View Full Version : SWC cone skimmer...freaking out

04-10-2011, 09:50 AM
Soooo I'm sure this is normal, but I got my tank up last night and now my skimmer is FREAKING OUT. It ran fine before i went to bed. When I woke up this morning I could barely keep it from flowing straight into the collection cup. I have had to open the gate valve all the way and practically turn off the airline going to the venturi. This is the first day teh skimmer has ever ran and we are approaching the 12 hour mark....is this just normal break in behavior?

04-10-2011, 11:13 AM
I believe it is part of the normal break in period. Sometimes it can take a few days, to get them working properly. I'll move this thread, to our Skimmer forum, for advice from those that know more than I!

NaTe R
04-10-2011, 11:23 AM
i sure didnt have that issue with this SWC skimmer, nothing like that at all.

Try leaving it open till you establish a foam head then close the valve slowly till it creates a back pressure to lift the head slowly, then you should be able to fine tune it from there.
i m sure you know but it may take a few hours (3-4) on a new tank set up to get a foam head and even longer if its new system with a huge chamber in the skimmer.

04-10-2011, 11:58 AM
So I am still working it. I have to leave the gate almost completely open and the air valve about 1/2 open. I am just letting it go and dumping the water. I read some threads over at reef central about similar experiences. Some believe it is residual chemicals from the pipes...or some other source....iunno I'll run it. Do a water change soon and run carbon prior to introduxing live stock at the end of the cycle and hope it works out. I'll keep this updated in case anyone else ever has these issues.


8" deep in water
Gate valve pipe open
Air line inlet 1/2 open.

04-10-2011, 02:46 PM
So it seems to be settling in, I started dumping the cup as it filled just in case there was something in it. The last cup I pulled was a really strange greenish yellow color almost like skimmate, but lighter and not as green. Anyway after dumping that and topping off the return from all the water that was pulled out all seems normalish.

04-10-2011, 04:13 PM
I have a new (3 weeks) SWC skimmer as well. How much water do you have it sitting in?

NaTe R
04-10-2011, 08:44 PM
He mentioned 8 inches earlier jgalvin.

Could be your problem but it seems anything residue(ish) would be a lubricant of some sort witch would naturally kill foam heads but who knows!

good luck, i am sure it will all work out for you

04-10-2011, 09:05 PM
You are cycleing your tank? If so this maybe part of it, excess nutrients? Maybe. I have a SWC 180 cone, set it up new, never had any issues. And I have mine in 8 in of water also. Hope it works out. May you could try raising the skimmer to 7 in of water, they are suppost to work in 7-9inches.

04-10-2011, 10:05 PM
yep... it's just breaking in... also, fresh saltwater makes them freak out sometimes...
give it about a week at least before it starts acting normal... :)

04-11-2011, 03:22 PM
Yeah all is looking normal. If anything I am having to open the air valve more now to raise the head back up. I am getting an amazingly nice foam head on it though!

04-11-2011, 03:35 PM
ideally, the air valve should be all the way open so that it is processing less water and more air.

05-06-2011, 11:16 AM
yeah if I do that it just flows straight into and over the cup....even with the gate valve wide open lol.

05-06-2011, 11:29 AM
hmm, that doesnt make sense... you will notice that the muffler can be taken apart with a screw on the top...
i would dis assemble it and look for obstructions. because when the air valve is all the way open, the water level should go down a bit.

05-06-2011, 12:55 PM
yeah no......lol I'll take it apart when I get home in a few months.

06-12-2011, 02:30 PM
What do you think of this skimmer now after some time with it? The 160 or 180 cone is one of the skimmers im looking at and would like to no if you would buy it again or change it for some other skimmer

06-13-2011, 12:14 AM
I would get it again. My only complaint is that it is really sensitive to the amount of DOC in your systems and can RAPIDLY require some adjustment.