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View Full Version : Protein Skimmer, maybe need a mod?



jrgilles
03-03-2010, 12:42 PM
Hey guys, I wanted to see what you thought of this protein skimmer I'm using. I have a feeling its not up to par....

My system is about 120 gallons (75 DT, 20 fuge, 50 sump (but only part full.)

The skimmer I am running is:

http://www.marinedepot.com/Coralife_Super_Skimmer_Needle_Wheel_In_Sump_Ventur i_Needle_Wheel_Protein_Skimmers-Coralife-ES33000-FIPSISNW-vi.html

It has a ton of micro bubbles, but only in the top half of the tube, the bottome stays pretty clear. I'm skimming out maybe an inch per week in the collection cup. Oh, and my tank currently has only 3 fish in it, 2 green chromis and a rainfordi goby. For corals, I have maybe 30 zoas, 20 polyps, a few softies, sps and lps. They all look happy, but I'm worried about the size of the skimmer.

I hooked an air pump to the air intake, but that stopped the bubbles completely, so immediately removed it.

Anyway, what do you guys think of this? Are there any mods I can do to improve its effeciency, or should I be picking up another skimmer?

The slot I have in my sump that I could put a new skimmer in is about 8.5" by 10-12". The 8.5" would put it tight up against my bubble wall.

I'm a bit broke as I just ordered a neptune Apex controller, so if I need to replace this, something with a good price tag would be great.

rob

jrgilles
03-03-2010, 12:45 PM
Oh, the one I'm running is the 65 gallon version. My brother gave it to me when I went home to collect random fish tank equipment before I set up my tank.

Would be awesome if there was a mod I could do to this to get it up to par.

It is mounted in my sump, and the return pump (eheim 1262) is doing about 650 gph at head pressure.

roscoe
03-03-2010, 01:14 PM
I reccomend the kind of modd where that thing goes in the garbage LOL. POS skimmer.

jrgilles
03-03-2010, 01:18 PM
yea, thats what I was afraid of. I think I need a new one.

Hopefully the 8.5" width I left in my sump is enough to hold something better.

Any recommendations on a reasonably priced skimmer that would fit this hole? I'll search the forums

roscoe
03-03-2010, 01:27 PM
Either these will be great for your system.Did you build your own sump? If so it can be easy enough to remove the baffles.

http://saltwaterconnection.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=3

If space is an issue these

http://saltwaterconnection.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=4

http://saltwaterconnection.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=77

jrgilles
03-03-2010, 01:32 PM
I did build my sump. I actually have 4 baffles in place, with an inch and a half spacing. I could pull one of them out to get 10" space if it is needed. I was thinking 8.5" was enough space to allow for expansion, but maybe not. I imagine if I used some force, I could remove it, as it is plexiglas baffles in a glass tank.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to see what I can get used off the equipment forums too.

rob

roscoe
03-03-2010, 01:35 PM
If you are using plxi on glass it should come out rather easy. Just use a razor to cut it out. I just sold both of my skimmers that would keep your system nice and clean.

jrgilles
03-03-2010, 01:36 PM
I have plenty of height (custom stand), so its all a matter of footprint. Seems the first link you put up would fit great. I'll take some more precise measurements when I get home. Sounds like I should get the PoS I have replaced asap

roscoe
03-03-2010, 01:43 PM
You don't need to replace it asap. You just have to do more water changes to aid it in nutrient removal. You can get by with what you have but it just makes things a little easier when you have equipment that can releive you from constant maintenance. That is just the way I think though. Some don't mind those chores. You can be rather successfull skimmerless. It is just to much work to go that route though IMHO when you have things that will aid you along the way. I was pretty successful with a 40b SPS dominated tank with just a generic Bak Pak skimmer. I just had to be anal with water changes. So if you don't have the resourcees ATM to get a better skimmer. You don't have to get in now. Just hold out and you will find some great deals on the for sale forums.

jrgilles
03-03-2010, 02:24 PM
OK, cool. I was thinking about getting one anyway. Maybe its a good use of my tax refund.

I've been checking out the SWC website. These guys are local, right?

I see they have a skimmer for a 160 in both cone and cylindrical. What are the advantages of the 2 different types?

It appears the 160 is a good size for me, as it says it does 125 with a heavy bioload. Since my DT is only 75, seems a good size. (although there is a 20 fuge, should that be considered? Also 30 gal or so in the sump, but would think that wouldn't be considered for any bioload.) Is there advantages to getting something higher rated though? Or is that overkill and just going to be an unnecessary drain on electricity?

I'm pretty uneducated on skimmers, but seems you know them pretty well. Seems every skimmer I've used has been a PoS. Last tank I had (FO) about 10 years ago I had an even crappier skimmer than the one I'm currently using.

Thanks for helping me out roscoe :)

rob

roscoe
03-03-2010, 02:45 PM
I'm no expert on skimmers but have a good idea what skimmers to stay away from. I can reccomend what skimmers are good but I can't really go into real details on how they operate. All I know is that the cone skimmers has a smoother transition through the neck I believe and is more efficient but the cylinder types are great as well. Cones are jist the new hot stuff for the skimmer department.

