe not quite enough research? :-) ). <Whoops!  I hard thing to research really, you just don't know until you try it!  Many folks have reported problems with Rio 1700, 2100 and 2500 pumps.  Other models seem to be more reliable.  All are most certainly cost effective.> To accommodate the new pump I'm planning to relocate the protein skimmer assembly to a secondary sump that will gravity flow back in to the Tidepool Wet Dry sump.  An additional benefit to moving the protein skimmer assembly out of the sump is access to the filter media will become tremendously easier. <Another benefit is that you can design the secondary sump to have a constant water level which allows the skimmer to perform much more consistently.> My search for supplies lead me to my local fish store where they criticized the setup of the Turboflotor Skimmer.  The local fish store folks claim that all water from the tank should first pass through the filter media as a pre-treatment before the skimmer.  I have read Mr. Fenner's "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" chapter on filtration and studied the drawing on page 84, so I'm fairly confident that my current configuration is fine (water flow directly to the skimmer as a bypass from the overflow of the aquarium). <I disagree with your LFS.  Most reefkeepers avoid any mechanical filtration at all, so obviously the water entering their skimmers is not pre-filtered.> Just to be on the safe side I'd like to ask if there is a true benefit to having the entire tank effluent pass through the Wet Dry?  If there is a benefit I can add a pump to push water from the sump to the protein skimmer and gravity feed back to the sump.  Aqua Medic recommends a rate of flow of "approx. 250 GPH", I assume that's good?  What affect would a significantly higher rate of flow have?  Conversely, what affect would a significantly lower rate of flow have?  Assuming 250 GPH is golden, which side would you want to error on, high or low? <Wet/dry or skimmer?  I would stick as close as possible to the manufacturers recommendation for flow rate through any device, particularly a skimmer.  Overdriving the device may reduce it's efficiency or cause it to flood. Good water movement in the display and through the sumps will ensure that the most nutrient laded water is always available to the filtration devices.> On a different but related topic … I was wondering if it would be beneficial to run an old backpack style Wet Dry filter that I am no longer using in my secondary sump.  I would utilize the backpack filter in quarantine tank setups to provide a little better filtration than a power head.  Can the filter system or power heads be returned to the sump upon successful completion of a quarantine period with no worries? <Again, I am not sure if there is some confusion with the term wet/dry, but...  I am strongly in favor of storing some filter media or even running a small hang on power filter in the sump of your display so that it is always ready to use for emergency or quarantine.  After use in quarantine or hospital tanks, the filter should be washed well with fresh water and allowed to dry completely before re-use.  Absorbent materials like filter pads and disposable filter elements should be discarded if exposed to medication.> And finally, on a completely unrelated topic I'd like to ask about TLAs. There are many TLA references made on WWM and I'd like to know if there is a page dedicated to explaining them and proper usage?  I think such a page would really be helpful!  Best Regards, Patrick  BTW  TLA=three letter acronym <Ha!  I almost missed that BTW and went to search WWM for what a TLA was!  I had never heard of one.  Anyway, if you are talking about conversational shorthand like BTW, FWIW (for what it's worth), IMO (in my opinion), WRT (with regards to), there are many internet sites that list these.  A google search for terms like email acronyms or chatroom shorthand should yield many results.  If you are talking about aquarium specific references like BTA, LTA (bubble and long tentacle anemones respectively), DSB (deep sand bed), CBS (coral banded shrimp), I am not sure that a reference exists.  Most can be deduced from the context of the discussion.  Best Regards and HTH (hope this helps). Adam>

