View Full Version : Maintenance on a SWC 160Cone

02-13-2012, 06:32 PM
Hey guys. I have had my SWC160Cone running about 2 years now. A few times the bubbles have gone down, and I have blown through the air intake, and it has gone back to normal.

Last night I noticed the bubbles were down. Air intake was a bit clogged, blew through it and poured some warm RO/DI through it to dissolve salt, etc. Started working better, but not even close to the bubble concentration I want.

I see some gunk floating up and down in the bubble chamber, so I figure it is time for more intensive maintenance.

I plan on taking it out, and giving it a good cleaning. I would like to clean the water intake impeller, etc., as well as the body.

Any pointers or suggestions would be appreciated, as I have never had this beast apart for more in-depth maintenance before (or if anyone knows what the cause likely is.) There are still a good number of bubbles, but not the white foaminess I am looking for.


02-13-2012, 07:27 PM
Soak the whole thing in vinegar and that will help. Also make sure you haven't turned the air take down. That will affect the amount of bubbles.

02-13-2012, 08:13 PM
Easy, taken apart and reinstalled. Cleaned all over, took the impeller out and cleaned around the magnetic part. Ran water through the air tube and cleaned all the pieces.

Problem ended up being a bit of gunk at the bottom of the air intake (inside of a white collar that attaches to the pump.) It was cutting the air flow down to like 10%. Got that all cleared, reinstalled, and beautiful white microbubbles again.

It all needed a cleaning, but the clog was what was causing performance issues.


02-13-2012, 08:14 PM
Is the pump mesh modded? If so, it's time to change out the mesh.

edit.... spoke too soon! LOL:loco:

02-13-2012, 09:16 PM
i have that happen about every 3 months....if you have not gone with the mess mod - DO IT!! its way better then stock....get the larger collection cup 2....fits 3x the amount as normal 1.....i keep having issues with ulva growing in bubble plate & closing holes off..

02-13-2012, 11:19 PM
Looks like it is doing awesome now. Totally white in the bubble chamber with microbubbles and torrents around the bubble plate.

Do you have a link to the parts to mod the impeller? Do you just replace the black stock brush looking thing?
Where to you get a 3X collection cup? From SWC?

Looks like it is doing great, but curious about the modded impeller...

02-15-2012, 03:35 PM
yea luke at saltwaterconnection.....i HEARD that hes getting charged for a federal fish import (live rock) ....so he might be a no go......he custome built the new impellar for me ...as well as the cup i think.....i will take measurment & pics tonight to show differences

02-15-2012, 03:37 PM
SWC Xtreme 160 cone skimmer hybrid impellor SWC Xtreme 160 cone skimmer hybrid impellor [SWC 160 cone Hybrid impellor] - $5.00 : SWC - Salt Water Connection, Protein Skimmers, Calcium Reactors, Filters & Lights (http://www.saltwaterconnection.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=123)
SWC Extended Xtreme 160 protein skimmer cup SWC Extended Xtreme 160 protein skimmer cup [Xtreme160 extended cup] - $59.99 : SWC - Salt Water Connection, Protein Skimmers, Calcium Reactors, Filters & Lights (http://www.saltwaterconnection.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4&products_id=81)
appears they made this cup taller.....mine is just wider

02-15-2012, 04:48 PM
I actually emailed luke randomly yesterday (bought skimmer from him) to ask about impellers and he said he was the one who made em. Random...

Anyway, he made one a few days ago and shipped it out to me this morning. He said he had collection cups that were 7" wide and 1" tall. Didn't mention anything about getting in trouble with the feds, but he probably wouldn't. Hope all is good. Really like doing buisness with him

02-15-2012, 06:11 PM
when you get the new impellar u will wish you had got larger collection cup it fills up fast...
Winnipeg man faces $1M in fines for smuggling protected species - Winnipeg Free Press (http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/Winnipeg-man-convicted-of-smuggling--135339543.html)
says saltwater connection owner

02-15-2012, 07:22 PM
i'm actually scared to turn off my SWC160, i bought it and I used to turn it off with my pumps when i fed the fish, two months in the motor stopped working (it was sputter, but not turn fully on). Luke sent me a replacement no problem but told me not to turn if off. So now the thing runs 24/7, i even try to clean it with it plugged in. Love the skimmer, Luke is great, but the Atmann pumps not sure about.

02-15-2012, 09:07 PM
wow i turn mine off all the time ...no issues over 2 years old.....but thanks for that info on these little guys dont wanna be buying a new pump.......

how often do you have to adjust the dial?.....and when you look straight at opening of skimmer is your water gap on left side or right side of outlet.......turn valve clockwise or counter.....does it make a difference

02-15-2012, 09:18 PM
i'm always tweaking the turn value. when my pumps go off the water rises a bit, plus its usually when i make any adjustments with my corals (ie hands in tank), that combo can make my skimmer overflow. you really need to dial it in, but once dialed in works great.