SWC is in Canada however you can go through Luke at Reeffiltration.com. he is in the states. Luke is the expert on skimmers and I'm sure he will guide you to a great one. You can PM him. He goes by LUKE on here.

Skimmy
03-03-2010, 03:25 PM
so, 75g DT...

the SWC 160 cone would do you quite well,
not quite as powerful as the extreme 160/200 cylinder skimmer, but that body(160) is a little small for the power from that pump anyway.

So, the SWC 160 cone gets 600lph @ 23w., which is more than enough air injection for your size tank, then it being a cone shape with bubble plate makes it have less backpressure on the pump, and the cone shape also allows proteins/nutrients to move up the foam column and into the skimmer cup easier. so even though it's less power than the SWC extreme 160, it's a good match for your system, add the fact that it's only $249 and your good to go.

on the other hand, the sicce pump on the extreme160/200, "mini" cone, and now new SWC 180 cone skimmer is a more powerful pump consuming the same watts the atmann on the 120/160 cone skimmers(900-1100lph air injection @ 23w), so the best of both worlds would be the SWC 180 cone skimmer w/ improved pinwheel and venturi on the sicce pump, and the skimmer would be able to be used on systems as large as 180g . available in a few weeks, it will have a pricetag of $369, wich is an insane deal for such a nicely designed cone skimmer with sicce pump.

...and yeah, luke @ reefiltration is great to deal with, offers excellent customer service. highly recommended.

jrgilles
03-03-2010, 03:37 PM
OK, I posted on the equipment forums for a used one. I'll wait and watch, and check out the 180 extreme cone when it comes out. Might be worth the extra money for a more energy effecient pump.

What makes the "mini" cone mini? It appears to have a bigger footprint than the 160 extreme (160 is 8.5"X10"X21" if I remember right, where the "mini" is 10.5X10.5X23)

I'm also trying to figure out what will fit in my sump. The mini says it needs to sit in 6-10" of water.

Currently, my water level is at 14 or 15" in my fill chamber of the sump, the tank is 18" tall, and the cabinet it is in is 25" or 25.5" tall. Having trouble visualizing if it would fit or not.

I emailed SWC to see if they have a manual with a diagram so I can try to figure it out.

rob

Skimmy
03-03-2010, 04:02 PM
there's nothing mini about the mini cone...lol it's a cone skimmer for up to 180-200g...
if your going to get a cone skimmer with a sicce pump, then wait for the 180 cone, I think it's a better design than the mini cone, and like I said, the 160 cone will do you good too.
as far as sump water levels and skimmer height, I would make an eggcrate stand to sit the skimmer on, to see if you cant get it sitting in 9"-11" without smaking into the ceiling of the stand.

FreakinReefin
03-03-2010, 04:05 PM
so, 75g DT...

the SWC 160 cone would do you quite well,
not quite as powerful as the extreme 160/200 cylinder skimmer, but that body(160) is a little small for the power from that pump anyway.

So, the SWC 160 cone gets 600lph @ 23w., which is more than enough air injection for your size tank, then it being a cone shape with bubble plate makes it have less backpressure on the pump, and the cone shape also allows proteins/nutrients to move up the foam column and into the skimmer cup easier. so even though it's less power than the SWC extreme 160, it's a good match for your system, add the fact that it's only $249 and your good to go.

on the other hand, the sicce pump on the extreme160/200, "mini" cone, and now new SWC 180 cone skimmer is a more powerful pump consuming the same watts the atmann on the 120/160 cone skimmers(900-1100lph air injection @ 23w), so the best of both worlds would be the SWC 180 cone skimmer w/ improved pinwheel and venturi on the sicce pump, and the skimmer would be able to be used on systems as large as 180g . available in a few weeks, it will have a pricetag of $369, wich is an insane deal for such a nicely designed cone skimmer with sicce pump.

...and yeah, luke @ reefiltration is great to deal with, offers excellent customer service. highly recommended.

Question Skimmerwhisperer...I have the Extreme 160 which sits atop the Sicce needle wheel pump; are you saying that the Sicce pump is too powerful for the body of the skimmer? The reason I ask is because I have it running right now on my 65g that I just set up. It has been running for 5 days(today is the 5th) and even when running the skimmer 100% open, it is overflowing with bubbles into the cup. I have no way of turning it down at all. It's almost like there are too many bubbles in the skimmer!! I have never seen so much reaction in a skimmer chamber at all. Since the overflow is so consistent I haven't been getting any skimmate and I have to just let the cup drain back into the sump since it would literally empty the tank if I had it draining to anything else....I don't want to hi-jack the thread but I thought it was relatable.

jrgilles
03-03-2010, 04:10 PM
Alright, awesome. The word mini was confusing me.

So, for example, the 160 cone says 6-9" water, and has deminsions:

9*7*20.58

So if my water level is at 14", and the bottom of the skimmer is 8" below water, that would have the top at (14-8+20.58) 26.58".

Is that correct? Or are they measuring not to the bottom of the skimmer, but to the top of the pump or the air intake (which would give me significantly more room to work with)?