Turboflotor modifications 4/1/04 No, really, I have searched the FAQS...I read about plugging the hole in the reaction chamber of the Turboflotor so that water will be sucked up from the sump as opposed to a bypass and/or second pump. My question is...plug it with what? silicone? I cannot get my hand down the chamber tube, any other suggestions? <I would imagine that some kind of plumbing fitting would make a close fit.  A bit of silicone to fill the gaps and voila!> Originally the TF1000 classic did fine with the flex tube running from the drilled overflows but now all I get is fast filling water. I have a 180 g with a Dolphin Ampmaster 3000 for my return. Way too much flow to direct to the skimmer. I'm about to put it up for sale and buy a Euro-Reef or Aqua C. <You could set up a way to diver the appropriate amount of flow to the skimmer and the rest directly to the sump or use a small power head to feed the skimmer.  Ultimately, you will probably find that this skimmer is undersized for your tank.  Euro-Reef and Aqua-C are highly recommended as are Precision Marine Bullet, My reef Creations and Deltec.> A second question I have is, and I've read up on this one too but got confused...I have started to set up my 180g. It has about 1/2 inch live sand, 100 lbs Walt Smith live rock, which is starting to sprout macro algae and the troublesome skimmer. I want to move the contents of my 55g tank (55lbs of Fla live sand and 110 lbs of Fla live rock , plus fish and inverts, soft coral to the new setup and get rid of the 55g tank. I need to know the safest way to do this without upsetting the balance. <First, be sure the 180 is completely cycled.  Then begin exchanging water between the systems.  Once you have exchanged at least 55 gallons, simply move everything over.> I am concerned about the possibility of the sand bed having some toxicity released since it didn't follow the less than 1" greater than 3" rule. <Toxicity isn't an issue.  Nutrient release and die off of any living critters is.  I always suggest using new sand in a new tank and only using some of the top layer of old sand to seed the new sand.  In your case, I would drain the old tank to within an inch or so and use a large flat scoop to transfer the top 1" or so of your sand to then new tank.  This is a bit tricky to do when the new tank is full.  Just turn of all pumps, go slow and try not to allow the sand to get blown all over.> I don't want to lose any of my livestock or beneficial sand creatures. How would you direct me to move the sand over? I also have a couple of bags of CaribSea oolite available to boost up the height. Which would I put in the tank 1st, dry on top of the live or vice versa? <New sand on the bottom, old sand on top.  You don't want to bury all of the critters.> Your help is always appreciated and I always recommend your site. Kimberly Torres.  <Glad to help!  Adam>

Re: Aquarium Systems and DIY skimmer mod.s I included most of our previous conversations here just so you remembered the incident. After speaking with Bob Studt several weeks ago, I sent the remaining salt as requested back to Aquarium Systems. About a week after I received a brand new bucket, however, no explanation. <Strange... at least seems strange to me> I have since tried to contact him directly, multiple times, and after many messages it is becoming quite apparent that he has no intentions of answering my calls or returning them. Perhaps he is afraid I am going to toss some frivolous lawsuit for the loss of my corals his way if he admits that the salt was improperly mixed. Or perhaps he simply doesn't care how his company's customer service appears to his customers. So from here I suppose I can only tell you that the free bucket of salt loosely acknowledges some error and the rest would be speculation. <I guess> In other issues, the direct link for the WWM mail doesn't work for me. I had a question and you can answer it yourself or please pass it on to the other good peoples at WWM. <Will check... is the link you're referring to on our homepage or elsewhere? We are (definitely) getting mail! Bob Fenner> Thanks Bob, RA "A few years ago I received a Berlin skimmer (appears to be a Classic) with a tank I bought at an auction. I have never had a sump so it has sat in a closet this whole time. <Okay> I was at the LFS the other day and noticed their Berlin hang on models. It appears to be the exact same design with just some PVC or plastic tubing running to the inlet and also from the returns back to the tank (they don't let you open boxes anymore). Can't I do the same thing? I was just thinking of getting the Turbo pump (or another if you have suggestions) and running some PVC with some elbows to the inlet, and then plumbing PVC for the two return lines. Why wouldn't this work?" <Maybe... I'd be careful in cutting for the plumbing... and am hesitant w/o being present to suggest where to make the connections... if it were me, mine, I'd trade it in, sell it and buy one already engineered as a hang-on. Bob Fenner> Thanks,
Ryan A.

Re: DIY skimmer mod.s 1)In our first and only conversation, he stated he would replace the salt if it was bad. I did however make 2 phone calls to voicemail asking for some information on salt, i.e. whether or not it could "expire", chemically change from temperature/moisture, etc. but never received a call back. After the new bucket arrived at my door with just a shipping label, I have been calling since simply asking for what he thought occurred with the salt. To sum it up, I suppose the new bucket states that the salt was "bad", but to what extent so I could inform my forum members accurate information is anyone's guess. Does this fit any experiences you had with Aquarium Systems? <The company has changed... a great deal... I don't know anyone there (Tom Frakes is involved in a lawsuit... vis a vis his involvement with Omega Sea... and Edmond Mowka sold...). Only (I hope he's still there) know Rand Kollman... will cc him here re> 2)For the email, the link is from the "Ask the Crew a Question" link off the homepage, it takes you here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm <Mmm, it works for me here> I spoke with you about this before, supposedly (Jason rings in my mind?) someone more "techy" was looking into it but I hadn't heard anything and had not tried asking a question again until now. 3)As for the Berlin, I have attached a picture of their hang on-model. It is just a adapted Classic or Turbo model. The skimmer already comes with barbed fittings on all inlet/outlets so while I haven't done much aquarium plumbing, I don't really see what other adaptations they could have made other than securing elbows and PVC/plastic. Do you? Just trying to secure an opinion and hope the picture gives you enough information to formulate a clear one. I imagine I could always experiment on an empty 20g tank I have. <Not familiar enough with the line... Am still leery of cutting, hanging the unit... what if it leaks? Could drain your tank down to the level of the intake... burn out the pump... Bob Fenner>

