View Full Version : PCI PS-2000 Help

02-23-2012, 05:21 PM
I have this skimmer and I can't seem to dial it in properly. The bubbles that I'm producing at the top right at the collection cup are all very fine bubbles and not the large bubbles I was used to when I had the CPR bakpak and what I am used to seeing from other skimmers. I can get the bubbles all the way to the top of the skimmer but it produces more water from overflow or bubbles popping than it does what I should be getting. I'm getting really frustrated right now. Luckily my filer sock is doing a great job at collecting stuff and I keep changing them out to keep it as the main filter for now.

I have tried raising the whole skimmer up but that makes matters worse as the sliding 'valve' is related proportionally to the skimmer/water level (from what I've observed) so I think it's at a good depth...but then again I could be wrong since it's not working properly.

What you don't see in the stock photo is that mine has a drain pipe out of the bottom of the collection cup. I'm trying to think of anything that might be helpful information

Currently in my tank is a lot of coral, a pair of small ocellaris clownfish, and a CUC.
The sump is a 29g.


Any ideas? Would modding it with a gate valve help or what's going on?


02-23-2012, 05:38 PM
So it sucks the water through that filter and the pump just makes the bubbles? Where does that tubing from the pump go? I would think adding the simple valve to the end of that tube would be eaiser and a finer adjustment than a slide type... my .02

Is this a venturi skimmer?

02-23-2012, 05:47 PM
You want super fine bubbles from at least the top 1/2 of the main skimmer body on up to the cup, this skimmer can't be compared to the cheapy bakpak, your skimmer may be crazy because of the system not being skimer as well as it is now, so you may pull a ton of water at first. Shoot some pics of it in place and running to see maybe if we can spot something.

02-23-2012, 06:21 PM
Here are some photos:



Here's a video in case that helps more:


02-26-2012, 01:58 PM
Hey brain,
to bad u cant make it to the meeting, but ur skimmer seems to be working correctly imo. U should raise it up though and let those bubbles build up in the neck of the cone....eventually (1-3days) ur skimate should start to overflow slowly into the cup... u can use some eggcrate from the hardware store to put underneath it to raise up a bit....or maybe slow down the bubbles a lil lil bits...

02-26-2012, 02:32 PM
water level is too high in the sump,
it shouldnt be in more than about 9" of water.
and it doesnt look like its doing too bady, just skimming very wet.
also, potentially there is a better air injecting venturi and pinwheel impellers to increase air injection in the skimmer.
but i cant see your pump or venturi to determine which generation of skimmer it is..
CV-OCT-PW-IMP-2 Premium Aquatics - CV-OCT-PW-IMP-2 Aquarium Supplies (http://premiumaquatics.com/aquatic-supplies/CV-OCT-PW-IMP-2.html)

02-26-2012, 06:23 PM
Maybe I wasn't giving it enough time but when I had raised the skimmer higher out of the water the bubbles sat much lower in the neck no matter how much I adjusted the slider valve. I'll give it a try and let it sit for a few days since I don't have much bioload I guess messing with the skimmer won't change too much.

Oh BTW here is the email I got from PCI when I asked them about it:

You want the water to be a couple of inches above the height of the pump. You may not have many dissolved organics in your tank yet since you just set it up. Protein skimmers also take a couple of days to break in. There is no explainable logic to that one, they just do.

02-27-2012, 12:09 AM
I would definately raise your skimmer up out of the water a bit like whats been suggested here already. I havent heard about this brand of skimmer. It looks alot like an ASM skimmer.

02-27-2012, 06:10 AM
After watching your video I would follow suit with everyone saying raise the skimmer by about 2-3 inches from where it is now....

02-27-2012, 11:51 AM
I just raised the skimmer up 3+ inches with two blocks of Styrofoam. Luckily with the skimmer running the styrofoam doesn't lift it up at all. Currently the micro-bubbles are sitting in the middle of the neck (which is odd because last time I raised it up the bubbles wouldn't leave the body). Anyway I'll watch it today and see how it goes and do some minor adjustments over the next couple of days. The skimmer is sitting in about 9.5" of water now. If need be I'll raise it up a bit more to the 9" mark but I'll wait and see how it works at this height.
Thanks for the help!


02-27-2012, 04:16 PM
Now that it's been a few hours I thought I would show how it's been doing. Honestly I am glad to see it working but at the same time baffled. As I said before the last time I raised it up the water wouldn't move past the body into the neck. Confused but happy!
Here's a short video:


02-27-2012, 10:57 PM
Glad to see it working...u got a lid for that beast Brian ? Still a lil wet imo... With the lid on and it raised another half inch to an inch, you'll get a nice skimate. Some things in this hobby are just a mystery I swear. Ur skimmer breaking in is a process of amino acids and fats and such building up on the walls of the skimmer. Over time the bioload will increase in Ur tank and you may have to adjust...also it will act up right after feeding...kinda like its adjusting itself... Idk I'm babling

02-28-2012, 04:55 PM
Well I moved it up a bit more. Had to switch out the styrofoam with some Tupperware as the styrofoam was too cumbersome and frustrating. Looks like it's doing well right now. I'll wait a bit before I take another video but it looks like things are getting pretty nasty in there as far as skimmate.

YES it does have a lid I just had it off for the videos so that you all could see what it was producing. You can see it with it's lid in some of the pics in the first post.

