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Thread: Using your overflows into DIY skimmer

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    Using your overflows into DIY skimmer

    After spending far too much money on different skimmers... I gave up and used the drains from my main tank into my fuge as the skimmer.

    Rather than stop the bubbles that were building up... I simply allowed them to form... infact I increased water volume through the drain on that side of the tank. Took the plumbing all the way to the floor... and u-turned it up.

    I placed a 2 liter bottle over it (with the bottom cut off) and added a skimmers collection cup at the top.

    24/hr 7/day skimming... pump never dies (cause there is none), air stone never wears out (cause there is none), and yet if I feed regularly I remove an entire skimmer cup once a week.

    If I don't feed it takes about a month to make a mess in the cup.

    BTW... 200 gallon reef, tons of coral, some fish. and i probably over feed a little.

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    Gaitor Wrestler
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    Hey lets see some pics if you have any.
    Thanks, Scott
    Researching NTS........(No Tank Syndrome)Hidden Content

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    Sounds very interesting! Love to see pics as well
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    I'll have to clear away some xenia and calerpa... shoul dbe able to do that later today... hopefully post pics tonight.

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    Brittle Starfish
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    this is a good Idea if it works with out fault.
    my over flows always build up organic waste from the air mixing with the water..

    I would like to see some pictures as well..

    Matt

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    Lets see how attaching pictures goes.
    These are some quick shots before I go to bed.
    The water leaves the tank out of 1 or 2 overflows in the back.
    It has a shut off valve and a quick release coupler... then travels straight to the bottom of the refugium.
    It 90 degrees to the front of the tank (that's where it used to stop).
    now it elbows back up, to the front again (to create a ledge for the bottle to rest on) and then straight up again.

    I used a bottle cap (with the top cut off), rubber bands, a 2 airline pieces (to stop suction) to tightly (but not permanently) hold on the skimmer cup.

    It's that easy... why fight bubbles... put them to work for ya.

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    I had to move some stuff out of the way so you could see it through the water... but it is pretty dang simple.

    This 23 gal (tall), fuge dumps into a standard 20 gallon. In there I did something very similar to stop bubbles from being in the water near my intake... I turned the pipe straight up and ran it to the surface of the water... all the bubbles there just hit the surface and pop... no hassles.

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    LOL!! Very cool
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    I'm thinking the bubbles would be too big to be as efficient as you'd need. But the execution is so cheap I would think it could be a good "pre-skimmer". My overflow down into the sump creates a lot of bubbles that are causing salt creep and such on the rim of the sump and down the front face. On one of my smaller FOWLR systems, I have a filter sock over the pipe and that solves it but is a detritus trap that has to be maintained closely. This idea would put those bubbles to good use, then the G3 would still do the real skimming. Thanks for passing it on.

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    Clamlubber-
    Actually, since I am pushing this water (in the return) 12-18" down to the bottom of my fuge (which is a 20 gallon tall) then it 90's across the bottom to the edge where I can reach it and maintain it, the 90's up 2 inches, 90's left and immediately 90's straight up... the bubbles are VERY small and have a ton of time contacting the water.

    Then, after the last 90 that points it straight up... there is a clear tube that directs the bubbles up. I remove very dark, thick stuff about once a week. This thing works better then any of the skimmers I tried before. I still run (just for curiosity and water flow) a Protein Skimmer (can't remember the name... paid way too much) and it produces almost nothing ever.


    **why all the 90's? I added a zig/zag into this to break up the bubbles AND to make a shelf to help support the 2 liter bottle. The pipe is much larger than needed and doesn't slow my flow rate down (yes, I have tested it).
    ** does it need all the 90's? Probably Not. It used to go all the way to the bottom... 90 to the front of the tank so I could reach it... and 90 straight up.
    Bubbles were fine, flow was fine... but all that action would shake the skimmer loose of it's "mount" and i'd find the skimmer sunken to the bottom and pouring water out of the collection cup like a fountain.

    Good luck.
    Pop bottle: $1.99
    Parts of an old Sea Clone skimmer: $20
    PVC (not even glued!): $3
    Lots of the stinkiest stuff on earth... priceless.

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    BTW... there is almost no bubbles in my sump, and no salt creep anywhere in my sump... my sump that has a return as well, and that the fuge dumps into... I am currently growing salt creep art sculptures I'll sell on E-bay someday and retire because of the profits!

    To remedy that, I also 90'd both of those returns straight up and had them stop 1/4" below the surface of the water. htis reduced bubbles and salt creep to almost nothing. Until one of my shrimp ended up in my Sump somehow and I had to tear it all down for a rescue op. I haven't put all of it back yet.

    Also... I recommend NOT glueing PVC that doesn't need to be glued. i.e. anything under water level shouldn't be glue. It will fit tightly together and is maintainable without the use of a saw!

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