- Help with Turboflotor Modifications - I looked through the FAQs on your website, and I saw several recommendations to upgrade the pump on the Turboflotor 1000/Multi to an Eheim 1060.  I followed the FAQs as best I could, but I'm having a problem.  I have the pump on the outside of my sump.  There's a 1" vinyl tube that goes from the pump to the water in the sump. <Through a bulkhead, yes?> I rigged a "tee" on the submersed part of the 1" tube.  I then connect another 1" tube that sticks out of the water to the "tee".  I put a valve to control the air flow on the end of the tube outside of the water.  I put a 3/4" tube from the output of the pump to the skimmer.  The problem is that there is too much water flow through the skimmer. <You may need to put a valve on the output side of the pump.> It's filling up the cup with clear water in a matter of seconds. The out flow of the skimmer is opened all the way.  No air is being pulled through the valve even though it is fully open. <You might want to experiment with the placement of the T-fitting - I'm assuming here this is what you are using for the air...> Can you help?  I don't have much experience doing this, so I may be overlooking something really stupid. Thanks. <Cheers, J -- >

Turboflotor 100 multi Hi! I've seen that you have a whole section dedicated to this type of skimmer. <Yes, they can be effective, but they are not the easiest thing to get to operate perfectly.> I read with interest the problems that people have with this skimmer. Mine no longer produces foam but the inside of the cone becomes covered with a thick brown scum. <It sounds like it is not getting enough air.> The problem I have with mine is when I turn the pump off to clean the collection cup, sometimes when I switch the pump back on it only pumps water through the skimmer. If I blow gently into the air tube, bubbles are produced but as soon as I stop, the pump only pumps water again. <Have you checked the airline and connection to the pump? I would bet there is some debris in there somewhere.> The only way I've managed to get it working again is to remove the pump from the water and empty of all the water and strip it down and reassemble again. This is quite a problem as I have to put my hand in the tank and with three Triggers (one an Undulate and one a Niger) that like to bite me. The pump is the Aqua-Bee. Last night I had to remove the pump three times before it would work again. Any ideas? <I would soak and clean the whole thing in vinegar and hot tapwater. This should help to remove any deposits that have formed over time.> I can't say I'm a great fan of Aqua-Medic (UK) as I have had a bad experience of their Nitrate filters. I'll send you another email about this! <Ok> Thanks for your help, Mark <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Polyfilters, Turboflotors, and Dark Skimmate! Dear Crew. <Scott F. here this evening> A quick question: Can PolyFilter be cleaned and recycled? With Clorox as Bob's filter cleaning advice prescribes? Will it retain it's almost magical ability to catch Cyano and other undesirable stuff? <Believe me, if there was a reliable way to regenerate PolyFilter, I'd be a happy man! I love them! But, unfortunately, I'd have to say that there is no way to regenerate them> Just starting my third year in this hobby, I'm no one to give advice but a bunch of folks having trouble with their Turboflotors should be aware that the needle wheel was significantly improved a year or so ago but many units in inventory and retail stocks have been/are being sold with the older wheel. Custom Aquatics has the improved wheels in stock - a couple of bucks. My unit sits in the sump 8 inches deep, is fed by a pump which is controlled by a bypass valve (using a bypass reduces load on the pump and gives finer adjustment). It puts out lots of dark brown garbage. Bob suggested putting a nipple in the cup so it can drain through a hose into a milk jug. I have left it for two weeks or more and (while it gets really nasty dirty and there is about 2 - 3 quarts of goo in the jug) it continues to put out dry foam. Howard in Wisconsin <Thanks for sharing the information, Howard. I think that a lot of our readers will find that of great value! Keep learning and sharing! Scott F.>