02-28-2012, 08:06 PM
you might want to make a skimmer stand from plastic egg crate stacked in layers,
or make one out of plexi, it would be waay more stable.
also, did you know you could mod the hell out of that skimmer and hotrod it to more than double the skimming power your doing now??
here's a freakin massive thread on modding your pci-2000(exact same as octopus nw 150)
also, i'd be happy to help you if you want to do it. i could show you all the best tricks.

02-28-2012, 08:17 PM
That would be great Skimmy. I'm looking through the thread you posted. A bit overwhelming to read through. As long as they are fairly cheap mods I'm up for it. BTW the skimmer is about 8.5" in the water now.

02-28-2012, 08:28 PM
basically free mods... i even have a piece of enkamat mesh i can mail you.
so if you own a dremel or have access to one, then super free.
maybe pm me before you chop into anything... :)

02-28-2012, 09:02 PM
I do have a basic dremmel tool with lots of attachments. I've used it for other various DIY projects.

02-28-2012, 09:07 PM
Sounds like ull have quite a skimmer!

03-05-2012, 12:45 PM
So I have the skimmer sitting in 8.5" of water and I'm getting NO skimmate in my collection cup. It seemed to be working well and doing ok but the last few days it's not pushing anything up past the neck. I have the slider tube all the way up so it can't go any further. This is the same issue I had when it was down in 13" of water too.

The neck and the lid get covered in crap but it doesn't seem to overflow into the collection cup. Would doing some of those mods to it help with it's issues?

I know there's not much crap in my system because I have two tiny clowns, a CUC, and some coral but it would make me feel a whole lot better if the skimmer would actually skim something.


03-05-2012, 02:36 PM
yes it would...
just bring it to me next time your in town if u dont want to do yourself.

03-05-2012, 03:01 PM
yes it would...
just bring it to me next time your in town if u dont want to do yourself.
Thanks! I'll PM you when I head your way some time.

03-28-2012, 12:03 PM
So I took the lid off my collection cup to wipe off the layer of crap that accumulates on it and then I went to throw the stuff away and when I came back I noticed a significant increase in the level the bubbles get up the neck. It still hasn't overflowed into the collection cup but with the lid off the bubbles look like what I think they should and it seems to be working better.

Is there something I can do to the lid to make the flow better or stay this way with it on? What's causing such a quick and drastic change in the performance when I take the lid off?

03-28-2012, 03:14 PM
is the o ring or gasket in the way of the flow of the bubbles??? It shouldnt be, i clean mine out with warm water and a baby toothbrush every now and again. It takes time for the fats and slime to build back up but thats a good way to keep it clean and going...

03-30-2012, 03:15 PM
man, i wished u lived closer... i could fix everything on that skimmer in 10 min. :)
but just go through that massively long thread on RC about modding octos,
then pm me with any q's before you chop.

as far as your skimmer working better withthe lid off, thats weird...
are there any holes in the lid to allow air to escape??
if not i'd say go ahead and drill a couple 1/4" holes close to the edge on opposite sides of the lid.

03-30-2012, 09:40 PM
There are holes in the lid. I've been reading through the thread and there's no real step by step so I'll see what I can come up with on my own and then see if I have questions or if I'll make the trip to your place sometime.Btw I cleaned the skimmer to see if that would do anything. Nope...but this is what the impellar looks like. I don't know if that helps at all


04-26-2012, 01:20 PM
So not sure what happened but I went on a short vacation (my dad got married) from last Wednesday to Sunday. I got back in the office on Monday and the skimmer cup was overflowing with water and so was the 2 liter I have it drain into. So I emptied it all out and lowered the pipe on the skimmer and now it seems to be doing what I see other skimmers do. It doesn't quite have the right coloration just yet as far as the tea stuff but for some reason it is skimming as you would expect it to do. I'm still wondering why. It was used so it had been used before and its been running in my tank for about 2 months or so. Seems like an awfully long 'break-in" period.

I'm still interested in some mods Skimmy but just glad its working better now. :)

04-26-2012, 02:54 PM
oi mango... just lmk when ur ready.

04-27-2012, 05:49 AM
This is just an old school Reef Octopus skimmer NW150. Stock is ok but modded will perform heaps better like Skimmy suggested.

Mods to consider:

1. Replace the impeller with a pinwheel or meshmod the existing needlewheel using PF4 Enkamat mesh.
You should be able to find pinwheel impeller for the OTP-2000 pump which I'm pretty sure is what your skimmer is using.
NEW OTP High Performance Pinwheel Impeller OTP-2000-IMP - Reeflo / Water Blaster / Bubble Blaster / Octopus Pumps (http://www.tropicalriverandreef.com/new-otp-high-performance-pinwheel-impeller-otp-2000-imp.html)

2. Get a better aspirating venturi as well for same pump
Reef Octopus Replacement Intake Venturi fits OTP2000 Pump - 80002 - AquaBuys.com (http://www.aquabuys.com/p/reef-octopus-venturi-otp2000-oct80002.html)

3. You put a gate valve on the output which will allow you much better and more precise control on the water level also.

04-27-2012, 05:56 AM
Oh and if this is a new skimmer it will take some time to break in as well (could take up to a few weeks).
The more you stick your hands into the water the longer it will take as well since doing so the oil on your hands are messing with the water's surface tension.