The deminsions of the 160 cone look very nice for fitting into the space I have, and the price tag is also looking pretty nice to me.

rob

jrgilles
03-04-2010, 12:22 PM
Thanks a lot for the suggestions/discussion guys. I talked to luke at reeffiltration, and placed an order for the SWC 160 cone last night. Can't wait to replace this toy skimmer thats currently in my sump. the 160 looks like a great skimmer, and the footprint is perfect to fit into my sump chamber.

Cheers!
rob

jrgilles
03-11-2010, 02:20 PM
Got my SWC 160 cone in last night and got it all hooked up and breaking in.

Wow.

During the first 10 hours after plugging it in, it has already skimmed more protein than my old skimmer would do in a week.

roscoe
03-11-2010, 02:36 PM
You will be amazed at how well these cone skimmers work. I have had mines hooked up since last Thurday. I was waiting for the 1 week mark to take pics of it. Looking at it this morning the CC is 65-75% full of dark smelly goo.

Skimmy
03-11-2010, 02:39 PM
come on you guys...pics!!

roscoe
03-11-2010, 02:47 PM
C'mon Mark..... I'm sure you've seen plenty of pics and in person. you know these things rock!

Skimmy
03-11-2010, 02:54 PM
Question Skimmerwhisperer...I have the Extreme 160 which sits atop the Sicce needle wheel pump; are you saying that the Sicce pump is too powerful for the body of the skimmer? The reason I ask is because I have it running right now on my 65g that I just set up. It has been running for 5 days(today is the 5th) and even when running the skimmer 100% open, it is overflowing with bubbles into the cup. I have no way of turning it down at all. It's almost like there are too many bubbles in the skimmer!! I have never seen so much reaction in a skimmer chamber at all. Since the overflow is so consistent I haven't been getting any skimmate and I have to just let the cup drain back into the sump since it would literally empty the tank if I had it draining to anything else....I don't want to hi-jack the thread but I thought it was relatable.

sorry i missed this....
what you want to do is decrease the level of water the skimmer sits it, so if it's in 9" of water, bring it up to being in 7" of water and see if that doesnt mellow some of the pump power.

jrgilles
03-14-2010, 11:07 PM
OK, sorry I'm so slow. Here are some pics of my installed SWC 160 Cone skimmer.

http://picasaweb.google.com/jrgilles/SWCSkimmer?feat=directlink

And here are some pics of my DT that I just took also. Color is kind of off. Need to learn how to use my GFs superior camera... or install photoshop

http://picasaweb.google.com/jrgilles/DT031410?feat=directlink

Skimmy
03-15-2010, 08:15 AM
a couple of q's/suggestions; :)

why is the water level so high in the sump?? is there room for the extra water in there when the system is shut off?

and why 2 overflow boxes on a 75g??? one is more than enough...
what return pump are you using?

also, those powerheads would serve you better in a gyre configuration instead of opposing eachother. (look up gyre on youtube)

also, one of these might look a little less distracting for a return:
http://www.championlighting.com/home.php?cat=482

jrgilles
03-15-2010, 10:54 AM
Hey Skimerhiperer, thanks for the comments (I am a bit of a noob).

Sump: Thought the water level seemed fine when I made the sump. Came across a lot of 14" high sheets of plexiglas, so thats what I used to make the baffles. There is plenty of room in the sump for more water, if I were to shut the return pump off, the sump would fill and still have room for another 10-15 gallons after the siphon broke from the return pump.

2 overflow boxes: Same reason I have 2 drains on my fuge (even though it is only using one). I put it in for flood insurance, incase 1 clogs. Actually ended up using a herbie style drain on the DT tank, so it is actually utilizing the back up drain to a small extent, since I've backed up the primary so there is no air in the system.

Return pump: I am using an eheim 1262 for my return pump and love it.

As for powerheads, I currently have them aimed towards each other, and also each intersecting water returning from the sump to give a turbulance effect. I've read a bit online about flow, and it seemed a turbulance like this was the best way to go until I get a more advanced system. (ie, not good to have a current constantly going in just one direction.) So, all my water collides. I use a big xenia I have to analyze the currents, and it seems pretty turbulant now.

I just hooked up an apex aquacontroller and was going to add in more powerheads to have an alternating current. Was going to pick up some korelia's at blue sierra, but had a thread here and realized the really aren't made to be turned off and on a lot, and I shoudl save up for tunze pumps, which are a bit too much for me to get right now.

So, leaving it turbulent for the time being until maybe my birthday where I'll get a few controllable heads.

Gotta run to work, but when I get there, I will look into this gyre configuration. I just added a lot of new rock and did some aquascaping yesterday, so the current probably needs some more work.

Thanks a lot for looking through my pics and telling me what you think. If there is anything else you see that looks off, i'd love to hear it. gotta run

jrgilles
03-15-2010, 10:57 AM
Ah, the reason the water was so high in the return part of my sump in that picture was because I just added 30 lbs of live rock. Had to take some water out. It was a few inches above the line where my sump switches turn the ATO on/off.