Solution - Turboflotor 1000 and bubbles in sump/tank I was able to get rid of 90% of the bubbles. I "invented" a device. Maybe I should market it! Since my overflows use 1" PVC and output from Turboflotor are 5/8", I made a bubble trap with a 2" piece of PVC with cap on bottom. I made it about an inch higher than normal sump level. I then inserted this into a Marineland filter material (filter in outside). I then flow water from overflows and from skimmer into top of the PVC traps (overflow and skimmer returns extend about 2/3 of the way down into the traps). The water flows in, cascades out of top (which dissipates some bubbles) and then flows through filter material. The filter material removes most of the remaining bubbles. This has eliminated 90% of the bubbles - the only one that remain are extremely fine and evidently pass through the filter material. There are still bubbles but they are greatly reduced. If I could find a finer filter material I am sure I would eliminate almost all of them (something like a sponge-type filter with a 2"-2.25" opening in middle to fit 2" PVC trap). <Emperor Aquatics makes micron filter bags that maybe just what you are looking for. They are extremely efficient at trapping debris, but must be rinsed out almost daily, for fear of becoming a home for nitrifying bacteria.> Will the remaining 10% bubbles and of very fine/smaller nature pose much of a danger now? <Probably not much> They are hard to see anymore and most evident under the 2 x 96 compact fluorescent lights. You can't see them coming out of the return anymore - before it looked tons of dust blowing out into the water. They are very very fine and smaller now and don't seem to stick to everything anymore. - Mark <Do look at the micron bags as another option. If you clean them regularly, they are very effective at removing large amounts of detritus. -Steven Pro>

Turboflotor 1000 and bubbles in sump/tank I set up my new 38 gallon tank today with a 30 gallon sump. Everything is ok except I have lots of bubbles from output of Turboflotor (outputs into sump) and then they get in return pump and into main tank. Are bubbles a problem or dangerous to my reef animals/LR/fish when I add them? <Yes> If they are dangerous, do you know of a way to cut down on bubbles from Turboflotor skimmer that get into sump, or how to eliminate them from entering main tank? <You can add some baffles to the sump in an effort to direct the bubbles to the top of the water where they can safely burst on the surface or change/reposition the output of the skimmer to minimize the bubbles or even try adding a sponge to your baffles or over the return pump intake. -Steven Pro>

Re: Turboflotor 1000 and bubbles in sump/tank What danger is there exactly in the bubbles? What harm do they cause? <You can supersaturate the water with oxygen and bring about a condition similar to the bends in your fish. Much more information is to be had. Just search around www.WetWebMedia.com regarding this subject. -Steven Pro>

Turboflotor setup Hi Bob, It's me again. I was reading through the skimmer FAQs again and noticed a lot of people were still having trouble with the Turboflotor setup. I just wanted to throw in my 2 centavos worth and show how I setup the skimmer running only one pump. Most people either run 2 pumps OR one pump and water getting fed to the skimmer through an overflow. I thought both of these methods were inconvenient so I ran only one pump, but could never get the water to rise more than 1/2 way up the skimmer column, no matter how much I adjusted the two valves. The solution was simple, just remove the pipe used to connect to the overflow hose and plug up the hole at the bottom of the skimmer column that goes from inside the skimmer to the pipe you just removed. I did that and my skimmer has been working great using only one Rio 2100. Hope this helps. We can hop on the forum if I wasn't clear enough. Hope you have a good day. <Ah, another lesson (for me) in personal "arrogance"... I would have sworn most everyone would have known of this modification... Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Turboflotor Multi Hi Bob, You've probably noticed this skimmer cropping up with my same query. I have had this skimmer working on my tank (connected) for the past 3 weeks. Initially, it skimmed small amounts of concentrated waste (never a full cup) then stopped. I had an outbreak of fish disease and stupidly left the skimmer running during treatment. During this time it skimmed most of the medication out. Once the medication was gone it stopped. <Yes... this happens often> The skimmer has now been switched off for 8 days. Now that treatment of the fish is completed, I switched it on today and no foam is being produced even though after 8 days with 15 fish + two hermits in a 86 Gallon tank there must be dissolved waste as well as residue medications. Even more puzzling is the fact that I have no active carbon so the medication must still be in the water !!! <There's more to the polarized organic accumulation of skimming than "meets the eye"> Can you please advise on what I should do. <Mmm, nothing... other than leave the skimmer on at this point. You'll see some skimmate soon> The skimmer comes with a venturi pump that must be immersed in the show tank the skimmer hangs onto. All this is set-up as stated in the manual. I have the output flow valves adjusted to maximum output. So, there is a good water flow out of the skimmer, and a dry foam it could produce it. Lastly, the reaction tube is a nice milky colour of many bubbles. This has been checked on my stores tank and it does not produce foam where as the Berlin Classic on there tank did. <Hmm, this part is unusual> Can you suggest whether its work adding an air pump to the venturi air intake air line ? Is enough air getting to the pump ? <Likely there is enough air... I would not add an air pump myself> I can safely say that these skimmers are far from exact science they are so dependant on so many environmental conditions. Your help please. <I agree re the inexactness> Should you be unaware of the answer (doubtful I know) can you point me to the right place. Thanks, Kevin <Please read over the "skimmer" section on WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Re: Turboflotor Multi Thanx for your prompt answer Bob. I was very tempted to just leave it alone, but after losing 3 fish during the time it was off (Flame Angel, Powder Blue and Red Hawk), I almost convinced myself that the pollutants in the tank killed them. Especially as whilst the water was "reef clear" all tank mates were visually happy and eating. With the skimmer not working I was sure this was the problem, poor water quality = Stress and all that !!! How long shall I leave it running before considering further action. Note: it is only three weeks old !! <At least another two weeks... four would be better. Wait till you see some real (macro) algal growth.> Regards Kevin <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

TurboFlotor 1000 Multi Bob, You have been very helpful in the past so perhaps you can help here. I was reading on Reefs.org that a lot of folks that have the TurboFlotor 1000 were adding an air pump to increase the efficiency of the skimmer. In fact most people stated that they were not happy with the product until they added the pump. So, I went out and purchased an Tetratec 96 pump and hooked it into the input of the muffler for the TurboFlotor. Needless to say that just stopped the pump cold. I tried to decrease the volume of air, and anything more than just a trickle stops the pump. Any ideas on increasing the amount of injected air without stopping the pump on the multi. <Mmm, I would check with the people who chatted this modification up on Reefs.org. The times, places I've used Aqua-Medic's skimmers I have not injected more air... Bob Fenner> Thanks

Protein Skimmer Hi Bob, Your website has been wonder and really helps. I purchased a Turboflotor 1000 protein skimmer about 2 months ago for my 180 gallon reef tank. Recently, I noticed some problem with the come along needle-wheel pump.  I read that you have been recommending Eheim 1060 as a replacement. <Yes, or at least pull off the needle wheel impeller and put a "regular" paddle type on its place> My question: Does the Eheim pump require a needle wheel and if so can I change it?  <No and yes if you wanted, but I wouldn't> Second, the Eheim pump does not seem to have an air inlet to allow mixing of air with water. How do I resolve this? Would appreciate your advise. Regards, David Chow <I rig a "tee" and a valve on the submersed part of the intake line beyond it, and adjust the plastic valve to mix the amount of air/water being pulled into the pump. Bob Fenner>

Re: Turboflotor Needle Wheel Impellers Thanks Bob, I am grateful for your advice - and so is my Tang, he seems to be recovering. I need to get a good "Picture Book" of Marine aquarium fish so I don't misdiagnose. Any suggestions or is that your next book? <A good suggestion for someone (I'd like to help) Still struggling to get my TurboFlotor to work correctly. I went out and bought a Rio 2500 pump and still seemed to be underpowered until I simply used the paddle wheel that came with the 2500 in the 2100 (2500 was too much with the paddle wheel) instead of the Turboflotors needle wheel device.  <Thanks for this input> I screwed this up though when I put conditioner in the water for the remaining livestock after I took the Tang out. More frustrating than Golf! I pulled the dam thing out and put my CPR in the sump. I'm going to do a fairly sizable water change and give it another try this weekend. <Ah, good> Any chance your going to be diving in Maui over Christmas. Kara and I are taking Kayleigh for her first ever visit to Hawaii from the 18th-1st.-Dave <No... elsewhere, putting in flooring with Uncle Frank in NJ. Bob Fenner>

Hey Bob, Skimmer questions Bob, Having trouble finding a skimmer. My cabinet is not huge (21'inch clearance) and I have a 225 gallon tank. Aqua makes a skimmer that is 20 inches high but is only rated for a 180 gallon tank. 1) Do you know of any 225 gallon skimmers that fit und 21 inches? 2) What is the impact if I use the 180 gallon one? 3) Can I use two smaller ones to make up for it? "Thanks, Derek <I think the Turboflotor line might be a better choice, and that it's just under the size allowable... and the 180 you have ID'ed will likely otherwise be fine... and yes to (but I wouldn't in your case) using two smaller units... The one rated for 180 is likely fine... once the live rock et al. settles in... I would spend my time, money, efforts elsewhere other than sizing up a/the skimmer. Bob Fenner>

TF1000 in Rubbermaid sump Hello yet again! I get a semi noisy vibration sound from my TF1000. It's somewhat related to vibrating against the Rubbermaid, but even if I suspend it in the sump, there is considerable vibration noise. Regarding the vibrating between the sump and TF1000, do you have any suggestions? A sponge would work, but I don't want anything that would start working as a bio-filter. <Yes... to replace the supplied TAAM/RIO pump with an Eheim...> Also, do you suggest getting as much water in the TF1000 from the overflow as possible and adjusting the exhaust outputs to optimize "bubble" concentration, or leaving the exhaust outputs fully open and regulating the amount of water into the main chamber?  - Eugene <A mix of the two is actually best... Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance.

Turboflotor My reef is not set up yet. I do not even have water in my tank. While waiting for more equipment I decided to start trying out my Turboflotor. I put it in the Tidepool 1 wet/ dry and filled the wet/ dry with freshwater. I am using a Rio 2100 on the Turboflotor. The directions that came with the Turboflotor are minimal and I cannot figure out how to work it. <Agreed... not great directions... have you tried the hobbyist forums, archives on the net? Or the folks who import/distribute the units websites... Links on the WWM page...> It is impossible for me to send the water straight from the tank into the skimmer because of the wet dry. The water will not raise past about 2 inches in the skimmer column. I put it together exactly like the diagram except for the overflow part. The water level will not rise at all. Is it just the freshwater?  <To a large extent yes...> Can you give a little more detail then Aquamedic on how to set it up in a wet dry or is it impossible? Sorry for the vague question. Andrew <Take a look at their site, other users modifications... I would likely upgrade the pump (to a Rio 2400, or better, an Eheim...) and there is a discharge adjustment to make the water rise... when you have the seawater in your system all this will be easier. Bob Fenner>

Instructions Floated for the TurboFlotor I just received my turboflotor1000(in sump) for my 75gal reef tank. The problem is that it did not come with instructions on how to hook up the pieces. Can you get me information on it? <You will be better off contacting the place you purchased the skimmer from. They may be able to open another box and fax or mail you a copy.> Will it fit in a 20gal(long or high?) with my magdrive500 submersible pump? Also, on the box it says that it has to be hooked up to a overflow box. Is this necessary or is there another solution. If this is the fact how do i hook it up to my Amiracle overflow? <The directions should have clear pictures/drawing, but I think merely having the skimmer in your sump receiving surface skimmed water from the overflow should be enough.> Since i am new to this please try to make the answers as clear as possible. Thanks! <Best of luck, Steven Pro>

Clarifying the Unclear What I meant was that the turboflotor1000(insump)did come with instructions but there was hardly any information. I don't know how to hook it up to a overflow. Some people say this is necessary and others say that you can use 2 pumps and another said that you can simply modify that I desperately need to know how to set it up and get it running and if i cant do it, return it for a AquaC ev120 as soon as possible before it is too late. Please help me soon. <Why do you need help "before it is too late"? What is going on? I would still recommend contacting the person who sold you the unit or Aquamedic (they make the TurboFlotor). I have never hooked one up myself, but I have seen several in operation and they seem like you merely sit them in your sump and plug it in. I do not know what you are referring to when you say hooking it up to an overflow. Aquamedic's webpage is http://www.aqua-medic.de/index0.html> Thanks

Turboflotor / Eheim Bob: I just received my Eheim 1060 to put on my Turbo floater and am trying to figure out how to connect the needle wheel to the Eheim. Forgive my "laymen" terminology, but the Eheim "internals" are coated with a hard plastic coating - the wheel inside is connected to that plastic coating. How do I connect the needle wheel to the shaft - I guess I would have to use a blade and cut through the plastic at a certain point to remove a portion of the sleeve and the old wheel, but then how am I to be sure that the needle wheel will attach to the shaft correctly? There is a slit on the shaft of the Rio 2500 (the pump that came with the Turbo floater) that matches the hole in the needle wheel so that the needle wheel doesn't just spin on the shaft. I'm really not comfortable with having to jury-rig this because I don't want to destroy a brand new $119 pump. Is there a different needle wheel that I can buy that will fit on the end of the Eheim shaft? Help!! Steve <Pardon my daftness, actually more-than-usual daftness... am struggling with the current cold/flu what have you... Where did you get this "needle wheel"? Was it offered after-market by a third-party? I would not change out the one the Eheim came with... Just run the Eheim as it came... This is what I/we do. Bob Fenner, ahcooo!>

Re: Turboflotor / Eheim Bob: Gazuntiet (sp?). <Close enuf, thanks> The Turboflotor came with a "special" needle wheel (or impeller?). The instructions say to replace the impeller in the Rio 2500 with this special needle wheel.  <Ah, yes... only goes with Rio/TAAM products... and we don't even use these... but have a bunch if someone wants them... found that for our coral culture tanks (about 400 gal.s a piece) the regular impellers work better on Aqua-C in sump type skimmers... Jason gives us his mis-cuts.> The needle wheel has three rows of small, needle like pins sticking out around the center hole. I thought that was the whole Idea of a needle wheel type skimmer? That it was supposed to chop the bubbles up into fine micro bubbles. Won't I be losing out on performance without using this different wheel? Now I'm confused. Again, sorry for my inability to explain these parts better. I really appreciate all of your help. Steve <Yes to the idea, no to the execution... among other things we measured rate of flow (lower with the modified pin-wheel) and energy consumption per flow (higher...), and lo and behold (where's my staff and tablets?), a few of our Rio pumps burned out (even sooner!) with two types of the after-market impellers... So, I would do what we do... use the "regular" paddle-wheel type that came with/on the Rio/TAAM pump, if you use it. Definitely don't try to fit this on the Eheim product! No worries on the issue of "less efficiency per pass"... you don't need it. Bob Fenner>

Pumps Bob: I have sent away for a Turboflotor T1000 and want to get a pump for it. It recommends a Rio 2100, but I know you always recommend the Eheim pumps for their more energy efficient and quieter. Which model do you recommend? I couldn't find a pump at their web site that pumped the suggested circa 700 Gal per hour (The Rio pumps 692 at 25 watts). The Eheim 1048 pumps 158 Gal per hour then the next model 1250 says it pumps 7317 Gal per hour (must be a mistake) - then the next model 1060 says 602 Gal per hour at 50 watts (twice as much as the Rio). I'm confused. Please help. Steve <Thanks for the note... sent Eheim one in turn re the posted error on their model 1250... actually, I would likely put on a model 1060 on the Turboflotor T1000... even though it looks (this is a nice term) like it produces less stated gallonage than the Rio 2100 product (alternatively to save apparently... not really) money upfront on upgrading to the Eheim (I'm not too serious here, about the upgrade that is), you could get/use a Rio 2500... I would definitely go with the real gallonage and pressure (not to mention the lifetime, real energy consumption) of the Eheim. Bob Fenner... a friend of TAAM/Rio, but not their pumps.>

Turboflotor Pump Bob- In your 12-22 column, you mentioned getting a Turboflotor or EuroReef skimmer and replacing the pump with an Eheim submersible. Which model Eheim would you recommend for the T-1000 Turboflotor? Thanks, Andy Lange <Hmmm, well, took a look at the Aqua Medic data... they suggest/supply a Rio 1200... and looking at www.riopump.com... the rating at zip head for the 2100 is right about 900 gph... So, I guess I'd stick with one of the two Eheim (www.eheim.com) models, 1048 or 1250 (rated 600 and 1,200 gph respectively)... either will do... I'd get the bigger one for tanks over 125 gallons. Bob Fenner>

Turboflotor 1000 protein skimmer Question Bob: I am looking to get the Turboflotor 1000 protein skimmer for my 55 gal. tank. I have a 10 gal tank for my sump with a 9 1/2" deep by 10 1/2" wide area open for the skimmer. I have been only able to get feed back from one person on the foot print needed for this skimmer and they said I would need a 8x12x24"H to accommodate the skimmer. If this is true, is there any way to modify this skimmer to fit in the space I have available? (Separated external pump?) Thanks for your time, and a GREAT book. Bill <And thank you for writing. The basal dimension of twelve inches is a bit much... but overall, these are not unrealistic dimensions to manipulate this skimmer (to wrangle the thing in/out of the area)... if you have the vertical element though, I think you would be fine here... be able to tilt the skimmer forward to remove, replace it. The "separated external pump" is definitely a possibility... just a longer piece of flexible tubing/connector. Do wish my descriptions were more lucid... or had video/Vulcan mind meld capability... but what I think you/I have in mind can be done. Bob Fenner>

Turboflotor 1000 protein skimmer Question II The Vulcan mind meld sounds great to me BUT, I only have a 19" display :) After all the reading I have been doing it looked like the Turboflotor 1000 would be a good choice for my 55 gal tank. The same day I emailed you I sent the same question to the people on the Web that I was going to buy the skimmer from, this is their reply. Personally, I would use the Red Sea Berlin skimmer instead of the Turboflotor. I think it's a lot more efficient and is easier to setup. I know that from what you have written that you like the Turboflotor. Would you have any experience with the Red Sea Berlin to make a comparison, without using the Vulcan mind meld ..................... Thanks again for your time.  Bill <Do have experience with the RS product and yes, it is worthwhile for a 55, and should fit... the AB/Turboflotor I felt was a better choice for the eventuality of your upgrading to a larger system... but the RS Berlin will do fine for now.  Bob Fenner>

Re: Turboflotors Hi again Bob, Thanks for the help. FYI..... I hooked up flexible hose to the discharge and bent it a little to flow more smoothly into the water below. It reduced the noise by about 75%. I'll try your advise in addition to my solution tonight. Thanks again for your always quick response and sound advise. I know you don't make the Turboflotor, but I tried getting hold of Aqua-Medic and it would be easier to find the holy grail. I never "pre-set-up" any tank in the past. I would recommend doing this to anyone. It allows you to fine-tune the setup BEFORE you get it in your home. I can't tell you how many gallons of water I've given up to the carpet gods. (I can still hear my wife yelling'). <Amen, brother... "Would a, could a, should a... don't blame me... my record stands on it's own on this issue... Do set up and try all before adding salt, gravel...>

Re: Protein Skimmer... Help Bob - One more question. About needle-wheel skimmers (Turboflotor). They are suppose to be very efficient etc. etc. Most seem to run off of Rio pumps which can be used on either the Berlin HO or the US aquarium. Can the impeller in these pumps be replaced with a needle-wheel and still work with these two skimmers? or do the Rio pumps already have the needle-wheel design? <Good question... Yes the Rio can be switched to a needle wheel type impeller... Mr. Taam of Rio and other folks make these change-outs.... and most of the applications I've seen can be run with either the original or the needle wheel type (we switched back to the regular "paddle wheel" types for our little coral farm. Lastly a note re the Rio product. They've had a spate of problems with their small pumps... and if you can afford the upgrade, look to the Eheim submersible pump line... much better. Bob Fenner>

Re: Protein Skimmer... Help If I do go with an Eheim pump, can I, and would it be worth switching to the needle-wheel impeller? <Not in my experience or estimation. Just the Eheim as it comes.  Bob Fenner>

Skimmer Pump/Set-Up Dear Bob, I have not been on for a while my computer was down, anyways I purchased a Turboflotor 1000 skimmer it is know on my 75 gallon reef. I am still not sure if I have it adjusted right there is very little instructions with it I was told to put a circulation pump in the overflow box a Rio 600, which I did it seems that I had to almost completely close the valve to get any kind of bubbles in the chamber and the water is just barely trickling back to the sump from the skimmer return pipes as of this message it was not producing any foam, I was just wondering if there is something I could do to make it work better or do I have it adjusted right also could I put the circulation pump in the sump next to the skimmer, also I thought this skimmer came with a Rio 2100 mine came with a1700 Rio. Thanks again Bob, Ron from R.I. <Doesn't sound right at all... yes to the 2100... get rid of the smaller pump... and contact whoever sold you this thing... Seems like something is missing on it, or you don't have it set up correctly.> Thanks for the help Bob, am I using the circulation pump correctly. I am using it from the tank down to the sump into the Turboflotor valve, <What? Doesn't sound right... should be from the sump to the Turboflotor... not from the tank down.> can I put the Rio 600 in the sump. I am going to contact the dealer tomorrow about the Rio 2100.  <Or have another reef aquarist/guru come and look at your system with you... and get the 2100 on your unit... with or without a/the modified impeller> Also I lost the information center you sent me to read Q +A on internet, Thanks again, Ron >> < Home Page , Bob Fenner>

Skimmer headaches Bob can I run this Turboflotor with a regular 2100 Rio without the modified pump, I have a Rio 2100 hanging around. Also the way I read your last message I do not need to run the circulation pump from the overflow box, am I correct by saying this . Getting frustrated, need a lot of help with this, thank God the tank is running well for know, but I know it will do much better with the skimmer. Thanks Ron. <Yes to all. Bob Fenner>

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